Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rob Allen Bluewater Floatline Boingie

Rob Allen Bluewater Floatline Boingie

At a Glance: It was last year while sorting out our kit for a Mozambique spearfishing trip when Rob Allen first showed me the new Bluewater Floatline Boingie. It was something the Dive Factory had been working on for some time, and had finally come up with the right tubing for the job.

Rob showed me the tubings resistance to tearing when, or if it got a cut. And it was quiet amazing, normal tubing tears with only a little bit of pressure when it has a cut. But this tubing
(a thermal plastic urethane,but Rob is not letting the cat out the back telling me exactly what the trade secret is.)
has remarkable 'notch toughness'. This is obviously very important as far as wear and tear on the tubing is going to be a factor.

The tubing can streach to over double its length and is filled with soft braided dynema cord for strength. The Dynema cord limits the tubes streach to double its length and so takes all the pressure if stretched to the max with a big fish.

Both ends ot the float line are finished off with barrel swivels and a neat plastic coated dynema loop, as the tube does not twist at all. This was kind of a concern as I thought it might be difficult to handle on the boat.
Jeremy and Rob showed me how the line does not tangle and is neatly wrapped up using the figure of eight method, and then is tied up with the Velcro strap on the one end.

I found this a problem in the water, it was difficult to get the right side of the Velcro, if you get it wrong it pops off and was a pain to now have to wrap the whole thing again. The new system is a plastic buckle, like the one on the cray bag, with elasticized strap, much easier to clip closed and, when you have just got into the water, a one hand pinch releases the buckle which stays on the float end, much better.

First Impressions: Rob lent me one of the trial float lines and a couple of us headed up to Cape Vidal and a week or two later to Sordwana. Over the couple of dive trips I got to grips with the new bungie cord, it was in fact very easy to handle on the boat and did not tangle at all.

Unfortunately we did not get any really big fish to test the floatlines stretch on. The cord is not as soft as traditional bungie cords, and it needs a fair amount of pressure to start stretching. The cord needs about 20kg to exert the full stretch, a little less than what is required to pull down a 35 lt float and a little more than what is needed to pull down a 20 lt float and or 2 x 11 lt foam filled. Rob said that it was designed this way in order to be able to control and handle large fish. The problem with very long bungie cords is that difficult to put pressure on the fish when you need to.

I had rigged up my line with a 1m blue TPE (thermal plastic ethylene) bungie (3x stretch) going from my gun to the Ghost Leader Flasher, and then to the Bluewater Floatline Boingie. This meant that the fish would have to run a fare distance before getting to the floatline.

The Tester: Earlier this year I was fortunate to go to Barra Point in Mozambique, we were diving some deep pinnacles 15km off shore,hoping to get some good Wahoo.
Because Wahoo have relatively soft flesh, I added another soft TPE bungie between the Ghost Leader Flasher and the float line. I figured that if I got a Wahoo the soft bungees would absorb enough of the pressure on the first fast run to help the spear not to pull out.
I used a 20m Floatline Boingie attached to two 11l roto moulded floats with a speed pouch between them, giving me 60m of line when all the bungees were fully stretched out before the first float. That plus the 40m in the speed pouch would give me plenty even if I got a chance on a small marlin ... hey you never know!

We did not get any wahoo but I did get a nice Sailfish of 36kg, which tested the float line nicely. The sailly gave a very strong first run popping the speed pouch and releasing the 40m of stored line. The fish towed me around for about 15min and tired out fairly quickly pulling against Float line Boingie.
36kg Sailfish Speared off Barra Point Mozambique

Overall Impressions: Although the sailly was not a 50kg Dog tooth or a marlin it gave me a fair idea of the Rob Allen Bluewater Floatline Boingie's ability. When under pressure it stretched out doubling in length, and was very easy to handle and control. I would however probably go for the 30m boingie if I was targeting big tuna tho.