Historical information

A Fid is a conical tapered wooden tool used for separating the strands of rope for splicing. They were a tool traditionally made of wood or bone used to work with rope and canvas in marlinespike seamanship. A Fid differs from a marlinspike in material and purposes. A marlinspike is used in working with wire rope, natural and synthetic lines also may be used to open shackles, and is made of metal. A Fid is used to hold open knots and holes in the canvas, and to separate the "lays" (or strands) of synthetic or natural rope for splicing. A variation of the Fid, the grip fid, is used for ply-split braiding. The grip fid has a jamming cleat to pull a cord back through the cord split by the fid's point.
Modern Fids are typically made of aluminium, steel, or plastic. In addition to holding rope open to assist the creation of a rope splice, modern push fid's have markings for precise measurements in a variety of sizes of rope. The length of these fid’s is typically 21 or 22 times the diameter of rope to be spliced.


Fids have been used since sailing vessels were first used to travel the worlds seas the tool was invented to be used to splice rope and with working with canvas sails. A Fid is a sailors tool that has maintained its general design for hundreds of years and gives a snapshot into what the working life was like for sailors on board sailing ships for hundreds of years. The tool in its original design is still in regular use today by recreational sailors all over the world to splice and join lengths of rope.

Physical description

Metal Fid painted half green, flattened end with a lanyard hole

Inscriptions & markings