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SMB - buy another of the same or something different?

Discussion in 'Lift Bags, SMBs & Reels' started by CapnBloodbeard, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    What is the width?
  2. Xaman Ha

    Xaman Ha DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: EU/SEA
    I believe the 1.2m version is 12cm wide when empty.
  3. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Randy over @ Piranha Dive Manf. has a good selection, fairly inexpensive too.

    Here's the one I have, thing is made really well;
    6ft / 72

    He also has others;
    Surface Marker Buoy's

    I never understood why some smb's cost so much. I "think" mine is quality, but I've never compared it to a super expensive one side by side either.
  4. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    The brand's name for a start.
    Really have to put them side by side and compare. The material used and the fabrication process are very important.
  5. Bazzathemammoth

    Bazzathemammoth Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New Zealand
    My mares once (same as op) is fairly midrange quality wise imo. It's not a toy but could be made much more durably with better material, stitching, valves etc.
  6. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
  7. stiebs

    stiebs Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Hi @CapnBloodbeard ,
    Usually I find a 4ft (1.2m) is more than sufficient. I've gathered you're in Melbourne, but it doesn't sound like you've done much diving here.Do you plan on using your SMB in Mel, or abroad?

    I have a Halcyon 1.2m and a 1.8m. Most of the time the big one stays in my gear box, and the small one in my dry suit pocket.

    The small one is easy to inflate at, depth with a single breath. I usually shoot it from 10-15m depending on the dive. At 15m a single breath will give it plenty of air at the surface. If I'm shallower, sometimes a small puff to help unravel it, then big breath.

    The large SMBs take a lot more air, and unless you get them full, they flop about on the surface not much more visible than a small one.

    The only time the large one is handy in Melbourne is out the heads on a day with a lot of swell. While I'm on my stop there's not that much difference to the boat between large and small, but on the surface i can fill it and keep it upright to be more visible to the boat.
  8. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    I don't want to sound like a salesman for Piranha, but if you call and talk to Randy he'll tell you what the quality is. I got mine for ~ $22 shipped during a black friday sale. I have only the cheap crap that PADI gives away to compare it to, but I was really impressed with the quality for the cost. I'll see if I can snap some up close pictures when I get home. I've seen other smb's, just never really picked one up with the intention of comparing it directly to mine, but I would go out on a limb and say it's the same.

    Mine just doesn't have a fancy name on the side, which I really don't care for anyway. When OMS, Hog, or even Halcyon decide to sponsor my diving habit I'll be glad to advertise for them... until then no thanks!
  9. Ben_3

    Ben_3 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    After looking around I went for the same model SMB you currently have. It checks all the boxes for me. The only thing some other models have that I would have maybe liked is the glowstick compartment some have at the tip of the SMB.
  10. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NYC
    i have the same one but the mesh pocket is a pain in the ass to get the reel out of. I went back to a regular smb and reel assembly. i practice deployment on pretty much every dive now.
    CapnBloodbeard likes this.

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