KNOTSMITHTM   Custom Braided Leather Lanyards


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Frequently Asked Questions
(Even if not frequently) I have been asked about:

Expected delivery date? Donations    
Payment by Credit Cards?   Sales Tax Fly Fishing Lanyards
Real questions?    How long?   Tough?  Brass Counters?    The First Commandment
Unique Lanyards Quality       Camo?    
Adjustable Lanyards       Fixed Loop vs Slide Catalog "Handbraided" Lanyards
Custom versus Cheap   Are Lanyards Art? Inventory and Lanyards in a hurry
Lucky Lanyards 1  Lucky Lanyards 2
Unlucky Lanyards
Utility and Pistol Lanyards
Leash/ Lanyards Magnum Leash/Lanyards
Lanyard Lengths Colors
Microclips, snaps and One Snap or Two Time required for a T2
Brochures, Catalogs, Catalog Sales Horse Tack
Whistles How to braid lanyards
Braiding Supplies KNOTSMITHTM & Logo
Other Products The lanyard in the Kimber Marias ads and on their web page?
Send your questions to Larry Smith. Return to the KNOTSMITH page.
Page updated 06/05/15   Copyright KNOTSMITH 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015
What's the expected delivery date? As of  06/02/15, about 3.5 months after order. If you need a gift before then, please consider a Gift Certificate.
Telephone call on 4/19/12 from Gary (somebody) who claimed to be  "an outdoor writer in MA":  
On your web page it says the expected delivery time is about 5 months.   Is that True?

So, that means, if I order a lanyard now, I won't get it until the fall?

 Of course it's true!  Why would I state that on my web page were it not true?

It would normally mean that; but, given the two stupidly obvious / obviously stupid questions you've just asked,  I am unwilling to waste my time making a lanyard for you. There is a long line of more worthy folk.  Life is too short.
Is the lanyard on the Kimber Marias web page and in their ads  in Shooting Sportsman and Sporting Classics, etc., one of yours?  Yes!  Thank you for noticing.  It is the  T3 SSM Leash Lanyard shown  on the orange neckerchief on my front page.  (This question was obviously asked some time ago.  Unfortunately Kimber no longer makes shotguns---but I am still making lanyards!)
 Are these real questions, or did you just make them up to be cute? (Back to the top) Well you should know that at least one of them (yours) is real. Naw, you give me too much creative credit. I couldn't begin to make up this stuff.   All the questions shown here are (or represent) actual questions asked over the years (frequently more than once), but I did make up the answers.  In the interest of space (and propriety),  I have abstracted (and laundered) both questions and answers a bit, but, in essence, they are true to the original exchanges.  Although  pages of this type are commonly called "Frequently Asked Questions,"  honestly, some of these questions were only asked once, and I appreciate that type are not frequent.  Read on, and I think you will agree.
How tough are KNOTSMITH lanyards?  Will they stand up to field use? The owner of the lanyard  below (the same lanyard on the hat on the front page) ran over it with a truck. The  knots were scuffed a bit, the compass and whistle were destroyed, but though dinged up, the counter still worked perfectly.   I replaced the compass and whistle, and this tough lanyard was good to go!   It even impressed me! runover.jpg (198699 bytes)
In a more general sense, my lanyards stand up well to normal field use provided they receive regular preventative maintenance and  appropriate care after use.
 The most common and serious problem from use is getting the lanyard or leash wet repeatedly and then not replenishing the oils that are leached out of the leather. Salt in sweat accelerates deterioration of leather.  Lanyards and leashes gotten wet, muddy, or sweaty should be saddle soaped soon afterward.   See Lanyard Care.

However, they are vulnerable to being chewed beyond repair.  See a Chewed T2
Are the lanyards actually hand-braided? Are they imported? Are they real leather or some plastic? Are your lanyards strong and tough; Will they stretch? I hand braid each lanyard using real, kangaroo leather (imported of course). The lanyards are tightly braided and strong. All my products have nylon-cord cores selected so that the lanyards do not swing wildly to and fro as you walk or ride. As a result my lanyards are much stronger and tougher than lanyards without cores, and they will not stretch in normal use. (Back to the top)
"What are counters on a lanyard for anyway?"


"I have one of your lanyards with plastic counters. Can you replace them with brass counters?" 

"Where can I buy the brass counters you use?"

"I already have a lanyard, not one of yours.  Can you install brass counters on it?   If not, I want a drop with two brass counters on it."


Counters are primarily used to count flushes of grouse and woodcock, but may also be used to count coveys or other events. (I long for return of a time when a counter is needed to remember the number of quail coveys found in a day!)  One of my customers had them installed on his fly fishing lanyard in order to count the number of fish of two species he has caught and released. Another customer uses his counter to keep track of "points" while duck hunting.

