I thought I might find the answer to this question in a prior post, but came up short. After about eight years of climbing, I finally got a Big Shot line launcher. I never saw the need for one because my hand throws are pretty accurate to about 50-60', and I really enjoy multi-pitch challenges. But there's a canopy I want to explore that I can't get to by hand, hence the mechanical help. Here's my question: Has anyone come up with the optimum throw weight to line size combination to maximize the throw distance with a Big Shot? I have a 10oz shot bag and I've been using Slick Line forever (cheap and durable), but after shooting that combination, I'm sure the weight of the line is retarding the distance I should be able to achieve. I'd rather not experiment with different bag weights and line diameters if someone else has already figured this out. My gut says a little heavier bag - 12oz with something like 1.75 Zing-It would fly pretty high. Also, has anyone used and want to comment on Sherrill's HighBall? Thanks, Mo
I'm no expert, but my buddy recently hit two 120' branches on his first attempts using a Big Shot. (We call him "Master Blaster" now.) His Big Shot is set up for use with a fishing reel and fishing line. The throwbag was a 4oz bag. (I think it's called a "Bee?" It's a small yellow shot-filled bag.) Lighter bags go higher, not heavier bags. The only bummer about lighter bags is sometimes they have trouble pulling your line back down if the bark is rough or if the bag passes through fluffy branches on its way down. But, like I said, with a little patience we got a 4oz bag to pull fishing line down to us on the first try from 120' in a redwood, twice.
Then you use the fishing line to pull up your throwline (anything will do, but--as always--the less tangle the better), and then use your throwline to pull up your climbing rope.
I wouldn't use a ball. Bouncing around up there is unlikely to help you. It'll only make it less likely that you'll be able to jiggle the line and get the bag to come all the way back down to you. You want a bag that absorbs all the impact-energy from anything it touches. I could be wrong, but I think shot-fill does that best.
Oh, also, this wasn't released by hand! His Big Shot is configured with one of those snap-release triggers. That makes a huge difference! Pull the Big Shot back halfway, connect the release-trigger, make sure everything seems stable, then load the throwbag into the Big Shot's pouch. Now slide the release down the pole to nearly the bottom. (The fishing reel will be all the way at the very bottom of your poles.) Take up the slack fishing line, but then make sure you hit the fishing-reel release! Get all lined up, shout "firing!", then let 'er rip!
Helmets and safety glasses are a must! (Honestly, we wear a helmet and a face shield when we use the Big Shot as I just described it.) And look down (or at least straight forward) the moment before you fire. When the Big Shot misfires, it CAN throw that throwbag right back at you! It is not pretty!! No joke!! Bystanders are helpful for fine-tuning your aim, but should stand well clear, and should also be wearing helmets AND safety glasses.
Your mileage may vary.
Although I'm serious about the safety measures. This post makes sense to me since I can picture what we did. If it's confusing, ask questions!
Thanks D. sounds like 4oz is the right mass to pull fishing line high, but I'm interested in getting a larger haul line as high as possible. I've experimented with monofilament and found it to be a real pain in hardwood canopies. So thin it finds every bark overlap and binds up. If I could isolate one branch, maybe it would be easier, but that never happens for me.
I'm still kind of in the 'organic' phase of using the BigShot. .no triggers or pullies yet. Just looking for the right balance of weight vs. primary throw line. Appreciate your advice.
Yeah, my helmet is at the top of my gear bag for a reason - first thing on. . Last thing off. .
I regularly use a 10oz bag with 1.75mm zing it. 80'-100' no problem. I have used an 8 oz. bag as well. It shot higher and as accurate as the 10oz, but was more difficult to get back to earth!
Higher canopy shots, especially with launching devices like the big shot, technique becomes very important. Using multiple lines to isolate from the top down, "plucking " the fall of the line to get the bag to drop become vital techniques to master.
The beauty of the big shot is that it is accurate with minimal practice and throws the bag right where you want it. The bag then goes on and on and on...
I have been using a 10oz Harrison Rocket and 2.2mm zing it line for a while now and am very happy with both.
The 2.2mm line doesn't go as high as thinner line but is easier on the hands and fingers when strumming the bag down
Just a quick note on bag weights, imho a bags shape and construction will determine it's flight characteristics
I have some lighter bags that are just that, bags with lead shot in them, they don't fly straight and absorb a limb on impact
Where as the rocket is more projectile like and will glance off limbs and keep going.
high- ball no good in my opinion. Used first day 50 degree weather and cracked. Hard and not worth trying, but do admit feels good in hand. Have not tried the BiG Shot, but can tell you from limited experience (10 climbs) the air assist busuka is a dream. Use the air pressure to control your shots. Would never go back to any method I have learned.
Hmmm, these manila ropes are pretty solid and flexible actually. I would try to use a heavy duty sling runner, I think it has to work. So, basically the solution proposed by moss should be the best one, and probably the only one that would work out perfectly, moreover the only one that is enough safe. However, I do not really like those ropes as they can get wet and they are not that practical from that point of view. I was thinking about using some manila ropes for my kids' swings, however I am afraid that they would break and my kids would get hurt. I have read some amazing reviews for some ropes on
, and I have chosen one of those ropes, and I am really pleased with it.