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Travman
01-14-2009, 16:50
I have a Mares Airlab and I have put a swedish link clip on it to attach it to my BC so I always know where it is and its not dangling to get caught in something.
I am looking at getting a retractor for it instead. I see ST have a few different retractors. Can anyone comment on the differences? Are there any that are better than others?

CompuDude
01-14-2009, 17:07
Retractors will break, usually when it's most inconvenient. I avoid them like the plague.

Rainer
01-14-2009, 17:13
Retractors will break, usually when it's most inconvenient. I avoid them like the plague.

A bit of an overstatement (the plague?), I've got to agree with the general sentiment.

Retractors really suck.

Vercingetorix
01-14-2009, 17:22
Retractors cause an entanglement hazard. I had one on my computer-spg-compass console.

Now, the computer and compass are on the wrist and the spg is is clipped to the left-hip D-ring.

I avoid retractors like the plague.

The plague is a bit excessive. I avoid them like brussel sprouts. I tried one once, and didn't like it.I like brussel sprouts. Now boiled squash....gross...

MSilvia
01-14-2009, 17:26
The plague is a bit excessive. I avoid them like brussel sprouts. I tried one once, and didn't like it.

CODMAN
01-14-2009, 18:35
Sorry to give a different oppinion (REC oppinion) guys. But for recreative purposes, I find that retractors, when they work properly, are a great thing. Now the thing is they can fowl up, break, jam, etc.... and in these cases, they are a piece of junk.

I've been quite happy with mine so far. I had a bad encounter with one, but the company changed it on warranty.

As basic advice if you want to use one of these on your SPG/ computer. Buy the big heavy duty models! They are sturdier and withstand the abuse better! The wimpy small ones aren't strong/ tough enough for your SPG computer.

Just my 0.02$!

CODMAN

Splitlip
01-14-2009, 19:04
I avoid them like lunch meat with the little rainbows on them.

I put this on my kids's console

Damselfish
01-14-2009, 19:25
I've used retractors on my console for years, it works for me and I've never had one break or tangle in anything. If the retractor were to completely break or get detached somehow, the console is not going very far.

FishFood
01-14-2009, 19:40
I avoid them like lunch meat with the little rainbows on them.

I put this on my kids's console

Ive snapped surgical tube under water twice now... It get's old and starts developing small cracks.

Have you had this problem? Am i just using crappy surgical tube?

Splitlip
01-14-2009, 20:29
I avoid them like lunch meat with the little rainbows on them.

I put this on my kids's console

Ive snapped surgical tube under water twice now... It get's old and starts developing small cracks.

I can see when it is getting weak. and it is cheap to proactively replace it.

You might be using cheap tubing. The tubing on a a spear gun is subjected a lot more abuse than than this little thying.

It is worn on her right shoulder d ring so I can see computer and spg by glancing over. She can see them by glancing down. If she needs to look at the compass, a roll of the console and a little stretch does it.
If she needs to "navigate", she will unclip.

I have used it myself. I wear cheaters, but can see pretty well just by glancing down. If I need to see say a "temp" reading, the tubing offers plenty of stretch.

This little do hicky is no longer than the better retractor assemblies.

Have you had this problem? Am i just using crappy surgical tube?

Vercingetorix
01-14-2009, 21:28
I avoid retractors like I avoid dinners with an insurance agent.

My problem with retractors is that it caused my console to swing out too far. This caused entanglements. Snap-clipping the SPG to my hip D-ring brings it in tight to my body. Quite frankly, for me, I see no need for a retractor at all.

Also, I attach the snap clip to the SPG hose with a zip-tie, not surgical tubing or bungee. Were I a true GUE/DIR aficionado, I'd cave-line that sucker to the clip.

Splitlip
01-14-2009, 21:35
Rick:
I do wear my SPG on my left hip with a 26" HP hose (single tank). My compass and computer(s) are on my wrists.
When using my camera, I clip the SPG to my left chest D-ring. (got that from Michael, aka mwhities, our one armed friend.)

IMO this is the most efficient way to operate.

For the most part, the SPG is the gauge we look at the least anyway.

Travman
01-15-2009, 16:25
I'm glad I asked the question now. Looks like I may can the retractor idea.

Mtrewyn
01-15-2009, 18:50
I'm glad I asked the question now. Looks like I may can the retractor idea.


