Lariat Rope Types- What Kind Of Rope Is Used For A Lasso?

Jessica McDaniel
Written by
Last update:

What Kind of Rope is Used for a Lasso?

The traditional, modern day rodeo rope or lasso is actually a combination of two different materials twisted together.

This rope consists of three or more strands of synthetic fiber, usually polyester, tightly twisted together, and coated in vinyl. Usually, the rope is 7-8 feet in length.

The twisted and coated synthetic strands give the rope some give that allows the rope to flex when a force is applied and then return the object to it's original form when the force is released.

The yarn on the other hand, forms a dense core where great strength and durability can be obtained. Rope manufacturers also use a fiber called “polypropylene" which is a kind of thermoplastic resin that can be stretched to five times its original length without breaking and has greatly reduced weight.

It’s this combination and the process of twisting the synthetic strands that makes up the rope that leads to the rope's flexibility.

The combination of synthetic fiber and polypropylene is also used for lassoing in that the rope can be easily handled, won't damage the rope's integrity or the object being lassoed, and is still very strong.

The synthetic fiber used for the polypropylene is much lighter than using natural fibers and allows the rope to be handled better and makes the rope easier to work with, especially for lassoing.

Nylon Lariat

Nylon is a synthetic, or manmade material, made by reacting coal with natural gas in a high-pressure and high-temperature process. It is a stronger version of polyester and more flexible than hemp.

Used for strong, long-lasting rope for a variety of livestock-handling uses. It has a softer feel than other ropes and makes a good choice for calves and young horses.

Ideal for rounding up cattle and other livestock as the nylon rope is comfortable to the animal's mouth and nose.

Polyester Lariat Rope

Polyester lariat ropes are soft, don’t fray easily and are very versatile. They are used for many purposes, including horse and dog lariats, tow ropes and bull ropes. But their primary use is in Sobeys Cargo Control. Polyester lariat rope is strong enough to support heavy loads but still soft enough to have minimal injury impact should an item get caught in the rope. The standard lariat rope, which consists of 9 to 11 strands of polyester, is more than half a metre long and is expected to hold up to 35kg.

Hemp Lariat Rope

Making a long lasting, durable, and adjustable lariat rope requires quality raw materials and an experienced rope maker. Finishing hard work and know-how are essential for making a solid lariat rope.

Here at Nautical Rope we make our hemp lariats by hand with durability and flexibility in mind. Our hemp ropes are treated with a proprietary marine sealant and braided as 1-inch diameter core ropes. This is the ideal arrangement as it makes the rope curly and dense.

We only make three tightness levels: standard, medium, and heavy. Our standard hemp lariats are good for most any use you can think of. For big jobs, there is our heavy hemp lariat rope, which is used for horse halters, wild mustang herds, show ropes, ranch ropes, and more. A medium hemp lariat works for some of these applications.

Alternatively, if you're looking for a bit of oil treatment, our natural polypropylene lariats are handy for working around livestock. For example, if you're working with a sick horse, you don't want to risk hurting the animal by using a braided hemp lariat. Nautical Rope's lariats are available in various widths, lengths, thicknesses, and more.

Maguey Lariat Rope

The most traditional type of lasso rope remains maguey lariat rope. This is made out of the leaf sheath fibers of the maguey plant or agave. This rope, when produced correctly, is not only incredibly strong but will never rot. It also works very well with an avocado-sunflower oil hybrid, which adds some extra glow to the rope.

However, there is a downside to this rope. It wasn’t particularly to make, predominantly because of a lack of equipment at the time of it’s creation. Another downside is that it is not particularly good to use. It is incredibly messy to work with and the fibers tend to come apart at the touch. Additionally, it does not absorb the heat like synthetic ropes do, meaning it can get rather uncomfortable on your hands.

A Cowboy Tradition

If you ever watch westerns, you have probably seen a lasso. Cowboys and cowgirls throw a lasso to catch a running animal or a person, ideally in a controlled manner.

A lasso is a long piece of braided rope with a loop tied on one end. The loop end of the rope or lasso is referred to as an "honda", and the rest of the rope is called the tail.

In preparation for lassoing, a cowboy holds the end of the rope in his hand.

The lasso is thrown over an animal in such a way the rope guides itself around the body of the animal. The lasso is then quickly pulled and snugly tied in the front of the animal to keep it in place.

The cowboy will then remove the animal from the rope and will ride it like a saddled horse.

A lasso is a useful tool for cowboys and cowgirls. The rope is also used for round-ups in which case the rope is tied to a mounted horse and then used to lasso and direct the animals.

Although the "high-tech" methods of lassoing are not available for the average person and the cowboy days are far gone, you can still enjoy the athletic feat of lassoing by trying a piece of rope.

Especially kids find lassoing a fun activity.