Some time ago under another topic I posted my prickly rope idea for dragging the pond to clean out duck weed. Well I've vastly improved the design. My original rope was a floating poly rope. First I tried just the rope. Didn't stay on top enough and hang on to the DW good enough. So then I made the prickly rope. Worked 10 times better. I still had a problem when I was dragging a lot of DW with the rope sliding under the DW and losing some. Had to pull the rope really slow. I added some cheap floats to the rope and can now report another ten times improvement. See pics. I can really pull hard and really drag a lot of DW together into one place.
This is very useful information. It might even be so good that it should go to the archives as part of a practical primer on vegetation control. Good job, bz.
And you say that is cheap poly rope? What diameter and is it yellow? I had thought about sections of swim noodles they would probably work dont you think? I have serious plankton algae maybe it would help with that. If I citrine plus every week it stays away but I dont want to keep pumping in chemicals
The rope is 3/8 diameter cheap poly rope that you can buy anywhere. It is yellow but comes in many colors. I tried swim noodles. They float so high in the water that everything slips underneath them. I tried weighting them with lead weights and had some limited success but I think you'd have to weight them until they were more than half submerged to avoid the stuff sliding underneath and getting away from you. They are expensive compared to my current setup. I think I paid about $6 for 100 foot rope, $15 for cable ties, and $15 for the floats. With the addition of floats you don't even need floating rope, anything will do I think. It does takes some time to put all the cable ties on the rope. You have to stick the cable ties through the rope not just around it or they slide out of place and rotate. Since they cannot rotate you have to make sure you attach them in a spiral fashion. This can be accomplished by twisting the rope back and forth as you install them so they don't all end up on the same side of the rope. Ideally you want them evenly spaced around the circumference of the rope so they stick out in all directions.
what type of floats are they, or should I ask where did you get them?
Pool noodles will work. I used them this past spring to clear FA from my BG pond.
You will need some additional weight though. I used a piece of electrical cable I had lying around.
I am going to make one for removing the huge amounts of leaves that I get and hopefully beable to get down every other day to drag them out. Going to first try without zip ties although I really think that I will end up with them on there
Trialsguy, if you get the right rope it may work without the ties but I doubt it. The rope needs to float just the right amount to catch whatever your are catching. I floating rope without the floats and without ties did not float well enough to catch my DW which as 2 to 3 inch roots hanging down. Leaves float quite high I think. I think you'll need ties and floats. I got my floats from here: http://www.sterlingnets.com/supplies.html
I bought the SB2 model, they cost roughly $0.25 each. I used 4 inch ties but I think 6 inch would work better. Mine does work well no leaves.
the picture is poor for some reason? I may be trading this camera back in!
BZ you should patent this and make a million bucks. It is so easy, once you get all the sticks and crap out of the pond. I have to improve on my rake for dragging it out once it hits the shore. I will be adding the zips and floats also. The rope floated really well the whole process but I am wondering if it may start to sink if in the water too long. Notice all the film in with the leaves? I thought I could slip the rope over the float but it got hung up so I had to paddle out in the boat and free it up,, this is my second attempt. First attempt I moved too fast and lost a bunch, I bet though I wasnt at it for more than a hour start to finish removing the leaves from the pond edge
This is my first attempt I moved to quicly and lost a bunch of the leaves
Can you tell us what spacing you used on the zip ties and the floats?
Good start Trialsguy. I went through the same learning curve. With just a rope you have to move really slow. The addition of the ties allowed me to drag faster and the floats made it better yet. Without floats my rope did eventually sink too much to work on its own. I bought a pack of 500 ties and used almost all of them on a 100 foot rope. So about 5 ties per foot. Don't make the mistake I made in my first attempt and just wrap the ties around the rope. My rope is poly which is slippery and so the ties just spin on the rope and don't do a good job catching onto stuff. I had to stick the ties through the center of the braided rope so they wouldn't spin. Then you need to twist the rope around to a different orientation for each tie so that they don't all end up on the same side of the rope. You want them to stick out all around the rope so no matter how the rope twists as you are using it you still have ties that stick down into the water. I hate to say it since it took me several hours to add the ties but I think even more ties would work many times better because even with 500 ties if I pull too fast I lose stuff. I think 1000 ties would be great. I'm going to add more next year. Also I think stiffer ties would be better. I used 4 inch ties and they will eventually bend under too much load and start losing stuff. The next ones I add will be 6 inch ties which are stiffer. Or if I can find heavier weight 4 inch ties I'll get those. I put the floats about every 3 to 4 feet and that seems sufficient. I use smelt net to scoop stuff out of the pond after the rope herds it into shore. This works well on DW, FA, or leaves. It's about 20 inches diameter and 20 inches deep which is large enough to haul out 10 pounds of crap in a scoop.
Good info! I was wondering on the ties, if I use 6 inch and cut a couple inches off each one would it make them stiffer yet?
How do you store your rope? Right now I have just stretch it around from tree to tree to dry. I spliced 2- 100 foot ropes together which makes for too much rope but 100 wasnt long enough. I have to figure what is just right to get a good loop that will pull in smooth. I ran a quick run of leaf removal tonight, the wind had blown most over to the edge so I scooped up a bunch tonight
Good info! I was wondering on the ties, if I use 6 inch and cut a couple inches off each one would it make them stiffer yet?
