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easy SMB

Discussion in 'Lift Bags, SMBs and Reels' started by luk, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. luk

    luk Angel Fish

    Could you recommend an SMB and a reel that's easy to use? During safety stop, I found myself unable to keep the depth when I tried to inflate the SMB. Not to mention it got tangled, or shot up the surface so quick that I couldn't even hold on to the string anymore.
  2. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    Have you been trained to use one?
    Have you seen an instructor demo the skill, live or YouTube?

    Relatively speaking, the smaller the smb the less you'll exhale to inflate. But, it's more of a transfer of bouyancy, from your lungs to the smb. This takes practice. Here's a video of a proper smb deployment....

    SCUBA: SMB Deployment - YouTube

    Each smb is a tool and is used for a specific purpose. For training and general use I like the HOG 36" and the Halcyon 36". A simple 50' spool and a SS double ender and that's a simple, useful set up. Now, rigging that set up is another chapter.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Skulmoski likes this.
  3. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    My guess is that it's the first time you have used one...

    Use just about any smb...with a finger spool. Practice, practice and practice some more. The more you do it, the better you will get. I have been diving a long time, before smb's we used lift bags, and it was just as much of a perishable skill as it is now.
  4. luk

    luk Angel Fish

    Thank you! My instructor showed how to use it, and I was able to deploy it few times (inflated with a reg). But I tried that a year later I couldn't deploy at all. I don't own one so I haven't practice, but I'm looking to buy one. Is it easier to fill with a reg, or orally inflate?
  5. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    When trying to maintain depth...orally.
  6. C Dub

    C Dub DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
    The 3 foot Halcyon closed loop SMB is the bomb for learning and practicing.
  7. MAKO Spearguns

    MAKO Spearguns ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor


    We stock an inexpensive and robust reel that has an automatic ratcheting "arm" that can be controlled with the thumb. This reel is very easy to control and it can not spin backwards, so the potential for a fouling of the reel is greatly reduced.

    Utility Reel | MAKO Spearguns

  8. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    Luk, as others have politely suggested, it ain't the SMB that's the problem... :wink:

    Any new skill takes practice to master. Get thee to the pool/quarry or wherever and "shoot the bag" until you can do it in your sleep. It isn't difficult, but it does require some skill for sure. In deeper water, there is the potential for hurting yourself too, if you get snagged in the line of a runaway SMB... Ideally, grab someone who has it down "pat" and ask them to help you...
  9. buddhasummer

    buddhasummer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Don't mean to sound like an ass but more practice will likely solve the problem. Took me a while. Shooting an SMB is an art and requires regular practice. One of my SMBs is the 3ft Halcyon, I like it, it's small, easy to inflate and stays erect. Good luck.
  10. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    Although I do agree with the group that this is a skill which gets better with practice, you can make your life easier. If you are shooting the bag from safety stop depth, you can easily do it with a finger spool rather than a reel, which reduced the chances of jamming or tangling. Also, if a 3' bag is enough (in other words, if you are not signaling in heavy seas and open ocean), the Deep Sea Supply bag has the advantage of its tapered profile, which means you don't have to put as much air in it to fill it, and that makes managing your buoyancy easier. The only circumstance in which I don't like that bag is in very cold water, because the inflation mechanism is hard to use with numb lips.

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