Rattler Breakaway Rope Guide: Part 1

2019 has been full of new adventures for lady ropers in the US and Canada! Breakaway roping is on the rise and ropers of all ages are dusting off their ropes to join in on the fun. One could argue 2019 can be deemed, Year of the Breakaway Roper.

If you are new to roping, have trouble deciding which rope is best for you, or simply want more technical information about our ropes, look no further to our breakaway rope guide!

Choosing A Rope

Rattler Rope is committed to helping support and grow the sport of breakaway roping. We feel we have one of the most complete line of breakaway ropes in the industry equipping ropers with a tool to help them succeed at the situation at hand. Rodeos and jackpots present different scenarios with ground conditions, weather, score, and stock. Whether you are loyal to only one type of rope, or like to have a variety in your arsenal, Rattler makes a rope for you and can walk you through the process of each rope’s strengths and composition.

The Striker™

The Striker was the first ever four-strand calf rope with a CoreTech core made of synthetic polyester and was the first rope introduced to the Rattler Calf Roping line. What’s so special about this rope is although it’s poly, it doesn’t stretch, which results in increased life and extreme consistency. The four strands give the Striker a smooth, fast feel with the core acting as a stabilizer (distributing the weight evenly), allowing it to rebound quickly to its natural state. It has a lot of action with little to no bounce!

The Striker is available in smaller sizes for junior ropers and is alway available in a left handed option.

Right 28′ 8.5, 9.0, 10.0, 10.25, 10.5, 10.75

Left 28′ 10.0, 10.5



The Viper™

The Viper™ was the first five strand calf rope with a CoreTech core. It’s also made of low stretch poly with more consistency and less stretch backed with a lot of speed and snap! It has the smoothness and feel of a polygrass, with strength and stability from the core that allows for deadly accuracy!

28′. 9.0, 9.5, 10.0, 10.25, 10.5

The Viper is a five strand poly rope that has a lot of feel and snap with an indescribable smoothness.

The Spitfire™

The Spitfire™ is the first professional breakaway rope of its kind. Made specifically to reach and rope the neck. The customized manufacturing process using technologically advanced fibers allow the loop to stay open and upon delivery close sharp, fast, and tight around the neck. The enhanced tip has a weighted feel, helping o know where the loop is and guiding it to the intended target. The shell is extremely smooth allowing the rope to feed fast and easy. The body keeps the loop open to create a perfect storm for an aggressive, first-swing-shot out of the box! Developed by Rattler with the help of Jackie Crawford and Kelsie Chace.

28′, 50/S Pro, 60/S Pro


Jackie Crawford competing at RFD-TV’s The American using the Rattler Spitfire. Photo by JA Snapshots, Jamie Arviso.

Choice Of Champs

As the spotlight on the sport brightens, the competition and talent is as tough as ever. We took some time to ask the opinions of some of the best ropers in North America their rope choice and why. They come from all over the map but have one common denominator, they have had a lot of success with Rattler Ropes. Kelsie Chace resides in Stephenville, TX, Tibba Smith is in Hobbs, NM, and Taylor Munsell is in Alva, Ok. Between the three, you will find high school championships, collegiate championships, RFD-TV’s The American qualifications, and WCRA Major qualifications and championships among countless other prestigious accolades.

Tibba Smith: STRIKER 9.5

“The Striker stays open and allows my figure-eight to come over on the right-hand side for a clean and crisp neck shot. I like a rope with a lighter weight, so the 9.5 fits my preference.”

Tibb Smith competing at the 2019 RFD-TV’s The American at AT&T Stadium using the Striker. Photo by JA Snapshots.

Kelsie Chace: VIPER 10.0 or SPITFIRE 50S/PRO

“I used a 10.0 Viper for a long time and still do from time to time. Now that the Spitfire is out, I use the 50/S PRO. I really like both ropes but I feel like the Spitfire stays with me better and I never have to wait on my tip.”

Kelsie Chace competing at the 2019 RFD-TV’s The American using the Viper. She recently won 3rd at the WCRA Major in Greenbay, WI using the Spitfire. Photo by JA Snapshots

Taylor Munsell

“I use a 9.0 Viper. To me I think the 9.0 fits me so good because of my bad shoulder. The smaller rope keeps my arm from wearing out and I like how much action it has and how easy it is for me to get it up on my first swing.”


