ALL ABOUT REELS

All about spearguns and gear. Feel free to pimp your own manufacturing but be sure to wear flame retardant material if you are pushing b.s.

ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 23rd, 2016, 6:58 pm

I've been meaning to get this started for a while now. I'm a dedicated reel guy for many reasons but mostly just because I hate using a floatline for a multitude of reasons. We can get into pros and cons if you like but mostly I want to open a thread to discuss various reels, techniques and most of all safety. Lots of people know I'm a reel guy so I get calls over the course of the year from guys asking about all sorts of stuff regarding manufacturers, line, line guides, styles etc.. etc.. I'm hoping to open up some discussion to help the newer guys and also learn myself. If you've got a question post it up and we'll do our best to answer or argue the point :)

For now I'd like to point out the pros and cons that I experience from using a reel.
Pros. Freedom is key. I love being self contained on a boat, on a shoredive and on paddies. I love jumping into big gnarly surf entries and not having to worry about my floatline getting tangled in the rocks behind me. I love having my gun always connected to the fish. Whether in the kelp or in the blue, I can shoot my fish and toss my gun not having to worry about my gun getting lost in the kelp or current. It's always connected. I love not having anything in my legs while I'm diving or constantly having to be conscious of anything other than pointing and shooting. Another pro is it's one less thing I have to remember to bring on a trip as it's always on my gun and doesn't take up any more bag space. I love trimming down and not showing up with a ton of gear when diving other people's boats. Reels help me minimalize.

Cons. The only cons I experience is there is a chance of jamming or tangling if you don't play the game right and in certain situations you have a limited line capacity. That's about all I can think of at the moment and the inherent hazards with a reel IMO are far outweighed by the freedom and pros I get by using one.

This is not a thread to convince you to use a reel. This is a thread dedicated to reels and a discussion surrounding them. If you are not comforatable with a reel YOU SHOULD NOT USE ONE. I'll update this as time goes by but for now let start with a story.

Let me tell you a quick fish story about how I became a reel guy. I was in Baja and the yellows were big. 30-35lbs big and the current was SCREAMING. I was using a 62" 4 banded Mori gun and a floatline with a breakaway set up. I shot numerous fish with that gun that day and at one point I blasted a 35lbish yellow and threw the gun on my arm as the floatline broke free of the gun. The fish raced back up on the reef I was drifting over and became straight up and down in only about 20' of water. As the fish was spinning me in circles and I was trying to avoid getting tangled in my floatline (same thing happens with reels but it's probably more dangerous) I noticed my gun was not on my shoulder. I looked down current and there was my gun floating away. I tried to swim down to get it even as the determined yellow was racing upcurrent trying to bury itself in the reef. The boat was nowhere in sight and I almost didn't make it but eventually I regained my gun.

After resting for a bit, I switched to my smaller 55" Mori gun that was outfitted with a reel. And then the fish got bigger. I started shooting yellows over 40 and my biggest were a few 44lbrs that day. What a dream that reel was. I'd dive down, blast the fish and let it take a tearing run out to open water as I drifted up. At that point, I'd toss my gun and fight the fish off the line that was already spooled out between me and the fish. It was wonderful not having to worry about my gun and not have it on my shoulder throughout the battle. If the fish went on another huge run as sometimes they did, they would eat up the reel line in the water and my gun would come right back up to me and I'd use the same technique that day as I do today. I would catch the nose of the gun in my fist (like making an OK sign) and hold tight as more reel line would peel of the reel back behind me. When the fish would back off I'd pull it in and let the line spool up beside me as I slowly swam upcurrent (keeping all the reel line on the surface away from me.) When I finally had my fish in hand and under control, I'd either put it on my stringer and respool or throw it in the boat and respool there which is always preferable.

After shooting numerous yellows over 40 that day on the reel and feeling those burning runs I knew a reel could handle just about any of the normal game fish including big seabass that I normally hunt. That was around 6-7 years ago and from that day on I've been converted.

Here's the reel I was using and still prefer to all others that I've used. I'll go into why I like this reel later and the advantages I see in it.



Here's what the fish box looked like that day as we finally called it quits. :) It is spearing forum so pictures of dead fish with your reels will be appreciated :obscene-drinkingcheers:

Last edited by John Hughes on May 23rd, 2016, 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 23rd, 2016, 8:13 pm

John, why are you such a trouble maker?
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby no bananas » May 23rd, 2016, 8:55 pm

John,

Damn, I feel like I am being sucked in to an age old debate. I don't disagree with with pros and cons that you have enumerated as they are spot on.

But I would like to add one additional con. It is the lack of visibility to 1) other boaters and 2) the captain.

Without a float, a diver is less visible and I fear one might get ran over in heavily trafficked areas like Catalina, PV, Dana Point, La Jolla and etc. Another is the lack of visibility to the Captain. I often dive on areas where there is a lot of current. It is not unusual for me to cut my hunt short if the current picks up and climb on the boat to make sure my crew is doing okay dealing with the current. In extreme situations, I pull the anchor and pick up my crew. Having a float makes it so much easier to spot a diver. Without a float and with sun's glare, it sometimes is impossible to spot a diver. When I cannot account for all my divers in the water, I get extremely nervous.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Donzi Paul » May 23rd, 2016, 8:58 pm

^^ This, :D
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 23rd, 2016, 9:02 pm

no bananas wrote:John,

I don't disagree with with pros and cons that you have enumerated as they are spot on.

But I would like to add one additional con. It is the lack of visibility to 1) other boaters and 2) the captain.

Without a float, a diver is less visible and I fear one might get ran over in heavily trafficked areas like Catalina, PV, Dana Point, La Jolla and etc. Another is the lack of visibility to the Captain. I often dive on areas where there is a lot of current. It is not unusual for me to cut my hunt short if the current picks up and climb on the boat to make sure my crew is doing okay dealing with the current. In extreme situations, I pull the anchor and pick up my crew. Having a float makes it so much easier to spot a diver. Without a float and with sun's glare, it sometimes is impossible to spot a diver. When I cannot account for all my divers in the water, I get extremely nervous.


This is for certain another con. I'm sure more will crop up. Lets discuss them. The more conscious we are of the issues the easier it will be to avoid them or tweak them to make them safer.

Bill this is not a trouble making thread. I've been meaning to start this for about a year as there are many people I see out there using reels and probably the majority using reels with bad designs who are bound to get in trouble sooner rather than later. I see a ton of newer divers out there using reels that have no idea what they are doing. I can think of one situation right off the top of my head that happened on your boat last year that was dangerous and led to losing a very large fish. Fortunately it was nothing worse than that. Let's talk about it and keep people safe.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby dam » May 23rd, 2016, 9:18 pm

Bill McIntyre wrote:John, why are you such a trouble maker?

