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What Are Some Good Dsmbs?

Discussion in 'Lift Bags, SMBs and Reels' started by BrandNewDiver, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. BrandNewDiver

    BrandNewDiver Garibaldi

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    Most seem to similar to each other with very little that is different other than size.
     
  2. abstract

    abstract Angel Fish

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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  3. Murky Waters

    Murky Waters Manta Ray

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    The Dive Rite kit is very good quality.
     
  4. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
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    I look at cost and what is important to me. The features I know and care about for a DSMB are:
    • Over-pressure valve
    • Open bottom
    • Reflective tape at the top (should be radar reflective as well as light reflective)
    • Solid D-ring attach point at the bottom
    • At least 8 feet long
    If you want to use for for an actual DSMB, and not just a surface marker, then you need the over-pressure valve. If you add some air at depth and shoot it to the surface, it might over-expand and you'll need it to release the excess air.

    Most have a nozzle that lets you fill it with the lower pressure inflator hose but I never use that. Taking the lower pressure inflator hose off the lower pressure inflator, inflating the DSMB, shooting it to the surface then reattaching the lower pressure inflator seems like too much task-loading for me. I like having the open bottom so I can just use my octo to inflator the DSMB.

    You want reflective tape on the top of it so it is more visible.

    You are going to be shooting the thing from depth. So you'll need to attach a finger spool to it. Also, when it is on the surface you'll want to pull it down slightly to make it stand upright. A good solid connection point is a must.

    I normally don't dive in waves bigger than 3 feet but I have gone down with 2-3 foot waves and came up to 4-6 foot waves. If you only have a 6 foot DSMB and the waves are big enough, the boat might have a hard time seeing you. Having 8 foot is a good size to be seen but not so bulky that it is hard to carry. However, using something bigger and just hanging it out of the way is better than having something too short.

    Finally, you should get what you paid for. For example, I have a Trident DSMB for $9.95. It sucks. I bought it when I first started diving. it is not stitched well and it is only 6 feet long. Now I have an XSScuba for around $65 that has all the features I listed above. For around $90 you can get a 10 foot one.
     
  5. BertStevens

    BertStevens Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lebanon, TN
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  6. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

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    If the bottom is open how could you need the OPV?
    Expanding air will flow out the open bottom.

    I happen to be a fan of the Halcyon SMBs myself, though I've never tried the giant ones.
     
  7. Tug

    Tug ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Hands down my favorite is the Halcyon closed circuit ones. They are a expensive, but extremely well made with nice features (their oral/low pressure inflation mechanism is great. I also have a HOG one which is also good quality and is probably a better buy due to the price. The downside to the HOG ones is the inflation mechanism is plastic, but if stored properly I don't see an issue with that.

    I used to use a DAN one which was nice, but a little bulky. I ended up replacing that one because I was looking for closed bottom ones that were a little more compact when rolled up in my drysuit pocket.
     
    The Laconic likes this.
  8. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location:
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    That is hard to understand but... the SMB's i have used have an open bottom that allows you to purge your regulator into the bag to inflate. they also have an oral inflate mechansism. HOWEVER, the open bottom has a very good one way flapper valve type construction that allows only one way flow into the bottom... They work much better than you might think.. so it is not really an open bottom smb.. but you can inflate it like one.. that is why they come with an over pressure valve.
     
    scubadiver888 likes this.
  9. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
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    What dumpsterDiver said. :)
     
  10. noj3333

    noj3333 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Albany, New York
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    What brand do you have?
     

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