Traditional thought / instruction has been that the leash should be about as long as your fist. I've found that to be entirely too short. I prefer to have the bottle(s), when leashed, lay right against my butt, between my legs. A leash the length of my fist won't allow that, and will cause the bottle(s) to "fall over" my left leg, and ride along the left side of my body. This results in a wider profile and more drag. I've found that a leash roughly the length of TWO fists (~6 1/2") is ideal, for me.
Like the stage / deco bottle rigging, I prefer a large boltsnap with an eye ~1 1/4 - 1 1/2" ID. That's large enough for me to put my ring finger in, with gloves, which is key. While some use a double -ender for their leash, I much prefer a boltsnap, to prevent the possibility of the double-ender's trigger from unclipping from the leash
HARDWARE & SUPPLIES
~24" of 5mm climbing rope
~6-8" of 3/8" tubing (not pictured)
Large SS boltsnap
STAGE / DECO BOTTLE LEASH
In our configuration, when one or two deco bottles or stages are needed, we wear ("sling") the bottles on our left side (for reasoning behind this, see our blog post "Reasoning for Deco / Stage Bottles on Left"). If more than two bottles are needed, we need another means of carrying the extras bottles, as we can only sling two bottles. Beyond two, it gets too crowded.
The stage / deco bottle leash, often referred to simply as a "leash", allows us to carry as many bottles as needed for the dive, beyond the two on our side.
When carrying multiple bottles, two bottles are slung, and all remaining bottles (up to three) are carried via the leash. If more than five bottles are needed, two leashes are required. The leash is clipped to the left waist D-Ring, along with the deco / stage bottles' tail clips and the SPG. How the bottles are managed, used, and attached is beyond the scope of this tutorial and will be covered by your instructor in your class.
As with everything else, there are multiple ways to make a leash. This method is what I've found to be the most efficient, which is what is important on dives requiring multiple bottles.
MAKING THE LEASH
Measure a length of rope so that it is about two fists' length. This will be about the length of your leash. Double the length and add a few inches for the knots.
Cut the tubing ~1/2" shorter than that. This doesn't have to be exact, by any means. The tubing simply gives the leash some rigidity. Slide the tubing over the rope.
Put the rope through the eye of the boltsnap.
Tie a fisherman's knot, so the rope is one loop, the length you measured your two fists.
Cut the ends, burn them with the lighter to prevent fraying, and super glue the knot.
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