Halcyon Pathfinder 400 Reel

Anyone who knows how I dive or has read my UK diving guide knows that I have fixed and firm opinions about dive reels, that's to say finger reels have their uses but not as a primary reel and the bigger the better. They don't get much bigger than this reel, so what do I think about it?

Well firstly I rate them so highly that I have two!

I will explain why, now most of my deeper, north east and southern scotland dives are done with a limited bottom time to keep the deco down to about 20 minutes maximum with a mixed bunch of divers. That means its not organised with a trapeze or any similar deco system, some guys go back to the shot but others agree with the skipper to launch a delay and deco under that. Now despite my exceptional navigation skills I tend to use the delay, it reduces the stress level and the skippers tend to be fine as long as you tell them in advance.

Launching a delay from 60m is fraught with issues and despite this reel being a good design and virtually tangle free I do like having a second reel set up, just in-case..............

The reel is a friction design rather than a ratchet model, again something that I prefer, I used to have a kent tooling reel and it was an exceptional piece of engineering but not for me.

Ok, the reel, well it's very, very well made. I am a lazy diver or maybe a lazy 'after'-diver insofar that I am a bugger for throwing some bits of kit in my bag and leaving until the next dive during the summer. As you can guess 'some bits of kits' include the reels and despite this mistreatment and an annual wash in clean water they continue to work and function perfectly, the construction being aluminium, stainless steel and delrin plastic means that there is nothing to corrode and seize up, oh and the design is such that there is no dis-similar metal to metal contact which would give rise to galvanic corrosion, plus point!

The line holding capacity is the next good point, the reel holds 122m of line so there is no problem launching from depth and no chance of 'zooming' upwards with a dislocated arm when the line runs out. Oh the line has a rating of 242lbs so it ain't going to snap under normal use either.

The spool diameter is also ideal, you get a good length of line with every rotation you take in about 50cm of line so reeling in from depth isn't such a chore which it certainly is with a finger spool or one of the smaller reels sold as a set with a delay.

The reel is supplied with one 'double end snap' I would recommend that you use a second, through the line guard to keep the reel flush whilst diving, alternatively you can come up with your own system. I have a loop of bungee that I use to secure my delay to the face of the reel, this goes from a slot in the handle, over the delay and reel and snaps onto the friction nut. Again it keeps everything tidy and I slip this loop over my wrist when reeling in, it means that I don't need to grip the reel when decompressing. For those about to complain that I would be tied to the reel in the event that the delay is run over by an errant boat....not so its a loose fit and slips off easily, the loop needs to be doubled round to make it 'tight'
Picture 009
All tidy on the bungee strap, used to hold DSMB in place or hold the reel on a stop
Halcyon supply the reel with a biiiiiig loop of line, not my preferred option and I have attached a stainless steel clip, stitching the line over on itself, applying a layer of aquasure and then heatshrinking it all tidy. Every year I take a yard of line off and reattach the clip, just to be safe!

Picture 007

My preferred stainless steel line clip

Richies ratings 9/10 close to perfection for a UK dive reel

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