In the early days of cave diving, reels were not available to buy off the shelf. Divers used anything they could, including empty electrical wire spools. When exploring, divers would pay out the line and if they didn't empty the spool it would be left in the cave for the next dive. The spools came in various sizes and North Florida cave diver, Bill Hogarth Main, popularized smaller spools for safety and jump reels. Today, our 100-foot Finger Spool is often used for shooting lift bags as well as a safety reel. Small and low-profile, a spool fits nicely out of the way in a pocket or clipped off to a D-ring. The holes in the side allow for clipping in the double ended snap anywhere along the perimeter of the spool to keep the line tight when not in use. Made of ABS plastic, finger spools are simple to use and virtually indestructible in the water.
- Before diving with a new reel (or a dry reel that has been in storage), put the reel in a bucket of water and after soaking, pay out the entire length of line and reel it back in. This will moisten the line, precluding it from swelling on the reel and further preventing the possibility of jamming or damaging the spool.
- As with most dive equipment, you should rinse your reel with fresh water following each dive. You should also periodically disassemble the reel, and remove any build up of salt or sediment on its internal parts.
- It is recommended to pull some or all of the line off the spool before each dive, then rewinding it neatly but not too tightly, so as to prevent the possibility of jamming during line deployment.
- Finally, too much line on the spool can cause jams during initial deployment, if you are having a problem with jams try removing 10 or 15 feet of line.