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To tether or not to tether

Discussion in 'Tips and Techniques' started by tep, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. tep

    tep ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Diego CA USA
    I'm a very new photographer. I've been diving with a GoPro and the stock GoPro floating grip. Of course that's been painful with trying to handle the camera and a separate light.

    I just received the Mako 2-handle camera tray from my lovely wife as a birthday present, and I have one question to begin.

    Do most people attach this to a tether or retractor? I'd like to make sure I don't use the rig, but I'm not sure of how I would do that. I have an extra heavy duty retractor, or I could use some line and a swivel snap hook.

    What's the consensus?

  2. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
    Retractors WILL break eventually. Your best bet is to get one of the coiled tethers and replace the plastic connector on the diver side with a stainless bolt snap, and choke the small loop through the hole on the tray. This way, there's no plastic clip to break off your d-ring, it stows short so it's less of an entanglement hazard than excess line in the water, it's not a sketchy type of attachment method like a carabiner, etc., and it's securely attached to the tray without a connector that can fail.
  3. drjtprice

    drjtprice Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Saxlingham Nethergate England
    And still check it carefully. I had one come off/break while over the Yongala. Camera gone. DM wouldn't let me dump my air and go after it (I had more experience than she did). Fortunately a DM from a different dive shop found it on the bottom later that week and I got it back. Didn't even take the beer I offered, nice people at that shop.
  4. ScubaMarc

    ScubaMarc Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Staten Island, NY

    Just like retractors, the coil connection to the snap breaks too(falls apart). I like to use 1/4 bungee cord with my own snaps with a decent knot to hold it. The knot should not be able to come loose.
  5. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    I actually use a length of parachute cord on
    a bolt snap, rather than a retractor.
    The advantages are that it never breaks, and I find it useful when approaching the boat ladder for the valuable rig to be hanging just below me, rather than up close where it might get smashed against the surging ladder as I grab hold.
    Then, I just tug up on the cord and grab the rig (with the foam floaters, it's just barely negative), and hand it off prior to exiting.
    MaxBottomtime likes this.
  6. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    Here's my system. Works great, very tough, can use it on any camera, stows cleanly if you suddenly need both hands.

    tether1.jpg tether2.jpg tether3.jpg
  7. Scott

    Scott Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    The cheap plastic clip that come with these are good for ............. nothing
    Break too easy.
  8. Aviyes

    Aviyes Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Utah
    As others have shown...36

    Works great for my gopro tray setup, the clip works fine.
  9. Mo2vation

    Mo2vation Relocated to South Florida.... ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: 33472
    I come in and out of the surf. I scooter from place to place to shoot. I dive the bottomless oil rigs... one slip and the cam is in the abyss, unrecoverable.

    Coily cords with plastic ends and commercial retractors and all that... no way. Not nearly rugged enough.

    Zillion pound tubular webbing, two glides for security, bolt snap one end, super duty steel split ring other end. All I trust.


    Cam Strap #1.jpeg Cam Strap #2.jpeg Cam Strap #3.jpeg Cam Strap #4.jpeg
  10. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    Here's what happened to my "super duty steel ring" on a local dive when my camera got snagged on the anchor line in heavy current on the descent. Lost the rig completely, fortunately it was retrieved by another diver heading down to the wreck behind me! Since then, I use a solid steel ring.

    Two bolt snaps, lets you easily clip it off when you need both hands in a hurry, as in the video.


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