- Ranch Ropes 101: A Guide to the Best Ranch Ropes
Ranch Ropes 101: A Guide to the Best Ranch Ropes
Looking for that ever elusive, perfect ranch rope? You're not alone. Choosing the best ranch ropes can be challenging because it depends on the roper's preference, conditions and how they will be used. With so many options out there, it can be truly overwhelming. But the experts at NRS are here to help. This article will go over the best choices for ranch ropes and how to find the right one for your needs.
How to Choose the Best Ranch Ropes
Deciding which ranch ropes to choose from is more complicated than it seems because there are so many factors to consider. Besides being used for roping cattle, ranch ropes are used for a wide variety of tasks, so you'll likely need several types of rope to get all your jobs done. Keep reading to learn all about the best ranch ropes.
Learning the Ropes: Ranch Ropes Basics
When choosing from the hundreds of ranch ropes for sale, you'll want to consider the following characteristics of each rope.
The softness of a rope is known as the "lay." Beginner ropers generally start with a softer rope, and as they progress, move up to stiffer ropes.
The most common diameter for nylon ranch ropes is 3/8” true, with the variants commonly being a 5/16” or 7/16”. Many modern ropes are thinner for added speed. Poly ranch ropes are measured in millimeters, with the most common diameter being a 10.5.
The length of the rope you choose is determined by how it will be used.
- Head ropes - between 30 and 32 feet.
- Heel ropes - up to 35 feet.
- Ranch ropes - up to 60 feet.
Because head ropes are shorter, they are easier to handle, care for and transport, so they are the best choice for beginners. Ranch ropes are heavier, bulky and generally are not suited for roping practice.
There are many types of rope material available, and each has its pros and cons. The most significant consideration is the weather and conditions in which the ropes will be used. Beyond that, the material chosen is generally based on personal preference.
This is the original type of rope, made from braided or twisted strands of rawhide. They need to be greased to prevent them from getting brittle, similar to leather. While they are still currently in use, they are a cultural rope with artistic appeal and are often used for decoration.
These natural ropes are twisted fibers of the agave plant from Mexico. They perform best in warm, dry conditions.
Syngrass ranch ropes look and feel like traditional grass ropes but are made from modern synthetic materials. Cowboys love them because they are more likely to maintain a consistent feel with varying weather conditions and require little maintenance. It also has minimal stretch.
Cotton ropes are made of twisted cotton, typically featuring between 5 or 7 strands. They are a very durable rope if you care for them properly and protect them from wet conditions. Once wet, they become very stiff. To break them in, you'll need to soak them in a solution of linseed oil, beeswax or rawhide cream to help them resist moisture and give them more life. They can also be dyed.
The best nylon ranch ropes are hard to beat. Nylon is an all-around favorite because of its durability and stretch, making it incredibly versatile. There are many different types of nylon available for even more flexibility.
Braided nylon ropes feature qualities of nylon ranch ropes but are braided for additional strength.
More commonly known as poly, this newer type of rope was initially created for ocean fishing lines so it can handle the elements. It's similar to the best nylon ranch ropes but is a bit more resistant to abrasion and sunlight and almost as strong as nylon.
This is one of the newest materials in the roping world. It consists of a nylon core and a poly outer twist. Drylon ranch ropes offer the longevity of a poly rope with the feel of nylon, but like cotton, they get stiff when wet.
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Learn difference between polygrass, polyester, poly blend & syngrass ropes here!