Agreed! Get him, Bill!
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby dam » May 23rd, 2016, 9:37 pm

Let me tell you a quick fish story about how I became a reel guy. I was in Baja and the yellows were big. 30-35lbs big and the current was SCREAMING. I was using a 62" 4 banded Mori gun and a floatline with a breakaway set up. I shot numerous fish with that gun that day and at one point I blasted a 35lbish yellow and threw the gun on my arm as the floatline broke free of the gun. The fish raced back up on the reef I was drifting over and became straight up and down in only about 20' of water. As the fish was spinning me in circles and I was trying to avoid getting tangled in my floatline (same thing happens with reels but it's probably more dangerous) I noticed my gun was not on my shoulder. I looked down current and there was my gun floating away. I tried to swim down to get it even as the determined yellow was racing upcurrent trying to bury itself in the reef. The boat was nowhere in sight and I almost didn't make it but eventually I regained my gun.

After resting for a bit, I switched to my smaller 55" Mori gun that was outfitted with a reel. And then the fish got bigger. I started shooting yellows over 40 and my biggest were a few 44lbrs that day. What a dream that reel was. I'd dive down, blast the fish and let it take a tearing run out to open water as I drifted up. At that point, I'd toss my gun and fight the fish off the line that was already spooled out between me and the fish. It was wonderful not having to worry about my gun and not have it on my shoulder throughout the battle. If the fish went on another huge run as sometimes they did, they would eat up the reel line in the water and my gun would come right back up to me and I'd use the same technique that day as I do today. I would catch the nose of the gun in my fist (like making an OK sign) and hold tight as more reel line would peel of the reel back behind me. When the fish would back off I'd pull it in and let the line spool up beside me as I slowly swam upcurrent (keeping all the reel line on the surface away from me.) When I finally had my fish in hand and under control, I'd either put it on my stringer and respool or throw it in the boat and respool there which is always preferable.


I wasn't gonna do this but since you shared your story.

You said keep the reel line pooled up by your side, and swim up current to avoid getting tangled. Why didn't you do the same when you had the float line, and the yellow spiraling below at 20ft? Couldn't you have given it a few feet, swim away from it all just like you would with a reel line?

Most of the yellows we shoot are in open water anyway, why not add a float to help fight it AND be extra visible? It sounded like the biggest problem you had was losing your gun. With a float, you can let the fish run freely, chase it down at your leisure and clip your gun off to the end of the float. Then it's just you, line, and fish.

As far as getting tangled in your own line (both reel and float line), I would argue it's much easier to get tangled in a reel line. Especially when you have a mess next to you. Not only that, you can't get a good grip to fight it without doing a twist or two, and when you do that, you introduce another problem of the reel line catching onto the fingers of your gloves.

I switch between float lines and reels but I gotta play devil's advocate here. On a semi-related note, I have this theory that when you're not trailing a line behind you, the fish tend to come closer. That's why I kind of want to try out Phil Herranen's new Potts reel 2.0.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 24th, 2016, 8:27 am

John, I was kidding. It never hurts to discuss this again.

Here is another consideration. If your buddy never comes up in a murky kelp bed, where do you look? If he is using a float line, he is probably at the end of it.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Nate Baker » May 24th, 2016, 9:07 am

dam wrote:
I switch between float lines and reels but I gotta play devil's advocate here. On a semi-related note, I have this theory that when you're not trailing a line behind you, the fish tend to come closer. That's why I kind of want to try out Phil Herranen's new Potts reel 2.0.


I do this too. I'm a reel guy for all the usual reasons, but there are times when a float is safest, most notably for visibility at the islands and in case a fish ties up in heavy current in the Sea of Cortez. But that's why I prefer to default with a reel. Starting from that platform it's about a 60 second switch to a breakaway system using a Hawaiian rig. Or you can just clip the float line to a lanyard on the gun butt and play the fish with the reel as usual.

I've posted repeatedly about rigging a float to the gun, so I won't go into it here, other that to say on those occasions when I need to stop a big fish it's helpful to have another 20 lbs. of lift to assist.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 24th, 2016, 10:33 am

Dam that story was from a few years back. Granted I'm still a kook now, but I was really a kook then. I was just figuring out both systems and it was before we were using clips on the end of our floatlines. I was still tying adrenaline filled knots with my floatline around my bands which came undone as much as they stuck. I won't argue the point about reel lines being easier to get tangled in because as I've already stated, it's true. I will argue the point of taking wraps around your hand with your line to get a better grip on your fleeing fish. It's just not necessary if you use the proper reel line which I only see about 10% of people using. I'll get into that shortly.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 24th, 2016, 10:36 am

Nate Baker wrote:
dam wrote:
I switch between float lines and reels but I gotta play devil's advocate here. On a semi-related note, I have this theory that when you're not trailing a line behind you, the fish tend to come closer. That's why I kind of want to try out Phil Herranen's new Potts reel 2.0.


I do this too. I'm a reel guy for all the usual reasons, but there are times when a float is safest, most notably for visibility at the islands and in case a fish ties up in heavy current in the Sea of Cortez. But that's why I prefer to default with a reel. Starting from that platform it's about a 60 second switch to a breakaway system using a Hawaiian rig. Or you can just clip the float line to a lanyard on the gun butt and play the fish with the reel as usual.

I've posted repeatedly about rigging a float to the gun, so I won't go into it here, other that to say on those occasions when I need to stop a big fish it's helpful to have another 20 lbs. of lift to assist.


Nate please post a pic of that float set up and a quick description. I'm hoping to have an all encompassing thread we can just refer people to when they need info on reels and techniques.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 24th, 2016, 12:04 pm

Ok, let's talk about why I like that Riffe vertical reel. Originally I asked a few old timer guys in my club for the most problem free, tangle free reel and they all pointed to that one. That's one of the reasons I originally went that direction. This was back right around the time that I saw all the horizontal reels hitting the market and everybody was going that direction. Over the course of the next two years I saw a bunch of reports of close calls and near death experiences with reel jams. I'd say it was more operator error than due to the horizontal style set up, but still I noticed and listened and asked questions. Most of the reel tangles/jams I've heard about are due to backlashing the reel somehow and having a loop of line flip around the back and get stuck between the gun and the reel. Once you're tight there, there's not much you can do to relieve the issue until you get slack between you and the fish. One of the reasons I like that Riffe vertical is that it's impossible to have that happen.

One thing people consistently ask me and which seems to be the main selling point of the horizontal style is "does the vertical slow me down on a side to side pivot in the water?" Honestly, I couldn't tell you as I've only noticed that it did one time in baja when I pointed at yt and it started doing the bounce back and forth thing as it came straight at me. As I swung back and forth about 5 times I did notice the drag. That is the ONLY time I've ever noticed it. For seabass I'm always swinging as slow as I can at a fish and that pretty much goes for most fish out there I think. To me it's a moot point.

