Reels & Spools in Scuba Diving
Reels and spools are essential pieces of diving equipment, particularly for technical, cave, and wreck divers. They are used for navigation, marking locations, and creating guidelines that divers can follow in low visibility conditions or enclosed spaces. Here's what you need to know:
What are Reels & Spools?
Reels and spools are devices used to hold and deploy a line. They come in various sizes and designs, but all serve the same primary function: to allow divers to lay out and retrieve a line underwater.
Types of Reels & Spools
Several types of reels and spools are designed for specific diving activities. Jump reels are small and used for short distances, such as jumping from a mainline to a secondary line in cave diving. Safety reels are typically used for deploying a surface marker buoy (SMB) or for a safety stop. Larger reels are used for laying primary lines in cave or wreck penetration diving.
Importance of Reels & Spools
Reels and spools play a crucial role in diver safety. They are used to create a guideline that divers can follow to exit an overhead environment like a cave or wreck safely. They can also deploy a surface marker buoy for safety stops or signal the boat in drift diving.
Using Reels & Spools
Using a reel or spool requires practice and skill. Divers must learn how to deploy and retrieve the line, manage the tension, and avoid entanglement. It's also essential to secure the reel or spool properly when not in use to prevent it from unspooling accidentally.
Choosing Reels & Spools
When choosing a reel or spool, divers should consider the type of diving they plan to do, the size and design of the reel or spool, and the type and length of the line. It's also essential to choose a reel or spool that is durable and easy to use with gloves.
Maintenance of Reels & Spools
Proper maintenance of reels and spools is essential for their longevity and performance. After each dive, they should be rinsed with fresh water to remove salt, sand, and other debris. The line should also be checked regularly for wear and tear.
In conclusion, reels and spools are vital equipment for any diver venturing into overhead environments or needing to deploy a surface marker. They provide a lifeline to safety and are a crucial tool in responsible and safe diving practices.