Making a Polypropylene Floatline

  • Hey guys,

    I’ve been lurking in here for some time now and I’ve learned a great deal from all of you who take the time to share your experiences so I want to say thanks, first and foremost. Life is simply to short to learn on my mistakes only ;)

    I have started to make myself an inexpensive floatline and I’m still struggling with a few topics that I can’t seem to find discussed in the forums and hope to get some advice on the build.

    The float line is to serve me while reef spearing at 10-70ft off Miami and the Keys. The goal is to make as inexpensive float line as possible without sacrificing proper function.

    I’ve read about the tube style and poly rope and I decided to make it out of the latter simply because of how inexpensive it is and that some say it works well enough. Here is what I have so far (ignore the existing clip as I think most will agree it does not provide a secure attachment):

    I used a Brummel splice on each end. Here is a good explanation that does not require for the whole line to be pulled through second hole:
    Brummel | How to Make a Brummel Eye Splice | Splicing Knots

    Topics that I’m struggling with:
    1 - The rope I used is a yellow ¼ diameter hollow braid polypropylene and its rate at 110lbs of “working load”. Any experience or opinions on how well this rope will work?

    2 - I can’t seem to find a good discussion about how to finish the ends. Things like the use of swivels on one end or both? If one side will suffice then which side (float or gun)?

    3 - Should I splice in the swivels directly to the float line or should I attach them with SS shackles? I’m thinking shackles may cause less abrasion of the poly rope and give me a simple way to change out the clips but they may cause unnecessary bulk and/or complexity to the rig. I believe in the KISS principle and I’m not sure there may be a need for these advantages.

    4 - What clips would work best? I’ve read about “tuna” clips and the possibility of them releasing their grip. Are they acceptable when clipped to a float’s D-ring? I see Dan’s clip and believe it is wise a choice especially in the float line to gun attachment.

    5 - Should I have the attachment hardware (clip) on the gun/float or float line side?

    6 - I like the idea of a spool to only use the amount of line needed for a particular dept as Dan uses here. Dan, do you still use this system and is anyone else here using it?


    Edited 2 times, last by Sith: Added numbered bullet points ().

  • I also use and extension cord holder for a line spool, but i had to zip tie two together to make it strong enough. If you're just using it for floatline it may be fine. I use mine as a tag line and anchor line spool sometimes and it ripped the little extensions off, letting the line unfurl

    Scupper Pro Gives You Wings!

  • I also use and extension cord holder for a line spool, but i had to zip tie two together to make it strong enough. If you're just using it for floatline it may be fine. I use mine as a tag line and anchor line spool sometimes and it ripped the little extensions off, letting the line unfurl

    Thanks:thumbsup2: I didn't even think of using that extension holder as the spool. In my mind I guess I discarded the idea early on based on how flimsy it is so I was only using it for storing the line while I come up with something but your suggestion of using two of them might make it adequately strong enough to not collapse on itself. I think one might be to weak.:confused1:

    I won't be using as an anchor.

  • I just realized the pic I posted was really small. :confused1: I hope this one is better:

    Edited 2 times, last by Sith: Updated the picture link ().

  • Update:

    I decided to use Dan's snaps. they're ordered and in route :)

    I went to West Marine & El Capitan (south) yesterday and they didn't have the swivels big enough. I think I'm looking for a size 10? So I headed to a local dive shop and I found them but....... $26 for two swivels I think is nuts :crazy: so I didn't buy them. I figuered someone has to have them at a fair price but I don't know where else to check:confused1:?

  • This type of rope tangles a lot and is hard to coil. That was my experience, I don't recommend it.

  • I use Rob Allen poly twist rope. Comes in many lengths super cheap and the ends are finished. The twist is really tight. It doesnt tanglem and it coils well. This rope doesn't look all that different. Cant imagine it being that bad. Good call on dans clips. I just picked up 4 more from him tonight.

  • Thanks for the input guys. I really appreciate it :thumbsup2:

    This line is a very loose 8 strand hollow braid rope. To me it does seem very different than the RA twist line. I didn't know that the weave effects its tendency to tangle. I'll give it a try as version 1.0 and see how things go.

    No its DANS clips. [D]ual [A]ction [N]evergonnaletgobeachdivingandmakeyougetindansboatandgofindyourfloat5milesoffshore [S]naps

    :laughing3: I can see that name sticking.

  • Holy crap Marco! you just made me realize something. I always hear guys complaining about poly rope tangling, and giving that as the reason to use the sink lines (tube style float lines) that I hate so much. I never understood why they say this, as my poly rope never gets tangles. But of course I always had swivels at both ends :dumb:

  • Thanks for the advise Marco:)

    I continued searching for affordable swivels today and found these "ball bearing" swivels at El Capitan (Main Store). They didn't have them on display. I had to ask one of the guys and they had them behind the counter. At almost 7 bucks a each I can see why. Even at that price they where almost half the price of the dive shop swivels.:thumbsup2:

    I also got my "DAN Clips" today in the mail so it was time put it together.:excited1:

    Here is how it turned out:

    If anyone has any advice or thoughts on how this thing can be improved, I will welcome it.

    Haven't decided on a float or a way to have the line spooled yet.... Shure would be nice to have a float that you can spool the line on also.:thumbsup1:

    Edited 2 times, last by Sith: Updated the picture link ().

  • On the handle of the gun you have Cordage, and you have that tied to the big clip from Dan, IMO this is not efficient as you have a big heavy clip now that you will always have to untie as you would not want it banging around when you are not using the float line. Go to any fishing shop and get the large SS split rings they use on large hooks. then put the split rings on both the heavy clips and then attach them to the swivels you bought... You now have your float line, (spliced?)then swivel with split ring joining the swivel to the clips...And from the clips you attach whatever you want.... also you can simply use spectra/dynema or shooting line and tie this knot Double Fisherman's Bend | How to tie a Double Fisherman's, or Grapevine, Bend | Climbing Knots (do a triple or quadruple if using spectra)to form a loop and then you use the loops to attach to anything you want to attach together rather that welded rings and split rings and so on and so forth.

    A bad day at sea is better than a good day in the boatyard
    George Steele

    Edited 2 times, last by Dude george ().

  • George, attaching the clips to the float line would definitely be an improvement.:toast:
    So split rings between swivel and permanent side of the clip and cordage with Double Fisherman's knot on gun?

  • It's worth noting that you can pop the eye out of dans locking snaps with only a little elbow grease if they can't be used for some reason.

    Also I only use one swivel at the gun and don't seem to have any issues with any of my floatlines.

    The other clip is gonna be one of dans soon too. I dont like that they can be left open.

  • I am currently using a RA floattline with little mod's. I'll take a picture today to show you how it is. My kid's floatlines are Polypro made by myself. I'll take pictures too.

    It is a matter of personal prefference, but I won't use Dan's clips in my floatline. Too bulky for my taste.

    Marco Melis

    A bad day fishing is ALWAYS better than a good day at work.

  • where did you get that line son, that is ddooppee

    Scupper Pro Gives You Wings!

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment.