Offshore 6/11 Bluefin Report + Lessons Learned


Fucking Stan
Nov 19, 2003
Great write. Lots of good info. One more thing.... before you close the crimp pull the bitter end out and away from everything and melt the tip. Tap it with the lighter so it mushrooms. Let it cool a couple of seconds then pull it tight and crimp normally. If your crimp fails for any reason the line cannot be pulled through it.
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Apr 17, 2019
Chula Vista
Not Yet
Helium Balloons: From reviews, it seems like the one-time use helium tanks that you buy at Target and Walmart contain diluted helium that will barely make a balloon float and cost $60 for a tank that will only fill 1 fishing balloon. I looked into refillable aluminum tanks but they were pretty expensive and helium refills were around $175-$200 for a 60 cu ft tank. I was also told to only buy aluminum tanks because steel tanks would corrode. I did some research and called around and found a place that sold me a 60 cu ft aluminum tank for $220 with $55 fills. The balloon filling regulator was $45 without a gauge or $80 with a gauge, but I was told to not buy a regulator with a gauge on it because the gauge would inevitably break when used on a boat. I bought 36" balloons and filled them to about 30" and that was enough to hold a flyer up. I managed to fill 6 balloons on one tank. I bought some fancy Tigress fishing balloons for $8/each, but I bought some from a party shop for $2.50/each and they work just fine. Light colored balloons are best because dark balloons will absorb more solar radiation which makes them more prone to popping. If you don't think solar radiation will pop a balloon, fill some ballons with air and glitter, tape them to windows inside your house and leave them there for a few days. Ask me how I know... I also bought balloon clips, which are really cool. You don't have to tie the balloon, you just put on a removeable plastic clip so that you have the option to remove the clip and add helium if the balloon isn't big enough. The clips are really cheap and they don't leak at all. Basically, it cost me $260 up front for the tank and regulator, but each time I use a balloon it costs less than $12, which isn't too bad in my opinion.

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