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Old 11-12-2004   #11
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Originally Posted by Paul B
If I remember correctly, Spectra cord is extremely strong, but has a very low melting point and therefore should not be used in situations where it would be put through a lot of friction, ie in a z-drag to free a pinned boat, or for you rock climbers to raise an injured partner. Has anyone else heard/remeber this. Has spectra cord/webbing changed in the last few years.
Is that Paul Billings?

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Old 11-12-2004   #12
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
Spectra won't melt for anything you'd do boating -- even a short, controlled-speed rappel.

Smaller diameter is more stramline, but harder for gripping
LENGTH, no one has mentioned that yet. When I took a swiftwater course I was amazed at how short a 50 foot line was.

I would either buy a spectra 75' or a fat polypro 75'. Depending on your preference for bulk. Personally, I have a fat 75' 'cause I can huck it better with the extra mass and a swimmer can grab it easier, too. I want to say it's 7/16" diameter, but I'm not sure.

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Old 01-25-2005   #13
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Spectra IS used in climbing equipment alot,(slings/runners/cordalettes) it's light weight and strong. However spectra, nylon & dyneema can melt is a matter of seconds if you let friction build up. I've seen it done.

The only opportunity you throw bag has to melt is in a Z-drag situation, but by setting up your system properly this can be eliminated completely. Also keeping the rope wet will also help. What is more likely to happen is that your spectra/nylon/dyneema sling will burn through from not using it properly. i.e. whem you wrap a sling around a tree do you make sure the sling is not overlapping?? If you have spectra on spectra and there is movement in the system you get friction and hey presto your spectra sling melts. It can take as little a one second to happen and once it starts there is no stopping it.

The key is to know the limitations of your equipment. How many people know that a larks foot/girth hitch is the weekest knot you can use. It reduces the strength of you sling from 22KN down to around 6KN. And when a larks foot is not tied properly you not only have a super weak knot, but you also have spectra on spectra & friction. Recipe for disaster.

Here endith the lesson!!

On throw bags as said a spectra is the way forward
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Old 01-26-2005   #14
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

Great topic. Great Question to start off the season.

Everyone above gave correct info. Spectra cord (5/16) is rated at 2500 lbs and poly cord (5/16) is rated at 1000 lbs. You'll also pay almost twice as much for Spectra.

As far as Spectra melting in a swift water application, I personally feel that would never happen. Just too many things working in the wrong direction to make alot of heat. I used to be a climbing instructor before I started working in kayaking. In climbing I've seen Spectra damaged (never close to failure), but in all my years in boating I've never seen a rope damaged to the same degree. Something to keep in mind, but nothing to dicourage you from using or buying it.

I like Mongo Products. They don't waste time with fashion and looks. They are built clean and simple. When you check out the prices and the designs you might be thinking that you can just build your own. But, you won't save much cash and you'll never be wondering if your Mongo product was put together correctly or not. We have one (chest harness) in our school program, and it works great.

To answer your question... Yes, you should get and use a throw bag. The good ones are the ones you have with you when it's needed. Yes, poly and Spectra will pull a swimmer from the water. And, Spectra is stronger.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 01-26-2005   #15
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Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 583
Good point about buying a throw bag that you wear around your waist that goes with you everywhere. With all the different types of whitewater, I own way too many boats. I used to always keep my throw bag clipped in my boat, but I have found myself grabbing a different boat and showing up at the put in only to realize that my throw bag was at home in the boat I used the previous day. Luckily this only happend on a play river, but $#!T happens anywhre. This brings up another topic:

How many people only where socks, beer coozies on your feet, or nothing at all (on your feet) in your playboat. Recall the pics from the worlds opening ceremonies:
and check out the picture of "Jimmy Blakeney walking back to the wave." He isn't wearing anything on his feet. Playboats are cramped, but whenever I take off my normal booties and just wear socks in my playboat, I feel guilty. I feel that it is my duty to be as prepared as possible to hop out of my boat and assist my buddy as quick as possible. I would be so pissed at myself if I had to jump out of my playboat to help my buddy only to find that I am delayed because I need to run across a bunch of jagged rocks to help my bud and I have no shoes....just a thought.
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Old 03-11-2005   #16
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Has anyone used the Astral throw bags that fit in their PFD front pocket? I'm considering getting their rescue vest, and was wondering about their throw bag.
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Old 03-11-2005   #17
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
pulleys are a crucial part of mechanical advantage and reducing friction on the rope. i always have two small prusik minding pulleys, two lockers, and two cordilettes for prusiks, and one or two throwbags with me when i guide, even though we have a wrap kit in the sweep gear.but that is on the big rubber river couches....minimizing weight is primary when paddling, but petzl makes small @ $20 pulleys, and the smaller lockers are the cheapest as well.
can you make a z drag safely with just caribiners or is that just a figment of my imagination?? - anyone know?
**time to do swiftwater again!!!**
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Old 03-13-2005   #18
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17
can you make a z drag safely with just caribiners or is that just a figment of my imagination?? - anyone know?

Yup, a Z drag with just krabs is no problem. Just run the rope through the krab rather than the pulley. Perfectly safe, if not safer (less links in the chain that can break), but it's a little easier to pull the rope through the pulleys.
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Old 04-24-2005   #19
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
how about using the plastic pully wheels that go on oval bienr's I've seen them in climbing shops or is that a waste of money????

Don't do anything, just stand there.
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