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Another Reels vs Spools thread

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by nickb, Sep 15, 2020 at 4:05 PM.

  1. nickb

    nickb Well-Known Member

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    Marginally better than the woeful Buddy Pocket Reel but not much use for anything that a spool can't already do.

    You keep-on looking for solutions to problems that don't exist. I know that you have a pathological aversion to the Kent Tooling reels but the composite back version with a CO2 bag (with a small amount of gas left in it) is barely noticeable clipped-off to a D-ring on my torch's battery canister.
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    You're right about the KT reels. Too big and very heavy, even the composite one. Hate the idea of it dangling around the side of my kit, and when wearing a rebreather, I can't reach my backside to clip it off. If ever in the future I do MOD3 dives that warrant a 100m+ line, I might consider a big ratchet reel. But want something lighter that doesn't mess with your buoyancy.

    I'm trying that small Custom Diver reel as a replacement for spools. It apparently has a simple release mechanism that defaults to the lock position.

    Whilst spools are very simple and launch SMB's exceedingly easily, they're a lot more hassle to wind up and hold if you need to just grab something. And they're way too easy to drop and will unravel just out of your reach. Not like that happened the other day at 36m after ascending 3 metres. Oh no no no. Thankfully could just swim down and pick up the bastard and re-start the ascent. When it happens at 9 or 6 metres, it takes a bloody age to wind the string on your left hand (then realise you've now lost a hand), then spend another 20 mins winding the line on to the spool off of your hand. At least it gives you something interesting to do during a deco hang.
     
  3. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    I bought another dsmb recently , the direct feed inflate type. makes a handy alternative to my crack bottle one. I played at Stoney with it. I only remembered as we were preparing to exit, I removed from my pocket , attached to the spool , that’s where I started to amuse my son. I glanced at his face as I wondering what his expression meant. Then I noticed the spool rolling off down the ledge, it had unclipped coming out my pocket. It only got worse from there :whistling: I’ll keep playing.
     
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  4. Owen

    Owen New Member

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    Off topic but neat trick - when that happens again - pull up the dangling line just enough to have a bight of line, then clip a double ender into the bight. Continue pulling up the spool end allowing the weighted bight to descend. When you get to the spool, start winding it up, retrieving the double ender when it arrives back at you.

    So glad my friend didn’t know that when I got to watch him entangle himself in a birds nest of line....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Why exclude a big reel made of plastic? Unlike a lump of steel it is mostly neutral. If you'd bought an Inspo you'd have those helpful d-rings on the wing (I had similar on my CD twinset bands back in the olden days). They are great places to lose a big reel without looking unfashionable (as if that mattered). My CD 125m reel and AP crack bottle SMB is forgotten until I go looking for it. It is the simplest, and cheapest to run, SMB solution I've ever used and, having tried (inferior) alternatives, I see not reason to change.
    Spools are silly and the wrong solution for most diving situations. The CD 50m is a good backup. Remove a bit of line (50m is a bit much for the reel size) and it is great. Mine lives in my drysuit pocket with an Aqua Elevation SMB attached (Co2 and LP inflate). The Kent Tooling SMB is similar but their postage charge felt rude when I wanted to buy.
    Spools seem like a silly fashion accessory (I've said that many times). Whilst solving a problem in caves, and inside wrecks, they are the wrong solution for ascents.

    Also, if you are doing a 'deco hang' then you are doing it wrong. The cool guys doing deco just float and watch their reel (not stupid spool) bob about in front of them whilst they listen to cool music from their deco tunes.

    On that note I'm currently locked into Portishead Glastonbury set since my Windows XP computer died and can't yet t convince my iRiver to play something else!
     
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    People using reels need to look away now. Those advocating using spools for SMBs will need to do something like this, which I've evolved after using pocket spools on an SMB since I did Fundies nearly 6 years ago.

    Spools are sods to handle, especially the Apeks ones (which I really like!). Need to wrap the double ender to keep it in place when pulling it out of the pocket. This won't unravel, but is really easy to unclip (yes it is!).
    8g - done.jpg

    The knitting for this is done like the following:
    8a - tie up 1.jpg 8b - bight through .jpg 8c - bight and clip.jpg 8d - pull bight.jpg 8e - twirl.jpg 8f - clip .jpg




    When tying off the spool on a stop you must do a bunch of loops around the double ender to stop it undoing when it's bouncing. Learned that when the spool did a big bounce and the double-ender unclipped from the spool dropping just out of reach and on it's way down to Neptune's locker. The Apeks spool string is flat in profile, so a lot can fit on a spool, but the string escapes through the bolt snap really easily. The trick is to twist the double-ender a couple or three times which keeps it in place -- and then wrap the line around the shank of the double ender -- and then pass it through the top bolt snap -- and then twice around inside the gate... Knitting for deco divers. Need some photos...

    The problem with spools, and more specifically the Apeks spools, is that they can easily unclip when the spool bounces.
    2 - clipped on .jpg

    The Apeks spool seems perfectly designed for the bolt snap to catch on the hub and with a slight bit of pressure, from a jolt, will unhook the clip.
    3 - clipped on but not.jpg

    Clipping on like this is the most secure way
    7 - twist, clip, twirl, twirl again.jpg



    Always the worst clip-off is the one when you've reached the surface. The last thing you want is the spool to unravel when you pass the blob up to the boat, but it's hard to properly tie it off whilst wearing boxing gloves. So I generally clip both the double ender and the SMB's bolt snap.


