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Reef Hooks, How to Use Them Properly?

The use of reef hooks, contrary to what happens with other pieces of diving equipment, is not well-known. However, they are a treasure for some drift divers. In today’s article, we explain what reef hooks are, what they are useful for, and how to use them correctly.

What Are Reef Hooks?

As the name suggests, reef hooks are hook-shaped pieces. They measure approximately 10 cm / 4 inches and hang on a rope of 2 meters / 6.5 feet approx. They are attached to the diver’s vest via a carabiner.

What Are Reef Hooks Used for?

Reef hooks are used for staying at a specific point during a drift dive and enjoying the underwater beauty calmly.

Reef hooks - ganchos de arrecife - 1

There are some places where it is frequent to use reef hooks, such as Palau, the Maldives, Komodo, Raja Ampat, and French Polynesia. Pelagic animals take advantage of drifts, especially sharks and tuna. However, seeing and photographing them calmly, at times, is a real feat. Although we resist with all our strength, the dragging force of the water forces us to continue advancing. Reef hooks were devised to solve this problem and are the best way to stay in one place. Using them, the diver hovers over the reef like a kite. Some of the benefits of using reef hooks are:

  • They allow you to stay in the same place without running out of or wasting gas.
  • Increase the bottom time.
  • You will be able to see amazing animals calmly
  • They make it possible to take incredible photos that would otherwise be impossible.
  • You can stay still without damaging the reef.

How to use reef hooks?

The key to using a reef hook correctly is to find the right place to attach it: debris or dead reefs. You should never attach reef hooks to live corals, as it will damage them. Once anchored, you will only have to inflate the BCD little by little until floating in the place you want. The idea is to stay on the reef while staying at enough a distance so that the fins don’t hit the reef.

When all is finished, it’s time to unhook the reef hook. Remember to deflate the BCD first, or you will ascend towards the surface.

Move the reef hook forward by the line and stay close to the bottom while you are putting it away. Then ascent a bit to continue drift diving.

It is important to remember two things concerning reef hooks:

– They will never replace diving skills such as knowing how to carry proper weight, that is well placed, and good buoyancy control.

– The reef hooks are safe, but they represent a change in the development of a drift dive that implies adjustments. You have to think about what to do while hooking and unhooking.

Now it´s your turn. Tell us. Have you ever dived with a reef hook?

Reef hooks - ganchos de arrecife - 2
Reef hooks - ganchos de arrecife - 2

When all is finished, it’s time to unhook the reef hook. Remember to deflate the BCD first, or you will ascend towards the surface. Move the reef hook forward by the line and stay close to the bottom while you are putting it away. Then ascent a bit to continue drift diving.

It is important to remember two things concerning reef hooks:

– They will never replace diving skills such as knowing how to carry proper weight, that is well placed, and good buoyancy control.

– The reef hooks are safe, but they represent a change in the development of a drift dive that implies adjustments. You have to think about what to do while hooking and unhooking.

Now it´s your turn. Tell us. Have you ever dived with a reef hook?

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