Another thing I like about that reel is that it only has one drag setting but that can also be a fault if I get a bad shot. When I shoot a fish I don't want to have my hands anywhere near my reel. I don't want the option of adjusting mid run as that's how alot of backlashes can happen. It's either have drag, or pop it in freespool and I like that. I actually prefer more drag than less and have tightened that reel down to just where I like it. As I said though, If I get a bad shot there is a chance I might tear it off unless I snap it in freespool quickly.

One of the main safety reasons I like that vertical style reel is it's one of the only ones on the market with no line guide on the spool. My thinking has always been this: If I do get some type of jam or tangle and I can't get to the surface, I can always rip line off the side of the reel to get up for air. I actually had this happen for the first time last year at SBI when I shot a yellow at depth at the end of my breath hold and it went straight down into the kelp. The fish was wrapped in the kelp and I didn't have the breath to yank him out while I was down. I just grabbed the handle of the gun and pointed it down and let the reel line peel off as I swam for the surface. About 15' below the surface all of a sudden my reel jammed. To this day I'm not sure what happened but I do know I couldn't reach the surface with all the might I was putting behind my kicks. When I was just about to dump my gun I remembered I could peel line off the side which is what I did. I was able to reach AIR! and yell for the boat which promptly came over to my aid. That was a sketchy moment but had I had a line guide on my reel I wouldn't have been able to pull that line off and would have maybe lost my gun. The reel worked fine when I respooled on the boat and I dove with an oh shit bungee for a few months but nothing else ever happened and I stopped using it.

Here's a photo of what I'm talking about.



Another thing I like about them is they can hold 120ish feet of the 3 mil Mori line I like to use. They have great capacity although we are now starting to see some bigger capacity reels in production like the Ulusub reels. I'm hoping some of those guys can chime in from back East as they are using reels on extremely big fish with great results. I'd love to hear and learn a bit from their experience.

I've got two of those Riffe verticals on my 55 and 62" Mori guns and that is the only problem I've ever experienced with the functionality of that reel. I've shot a ton of fish on those things and because they've been so problem free I've developed a tremendous confidence in them. Year after year, they continue to perform in all kinds of different conditions and diving areas.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 24th, 2016, 12:31 pm

John Hughes wrote:I've got two of those Riffe verticals on my 55 and 62" Mori guns and that is the only problem I've ever experienced with the functionality of that reel. I've shot a ton of fish on those things and because they've been so problem free I've developed a tremendous confidence in them. Year after year, they continue to perform in all kinds of different conditions and diving areas.


And they worked well for me for a few years before I sold them to John. :)
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Nate Baker » May 24th, 2016, 2:16 pm

First pic, rigged for reel. Nothing unusual. A fairly large loop at the end of the mono to make it easy to attach the longline clip when I switch to breakaway.





Second pic is the secured reel line when rigged for breakaway. I run my reel line through the guide on the muzzle. Just a personal preference. And no, it never tangles or catches the shooting line.

It's cleanest if I make sure to pull the knot back through the line guide, which you probably couldn't do using thicker line.

If I didn't run the line through the guide, I'd probably just clip the clip to the guide and pull it tight.




Third pic is just a long line clip from the float line clipped into the large mono loop. Normally I run the last length of shooting line with the clip under the wing to keep the top clean. I don't remember why I left it on top in the photo.




The procedure is that I unstring the gun and unclip the shooting line from the reel line. I then clip the reel line to itself and reel up the slack until it's taut with the clip as shown in the second pic. Then I restring the gun and clip on the float line.

If you're going to do this make sure of one thing: that you're not a dumbass like me. Like spending a day at SCI rigged for breakaway and then dive seabass in the kelp and forget to REATTACH THE FREAKING REEL LINE!!! It's really astounding how quickly your stuff leaves when it's attached to a fish, that little bungee waving goodbye as it disappears. :madrun:
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Behslayer » May 24th, 2016, 3:29 pm

Bluewater Spearfishing with a Reel can work out, but you do need to be willing to lose your gun in an emergency. An outstanding Reel Capture. 112lb Wahoo Peter Correale. Mexico. I would have wanted some Floatline Back Up on this one..

If you are going to shoot a Tuna or Big Wahoo with a Reel you need to make a Disabling shot. You need to have @300' of line. Having a belt reel is not a bad idea, if you are comfortable with them. Wahoo usually swim Surface or mid water Arcs, so with enough line you can usually angle off and swim with them, even if it means you are being dragged like a Waterskier by a knot. But sometimes a Wahoo will sound too. Not usually, but I have been spooled straight down by a big wahoo before. Tuna go straight down. If you've ever fought a 100lb Tuna on a Rod and Reel from a Boat, you know that isn't going to be fun to swim against. and they're a pain in the ass to haul up with a 3mm line in the water. If you are going to shoot a Tuna with a Reel you really need to make a good shot. The bottom line is that shooting Tuna with a Reel is not the best match. I've never shot a Wahoo or King Mackeral with a Floatline before. I remember watching a buddy once swim down and shoot a Wahoo using a breakaway and he just swam up the wahoo went on a crazy run dragging the buoy around. Then my buddy swam over and pulled up a dead wahoo a minute or so later. When I shoot one with a Reel, it's a much more interactive experience. But from the start I am trying to Stone the fish. The idea is Not to need to even use the Reel. It wasn't always that way, but these days when we dive for Wahoo with Reels we have a central Flasher Float which we dive around as a group of 2-3 divers. Each diver also has a Carter Float with them. The boat is 50' away and watching us.

Right now I'm making a gun for a 100lb Wahoo. But I'm not putting a Reel on this gun. I know if there is one on it. I will just jump in with a Reel like I always do because it's quicker and easier. But if I'm going to be chasing a 100lb Wahoo or a 70lb+ Tuna, I'm going to use a Float. I'd still take a shot on a 100lb Wahoo or 100lb Tuna if I had a good shot with just a Reel and I was shooting Mahi, or I had seen a Smaller Wahoo, but if bigger fish are my true target, I'll use a Floatline. ughhhhhhh
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Craig Heller » May 24th, 2016, 6:20 pm

Hey Nate can you enlighten me on how you have your float rigged to your gun when using a reel? I like the idea of having it in a last ditch effort in case of reel jam or getting spooled and it looked like you had it in a tight little package. I meant to take a closer look the other day but I was busy eating donuts :ugh:
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 24th, 2016, 7:23 pm

Thanks for taking the time to chime in Jon and thanks for posting up the photos with that old block of wood Nate :naughty:

I can't believe guys are actually shooting tuna on reels. That would definately be a time to be switched over to a floatline or bungee. As a matter of fact I had some 40-50lb YFT swim right up on me last year at SBI. As I turned to take the shot I thought twice and just watched them swim off. I didn't feel comfortable taking that shot with only 120' of line as I'm not an experienced tuna guy and didn't know how much of a beating I'd take. I decided to pass. One of the cons of diving a reel for me is definately being unprepared for that once in a lifetime fish when it happens. Being rigged for giants at all times is too much of a PITA for me so when the opportunity comes, I may just have to play it safe and pass. :confusion-shrug:
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Behslayer » May 25th, 2016, 4:03 am

