Originally Posted by nolatom
I almost never use the clove hitch either, the lead never seems right. those who find it useful, could you enlighten me?
Try this. Pretend that you are going to coil a line. Hold the standing part in your left hand, then make a loop. Then make a second loop exactly like the first one but form it behind the first. Then put something in the loops and pull the ends and you have a properly formed clove hitch.
Obviously you don't always have the luxury of being able to slip your hitch over the end of something, but I find myself, as the guy on deck often having to send tools aloft. You can form a clove hitch like this in a couple of seconds and as long as it's been set properly, it works great. Easy and fast to tie and easy and fast to untie.
I only use clove hitches for more permanent jobs when I finish it off by tying the bitter end off to the standing part with a couple of half hitches.