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Float line

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Fishstab

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Jun 16, 2020
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Used a float for the first time recently. Whilst it was good being able to easily string up lots of fish (previously I was stringing them onto a metal loop on my belt), I found the float line to be really annoying.

Its an epsealon flat board float which came with what seems to be the generic orange float line that’s included with cheaper floats. Basically it’s so lightweight that whenever I swam back to my float it seemed to want to tangle around everything. Also a few time’s when duck diving it would wrap round one of my fins, I even found it wrapped round my wrist when I was 12m down.

A lot of this is because I’m not used to it I’m sure, but I also feel like if it the line was a little more heavy duty it wouldn’t tangle so easily. I can buy rob Allen float line for something like £1/metre which seems a lot.

is there a way to DIY it without having to buy dedicated float line? Some cheap 4mm polyethylene rope on eBay which looks the right sort of thing and can be had for £10 for 100m.
 
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Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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My float has the same line. Horrible, I hate it! Worst thing is that after a few hours, the material becomes less floaty and almost neutral! A non-floating floatline is a major risk!
 

sharkey

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Nov 22, 2013
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I always use a rig line for everything, never a reel.
My default rig line material is “ski rope”. It’s cheap, it floats, it won’t rot, it’s easy to splice & comes in a multitude of colours. The yellow ski rope is 6mm & it’s my regular daily set up. The green & blue are 8mm ski rope & are for tuna & billfish.
The ski rope we have in Australia is very different to the “ski rope” available in the UK. I know this because I am asked regularly by UK spearos to send them some.
3A4E8E9C-31FE-4793-B76A-DBFCC9A560D7.jpeg
9C99A9ED-0EF9-4A56-B971-DC4103259F3F.jpeg
 

Mr. X

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That cheap orange paracord is no good for floatline IMHO.

I like the Rob Allen polyester floatline: cheap, strong, simple, compact. 20m is more than enough for my needs - 12m is quite a good length. You can extend with a 5m ghost leader or reef hook if you need a little more length. I say cheap but some resellers have really over inflated their price for what is essential very cheap washing line rope.

Yes, you can buy the same rope elsewhere! It is often called "Thai green curry" coloured polyester rope in some parts of SE Asia.

I bought a ball of very similar rope, slightly nicer, darker, new for 50p at a car boot sale. The seller said he bought it for the garden but had much more than he needed!

I also bought several NOS 20m polypropylene washing line ropes, made in England, for £1 each, at the local indoor market. They are very similar to the RA floatlines but slightly smaller diameter and paler green (I bought green but they had other colours like red and blue too). Red is a good colour too as it tends to appear grey underwater.

Some people use aquarium air-line but that seems expensive.

You need something that floats (e.g. polypropylene not nylon or perlon or polyester), is fairly stiff to reduce tangles and strong enough for the fish you hunt and the UV /sunlight/saltwater.
 
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Fishstab

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Jun 16, 2020
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That cheap orange paracord is no good for floatline IMHO.

I like the Rob Allen polyester floatline: cheap, strong, simple, compact. 20m is more than enough for my needs - 12m is quite a good length. You can extend with a 5m ghost leader or reef hook if you need a little more length. I say cheap but some resellers have really over inflated their price for what is essential very cheap washing line rope.

Yes, you can buy the same rope elsewhere! It is often called "Thai green curry" coloured polyester rope in some parts of SE Asia.

I bought a ball of very similar rope, slightly nicer, darker, new for 50p at a car boot sale. The seller said he bought it for the garden but had much more than he needed!

I also bought several NOS 20m polyester washing line ropes, made in England, for £1 each, at the local indoor market. They are very similar to the RA floatlines but slightly smaller diameter and paler green (I bought green but they had other colours like red and blue too). Red is a good colour too as it tends to appear grey underwater.

Some people use aquarium air-line but that seems expensive.

You need something that floats (e.g. polyester not nylon or perlon), is fairly stiff to reduce tangles and strong enough for the fish you hunt and the UV /sunlight/saltwater.

yeah looking online it seems 4mm polypropylene rope can be had pretty cheap. I think the rob Allen stuff is 4mm so might as well stick with that.

I’ve read that polyester rope absorbs water whilst polypropylene doesn’t? Probably worth getting the polypropylene so it will dry quicker but probably doesn’t matter
 

Mr. X

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Yes, RA floatlines are 4mm, I just checked mine with a vernier caliper. My dark green carboot find is 4mm and my washing lines are 3.5mm diameter.

I check the washing lines in pound stores and market stalls, as polypropylene is one of the cheapest ropes available, doesn't stretch much so a good choice for cheap washing lines.


This looks similar but rather more than you need (11 x 20m floatlines?): https://www.ropesdirect.co.uk/4mm-green-rope-sold-in-a-220m-coil.html

Actually my reel line is fairly stiff 3mm polypropylene paracord. It could be used as floatline. That's quite a bit fancier, multi-coloured, woven outer, but only about £8 per 100m.

