TechLab – From Rec to Tec: Tech Tools
TechLab delves into the ABCs of technical diving, then offers a sampling of some of the hottest tec gear on the market.
The tools tec divers take down with them are not just accessories but devices that might save a life. A reel can lead you safely out of a wreck or cave, and a sharp cutting tool can free you from lines or net.
Dive Rite Sidewinder Wreck Primary Reel
The Sidewinder’s side-handle-style reel makes it easy to switch from hand to hand and pay out line at high speeds when being propelled by a DPV. The frame is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, and the spool is corrosion-resistant, injection-molded polycarbonate. The wreck reel is loaded with 250 feet of #36 braid line with 350 pounds of breaking strength, plus an extra-large stainless bolt snap. Also available in a cave-diving version with #24 braided line and 220 pounds of breaking strength. $199 both versions www.diverite.com
OMS Primary Reel
This primary reel comes with 330 feet of nylon line touting a tensile strength of 300 pounds. The frame incorporates a removable anti-fouling nest that prevents line jams. The large winding knob is easy to use even with thick gloves. The spool is constructed from glass-reinforced nylon. $188 www.omsdive.com
OMS Titanium Knife
The OMS Titanium Knife is compact, lightweight and nearly bulletproof with a blade that will never rust. It has three inches of combined serrated and plain cutting edges plus a blunted tip to prevent punctures. The locking sheath allows easy one-handed access and the high-viz orange handle has a good grip. $61 www.omsdive.com
Dive Rite Z-Knife
The Z-Knife originated as a parachute-line cutter, but works just as well cutting through monofilament line underwater. Its razor-sharp blade is made of 440-grade stainless steel and comes in a protective pouch that can attach to any strap. A quick-release Velcro lanyard keeps the Z-knife firmly in place. $16 www.diverite.com
Dive Rite Titanium Shears
Made of 440-grade stainless steel, these titanium-plated shears are designed for cutting wire or fishing nets. The stowage pouch can be clipped to a strap or worn on a 2-inch webbed belt. A Velcro lanyard protects the shears against a case of the butterfingers. $30 www.diverite.com