Choosing the Right Floatline For You
There are many factors that go into choosing the right floatline for you. Some of these factors are based on your ability as a diver, the conditions you are diving in, and the species you are hunting. For the most part, you may only ever have to buy two to three floatlines in your life, if you make the right purchases. 90% of your diving that requires a floatline can be accomplished with one floatline purchase. Let’s look into the factors involved and help narrow down a search.
Diver Limitations on Floatline Choice
The biggest consideration in purchasing a floatline is a divers limitations. There is no point in buying one that is 120’ if you can only dive 50’ underwater. Long floatlines can be a hassle in the water. That hassle becomes pointless if you are not capable of using the bulk of the floatline. That being said, you do want a floatline that is longer than your current ability to dive. There are a couple of reasons for this.
The first is you want to leave some room for you to progress as a diver. The second, and more pressing reason, is that your floatline will almost never be straight up and down in the water while you dive. You will inevitably be dragging your float behind you. As you dive down your float will move towards you, but as you approach the limit of your floatline you will start meeting resistance from your float. The simple solution to this is to purchase a floatline that exceeds your diving ability by 10-25%.
The dive environment and conditions can limit your choices of floatline. The depth of the water is a big factor. It does not matter if you can dive down to 100’ (30m) and hunt fish if you are only in 50’ (15m) of water. As mentioned earlier, unnecessarily long floatlines can be cumbersome, or even hazardous in the water. One way to temporarily shorten a floatline is to utilize a floatline clutch to bring your float to the right length on the floatline for your depth.
Other considerations could include the type of structure you will be diving around. Large vertical structure, like bridges or platforms can provide great structure for fish to congregate. Unfortunately, they also provide entanglement hazards with floatlines and floats. It is important to maintain control of you float and floatline around these structures. Shorter floatlines are easier to manage, Floatline management is easier with fewer attachments, like additional floats or bungees.
Species Considerations on Types of Floatlines
Up to this point we have mostly discussed considerations in the length of your floatline choice. The species you are targeting has the greatest impact on the types of floatline you should purchase. If you are looking for the right floatline for a generalist spearo it is hard to beat the Neptonics Pressure Pro Floatline. It has a built in bungee, which helps prevent the entanglement issue that secondary bungees occasionally have. The built in bungee creates enough gradual pressure to help prevent a fish tearing out, but also limits the additional distance a fish can move to keep the fish from going into the reef.
Tough Skinned Fish
There are some species where the extra give that a bungee has can prevent you from landing the fish. Dogtooth Tuna and large Cubera Snapper are great examples. They are species you need to to prevent from going into the reef. These species make the risk of tearing out of the fish from too much back-pressure the preferred option to letting them get to the reef. Cuberas will simply get into the reef and never come out and eventually break your equipment in the reef. Dogtooth Tuna will simply dive all of your equipment to 300’ feet and do the same thing, getting your equipment tangled up on the reef at a depth where recovering your equipment is impossible.
This makes the strategy of landing these species to tie them to the surface and prevent them from taking your floats underwater. If you do use a bungee on these species you want it to be small. The Neptonics Bluewater Pro is the durable and strong option helpful in landing these tough fish.
If you are hunting tuna in thousands of feet of water you don’t want a floatline at all. You need a Neptonics Tuna Bungee. You need a 75’ -100’ Tuna Bungee. Between your first and second float you can use a smaller tuna bungee, for example to 25’ or 50’ Tuna bungee. These are so important because you need to create gradual pressure to submerge your floats, or the sudden and massive amount of pressure these fish can create will destroy all of your equipment.
Soft Fleshed Fish
Some species have very soft flesh that require gradual back pressure on a small float. Examples of these species are Wahoo, and King Mackerel (Spanish Mackerel in AUS). These fish are both soft skinned and extraordinarily fast. Because these fish are able to generate so mush force you need to have a floatline that allows more gradual pressure on your float. If you do not have stretch on these species too much back pressure will cause the fish to pull loose. In extreme situations the fish can nearly pull itself in half during its initial run. Because of this the Neptonics Stretch Floatline is the perfect option for these species. The Stretch Floatline was specifically designed for these species. The Neptonics Pressure Pro is still a good option, but the Stretch Floatline allows for a more gradual pressure to be put on the fish.