40-50lbs YFT with a bigger Reel is not a problem. We shoot a lot of fish like that with Reels. A lot of times we jump in to check a spot and the first guy in (me) jumps in with a big reel and makes a few recon drops to see what's going on. We have Floatlines, Buoys. loaded in the boat ready to go and if the spot is good, we'll put out the kit. It's the bigger Tuna where it's uncomfortable. Belt Reels are good. You need to practice swimming up with them in advance of having to use them. It's good to have a Buoy on a shorter line rigged in the boat which can be tossed to a guy to clip on his gun if things get hectic.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Westbury » May 25th, 2016, 6:22 am

How about the Riffe horizontal reels unable to cinch down 100%?
I have 2 of them and when I tighten the drag all the way down I can still pull line off with some effort.
Is there some sort of adjustment I'm missing?
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 25th, 2016, 10:18 am

Westbury wrote:How about the Riffe horizontal reels unable to cinch down 100%?
I have 2 of them and when I tighten the drag all the way down I can still pull line off with some effort.
Is there some sort of adjustment I'm missing?


I don't have any experience with those Joe, maybe somebody else can chip in on that. Other than that, have you had any other issues with them? do you like them? Also, under what conditions would you want a completely cinched down reel?
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Nate Baker » May 25th, 2016, 10:51 am

Craig Heller wrote:Hey Nate can you enlighten me on how you have your float rigged to your gun when using a reel? I like the idea of having it in a last ditch effort in case of reel jam or getting spooled and it looked like you had it in a tight little package. I meant to take a closer look the other day but I was busy eating donuts :ugh:


O.k., more pics of the block of wood. Admittedly, this isn't technically a reel post, but it is useful when diving with a reel.


I clip the float to the purple lanyard. The two rubber bands hold it in place. A bag of them costs something like $1.29 at Staples. I run the forward rubber band forward of the line release, so it's under the shooting line. I replace the rubber bands every two or three trips.



I use a Riffe double popper float, although I've never used the second popper when deploying it while it's attached. It's important to remember to run the longline clip through one of the belt loops on the cover so it won't drift away when you pop it.

I also carry a small ziploc bag of rubber bands and cartridges in my spares bag.



Snugged up and ready to go. It doesn't show in the pic, but I have it slightly to the right of center under the butt to accommodate my forearm (I'm left handed).

When I use the float to dig out a fish I just pull it off, breaking the rubber bands, and then unclip the longline clip.



I'm not good about rinsing my gear, but I make it a point to detach the float, remove the cartridges and hang it up in the garage to dry. Again, it only takes about a minute and ensures the cartridges don't corrode in place and get stuck.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Behslayer » May 25th, 2016, 1:03 pm

edit
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Behslayer » May 25th, 2016, 1:05 pm

Cool. What is that float and how much lift does it give you? Will it Pop at depth?
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 25th, 2016, 1:17 pm

Thanks Nate that's helpful and is an addition to make the situation a little safer when the reel is working properly or in case something goes sideways.

Another addition guys have been using the last few years is an OSB (oh shit bungee) which is attatched to the butt end of the gun. The 15' bungee that is attatched can give you an additional 45' to your situation if you get spooled or something jams and you can't reach the surface. As has been pointed out in the past, if you are stretched tight at the surface you can't let go of the bungee or it shoots back down where your gun is at. It does allow you to get to the surface for much needed air though if you find yourself in that position.

If you're uncomfortable with a reel this could be a little added protection for you but I've always felt it's a PITA. I think you get the worst of both worlds with an additional floatline or OSB attatched. You get the risk of the reel with the additional pain in the ass of the floatline. To me the only time it makes sense is if you're not comfortable with your system, you want to rig for giants, or you want to add a float to your system for visibility.

here's a photo of an OSB

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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Behslayer » May 25th, 2016, 1:51 pm

Having a Buddy keeping eyes on you is always great. But when it comes to Bluewater Diving with Reels, it's more important. You got 300'. Maybe you got a belt reel with additional 200'. Your buddy also has 300'. If they see you shoot a Big fish, they are already going to be thinking that you might get spooled and be down there to help you as you are coming up. On the Surface, they can help you by reeling in extra line, holding your gun, and being in contact with the boat while you focus on hand lining the fish, and they can attach a buoy to your Gun for you while you are dealing with the fish. That is standard procedure out there if we get a good Tuna on a Reel, a Polyball with a Clip gets tossed in and attached to the back of the gun. Because you can think you are winning and then they make a big run.. The Polyball allows you to enjoy more and stress less as your line runs low. A Lot of this has to do with depth. Where I learned to dive with Reels it wasn't that Deep. 75-100' max. So even if you nailed a really big King Mackeral, it wasn't going to sound. If you could get to the surface before getting spooled, you can angle off and get towed around and plane on the surface because there is a forward motion. That's why we made the High Capacity Reels. Then in that place without sharks we would play them as light as possible, even if you are being dragged you are swimming as fast as you can with the fish. One day I nailed 3 nice King Mackeral (Tengirri) with a Reel and no toggle on my flopper shaft just by playing them super light, lots of line, swimming with them, letting them tire out and give up. (Shore diving Toggle bent sideways on first fish.) Whereas with the Tuna, you need to fight for every foot of line.. there are so many styles of diving with Reels. Different places, fish, different story.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Westbury » May 25th, 2016, 3:25 pm

John Hughes wrote:
Westbury wrote:How about the Riffe horizontal reels unable to cinch down 100%?
I have 2 of them and when I tighten the drag all the way down I can still pull line off with some effort.
Is there some sort of adjustment I'm missing?


I don't have any experience with those Joe, maybe somebody else can chip in on that. Other than that, have you had any other issues with them? do you like them? Also, under what conditions would you want a completely cinched down reel?


I've never had one jam on me ......yet.
I like the design in that it's easy to adjust the drag since it's a lever type setup. It's also low profile.
I took the boat to Catalina from Ventura last summer and was hoping I would run across some of those monster Bluefin. I thought if I did, I'd just clip on my float line and floats and tighten up the drag on the reel. That's when I noticed no matter how far the lever was pushed tight, I could still pull line off.

The one thing I can't stand is the super thin line they spool the reels with from the factory. Down-right dangerous.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Nate Baker » May 25th, 2016, 3:58 pm

Behslayer wrote:Cool. What is that float and how much lift does it give you?


It's a Riffe utility float. 20 lbs.

Will it Pop at depth?


