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Expertise Needed: Lift bag & safety sausage mounted on BP&W

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba' started by CharlieDontDive, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. Scared Silly

    Scared Silly ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: on the path to perdition
    We have both the SMB and reel in a pocket on our BP waist harness. We like them there for easy access as when diving singles it is not in the way of the cylinder when at stations with holes for the cylinder.
  2. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    If you’re after visibility, a lift bag isn’t the move. Theyre designed for lifting.

    a surface marker buoy is for being seen. They stick up way more.
  3. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
    The fact that you seem to think that you can't tell if you are shooting a yellow SMB or a orange SMB is a bit concerning. The OP is in NJ I doubt he's doing any drifting deco at all anyway, but having 2 colors is the most common way to distinguish normal vs problem which is what he is trying to address here. And you can tell them apart UW pretty easily - plus every diver in NJ has a light as well.
  4. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Scuba Instructor

    I never said I have an issue distinguishing between colors. But when the rubber meets the road, I don't have to even look. 1, I am fine. 2, send help. They could be any color of the rainbow.

    What if I gave you an orange and a red. At depth in NJ waters do you think you could reliably tell me the difference without a light? Brand new maybe, but not after a season and some sun fading. If I dove in clear water I might use a color scheme. But I don't have that luxury in my area.

    What works for you doesn't necessarily work for me or the next guy. I'm sure you have adapted mannerisms that I would abhor, vice versa. Just giving an example to the op. Non of us here would have half our knowledge if people didn't share tips and tricks along the way.
  5. NorCalDM

    NorCalDM Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vacaville California
    I think gear solutions like this are part personal but a larger part is where and how you dive. One example that comes to mind is towing a dive flag in some locations it's a requirement but here in California try to drag that line and flag through the kelp and then you know why we don't do it.
    eleniel and NothingClever like this.
  6. sea_ledford

    sea_ledford Captain

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Galveston, TX
    I have two DSMBs, yellow and orange. Orange on is regular use and lives in my thigh pocket attached to a spool. Yellow is emergency and attached to base of my plate like the DSS video posted above. Yellow, orange, tall & skinny or short & fat... doesn't really matter, so long as the surface lookout knows which one is which. Unless you are doing planned deco with planned communication via bags, it probably doesn't matter. The boat is either going to just watch you float away if they can't move, or will come pick you up if they can.

    The only real difference I have found with the bottom of the plate method, is the Halcyon open bottom bag is the most compact. No pull dump, no inflate doohicky, no fat end to make a one way valve, no SMB half filled with water to dump once you are back on the boat. Fill it partially with air at depth, keep tension on it. With all the "that's a gear solution to a skill problem" people out there, DSMBs are surprisingly complicated.

    THis is the one I like:Halcyon Dive Systems

    Not these, that are way more common: Halcyon Dive Systems
    ToneNQ likes this.
  7. Brett Hatch

    Brett Hatch ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Monterey
    I like the idea of having fewer doohickeys and whizbangs on the DSMB. The main complaint I have heard about the open-bottom bags is that the tend to leak air or take on once they reach the surface, and once they do, they fall down. I've never tried an open-bottom one though. Have you found this to be the case with yours?
  8. moose_grunt

    moose_grunt NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Saipan

    I've been taught, and done, all of these. Orange=normal yellow= emergency; 1 bag=normal 2 bags=emergency; 2 bags=normal and group is together 1 bag=separated from group (I think this is a NOAA thing? Plan was to have loaded safety divers meet you at 70 anyways, so saves the hassle of trying to write a note and send it up). I've mostly been a hanger-on to other people's projects, though, so just followed their convention. If it was my charter or my project, then I'd get to call the shots and choose one, I suppose. Not really sure where I was going with this besides to point out there different people do different things in different places, and it seems like all will fight to the death to prove that their way is best.

    THIS ^. Had a dive a couple of weeks ago diving off a friend's boat, swapping drift-diving buddy pairs. We had scooters and told them to pick us up a mile that way; the person driving the boat didn't quite get it and hung around our entry point. We sure were glad (as was the captain) we had the 10 ft SMB when we surfaced and the boat wasn't there.

    I do this, too. I've tried the mesh sleeve, bungeeing to the top/sides of the plate, the backplate storage pocket, tech shorts, and probably a couple of solutions I've forgotten. I've gone back to just clipping it to the butt D-ring for single-tank no-deco dives. That being said, I often also carry the 10 footer in a bungee loop I've threaded between the STA and wing. If it's a planned drift dive without a surface float, I'll just rig it and butt-clip it before the dive, but otherwise, it usually stays there in case of emergency (see the PLB thread for other "in case of emergency" things people carry).


    Attached Files:

    swimlikethefish likes this.
  9. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Page Side, Rage Side

    for single rank diving, I mount a 3ft halcyon smb on my left wing in that location. I just tie a loop of bungee cable and loop it thru. I keep it clipped as well to my hip d ring. The single ender is attached to the smb with cave line so I can cut at anything if entanglement becomes an issue.

    my reel is a green apeks one that I keep clipped to my butt d-ring. It stays wedged right in between my butt checks like a green... ahem....

    I can post a picture upon request. Of my smb of course.....
  10. PBcatfish

    PBcatfish Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida
    I have a big orange SS & a small yellow one. They wold both fit in a single DGX bag. I normally keep 20' of line on the big one, so that if I have a computer failure, I will still have a depth reference for doing my safety stop. The small one, I usually use for sending up fish that I have shot, at times when that seems appropriate, but it could be used for other purposes. I normally carry mine in a bag that is clipped to a D ring when I dive with a wing that doesn't have pockets.

    If I was on a boat where the crew gets edgy when they see a SS, I would chat with them before the dive & come to an agreement that my yellow one does not indicate a problem.

    A lift bag seems a little big to lug around if you are not planning on recovering anything heavy. I seldom bring one. I try to keep my gear trim, especially when diving in heavy current.

    When considering buying a SS, there are colors, sizes, & open/closed bottom to consider. The open ones are good for when you want to shoot one from down deep, as they can't pop from over inflation. The closed ones are nice because they don't loose air when they lay sideways on the surface. The closed ones with over pressure relief valves kind of give the best of both worlds, as long as the gizmo isn't jammed up with salt. There are also different styles of inflation device.

    Most people I know pack a SS with a finger reel. Since only carry 20' of 1/8" line, I just use a neatly tied coil with quick release knot.

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