Don't do that, just do what works for you, I have a Retractor on my "rig" right now, and it had been fine for 2 full seasons of diving, I like the surgical tube thing, I may try that next... now if you are diving where entanglement is a problem, that may be another story, you might want to try something else, but if you are just "rec" diving if it did go bad underwater, just un hook it, put it in a pocket and keep going,and fix it later, a lot of people that I dive with don't use anything at all.

CompuDude
01-15-2009, 19:45
I'm glad I asked the question now. Looks like I may can the retractor idea.


Don't do that, just do what works for you, I have a Retractor on my "rig" right now, and it had been fine for 2 full seasons of diving, I like the surgical tube thing, I may try that next... now if you are diving where entanglement is a problem, that may be another story, you might want to try something else, but if you are just "rec" diving if it did go bad underwater, just un hook it, put it in a pocket and keep going,and fix it later, a lot of people that I dive with don't use anything at all.

I had a buddy who tore his BC pretty badly and ended up in the drink when his console retractor failed and it got wedged between two boards on the swim step just as he was trying to stand up in swelly seas. If the boat had hit him on the head, he'd have been in a world of hurt.

There is no guarantee that this will happen... but I've seen it. Something similar (but not as potentially dangerous happened to me when the first (and only) retractor I ever bought failed.

There are no scuba police and people should make their own decisions... but bearing in mind possible downsides should definitely play a role in decision-making.

Vercingetorix
01-16-2009, 10:51
For the most part, the SPG is the gauge we look at the least anyway.Actually, I look at the SPG the most, because I suck air like it's free. Yes,...my name is Rick...and I'm an airhog. I look at the computer/depth gauge seldom because my ears tell me if I've gone up or down a couple feet.


There are no scuba police and people should make their own decisions... but bearing in mind possible downsides should definitely play a role in decision-making.

http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/files/1/4/6/comment_scubapolice.gif

No Misses
01-16-2009, 11:15
First - WELCOME BACK Compudude. We were starting to wonder where you went.

I have one retractor on my rig. It is on my BU light that is tucked away under an innertube, on my right shoulder harness. If I pull the light out for use, the retractor is long enough for me to fully extend my arm. When I am done with the light it goes right back to my shoulder harness. Example: I use it to spot lobsters that are way back in holes (and to look out for moray eels in said holes). Once I grab the lobster, I can drop the light and use both hands. I installed a split ring on the end of the retractor. The BU light has a bolt snap attached via cave line. I can unclip it from the retractor if/when needed.

My AI DC is on a bolt snap, attached to my scooter ring (front waist D-Ring)

fisheater
01-16-2009, 11:55
I avoid retractors like I avoid dinners with an insurance agent.

Excellent line.

I used to be a retractor defender. That is, until my computer retractor died after way too few dives.

Snap bolt works great and doesn't fail. Cheaper, too!

kjvander
01-16-2009, 12:10
well i have one retractor just because i needed something for my spg and i couldn't find anything else....stuck in the middle of no where and forgot things at home....so local walmart it was....picked one up cheap...works so far...but not a long term solution.

Flatliner
01-17-2009, 08:59
I used a nicer retractor for the first year or so that I was diving. Never had any problem but I switched based on the problems others had. When possible, I prefer to learn from others mistakes.

Grin
01-22-2009, 14:56
I used one for a couple years for my gauge cluster. One day I realized it was holding the gauge cluster in my way when routing in the reef, so I took it off. It still works great. I would grab it, and knew exactly where it was without looking, take a look at my pressure and other info on my compter, then let er fly back to it's spot. Worked great! Now my console flys in the wind. Probably was a better setup before. If I were not routing fish and lobsters out of the reef (placing it in my way) it would definatly be on there right now. I never had it jam, never broke, never did any maintenance on it. Probably 100+ dives on it.

CompuDude
01-22-2009, 15:57
I used one for a couple years for my gauge cluster. One day I realized it was holding the gauge cluster in my way when routing in the reef, so I took it off. It still works great. I would grab it, and knew exactly where it was without looking, take a look at my pressure and other info on my compter, then let er fly back to it's spot. Worked great! Now my console flys in the wind. Probably was a better setup before. If I were not routing fish and lobsters out of the reef (placing it in my way) it would definatly be on there right now. I never had it jam, never broke, never did any maintenance on it. Probably 100+ dives on it.

Buy lotto tickets.

Travelnsj
01-22-2009, 16:02
I have a Mares Airlab and I have put a swedish link clip on it to attach it to my BC so I always know where it is and its not dangling to get caught in something.
I am looking at getting a retractor for it instead. I see ST have a few different retractors. Can anyone comment on the differences? Are there any that are better than others?

