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Old 07-30-2014   #11
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 340

Nothing I can add really except to agree that you'll really benefit from a SWR rescue class (lots of fun, too) and I like my Salamander Pop Top bag. Kind of a pain to restuff but throws great. I usually just buckle it onto a thwart of my canoe.

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Old 07-30-2014   #12
Brotorboat's Avatar
Right near the beach...BOYEEEEE, Brahbrobrahdo
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 442
Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post
All throw bags are not created equal. Some have stronger rope than others, you want to make sure the rope floats and is supple static line. I think the bags DRE sells are about 5/8" and rated to about 1000 lbs. Is that right Matty?
Close, Andy!

DRE's standard bags (stocking items) are 3/8" polypro in either 30', 60' or 75' and the line is rated at #1600 lbs. However, polypro is not static. DRE does offer static throw bags and will cut them to whatever size you prefer. They are rated between #3500 and #4400+ depending on which type of rope you prefer.

Wear shoes in the Safety first, then teamwork.
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Old 07-30-2014   #13
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 70
Originally Posted by johnovice View Post
Just for discussion: I took a class recently where the instructors said not to throw a bag from a boat, only from shore (I had never heard that before and don't know how "accepted" that rule is). The other thing they said was do not throw a rope unless you have a knife accessible -- that one seems right on.
I'd be hesitant to say that you shouldn't throw a rope from your boat. When I was a raft guide I once pulled two swimmers out of the river above a sieve while still in my boat.

There are a couple concerns when throwing a rope while still in your boat:

1. If you are in an eddy, there's a good chance the swimmer will pull you out of it as you reel them in. The negative implications of this are obvious. There must be no considerable hazards for the swimmers or the raft downstream.

Solution: have someone else in your boat holding onto a rock, or standing on the shore/rock holding the boat. Also, have an egress plan if you do get pulled out of the eddy.

2. Loose rope in the boat is a serious concern. Don't let your feet/legs get tangled up in the slack, don't step in/around the slack, don't get between the slack and the direction of the current.

3. When you throw from the boat, the boat is going to move funny out from under you, so be very stable and very precise with your throw. You won't be setting any distance or accuracy records from your boat.
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Old 07-30-2014   #14
Kirkland, Washington
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 71
Best secondary use for a throw bag?

Hanging food and garbage away from the bears...
If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you're doing something wrong.
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Old 07-30-2014   #15
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 204
The only other thing I would add is I like a bag I can get my hand into, some of them are so small and so stuffed that stuffing them back in is a royal pain. Also good to practice using a throw bag while swimming many people are on their stomach when they grab the line and face the person who is throwing. That will get you a face full of water and make it difficult to breath it is better if you roll over on to your back, and place it on your downstream shoulder the water will go over your head and leave an air pocket for you to breath. I have seen swimmers drop the rope because they didn't roll on their back. Keeping it on the downstream shoulder will usually keep it off your neck. If you practice that it will be more instinctive when you need to be rescued. Also if you are using ropes you should have a river knife.
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Old 07-30-2014   #16
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Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 458
The best and most important secondary use for a throw bag is to un-pin a raft. So get a nice long and strong line.

Originally Posted by mdconner View Post
Hanging food and garbage away from the bears...
Why does Pluto walk on all fours, drink from a dog bowl, and get treated like...a dog, while Goofy drives a car, wears clothing, and speaks in English?
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Old 07-30-2014   #17
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
You should not only learn how to use a throw bag, but also when not to use a throw bag.

Ropes in the water can be very dangerous, and are probably over used, especially on anything easier than class IV.

Do not deploy a throw bag in the river unless somebody really needs it. Always carry a knife on you if you need to cut the rope. And never leave the bag deployed in the river. Many people have been killed by ropes left in a river.

You really should either take a Swiftwater course or learn from a much more experienced person.
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Old 07-30-2014   #18
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140
You should throw the bag past the swimmer. I have seen people throw the bag at a swimmer and if the throw is short, the swimmer probably doesn't reach the rope.
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Old 07-30-2014   #19
SpeyCatr's Avatar
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 267
I want to say thank you very much for the time you guys took to offer input and answer my questions. You have truly gone above and beyond and really taught me a lot! It's information like this that really helps promote the sport in a proper safe manner!

Assuming this course I'm scheduled to take Sept 13/14th goes through on the Thompson, I'll be looking to take a Swiftwater Rescue course sometime after that as well.


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