Yes, I will consider replacing the counters if I made the lanyard and  if its diameter  is not too large. 1/4" will work; 9/32" won't.    Contact me. 

You can buy them installed on the lanyards I make.  The counters are made to my design and specifications, exclusively for me. Including the retrofitting discussed above, I only sell them installed on my lanyards and on drops (and for the prerequisites on drops see below and in Options).

I probably could, but I won't.  That violates my version of the  First Commandment: "Thou shall have no lanyards other than mine before me."  The only lanyards I work on (and tolerate) are those I have made or am making.  It follows that my brass counters are only for my lanyards, whether installed on the lanyard or on a drop attached to the lanyard. No way in hell am I going to put my logo counters on a lanyard made by somebody else.  Go ask whomever you chose to buy your lanyard from for some brass counters!   On the other hand, if you have one of my lanyards (as per my records), we can talk about installing brass counters on it or adding a drop with brass counters. 

This policy/principle applies to any accessory added to a lanyard, e.g., logo  whistles,  compasses,  quail calls, call loops, hitch loops, etc.  I only make them to go on my lanyards.

How did you come up with "KNOTSMITH" and your weird LS brand?

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Well, as for the brand, sometime in the late '50's I was fooling around with a hot LS branding iron, hit something with  it, bent it, liked it, and kept the mark.   I could say that KNOTSMITH has to do with crafting of (mesquite and braided-leather) knots  analogous to "silversmith," and that could be part of the story. But KNOTSMITH is also a pun/homonym  arising from a conservative nature, so that in relation to some extravagant or risky public or social project or function that I have uncharacteristically gotten involved in, those who know me best have been known to say, "Not Smith!" in disbelief.  "Not going to go there, wouldn't be prudent."  If  I  "volunteered," you can be sure I misunderstood the invitation, someone had a toe pinch on me, or had me by the, uh, nose!
I want a T2 Lanyard.

Well, I plan to use it all season, but if I buy it, can't I keep it?
How long do you want it?

Yes, of course, but to make it, I need to know the length of the lanyard.  Make a loop of cord around your neck over the clothes you will be wearing afield so that the tip is where you want your whistle to hang.  Pinch it at that point and, without releasing it, remove the loop and measure the doubled up length, the "half length."  That is the number I need. The half length will be the length from the back of the neck to the bottom of the clip on the lanyard.  
Please consider that the slide knot, bottom knots, and swivel-clip combination in aggregate will consume about 3" of the half length.  The remaining length times two is the circumference of the headloop.  For example, a T2 with a 21" half length will have a headloop of about 36".   For most folk, 25 - 26" is about the minimum loop that will go over the head without glasses on.  So that establishes 16" as a practical minimum half length.
Do you have a catalog or brochure? Do you sell through catalogs?
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I do not have a catalog other than these web pages.   If pressed I could print up a brochure and mail it to you. 

As a custom braider, I do not keep an inventory.  Rather than asking you to buy an off-the-catalog-shelf item, I will braid your lanyard to your design choices, especially for you.    As for including my lanyards in catalogs, it seems pointless for me (you) to pay a percentage to a catalog or any other middleman, uh, middleperson.    Generating  sales volume has never been a problem for me; rather my challenge has been  braiding enough lanyards (and leash/lanyards, collars, and leads, etc.) so that the order list is not more than a year or so long.  Under normal circumstances, I can keep the delivery to about 4 to 5  months. 

In most cases "catalog lanyard" equals mass-produced.  Accordingly, relatively high catalog prices neither offer nor afford you any choice in design and do not represent high quality.   I produce a quality product to your specifications, I guarantee my work, and, while I do not warranty against abuse and neglect, I can frequently repair such problems on my lanyards.  Catalogs, on the other hand, generally offer what we refer to as an "Oklahoma Guarantee": "If it breaks, you get both pieces."

I have seen "hand-braided" and "handcrafted" lanyards in catalogs.  Are those your lanyards?  If not, how are your lanyards different?
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Nope!  Neither "Hand-braided" nor "Handcrafted" equal "Custom Braided!"  Custom braided lanyards are hand braided of course, but catalog lanyards, hand-braided anonymously,  are not made to customer specifications.  Rather catalog lanyards are knockoff designs mass-produced  by unidentified makers/suppliers for the catalog company and are solely intended to maximize the company's profits.  I make lanyards I have designed  for each customer per the specifications in the customer's order;   I personally guarantee the lanyards I make; and if necessary, I can repair, modify, or  replace them as per customer request.  That is, I service what I sell.  Try that with a catalog company!  See Lanyard Care.

