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I'm thinking of replacing my Buddy pocket reel with a spool, on the grounds that they're about the only line-carrying system that is as compact as the Buddy, and I won't have to keep lubricating the spindles on a spool..

But I've never used a spool, and I don't think anyone in my club has even HEARD of one. So, those of you who HAVE used them, what are your opinions?

(Bear in mind, it would be strictly a backup, so wouldn't be used throughout a dive. I still like my large McMahon for that
)
 

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I use a spool for bagging off for all dives shallower than about 30-35m.

No fuss, no tangles and those that say they can't wind 'em back in fast enough then I don't know why.

I have even used a spool for deeper dives that call for a blue-water accent. Basically ascend without a line to about 30m and get ready then bag off at about 25m. This assumes no stop deeper than 21m and no decco dives really.

Give it a go.
 

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Charter Boat Skipper, Salvage Diver & YBOD abuser
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Hi Dominic,
  I use the spool all the time, it's basically foolproof.
Plumber's solder spools of the soft-plastic type with a stainless bolt through middle for weight make quite good and very cheap ones. I prefer 10- 12m of line for the job- it's easy to make a blue-water ascent to 9m or drop off the shot in tide at that depth, unhitch the elastic band drop spool and inflate smb letting line slide up through hand. If you have a lot of line on spool you need a lot of water bellow to avoid snagging spool on wreckage etc and associated problems.
 I've made a tiny spool, holds 12m thinnish line, out of the thread of an old bath-tap with two plastic bath-tap nuts
it's really small and rolls into my SMB. Another advantage of a shorter line is that you don't need to bother winding it in as you ascend.
    All the best,
              Terry
 

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The Diverite reels are very popular here and in the US. You might find more line than what you need. I still managed to bust the spool in cold weather, some years ago. Then I machined my own Teflon spools - they are indestructible (works for me).

Diverite also carries small spools and I know that they are used to find lost main lines in caves. I know some one that keeps loosing these spools down in Florida. They are small and they come with a double-ended clip. Who knows may be they would work for you?
?

I fancy Terry's idea too. It's cheap and idiot proof.

Good luck

Lawrence
 

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I carry a couple fo spools with me for backup. One loose and one attached to a yellow SMB.

You will probaley find that without regular practise you ascent times on a spool would be longer than ona reel because you have to get the knack of using a double ender as a winding handle and holding the spool with the other hand right.

By using the double ender then you can easily lock the spool of at any depth you want.

Only real downside is the amount of line that you can get on the bigest spools that I know of is about 45M which if you are in a current means it is a bit limiting on depth which it can be used from.
 

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Charter Boat Skipper, Salvage Diver & YBOD abuser
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Hi Darren,
Can you explain to me the advantages of using a spool from 45m+ ?
Obviously, from posts on this thread, there are different types of spool for different applications and maybe I was talking about the wrong type when I replied to Dominic's post.
My understanding of spool-use is that the idea is to negate some of the possible problems/disasters inherent in the design of most reels- snagging on deployment being the main one with falling apart running a close second. Therefore, the simpler the better.
By using a spool as you described you are surely re-introducing unnecessary potential problems into the mix.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong- I'm always willing to learn from other diver's ideas/inventions.
All the best,
                Terry
 

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I can see spools being OK for Blue-water work, or as a back-up, but I tried one the other day from 21 metres in the Cape and it was a pain in the Ronson: gloves, no handle, no ratchet, no brake.... yada-yada-yada.

That, and if I've got about 20 to 30 metres of SMB line to reel in, then I'd rather do it on something with a larger diameter than a beer-bottle top with no handle and has some of the labour-saving principles that Newton's 'Principa Mathmatica' introduced nearly four centuries ago along with the lever and the fulcrum....... greater surface over which to wind the same amount of line?? ;)

What I then bought and have tried out is a Big sod-off Manta with 100 metres of line on it, Uber-ratchet, winding handle, hand-brake and nay sweat. Piece of piss to use with a bottle-fired Buddy SMB. Could not be simpler, rolls-up neatly and fits perfectly into your dry-bag pocket - fire and forget.
 

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I'm gonna agree and disagree with Bren.

Mantas are great reels and the idea of the bottled blob is a good 'un and from depth "more than 30m" it's probably the way to go.

Me - I like firing the spool - it's tangle free and pretty worry free too. Plus when it comes to winding in you just use the double dogger that you used to clip the spool to your harness to act as a winding lever.

I also find it actually gets you to slow down on your ascent. I can wind in with little effort using the double-ender at about 8-10m  a minute. I don't wanna be going up faster than that anyway.
 

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Hello,
This is my idea, if you miss the shot line and diving deep, I wouldn't like to do a blue ascent, but use a DSMB and reel and so have a reference going up. Also the boat would  know from the start before it is too late or far away. Also I think if you have a problem and you are deep you have more seconds to sort it out, or even can attach reel to wreck or bottom.
 

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Can someone give me a basic description of how this winding in using a double ended bolt snap works ?

Daz
 

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Daz,

Hold spool in left hand on the left side of spool.

Clip one end of your double dogger on the line and wind round spool - easy as that. When you get to your first stop clip the double dogger thru one of the holes on the side of the spool if you want.

There's nothing technical about it.
 

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Cheers Gav,

Explained in such a way that even I understand it.  

Thanks again,  time to start playing with spools.

Daz
 
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