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The BEST Dive Flag Float by MAKO Spearguns

Discussion in 'Hot Deals' started by MAKO Spearguns, May 13, 2015.

  1. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
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    12" x 12" is too small and it is square. This is the minimum size for where I dive: NJ Scuba Diving Rules

    IMHO, rectangular looks better.

    Add to that, 3 to 5 foot seas and nobody will ever see it. My suggestion is to find the minimum flag size that will cover the CONUS and then get it as high as possible above the water (with a SOLAS reflector as the stripe). [/Opinion]

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  2. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
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    After yesterday:

    View My Video

    my search continues for visibility.... This was using a 12x12 on a "pencil" and a shadow boat too...

    Inner tubes just rip us along too hard in the River.

    Think I need to try one....
     
    lowviz likes this.
  3. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
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    How about a *serious* telescoping flagstaff and a piece of 2" nylon webbing that hangs below for whatever weight is required? (oversize the float)
     
    rhwestfall likes this.
  4. fdarden

    fdarden Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
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    I do not know about other places, but here in Florida when the current rips, trying to use much of a float at all other than a styrofoam ball flag becomes an instant DPV ride across whatever you are diving. If the wind is blowing hard, it is worse. I do not use the Mako in this case, I will use a traditional Styro-ball dive flag. I might end up pulling it under a few times (ok maybe a bunch of times) but as long as you keep that in mind, they work better than anything else I have found in current. I also have loaned my Mako float to other divers that had similar complaints about fighting it the whole time. When the current is not ripping, it is an awesome flag, and extremely visible. the float on its own is very visible. I think if you added a larger counterweight to bottom of the Mako you MIGHT be able to pull off a larger flag. I have home made flagstaffs for diving that are capable of flying a 14x16 without tipping over, but that is a lot of surface to keep in the wind, and I only use those now in specific instances. My homemade PVC/lobster float flags also have about 5 lbs of lead in the pvc pipe to keep them upright. What does the typical NJ diver carry as a dive flag now?
     
  5. MAKO Spearguns

    MAKO Spearguns ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    That is a scary video!

    I appreciate the interest in this topic.

    With regard to the flag itself:

    You may be able to affix a slightly longer rod and attach your own somewhat larger flag to the MAKO Float system. If the flag and pole is made too large, the stability of the float – the ability to stay upright in wind and waves may be affected.

    With respect to the comment about the MAKO float being difficult to tow in a strong current. The float is steamlined, but if you are diving in a very strong current and you stop drifting with the current, the float will present some drag. If you have a reel with extra line capacity, allowing additional line out (more scope) will lessen the angle of attack between the float and the current and this will reduce drag and make it easier to tow.

    I am not sure how towing a spherical Styrofoam ball will present less drag than a torpedo shaped float which is designed to be pulled through currents and surf. However, it was mentioned that the spherical float is pulled completely underwater by the strong currents. If that occurs, the dive flag/float is no longer serving the intended purpose.

    If the spherical floatball is considerably smaller than the MAKO hard float, then I guess it makes sense that it may present less drag, but the whole idea is to try to use a float that is (relatively) easy to pull and not be easily submerged.

    The typical, inexpensive, generic dive flag (pictured below) with small cylindrical (vertical) float IS easy to tow, but it will also be sucked underwater in even a moderate current and it provides zero flotation for support of a tired diver at the surface.

    If you are diving in very strong current and you absolutely must have a large flag on a long pole, might I suggest the following:

    Tow the MAKO float with a long line.. Preferably 2 or 3 times the depth of the water. Connect the typical dive flag/marker to the REAR of the MAKO float with a piece of cord so that it rides 10 or 12 feet behind. With this configuration, the MAKO float will stay on the surface and it will tow the dive flag with a horizontal line. With the tow line in a horizontal position (between the two floats) the rear dive flag will remain on the surface and will not be pulled underwater at all (unless of course, the much larger and streamlined MAKO float is pulled under).

    Here is a link I found to dive flag requirements for all the states..there is not a whole lot of uniformity, it seems.

    Dive Flag Law



    [​IMG]
     
  6. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    6,995
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    Something like this:
    Flash.jpg 28" flagstaff on a crabtrap float with a counterweight. Works.

    Dano, first and foremost I despise dive flags.

    Total nuisance. However, I saw a young diver get run over by a weekend boater with only a slash in his AL80. PM me for names, dates, and details if you wish to substantiate this. I'm now a total believer.

    There is no 'one size fits all' in dive flags. The one I use is useless at night without the strobes. Nobody would ever see it (wthout lights) even if they hit it square on.

    I once forgot to bring the flag and had to make something up or lose four hours of driving and my dives. I dive at night by choice. Got a cheap Flambeau 'waterproof' tackle box and put a dive light in it. Wow! See pic. (light was on in both pics)

    No Flash.jpg

    So my suggestion is to enlarge both the flagstaff and float as your second dive float offering. Add a loop at the bottom for a 2" wide piece of nylon webbing for the user-supplied weight. Use a SOLAS reflector for the stripe. Your float appears to be a standard blow-molded part. Include a blind hole that will accept either a cheap dive light or cheap strobe and a way to keep the light in place.
     
  7. fdarden

    fdarden Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
    421
    109
    43
    Ok when you visit Pompano I will let YOU tow the flag! Hahaha! I use a 400' reel with my flag, so scope is no stranger to me. The difference is that I dive with a scooter, and that really accentuates the tugging. Add wind and current to that, and you are miserable.The conditions I am discussing will easily take up all the scope, and start dragging you. This is one of the reasons I created the bridle I discussed in previous posts, to make sure that the float stays nose into the current, and up out of the water. The bridle helps tremendously, as does scope, however mother nature wins this battle every time. I agree that having the flag disappear for a few seconds and re-appear is less than optimal, but the difference in pull from a float that does not is significant. I keep searching for the end all be all dive flag, however I think Lowviz is on point in saying that there is no one "perfect" flag. The Mako float is a great design, and for most people it very well may be the ultimate flag. There are many advantages to the design as well. I think it is a great flag, and it sounds like there is interest in improving it as well, from both the manufacturer and the customer, and that is a great situation. I use mine more than I don't however I have learned the hard way not to exceed about 1.5kt of current.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  8. MAKO Spearguns

    MAKO Spearguns ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I am taking notes. For night dives I have seen people throw a cyalume stick inside a sealed, gallon milk jug and tow that behind the float/flag. A flag and float for night diving is a somewhat different challenge.
     
  9. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
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    Video about scared the crap out of me.
    I like the float. The flag is too low. Period. Where I dive, there are lots of jetskiers. It needs to be high and carry a big flag. Perhaps a dowel can be duct taped to the stick so a bigger flag can be attached higher. I really like the idea of a SOLAS light or some sort of strobe on a flag.

    No solution is perfect for all situations; I think we need to adapt to our different needs.
     
  10. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
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    A question as well: If the float tips over, will it right itself up?
     

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