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More on floats

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.
I actually ended up buying a solid 11 litre Rob Allen float with diver-down flag & balast to keep it upright from the European distributer (close to where I work). Not cheap -- but good & should last. The flag is a good feature -- there were boats & canoes around last week when I did my first spearfishing (5 days, a 2-3lb bass & a beautiful leopard marked 5.5lb Ballan Wrasse) all from the beach; an unmarked buoy could easily be mistaken for a lobster pot marker. [The attached image is similar to the float I use -- but mine has a smaller blue & white international DDF & no clear covers on the ends]

I had earlier bought an XL, single bladder inflatable torpedo buoy off ebay. It is good to have a spare that will travel easily -- but I have far more confidence in a solid float. Fortunately the carpark was right next to the beach.

I still like the Baywatch style float. I can't understand why the spearo companies don't just make or sell them for spear fishing -- they seem ideal (esp. if they add a flag & balast). My local pool has a large one. I saw a perfect small one at a beach this week. Please, please -- do not take these emergency beach floats though -- two young boys died just 2 weeks ago, marooned on a rock in the Severn Estuary with the tide coming in fast; a nearby adult failed to rescue them -- the nearby emergency float & line were missing. :^(


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hi u point a good and a very important point !!!
the red white flag is not acceptable all over the world!!!!!
the only one is the A flag by international rule!
other thing is that i use a boat or my kayak with the A flag all times
the flag have to be strong made ( not folding ) so it can be noticed from 50 meters at least!
in israel its not so funny the sea motorcyclers like to do their slalom near to
the float, most boaters dont give a f@#%en attention for as , my friend allmost got killed by sail yacht he didnt hear or see it comming and it hit on his head
the skiper was looking at him like nothing happend and even didnt stop!!
so my dearest friends dont go with no marking and beware of everything
especially in Israel were the law is just a paper!!

for the float i found my float a very good buy it also got a hole for a flag
cost me 30 Euro
I have a standard divers flag on a pole through a styrofoam ball float. With all the jetskis and crap around here it would be near certain death without. Mostly they do not honor the 200 foot limit anyway. I've got an Omer Torpedo on the way too - so my daughter and I will each have our own.

That's for Grand Traverse Bay - out in Lake michigan there are rarely any boats within 3 or 4 miles.
Some of these stories about boat drivers make me think about taking up freeshafting-I wouldnt want to be att to the boat after drilling it :)
With the way things are growing around here and how easy it is to get to captain a power boat on inland waters I decided to add the alpha flag to my boat staff.
I surfaced a while back a found a boat party of asians pointing at my boat as they wizzed by ay 30 knots. I know we have all heard it but the world is shrinking FAST.
time to think out side the box. :)

i major thing i see here and make feel a bit better is the fact that
the problem is all over the world ( i think in Canada its different )
boaters dont pay any attention to as , so take care my friends
and dive safely
I have a rather large float around 5' long and 40" wide, I keep a kill gun, spare shaft pole spear, two bottles of water, extra knife, and extra mask

I know you are in So Cal, so I think many of the answers you have received don't really apply to the place you live and the diving you will be doing.

If you plan to dive in kelp, and after all that is where the fish are, then you can't use a float at all, or at least not more than a small egg float that just serves as something to grab when the fish has pulled the float line through your hand. If you use any kind of float that provides flotation or carries all that stuff mentioned, then it will be impossible to pull through the kelp. And you sure as hell can't dive, go under kelp, and come up on the other side, because the float won't follow you.

So you have a choice of a float line with egg float only, or a reel. Sure, if you dive from a boat on kelp paddies in open water, then you will be able to use a conventional float, but I think you started by asking about diving from shore. Unless you carefully avoid the kelp beds where all the fish are, forget a float.
I made really nice solid floats by sewing tubes out of truck tarp vinyl attached webbing loops and filled with 4lb pour foam. Got the vinyl scraps free from a tarp shop, had the webbing laying around the house and bought the foam online (US composites). For 50 bucks I got three nice floats.
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By the way, how are people carrying water on their floats? I tried clipping a cycle bottle in canvas bottle holder designed for belt attachment (bought cheap in the US for climbing) with one of those cheap anodized mini karabiners. Result: well I never lost the water & but I never drank it either -- the bottle float upside down most of the time! It also added noticeable extra drag.

Also, I was surprised to notice extra drag when to carry a stringer behind my float (by the way, watch the stringer when you exit steep beaches -- mine pranged me 5 times before I finally tamed it last time out -- ouch!). Previously I carried a large but folded & tied net bag on my float -- I was surprised that this seemed to cause less drag.

The old adage about keeping it simple is probably good. Too much clutter is a significant danger in its own right. Signalling mirror probably wouldn't help much in the UK -- it is often cloudy, & if seen, I suspect it would be ignored by all (except perhaps the coast guard helicopter -- they seem to be able to spot floats though & come to see what you are up to!). Mini-flares sound interesting; anybody in the UK carry them (price/availability?).
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