Consider carefully the level of design and  craftsmanship of a "hand-braided" catalog lanyard; then assess whether or not the list price is reasonable.  Only the ignorant and or gullible (or as we say in NE Texas, someone as dumb as a bois d'arc fencepost) would believe the catalog company's claim that the lanyard in their picture is "the finest lanyard available" or is "the ultimate upland lanyard!" According to Tom Davis, Sporting Classics, Nov/Dec 02, p. 54, "comparing catalog lanyards to these (KNOTSMITHTM)  lanyards is like comparing a plastic ukulele to a Stradivarius."     That may be a wee bit of exaggeration (I had to look up what it meant!), but my lanyards do feature advanced designs and  higher quality braiding (tighter and smoother); and with a nylon core, my lanyards are more robust (even though the cost to the customer is not proportionally greater ).  Unless you feel extremely charitable toward the catalog company, why pay a premium price for a mass-produced, catalog lanyard when you can have a lanyard custom braided specifically for you?

However, at the risk of sounding flippant and or arrogant, if you cannot perceive (and appreciate) the quality differences between various lanyards, then by all means buy the cheapest (and least expensive) one you can find.  Or semi-vice versa, if you think someone else's "handcrafted" lanyards look better or  are a better bargain than my custom braided lanyards, buy 'em!   P.T. Barnum (and the catalog company) saw you comin'!

Reminds me of a story about an athlete at a local land grant university who won an Olympic gold metal and was so proud of it that he had it bronzed. Now, that bois-d'arc-fencepost-like  "gentleman from Odessa"(1)  should order lanyards from a catalog!  And since his "hunting" these days is mostly limited to shooting excessive quantities of pen-raised and released birds at the catalog company's lodge/preserve off I20, he is undoubtedly eager to wear their gear and logo.  I've heard it said that he has their logo tattooed on his chest next to the land grant university former student association emblem. Whether or not that is true, it would seem appropriate.   (1) Click the link, toggle down about half  way and read Mr. Shuffler's explanation.

Nevertheless, everyone gets to choose, and observing those choices is a valid means of recognizing and categorizing (a.k.a., profiling).   My customers have better tastes and higher standards than the targets of catalog company marketing!

Do you make adjustable lanyards?
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The "adjustable" braided lanyards shown in some catalogs and on some web pages are apparently  designed specifically to cater to the catalog trade (or mass market), i.e., one size fits all.  In order to be "adjustable,"  they appear to be loosely braided without a core and with an over-braided neck section.  I do not make that type of lanyard.  I design and  braid each lanyard's length to fit the particular customer.   KNOTSMITHTM  T1 and T2 lanyards have slides to adjust the around-the-neck loop size, however, unless you expect to significantly  increase or decrease  your stature or weight, I cannot imagine a need for your lanyard length to be adjustable.  Even so, if you absolutely have to have a length-adjustable lanyard, I will design and make one for you with a core and consistent with the quality of my lanyards (price to be negotiated).
I have heard that your lanyards bring good luck.  True? (Back to the top) Yep, I've heard that too.  Some customers have claimed that a new KNOTSMITHTM T1,  T2 or T3 lanyard worn in subsequent field trials or field tests brought them luck; but I make no such claim for my products and have made no specific effort to make lanyards "lucky."  I suppose I could and charge more for that service.  However, I am skeptical of "luck," adhering to the Ben Hogan philosophy that "the harder I work, the luckier I get."  Even so, perhaps the following story should be considered:  At an NSTRA field trial in the early '90's, a fellow remarked to me that he seemed to be "stuck in comin' close."  He said that perhaps if I made him a special lanyard, a T1 with a burled mesquite knot slide,  it would improve his luck.  I made the lanyard and got it to him the following Friday.  Wearing the new lanyard, he won both Saturday and Sunday beginning a long "hot" streak.   He believes!   (And even I am not fool enough to question that!).  That lanyard was still in service after 20+ years. Then, a couple of years ago after a NSTRA trial on Sunday, a mutual friend got him to agree to let me refinished the slide and install a new braid-----so long as I got his lucky lanyard back to him on the following Friday so he could wear it on Saturday!
First call: If I send back the lanyard I bought for my husband last year, will you refund my money?  We are getting a divorce.

Second call two days later: I need a new lanyard exactly like the one my wife gave me for my birthday last year.   SHE TOOK BACK MY LUCKY LANYARD!  We're getting a divorce. Can you help?

Yes ma'am.  Taking back that lanyard should clinch and expedite the divorce!  Send the lanyard back, and I will consider refunding something provided the lanyard does not show neglect, abuse, or excessive wear. 

