What kind of weight and how much do I need

New to spearfishing and have a question on gear, rigging, or something you need help with? Don't be shy, we all had to start somewhere. Ask it here!

What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby chris oak » November 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm

One of the questions someone asked me recently.

It depends on how much you weigh, what thickness wetsuit, and what you are doing. Sometimes if I'm diving shallow for halibut I'll add extra weight so I'm not bobbing all over. It also depends on where you want to be negatively bouyant at, it's always safer to be less negative at shallower depths because when you are digging out a fish at 60' you don't want to be so negative that you have a hard time kicking up. You can do a rough check in a pool but you might have to add a bit of weight later because of the salinity vs freshwater.

I use a harness because I like that weight to be on the center of my back and not my waist, but it's way harder to ditch, it is also easier for stuff to hang up on if you aren't careful, if you are one of those crazy mofos that climb deep into caves for lobsters, a harness is not for you. If you plan on using a freedive recovery vest, a weight harness is not for you.

I use it because one time I had a really thick, warm spetton suit, it was 7 mill top and full 7mm farmer johns, it was probably the warmest suit I ever owned and when it was new I floated so bad I was carrying a ton of weight. I was shore diving and that walk killed me, not to mention doing repetitive dives for halibut was killing my back, I switched out for the harness and only use a regular weight belt when I'm diving my 5mm suits.

You want smaller weights rather than a couple of gigantic 5 lbers, a series of 2 or 3 pounders with belt keepers to keep them from clanking around work out great and will be less painful on your hips. You can pick up trim weights at the dive shops that have bungee attachments that you can quickly add and remove depending on what you need and that way you will have a set weight belt.

I've torn a billion rubber belts. A rubber weight belt stretches so it's not always falling off at depth once you cinch it right. A wise scrawny boy (Dam) told me later, "dude you want to get the rob allen belt, rob allen weight belts last forever". He was right, I picked one up from Mori and that belt has not ripped at the buckle holes and is probably six years old now. The others I had were copies of the Marseilles style as well and even though they looked the same they would tear at the buckle hole and last a year or less (I'm hard on my gear and do a lot of shoredives).
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4821
Joined: June 2013

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby Bill McIntyre » November 19th, 2017, 12:53 pm

One more vote for the new green Rob Allen belts. If you punched a new hole in the the old black ones it tore out before long. But I used a hole punch to put a new hole in the green one, and and it doesn't look like it will ever tear.

I can't wear a harness now that I wear a Freedive Recovery Vest anyway, but I was always afraid to wear one before. If divers ever drop their belts, it seems to be a last second thing. There is no way I could ditch a harness fast enough.
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
 
Posts: 3694
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby chris oak » November 19th, 2017, 2:46 pm

I agree Bill, the weight harness is much more difficult to ditch. When I'm cutting out fish I always start up earlier and try never to push it. When I'm bug hunting a lot of times I notice that since I'm in shallower water I tend to be more agressive, where I'll be on my way up and then see a legal bug and spend a few more seconds going after it. When I hit the surface I'm usually very tired, I was thinking about that the other night because I realized it would be much harder to ditch the harness when I'm that tired.

I think Mori told me that the new rob allen green belts are less stretchy but last longer. I never had the earlier black ones so I have nothing to compare with them, all I know is they are super tough and don't tear like the other styles I've used.
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4821
Joined: June 2013

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby Bill McIntyre » November 19th, 2017, 4:15 pm

I think Mori is right. It’s not as stretchy. That’s why I felt that I need to punch a hole half way between its own holes.
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
 
Posts: 3694
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby Rob102 » November 19th, 2017, 8:07 pm

I agree with everyone who ha posted so far, apparently for the same reasons:

A simple formula to determine how much weight is needed wearing a 7mm suit is:

10% of body weight + 5lbs

From there you can adjust to be neutrally buoyant at hunting depth, so you will subtract weight as depth increases and increase weight if you dive more shallow. As technique improves the amount of weight can be decreased.

I use the wedge weights in 2.5lb size. I use plastic retainers to keep the weight distributed with the bulk on my back, and the remainder balanced equally on the front sides. The retainers are the perfect size to accommodate a California weight (1lb weight attached with bungee cord). I run three California weights which gives my 3lbs to easily remove from my belt at max depth, or I can strategically remove 1 weight from the back to shed just one pound, or I can leave the weight in the back and remove one from each side to shed 2lbs while maintaining equilibrium on the surface.

