• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Ascent/descent Lines

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Dairyland diver
Apr 7, 2001
I am thinking about putting together an ascent line to train on this summer.
What size, and type, of rope are people using for this?


If you have a boat, I suggest 10 mm "non-floating rope", marked every 5 meters (alternate marking for 10 and 5 m mark), with maybe every meter mark at the end of the rope.
If you don't have a boat, you need to prepare my rope while swimming. I use 4mm rope, and I need to carry the weight and a buoy so it is not that much fun. A thicker rope would be a bigger problem.
I used 3 different drop ropes last summer . Just as a guide rope I have a 1/4 inch and also a 3/8. The 1/4 works good off of my spool and out of my floating crate. I have an anchor rope on the boat that is 1/2 and to use it as an ascent line it is much nicer in the hands than either the 1/4 or the 3/8 but unless it's calm or suspended off the bottom it's always at an angle of some degree.. I can't remember if they are nylon or poly. I know they don't stretch much and were rated v.good against rotting from water and oils. I too, prefer a rope that sinks.

I've tried different markers - glow lights (used up and new), nylon tape, duct tape, but I can easily swim right by them and not notice. Now I just have old glow lights at 30', 60', and 80'. I miss the one at 30', can tell by the pressure when I should be close to the one at 60' and my 80' foot marker is usually the diving weight or the bottom. I hope next summer that I need one at 100' and 120'.

I have accummulated a bunch of cheap, small, underwater flashlights and they are going to replace my present markers. Plan is to suspend them upside down with the last suspended maybe 5' off the bottom. Batteries last long enough.

I usually use my polar depth finder from the surface to find the depth I want so I can drop my line to the bottom rather than have it suspended.

Something else I've been looking at are these fishing down riggers ($$$) and reels to use off the boat. Might be a nice way to ride to the bottom with a 10lb weight and not have to retrieve so much line by hand every time at the surface.

We use a huge cylindrical buoy, about 5 feet long, 1.5 feet in diameter, around which is wound 100 metres of 3/4" rope. The buoy has all sorts of clips and loops and hand holds on it, and it can accomodate 4 divers simultaneously without bumping into each other. We use a 30W light pointing up at the bottom, and a lead slug weighing around 12 lbs for the bottom weight. We drag this contraption easily through the water for considerable distances.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Thanks for all of the replies so far guys.

I am trying to figure out what is the smallest size I can get away with and still have it be comfortable in the hand.

I plan on using it off of a boat on Lake Michigan and from a float in some of our inland lakes.

I had set one up a few years ago on one of the wrecks that we dive all the time.
I put in colored zip ties every 5 feet and zip-tied in colored, plastic, weight keepers every ten feet.
Every 20 feet I zip-tied in the plastic housings from the UK miniQ40 lights- those things break just by looking at them!
I wrote the depth on the side of the plastic light housings to mark their depth.
After a couple of months we need to use the mooring line on another wreck and I had to take it apart.:(

Now I am looking for something smaller to use with an innertube float- with cover.
I have seen plastic tape that is used to weave into anchor rope to measure distance. usually it is only numbered ever 25', but I might try and make my own.

So, does a sinking rope about 1/2" thick sound like the size to go with?

How much weight are you hanging at the bottom of your line? In the past mine was tied to a wreck and I didn't have to worry about that. :D

Fred, I like the idea about the down weight system for variable:cool:


When I need a bouy/rope system that can handle 4 freedivers I'll have thought I died and went to freedive heaven. ;) There isn't another serious freediver within 300 miles of me. :confused: I think Jon is the closest at about 560 miles.

Jon, I usually set myself up nuetrally bouyant at about 35 - 40' and use a 9 lb diving weight on my variable rope. This makes for a good, easy ride down, I usually include a little finning too. At nine lbs it's not too difficult to lift while treading water at the surface. Could probably even handle a couple more lbs o.k.

I don't think the 1/2 rope is necessary... it'll get to be a lot of bulk. One plus on the thicker rope though, it seems to tangle less.

Last edited:
the Hell you been Fred?? :confused:

Hey give Anderson a ring. He got hooked up with some clown with game in CO and is doing a bunch of events in the area, like UT, NM and other scenic mud holes...

Hey Sven,
I've just been here in winter wonder land. This is a nutso place to be almost anytime of the year. For awhile my chain saw was big enough to get through the ice... now I don't know if they make one big enough. Big $$$ I'm sure if they do.

The state government is trying to figure out why we are the state that grew the least in poplulation the last 10 years.. duh...

As for colorado.. 900+ miles to denver from here.. a bit far away.

Hey, I really did take to this spearfishing.. really looking forward to doing more. Check out the ice to my right. Still don't know where the fish go during the winter.. south maybe.

carp cubes!

JEEEZUS! I'd say something witty like you got serious balls to jump in that, but you'd have to go searchin' for 'em after a dip...
Yeah well, 900's closer than 1700, eh?

DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.