Bank line - the best cord you've never heard of


Bank line is a black nylon cord/twine that is similar to tennis court netting. It’s exceptionally strong, UV resistant, and inexpensive.  

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It does pretty much everything paracord can do, but in a smaller diameter, so it's a lot lighter and takes up less room.

The name comes from trotline fishing (from the “bank” of a waterway, hence the name) for catfish or similar critters, where you toss out a strong main line baited with multiple hooks, and return hours later to check your line. 

Bank line comes in a variety of diameters and strengths. (Paracord is rated to about 550 pounds.)

  • #36 bank line has a breaking strength of about 320 pounds.

  • #12 bank line has a breaking strength of around 100 pounds, and is accordingly thinner and even lighter.

Popular in the survivalist / bushcraft world, bank line can be immensely handy around the house, garage, shop, or campsite.

#36 bank line.png

Think lashing most anything, tent or tarp guy lines, clothesline, trellis for the garden, hanging a food bag, primitive shelter construction . . .

On a big wall, everything needs a way to be clipped in. Bank cord is perfect for making small clip in loops for most anything, and is less expensive than the bulk 2 or 3 mm cord normally used.

Bank cord is “tarred”, which is about what it sounds like. The cord has a thin layer of sticky tar-stuff. This helps knots to be more secure It has a mild petroleum-like smell, which goes away shortly after you open the bag.

The stickiness is not annoying at all. It doesn’t come off on your fingers, just has a mild tacky feel to it.

At the Amazon link below, both rolls of cord cost about $9-10. (With the heavier weight number 36, you get about 140 feet, with the lighter weight number 12, you get about 400 feet. )