I finished this project for now, and pretty happy about it. I was going to go the rock climbing rope route, but I kept losing the auctions on eBay. I was trying to get used dynamic climbing rope on eBay because they usually come with high grade/strength (and light weight) attachments for cheap. I finally got impatient and went to Home Depot.
Here's what I bought:
- (1) 100' of 5/16" high visibility synthetic rope for under $15. Strength of over 200 lbs.
- (4) Quick Links. $2.62 each. $15 total. Strength of 1,546 lbs. LINK
- (4) Thimble and Synthetic Rope clamp/clips for 5/16" synth rope. $2 each kit. $8 Total LINK
- (1) Outdoor Trampoline Spring. $5.24 - the one I bought says a strength of 125 lbs, but I can't find it on their site. That said, you could easily replace it with something beefier - I just liked how much this one gave/expanded. LINK
. Could be replaced with something like this (which I almost bought anyway) called a Porch Spring LINK
strength of 325 lbs
- (2) Spiral Stake - Ground Anchors. $4.21 each. $8.50 Total. No idea on strength. LINK
I'm not using the little loop that comes with it, as he ripped right through it last year.
- and enough to make 4 lines out of it. The thimble kits are easily removed and transferred to another line (since I only bought enough of them for 2 lines since I'm not sure I want to keep the thimble set-up). We tested him on a 30' line, so we still have 70' left - will probably make a 50' line, a 15' line and a 5' line to use around trees and posts when the stake is not an option.
-Strong. The spring is the weakest point right now. Could easily be made stronger
-Dynamic. The rope "gives" quite a bit. So as he reaches the end of the line, it slows him down. The spring (I attached to the ground stake) slows him down further.
-Doesn't knot up like the steel rope did
-Packs up easily
-Easy to put together - the thimble/clamp kits take the longest to put on.
-I don't really like the thimble and clamp kits, especially the ones on the side attached to his collar as the bolts on the rope clamps stick out a bit. Bowline or other knot could probably be used instead of hardware, but knots tend to decrease the strength of the rope from what I understand.