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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear all, after jettisoning my reel + smbi the other day due to not quite locking the release down I figured that I need a backup of sorts if for some reason my buddy is unavailable or has no SMB.
So my question is what do you recommend as a backup in terms or a reel or safety spool (I already have a backup smb).

My thoughts are a backup reel could be smaller than my primary but would have to be clipped on somewhere adding more bulk.
A safety spool could be stowed in my pocket with the backup smbi and could also be used for other things (like wreck penetration etc) however I'm not sure about deploying an SMBi on a safety spool with my finger as the axle!

What do you all do?

Thanks,
Gareth.
 

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GUE Instructor
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I used to deploy an SMBci on a spool, but you're right to question it, it wasn't my brightest moment.

you are going to get 100 opinions on here, so why not try everything you can and then make the decision. There are plenty of people who will happily lend you bits of kit to try out, or show you the different options

G
 

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Dear all, after jettisoning my reel + smbi the other day due to not quite locking the release down I figured that I need a backup of sorts if for some reason my buddy is unavailable or has no SMB.
So my question is what do you recommend as a backup in terms or a reel or safety spool (I already have a backup smb).

My thoughts are a backup reel could be smaller than my primary but would have to be clipped on somewhere adding more bulk.
A safety spool could be stowed in my pocket with the backup smbi and could also be used for other things (like wreck pentration etc) however I'm not sure about deploying an SMBi on a safety spool with my finger as the axle!

What do you all do?

Thanks,
Gareth.
As Garf says - you will get loads of different takes on this. Try and see what works for you.

One thing I would advocate though is try to keep your backup the same or very similar to your primary - as when you need the backup - its because your primary failed in some way. Don't task load yourself with something you are not familiar with. If you know how it works (because its the same as your primary) - then using the backup is easy. SMB's, Spools (or reels if you like), Masks etc. Make life easy.

Again - as Garf said - a dsmbi and a spool might not be the ideal combination.
 

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I have a Beaver Osprey reel with a Buddy DSMBi and one of these little beauties attached to a 45m spool in my pocket as a backup.

More often than not, I'll use the little SMB and spool and in all likelihood will ditch the reel and inflatable bag once I'm 100% happy with the spool in all circumstances, although I'd prefer a bigger main SMB like the 4.5' closed-circuit Halcyon and keep the little one as a backup.

The inflatable SMB is great but it's feckin' huge and to be honest, it's a bit of a crutch. Great for the CCR guys though.
 

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All hail the mighty ZOM
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My tenpennorth:

Narked at 60 reel and SMBCi blob as my primary,
Spool and ADP blob as a backup.
OMS cavern reel for line laying with a red ADP blob as another option.

Anyway. After a week diving in Scapa I have A New Plan for When It All Goes Tits Up.

Primary: NAS reel and SMBCi. No problem with that setup. Compact and easy to use.
Backup: spool with red blob with CO2 cartridge
Oh shit blob: yellow with CO2 cartridge

So- why all this CO2 malarkey? Well if the kak hits the fan, I don't want to be arsing about with manually inflating blobs. If I am sending up a yellow blob, I want to clip it to something and pull a string and off the bugger goes. Same with the red blob. Clip-bang. No hassle. Even an idiot could fire it. And a spool is laughably simple to use. Dead easy to fire, a bit tricky to wind in. But so what? If you cant wind line onto a spool using just your fingers then you need taking outside and beating with a yellow flag.

So why not manually inflate stuff? Well it's simple. If I've got 20 bar left after being lost in a wreck, I'm shitting radiator water, have an hour's unplanned deco to do and have no buddy, I want something I can fire and forget, not yet another task to add onto the ever growing list.

Anyone want to buy a yellow ADP blob with "Woz" written on it in small letters (small so the boat has to come and see who it is). You can colour over it with your own name in big letters.
 

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Lucky Man
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One thing I would advocate though is try to keep your backup the same or very similar to your primary - as when you need the backup - its because your primary failed in some way. Don't task load yourself with something you are not familiar with. If you know how it works (because its the same as your primary) - then using the backup is easy. SMB's, Spools (or reels if you like), Masks etc. Make life easy.
There is certainly merit in this argument, but what if you believe the safeset blob firing option is a big F off reel like the KT (as I do)? I can't take two of them, too big + heavy. So either I use a small reel or spool for both primary and backup, reaping the benefits of being very familiar with backup kit, or I have a large primary and smaller backup, reaping the benefit of using an ideal piece if kit most the time, but less familiarity with my backup.