My personal preference is a belt rather than a vest, and I think the strechiness/stiffness of the Rob Allen belt is the best I’ve found.

Many beginners tend to think that it is better to go heavy to in order to get to the bottom more easily. Extra weight will get you to the bottom faster, but this is exactly opposite of how divers should be weighted for many reasons. It is better to be somewhat under weighted so we don’t struggle to float on the surface. Being positively buoyant will per.vent you fro sinking if you black out on the surface. It is better to expend a little extra energy on descent while we have fresh air in our lungs and have less weight to bring back to the surface at the end of the dive when we are low on oxygen and high on CO2
User avatar
Rob102
spearo
 
Posts: 224
Joined: August 2013
Location: Caspar, Ca

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby Nate Baker » November 21st, 2017, 8:37 am

Good stuff above. I would add that when diving out of a boat or kayak it's good to bring extra weight (or be ready to easily remove extra weight) in case conditions aren't what you thought they'd be. Plus, is seems like in a boat full of divers, somebody is going to be underweighted for the conditions at some point in the day, and it's good to have a couple of weights to lend.

On a more esoteric level, for seabass hunting I like to be heavy, and as Chris alluded to, it sucks when I'm neutral at 12 ft. and have to cut a fish out at 55 ft. To that end, easily removable weights make a huge difference when I can take a couple of them off my belt and hang them on my float.
User avatar
Nate Baker
prick
 
Posts: 727
Joined: July 2013

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby dam » November 21st, 2017, 12:50 pm

Nate Baker wrote:On a more esoteric level, for seabass hunting I like to be heavy, and as Chris alluded to, it sucks when I'm neutral at 12 ft. and have to cut a fish out at 55 ft. To that end, easily removable weights make a huge difference when I can take a couple of them off my belt and hang them on my float.


I've had to do this a few times with holed up fish as well. It's so convenient.

The green RA belt is one of those essential gear that people tend to overlook. Another example are those Argos booties. Can anyone name any others? We need a thread for these unsung heroes. :laughing-rollingred:
User avatar
dam
diving god
 
Posts: 2205
Joined: June 2013

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby Alex Ray » December 1st, 2017, 10:17 am

I hate paying for lead. Lucky for me, way back in my scuba days I found a couple belts set up to assist very warm individuals and so I haven't had to buy any since 2004...until I saw quick weights in action. However, I refuse to pay for unnecessarily over-engineered gear (simple J-snorkel represent!!) and so I rigged up what I like to call my "Can't Hardly Weights" because I can't hardly wait to get in the water after the anchor drops as it is, much less take extra time to monkey around sliding weights on/off based on the depth of a given spot. I made four 1 lb CHW's a few years back and have yet to need to replace any of the non-metal components. I have 1-3 of these on my weightbelt at any given time, repeatedly soaking in saltwater then drying out on the deck in the sun over and over again.

First, find a little less than $5. Next, buy a 1 lb weight, two zip ties, and a short length of bungee.
Then, do the following:
Slide the bungee through the belt holes, tie together the ends, then zip tie in place against the weight.

Wrap around your weight belt with the weight on the outside. The bungee should lay parallel to itself along the inside of the belt,

then cross once coming back up the face and wrap over the shoulders of the weight.

If you line it up correctly the tied part of the bungee will stick up like a pulltab, making it easy to find and pull off with the belt still around your waist. This is super helpful when my fish ties up at 55 feet but I'm weighted to be neutral at 20 ft. I don't even have to get out of the water to drop a pound or two.
On great days I shoot fish and on good days I spook fish
User avatar
Alex Ray
prick
 
Posts: 960
Joined: July 2013
Location: Punta Dana / Crusty Mesa

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby Nate Baker » December 1st, 2017, 3:08 pm

Yeah, Alex, that’s a great hack.
User avatar
Nate Baker
prick
 
Posts: 727
Joined: July 2013

Re: What kind of weight and how much do I need

Postby chris oak » December 1st, 2017, 4:14 pm

I agree, Thanks Alex. I use bullet weights and do a similar thing but yours is much more functional and I'll give it a shot.
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4821
Joined: June 2013


Return to New Spearo Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users