Yes sir, I can help---with the lanyard that is!
(Obviously lanyards are important symbols to people. Each of  these fine folk expressed appreciation that I was able to fulfill their request promptly.  Customer satisfaction is important!)

I've read what you've written about "lucky lanyards;" but if lanyards can be "lucky," couldn't they be "unlucky" just as well?  Well, as I said above, I am skeptical of "luck," good or bad, but given that such things tend to be symmetrical, I suppose "bad luck" is about as probable as "good luck."  Given the amount of cussin' I've invested in some when the knots were not cooperating, I would not be surprised if they turned out to be unlucky!

Several years ago I made a bolo tie lanyard for a customer in NM using his silver and turquoise pieces:  An elaborate slide, tips and small conchos between (below) the slide and tips.  I was told the pieces had religious significance, had been consecrated,  and only "priests" were allowed to wear them.  When it was finished, I was so eager to get  that "sacred work of art" out of my possession that I did not think to take a picture of it.  I figured if I screwed it up or lost it, the "priest" might  lay a curse on me so that I would forget how to braid and tie knots and could never hit anything with a shotgun again, etc.  Somehow he must have sensed that I had tried on the piece though, because ever since then such things have been happening with increasing frequency!  Come to think of it, I am glad that I did not make a picture (graven image) of it! 

Most of the real  "bad luck" reported to me associated with lanyards involves losing them, having them stolen, or having dogs chew them up. I sympathize and make repairs or replacements.   See a well-chewed T2 on the Lanyard Care page, and for a "lost lanyard" story with a twist, see Lost.

I understand that you advise against leaving a lanyard hanging from the mirror in a truck.  Why? Well, mainly because a closed truck gets very hot in the sun, and high temperatures accelerate the loss of oils from the lanyard leather.  It gets dry and hard and is thus more susceptible to abrasion and cracking.  If you happen to have a Marble's compass on it, bubbles are likely to form in the oil-filled plastic module.   And, in two cases, trucks were broken into, and the only thing taken was the lanyard that had been hanging from the mirror. Discovering that is not a good way to start a day.
 (1) Will you donate a lanyard to our benefit (field trial, dog club banquet, bird forever, bird unlimited, bird society, etc.) to be used as a door prize or gift or to be auctioned or raffled?


(2) I was at a field trial recently, and the lanyards (or gift certificates) you donated were presented to the winner and to the trial judges.  Will you donate these to us to support our trial?
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(1) You obviously saw my ads, but just as obviously, yours is not the response I intended to evoke. Face it: Given the tens of thousands of local chapters of dog and hunting organizations and their events, it is highly improbable that yours would be relevant to me.  If I needed  to advance my business by donating to your organization or event, I would have contacted you. Responding to solicitations for donations, and donations in general, serve no business purpose in my frame of reference.   My lanyards are custom braided for specific customers..  I do not braid lanyards to become "prizes in Cracker Jacks boxes." Therefore, I honor no solicitation with a donation.  So, politely, No! (Before editing, my actual  response was quite derogatory......) 

(2).  Regardless of whatever representations were made or inferences were allowed to be drawn, the lanyards (or gift certificates) you saw (or heard were) presented at field trials were not donated.  Rather, they were purchased at the rates listed on this web page and treated as any other order.  The above policy is firm.  If you want to buy one, I might consider an order if my order list is less than three months long, but if you've asked for a donation first, I won't even sell you one. Then, I often hear, "Well, it doesn't hurt to ask."  In reality, it seriously harms my opinion of and attitude toward you and your organization.  And I keep a list.  You (and I)  know who you are.

"I seen your lanyard add  in Pointing Dog Journal. Why're they so espensive?  Do you sell many of 'em?" (sic) (a  note handwritten in pencil on ruled notebook paper).

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Well,  I only do custom braiding.  There is a limit to how many lanyards I can make,  so I can't sell as many custom braided lanyards as those who sell commodity lanyards.  Occasional ads, unfortunately not that one you saw  in Pointing Dog Journal, but especially those in  Shooting Sportsman Magazine and Sporting Classics enable me to sell all I can make.  Therefore  I naturally have no need to compete with commodity lanyards on price.  See Gun Dog Supply for those.  I have sold custom lanyards to folk from the west coast to the east coast and from Canada to Mexico in North America. I have sent lanyards to Scotland, England, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. I keep busy!  But frankly, I understand custom braided lanyards aren't for everyone. May I make one for you?  No? Well there you have it!
 You must think your lanyards are works of art!  How else can you justify your high prices and long delivery times? Well, I strive to make functional and attractive lanyards.  I personally  don't think of my lanyards as works of art (in the usual, everyday, country boy sense); however,  the lanyard designs are considered (defined as) works of art under U.S. Copyright Law. And therefore, my lawyer has advised me to tell you, please be aware that my lanyard designs, color schemes, and pictures etc. are protected, and duplication of them without permission is plagiarism and violates Sections 106 and 113 of  US Copyright Law (among others).