2019 RFD-TV’s The American Reserve Champion & recent NIRA College breakaway champion Taylor Munsell uses the 9.0 Viper in competition. Photo by JA Snapshot



When finding the right rope for you, our best advice is to pick one up, swing them, and rope with them to really get an understanding on what your ideal “feel” truly is. For a list of Rattler Rope dealers, click HERE, or come see us at a show!

In the Corner with Lynn Smith

Fast Footwork

By Lynn Smith – 3x National Intercollegiate Goat Tyer, Goat Tying Clinician & Collegiate Rodeo Coach.

It’s common to not run all the way into the goat. We unknowingly cheat with either our right or left leg or both. Learning how to read goats and adjust your footwork takes practice and is often overlooked at ALL skill levels. This is one of the first things we work on at clinics and at college practices.

Slow footwork can result in tripping over or even grabbing the rope to control the goat. Mistakes in flanking also are common from not running all the way into the goat. Keeping speed from your dismount off your horse into the goat, adds to the challenge. Anymore, goat tying is so competitive, footwork will separate the caliber of competitor you are.

Think of yourself like a predator out in the wild and the goat as your prey. You need to set up your run to be smart and to be fast to be successful. Knowing how to use your footwork can save a lot of time.
Shortening your strides and staying on your toes are two keys in a good approach to the goat. Staying on your toes with short, quick steps will help you react and adjust to the goat.

Practice running into position to flank, without flanking. Running as hard as you can, shorten your strides as you get closer to the goat but stay on your toes! Shorter strides will also help you get lower to flank.

Another great tool to develop footwork is a speed ladder. Keep the footwork patterns simple, so you can push yourself to go faster while controlling where your feet land. Stay on your toes so you can move your feet quickly as possible!

Participants in Goat Tying Demonstration at the 2018 NHSFR in Rock Springs, WY.

For more tips or clinic schedule visit http://www.goattyer.com or Better Basics Goat Tying on Facebook.

The New Triple-Threat in Team Roping, the Triton

Rattler Rope is proud to present the new triple-threat in team roping, the Triton4! Completely unique from anything on the market, the Triton is composed of three different fibers in a proprietary process never-before found in a manufactured rope! The balance of speed, snap, and feel of the Triton is second to none.

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George McQuain, head of rope production at Classic and Rattler Rope swinging the NEW Triton!

The poly fiber increases the tip size and feel. Nylon Fiber 1 gives more body and twist for an open loop and zippy closure, while Nylon Fiber 2 adds forgiveness, consistency, and balance. This one-of-a -kind blend ensures the Triton’s longevity and performance.

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The Triton is made of a proprietary blend of 3 unique fibers never before used in a rope

Triton Specifics

4 strand 30’ Head Rope with core (XXS, XS, S, MS)4 strand 35’ Heel Rope with core (MS, M, HM)
Small Diameter- Medium Weight- Between Radar and GT4Small Diameter- Medium Weight- Between Radar and GT4
Loop wants to go to the base of the head, the weighted tip creates curl, then snaps shut crisp and fast!Weighted tip guides delivery and goes to the ground in front of steers feet. Loop blows up in front of target on delivery.
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Each Rattler Rope is handmade in Stephenville, TX

The Triton head rope has a small diameter with medium weight, but with lots of tip feel and action. The heel rope also has a small diameter and a medium weight that guides the tip to the ground for delivery. This enables the loop body to expand and hold in front of the target upon delivery. The Triton is a four-strand rope with a CoreTech™ core available in both a 30’ head and 35’ heel rope and is now shipping to Rattler Rope dealers across the country.

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Triton ropes are now shipping and can be found wherever Rattler Ropes are sold!

About Rattler Rope

Rattler Rope carries a full line of products designed for faster times through leading innovations in ropes, consistent strings, and quality products for competitors at all levels of competition made in Stephenville, TX. Whether goat tying, calf roping, breakaway roping, or team roping- Rattler Rope is dedicated to the success of our customers.

The Comeback Kid

If you watched the Championship Shootout at RodeoHouston and have a beating pulse, you got excited for Matt Sherwood and Walt Woodard the moment they looked up at the jumbotron at and realized they had bested Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp’s fast time by .1 setting the new arena record with a 4.0. They got by the last team to rope, arguably one of the best teams in the world, Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, and were crowned the 2018 RodeoHouston team roping champions.

