Throwline + pines = headache

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
I didn't find much posted on this previously; if I missed it, please point me in the right direction. So, a few of my loblolly pines are giving me fits trying to set a line high in the canopy. Usually, I have to shoot (Bigshot) from the one small area with a clear line of sight, which puts the line through 1 or 2 trees on the back side and maybe a over a small tree on the front side. But where I keep running into jams is in the pines themselves; getting the line out of the adjacent trees is not the problem. Usually, the snags occur on little thumb sized stubs. Today, the line worked itself down into the frayed end of a stub. Had it double bagged at that point (10 & 12 oz.) Just had a girth hitch with a short tail attaching the line to the ring on the weight, so I was eventually. able to pull the line off. Of course, the throw weights get looped over a branch 25 ft up in another tree instead of falling to the ground. Have had some where the acute angle on a tiny stub won't let the weight pull through. Breaking the branch often leads to another jam. I've tied another throw line on the weight before pulling it back up to start isolating it (so I can pull either direction) and still had hard jams. I'm wondering if I just need to start lower in the tree, then advance my TIP higher once in the tree. However, the lower shots really don't look much better. I've never had problems like these with any other trees. Who's got the good technique or tips for this? Thanks for reading my long post and for any advice.[I'm just glad it's happening at home while I'm trying to remove some widow makers and not on a job!]
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
I don't deal with a lot of pines, but for the most part throwline tricks/tips work in most species.

For starters if your not already, clear it from the additional trees before you double bag. I couldn't tell from your post if your doing that.

Next use a single weight. I've tried the same setup that your doing (10 & 12) and found that a single 16 works better. Less weight but less to get stuck in the tree.

think though your double bagging, I will sometimes double bag 2-3 times on a single throw to get the isolation that I want. If you are moving it around and you clear 80% of the stuff in the way, instead of fighting with it for the other 20 just drop the weight down. Pull the appropriate line out of the tree and double again to get the other 20% by doing this you reduce friction on your throwline allowing that lighter weight to work for you.

Lastly , if your tie in point will hold the (2X) weight, try a basal tie. This can be done with a floating false crotch if your a doubled rope climber.
 

Cereal_Killer

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Get yourself the 18oz FTF pulsar throw weight for double bagging & line manipulation.

Best trick I've ever learned is double bagging with the additional weight girth hitched onto the first line mid-line instead of using a 2nd line. Be careful of knots though!!
 

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
Thanks. Will try the multiple double bagging approach. Still afraid of getting in some small narrow crotches that a bag won't come back through, which is what I need to get closer to the trunk. I'm doing basal anchors, so I'm not trying to isolate a particular limb, just prefer not to have the half of the rope I'm not climbing stuck in a mess of small branches a good distance from the trunk. I need to look at maybe tying off to a different tree for the basal anchor, might be able to have a decently straight rope to the top anchoring further away.

I wonder if a more streamlined and/or flexible weight may do better coming through tight spots. Any thoughts on that?

I am using binoculars to get a good look at what's going on, as I'm hitting 70 feet or more.
 

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
20210411_210833.jpg They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a couple of recent scenarios. Thanks everyone for the advice so far! (In the top diagram, I didn't get the binoculars out to see exactly what was going on until after I had the bag wedged in the little crotch; lesson learned.)
 
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Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
Thanks for the replies. Got my wheels turning now, so to speak. Will do some more trials based on your input. Fortunately, clients seem to just want the lowest limb or two removed, so I've not embarrassed myself with a canopy fiasco.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
View attachment 75027 They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a couple of recent scenarios. Thanks everyone for the advice so far! (In the top diagram, I didn't get the binoculars out to see exactly what was going on until after I had the bag wedged in the little crotch; lesson learned.)
The first scenario is quite easy, instead of double bagging where the the throw weight is, bring the other end up and double bag with it.

As for the 2nd one, it's best to cut your loses and rethrow. There's just too much friction there to even manipulate your line to a lower point.
 

Winchman

Well-Known Member
I almost always deal with pines using a Big Shot with a 12 ounce weight and Target throwline. Most of my TIPs are sixty to seventy-five feet. I've had all the problems you describe, but not often enough to discourage me. I'm still using the first throw bag I bought, but I do have a spare just in case.

The Target line is slick as greased owl snot, so the weight almost always falls to the ground by itself or with a little jiggling. If the line isn't where I want it or in a position where I can't get it to a good place, I'll remove the bag, pull the line back, and try again.

I have a small soft drink bottle filled with two pounds of scrap copper wire to use for isolating the TIP. It's always been heavy enough to pull two slick lines to the ground. I can use it from either end of the first line in the tree. I tie a short piece of 3/4" PVC pipe in the line to move it toward the trunk or a good crotch.

I've also got a telescopic aluminum pole (made for cleaning pools) with an L-shaped extension and hook on the end which I use to move my TIP higher once I'm in the tree. It takes another climb to use the higher TIP, but that's OK with me.

It took a lot of practice, but I've gotten amazingly good with the Big Shot. Getting where I want with one shot is fairly common. I've had several trees where I just gave up, then came back the next day to get the TIP I want with one shot and a little isolation work.
 