I am gratified that some folk have high regard for my lanyards and appreciate and value them as works of art.  Mr. Tom Davis first described my lanyards as art in his review in Sporting Classics, Nov./Dec. 2002, p. 54, and in a later discussion of this topic, Tom posited that he considered them works of art by the standard expressed in a quote by famous wildlife artist Bob Kuhn: "I take a very broad view of the term 'art.' I think you can wield a paintbrush for a lifetime without producing a single artful thing. On the other hand, you can build a wall or sing a song or decorate a room or take a photograph, any of these things and more, and if you function in a highly personal way which strikes a chord in others and reveals truth in a new way, you will be producing art." 

Of course you are entitled to your opinion as to whether or not my lanyards, produced in my own highly personal way, are art, i.e., whether or not they strike a chord in you and reveal (some) truth in a new way to you.  Either way,  I wouldn't presume to argue with you about it.   It would be pointless.

As to justification, my lanyard  prices are determined by a combination of production costs and demand. As you point out, my expected delivery time is rather long.   That follows having an order list that is typically quite long.  I can sell all the custom braided lanyards I can make at current prices. Therefore it would seem  that, if anything, my lanyards may be a bit under-priced.  However, the current price structure works for me, and I consider it fair. If you can get comfortable with the price and delivery time, I  would be pleased to custom braid a lanyard for you, and it is immaterial to me whether you consider it art or just another piece of fine gear.  Otherwise, I could not care less about your "sour grapes" opinion.

Do you have any lanyards in stock? Can I have the one in the picture? I need one right away. Can you send me one via Fed Ex?

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I only do custom braiding. I don't purposefully generate or keep "a stock." The lanyards in the pictures were braided for a customer and are long gone, but I can make you one to the same general design and color scheme.  While I don't keep an inventory, I occasionally (in the second month of consecutive blue moons) produce a (very) few "spec" lanyards for ad pictures or to take to field trials, quail seminars, and such. You may certainly inquire if I happen to have one of those. A few have figured out that if a new lanyard design appears in an SSM ad, I probably have the lanyard used to make the picture.  So, if you happen to be the first to call when the ad appears you may have the opportunity buy the new lanyard on hand.  The best strategy is to order well in advance (Check the top of this page for current expected delivery time) or give a gift certificate. 

Almost anything can be discussed and negotiated.  A plaque in an oil field office proclaimed: "Good, Fast, or Cheap.  Pick any two."  I am not going to do less than my best on the quality, so that fixes "Good."  Since my products are not inexpensive to start with,  it should be recognized and expected that asking for "fast" is likely to be quite expensive----unless I am  indebted to you or you can invoke  the name of someone you know that I am indebted to.  (Personal references are mostly good, but be careful whose name you drop because it could also work in the opposite direction!) 
A frequent favor-asking gambit for those wanting a lanyard in a hurry (always to give to someone else, a dear person whose birthday is about a week away, has a special condition and is not expected to live through another season, etc.)  has been to ask will  I sell my personal lanyard.   Well, yes,  I will, and,  in fact, I have already sold last season's lanyard at a premium price!  
So, if you really need  a lanyard in a hurry, don't be bashful or wheedle.  Come right out and boldly propose to pay me double the usual rate.  That will not hurt my feelings. Rather, starting at that threshold in the negotiations will convince me that you are sincere, serious, and should be dealt with promptly and professionally.  And yes, I could ship it via FedEx.

Can you make a very unique lanyard for me? I want "one-of-a-kind."
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Yes sir, I can make a unique lanyard for you. Describe what you would like, and we can work out whether it will be unique or, more likely, near-unique (and remain that way); and we can discuss how much unique is worth.  I have had some experience and success  in this unique game.
Do you make camo lanyards? Well, I think I made one a while back.  A fellow from WI asked me to combine all the colors of lace I had into a hodgepodge pattern.  Looked awful!  I kept throwing up on it while I was making it!   Naw, just joking, but I suppose that was close to camo.  Reminds me of the time that I saw a camo cap in a feed store with the Purina name and checkerboard logo in black. Now, that was a tangible oxymoron: an advertising camo cap, or was it a camo advertising cap?  Anyway, it looked good with my regular tan T2 lanyard.  For a more recent attempt at a camo pattern on a lanyard, see T5 Pistol / Rangefinder / Transmitter Lanyard .
Can you make a pistol lanyard analogous to the standard WW I service lanyard for the Model 1911?