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Matt and Walt after their on-air interview after winning coveted RodeoHouston. Photo by Impulse Photography.

At the cowboys’ favorite rodeo, March Madness takes on a meaning all its own at RodeoHouston. With a unique bracket-style format, to make it to Saturday’s Championship Shootout, ropers have at least roped five steers and potentially six through their Super Series, Semi-Finals, and the Wildcard round on the super stage of NRG stadium that has a staggering capacity of 72,220 people. Each round is a clean slate, and it is a battle until there is one team left standing. We are accustomed to hearing about the “Cinderella story” basketball teams and the underdogs taking the win in the tournament and team roping is shaping up to have their own Cinderella team in 2018 with the likes of Matt Sherwood and Walt Woodard.

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The heel shot of the record breaking 4.0 arena record setting run. Photo by Impulse Photography.

Coming off a big win at the start of 2018 at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Walt and Matt have resumes a mile long, and no, they aren’t the underdogs by any means. Nevertheless, this team is unique in a field of ropers and a sport where there are new young guns winning every day.

This veteran team is making a resurgence and breaking records.

In fact, Walt nearly has more NFR qualifications than years Cody Snow or Wesley Thorp have been alive. Known for being an expert roper, horseman, clinician, and motivational speaker, on any given day at his training center in Stephenville, TX he might be giving lessons to a beginning roper or practicing with an NFR qualifier. He’s played an instrumental role in a lot of the up and coming NFR qualifiers’ careers that he is now competing against. He’s just that guy, although he isn’t eager to take the credit for it.

“I don’t want to be looked at as their teacher or their mentor. I feed off of them. We’re all doing the same thing. We’re all watching Wesley Thorp, “the Brazilian”, and Corkill and seeing what they are doing. There are so many guys out there that can compete at this high of a level and I’m just working on what I can control to compete at my best and stay in that top 5% winning percentage.”

“Age is just a number” is truly Walt’s mentality, and it shows. We all remember his world championship in 2007, he won in his 50’s his first time out of retirement. Now competing in his 60’s; he’s more ready than ever and feels like he is fully competing and functioning at a high level.

“One thing I love about sports is there is no prejudice…and I despise prejudice. In sports, race, color, size, age…none of it matters. There is a line drawn in the sand here and there and whoever gets there first wins.”

This doesn’t mean Walt hasn’t had to change his game plan over the years. The team roping landscape looks a little different than in 1975 when he first bought his card. The steers today are smaller and the times are faster.

In his post-win interview with Boyd Polhamus, Boyd specifically asked him what changes he has made in his swing, with the general consensus being he had to adjust to a faster swing with a lighter rope to be as quick as you have to win money in today’s ropings. Walt has always been a GT4 guy. Previously he used a GTR full MH and now has transitioned to a GT4 Lite HM.

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“Blueberry” Walt’s great heel horse is a 10-year-old gelding trained by Walt and Travis out of Sunfrost lineage. Photo by Impulse Photography.

If you’ve watched Walt rope this year you would have to notice his beautiful blue roan gelding, “Blueberry”. If you ask Walt, this is the best horse he has ever ridden, and Walt has been around great horses and horsemen his entire life.

“He is perfect, he never makes a mistake. I got him when he was a yearling and we halter broke him at my place. No one has touched him except me and my son [Travis] and we trained him here. He is just amazing, he even cocks his head and watches the headers nod every time.”

Blueberry is a 10-year-old gelding with Sunfrost lineage and gets the utmost care at the Woodard ranch. Walt lopes and exercises him a mile and a half every day and uses him where he counts, you won’t see Blueberry at the weekly jackpots around Erath county. When he practices on him it’s in an extremely controlled environment, he ropes six steers and then drags the pen. There won’t even be a footprint in the arena when he is ready to rope again. He gives credit to this regimen and mindset to years of experience.

“When the ground isn’t good, barrel racers won’t run their horse. I’m a little that way with Blueberry. If it’s muddy at Cheyenne, ya-you have to ride him. But Pendleton…I won’t ever ride that horse there and it’s one of my favorite rodeos. I just won’t with him.”

What’s next for Sherwood and Woodard?

Well, they are hitting the road and making a run for Vegas for an NFR qualification and we wish nothing but the best of luck and hope to see them there.


Hannah Haugen, Public Relations Coordinator