There's been a lot of discussion about this over the years. To answer your question it depends on what you call "depth" and how big your cartridges are. I've never deployed mine deeper than about 50 feet.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Eric Bodj » May 25th, 2016, 6:55 pm

I've used reels most of my diving career, up until last year when I purchased a float line for bluewater stuff. I like how much control you have with a floatline on yellows. It's really easy to grab but ya it can get annoying doing drops l day with it going through your legs and over your gun and around your hands.

Here's my take on the reels I've used:
Wong reel with q-power-line- it's okay, I've shot a bunch of stripers to 50# and it works okay. Most of the stuff back east is live boating so like john said you let go of the gun, fight the fish, call the boat over, they pick up the fish and throw your shaft back at you and you reel in your line and get back to shooting. What does suck about his reel is the fact that it threads for the drag knob are cut for a washer that won't spin but the washer doesn't come with it so when line is pulled it goes into freestone easily and when you wind the line back on it is constantly tightening. Same with the spearmaster version. The line is okay but it can knot easily.

Ulusub first gen- okay reel, same thing with the Wong reel and the drag knob except the knob on this one is really big and would always hit your fingers as you were winding line on.

MVD vertical: this is one of those euro reels that will free spool once even a little line is pulled so that's really annoying. The drag knob is super touchy so you can over tighten it really easy.

Reels in the kelp and paddy hopping definitely have their merits so I double dip with my equipment :)


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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 25th, 2016, 7:12 pm

Nate Baker wrote:
Behslayer wrote:Cool. What is that float and how much lift does it give you?


It's a Riffe utility float. 20 lbs.

Will it Pop at depth?


There's been a lot of discussion about this over the years. To answer your question it depends on what you call "depth" and how big your cartridges are. I've never deployed mine deeper than about 50 feet.


Nate, I hope you don't mind if I elaborate.

The float provides 20 pounds of lift at the surface fully inflated. It fully inflates on the surface with one 16 gram cylinder. If it gets pulled down to 33 feet, it provides 10 pounds of lift, etc.

But the float that Nate and I have holds two cylinders and has a pressure relief valve. With two 16 gram cylinders, it will fully inflate at 33 feet and provide 20 pounds of lift at that depth. As it ascends, the extra gass will bleed off and it will still provide just 20 pounds of lift all the way to the surface. It can't get fuller than full.

If two 16 gram cylinders are popped at depths greater than 33 feet, it will provide less than 20 pounds of lift until it ascends to 33 feet, then 20 pounds from there to the surface as excess gas bleeds off.

In my float, I have one 16 gram cylinder and one 38 gram cylinder. I've had too many beers to do the math right now, but previously I've calculated that it will fully inflate at any depth I'm likely to take it to.

If this is more physics than anyone wants to hear, please forgive me. When I drink too much I get flashbacks to Navy diving school at Pearl Harbor in the early 1960s. I guess they really did edikate me.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 25th, 2016, 7:36 pm

[quote="Eric Bodj"]I've used reels most of my diving career, up until last year when I purchased a float line for bluewater stuff. I like how much control you have with a floatline on yellows. It's really easy to grab but ya it can get annoying doing drops l day with it going through your legs and over your gun and around your hands.

Here's my take on the reels I've used:
Wong reel with q-power-line- it's okay, I've shot a bunch of stripers to 50# and it works okay. Most of the stuff back east is live boating so like john said you let go of the gun, fight the fish, call the boat over, they pick up the fish and throw your shaft back at you and you reel in your line and get back to shooting. What does suck about his reel is the fact that it threads for the drag knob are cut for a washer that won't spin but the washer doesn't come with it so when line is pulled it goes into freestone easily and when you wind the line back on it is constantly tightening. Same with the spearmaster version. The line is okay but it can knot easily.

Ulusub first gen- okay reel, same thing with the Wong reel and the drag knob except the knob on this one is really big and would always hit your fingers as you were winding line on.

MVD vertical: this is one of those euro reels that will free spool once even a little line is pulled so that's really annoying. The drag knob is super touchy so you can over tighten it really easy.

Reels in the kelp and paddy hopping definitely have their merits so I double dip with my equipment :)




Nice fish Eric! I'm glad you brought up a few points here. About half the reels I see on the market have a terrible design. Any reel that freespools when the fish goes on a run is extremely dangerous. This is how backlashes happen just like on a fishing rod. It's one of the reasons I'm extremely anal about winding my line on tight EVERY TIME. If I wind it back on in the water and it's not tight, as soon as I get back to the boat or home I pull it all off and rewind it on tight. Any loose loops on the spool could be the one that causes that tangle or flips out and catches on something. Once that happens, you're done for especially if it happens at depth. It's another of the reasons I always have drag set on my reels. Seems common sense but I've talked to a few newer divers that had their reels in freespool when they shot their first real fish. Backlash city and a few of the situations didn't end well but fortunately I didn't hear of anybody dying yet.

Wong, Mako and RA all have reel designs like this and I'm not certain but they are all plastic and look like they come from the same place. Avoid those things like the plague. They are dangerous by flying into freespool when a fish runs and a total PITA when winding your line back on as you have to stop every few turns of the handle and loosen the drag again. I think one of the reasons people buy these reels are because they are cheap. The reels, not the people. Well, them too including me :romance-threesome: The point is, when it comes to this part of your equipment, it's better to spend the money and do it right. Your life and the life of the fish is literally on the line here.

On this note a quick story from last year. I was diving a spot when the giant 70-80+LB seabass were in. I was with a newer diver who was about to hop in the water. As I handed him his gun I noticed two things. One, his mono was improperly crimped and two, his line on his reel was super loose with a bunch of loops hanging around. I pointed this out and begged him to take my extra Mori gun and we could fix his gun later. The boat captain mentioned he had a crimper and crimps and we could re rig his mono which we did. Even though I was adamant about the reel line he still committed. About 10 minutes later I hear screaming coming from 20 yards away from me. I swam over and wide eyed my buddy told me he was on a dive when he noticed a 50lbr. Then a fish came up that dwarfed it. He shot the monster and asked if I could swim down and check the shot. When I reached the end of the line at 50' there was no fish there. Later he told me that exactly what I said would happen did. He blasted the beast and mid run his reel line cinched down into the spool because the line was so loose and became seized. His body was stuck in kelp so after two big thumps, the fish ripped off. :'(

Keep it tight and you'll be alright. (I just made that up, see how witty I am :) )
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 25th, 2016, 7:50 pm

John Hughes wrote: I've talked to a few newer divers that had their reels in freespool when they shot their first real fish. Backlash city and a few of the situations didn't end well but fortunately I didn't hear of anybody dying yet.



Just to be contrary- When I used those Riffe vertical reels, I had the drag set just tight enough to keep the gun strung, and as soon as I shot a fish I rotated the knob to freespool and grabbed the line with my hand. I never had a backlash. Maybe its because I always tried to shoreline the fish by using hand pressure, so the spool never got spinning so fast.

