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Floatline Versus Reel - Pros and Cons

Floatline Versus Reel - Pros and Cons

There is a constant debate in the spearfishing community of the pros and cons of using a floatline or reels, here are some of the common talking points when discussing using floatlines and reels while spearfishing.

Floatlines

    • Floatlines are very effective when you need somethiung to wear down a game fish, which is the job of a float. If a Floatline Clutch is used to pull up and stop the floatline from being pulled back down, then constant pressure is put on the fish, wearing it down quickly. 

    • Floatlines are great in kelp, which allow you to get to the surface and still hold onto your fish. The thickness makes it easier to work with if it gets tangled in the kelp (thinner reel lines knot up much easier, and it's harder to undo the knot). Floatlines also act as a highly visible trail to help locate and recover your fish.

    • The long trail of a floatline behind you creates a visual reference for boats in the area. For further visibility, attatch a dive flag to the float to help ensure boats know divers are in the water.

  • But, very long floatlines have an increased risk of entangling you and your dive buddy on the surface. You have to be carfeul about your positioning to prevent your lines from tangling with each other. They're harder to manage on the boat, and they're more expensive to replace if you lose them or damage them (but, they're much harder to lose or cut than reel lines). 

Reels

    • Multiple divers can use reels in the water without risking entanglement in one another's equipment.

  • Large vertical structure can require a reel. Divers can navigate vertical structures, like platforms or oil rigs, without having to maintain a long line going behind them. This allows them to swim through gaps without having to worry about exiting through the same hole they entered.
  • Divers can face a difficult decision is their reel jams. Reel jams can force a diver to have to choose between reaching the surface and having to let go of their speargun.  Always remember that spearguns are replaceable, and no fish is worth your life.


No matter the which you use, it is up to the individuals personal preferences.  Some fish should never be shot with on a reel set up: for example, tuna or other extremely large powerful game fish. It is not that it is impossible to land a such a fish, but it will prove extremely challenging and most likely kill the fish without you landing it. 

Consider researching spearfishing online. The spearfishing community is a welcoming one and there are a number of digital channels and discussion boards that can help guide you through the process, provide illustrations, tutorials, and more.

We hope this article helped you think about comparing floatlines and reels, and if you have any questions for the shop feel free to call us at +1-813-867-3250!

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