Can you make a lanyard that goes over the left shoulder in order to carry a rangefinder or transmitter at belt level on the right side.

Can you make a pistil (sic) lanyard for my boy friend? (This question from an email.)

Yes, in fact the T5 Pistol Lanyard  was designed by measuring a WW I standard issue service lanyard for the M1911.  You may wish to order a slightly different length to fit you and your pistol.
Yes, determine the length you want and I will adapt the T5 Pistol / Rangefinder / Transmitter Lanyard to fit that application. 

Ma'am, I am going to assume (and sincerely hope) you are asking about a pistol lanyard.  If so, please see my T5 Pistol / Rangefinder / Transmitter Lanyard.   If not, you are out of luck.  The other is far beyond my capabilities.

How long does it take you to make a T2?

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Well, probably longer than it ought to. How long would it take you to make one? When asked how long it took him to make a hackamore, an old rawhide braider replied, "I figure it took me about 70 years since I put all my experience into it."  In another sense, I try to keep time between order and delivery at 3 - 4 months, but sometimes it is twice or triple that. 
I am a very tall (or short) person, so to fit me, can you make my lanyard longer (or shorter) than normal?

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Of course. To determine how long your T2 should be: Loop a piece of cord around your collar (over your hunting coat if that is where you will wear the lanyard). Close the loop where you want the top of the ring on your whistle(s) to hang on your front.  Remove the loop without releasing the pinch and place the doubled cord on a table.  Measure the length of the cord from the end that was at the back of your neck to the pinch point. That is the "Half Length" (i.e., half the length of the total braid required to place the whistles on your chest where you say you want to wear them.)  Report that to me in your order. The knots on a "normal" length lanyard fall at the bottom of the sternum. The whistles are about an inch and a half below the knots, and on some of us, ride on the shelf at the beginning of the belly. That is, the normal T2 lanyard is about 21" from the top of the loop (back of the neck) to the bottom of the snap swivel, i.e., 21" half length.  See Options
What colors and combinations are available, and what do you recommend?



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The kangaroo lace I use is theoretically available in black, chocolate, brown, tan, and natural (varies from cream to almost white). The most commonly requested color is saddle tan.  In addition to solid colors,  I have also made about any combination of variegated lanyards one can imagine. Some were more pleasing than others. The customer's preference is right (relatively). If you think a solid color is too plain, I recommend the following combinations: (1) A light lanyard (natural or tan) with brown, chocolate or black accents in the knots (see the pictures of the T2s) and perhaps in the lanyard body. Or (2) A dark lanyard (brown, chocolate or black) with natural or tan accents. Accents in the lanyard body can be chevrons \/ or slashes //. Of course you should have a solid black lanyard  in your wardrobe for formal occasions. See Options
What is a MiniClip or MicroClip and where can I get them?




Why would anyone want two whistle snaps on a lanyard?

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These stainless steel clips are available from Berkeley Point,  or I sell them on lanyards for $5 each.  They may be substituted for a McMahon scissor clip by putting a # 6H nickel steel splint ring between them and the standard nickel steel or brass swivels.    I still use the scissor snap on the right leg of my T2  to attach my whistle, since I rarely take it off; but the swivel on the other leg of my T2 has a MicroClip making it much easier to put accessories on and off that clip than it was with a scissor snap. Those accessories currently include a quail call, a hawk screamer, a tube of Blistex, and a Trail Drop II digital compass by HighGear.

True, most field trialers wear one whistle. Some order a T2 with one snap and one tassel or a bit of antler or mesquite rather than a tassel. Some order a T2FL with a fixed knot on the loop and one whistle on a drop.

However, some folk do wear two whistles. The second may be a different type for a second dog, or it may be insurance against blowing the pea out of a Thunderer. Numerous hunters carry quail and or hawk calls on the second snap. I have a friend who uses the second snap to carry his ChapStick in a special knot I made for him.  Others have requested attachments to carry tubes of Blistex or Carmex and containers of Blistex DCT or Carmex.  See Extras and page down.  Finally, more than a few of us carry a compass on the second snap. I know it is hard to believe, but one can get turned around in head-high mesquite on an overcast day, and in a 4,000 acre pasture, walking the wrong direction can waste a lot of time and energy and make you look bad in front of your dogs and guests.