Personally I think as long as I practice my backup spool + manual inflate blob fairly regularly, I'm safe enough to use my (far better IMO) setup of KT reel and DSMBi as my primary.

YMMV etc


PS How long do the CO2 cartridges last unused on CO2 fired blobs? I have a small yellow emergency one, have never fired, CO2 cartridge is about 4 yrs old with about 300 dives to it's name I reckon...

Dave.
 

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PS How long do the CO2 cartridges last unused on CO2 fired blobs? I have a small yellow emergency one, have never fired, CO2 cartridge is about 4 yrs old with about 300 dives to it's name I reckon...
I did a course about 3 years ago and the instructor was demonstrating a few different methods for deploying SMBs. When he went to send up his yellow CO2 bag, the cartridge turned out to have corroded through at the end.

They only have a thin film of metal holding the gas in so as to make piercing it easier. The downside of this is that it corrodes through quite easily. Coating it with a dollop of grease might help but will only prolong the inevitable.

The cartridges do only cost peanuts though, so it's probably worth replacing them periodically. After all, this is life-support stuff we're talking about here ;)
 
G

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Mine
Main - Custom Diver 125m reel with Buddy crack-bottle SMB
Back-up - Custom Diver 70m reel with AquaTec CO2 SMB
Emer - Yellow AquaTec CO2 SMB
Spare - Custom Diver 125m reel with Buddy crack-bottle SMB
Bottom reels - 50m & 125m Kent Tooling ratchet reels

I'd recommend a simliar set-up on your back-up as on your main

That said, you should know how to use all the reels and practice regularly

HTH
 

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Silent Knight
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All 3 blobs I use are CO2. 2 red, 1 yellow from that lovely man at Kent Tooling. I can't be faffed with all the dicking about underwater manually inflating blobs. (I fine with the manual inflating skills, just cannot be arsed !)

I just put KT ratchet reel into free-reel mode pull the toggle and watch the bugger fly. I change the cartridge everytime I re-roll the reel and check all cartridges before the days diving. I personally didn't like the bulky smbci blob from a stowing point of view either. Cartridges are only @ 50p each on t'internet and you can always manually inflate the KT CO2 blobs as a back-up and they don't take much to air to fill.

G :)


.
 

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There is certainly merit in this argument, but what if you believe the safeset blob firing option is a big F off reel like the KT (as I do)? I can't take two of them, too big + heavy. So either I use a small reel or spool for both primary and backup, reaping the benefits of being very familiar with backup kit, or I have a large primary and smaller backup, reaping the benefit of using an ideal piece if kit most the time, but less familiarity with my backup.

Personally I think as long as I practice my backup spool + manual inflate blob fairly regularly, I'm safe enough to use my (far better IMO) setup of KT reel and DSMBi as my primary.
Sure. If you are competant in using a spool as your backup and are happy that you can use either solution - then great. I'm not telling anyone what is right and what is wrong..
I guess my comment is more useful to people who rely on their primary solution all of the time - (and I do not restrict that to spool -v- reel or CC blob -v- dsmbi etc but include masks and other diving tools where you carry a backup) - and have a backup solution that is different - but they never practice with them.
My personal feeling here is that if you have 2 different reels or 2 different dsmbs then you need to be equally proficient with both solutions (irrespective of how frequently you use them) - otherwise if you do get a 'brown stuff in the whirly thing day' then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.
For me its a no brainer - primary kit is the same as backup kit - all I have to do is remember where I keep it. :)



YMMV etc

Dave.
Exactly Dave..
 

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Mine
Main - Custom Diver 125m reel with Buddy crack-bottle SMB
Back-up - Custom Diver 70m reel with AquaTec CO2 SMB
Emer - Yellow AquaTec CO2 SMB
Spare - Custom Diver 125m reel with Buddy crack-bottle SMB
Bottom reels - 50m & 125m Kent Tooling ratchet reels

I'd recommend a simliar set-up on your back-up as on your main

That said, you should know how to use all the reels and practice regularly

HTH
do you wear a christmas fairy on your head too? ;)

:D
 
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