Last Updated on December 21, 2022
Whether you’re working on a ranch or riding in a rodeo, you will likely have a lasso by your side. The art of using a lasso rope has been perfected over the years by the American cowboy.
Whether you use a lasso for roping cattle or doing tricks, it takes skill to use one. Finding the right lasso can be tricky, as there are several things you need to take into consideration. This article includes the best lasso rope for beginners.
Lasso Rope History
Though lassos are associated with the Wild West of America, cowboys, and working cattle, their history goes back way further. Depictions found, show that Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs used lassos. It is even believed that the Huns used lassos in Ancient China.
Native Americans used lassos against the Spanish Conquistadors as a battle tool. Native Americans then went on to popularize the use of lassos from horseback.
From there, the lasso was used as a way to capture cattle. Its popularity grew and lassos soon became a hit at rodeos, with trick roping and team roping competitions.
How to Choose a Beginner Lasso Rope, What to Consider
When choosing your first lasso, you want one that is both durable and lightweight. Ropes made from Hemp or nylon are often the most popular due to their strong performance and ease to use.
You also need to take into consideration what you will be using your lasso for. If you are doing trick roping, you’ll generally want a rope made from cotton or synthetic. For beginners, it is recommended to use a 13-foot rope, or 15-foot if you have a long arm span, as it is less likely to hit your leg or the ground, however, you can use the length you are most comfortable with.
As for roping cattle, whether on a ranch or at a rodeo competition, synthetic, nylon, and hemp are commonly used. For a beginner in roping, you want a soft lasso, as the more pliable rope will make it easier to gain control. You also want to start with a shorter lasso, such as 25-30 feet.
What are the Advantages/Benefits of a Beginner Lasso Rope?
Having a beginner lasso will make it easier to pick up roping, whether you are doing trick roping or are roping cattle. A shorter lasso will make it easier to get the hang of roping, as the excess rope will not be getting in your way. Having a softer lasso will also be easier to work with, as you develop your skills.
If you have working horses on a cattle farm, you’ll want to have a lasso handy for catching cows. Some dude ranches even offer packages where you can learn to rope. Visiting a dude ranch is a great opportunity to learn the art of roping and to see it in action.
Though dude ranches that offer vacation packages are often the best place to learn to rope, some regular ranches offer courses in roping as well. There are also lots of articles, videos, and books that give you step-by-step instructions on how to rope.
Things to Look for/Attributes That Differentiate These Products
When looking for a lasso, look for one that is shorter. You may have to get a junior size to find one that will be the right size for a beginner. You want to generally wait to get a longer lasso until you’ve gotten comfortable using a shorter lasso.
A softer lasso will also help you as a beginner. Stiffer lassos can have their advantages when roping cattle, but they can take some practice getting used to. Many lassos also come with a wax finish to help with grip, but sometimes it can cause the rope to be sticky and stiff.
Read more about Lariat Rope Types- What Kind Of Rope Is Used For A Lasso?
What’s the Best Way to Use Lasso Rope?
Lasso’s can have different uses. You can use them for trick roping, roping competitions, and working cattle on farms. Each type of roping takes lots of practice and patience to perfect.
Trick roping has a long history in the United States and Mexico. It has become a beloved tradition and can be seen performing at many rodeos across the country.
Since the 1800s, cowboys have used lassos to rope cattle. Roping cattle can be used to catch cattle for tagging, vaccinating, and treating them for any health issues. It is a common practice used by cattle farmers to maintain their livestock.
Roping cattle has also turned into a well-loved class at rodeos. Team roping is one of the most popular rodeo events that includes two riders, a header, a healer, and a steer. It is a fast-paced event, where the header catches the cow by the head with a lasso, and the healer ropes the hind feet.
Many ropers learn to rope using a plastic steer head attached to a post or stand. This allows you to get the technique down before practicing on real cattle, which can be challenging.
Roping may take a while to catch on, but once you learn it, you will love how fun it is. Whether you want to do it for fun or are learning to take care of cattle on a farm, it is a skill that will be worth your while to have.
Learn more about How To Soften A Stiff Lasso Rope
Top Five Best Beginner Lassos
With many different lassos available it can be hard to find the right lasso for you. Here are the top five lassos available for beginners learning how to rope.