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a fixed loop lanyard versus a slide lanyard? Well, first, most T2FL (fixed loop) Lanyards have a single drop with one whistle and thus are  "simple" lanyards that require no adjustment, etc.  However, in other cases, being able to adjust (slide) the main knot can be an advantage.  Please consider the following: For a fixed loop to go over ones head, it needs to be 27 - 30" in diameter (depending on the individual's head size and whether or not it needs to go on over glasses, etc.).  30" is more or less standard, but let's assume 28" would work. That loop would contribute 14" to the half length of the lanyard. The fixed knot would contribute about 1"additional. So, for a standard 21" half length, from the back of the neck to the whistle ring, the drop below the fixed knot would be 6" long. That length is not long enough for the whistle to be picked up and inserted into the mouth without lifting the fixed knot off the chest (and along with it what ever is on that leg, such as a counter, and on the other leg if there is one). That is usually not a problem unless one is going to hold the whistle in ones mouth (without a hand on it) for some time.

A slide knot, on the other hand, has an advantage in that it can be lowered to increase the size of the head loop when putting the lanyard on or off.  It can also be raised above the point where a fixed knot would necessarily have to be (to allow for the minimum size headloop), so that a whistle on one leg can be lifted and inserted and held in the mouth without lifting the slide knot and whatever is on the other leg (if there is one).   Having a flat neck braid on a slide lanyard does not interfere with this operation since the transition knots are at the collarbone.

Finally, having two legs on either lanyard allows one to carry a whistle on one leg and a collection of "other stuff" on the other leg (whistle, compass, quail call, keys, Blistex, etc.).  Having a slide on the lanyard allows one to adjust the lengths of the two legs so that the main whistle and the "other stuff" are separated a bit (i.e., staggered or layered) making it easier to find and pick up the whistle.  Lengthening the leg with the "other stuff" on it also allows one to tuck that into a breast pocket or inside the bib on your overalls.

What is a Leash/Lanyard?  Did you invent the T3 Leash/Lanyard? See the Type 3 Leash/Lanyard on the T3  page. Worn around the neck with the bolt snap fastened in the small loop, the T3 Leash/Lanyard is a whistle lanyard, but it opens to provide a tough 32" leash (traffic lead) when leaving the bird field. 

I had help in inventing the T3 Leash/Lanyard.   In '94 a late-night brainstorming session with Bill Norvell started with a T2 Lanyard and an idea, and, after several Buds and considerable research (and Bill's engineering), produced a nylon-cord prototype of what was to become the T3 Leash/Lanyard.  Norvell received, field tested, and approved the first T3 and he is still wearing it.  So far as I know, the T3 is an original design.  It works.  Accept no imitations.

How and how well do the T3 leash/lanyards work in typical use?




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Wear the T3 around your neck with the 1/2" bolt snap fastened in the small loop. The whistle is attached to a small snap swivel at the bottom of the handloop. To convert the T3 from a whistle lanyard to a leash, unfasten the bolt snap (with one hand) and attach it to a dog's collar. The resulting 32" leash is convenient and tough enough to control your dog. The whistle on the handloop is out of the way at the heel of your hand. After loosing your dog, put the leash around your neck, fasten the bolt snap in the small loop, and the leash is back in service as a whistle lanyard.

Regarding how well the T3s wear, with several hundreds being used by quail hunters, grouse/woodcock hunters, and walking field trial competitors over the past decade and a half, I have had no reports of failure (other than from abuse and neglect). I have had many enthusiastic testimonials, and many customers have ordered additional T3s as gifts for friends.  The T3SSM, with the brass accessories, has become my "signature piece."  

How does the T3M differ from the T3?


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M designates magnum, an admittedly over-used word. Mr. Bell wanted a 3/4" Loc-Jaw (pinch to release) snap rather than a 1/2" bolt snap. A larger leash body seemed appropriate, so I used a 1/4" nylon cord core. I use the pinch-to-release lockjaw snap on leads, because I can loose my dog with one hand. A regular bolt snap requires two hands, one on the collar and one to unhook the snap. I think some like the more robust look and extra strength of the T3M, but used as a hand leash as intended, the regular T3, with its 3/16" nylon core, is more than adequate to hold even the most rambunctious pointer. I would not want to be hooked up to anything a T3 could not hold!
How well do your fly fishing lanyards work and what are the various options for? According to my customers, they work very well.  The micro- or miniclips on the lanyard cheeks and the terminal ring or gate snap  provide points of attachment for various tools and supplies.  Some prefer the gate snap to the ring because it facilitates putting items on or off.  The flat neck option is reputed to be a bit more comfortable to wear, and an alligator clip on a pigtail may be attached to the shirt front to keep the lanyard from swinging from side to side and out as one moves and or bends over.  An alligator clip can also act as a "third hand" to hold items temporarily. See Options and specify the size of the lanyard so that what you carry is conveniently positioned on your chest.
Can you teach me how to make a lanyard or a leash?

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My business plan does not include providing instruction in braiding and knot tying. Even if I were willing to help you learn to braid and tie knots under some circumstances, I am not keen on the idea of teaching you how to make lanyards and leashes, etc., because, too often a question such as yours has had the real meaning, or has evolved into meaning, "Will you transfer your know how to me and enable me to plagiarize your lanyard designs so that I can compete with you using them?" 

