Tuning your cam straps

Mostly, I’ve always fastened my boat to the rack using rope. Recently I used cam straps a few times. The straps do have their nice points.

I’d like to taper and stiffen the end of the strap to make it easier to thread into the cam. Will some of you ingenious strap users post tricks for treating the end of the strap to make it easier to slide the strap through the cam. Iron it?


BBQ Butane torch
Cut strap at 45 degree angle for a point.

Use an open flame from butane or propane torch to seal.

When tying kayak in racks avoid leaving long ends which flap about in the wind causing excessive wear.

Spray straps with 303 Protectant to prolong their life from the suns damaging ultra-violet radiation

I use a soldering gun
In that way, I can smooth them out to a nice sharp point.

Another way is to just burn them, and while they are burning quickly rub a smooth object like a knife over the end.

Also as far as “tuning”; make sure to use WD-40 or silicon lube every so often on the spring and cam.

And lastly every time I tighten one, I put a finger behind the latch and pull it tight to make sure the little nibs bite into the fabric good

jack L

Water Proof Glue… a little dab is all it takes.

you’ve got it!
That’s exactly what I did when I cut mine shorter! It worked fine (I just wanted to melt and flatten the tapered cut, but it did stiffen them a bit as well).

Just make sure you use a crap iron, or I suppose you could put something between the iron and the strap.

Agree with willi & jackl’s suggestions.


Dip the end in varnish or simular produc

hot knife cut …

It’s funny that no one else has ever tried the glue method that I suggested. I did a web belt in boot camp in the Navy in 1975 (method suggested by my drill instructor)… it’s still holding fine. For those who are mathematically challenged, that’s 36 years give or take. I’ll take that for a lasting alteration. No other treatments needed since then, still no signs of unravelling even after several washings, lots of wear and abuse. Oh well, go with the melt method if you must.

It must be a “Navy” thing. 69-71 USS
Purdy in the North Atlantic. Bootcamp in Great Lakes.

Don’t forget to put a twist in those
straps to keep them from Hummmmmmmming.

iron took me five minutes
Why fuss with glue or anything else?

I wondered about the glue method
I didn’t know Elmers made waterproof glue.

I thought about dipping in varnish.

But, I was a child pyromaniac, so the method that uses fire wins!

Thanks for all the hints.


I use “SeamGrip” urethane for strap
ends. Because it’s made for waterproofing tent seams, it soaks very easily into straps. Once it sets up, it remains completely flexible, indefinitely, unlike some other glues.

I think it would work for stabilizing strap ends. I use it to soak the final 1" or so of Nylon or polyester webbing, so that I can then put holes through the urethane-reinforced zone for tying the straps into canoes or c-1s. (You can add grommets if you want, but the urethane reinforcement seems to make them unnecessary.)

SeamGrip is fairly widely available at outdoor equipment dealers, and if you want to try “glue,” I encourage you to get it, and not substitute glues that may not soak in as well, or may not remain flexible indefinitely.

Straps are synthetic, mostly nylon and it’s always had it’s ends melted, comes that way from the factory. Why reinvent the wheel?

Been done this way for like 50 years or so. A melted end will last the life of the strap.

Bill H.

Ya, right ----
Only if you keep them in the original package and never open it!

I have Thule, Yakama,NRS, Great Outdoor Provision’s own, and three or four other no named sets, and there has not been one of them that hasn’t frayed at the end after a lot of use.

Jack L

Cut the end to the shape you want, melt the ends with a match or lighter.

I think you should try ALL …
… the suggestions given to see which one you like best , which one you thinks works best , and report back with your findings … what’s a couple inches at the end of a strap anyway , plenty of extra length usually .

gas range flame a handy option
I’ve been shortening nylon straps and ropes (as well as edge-sealing cut nylon fabric when sewing my own gear) for 40 years. I’ve found the easiest way to do it is with the flame on my kitchen gas range. The consistency of the flame is steadier than with a lighter and you can use both hands to handle your material. A butane/propane camp stove flame works too. You quickly get a feel for how close you need to get before the material starts to melt and curl on itself – with a bit of practice you can get a nice smooth edge of any shape.