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
I've been practicing with my Bigshot a fair amount since I got it a couple of months ago. I'm getting pretty decent at hitting a small window (maybe 1' x 1.5') at 70-85". It's the stuff behind the window that makes for headaches. I was considering trying a "bank shot," bouncing the throw bag off the side of the trunk to avoid going all the way through the tree (and into ones behind it.) Is that wishful thinking or "worth a shot"?

I've done the pole method before, but now usually I'll throw in the tree. I'll take the end of a 2nd rope with me on the initial ascent when I know I'm going for a higher TIP. Seems like placing a 2nd rope with a canopy anchor is quicker than advancing a line with a basal anchor.
 

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
Big pines can be a pain for sure when it comes to setting a line. Being able to hit a one to two foot or so opening at 70 feet is very good shooting and should be more than adequate.

Except for the occasional circumstance where things get weird, I actually prefer having the base leg of my SRS routed out of the work area. This often means purposely setting it into a neighboring tree. I consider it a huge safety feature.

I can't really visualize needing to isolate a tip on any kind of regular basis.
 

Njdelaney

Well-Known Member
Location
Detroit
Getting good at putting the brakes on your weight by grabbing the line as it hits the desired window is an invaluable skill. It is easier said than done but will save you lots of overshooting headaches so keep your cube close enough that you can quickly reach out to stop the line with a free hand. I have got the metal ring on one of my bags jammed so tight into a decayed stub on a Silver Maple the only option was to set a second line, climb up and cut the whole 6" stub off. It seems some days like anything that can snag a line or bag will!
 

Stumpsprouts

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
View attachment 75027 They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a couple of recent scenarios. Thanks everyone for the advice so far! (In the top diagram, I didn't get the binoculars out to see exactly what was going on until after I had the bag wedged in the little crotch; lesson learned.)
I second what @Jehinten recommended for both of these scenarios. Also with conifers it is often easier to settle for a lower TIP and move TIP once you have branches to climb.

I’d like to get a tattoo made of this first image. Or at least a coaster.
 

Winchman

Well-Known Member
I'd rather let the bag fly and come to the ground (where I can get the bag off) than try to stop it in the tree. I find isolating a TIP relaxing, but I can understand others feeling differently.

I don't think I've ever caught anything on an overshoot that I'd bet my life on.
 

climbingmonkey24

Well-Known Member
Location
United States
Getting good at putting the brakes on your weight by grabbing the line as it hits the desired window is an invaluable skill. It is easier said than done but will save you lots of overshooting headaches so keep your cube close enough that you can quickly reach out to stop the line with a free hand. I have got the metal ring on one of my bags jammed so tight into a decayed stub on a Silver Maple the only option was to set a second line, climb up and cut the whole 6" stub off. It seems some days like anything that can snag a line or bag will!

Was going to say this, learning when to grab on to the line to stop it from flying through the brush and sailing into other trees. Easier said then done when it's flying through the air.

One trick I've sort of used is only taking out as much throw line as I think I need and then stepping on it to hold the rest in place which keeps my hands free and I don't have to worry about trying to quickly grab it.

It works quite well. Another thing you could do is if you have someone with you, have them do the same or hold onto it to stop it for you.

Also, sometimes you may have to untie the bag, tie the bag to the opposite end of the line, and pull it back up in order to isolate the limb you want. Okay so let's say you shoot the bag and it goes over the limb you want, but on it's way over that limb it also went over 3-4 other limbs you don't want it over. Tie the bag to the opposite end, pull it up, and basically try to work it up and over and around those limbs until it is only around the one you want to isolate.

As someone who climbs mainly Ddrt I am usually trying to isolate one particular limb, so I've played around with different things. Another thing is if you doubt you will be able to pull the throwling (bag end) back through a crotch if you need to re-throw or re-position, better to let it run and pull the whole line out (free end going through crotch) so it doesn't get stuck. That just leads to more headache!

Also, ANGLES! The angle at which you are shooting from can defintely impact where the throw line goes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in that first drawing if I follow the throw line it appears you were shooting at an angle directly at the place you wanted to avoid. Obviously I don't know the whole situation and what the rest of the tree looked like just an observation I made. Change the angle.
 
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Winchman

Well-Known Member
I keep an extra length of throwline to use when isolating a TIP. Being able to pull the line or weight either way keeps them from getting stuck in the tree. Never leave a knot in a line you can only pull one way.
 

dmonn

Well-Known Member
Location
Mequon
Something I've found helpful to reduce "overthrows" (going farther into other trees) is using a trigger release on my BigShot. I adjust the release point to make the second throw either higher or lower to hit the desired TIP from a near-vertical throw. That keeps the weight close to the trunk and out of the smaller branches.

The commercial trigger release seemed pricey, so I made my own using a bow release and an adjustable strap. Much less expensive and I think it's easier to adjust. I aim and shoot with the butt of the pole against my shoulder, like firing a rifle. I can usually hit the desired TIP cleanly within 3 tries.
 

Winchman

Well-Known Member
I'd like to see a picture of how you arranged the bow release. I thought about using one before I found the $4 panic snap release I've been using.

I rest the pole on the ground. That's probably not as accurate for aiming, but for me it's steadier than using my shoulder.
 

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