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Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by nickb, Sep 15, 2020.
KT reel it is then!
Nope. You are doing it wrong as two hands is plenty for the CD reel. Been using one for years.
Yes, the mechanism is a bit clunky but once you work out a routine it's fine and a joyful ascent to the first stop awaits....
My ascent from depth goes a bit like this....
- unclip reel from back d-ring and remove SMB from bungee
- check crack bottle is fully tightened (I've had the leaked gas fail before)
- open valve so a little gas goes to the top of SMB (oh good it s full!)
- unlock CD reel so it runs free and use a convenient finger to discourage unravelling (letting it run free now can be untidy)
At this point we are ready to ascend so look up, look around, check buddy (if applicable), check pp02, check first stop depth, confirm all is good for launch, and then ....
- fully open crack bottle and release
- once the SMB is away let the reel run free for a couple of seconds
- grip reel to stop line release and feel the pull and the ascent begins
- monitor ascent rate/depth on computer
- periodically release reel to slow ascent and grip again to continue
- repeat until the line stops going out.
At this point SMB is at the surface so switch the reel to ratchet, check the pp02, add o2 if required (I rarely bother as it will catch up).
There's usually a lot of bubbles catching and I check next stop depth and start winding.
From 60m this will be at about 35m and the next stop between 27m and 21m depending on bottom time.
From here on the ratchet works well enough.
Yeah get that Dave but that finger on the reel for me wasn’t great and line escapes. The KT doesn’t need that extra finger. Horses for courses.
yep, each to their own. what works for you works for you.
My first CD reel was a seabed find so I made it work. When the ratchet wore out I saw one going cheap and adopted it.
Early KT reels were the heavy lumps and I didn't want the excess weight but if I were buying now the composite reel would be an option.
@nickb seems to manage with some cheap plastic thing and a co2 bottle, although these days he rarely ventures outside the safe harbour that is Scapa Flow.
I still have the cheap plastic Beaver Osprey clone I bought on eBay for £13 over 15 years ago.
Beaver have sent out at least two new reels for it (for free) as they are made from a brittle plastic that can break if it gets caught between the slats on a bench or someone drops something on it. They've also sent me a few new trigger assemblies as the spring can stretch. So, it's a bit like Trigger's Broom now. If they were made from something less prone to breaking, they would be a serious contender to the KT reel.
I still use it if I need to lay a line as it can take quite a lot of thickish string and it's not something I'd cry over if I lost or had to abandon it. It seems to work better for me than the ridiculously expensive Halcyon Pathfinder I've had for the same length of time (it was about £90 back then, probably double that now).
Dived yesterday (Sun, 20th) and used a reel for the first time in years. The reel was one from my PADI days and similar to the one above.
Here it comes, the mea culpa...
You are right. Spools are shit. Reels are much better for the ascent. Reels aren't perfect though and can tangle. I found that itty bitty one a bit fiddly.
On an OC ascent, there's little to do but ascend. You just dump occasionally from the wing and drysuit as you ascend. When you get to your stop you just stop. There's loads of time to knit the string around a spool's double ender.
On CCR it's just not that simple. Whilst you're ascending you're having to wind the spool up, dump your wing, monitor your PPO2, ensure the drysuit's venting, vent the lung, inject more O2, etc. Just need a set of juggling balls for that added pressure.
I'm placing an order for a KT 100m 'slim' composite reel with the 25mm handle.
Oh, and the vis was well naff, so no pictures of a wreck and a CCR diver to see. Only managed 2 hours.
I could feel the reel + SMB, mounted on my RHS, was pushed towards my backside with my sidemounted deco bailout stage. So I think it's in a protected place as it were.
I thought you'd get there in the end. Crack bottle or CO2 SMB?
Don't rush to try the Mary Poppins ascent. Whilst efficient, and exhilarating, it has plenty of scope for going wrong, as someone demonstrated 2 years ago with a helicopter ride to the last deco stop.
We’ll see about the blobs! Want to master the reel(s) first.
Now at over 40+ hours on CCR and 40+ ascents. Am very happy with the descent and bottom phase plus monitoring and drills. Ascents will still take some time to get used to; definitely very wary of being in control to the extent of occasionally over-compensating. Getting better though, stops are much flatter.
Pity the vis is so naff now. Doesn’t make for great diving.
You shouldn't have that much gas in your wing. I barely put any in mine and it's the first thing I dump on the way up. It's virtually empty when I start ascending.
I use a NERD, so monitoring my PO2 is a breeze but prior to using one, I would roll my Shearwater Predator (early JJ at that time) to the inside of my wrist so I could read it whilst winding my reel in.
The drysuit should just vent if it fits correctly, although I suspect that multiple layers will hamper things a bit. With a merino base layer under a Santi heated BZ400, I don't have to do any more than lift my left shoulder.
