Rope Lengths

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Rope Lengths

This is a discussion on Rope Lengths within the Roping forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Do westren ranch hands heel or head rope
  • Best heel ropes

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  • 1 Post By kevinshorses

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    10-14-2011, 04:25 PM
Rope Lengths

So, question.... I was on the Cactus Ropes website, looking at the different 3 and four strand ropes. Why are most of their head ropes 31 inches and the heel ropes an extra five inches? Why is there the difference in the two? I figured the head ropes would be longer because all the heeling I've seen has the heeler right up on the backside of the steer.... just don't understand the difference I guess. Also, why are the calf rope lengths even shorter still? They are all 28" from what I could tell.
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    10-16-2011, 08:50 AM
Wish I could edit these...feel pretty stupid right now...that post should read feet, not inches. Went to the local ”cowboy store” here and walked out with a heel rope by Classic, MoneyMaker heel rope, MS...was a pretty blue until I started using it, lol. Stretched it on the truck, roped for about three hours yesterday, just steerhead on a sawhorse. It seems to be loosening up just a little but I don't know for sure.

I do know that the lefthanded rope is making a huge difference for me. Doesnt feel like the loop is wanting to close on itself and its easier for me to ”feel it” being open than with the Cactus BadBoy head rope I started with which was right handed. Does Cactus ropes make ropes for lefties? I liked the feel of the Whistler line when I swung them in the store but they didnt have them in left handed. That really is the big reason I came home with that classic. They had it in left hand and it felt different and ”better” when I swung it as opposed to a righty rope.
    10-17-2011, 01:02 AM
I think heel ropes are longer because you're not just stopping a steer, you're stopping the head horse too. The extra five feet allows for your dallies to slide a little.

You already know my opinion on left-handed roping so I won't belabor that. I use King ropes and have had really good luck with them. They make lefties in team roping sizes and twists. The one I have now is a 5/16 soft that started out 50 feet long but it's now a bit shorter. Of course I use mine for ranch roping so I need the extra lenght.
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    10-17-2011, 05:31 PM
Thanks man, I appreciate your opinion on this. Yeah, I know your opinion on lefties.... and I can appreciate that also, even though I stuck with what feels natural to me. I was told if I insist on roping lefty, plan on calf roping or heeling only if I get into rodeos. How big of a difference does it make in ranch roping? I did notice the ranch ropes at AA Callister down here were 58 feet long. Why the longer length on those?
    10-17-2011, 05:40 PM
Being a leftie doesn't effect you too much when your roping outside an arena because you can usually get things shaped up to work for you. The reason for the extra lenght is to allow you more versitility in your shots and a little extra rope in case things go sideways and you have to let your dallies slip. Also when you rope with mulehide or leather horn wraps it takes longer to get your rope stopped or you may need to let some rope slide to prevent choking an animal.

You use your horn and dallies like a clutch. When your horse gets slowed down and feels like it might stop then you can let the rope slip a little and build some momentum again.
    10-17-2011, 05:45 PM
Is that why folks prefer the leather to the rubber horn wraps is because it gives you a little more flex in your stopping power where with rubber the rope will bite and yank the steer or calf when it hits the end of the slack? Do you do two wraps on your dally or just one and is there any difference or is it just personal preference?
    10-17-2011, 06:01 PM
A leather wrap will let you stop an animal softer than rubber. You have to remember that the jerk is going both ways. Not only are you jerking the animal you just roped but your also jerking your saddlehorse. Where each cow may only get roped once you may rope 10 head on one horse so the jerking can sure add up quick and make for a sore horse.

As far as the dallies, I do as many as it takes to get the animal stopped. If I'm just heeling a baby calf in a branding trap then I'll maybe only take one. If I'm roping a big cow or a horse I might take 3 or 4. Another thing to remember when you take dallies on leather is that if you want your rope to stop faster then you need to cross the dallies instead of letting them climb higher on the horn with each turn.

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