Lizard Noosing Material Update

Equaline? CVS? 'Fraid not.

A few months back, we had a lively discussion of the best material to use to make a lizard noose.

I and others went old school and advocated dental floss as the lariat of choice. In this vein, I have an update. Now in the field in the Bahamas, Jason Kolbe and I have been using two newish brands of the waxy stuff, and neither of us has a good thing to say. I have been using a new type, “Just the Basics,” which seems to be a CVS store brand. All I can say is: Avoid!!! By “basics,” they mean “basically terrible.” It frays very quickly, so that by the time you’ve snagged your third lizard, you have to make another noose. Very annoying. Meanwhile, Jason has been using a floss produced by Equaline. He gives it two thumbs down, claiming that it disintegrates—believe it or not—after a single lizard capture.

I have switched to an older CVS house brand, perhaps their up-market dental dislodge, labeled simply “Dental Floss,” which I have used previously with some success. As for Jason, he dug deep into the field bag and pulled out a several year old container of Reach. Though this Johnson & Johnson product is considered the gold standard by many, its age is worrisome. It is widely believed, at least by me, that floss ages badly, and that old strings cannot be counted on to retain their lizard.

And, indeed, what was prophesied came true. Jason found that the ancient floss didn’t do the job. It had, in his words, no bite, and well snared lizards would simply tumble through a noose that failed to close. But, miracle of miracles, the small store on Sampson Cay carries Reach. What are the odds? And so empowered, Jason went on a lizard catching binge, missing nary a saurian. He does point out, though, that Reach does fray…after about 30 lizards.

About Jonathan Losos

Author and Professor at Harvard University
This entry was posted in Notes from the Field, Research Methods. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Lizard Noosing Material Update

  1. chipojolab says:

    It’s not the arrow, It’s the Indian

  2. Gabriel Gartner says:

    Hi Jonathan and Jason,

    Far and away the best stuff I’ve ever used is power pro 20 pound test fly fishing line. It comes in assorted colors, is literally indestructible, and the best part, it is strangely semi-rigid meaning it holds it’s shape even in a good breeze. It’s pretty expensive, about 2o bucks for 150 yards but I’ve been using the same spool for about 5 years now…

    …granted, you may struggle once in the field finding this, but it’s worth a visit to bass pro shops and stuffin’ it in your bag.

    Then again, maybe you’ve tried it and hate it.
    Also, what Manuel said.


  3. Gabriel Gartner says:

    let me revise my comment and say I am firmly in power-pro camp (should have clicked link)…

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