First let me admit that I do not use reels very much (read once so far). I have used my spools several times and really have no issues with them, but I do have a few thoughts/observations regarding reels.
I have a 400' Halcyon. It seems like a pretty well made piece of equipment, I like the heavy duty feeling of the metal and delrin. First 2 times I took it out with me, I ended up not using it, it just hung around slapping me in my butt as I frog kicked to merriment... The last time I took it out I got to use it on a little project I had going. First Im swimming along , happen to look back and I notice line everywhere. It took a moment for the thought to finally strike that it was me trailing the line, I reach back, unclip and sure enough line was unspooling... I thought that I put the loop over the locking bolt and tightened it, hmm I did, but the line was coming off from somewhere other than the end. I had to pull off line until I found the offending loop that just "fell off the spool" and rewind it all. It wasn't a big deal but Im thinking I should take off all 400' in a bucket of water and rewind the entire reel with a bit more tension than it was originally wrapped with. I really don't like the idea of slack line floating around me! I ran the line, felt pretty happy with my tie offs, did what I had to and rewound the line. First I thought "wow this rolls up a heckuva lot faster than a finger spool!" then I got to thinking that holding this thing in my left hand along with my light was a bit clooge. The lights WERE needed on that dive as vis absolutely sucked, but it luckily wasn't that dark. If I had my light pointed where I was going, the reel was cockeyed and I could feel the pull of the line as I swam. If I turned my hand so the reel was straight then the light was off to the side. It was really a non issue I just figured that there had to be a better way and I just wasn't hip to the jive.
So last saturday Im sitting in my Adv Nitrox/deco/helitrox class and the instructor is going over using lines and demoing reels. Hmm it seems as though I was doing it right, how depressing. Im and thin sitting in class looking at my reel and thinking that there has to be a better design. How about if on the side handle style of reels the handle bracket is actually made into a T? The handle is on the top of the T and the leg is what has the bend in it and the line feeds through the bottom of the T? The handle then stays straight in your hand, parallel with the goodman handle, and the line feeds out straight behind you?
Any thoughts on this idea? Im sure I will hear "Its too complicated, thats a solution looking for a problem, blah blah blah." It seems like its a pretty simple modification/upgrade(?) and wondering if there is any merit to my idea....