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  1. #1
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    SMB choices for CCR

    I currently dive OC and use a two full size Halcyon SMBs on 60m Apeks spools which I stash in my drysuit pockets and inflate using the drysuit inflation hose. These are pretty neutral in the water and are pretty straightforward to deploy. Have done this for years and hundreds of dives without problems. So far so DIR.

    Size matters with SMBs. The boat must see the blob when the sea's rough. As I donít hang on to the line, leaving it to run though my fingers (or a hand-held double ender to prevent it sawing through my dry gloves), my blob lays flat on the surface.

    I bought a KT reel and crack bottle blob and utterly hated it because of the ridiculous weight and size. The overall weight meant that I lost well over a kilo just at the point where I really needed it at the end of the dive. Also hate hanging things off me. Agreed, itís simple and fast to deploy, but that still doesnít counter the weight and size. I couldnít flog them quick enough.

    I donít really care for the spool vs reel argument. Spools are easy and once youíve sussed how to clip them they are exceedingly reliable (hint, use cave techniques to wind the string round the double ender). Iíve bolloxed reel SMB deployments as often as spool deployments in the past, sending up the jammed reel with the blob more than once.

    Am about to transition to CCR. From everything Iíve read and heard, itís apparent that weighting with CCR is far more critical than with OC, so discarding a kilo or more means adding weight to counteract that, thus effectively diving overweighted for the bottom phase of the dive.

    Many people recommend the CO2 crack bottle blobs. There seems to be a limited range of these available, mostly slim formats, and I can only find one "full size" blob which takes two 16g CO2 cylinders, costing about £4/shot (i.e. more than the gas bill!). Obviously two cylinders is bigger than one, so itís not going to be pocket sized.


    I know Iím probably overthinking this (getting a bit nervous of the forthcoming CCR course TBH).

    Do many CCR divers use spools and drysuit inflate (or hose from bailout)?
    Of those that use reels, how many use lightweight reels and of which variety?
    Where do you stash your reels?
    Which (big) blobs do you use?
    Any people in favour of hose inflation?

  2. #2
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    I'd say it depends. I have yet to come up on a bag on the CCR mainly due to boat choice (shot/deco station), I carry a crack bottle and lightweight 100m reel set up tho because if you have an issue at depth return to shot maybe unrealistic either due to bailout volume, or severity of issue.

    If I need to bag off i want a simple system with min of faff, esp if it's co2 related and gas consumption is thru roof.

    It's bulky but sits on a d on my long backplate but before that it clipped to the 1 inch ring on the stage bolt snap.

    If you are bagging off because that's the recovery protocol then a spool and bag is fine.

    I carry a 100m Hollis Sidewinder in O W set up with a yellow SMB as a backup or to signal for gas, which has become a bit of a universal standard I believe.
    Last edited by JonG; 11-07-2020 at 12:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member nigel hewitt's Avatar
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    I preferred the ol' crack bottle SMB on a big reel as my main and I had a simple one with a short reel in a pocket to hold a bumpy 6m stop and mark where I was if it failed.
    I tended to dive without off board gas, you'll learn the failure drills, so I didn't want to commit to using any of my back gas (2x3L) for that on a routine dive.
    Helium, because I'm worth it.
    Waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay sounded like a radical holiday opportunity until I looked it up.

  4. #4
    Established TDF Member Paulo's Avatar
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    I carry 3 x CO2 DSMBs. 2 x red, 1x yellow.

    Not putting a pull on a line when the sea is anything but glass calm is an utterly cockwomble thing to do. How the fuck do you expect a skipper to keep track of you?

    Try drifting deco for 90 mins and see how far you travel before coming up to find there us no boat waiting for you
    Seemingly I am a wannabe JJ wanker

  5. #5
    Established TDF Member Paulo's Avatar
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    What CCR have you got? I hope it is something stupid like a Revo.

    Great shortage of cells and now you will whinge like fuck about the fact you cannot get 5 + a spare just to be able to get in the water
    Seemingly I am a wannabe JJ wanker

  6. #6
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    Speaking for myself:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Do many CCR divers use spools and drysuit inflate (or hose from bailout)?
    Not if I can avoid it but if I must, or if I'd doing an inland training dive where I probably won't use it at all. I orally inflate it too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Of those that use reels, how many use lightweight reels and of which variety?
    McMahon compact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Where do you stash your reels?
    On a d-ring, usually the rear stage clip position.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Which (big) blobs do you use?
    AP's open bottomed one with the baffle, and a CO2 inflated Aquatec one... mainly the latter. Plenty big enough with one gas cartridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Any people in favour of hose inflation?
    Who knows? I have used it but it's not that great IME as I worry it might get stuck or jam the valve open on the hose.
    The views expressed are my own, worth what you've paid for them, are not on behalf of anyone else and not those of any company I work for etc.

  7. #7
    Established TDF Member Doomanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Any people in favour of hose inflation?
    Not on CCR, to much shite down your front as it is, without disconnecting a hose to fill a blob.

    16g CO2 blobs (2, red) and a KT Composite Ratchet Reel. 16g CO2 carts can be had for a lot less than 2 quid if you know where to look.

    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/TOJOCO...aded-cartridge
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Seriously, forget about sidemount - it's bollocks.

  8. #8
    Last of the Mohicans gobfish1's Avatar
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    Red and yellow co2 bags and a open end bag 25kg also red . handy for swag or a bag of scollps. One reel 75m of line . If IV got to send it up from deeper I'll be happy for the free ride .
    Also a small back up with 15m line on . Have other bags also that could be used if needed . But like to save then for other jobs .

    Co2 cylinder and cost .
    Divers go on at the cost
    Makes me laugh they stick on a new piss condom each dive then try piss to justify the cost .
    Co2 cylinder s cost less per
    And you probley use a hand full of times each year if that. If your doing long ish deco times you really are better of back to the shot / back on the deco station with others and lots of cylinder around you .
    If your doing 3h or less you should be able to hold your own piss . Lol
    Put the condom money towards a few co2 cylinders .

    Other nice thing I like about them v compact
    And a nice slow fill no big pull as it disappeares.
    And if your worried about size . Let's just say IV never had a complaint . Blast up a 2nd later if your feelings a little inadequate
    Last edited by gobfish1; 11-07-2020 at 06:00 PM.
    None diver as of 2018.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo View Post
    Not putting a pull on a line when the sea is anything but glass calm is an utterly cockwomble thing to do. How the fuck do you expect a skipper to keep track of you?

    Try drifting deco for 90 mins and see how far you travel before coming up to find there us no boat waiting for you
    Hmm. Food for thought - in a good way as you’re right about the bag just laying on the surface.

    Barely want to say this... is DIR wrong about this? There’s two opposing requirements: being neutral in the water, thus being in complete control of one’s buoyancy, and being seen by the skipper from any distance. The latter is far more important on a dive by dive basis, especially for long deco times.

    I assume that most of you hang negative under the bag?

  10. #10
    Last of the Mohicans gobfish1's Avatar
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    All that free fall shite just showing off .
    First time I ever dived with a gue guy
    A looked at him coming up and thought what the fook is that all about . Looks uncomfortable also . If im feeling the cold my take up the position get some air along my back .
    10 mins and I'm back to hanging out
    Like the stroke I am .
    Gue only do it that way to stop them from getting a flat head is the cave.
    Last edited by gobfish1; 11-07-2020 at 05:57 PM.
    None diver as of 2018.


 
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