Of course I don't have to worry about that shit now that I use a float line. :)
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Westbury » May 25th, 2016, 8:25 pm

How a bout what knots to tie onto the arbor? Knot for the tag line end?
What's everyones preference?
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Nate Baker » May 26th, 2016, 8:03 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:
John Hughes wrote: I've talked to a few newer divers that had their reels in freespool when they shot their first real fish. Backlash city and a few of the situations didn't end well but fortunately I didn't hear of anybody dying yet.



Just to be contrary- When I used those Riffe vertical reels, I had the drag set just tight enough to keep the gun strung, and as soon as I shot a fish I rotated the knob to freespool and grabbed the line with my hand. I never had a backlash. Maybe its because I always tried to shoreline the fish by using hand pressure, so the spool never got spinning so fast.

Of course I don't have to worry about that shit now that I use a float line. :)


This is the first I've heard of putting the reel in free spool to fight a fish. I really need to get out more. That said, to me that makes as much sense as fighting an H&L fish in free spool.

Like Bill did before going to the Dark Side, I have the drag permanently set fairly loosely, but I leave it engaged when I shoot a fish. It has never interfered with my ability to get to the surface. I also palm the reel to vary drag or to clamp down for short lining or when I think I've given a seabass enough line and want it stopped.

Edit: Joe, I had to look up Arbor. :) "The hub or spindle of a wheel". I don't remember what I used there. I use a bowline on the tail end.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 26th, 2016, 8:41 am

Westbury wrote:How a bout what knots to tie onto the arbor? Knot for the tag line end?
What's everyones preference?

It seems that most reels have a hole to run the line through and then tie an overhand knot. The Wong/Spearmaster reels have a hole down next to the arbor. Most others I've used have a hole in the side of the spool. But the Riffe verticals don't, and since you are asking I'm assuming that the horizontals don't either. I was never able to get a knot around the arbor that wouldn't slip if the reel was totally spooled and I was trying to wind the line on, so I ended up just using a zip tie to attach the line to the arbor.

On the other end I used a bowline for a long time, but then decided that just doubling the end and tying an overhand knot to make a loop worked just as well. Then I attached the clip or swivel to the loop with a larks foot. That way it can be easily removed or replaced without cutting or untying a knot.

Edit- I forgot to include the zip tie.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Behslayer » May 26th, 2016, 8:44 am

Knots. I like the Ol NOOSE. 4Knot Noose for Line to Arbor. 4+Knot Noose for Line to Swivel.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby castronova » May 26th, 2016, 8:45 am

I would recommend against the set-up in the first photo (of Bill's last post) if you think you'll ever get spooled. Would be better to run the line through there then go around the spindle and tie the line back to itself. This way the little line hole is just keeping the line from spinning on the spool. That little plastic piece will certainly snap the second you get spooled and I've heard of it happening.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Eric Bodj » May 26th, 2016, 9:00 am

Jon, can you post a picture of your new reels dismantled with the drag/washers? I'm curious how you're running them now. Does the drag knob spin when line is paid out or reeled on?
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 26th, 2016, 9:01 am

castronova wrote:I would recommend against the set-up in the first photo (of Bill's last post) if you think you'll ever get spooled. Would be better to run the line through there then go around the spindle and tie the line back to itself. This way the little line hole is just keeping the line from spinning on the spool. That little plastic piece will certainly snap the second you get spooled and I've heard of it happening.


That's a god point, but I have mixed feelings. If I get spooled, I don't want the gun jerked out of my hands. If the plastic piece breaks, it might save my gun. In fact on reels like there old RA stainless in the photo, where the line comes through a hole in the spool, it always worried me. I'd have to cut the line to save my gun.

In that Riffe photo, I tried to use a zip tie that I hoped would break before I had to turn loose of the gun.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Nate Baker » May 26th, 2016, 9:04 am

But the Riffe verticals don't, and since you are asking I'm assuming that the horizontals don't either. I was never able to get a knot around the arbor that wouldn't slip if the reel was totally spooled and I was trying to wind the line on, so I ended up just using a zip tie to attach the line to the arbor..


O.k., you got me curious, so I unspooled my reel to check. I used a bowline to create a very small loop an then ran the line through the loop to make a slip knot. I think the trick to keeping it from sliding is to orient it so that when reeling back in, it forces the line to double back on itself rather than continue around the circle in the same direction. It becomes self tightening.

On the other end I used a bowline for a long time, but then decided that just doubling the end and tying an overhand knot to make a loop worked just as well. Then I attached the clip or swivel to the loop with a larks foot. That way it can be easily removed or replaced without cutting or untying a knot.


That's a great idea.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby castronova » May 26th, 2016, 9:08 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:
castronova wrote:I would recommend against the set-up in the first photo (of Bill's last post) if you think you'll ever get spooled. Would be better to run the line through there then go around the spindle and tie the line back to itself. This way the little line hole is just keeping the line from spinning on the spool. That little plastic piece will certainly snap the second you get spooled and I've heard of it happening.


That's a god point, but I have mixed feelings. If I get spooled, I don't want the gun jerked out of my hands. If the plastic piece breaks, it might save my gun. In fact on reels like there old RA stainless in the photo, where the line comes through a hole in the spool, it always worried me. I'd have to cut the line to save my gun.

In that Riffe photo, I tried to use a zip tie that I hoped would break before I had to turn loose of the gun.


I was going to add that and forgot. It is probably an advantage to some people who want it to break. I keep a belt reel so it would be worthless to me. Different strokes.

Just stone all your fish and none of this matters! :eusa-dance:
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 26th, 2016, 9:14 am

castronova wrote:
Just stone all your fish and none of this matters! :eusa-dance:


Why didn't I think of that?
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 26th, 2016, 10:19 am

Westbury wrote:How a bout what knots to tie onto the arbor? Knot for the tag line end?
What's everyones preference?


Joe, this is the best solution I've found for the arbor. Drill a hole in the side of the reel and do a double overhand or whatever they call that knot (same as I tie for the band insertion.) This is the cleanest I've found and it doesn't cause your line to wind on weird when you spool up. Also, I definately DO NOT want my line tied on with a ziptie in case I get spooled (which I have). This is another advantage I see to a reel. When you get the end of your line, unlike a floatline with a little tiny knot at the end, you have this big gun to hang onto and put the brakes on. Coincidentally, I just got contacted yesterday by another kid who lost a big wsb with all his gear because he couldn't hang on at the end of his rope. Fortunately, I put the word out and his gear was found and returned by end of day.
You can see the knot on the outside of the reel here....



For the connection between reel line to mono I prefer the figure 8 knot to the bowline. With certain reel line the bowline with slip. It's also a much weaker knot than the figure 8 not that it would matter when you're using 1000+lb spectra IMO.



