Repair leak in hollow-vinyl floatline | DeeperBlue.com Forums
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Repair leak in hollow-vinyl floatline

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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billder99

Doyle
Dec 23, 2006
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I have a high quality (frikin' expensive!) Riffe hollow vinyl floatline, blue color, spectra core. It is about 5 years old and sank yesterday, a 12" split in the vinyl. Even with a float on top it is now useless, because the sunk loops catch on rocks.

I tried to repair one of these years ago... alternately tried filling with expanding foam, then silicone caulk, then rubber cement... plus duct tape, and then sail tape over the repair. Bupkiss. Nothing stopped the leaks or the sinking. Does anyone have a surefire DIY repair for these things? They are too expensive to just throw away.
 

Mr. X

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Don't know about float lines and huge gashes like that but I used to fix small punctures in my old vinyl float with superglue. It worked surprisingly well as I find superglue pretty useless in most applications :D. I also found some modern, self-adhesive bike patches worked well - and they looked to be little more than sellotape!

BTW The Rob Allen/Thai curry Green style polyester rope float-lines can be a cheap (sometimes very cheap) and cheerful alternative that will never puncture.
 

billder99

Doyle
Dec 23, 2006
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Thanks Mr X., I just looked at the RA floatlines this morning... looks like foam filled braided polyester? I'm sure it won't sink, but I love the clean way my hollow vinyl tubes coil and uncoil neatly without any kinks or bends. My experiment with plain braided poly rope was... tangled, messy. Have you used the RA line? How does it perform? $40US for a 75 foot line, great value.

As for the repair, it's too big for adhesive and patch. I know I need to fill the tubes at each end of the gash with something... just don't know what. I just sent a note to Riffe... maybe they will have a double-secret repair tip.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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I've had that problem and ended up just throwing the line away. And I've tried the Rob Allen lines and found them to be a mess. They have so much friction going through thick kelp that they almost bring you to a halt.

One alternative to consider is the hybrid float lines from Gannett. They can't sink, and they coil at least as nicely as the vinyl lines. The front section is vinyl, but even if it got punctured the line couldn't sink since the MFP runs through it.

 
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popgun pete

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Jul 30, 2008
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When vinyl splits it has basically had it. Superglue (cyanoacrylates) generally fails in water, although there are some superglues that don't. Vinyl is actually a hard material that is softened by the plasticisers in it. Over time the plasticisers are lost and the material becomes less supple, especially after long periods of being cooked in the sun.
 

billder99

Doyle
Dec 23, 2006
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One alternative to consider is the hybrid float lines from Gannett.

Very cool suggestion Bill, I don't think I would have ever seen this without your reference and link. I assume you are using one of these floatlines by Gannet and can attest to the performance in terms of coil/uncoil without kinking? Do you know what MFP is? (I tried to look it up... no luck)
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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I had to Google MFP line, but apparently it means Multi Filament Polypropelene line. Its used for dock lines etc.

I waffle back and forth on the relative resistance to tangles or kinks compared to vinyl lines. If I wasn't careful coiling it either one can make a mess when try to deploy it, but the MFP tangles seem to be softer smaller knots that are easier to straighten out. Its probably pretty much a draw between the two.

I have a 125 footer that I use in the kelp with just a small egg float on the end that serves as something to grab if its all pull through my hand, and a 50 footer that I use in open water with a large float to fight the fish.

Notice that they come with a choice of Gannett tie or stainless clip. Unless you are hunting giant tuna, I'd go with the clip. On my long line I ended up attaching a clip to the Gannett tie anyway since its easier to attach and detach. When I bought the shorter one I just went with the clip.
 

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billder99

Doyle
Dec 23, 2006
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MFP = Multi Filament Polypropelene line... I waffle back and forth on the relative resistance to tangles or kinks compared to vinyl lines. If I wasn't careful coiling it either one can make a mess when try to deploy it, but the MFP tangles seem to be softer smaller knots that are easier to straighten out. Its probably pretty much a draw between the two... they come with a choice of Gannett tie or stainless clip. Unless you are hunting giant tuna, I'd go with the clip. On my long line I ended up attaching a clip to the Gannett tie anyway since its easier to attach and detach. When I bought the shorter one I just went with the clip.

Thanks for the explanation and comparison. I love the Gannett lifetime guarantee... really solves all my worries. After giving it a bunch of thought, I really like the idea of full vinyl cover with MFP core... I like the way vinyl is easy to retrieve and neatly coil on the boat. I also want to try the "Gannet tie". Company says it's very easy, quiet, strong... seems like a very clever termination solution, gotta give it a go. Video of the Gannet tie here: https://gannetdive.com/collections/floatlines-1/products/skinny-with-gannet-tie?variant=4221879107

One more question for you... You are using bright yellow float line... my instinct would have been to go with the black... less likely to spook fish? I'm just guessing... why do you use the high-viz color? PS: Bill, thanks for your many years of helpful & knowledgeable forum support... you are a water stallion.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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I’ve done Gannerr tie and it’s a lot more trouble attacking that to your shooting line than just clipping on a snap swivel buy if you end up agreeing with me you can just tie a swivel to it like I did. :)

