The Dye Clan
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The Fiddlestick


The FiddleStick is a relatively new method for rigging a retrievable rope. It is fundamentally different from almost all of the other retrievable rope techniques because when you're done, you release the knot at the top of the rope, and the rope falls down rather than having to pull the rappel rope up through the rappel ring. 

To rig with a FiddleStick:

  1. Feed several feet of rope through the anchor ring or around a natural anchor.
  2. Tie an upward overhand stone knot and insert the FiddleStick into the knot.
  3. The last person down deploys the pull cord for the FiddleStick.
  4. From the bottom, pull the FiddleStick pull cord to release the FiddleStick (the FiddleStick should fall all the way to you).
  5. Pull down on the rappel rope to release the stone knot (the rope should fall all the way to you).

The FiddleStick requires a bit of practice to work correctly. Here are a few pieces of advice to consider:


The biggest advantage of the FiddleStick method is that you don't have to pull your rope up and through the anchor after you're done rappelling. This reduces rope grooves significantly. It also reduces the chance of a stuck rope, especially on very tall rappels that have a lip at the top. 

You can combine the FiddleStick with a 2-Ring Retrievable Sling and use the same pull cord for the FiddleStick and the sling. 


The FiddleStick is an advanced canyoneering anchor tool that requires knowledge, judgement, and skill to use correctly. As with many other aspects of canyoneering, improper use can lead to serious injury or death. Improper use of the FiddleStick can also result in stuck ropes and stranded canyoneers. 


Setting the Rope Length