Whether you use retractors or snap bolts they are very important. I have seen people with computers, octos, PSI gauges etc....dangling.....they go on top of a plate coral....one of those things gets caught down in the coral.....and the coral get busted up. Also seen people going thru swim throughs and their stuff gets caught.

I use retractors on my computer, muck stick, small lite etc...do not get the ones with a plastic clip...metal only....but if you do not care for retractors....use something!

mitsuguy
01-22-2009, 22:37
I use one when I carry a camera or if no camera, then I use it for my light on day dives... it is clipped between my back and the wing part of my BC... it's a small camera, so when I don't need it, it tucks right behind my right kidney and I use the lock on it to keep it from flying away and stress off the spring in the reel... the retractor makes it easier to do than a snap in that position...

no failures yet, my wife uses the same setup and no failures for her either...

however, that's all I use it for, bolt snaps every where else...

Zeagle Eagle
01-23-2009, 10:06
Whatever you use or don't use the important thing is to not let your gear drag across the reef. I am a recreational diver and I use a retractor on my computer console. It keeps it snug against my body. It's easy to use and works great. I usually have a small pen light in my pocket also with a retractor. I have been using them for over 20 years and never had a failure; but, then I am obsessive with inspecting and taking care of my equipment. I replace them when they show signs of wear and tear.

kjvander
01-23-2009, 10:21
i agree with the statement above....i don't care what you use....you can use a twist-tie...just as long as you don't have dangly things that can cause damage to a reef or any other wild life.

LiteHedded
01-23-2009, 10:42
I avoid retractors like I avoid dinners with an insurance agent.

Excellent line.

I used to be a retractor defender. That is, until my computer retractor died after way too few dives.

Snap bolt works great and doesn't fail. Cheaper, too!
they can fail. so tie it on with something you can cut off

MSilvia
01-23-2009, 13:10
Snap bolt works great and doesn't fail.
Good catch Litehedded... yeah, they can fail, and they can fail in various ways.

I had brass boltsnaps with thumb slides that, over the course of several dozen dives, became sharp enough to slice through drysuit gloves (or, presumably, fingers).

I figured I could replace the relatively soft brass with stainless steel, and solve the problem. I went to the local hardware store and picked up a couple. While stainless snaps did solve that problem, the springs in the cheapo snaps were not stainless, and after a couple of dives they were corroded to the breaking point and failed to close again after they were opened.

I went to West Marine and got some quality stainless steel bolt snaps that were intended for use around salt water. They worked great, but after a season of diving they became "gunked up" and were difficult to open. After I couldn't open one at all and would therefore have been prevented from looking at my SPG if I wasn't able to cut the cave line that tied the snap to it, I made a point of lubricating my snaps as part of my pre-dive gear assembly.

LiteHedded
01-23-2009, 15:27
yup
I had the snap on my halcyon lift bag fail. it wouldn't open
these clips, even the good ones, can fail

ScubaBoy
02-09-2009, 19:05
I have a retractor on my rig. Works great and keeps my instruments close at hand yet out of the way. I would assume not all retractors are the same. Mine doesn't look at all like the ones at ST. It's a Gear Keeper by Hammerhead.

CompuDude
02-09-2009, 19:08
I have a retractor on my rig. Works great and keeps my instruments close at hand yet out of the way. I would assume not all retractors are the same. Mine doesn't look at all like the ones at ST. It's a Gear Keeper by Hammerhead.

Yup, that's the brand I had on the last retractor I bought, which failed in under a year. YMMV.

Straegen
02-09-2009, 19:41
After I couldn't open one at all and would therefore have been prevented from looking at my SPG if I wasn't able to cut the cave line that tied the snap to it, I made a point of lubricating my snaps as part of my pre-dive gear assembly.

I have had great luck keeping my pumps and such in my reef aquarium gunk free with an all natural product called Bean Clean. I started using it to clean my motorcycle chain and later started using it as a cleaning agent and protectant between immersion in salt water for various equipment. Might work pretty well on this sort of problem. In theory, more environmentally safe than other petroleum based products and pretty cheap. May not be as good as silicon based products though

Splitlip
02-09-2009, 20:06
yup
I had the snap on my halcyon lift bag fail. it wouldn't open
these clips, even the good ones, can fail

Yeah, I can't believe Halcyon did that with their larger bags. I plan to cut mine off and install a quick link then just loop my line/reel/spool through it.