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The Art of Tossing a Coiled Line


Start by running the entire line through your hands to remove any kinks or tangles. Let it fall loosely at your feet. Then make sure the tail or “bitter” end of the line remains secure. Here’s how right-handers perform the toss. Lefty?  Simply reverse the order.

  1. To ensure uniform coils, drop your left hand toward your thigh, lay the line over the open palm, and stretch the line out the full length of your right arm. Lay this length back into your left palm to create the first coil. You may notice that the line “wants” to twist in a certain direction. Go with the flow, giving the rope a half-turn in this direction with each coil allowing all the coils to fall neatly into place.
  2. Once you've coiled about half the line, hook your left thumb over the existing coils; then, finish coiling the remaining length over your still-outstretched fingers. This will naturally separate the coils into two halves. Keep half the coils in your left hand and transfer the other half to your right. You should have at least three to four coils in your right hand to ensure there’s enough for a good toss.
  3. With a coil in each hand, step into a sidearm throwing motion, releasing when the coils are about shoulder high. Allow the weight of the thrown coil to pull the loops from your opposite hand as well. If you’re tossing the line to someone on the dock, aim high, a bit over the head, so the line can drop across the body or outstretched arms.


Thanks to the United States Coast Guard Boating Safety website for the information!!