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?