We argued these knots in another thread but with alot of this stuff, it's a matter of opinion. It's also a matter of what you're comfortable and confident with and what works for your diving style. I started this thread not to tell everybody how to do it but to help the newer guys with some options and to learn myself. It's always great to see everybody else's techniques and to learn from their experience.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 26th, 2016, 12:03 pm

John Hughes wrote:
Westbury wrote:How a bout what knots to tie onto the arbor? Knot for the tag line end?
What's everyones preference?


Joe, this is the best solution I've found for the arbor. Drill a hole in the side of the reel and do a double overhand or whatever they call that knot (same as I tie for the band insertion.) This is the cleanest I've found and it doesn't cause your line to wind on weird when you spool up.


Great idea. I always wondered it that would work without damaging the reel.

Also, I definately DO NOT want my line tied on with a ziptie in case I get spooled (which I have). This is another advantage I see to a reel. When you get the end of your line, unlike a floatline with a little tiny knot at the end, you have this big gun to hang onto and put the brakes on.


Here we go again. You are assuming that you can out swim a 60 pound sea bass or a 40 pound yellowtail and not have to release the gun. I know I can't. And recall that guy I mentioned a week or so ago? The one who got spooled by a yellowtail and lost his gun, the gun that was found by Mark Hultgren a couple of months later? Apparently he couldn't put the brakes on either, or he would not have turned loose of that expensive gun.

Coincidentally, I just got contacted yesterday by another kid who lost a big wsb with all his gear because he couldn't hang on at the end of his rope. Fortunately, I put the word out and his gear was found and returned by end of day.


Again here we go again. :)

Did he turn loose of the end of his rope because he was being pulled under? If so, he would have had to turn loose of a gun too.

Or did he turn loose because he didn't have something like this on the end of the line? I would have lost mine a couple of times without that to grab on to.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Nate Baker » May 26th, 2016, 4:39 pm

You two are like Bernie and Hillary. Arguing while insisting you're not arguing. :naughty: :p

Back to techniques related to reels, retrieval. I know techniques vary by diver, location, conditions, etc.

Yellowtail: If it's small enough or hurt enough to stop, I'll short line it by clamping down on the reel. If I can't stop it, I'll still clamp the reel and only give up line after it has dragged me under and kept me there and I need a breath. Then I only give enough to keep breathing. It's unusual for a fish to maintain that maximum freakout fight for more than a few seconds. It seems longer, but it's not. Yellowtail rarely take more than 10 or 15 feet off my reel.

If I can afford to let it play out there I will, barring threat of entanglement in deep structure or sealions. Generally, I'll only grab the line after the fish has worn down enough to retrieve it. At that point I will sometimes put the reel in free spool, but rarely. Generally, once I've pulled it up enough to get ahold of the shooting line connection (for a good grip), I'll leave the fish there and let it continue to bleed and weaken and use the time to wind up the reel line and pull out my knife. Then, conditions permitting, I'll swim it back to the boat leaving the fish well below me like a dog on a leash and throw the gun in the boat, then retrieve and kill the fish.

Sometimes, though, I'll need to short line a big yellowtail at the end of the day when I'm fighting cramps. Then, I'll pop the float as soon as I shoot and stick it under my armpit for the trip up. Even on the surface it's great to have the extra lift for the battle.

WSB: Frequent improvisation. But, no matter what, I like to stop the fish with a fair amount of line still on the reel to keep my options open. Once the fish settles down, I'll make dives along the path of the reel line with the gun. On the surface between dives I'll reel up slack. Usually I'll retrieve about half the line after two or three dives, and the few minutes it takes to do it gives the fish more time to die.

Typically this puts me pretty close to the fish. I'll put the reel in free spool and manually blow up the float, leaving it attached to the gun, and go find the fish. Most of the time locally its 50 feet deep and murky on the bottom, so having a nearby float as a reference point helps keep track of the fish between dives. If the fish is super tangled I'll remove the float, deflate it, and attach it to the tip cable and pop it for extra lift.

Lately, though I've been using a great retrieval device called an ALEX. It's self deploying and can be used without leaving the surface. It's in the far right of this picture of me and the two fish it retrieved in less than three minutes one afternoon last February. :D

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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby dam » May 26th, 2016, 5:06 pm

Can this ALEX unit be mounted on the rear
of my gun? I would like to install one if it helps getting landing fish.

Recently, I had a chance to swim around with a dozen wahoo. I have a reel on my 130 sea sniper, but I wasn't looking for wahoo. After a little while of not seeing anything better, I figure I could shoot one in the face and hard line it. Well, I did just that. Except the wahoo turned into a dozen sharks and they quickly stripped me of all my line. Here I am over a couple hundred feet of water, at the end of my line and breath, and two thoughts going through my head. One, I'm a fucking dumb ass, of course that would happen. It's the ONLY possible outcome considering the location. And two, I'm gonna have to dump this gun. Luckily, right at that moment, one of the sharks must have bit off the slip tip and I was able to get my shaft back.

I guess I didn't really have anything to add to the argument except that in most bluewater situations, you're gonna want a float line and a float.
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Hookin » May 26th, 2016, 5:34 pm

I like to use the perfection loop to attach my reel line to my shooting line. It lays flat it isn't bulky and it is very strong.

http://www.animatedknots.com/perfection/#ScrollPoint

For the arbor i like the arbor knot used for mono. That way if I get spooled worst case I loose fish and shaft with line but I retain the gun. I dont have a lot of experience with fish pulling out line but it sounds like a good way to CYA. However its best tied in mono.

http://www.animatedknots.com/arbor/#ScrollPoint
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 26th, 2016, 6:55 pm

Nate Baker wrote:You two are like Bernie and Hillary. Arguing while insisting you're not arguing. :naughty: :p

Back to techniques related to reels, retrieval. I know techniques vary by diver, location, conditions, etc.

Yellowtail: If it's small enough or hurt enough to stop, I'll short line it by clamping down on the reel. If I can't stop it, I'll still clamp the reel and only give up line after it has dragged me under and kept me there and I need a breath. Then I only give enough to keep breathing. It's unusual for a fish to maintain that maximum freakout fight for more than a few seconds. It seems longer, but it's not. Yellowtail rarely take more than 10 or 15 feet off my reel.

If I can afford to let it play out there I will, barring threat of entanglement in deep structure or sealions. Generally, I'll only grab the line after the fish has worn down enough to retrieve it. At that point I will sometimes put the reel in free spool, but rarely. Generally, once I've pulled it up enough to get ahold of the shooting line connection (for a good grip), I'll leave the fish there and let it continue to bleed and weaken and use the time to wind up the reel line and pull out my knife. Then, conditions permitting, I'll swim it back to the boat leaving the fish well below me like a dog on a leash and throw the gun in the boat, then retrieve and kill the fish.

Sometimes, though, I'll need to short line a big yellowtail at the end of the day when I'm fighting cramps. Then, I'll pop the float as soon as I shoot and stick it under my armpit for the trip up. Even on the surface it's great to have the extra lift for the battle.

