Tree Surgeon Back Splice vs Regular Backsplice

When it comes to finishing a line, there are two good options to secure the end:


Whipping is the act of wrapping the end of the line in a much smaller line to bind the fibers and hold the end together. This works wonderfully and will last a very long time, but in situations where the ends of the line will be chafed or abused, the whipping can break and fall off; leaving the end of the line to fray.

Backsplicing is wonderful because it uses the rope to hold itself together. In situations where whipping is not the best idea due to abuse, backsplicing can shine through.

The two types of backsplices I will talk about now are the Tree Surgeons Backsplice and the Bulk Backsplice.

The bulk backsplice is quick and easy to do, but as the name mentions, it adds significant bulk to the line. This can make it hard to pass through hawse pipes and cleats. To help keep the end together, a crown knot is also tied, which adds considerably to the amount of bulk.

The alternative to the bulk backsplice is the tree surgeons backsplice. It barely increases the bulk of the line at the end and still provides the same ability to hold the line from fraying when under abuse. The only downside to the tree surgeons backsplice as compared to the bulk backsplice is the splice takes a few minutes longer to do. 

I used it to secure the end of my dinghies painter, which towed the dinghy behind us for 800 miles on our summer trip, as well as on the ends of our anchor snubber.

It is a very versatile backsplice that is worth knowing how to do.