View Full Version : Different types of reels

01-14-2008, 10:05
Could somebody do me a favor and tell me the difference between reels. I've seen jump reels, cave reels, cavern reels, drift reel, finger spool, safety reels, Primary reels, explorer reels, ect... I like to get into tech diving at some point and would like to know what I should start out with now. I have a signal tube (safety sausage) and what do most of you deploy that with, finger spool? Thanks for the help.

01-14-2008, 11:08
There are lots of variety of styles but really only a few things matter.

1) Spool vs Reel. Spool is just that, a spool. A reel has a handle for winding line.

2) Length. Pretty self explanatory. Some reels have 75ft of line, some have 1200' of line. Match the task to the reel size. I carry a 400' reel for lift bags. (I'll dive to around 200' or so and its enough line with scope to shoot the bag at depth). For Rec limits - 150'-200' is a good choice IMHO.

3) Line size. Cave divers like thinner line so they can get more of it on a given size reel. Wreck divers like heavier line so its more abrasion resisitant.

Now, how does cavern, wreck, primary, safety, jump etc fit in. Well, a cavern and primary reel are used to enter a cave/cavern and lay line to the start of permanent line. These are usually around 250-400' or so. Safety reels and jump reels tend to be shorter. These are used to find the line or connect two lines together, Usually in the 75-125' range. Wreck reels are a primary with heavier line. (usually). Exploration reels are the monsters. 600-1200' of line for laying new line in unexplored passages.

In the end, there are no hard and fast rules. I use the same 400' reel for shooting lift bags/sausages and for leading into caves. On shallower OW size, I might use my 150' for lift bags or for a primary on some caves. I tend to use spools for short jumps or for lots of jumps. (easy to carry many).

If you can't tell, I tend to collect dive equipment - (2) 400' reels, (2) 150' reels, (1) 150' spool, (2) 100' spools, (1) 125 reel + a number of DIY 250' reels. (between my wife and I)

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-14-2008, 13:27
I think you need a primary reel with line about twice your expected maximum depth. A jump reel is also useful for low vis and/or current situations. So I have a 250' primary wreck reel and a 75' jump reel. I expect they will serve me fine unless I get into caving someday.

01-14-2008, 13:55
If you're thinking about going the tech route, here's a good link:

The Deco Stop (http://thedecostop.com/)

Technical diving forum.

01-14-2008, 16:50
Reels and spools are a useful tool for both sport and technical diving.

You don't need the most expensive to have good results. Dive Rite makes a good product at a fair price.

I prefer spools with large finger holes so as to make them ease to use with dive gloves. I use #24 line on my spools (150ft.),and #36 line on my primary wreck reel (250ft.). I do have a safety reel with 150ft. of #24 line but I rarely carry it.

Once you get a spool and/or reel make sure you practice using it...and carry it...no good in your dive bag!

01-14-2008, 19:19
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I might just start out with a spool like texdiveguy. I can always upgrade later.

01-14-2008, 19:56
Plus you can always use the spool later on.