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Pull Tape, Fish Tape or Pulling Rope—Which Do I Need?

January 24, 2019

There are many methods and tools used for cable installation and repair. Different tools may serve the same purpose, but are made from different materials or are meant to handle different materials. To add to this confusion, some tools can go by multiple names. Pull tape, fish tape and pulling rope can be confused as they perform similar functions. Read on to learn the differences between each of these pieces of equipment, and the specific tasks each one is best suited for.


Pull Tape

Pull tape, also called mule tape, is used for the routing of wires through walls and electrical conduits. It’s made of polyester or yarn fibers that are flattened into a ribbon-like shape to disperse pull load. This tool has useful features, such as measurement markings, that facilitate the routing process. It reduces the amount of labour required to complete a wiring job as it functions as a threading line, measuring tape and winchline all in one. A good pull tape has low stretch, high strength and minimizes friction to prevent burning.


Fish Tape

This tool serves the same purpose as pull tape, but is made from tougher materials such as steel or fiberglass. These materials are formed into a wire that is stored on a wheel. For wire installation, the fish tape is fed through a conduit until it is pushed through the other opening of the conduit. The end of the tape is then attached to a guide string that will pull the wires back through the conduit in the opposite direction as the fish tape is retracted. Because it is rigid, fish tape can be pushed into any direction you need it to go.


Pulling Rope

Pulling rope is made of polypropylene twine, twisted polypropylene or double-braided polyester composite rope. It differs from fish tape and pull tape in that it can handle heavier, multi-cable installations, and it is used in conjunction with a cable puller. A pulling rope must be strong, resistant to friction and able to handle tension. A pulling rope that stretches can pose a safety risk as it will snap back if it breaks, potentially injuring someone. The quality of these ropes is measured using Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) and Working Load Limit (WLL), where MBS is the amount of force a new rope can handle and WLL is the rope’s maximum load capacity.


Our pull tapes can help reduce labour time in cable and wire installations, as well as the cost of materials. They are also essential for ensuring the safety of technicians. Check out this blog to learn why pull tape is a necessary tool for cable installations.


At AMAC Equipment, we can provide the equipment, accessories or equipment repairs you need to perform cable installations as quickly as possible. Contact us today for fast and professional service across the GTA!