There are some very lose woven, quite stiff yellow polypropylene ropes often sold in chandler's. Like a smaller diameter, cheaper version of the water ski ropes shown above. I used some of that for side rails on an old float but didn't fancy using it as my floatline but it was cheap and would work.
 
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Mr. X

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Alternatively, I have a spare, never used olive green 30m RA floatline that I'll probably never use, which you could have for £20 + shipping, say £23.

You could make 2x15m floatlines or a 10 and a 20m floatline from it. Or use as-is; see Dan Man or Rob Allen youtube video on how to coil excess rope. I use a homemade wooden line holder but usually let it all out these days as I shortened my floatline.
 
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Mr. X

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I originally wrote polyester in my first post above. That was my mistake, I meant polypropylene. Don't buy polyester rope.
 

DiveHacker

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Jun 17, 2020
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Is it an option to anchor the float in the area you are working?

I have a very cheap floatline too, I may grab some poly rope as suggested here as its so cheap.

Do you guys use those line winders or are you able to manage the line without one?
 

Fishstab

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Jun 16, 2020
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Hah thanks for all the replies Mr X, I too went down a rabbit hole looking at rope yesterday.

whilst yes you can get a huge coil for peanuts, postage doubles the cost so I ended up buying some fancy looking stuff of eBay. 20m for around the £7 mark delivered
 

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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Is it an option to anchor the float in the area you are working?
Of course. The advantage of doing so is obvious, but the disadvantages are possibly losing your gun, your buddy losing track of you, drifting too far from your buoy and getting fined by the coastguard or driven over by a boat. I often anchor my float when I'm cleaning an area of lionfish or gathering limpets. When using the speargun I prefer to have it attached to the gun.

Do you guys use those line winders or are you able to manage the line without one?
There was a post about this some years back.
I adopted the technique Rob Allen shows in the included video at 2:40, figure-8-looping the rope over my forearm and tying it off with some half hitches. Works great and it saves me from bringing yet another thing to the dive. I travel by bicycle so I need my stuff to be compact, but even if you travel by car, less stuff is always better imho.
 

Mr. X

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You can use a small anchor, a lead weight (e.g. large fishing lead, small diving weight) or a reef hook secured in weed or a rock crevice ( hey maybe an old climbing wedge or Friend? :D) to anchor your float. But I prefer to keep my speargun attached to my float.

I recently thought about making a small, supplemental, marker float, such as a small, bright coloured, plastic soda bottle with some fishing line and a 3-6oz fishing lead. I sometimes find a hot mark (e.g. a group of trigger fish, a pack of hunting bass or a crab/lobster) and then loose it, usually due to poor visibility and currents moving me, especially if stringing/gutting a fish and/or reloading. :(
 

Brochman

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Jul 16, 2016
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I have been using 6mm Hollow braided Polypropylene line made by Lomo which is designed to float and won't rot. I found this rope did not get tangled like the standard Polypropylene rope. Not sure if this is the same type of rope that Sharkey uses but i was told by another Australian Spearo on Facebook that this type of rope could not be bought in the UK but found the hollow braid whilst looking for a Kayak paddle scabbard on the site below.


The same rope can be bought on Ebay

Is this the same rope you use Sharkey?
Cheers.
 

sharkey

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Nov 22, 2013
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I have been using 6mm Hollow braided Polypropylene line made by Lomo which is designed to float and won't rot. I found this rope did not get tangled like the standard Polypropylene rope. Not sure if this is the same type of rope that Sharkey uses but i was told by another Australian Spearo on Facebook that this type of rope could not be bought in the UK but found the hollow braid whilst looking for a Kayak paddle scabbard on the site below.


The same rope can be bought on Ebay

Is this the same rope you use Sharkey?
Cheers.
Sounds the same.
It’s cheap, it floats, it won’t rot & it’s easy to splice. I’m amazed that no one is importing this into the UK. I wish they would as postage is about $30 on top of the price of the rope every time someone requests I gift them. It is better in every way than using tube which leaks & sinks & a few of the other proprietary brands which have already been mentioned.
It’s called “ski rope” down here but it is not the same as what is sold as ski rope in Europe. Photo is from the roll the last lot cane on, 6mm ski rope.
3C5D46D1-1064-4D33-BF7A-8F28345A8B4D.jpeg
 
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Brochman

Active Member
Jul 16, 2016
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No joy in finding any of the same rope that is for sale in the UK from the picture you sent Sharkey even when i used the codes on the side of the reel but i did find another site that sells the same type of rope from a different company on Alibaba.com one of them sells it in different colours.


Amazon UK also has the Lomo yellow hollow braid 6mm and another one which classified as Lomo Anchor line 6mm is red and white and on a winder with spring hook.
 
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