    N.B. "deco hang" means hanging around at deco, not hanging on to the SMB.
     
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  7. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Yeah, ‘cos that’s way better than a reel...
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The one advantage a spool has over reels is size and weight. For that there's a ton of 'challenges' and complexities that need to be overcome.
     
  9. nickb

    nickb Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, just look at this 100m KT dangling off me and fucking with my buoyancy...

    [​IMG]

    If it annoyed me, I'd clip it to my butt D-ring, which I can reach, even with my 'boxing gloves'.
     
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  10. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Why look away. It is just so funny!
    As you have shown the spool is a suboptimal solution for SMB delopment, with numerous failure opportunities, but can be made to work just because of the one advantage...
    Apart from the requirement of many (most? ) skippers for a bag per diver when you leave the wreck (they want to recover the shot before the tide drags the buoy under) I would miss the option of attaching my bag of scallops, or crustaceans, to the reel.
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    So you can reach your rear crotch D-ring when wearing a JJ rebreather. My Revo, I think, is a little wider and prevents you reaching behind to get your hand down to your backside.

    Lovely photo. Superb visibility. Love the 'headlights' of the other divers. If only that were the norm for UK diving!

    (The boxing gloves comment was that it's nigh-on impossible to thread a bight of line into a spool when wearing drygloves.)
     
  12. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    My KT reel clips quite easily to the bottom of my Gbox’ed inspo , sitting on my backside. It’s convenient but I’ve noticed damage to the stitching on my last suit which could be from the reel rubbing. So on my new suit I’m thinking I’ll go back to , as Dave points out , putting on the wing side D. It’s good though that I can clip it off in various places to suit the dive. The spool can continue to live in my pocket as a back up , which works ok , I got mine from China , an Apeks copy for about a tenner , stuck some line on it (40m) so its kinda “disposable”
    I am considering for deeper dives with decent deco taking my custom divers reel and the direct feed dsmb as a decent back up System. Then I’ve got ample line to line off if I need to and a full dsmb back up.
     
  13. nickb

    nickb Well-Known Member

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    I seem to remember you not being able to reach behind you to dump your wing when wearing all that sidemount nonsense. Are you sure it's not a lack of flexibility (either you or the drysuit with all those layers underneath)?
     
  14. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The sidemount dump was accessible, but not like some of the scrawny gibbons who have no problems.

    The Revo is a bit flatter but wider than a JJ. There's a titanium box frame containing the lungs and the battery and suit inflate are mounted on its edges. All of this gets in the way when reaching behind to the rear D-ring. I think the JJ has it's tins mounted slightly further out allowing you to reach your rear D-ring.

    Need to have a play in the garage and see if I can scratch my bum with a Revo on my back when not in a drysuit.

    If I went for a big (lightweight) reel, I'd much rather mount/clip it at the bottom of the unit, resting on my backside when flat in the water. Then it's streamlined and not dangling.


    Do love that photo.
     
  15. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    The custom divers reels are much lighter than KT ones , I have both , but I much prefer the mechanism of the KT.
     
  16. nickb

    nickb Well-Known Member

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    Here you go @Wibble , this is what you need. Filled with one breath and attached to a 6m jump spool. Weighs in at 205g with double-ender:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    CD mechanism on the bigger reels is a a bit clunky and takes a bit of getting used to and I can see the appeal of KT ratchet. The CD 50m fits in a pocket and has a simpler mechanism and makes a useful backup reel for those who don't dig spools.
     
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  18. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Weight comparison:

    Apeks 60m spool and double-ender only: 265 grams
    Spool weight.jpg


    Mahoosive 6 foot and wide Halcyon SMB on a 60m Apeks spool: 765 grams
    Spool and SMB weight.jpg


    To be fair, this needs to be weighed when submerged in a bucket of water.

    Would be very interesting to compare this with other SMB / Reel combinations.
     
  19. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    In work today and really gutted I haven’t got my kit in the van , really want to weigh something.
     
  20. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    I chuckled, but part of me is quite envious that I don't have the time in my life to put so much thought into a spool.

    Wibs, you're not thinking as a CCR diver. Yes, it's nice to have things compact and small so that they can go into a pocket, but it's no longer the priority.

    I have a composite KT reel attached to a halcyon "slim" bag. I wouldn't have bought the H bag these days, but I did fundies and got carried away. They're both a joy to use if such a thing can be said about a dsmb. Costs valuable bailout gas. Clips nicely to the inspo wing d-ring and plays nice with the gbox. I know, in your head you've now chosen to ignore everything I'm saying because I dive an inspo and utilise that special wing d-ring.... It works and there's no reel I would trust more to deploy from depth on the odd occasion I need to.

    I've also got a Kent Tooling CO2 bag (I would opt for two of these instead of the H if it bothered me enough) attached to a McMahon Compact reel. 50m of line and, in my experience the greatest reel ever made. They both go in a pocket. Attached to each other and ready to go. I use this 95% of the time I deploy a bag. The McMahon is plastic and yellow so you could never have one, but it's shockingly simple and well designed yellow plastic
     
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