The Colorado Saddlery The Kid’s Lariat is a sturdy lariat made in the USA. It is made from nylon complete with a wax finish and a honda knot. Measuring 25 feet long, it is a great lasso for beginner kids or adults.
- It is made from sturdy nylon.
- It is flexible.
- The rope measures 5/16″ x 25′, making it a great beginner size.
- The wax finish can make it sticky.
This AJ Tack lasso for kids is made from high-quality nylon with a medium waxed finish. Made in the USA, this is a great lasso for kids to learn roping on. It is also available in a larger size for adults.
- This lasso is of high-quality nylon.
- Perfect for learning how to rope.
- It is flexible.
- It is on the smaller side for roping cattle, measuring 5/16” x 20’, but could be used for trick roping.
The Classic Spyder 5-Strand Head Rope is made of five strands of sturdy twisted nylon. Its slim design offers the perfect balance, making it a great lasso for beginners. It has a great soft build, making it great to learn with.
- This lasso is high quality and made with five strands of twisted nylon.
- It is soft and flexible.
- Its sturdy design is great for roping cattle.
- It is on the expensive side.
The Mustang Headin Ranch Rope w/Quick Release Honda is a great lasso for beginners. It is made from sturdy nylon and includes a wax finish. The quick-release honda knot makes it easy to catch and release cattle.
- This lasso is made from sturdy nylon.
- It is easy to break in.
- The quick-release knot is great to have when working with cattle.
- It is 30’ which is an ideal size for beginners.
- It doesn’t include instructions on how to use the quick-release knot.
The Kids Roping Practice Steer Head Dummy Lariat Rope Set not only comes with a high-quality lasso but also includes a plastic steer head to practice on, making it the perfect set for beginners. The lasso is made from poly-nylon with a light wax finish, measuring 20 feet long. The plastic steer head includes rods for securing it into a hay bale, making for easy and convenient practice.
- This lasso is made from quality poly-nylon.
- The plastic steer head is great for practicing.
- It includes a hand-sewn leather burner at the end.
- The rope can be a bit stiff and hard to wear.
How to Fix a Lasso Rope?
The term ‘fixing’ is often used to describe how a piece of rope is turned into a lasso. This transforms a straight piece of rope to create a sliding loop at one end.
To fix a lasso rope, you need to make a knot called a honda knot. This creates a small, fixed loop at one end of the rope.
To tie a honda knot, tie an ordinary overhand knot at the end of the rope, and pull it tight. Loosely tie a second knot, then loop the end of the rope and the first knot through this loose second knot. Pull the second knot tight and you should have a small loop that is fixed in place.
Then all you need to do is pass the other end of the rope through this loop, and you have a lasso! The loop created by the honda knot should be just the right size to allow it to slide along the rope freely without any friction.
How Do You Coil a Lasso Rope?
Learning how to coil a lasso rope properly is one of the first things you should learn. A badly coiled rope will become tangled when you attempt to swing or throw it. So, once you’ve made your honda knot, it is time to coil your rope
To coil a lasso rope, hold the free end in your non-dominant hand – in this example, we will call this the left hand. Slide the other hand, the right, along the rope and grip the rope at the point where your arm is fully extended. Form a section of the loop by passing this point from the right hand to the left, twisting or flipping the rope slightly as you do so.
You will know you have the technique right when your loop forms a perfect circle, without bulging or twisting. If you don’t twist it the right way, or twist it too much or not enough, this will not happen.
Continue to loop and twist your rope in this way, forming multiple loops which lie flatly against each other. The final step is to take hold of the lasso loop and place it so that it sits neatly alongside your coiled rope.
How Do You Swing a Lasso Rope?
Once your rope is correctly coiled, the next trick to learn is how to swing a lasso rope. The aim is to get a large loop of rope twirling above your head, but getting to this level takes time and practice.
Hold the loop of your lasso in your dominant hand, at the point where the rope passes through the honda knot. For a beginner, it is easier to start with a small loop and build up to larger loops over time.
Slide your hand along the loop until it is around 18 inches from the honda knot – you should have both the loop and the rope in your hand at this point. The piece of rope between the knot and your hand is called the spoke and can be useful to help keep the loop open.
