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Old 05-18-2015   #11
Cascade, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 19
It seems like folks are identifying two very different uses of a throwbag: swimmer rescue and boat recovery/haul line. The purpose of wearing a throwbag is having something handy for quick deployment when you weren't expecting it. Odds are such a scenario is simply swimmer rescue and doesn't demand a high-tensile strength rope. If you are only going to carry one rope, yeah, make it Spectra. But you're probably better off with a cheap rope in your waist bag that you use for a clothesline and a good haul line that you take better care of in a drybag.

Rope material aside, I'm a big fan of the NRS guardian because it easily detaches from the belt. For the same reason, I don't like the Salamander bag. You end up throwing the whole belt with buckles and if you're aim is right, you drill your subject in the face with hard plastic. It also introduces more crap to snag in the rocks. I also like the mid-range of rope length for swimmer rescue. 75 feet is a lot of rope to deploy, especially when it's large diameter. In rescue classes, most people can't hit their target 50 feet away on dry land and very few can throw a large throwbag more than 40 feet once it's soaking wet.

I agree with the concerns about bulk with wearing such a huge throwbag. I can't imagine it not getting in the way all the time and seems excessive for something you probably aren't really using very often at all. If you find yourself throwing a throwbag more than once for ever 100 hours you spend boating, you may want to rethink your partners and/or destinations.

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Old 05-18-2015   #12
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
I carry more than one bag with me or close to me on most trips. I too have a Salamander retriever bag, and I love it. I always boat with. I never really intend to use it as a boat recovery device, but it would work for kayaks and some raft issues. I carry another Whitewater designs big bag with 3/8" line and about 65 ft of rope in that. I really like the bag mouth size, it is easy to repack. I don't re stuff the bag until it is not needed, I've learned to throw coils. This one goes in the raft or IK also. I'd use it to unpin a raft if I couldn't get to my 200 feet of waterline. That rope I take only in my raft on most of my trips. So in my kayak I carry a total of 130' of rope and at minimum 330' in my raft, and I typically have backup bags in the raft as well. The newer retriever bags have a panic ball on the buckle, a good thing if you use it to tow with. I throw my big bag really well, I should probably toss my retriever more in practice.
I don't think 75' of 3/8's around your waist is a realistic/ practical goal. If you need that much rope, keep it in your boat. I love waist bags, and I don't boat without mine, but I recognize it's limitations.

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Old 05-19-2015   #13
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
I use this dry bag rope, on a belt as a waist bag. Cuts down on weight, as it stays dry, assuming you don't have to throw it.

The waist bag has a small set of quick releases that let it separate fro the belt to avoid throwing the belt.

Ultra Dry Throw Bag - Safety
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