I must stress the importance of Quality in a Bullrope. Many people are always looking for a "good" deal when they get a bullrope, forsaking quality. Well, my opinion of that is: You receive what you pay for. I want you to think and and ask yourself a few questions;
  • Does a skydiver go to the second hand store to obtain his equipment?

  • Do military paratroopers get outfitted with cut rate deals?

  • Do Olympic shooters, Pro golf players, who play on the P.G.A. Tour, go to the local sporting goods store to buy their rifles, ammunition and golf clubs?

  • Or do top tennis players do the same to compete for their championships?
Feature article:
» Before They Were Champions; The Rope

I think you know they have their chosen custom maker of their equipment. Why should it be any different for a bullrider? Bullriding is every bit as dangerous (maybe more so) as skydiving and aren't your championships just as important? I must stress, I am strictly a Custom-braider, and I take my full time and attention to the detail with the making of your bullrope. I look at myself as an artist and craftsman and when you receive a rope from me, you also get my personal guarantee with each and everyone of my ropes, within reasonable time and circumstances. You are NOT receiving a rope from an Equipment House that is made in Mexico or a foreign country that is mass produced by someone working piece-meal or for a wage. Before you order your next bullrope, whether from another braider or myself, give those ideas some thought.

Though since I've observed many equipment houses and individuals advertise a custom rope or a rope that is "Custom quality", that are in fact still made in Mexico. Look up the word Custom in the dictionary, for expedient purposes, here it is:

CUSTOM addition
    1: Made to personal order
    2: Doing the work only on order
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

So it is, in all actuality there is no such thing as "custom quality", only Custom.





Standard Measurements:
Any of these measurements can be changed within reason to fit your personal needs. Though these are the measurements most common to the ropes that most NFR and PBR qualifiers are using.

Standard Rope Specifications:
7 Foot Loop - 7 Foot Tail (flat or cupped) 3 Nylon Slider Knots (assorted Colors)
Heavy Appliqué Block - Snug 3 Finger Slack - 17 inch Double Nylon Braided Wear Strip
CLICK on images for larger view.

Heavy Appliqué Block and
Riser

Snug Three Finger Slack

7' Loop with 3 Nylon Slider
Knots

17" Double Nylon Braided
Wear Strip


Types of Bullropes:
There are generally three types of handles in bullropes regardless of plait.
Half-leather laced, Full-Half skip leather laced and Full-leather laced handles.

Half-Leather Laced

Full-Half Skip Leather Laced

Full-Leather Laced
From the Half-laced to the Full-leather laced it doesn't matter, the handles should be firm-to-hard depending on one's preference, so as not to turn or roll over. Full-leather laced is not necessarily the hardest handle, in that respect the advantage of Full and Full-half-skip handles are that they eliminate a lot of lateral side-to-side motion. When you order, I will ask you how hard you want your handles. Hard, real Hard, Super-Hard, medium Hard, Firm. I WILL NOT braid cable or make what is called a cable handle. Why? Because during a bullride something has to give and if it doesn't give minutely in the rope, where is it going to give? In one's wrist, elbow, shoulder, and yes, knees and groins. I know super hard full-leather laced cable handles have been popular these past few years, but if you are having challenges with any of the above, I suggest you take a good self-assessment of the handle of your rope. I've also observed not one World Championship has been won with a cable rope and how many of these types of ropes have qualified for the NFR and/or PBR? In the last couple of years I've also observed the trend going back to half-lace and Full half-skip laced handles. This, I believe, is to relieve the strain on various body parts mentioned, also along with easing the power absorbed directly from the bull itself during a ride.


Types of Plaits:
The three basic plaits (braids) are the 5 plait, 7 plait and 9 plait. People often ask or tell me that the plaits are the relation to the width. The three types of plaits constitute the FEEL. The 9 plait is the thinnest with a harder FEEL, the 7 plait is a middle of a road thickness, but leaning toward a medium-soft FEEL. The 5 plait is thicker with a softer FEEL.

5-Plait, Thicker softer feel

7-Plait, Thinner medium soft feel

9-Plait, Thinner and hardest feel
The width can be accomplished by adding or subtracting strands. Now as I mentioned earlier I can add or subtract strands. So when it comes to braiding tails, I can make just about any tail you need or prefer in any plait, big and wider, soft and mushy, hard and thin, or wide and hard, or vice-versa.

There are two ways to braid a 7 plait. One is the 7 plait, braided like a 9 plait, which is my standard 7 plait. The other is an old time wide 7 plait which is almost obsolete. It has been nine years since I have made an old time 7 plait for an NFR/PBR competitor. The 7 plait made like a 9 plait, sometimes referred to as a Stacked 7 plait, is the standard 7 plait.


Combinations:
When a competitor wants a combination plait rope, the first number is the handle, the second is the tail. For example: 9/5 plait, that is a 9 plait hard handle with a 5 plait tail. So a harder feeling handle with a softer feeling tail.



Raymond Branch, Custom Braider
P.O. Box 876    Winslow, AZ 86047
928/289-9611

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