I’m not sure if these meet competition requirements, but they’re fine for recreational use. It’s easy to make your own lines, once you get the hang of it and it really saves on the price of gear.
- 1/4″ X 5′ hollow braid poly rope. 2 per each lead, team or wheel segment. These are tug lines.
- 1/4″ X 20″ hollow braid poly rope. 2 per each team or wheel segment. These are necklines.
- 1/4″ X 20″ hollow braid poly rope. 1 per each lead segment. This is a neckline for double lead.
- 1/2″ X 9′ hollow braid poly rope. 1 per each team or wheel segment. This is the center line.
- 1/4″ round eye brass snaps. 2 per lead, team or wheel segment. These are for the necklines.
- 5/8″ or 3/4″ round eye brass snaps. 2 per lead, team or wheel segment. These are for the tugs.
- 1/4″ and 1/2″ splicing fids.
It’s easiest to make all the pieces then assemble them. Make sure the ends of the rope are heat sealed. If they didn’t do it at the store, you can do it yourself with a match, lighter or stove flame. I’ve found it easier to work with when the rope tips are tapered to fit in the fids.
It’s best to use at least three colors of rope, as I have done. It makes it easier to untangle in the future.
Tug lines and team/wheel section necklines have snaps on one end and a loop on the other (double lead line has snaps at both ends). Center line has just loops. Use the 1/2″ for the center line and 1/4″ rope for everything else. The centerline loops should be about 3-4″ long to make it easiest for looping the other pieces in.
Tugs and necklines:
Snap end- insert the fid about 6″ from the end of the rope, pulling the loop to about 2″.
Fold the rope over (back toward curve) and push the end through both layers.
Bury the loose end inside the body of the rope through the original slpice hole.
The loop should look like this:
Tie the loop around the snap as shown.
Repeat loop on the other end of the line.
Loop the end with no snap around the end loop in one section of center line for the tugs.
This is how the tugs (blue) and necklines (white) go on the centerline (green) for the wheel dogs. You can also connect the wheel dogs directly to the sled bridle for more control steering. This particular arrangement is good for skijor teams so they aren’t accidentally hit by skis or poles.
This is how the tugs (blue) necklines (white) and centerline (green) loop together for the team dogs.
This is how the tugs (blue) and centerline (green) loop together for the leaders. You use both tugs for one leader and the double ended neckline for two. No centerline runs between them.
If you were making several lines you would just keep continuing with loops until you had enough places for all the dogs. There needs to be about 3′ between the tug snaps and the necklines. The total length for each centerline segment about 7′ total.
For lead sections leave out the centerline and make a neckline with snaps on both ends. Carry a neckline even if you only have one leader. Also, if you only have one dog in a team or lead position, hook both snaps to the dog’s harness. If only one team dog also hook both neckline snaps to the collar.
If you have only one dog for weight pulling, make a 1/2″ tug with a 5/8″ snap about 3′ long and attach directly to the sled’s bridle. Some mushers enven attach slightly longer tuge directly to the sled runners.
If skijoring, scootering, bikejoring, etc. with one dog, make just a lead section and hook both tugs to the harness.
Tweak as you will. This has worked fine for me in the past. You can add bungee sections in the main bridle attachment to help absorb shock especially for bikes, scooters and skijoring. DO NOT try to make all the connections faster to change by putting in snaps and quicklinks or chain. It’s just more stuff to break, plus if it’s licked or wrapped around a body part it can hurt. The only exception is a carabiner or quicklink can be used to attach the whole thing to the sled bridle. Using a carabiner is often the rule for connecting the snowhook in as well. Clip it to the gangline, not the bridle.