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Lift Bags / Reels / SMBs

Quality delayed surface marker buoys (DSMBs), surface marker buoys (SMBs), dive/cave/wreck reels, dive finger/jump spools and lift bags from The Scuba Doctor Dive Shop are essential safety equipment for scuba diving.

If you need help deciding which dive reel, wreck reel, cave reel, or finger/jump spool is right for you, or want some top tips for using reels underwater, please read our Dive Reel Buying Guide.

Most divers refer to DSMBs as SMBs, which is why the category here is called Surface Marker Buoys (SMBs). But technically they're different devices and the items in this category are actually DSMBs. See Surface Markers for our range of SMBs.

A Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) is deployed whilst the diver is submerged and generally only towards the end of the dive. A reel or finger spool and line connect the buoy on the surface to the diver beneath the surface.

DSMBs are not intended to be used to lift heavy weights. That's what a Lift Bag is for.

Tech Tip: Basic Care and Maintenance for Your Reels and Spools

Most overhead cavern and cave divers require three reels: one large "primary" reel with at least 120 metres (400 ft) of line, plus two smaller "safety" reels with about 45 metres (140 ft) of line. Many divers also carry one or more 15 metre (50 ft) or longer compact finger spools for gap jumps. Depending on the mission and instructor, sometimes a finger spool can be substituted for one of the required safety reels.

Open water technical classes require a 45 metre (140 ft) or larger reel and large surface marking bag. Depending on local conditions many instructors also require a backup bag and reel. Sometimes a finger spool is substituted for the reel.

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. We recommend pulling 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. If the line on your reel is new or very dry, we recommend pulling the line off into a bucket of water. This will moisten the line, precluding it from swelling on the reel and further preventing the possibility of jamming or damaging the spool.

Overloaded reels and spools are common and too much line can cause jams during initial deployment. If you are having a problem with jams, check the length of the line and try removing some excess if your reel or finger spool has been overloaded. Many finger spools come loaded with too much line, often so bad that they can't be used properly until some line is removed.

Treat Yourself

Treat Yourself - Happy Diver, Happy Life!

Tired of getting socks for Christmas when you really want a Shearwater dive computer? There's a logical solution — buy the gift yourself. After all, you know what you want. Is this idea too radical for you? Do you believe it's better to give than to receive? Here are five reasons why you should buy yourself a gift this holiday season.

1. — It Will Make You Happy

When you buy yourself a gift, it makes you happy. Everybody knows happy people are more helpful, more productive, and generally more pleasant to be around. So, stop being a grumpy curmudgeon. Buy yourself that new mask, dive computer, or wetsuit. If you won't do it for yourself, then do it for those around you — if you're happy, they're happy!

2. — 'Tis the Season for Great Deals

From Black Friday onward, the holiday season is replete with amazing deals. Why wait until after the New Year when everything costs more? Take advantage of that pre-Christmas sale. Enjoy that Cyber Week sales extravaganza while prices are low. Get in on that summer solstice celebration while everything is marked down. Now is the time to shop at our comprehensive online dive shop, or drop into our store in Rye, and grab that underwater video light or BCD you've had your eye on!

3. — You'll Get Exactly What You Want

Non divers tend to buy divers weird things. They just don't understand what we're really into. Unless you're able to telepathically coerce gift givers into buying the right stuff, scuba divers will get spearguns, freedivers will get catch bags, spearos will get ocean debris bags, snorkellers will get regulators — you get the idea. That's why you should do your loved ones a favour and buy the gift yourself.

4. — You Want Really Expensive Stuff

You want a Backscatter MW-4300 Dual Video Light and Tray Package; your loved ones have a $150 spending limit. The solution? Buy the item yourself. That way, you're not making your friends and family feel like cheapskates. Of course, you can always ask them to get you Scuba Doctor Gift Certificates and put the money toward what you really want. See? Everybody wins.

5. — Everything Is in Short Supply

If you've tried to buy anything over the past few months, it hasn't been easy. With millions of shipping containers stuck off the coasts of ports around the world, goods are scarce. And, if you can't find a turkey, a jar of pork gravy, or multi-ply toilet paper, do you really think getting your hands on that specific drysuit you've been coveting is going to be easy? Here's our advice: If you find exactly what you want in our online dive shop, then get it while the getting's good! It may be gone tomorrow. And, since the next shipment is probably floating somewhere on a ship, it may be a while until you can get another one.

Here's the reality: Your loved ones are about to buy you useless holiday gifts. While their intentions are probably honourable, your non diving loved ones are unlikely to get you what you want. And, here at The Scuba Doctor, we want everybody to enjoy a happy, drama-free holiday season chock-full of joyous diving and snorkelling adventures. That's why you should buy the gift yourself. Just don't forget to say thank-you to yourself.


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