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Spool vs Reel

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.

What holds your line?

  • Spool

    Votes: 5 33.3%
  • Reel

    Votes: 9 60.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 6.7%

  • Total voters


Working Class Spearo
Mar 17, 2002
Ah yes - another debate! Having used both I haven't yet decided on a preference, but I'm sure the strong opinion crowd will chime in soon enough!

So what do you use? Little Derlin spool and a shiny SS Double ender? Maybe a super-non-stop-automatic-900yrd monster?

Lets hear it!

for arguments sake I have a DiveRite Safety Reel with 90ft og #36 wreck line. Fantastic in warm water but the little locking nob is a pain in the ass with my drygloves on. probably going Spools.
Last edited:

Different tools for different jobs.
Yeah... I agree... take both... different tools for different jobs...
I have a reel with 300ft of line and a smaller spool with 90ft of line... I use that as a jump reel, and for releasing my DSMB
Reel or spool

I'm just now starting to seriously approach more technical diving, so please forgive any ignorance I may have on this subject :confused: . I am curious however: is there an activity or environment where a reel provides a definitive advantage over a spool and vice versa?

I have a medium sized reel I bought for the purpose of SMB deployment, cross wreck type runs, and simple search grid work. I don't have any penetration training so don't have a need for it there. It has about 150' of a medium weight line and has served me well so far.

Thanks for any insights,
A reel is MUCH easier to reel in, and holds a lot more line.

I use a reel for penetrating a wreck and keep the spool in my pocket for releasing my DSMB.

Although the spool I have has 40m of line on it, it is a pain winding that much in, so I tend to shoot it from 20m, because the majority of my wreck diving is from 25-35 at the mo, this means I am quite clear of the wreck.

If it all goes pear shaped, eg I lose the spool, I have a backup DSMB which I just attach to the reel.

Spools are good for little jobs, plus they cannot jam, and a reel is better for bigger jobs

Interesting that you find a spool harder to wind in than a reel, I find the opposite to be true(may well be as my reel is not the best). What method are you using to wind in the spool? A technique I use and find more effective than the reel is to clip your double ended bolt snap to the line and hold the other end in one hand, and the spool in the other hand. Then wind away. In this manner you can start by winding in larger circles than on a reel and by tilting the spool at the same time not miss the spool.

Is this the method you use?

I find it hard to get my finger thru the hole in the centre of the spool (Fat fingers and thick gloves).
I had not thought to use the bolt snap on the actual line, I have used it on the spool to average effect, although obviously I have to crank it like a lunatic, I will give it a try.
If you want to avoid winding snags onto your spool, try moving the spool around the line......... advocated by my DIR-F instructors. (They didn't want to see us using the boltsnap as a "guide", and frankly I always found that to slow things down)
Freefloat, plase explain.

The way I have done it before, was to hold the spool, pull the line down with my hand and then loop it around the spool. Thing is, especially when wearing gloves, my fingers would get in the way.

I sit here holding my spool trying to think how to move the spool around the line in the most efficient manner, and still my fingers get in the way
To some extent, your fingers do "get in the way" -

Think about the method you've just described - pulling the line taut and wrapping it around the spool. Now imagine the roles of your hands were reversed - instead of holding the spool stationary, that hand now holds the line taut, while the other hand, holding the spool, wraps the spool around the (taut) line.

Every so often, about 10-15 wraps for me, reverse the spool one half turn. Now your fingers are on the "other" side, you're wrapping the sopol around the other direction, and the line is winding into the half of the spool that was covered by your fingers previously.

Done properly, it doesn't take long at all, results in a very even wind (I learned early on not to pull the line too tight while winding, ir it tends to 'bury' itself under previous strands and you don't want to see the result ot that...!) and ends up quite snag-resistant. Especially if you're doing a bag shoot where you're just letting the spool "hang" in mid water, hands-free, and unwind itself as the bag deploys. (Works well with Delrin-milled spools, don't know about "other" kinds) If you got a snag then, the spool will zip up out of sight in a split second.

It's kind of hard to explain - this is something you more or less have to see as it's not at all complicated, just hard to describe. It's like trying to explain the finesse involved in kite-flying.....
I have just tried it sitting here and that was the way I started doing it. It just sort of slides off your fingernails onto the spool. Problem was, when I tried it with gloves it tended to grip the tips of the gloves. Probably just need more practice.
I don't use the very tips (fingernails) of my fingers - rather I use the "pads" of my fingers (the parts with the fingerprints on them)

Around here, much of the year's diving is done wearing 7mm gloves........... If I can re-spool thin line wearing the gloves using this method, anyone can! (though admittedly, if your gloves' fingertips extend too far, you're going to have difficulty....)
I think I get you now, try and hold the spool much further towards the ends of you fingers, away from the inside of the knuckle. That way, when I reel in the line pushes on the insides of my fingers, as opposed to the backs of them (eg fingernails).
Guess I better get myself on one of these Dir Fundies then, I hear that they blindfold you and beat you with big sticks, all whilst maintaining perfectly horizontal trim, is this true? :D
Yeah but you're maskless doing an air share while they do, and you have to maintain perfectly horizontal trim, as well.......:D

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