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"Big Shot" Line Launcher

 
3.4 (4)

Sherrill_Big_Shot

User reviews

4 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.4
Type of Use 
 
2.3  (4)
Frequency of Use 
 
2.8  (4)
Durability 
 
3.8  (4)
Technical Skill Required 
 
3.3  (4)
Ease of Use 
 
3.5  (4)
Safety 
 
3.3  (4)
Overall rating 
 
2.8
Type of Use 
 
4.0
Frequency of Use 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
2.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
3.0
Ease of Use 
 
3.0
Safety 
 
3.0

Worth every penny, but don't buy the snap release.

Great product. Worth every penny. Get where you have never gotten before. The pole can also double for a pole saw. I would recommend a pulley draw system with mechanical advantage and some kinda of snap release to help with aiming and drawing back the pouch. Don't waste your money on the $80-90 snap release, a $5 dollar horse snap from Tractor Supply will work just as well. Usually only take one or two shots to hit your mark.

Overall rating 
 
3.8
Type of Use 
 
1.0
Frequency of Use 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
3.0
Ease of Use 
 
4.0
Safety 
 
3.0

Big Shot advantage

As others have commented it makes many tall trees accessible that are very difficult to reach throwing by hand. I use it primarily for white pines in woods locations but also use it for tall hardwoods in tight woods situations.



I made a custom hold-down and release for my Big Shot, this allows me to make the highest possible shots if needed and gives me the chance to aim it without having to hold the sling extended by hand at the same time.



Obviously a potentially dangerous piece of gear, as was noted, eye protection and a helmet are a must while using it. It is not a toy.

Overall rating 
 
3.8
Type of Use 
 
1.0
Frequency of Use 
 
2.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
4.0
Ease of Use 
 
4.0
Safety 
 
3.0

Bulky, but opens up more trees

The rating system may not give a fully accurate "score" as my only recreational use and somewhat infrequent use translate into lower scores but do not mean it's not a good product.



I got this device after being repeatedly frustrated with trying to get my throw bag up into higher branches. It's a bulkier tool, but does break down into two pole segments plus the sling-shot, which makes it easier to carry / transport.



The real beauty of this device is that it delivers your line higher up and better placed than most could ever do with just line tossing. It has definitely allowed me to climb trees higher and safer than I could have without it. As the Sherrill brochure states, this also allows you to shoot a line almost straight up, which puts more branches and options at your disposal.



It takes a bit of force to get the sling-shot fully drawn down, and you definitely have to put your weight into it to get the shot launched, but it's easier with practice. Proper line flaking and bag placement into the pouch is needed to get the shot to work, but when it does, it's sweet! I find the more I use it, the better I get (makes sense).



Considering the price of a lot of the gear used for tree climbing, I think this is a good value. Getting a good line placed well in a tree is one of the most important aspects of a successful climb, and this certainly improves your chances.

Overall rating 
 
3.5
Type of Use 
 
3.0
Frequency of Use 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
3.0
Ease of Use 
 
3.0
Safety 
 
4.0

A key enabling tool

The ratings numbers above don't quite reflect my overall judgement of this tool: it simply makes many climbs possible that would otherwise be out of the question. My climbs are about evenly divided these days between research (professional) and recreational. I can't give it a high rating for frequency of use, simply because I don't climb often enough - but it comes with me now on 90% of the climbs I do, both for research and for recreation. I've only had it since May 2007, but it so far shows no signs of wear.



I generally use this with an 8 oz. throwbag and Zing-It line; the same stuff I hand-throw with. It is not an easy tool to learn, but it nearly doubles the height of tie-in points that can be hit.



Things about using it that I've learned, mostly the hard way:

- Make sure you position the throwline pile between the big shot and the tree.

- Flake the throwline VERY carefully - re-flaking it a time or two would not be amiss - and make absolutely sure that nothing extraneous, not even a pine needle, is in the pile of line.. Line pays out very fast during a shot, and the least extra loop or piece of debris can lead to a really nasty tangle.

- It's worth the trouble to aim carefully. You'll sometimes hit shots without aiming much, but with practice you'll actually hit "windows" between branches with some deliberate aiming.

- Wear helmet and goggles. There's a lot of energy stored in a shot, and if something catches or ricochets that energy could come back at you.



It's not an easy tool to use, but it's opened up a whole world of trees that I simply couldn't enter a year ago, including all of the tall white pine trees my grad students and I have been working in for research.

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