I always want bright float lines, yellow or white, so that boats can see them and I can see them trying to follow them down through the murk and kelp. Guys around here have had their guns ripped out of their hands when boats ran over their float lines. And when I’m running the boat while guys dive offshore kelp paddies I hate black or blue lines. If it’s cloudy or there is a chop I can’t see them and I’m afraid to approach my divers and pick them up. Not only will I cut their lines but I might foul my prop and then drift off downwind trying to clear it while the divers try to chase the boat.

if you’re worried about spooking fish one solution might be a red line. It’s visible on the surface but becomes black as it gets down a few feet. That wouldn’t solve my problem of wanting it visible down in the kelp but at least boats might see it. But I don’t think Gannett has red, do they?
 

billder99

Doyle
Dec 23, 2006
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I always want bright float lines, yellow or white, so that boats can see them and I can see them trying to follow them down through the murk and kelp. Guys around here have had their guns ripped out of their hands when boats ran over their float lines. And when I’m running the boat while guys dive offshore kelp paddies I hate black or blue lines. If it’s cloudy or there is a chop I can’t see them and I’m afraid to approach my divers and pick them up. Not only will I cut their lines but I might foul my prop and then drift off downwind trying to clear it while the divers try to chase the boat.

Holy Moly, I never thought of any of that. Great advice Bill, thanks.
 

Bill McIntyre

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Thanks just my opinion so take it for what’s it’s worth. Others may differ.
 

Mr. X

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Thanks Mr X., I just looked at the RA floatlines this morning... looks like foam filled braided polyester? I'm sure it won't sink, but I love the clean way my hollow vinyl tubes coil and uncoil neatly without any kinks or bends. My experiment with plain braided poly rope was... tangled, messy. Have you used the RA line? How does it perform? $40US for a 75 foot line, great value.
. . .
As for the repair, it's too big for adhesive and patch. I know I need to fill the tubes at each end of the gash...
Yes, I've used RA polyester rope float line for years. I really like it. I use a small, homemade line-winder to retain any excess - rather than figure-8'ing it like the SA spearos (see RA's shore fishing youtube video firorebon that) - with swivel-clips at both ends of the line, so tangling isn't much of an issue. In GB, we don't have the huge Sequoia-like kelp forests that Bill hunts in to contend with.

Would it be possible to cut the damaged end from your spearline?
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Good point. My main problem with the RA line is friction in the kelp. If you dont have krlp that isn’t a consideration.

If he cut the damaged part of the line off then he’d have to reattach the spectra core to the end plug and then seal the plug in the new end. I don’t have any experience with that but I’m sure it could be done. A lot of guys make their own vinyl lines with spectra cores so he just needs to find one gor advice.

An afterthought. If that Riffe line lasted 5 years in frequent use then that isn’t that bad.
 

billder99

Doyle
Dec 23, 2006
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Thanks guys, I've been looking at the line trying to gauge how difficult a cut-repair would be. I'm going to try it, I'll lost about 2m off a 20m line, still plenty usable.

Bill, I'm not diving in kelp in Sea of Cortez where I normally dive, just open reefs... maybe I'll give the braided-poly another try for over here... WAY easier on the budget. Here is a link to the vid Mr.X referenced, a couple of nice tips in here:
If you run across a video or other tutorial for repairing a cut float-line, please post it here... this is turning into a good general resource thread for float-lines.
 

popgun pete

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2008
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Remember reading this years ago and still up on the site.
http://ic_spearguns.tripod.com/
Start with 5/16" outer diameter clear vinyl tubing the desired length of your floatline. 50 to 75 feet is a good length. Attach a vacuum cleaner to one end with a near air tight seal (using duct tape). Get kite string and vacuum it through the tubing. Attach 300 lb test tuna cord, 1/8 in nylon or dacron line, or 2mm/3mm spectra to the kite string and pull it through with the kite string. Attach 6mm barrel swivel to one end of cord with 2 crimps spaced at lease 1/2" behind swivel and at least 1/2" apart from one another. Attach the other end of cord to a stationary object. Insert silicone rubber into end of tube and dip it into hot water to soften the end. Pull the tube over the swivel until it passes the swivel rotation line. Tie constrictor knots between swivel and first crimp and between two crimps. This holds the tube onto the end. Now relax the line inside the tube and repeat at the other end to attach the swivel. Put 1/2" heat-shrink tubing over each end and heat carefully to shrink so as to protect the knots from abrasion. Trim tube around swivel line so the swivel will turn properly. Attach clips to ends as desired. Long-line clips and pigtail swivels both work well.

You can also use 3/8" outer diameter tubing with the larger diameter cord and 8mm swivels for a heavier duty float line.


There is also an article on bungie float lines in the Rigging section using Norprene and similar materials.

The vinyl float lines are slick through the water and don't get grabbed by weed as they have no surface texture, the problem with vinyl (PVC) is that it discolours and hardens and the surface loses its gloss over time because of the nature of the material. The vinyl tube has a certain life depending on its exposure to sunlight and weathering. I have used polypropylene rope (it was light blue in colour), but you can end tied up in it as the stuff gets tangled quite easily in the thinner diameters.
 
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sharkey

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2013
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Five years is pretty good for a rig line? I use ski rope for 99% of my diving. Its all I use on dogtooth tuna now, I may add a 6m Riffe bungee to the front for other topwater gamefish like billfish or wahoo. Pictured is a $12 roll from the hardware & below is two breakaway setups ready for a Coral Sea trip.
36816326_676011689408749_9121021510197182464_n.jpg
45163615_10210307221717461_566845836651134976_n.jpg
 
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