How to tie the perfect bolt snap

Tie bolt snap

This is what you want to make

I often find myself showing people how to tie bolt snaps to backup lights and hoses, so I thought I’d try and write a description of how I do this. There are a number of ways of doing it, but this is the one I use – it works just fine.

This is the thing were trying to produce. It needs to be nice and tight so that it doesn’t slide on the hose, and help the bolt snap “stand up” to make it easier to clip onto the harness d-rings. The same knot is used on backup lights, but it doesn’t have to be quite as tight.

So, you will need the following things:
1. 60cm of cave line
2. A bolt snap (!)
3. The hose or light
4. A pair of cutters or a sharp blade
5. A lighter

three turns

Put three turns around the hose and bolt snap

Start by putting three turns through the bolt snap and the hose. Then pull the loops tight.
twist the two ends

Twist the free ends across each other

Next we want to start the knot. We’e going to put a turn around the loops which will apply tension to them, and lock the bolt snap in place. The first step is to cross the two loose ends. Pass the end in the right hand over the end in the left so that it looks like this.
pull tight

Pull the free ends tight and tension the turns

Next, we’re going to tie a knot on the other side to
lock the knot. Flip the bolt snap over from the right hand side in the image above to the right hand side. Pull the two loose ends of line over to the right hand side.
The next step is to tie a reef knot to secure the knot. Start by pulling the
loose ends to tension the turns. It takes a bit of
practice to get this set right, but essentially you want the turns to be
pinching together behind the eye of the bolt snap, but not touching.
reef knot

Start the first half of the reef knot

Tie the first half of the reef knot and it should look like this. You can make fine adjustments to the tension at this stage.
reef knot 2

Tie the second half of the reef knot, keeping the tension on the knot

The next step is to tie the other half of the reef knot. Remember that for a reef knot, it ties “right over left, then left over right” otherwise it’s a granny knot and won’t be stable.When the knot is pulled tight, the reef knot should look square and symmetrical.
finished knot

Pull everything tight and it should look like this

melting ends

Melt the loose ends


To finish, melt the knot so that it can’t come undone. Be careful not to melt through the line. Melt the ends of the line, and mushroom the ends with the end of the lighter to flatten them out.

finished knot

Melt the ends and push them flat and onto the knot

The final thing should look like this.
Job done.