WSB: Frequent improvisation. But, no matter what, I like to stop the fish with a fair amount of line still on the reel to keep my options open. Once the fish settles down, I'll make dives along the path of the reel line with the gun. On the surface between dives I'll reel up slack. Usually I'll retrieve about half the line after two or three dives, and the few minutes it takes to do it gives the fish more time to die.

Typically this puts me pretty close to the fish. I'll put the reel in free spool and manually blow up the float, leaving it attached to the gun, and go find the fish. Most of the time locally its 50 feet deep and murky on the bottom, so having a nearby float as a reference point helps keep track of the fish between dives. If the fish is super tangled I'll remove the float, deflate it, and attach it to the tip cable and pop it for extra lift.

Lately, though I've been using a great retrieval device called an ALEX. It's self deploying and can be used without leaving the surface. It's in the far right of this picture of me and the two fish it retrieved in less than three minutes one afternoon last February. :D

The attachment Seabass copy.jpg is no longer available


That's interesting Nate. I got scared a few times early on in my diving and had fish tie up deeper than my comfort level. Because of this I tweaked my technique a bit. I got more selective with my shots and started "horsing" them.
Unlike you, I like to keep my hands away from the reel. Here's the way most of my fish fights go down. I blast the fish in the head if I can get the shot as it's difficult to tear them out from the gillplate or bony head area. You've also got more control over the fish and the direction he swims if you hit them in the front 1/3. Once my shot lands, I'll dump my gun as I reach in front of it and grab the line and apply as much pressure as the situation deserves. Usually in open water I'll let yellows burn some line off the reel and go on a little run before dumping the gun and applying the brakes. Once I'm at the surface I just fight the fish off the line and if the fish eats up more line than has already been burned off the reel, the gun will hit me in the hand and I'll catch it in the "OK sign" and allow the fish to burn more line off the spool which is over my shoulder and behind me. From there I'll let it peel more line off until I'm ready to dump the gun and apply brakes again. With yellows, it's a back and forth thing sometimes but usually with seabass it's a one run and they are done thing unless you shoot them in open water. Then the fight is more like a yellowtail but they obviously burn out quicker.
Here's a pic of the OK catch and how I hold my gun when the fish pulls all remaining line back and burns another run. The first initial run I'm still holding the gun by the handle.


Because of the way I fight fish off my reel I'm definately a put it through the line guide at the front of the gun guy. If I didn't put it through the line guide, I wouldn't be able to catch my gun the way I do as the line would be pulling off the reel in all different directions and wouldn't pull the gun back to my hand the way it does. I hope that makes sense.

Also because of the way I fight fish I'm a firm believer in having the right line on your reel. I've gotten extremely picky with this over the years and am a firm believer in a line that is thicker (2.5-3 mil) for a few different reasons. Not only do thinner lines tangle way easier on the spool and in the water, but obviously I'm not going to be able to grab them and horse a fish. If you're a shoot em and let em run guy, it's not as critical but everybody has either had the experience themselves or seen somebody else with a rats nest of reel line in the water or on the boat. That's all that thin diameter stuff and it's even worse if it's got no memory and is waxy. I shudder at the thought of some of the issues I've had with that stuff. I did a shoredive last year when I shot a 60lb fish and knicked it in the head when I shot through a kelp stalk. I ended up putting a second shot in it with my buddies gun who was right next to me. It was only in 30' of water and when I got the fish up to the surface my buddies line (only about 25' worth) got so tangled just floating there we had to climb on another friends boat just to undo the knots. Thin, no memory, waxy line is a PITA every time.

The stuff I've come to rely on is the 3 mil line that Mori sells. It's thick so the drawback is it limits your capacity on the reel no matter what kind you use. The thing I love about it is that it is very rough so you can grab it and put the brakes on big fish and it doesn't slip through your hands or tear slice through your gloves like some lines will. You don't have to take a wrap on your hands to put the brakes on keeping a fish off structure, nor should you ever do that IMO with any reel line. Also, what I love is when your fish burns a bunch of line off your spool and you are retrieving the line pooling it up on the surface with you. When that fish goes on another run, alot of other lines will automatically tangle and then when the fish wants the line back, you no longer have 60-80' of it next to you. YOu just have 60-80' tangled into a few knots making it 20' now and you're in trouble :eek: The courseness and memory in that Mori line allows it to pull free and clear each time even when 100' is floating in a pile right next to you. Here's an example photo to show you what I'm talking about.



I'm always experimenting with different stuff to figure out what works best. I'm trying some 2.5 stuff on my next gun so I can increase my line capacity on my current reels and I'm also trying a few different reels that can hold more. I just got a Potts reel I'm ready to try out on my blue water gun I'm having built but I think that I may have to try one of those large capacity Ulusub reels as well. I'm thinking the way the brake system is on the Potts may be too much of a change of my personal technique and how I'm comfortable fighting fish. We will see.

Obviously when making a selection of reel line you're looking for a balance in capacity, comfort and manageability. Personally I'd rather have less of something I can apply brakes to than more capacity with something I can't as the fish may tie up too deep for me and I don't always have on of those Alex things around Nate was talking about.

To give you an idea of capacity, I'm able to put 120ish feet on the Riffe vertical and I got 99' on this Rob Allen that I'm trying out on my 50" dirty water Posiedensub I just bought. Another thing I like about that Mori line is the high vis colors he's able to get. Definately comes in handy in ugly water.



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John Hughes
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby John Hughes » May 26th, 2016, 7:07 pm

Here's a photo of that Potts reel a friend just gave me. It definately has the line capacity so we will see how it pans out. One thing that already scares me a bit is that big handle spinning around as a fish burns a big run. I like to keep my hands free of the reel anyways but I'll be sure to with this guy even though the brake system is in the back. I'll probably continue to fight the fish the way I have been in front of the gun and have the reel in nearly freespool like Bill was talking about above.

It'll be interesting to try the brake system out in blue water this year though and see how it works. With double the line capacity I won't be so hesitant to pass on those shots on paddy tuna I've been passing on the last two years.



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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 26th, 2016, 7:30 pm

In the interest of comity, I just want to say that there is one thing that John and actually agree on. That 3mm stuff that Mori sells, and maybe the 2.5 mm, is the real deal.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
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Re: ALL ABOUT REELS

Postby Eric Bodj » May 26th, 2016, 9:14 pm

I like the attributes that john pointed out about the riffe vertical but I'm concerned that it might be a bit big for my 55" wong gr. Does anyone have experience with this combo? Also drilling holes into the side of my gun doesn't appeal to me much.

Does anyone have experience with the merou or Aussie reels? They both look pretty good. The merou is devised so the line cannot come off the spool and since around the like guide and the Aussie reel had a big following. One thing that concerns me is the ability to reel in the like without constantly hitting the drag knob like on my first gen Ulusub.
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