If you want to take up braiding, check the Grant references in the KNOTSMITH Library. For a simple lanyard, start with Plate 14 in Leather Braiding. It shows how to start a simple 4 strand, round  braid on a whistle snap swivel. Terminate the braid with the knot in Plate 15 and make a slide from the knot in Plate 65 tied around the doubled braid. If you want a more complex lanyard, proceed on to other braids and knots.

However, my lawyer has advised me to tell you, please be aware that my distinctive designs and color schemes are protected by US Copyright Law.  Duplicating them is plagiarism.  I will aggressively defend what is mine.  The Copyright Law has teeth.  

And failing that,  two of my customers who saw  advertisements by a Gentleman from Odessa who acquired my lanyard designs and know-how under false pretenses and is exploiting them, have volunteered to assist me even though I have not asked for assistance.  One, a voodoo practitioner, put a terrible curse on the person who  plagiarized my designs. It seems to be working,  since I am assured that his dementia has progressed to the point that it will soon be impossible for him to sign his name, even if he could remember it, let alone braid and tie knots.  And if that approach does not work, another customer suggested that he and his colleagues were available to make "an offer that could not be refused," mentioning something about the Gentleman needing his nails hammered.  Go ahead, make my day.

Where can I get braiding supplies (leather lace, snaps, etc.)?

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Leather lace can be purchased in small lots from pass-through catalog operations such as Hide Crafter or Tandy Leather Factory.  I buy some of mine from Mac Lace, Pty, Ltd, in Australia. (If you don't speak Australian, Texan is close enough.  If you are "from up north" you may have problems.) See the Links page for some of the above.  Try the fishing supply houses for the snap swivels.  As for core material,  I once bought some nylon cord from a well-known, or at least well-advertised, Dallas hardware store.  The young salesman marked the sack "200 ft nylon chord."  I put the sack up to my ear and listened but heard nothing.  Apparently I don't have an ear for modern synthetic music, or  shooting shotguns really does damage ones hearing (or both).  Anyhow, I cut that batch up into smaller chords (12 bars) and jazzed up some lanyards!
Do you take credit cards?
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Ah, take, no, but I accept payment by Visa,  Master Card, or Discover Card.   By telephone (214 893-9003) or by regular (USPS) mail  (Not by email!),  I need the type of card (Visa,  Master Card, or Discover Card), the name on the card, the billing address if different from the shipping address, the card number,  the expiration date, and for Discover Cards, the three digit card identification number.  In addition to the description of the product or products you are ordering, I need your shipping address, and your contact information (billing address, telephone numbers, and email address).
Why do you charge Texas residents sales tax? The law says I must collect (and Texas residents must pay) 8.25% sales tax, and I am risk averse.  If you are a Texas resident, add the product cost and shipping and handling, multiply that sum by 0.0825, and that is the amount of tax to be added.
Do you sell whistles? What kind do you use? (Back to the top) I use and am a proponent of  FOX40 Classics.  A long time ago, I included a FOX40 Classic logo whistle with each lanyard I made.  Nowadays, after going through two gross of those, I  sell  brass Acme Thunderers (size 60 1/2) with my logo for $30 each. FOX40 Classics don't come in brass.   You may also order a variety of whistles from GUN DOG SUPPLY  .
Do you make bolo ties? Yes. I have made more than few. Describe what you want. Prices are comparable to the corresponding T2 but depend on the slide and tips requested (if any).
Do you braid horse tack? I have made a few bridle headstalls and several sets of reins, but horse tack is not my  interest, since, far from being a horse whisperer, I don't speak "horse" at all, at any volume.  Once during an AFTCA  meeting, a lady handed me a  note asking if I could braid a "bridal headstall" and how much I would charge.  Whoa! Picture that!  Had I not been slow in responding at the time, I should have said that, yes, I could, in white of course, and the cost would depend on the design, a function of the type bit the husband intended to use.
Can you braid something other than a whistle lanyard for my wife?

Can you make a whip or quirt?
Yes, I occasionally make braided necklaces with mesquite knot pendants. I have also made braided-knot neckerchief slides, key rings, and napkin rings. . .
Oh!  I could, but I won't. I'm not into that business!
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Can I get a T2FL lanyard with a 24" headloop?

It's for my wife.

That's OK.  We're not going to wear it.  We're going to use it on each other!

You could, but I am pretty sure you will not be able to get a 24" loop over your head.
I am pretty sure
she won't be able to get it over her head either.

I'll put in a whistle so you can blow it when you've had enough.