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Help me decide on reel and length please

Discussion in 'Lift Bags, SMBs and Reels' started by Melanie White, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. Melanie White

    Melanie White Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 72315
  2. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    Melanie White likes this.
  3. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    I really try to follow the KISS rule and keep things simple when starting something new. You can graduate later into more skills. In Cozumel it's pretty clear water. To start with your new SMB, just go to the local Home Depot and get a 4 inch long stainless steel eye bolt. Buy some braided line and measure out 15 feet (safety stop). Wrap the line around the SS bolt and then roll that all up inside your SMB. When you get to your 15 foot stop, unroll your SMB and let the short 15' line fall down below you (it won't hit the sand below). Inflate the SMB and the eyebolt below will come up and stop right infront of your chest on the safety stop. Then wind it up as you slowly ascend.

    You don't have to worry about holding a spool, or snagging a reel, or losing your SMB. It's keeping it simple. After your trip you can keep or trash the total of $4 you spent on the bolt and the line and then decide on a reel or spool for deeper work now that you have practiced the inflation part. The biggest problem with inflating SMB's for most people is getting air inside the SMB,,,,and then grabbing the reel or spool. Make it simple, get an SS eyebolt, they work simply and you want to keep it simple, then graduate to a reel or spool.
    GameChanger and Melanie White like this.
  4. EireDiver606

    EireDiver606 DIR Practitioner

    Spool not reel. Even in cold water. Too many runaway ascents caused by reels. And spools are cheaper, simpler and easier
  5. RainPilot

    RainPilot OC/CCR Instructor Trainer Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    General rule is 1.5 times the maximum dive depth. that allows to deploy from the bottom and have some spare for current creating an angle.

    However, that does not apply to all dives/divers. For warm water safety stop deployments, I would go for 100' max length, you can also go for 60-70' lines as well. You can pick up some lovely spools cheap from ebay :

    I like this one for the kind of diving you are most likely to be doing
    Compact Scuba Diving Finger Spool Reel with 20m Line & Double End Bolt Snap | eBay

    Even cheaper plastic spool:

    Scuba Diving Finger Spool 100ft Line & Stainless Steel Double End Bolt Snap | eBay
  6. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    Like others have said, you want a finger spool. A reel is something else. You want something with a stainless steel double-ender clip.

    Cheap finger spools look no different from expensive finger spools but often the cost is in the double-ender clip. If it isn't stainless steel, it will rust. The action on the opening might stick. The spring might not be stainless steel. It might have a cheap, stainless steel looking coating.

    If you like Amazon, check the reviews and see if anyone mentions rusting then don't buy it. And ask if the double-ender is stainless steel.

    I've also bought finger spools with clips that have burrs and rough edges. Literally cut myself on one recently.

    The one @runsongas pointed out, from Dive Gear Express, is a good spool. You only need a small one for deploying an SMB. Usually 50 ft is sufficient.
  7. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    "If it isn't stainless steel, it will rust."
    Bronze. No rust, no problem.
    Although, they're selling what are claimed to be small titanium carabiners (keyring size) on the web. If they really are titanium, that's puts both stainless and bronze to shame.
  8. RainPilot

    RainPilot OC/CCR Instructor Trainer Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    I find its usually the small steel spring they put in to close it that ends up the weak point. If it is ALL titanium then that would be awesome.
  9. GameChanger

    GameChanger Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Frisco, TX USA
    Gawd this is so simple that I never even considered it for my Cozumel dive trips. I carry an Apeks LifeLine spool (purple) that comes with ~50ft of line. I have the 3' DSS DSMB that inflates with less than a breath. I have never had to shoot the DSMB from any depth greater than 20' and I only did so for practice on the safety stop since just about all DM's in Coz shoot their own for the group. I carry the Apeks LifeLine spool and DSMB pre-attached, but there is still "some assembly required" to shoot it. I am headed back to Coz this weekend so I think I will take a trip to Home Depot and get the 4" SS eye bolt and roll about 15' of line on it.
    Johnoly likes this.

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