View Full Version : Dive Floats/Markers

03-10-2003, 12:03 PM
I have been diving and spearfishing for a while on others peoples boats, and I just got finished rigging up my boat for diving. I plan on diving mostly well known spots ( artificial reefs, published ledges, etc.) until i can compile some of my own. I know that most of these spots experience heavy boating/fishing traffic. I have never used one before, and I was wondering how many of you dive pulling a surface marker. I have had people drive/troll over me or very near me several times while making my ascent and safety stop. Also, if you have dove pulling a marker, how much of a hassle does it tend to be. All your opinions and ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks alot, -Chris

Divin' fool
03-10-2003, 12:23 PM
Markers are a royal PITA.... but sometimes necessary. When the vis above water or the seas are really bad, use one. They could save your life. Normally we drop one or two floats and dive around them.
LOB... should you use one?:D

03-10-2003, 03:59 PM
It's the law that you must carry one unless you're within 300 feet of your boat or 100 feet if your in a channel, river or inlet. I don't find it a hassle at all with a properly designed float. On those rare dives when I have company I make sure I'm the one carrying it- I'm the guy the boat is going to find first in an emergency!
Our floats are the bullet type with two 8ounce sinkers with a collapsable tent pole that is about 6 feet high. Very light weight. Also use a lifeguard rescue can with a flag on it when bluewater spearfishing.

Look Out Below
03-10-2003, 04:19 PM
I use an acetone bottle (there thicker), white parachute cord with about 20 more than the depth you are diving and a 4 lb weight. Throw one once you cross you rock or ledge. Suit up, and throw another one and have the diver(s) drop on that one. I do this for on reason, here on the East Coast we might only have 5 to 7 vis and it would really suck if you hit the bottom in 100 only to bounce it...

03-12-2003, 09:58 PM
Yep, the design is mucho important for how easily it drags through the water. I only used floats on the east coast where we drifted and the float was never really a problem, except for the one night me, my wife and buddy got dropped a little deeper than the line on the float would allow. The line drags through the water so a 100' line will never let you touch the bottom in 100' of water unless it is absolutely calm conditions. Anyway, I was trying to bag bugs while tuggin' down on the float and could not get any closer than about 1' off the bottom with bugs running around just out of reach. It was night, so letting go of the float was not a choice. What a shitty dive.

For the most part, a dive flag will satisfy the legal end of diving. Most so called boaters don't know the difference between a dive flag and a hole in their head so dragging one around may not do you too much good. I've been buzzed with a flag. Diving the Duane in the keys I had some idiot troll between the marker buoys on the ship while boats with flags were tied on. I watched his planer zip along at a bout 25'.

Don't let a float give you a false sense of security.

03-15-2003, 04:37 PM
I rig my floats with 200 feet of line and always let plenty of it out, at least 1/3 more then the depthof water i'm in. winding it back up controls the ascent and makes it slow. don't surface and then wind it up, the boat may still not see you, you or your buddies could become entangled easier.

03-21-2003, 08:39 PM
I use a Riffe torpedo float and a reel with small line, there is not much drag like the standard orange float balls that most people use.

I use it on the east coast as well as in the gulf.