How to Make a Prusik Cord


How to Make a Prusik Cord

A quick note before the instructions: if you don’t want to make your own prusik loop from cord you can buy one presewn into a loop and ready to use. Both the Sterling Ropes Hollow Block and the BlueWater Ropes Sewn Prusik Loop are good choices. For use as an autoblock to back up a rappel choose a prusik loop around 20 inches long. For general purpose climbing and rappelling the 7mm diameter version is good.

Buy Accessory Cord for Making a Prusik Loop

Step 1: Purchase 6mm or thicker nylon accessory cord.  Spectra/Dyneema is not recommended due to it’s low melting point.

Get Together the Equipment for Making Prusik Cord

Step 2: Get out scissors or a knife, a lighter, a tape measure, and (optionally) electrical tape.

How to Make a Prusik Cord

Cut Cord to Length

Step 3: Cut a length of cord about 60″ (152cm) long. This will produce a Prusik cord of about 20 inches in length. This is a good length for a general purpose cord for use as an Auto-Bloc for rappelling. Longer Prusik cords are also sometimes used in other applications. Loop the cord around so that the two ends are overlapping by about 10″ (25cm).

Cord for Making Prusik Cord

Use a Fisherman’s Knot to Connect the Cord Ends

Step 4: Using one end of the cord, tie a double fisherman’s knot around the other end. Use a triple fisherman’s knot on cord with a slippery sheath.

Be sure to leave about a 1 to 2″ (2.5 to 5cm) tail coming out of the knot. Make sure the knot is very tight.

One Fisherman's Knot in Prusik Cord

Finish Securing the Prusik Loop with a Second Fisherman’s Knot

Step 5: Tie a double (or triple) fisherman’s knot in the same way on the other end of the cord. Again, be sure to leave about a 1 to 2″ (2.5 to 5cm) tail coming out of the knot. Make sure the knot is very tight.

Two Fisherman's Knots in Prusik Cord

Pull the Fisherman’s Knots Tight Against Each Other

Step 6: Pull the cord until the fisherman’s knots are tight against each other.

Fisherman's Knots Together

(Optional) Finish the Prusik Loop with Tape

Step 7: Tape the tails to the loop so that they don’t get snagged and so you and other climbers can tell which prusik loop is yours.

Prusik Cord


Step 8: You now have a prusik cord. Have an experienced climber check it before use.

Looking for more rock climbing how to’s? Check out How to Wash a Climbing Rope.

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5 thoughts on “How to Make a Prusik Cord”

  1. What is the minimum caliber or gauge recomended (cord) to use for a prussik cord used on a life line for a 250 lbs person?

    1. Five millimeter cord is commonly used for a prusik rappel backup for normal climbing purposes (not search and rescue or guiding when the cord may have to support multiple people). It will support a 250 pound climber but if you’re worried about it go with 6mm cord.

      Rock Climbing: The AMGA Single Pitch Manual recommends 6mm for guiding as “A thinner cord will grip better, but below 6mm in diameter, the cord will be too weak for many rescue applications.” I’m not sure I’m understanding what you mean by “life line” so you may need something else if the application is not rappel backup.

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