The Cobra Weave and The Fishtail Weave

The Cobra Weave and the Fishtail weave are used often in quality paracord bracelets. Sometimes people confused the two, but they are very different as you are about to see. The terms “Cobra Weave,” Square Knotted,” “Macrame,” and “Fishtail” are often misused.  This article will help you understand the differences.


First, let’s look at a fishtail weave.

Fishtail Weave

Fishtail Weave

Notice the curves and he intertwining of the loops.  Those smooth, rounded edges are formed by wrapping a longer cord over and between two center core cords. This type of weave resembles elongated transverse scales that are seen on a snake’s underside, or on a fish’s tail, which was the inspiration for its name, “Fishtail weave.”

Looking at the buckle of a paracord bracelet, if you see a loop over a knot, or a button sewn on, it’s probably a fishtail weave.  The majority of Fishtail designs use a button or loop closure or a clip of some sort.


Now have a look at the cobra weave pattern.

Cobra Weave

Cobra Weave

The cobra weave, also called square knots or macrame, to me is much more striking.

The edges of the weave are much more square as are the knots which form its edge.  This bumpy edge is formed by knotting two “outer” cords around the outside of two “inner” cords.  It’s quite different than the fishtail weave.

The closure of a cobra weave paracord bracelet often uses a loop over a knot, though recently many are using clips just like bracelets made with the fishtail weave.

Which is better?

Largely, it’s just a matter of preference. Personally, I prefer the cobra weave because it looks more distinctive and has a class all of its own.  The fishtail to me is rather sloppy and uninteresting.  But to each their own.

Now let me confuse you entirely.  Let’s combine the cobra weave with the fishtail weave — but not in a paracord bracelet — rather in motorcycle exhaust pipes…

Cobra Fishtail Classic

Cobra Fishtail Classic Pipes

Proudly wear your cobra or fishtail paracord bracelet as you ride this magnificent piece of machinery. You can see more of it here: http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/cobra-fishtail-classic/part/BLV1367FT 


Paracord bracelets are functional and beautiful. I prefer the cobra weave, but what do you think? Which do you prefer?

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