Venting the loop is probably the easiest of all these 'complexities', just loosen your lips and let the gas escape around the mouthpiece. I use a Drager gag-strap which makes this a doddle and saves you getting an aching jaw (it's the best modification I made to my unit and I'd hate to dive without it now). Venting through the nose is also an option but nowhere near as efficient and can be uncomfortable after a while.
Inject more O2? That's what my solenoid does
Agree with all of that. Point being that with all of that going on, a spool is just more work for such little benefit.
It’s still early days and still a little bit ‘conscious competence’ than ‘unconscious competence’. Am also sure that weighting needs tweaking (not so easy when jumping off a day boat and need to work out the allowances for bolt-ons, two stages, etc.)
KT reel arrived today. Let’s hope it’s much lighter in the water! Makes the plastic reel look silly in comparison. Amazing quality ratchet mechanism.
Will use my big halcyon SMB for now, will consider a crack bottle one in a few ascents time..
Once you get used to it you'll find having a ratchet is such a huge improvement. Just remember optimal weight on CCR does not include stages and reels.
Which gas are you using to fill the big holycon bag?
For filling lift bags I have a spare LP hose on my shallow bailout and another the deco bottle I use for deeper stuff. Each has a Beaver Air Inflation Nozzle dangling off the end. It is a useful for sending a lift bag to the surface backup and for the unfilled/leaked crack bottle.
I have 50cm ‘inflator' hoses on both bailout stages (been using two stages on all dives to normalise their usage). I was using the bailout to fill the SMB but recently have returned to using my suit inflate which I always used for all my open circuit diving. Main reasoning for this is I’ve a two litre suit inflate cylinder which will need refilling with cheap air, and the bailouts contain expensive gases.
Am now pondering changing the suit inflate cylinder for a smaller and lighter one as my overall gas consumption falls with experience. Will also probably get a pair of 2 litre O2 and diluent cylinders for overhead freshwater diving, just to lighten the whole rig when carrying it over Dinas Mountain, etc.
Was astonished when I weighed the ready-to-dive unit the other day — 44.4kg! That included all three full cylinders, sea weights, large heater & torch battery. It’s still lighter than a twinset, but not as much as I’d hoped. (Hence the carbon cylinder thoughts discussed elsewhere)
There’s a thought: what do your units weigh in ready-to-dive-in-the-sea configuration?
Why change? I use the 1.5l ali suit bottles and thye are good for at least 4 dives. For me, only the deep bailout is expensive gas, as the others get topped up in the garage for minimal cost (bosted oxygen and air tops).
I'm no supported as the suit inflate approach is a fail as whenever I see people doing that they struggle to reconnect, as my buddy demonstrated on the Portland Ghost Fishing weekend (the only time I've dived a twinset since 2010). I consider filling the suit at the surface to be a useful buoyancy option.
I not sure of the benefit of making it lighter as you'll just need to add lead to compensate for the weight reduction.
My unit has been in pieces since 9th (I've had 5 cancelled since then). It looks like I might get out again on Tuesday (Salsette) so I'll gather the pieces and weigh it.
Understand the suit inflation scepticism. I've used that technique to fill SMBs for the past 5 years and don't have a problem reconnecting the suit inflate afterwards; in any case it's heading upwards, so dumping suit gas is more important until the first stop's reached.
Not sure there's much "wet" weight compensation regarding "air" weight reduction as it's reducing the size of steel cylinders which are negative in water (2 x 3 litre --> 2 litre and a 2 litre to 1 litre). Am finding that I'm reducing the amount of lead on the unit as I'm better controlling the unit now; am definitely overweighted in the sea and am looking to reduce lead by 1 or 2 kg (slowly!). Would be nice to get the whole rig below 40kg, less would be a Billy bonus.
Must weigh the unit sans cylinders, lead and scrubber. Have a fantasy about one day flying to some far-off warm location to dive it.
The JJ in an old Peli 1610 (4kg) weighs in at 23kg when the backplate is replaced with my heavily doctored aluminium version...
Just make sure you leave a bit of gas in the bag. It's still be smaller than an AP crack bottle when rolled-up and will offset quite a bit of the weight.
It's absolutely bulletproof. I love being able to stop it as the bag races towards the surface for a little 'Mary Poppins' assistance. Try that with a plastic reel and it would smash to bits.
So I filled it with lime, added o2, dil, and suit bottles, fitted the Light Monkey heating/torch 20Ah pack, and have 3W backup torch attached. That weighed in at 42.6kg and for a sea dive I'd be adding 2kg at the top of the scrubber giving a dive weight of 44.6kg for a setup that is good for 5-6 hours underwater, possibly longer. Why would anyone use a twinset?
Wow, almost identical weights for almost identical configs.
Yeah, why use a twinset when you've the peace and benefits of a rebreather
Shame about the 13.3kg deep bailout and the 12.2kg deco bottle that will be added before I fall off the boat.