Hold the rest of the rope coiled neatly in your other hand, with at least 6 feet of slack between each hand. Raise the loop above your head and start to twirl the rope with your wrist. The speed of the twirl must be fast enough for you to control the direction of your throw.
With time, you will learn how to swing a lasso rope so that it looks effortless, expanding the size of the loop with ease. Taking time to practice spinning a lasso is well worth it if you are new to roping, as it will significantly improve your aim and accuracy.
What’s The Difference Between a Lasso and a Rope?
A lasso is a piece of rope that has been tied in a specific way to create a freely movable loop at one end. While you can use many types of rope to create a lasso, most western riders prefer a soft piece of rope that is easy to coil and throw.
Some lassos are also used as tie ropes, particularly in sports such as roping. A good lasso is a cowboy or cowgirl’s best friend, and they wouldn’t set out on horseback without one.
Roping in the Winner
Though all of these lassos are great for beginners, the Classic Spyder 5-Strand Head Rope takes the cake as the winner. The Classic Spyder lasso’s soft finish and durable nylon make it an impressive lasso. The five strands of twisted nylon allow for flexibility and easy use.
Unlike The Colorado Saddlery The Kid’s Lariat, it does not have a wax finish that can be sticky. It is ready to be put to work and doesn’t need to be broken in like the Kids Roping Practice Steer Head Dummy Lariat Rope Set.
At 30 feet, it is a good length for a beginner’s lasso. It is an ideal lasso for roping cattle on the ranch or at a rodeo. The pliable and soft nylon makes it easy to handle.
What Is a Lasso Rope?
A lasso rope is a rope or a line that is used for roping horses, cattle, and other types of livestock. A lasso rope has a running noose at one end and is most often made of hide, but other materials can be used as well.
How To Make or Tie a Lasso Rope?
You will need a length of rope. Adults should use about 30 feet of rope, any longer can become hard to work with. For a child’s lasso, keep it on the shorter side so it is easy for them to handle.
Step 1: What type of rope to use
If you are only practicing, so you can get used to it, any type of rope will be plenty. If you are going to use your lasso you will want a thin, tough, slightly stiff rope. Stiffness can make the rope harder to tie but if it's good quality you will be able to “push” the rope to change loop size.
Step 2: Tie a loose overhand knot.
An overhand knot is a basic knot that is used in regular day to day activities. When tying the overhand now, take a look in the rope and pass the other end of the rope through the loop. The knot should not be tightened. Keep it loose, leave slack, so you have plenty of rope to work with. Your rope should look like a large ”O” with a loose knot at the bottom.
Step 3: Pass the end of the rope through the knot.
Take the short or “tail” end of the rope and pull it around and over the “O” shaped loop. Thread the rope between the outside of the “O” and the overhand knot. The rope should go through about 6 inches, forming a new loop that will become the base of the lasso.
Step 4: Pass the slack end of the rope through the Honda Knot
Take the slack end of the rope and run it through the small loop in the Honda, creating a functional lasso. Now when the slack end of the rope is pulled the lasso will tighten around an object.
Step 5: Stopper Knot
A Stopper Knot is optional. If your lasso’s function is for fun and games or decoration in your home you may stop here. If this is going to a working rope tying one additional knot is ideal to offer a more durable and easy to use lasso. Tie a stopper knot at the end of the rope tail, so the short tail does not get pulled back through the Honda Knot.
What's The Difference Between a Lariat and a Lasso?
Most use the word lasso, instead lariat. Lasso is commonly used as a noun when it is actually a verb. This is one of the easiest ways to spot a greenhorn in the cattle pen. For those who actually use lariat, they refer to it as a rope and it is used when roping something. The difference between a Lariat and a Lasso is not anything more than a mix up of when or how nouns and verbs should be used.
What Makes a Lasso Rope Stiff?
The original lasso rope had long strips of wet rawhide wrapped in with the other materials that made up the rope. When the rawhide would dry it would stiffen the rope.
Today lasso ropes are not made using this process. Leaving a rope outside in cold weather will definitely leave it much stiffer for use in the morning. Soaking the lasso rope in the water and then stretching it tight, so it is fully extended, to dry in the sun a very common way to get a rope to be stiffer.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.