How do you store your rope? Right now I have just stretch it around from tree to tree to dry. I spliced 2- 100 foot ropes together which makes for too much rope but 100 wasnt long enough. I have to figure what is just right to get a good loop that will pull in smooth. I ran a quick run of leaf removal tonight, the wind had blown most over to the edge so I scooped up a bunch tonight works real slick and is a easy one man operation
I think it would help to use 6 inch ties but cut them shorter. They are made from thicker material that will make them stiffer but the extra length will make them bend easier so I think you've got the right idea. I don't know how short I'd cut them though. That brings up a thought that perhaps my 4 inch ones are fine if they were shorter. The tradeoff is that longer ties will catch more stuff easier but will tend to bend over and lose it easier. Need to experiment I guess. I also just stretch mine out until dry and then coil it up and hang it in the shed. This thing works perfect for guys like you and I who have ponds small enough to stretch a reasonable length rope across and can walk the bank to pull it in. For a one man operation I use a chunk of concrete to hold one end down while I pull on the other end. I have a piece of concrete at each end so I can alternate pulling each end if desired. Glad to see this has been helpful for you.
I need about 150 feet to make it across and a little more when I head for the sharp point of the tear drop end of my pond. So you coil it up? Do you wrap it around something? The reason I ask is because I have already spent too much time trying to un knot the dang thing. I have driven stakes in the ground and just drop a loop of the rope over it and start pulling, seems to work better if you make a big loop and then come back close to where the rope is anchored and pull into a smaller area instead of pulling a longer length along more shore line...Does that makes sense?
Yep, that's basically what I do as far as reeling the rope in. I tend to tie one end down and then pull the other end until I've got all the junk trapped in a small area near the fixed end. But depending on how much stuff I sometimes have to pull both ends in some to avoid losing some of it. I just coil the rope up one arm length at a time in my left hand while pulling it in with my right hand. Then I use a wire, like a twist tie on a loaf of bread, to tie the coil together so I can hang it up. Post some more pics once you get the cable ties in place and try it again.
This has been one of my favorite threads. Maybe because of the uniqueness of the tool. And, I don't have any trash to clear.
I went home for lunch, only about 5 miles from the office, anddid the whole pond of leaves(didnt get them off the bank yet) And still had time to have a PBandJ sandwich and a glass of water before I had to get back to work. And I am still working with a naked rope, actually I am kinda dreading the zip tie process
I think I will get after it this weekend, I will probably regret it but I think I am going to go with pool noodles sliced like donuts only about a inch thick and pierced through the sides and not through the middle hole for my floats, mainly because I didnt get my floats ordered and I also want to try this idea out.
Good idea. I think sliced noodles would make great floats. That's the best idea since sliced bread! That PBandJ sandwich must have been inspiring. Just make sure the diameter of those noodles is as small as you can get. I think anything too big would float the rope up out of the water when you stretch the rope tight.
OK the sliced noodles dont work so well due them not being very durable, If you have to drag the rope at all alond the pond edge and you have any brush or stick or anything that would snag them the tear right off. I havent gotten around to the ties yet, just a few here and there maybe 30 or so, seem to really need the ties with the floats on as it seems that I am losing more leaves before the floats and ties but then again I left the rope in the water overnight in hopes to have them all coraled, I had a huge amount trapped but when I went to pull them in I lost a bunch over the rope I guess, so for now I will just run it out when I have the time to complete the process
GO TO THE LOCAL BOAT SHOP AN BUY SOME OIL BOOM, IT COMES IN ALL SIZE, TWO INCHES AN UP, IT SNAPS TOGETHER.IT WILL DO WHAT YOU WANT IT TO DO,
Is this a float type object or a absorbent type material? I just need to order those smaller floats and get my zip ties installed. My rope needs to be 150' long to make a sweep of my pond, I will check into this oil boom, thanks
I agree with Dave. Very ingenious:(comes from doing engineering stuff). I dont have that problem either, but sometimes wish I did just to try it out.
I can send you some in kinda like a starter envelope kit if you like and maybe you could send me some talipia in the spring
I checked into the oil boom type stuff or something similar. It was an absorbant type material that you can buy in long lengths to stretch out across the water. It is made to float and I thought it would be perfect. It was way too expensive for me so I never tried it.
Trialsguy, I think you have the perfect million dollar idea with that starter envelope you've invented. Now if you could just package common sense we'd all be doing great. I had a genius idea once. A bag that contains instant water for $5. Just add water.
My Dad use to tell me if I ever used common sense it would be purely accidental. I do believe he was right! Rest his soul.
My Dad told me that I really needed to get a good formal education that would put letters after my name and impress people. He said, without that, someone might ask me to think.
My Dad told me to never argue with a, err, jerk. People might not know the difference.
I saw something similar if you google "duckweed dave" and you'll get an explanation of a similar rope--he said to use sinking rope with the pool noodles to keep it just under the surface. I have a bunch of old jute rope I'm going to try. The premise is to get either the tie straps or in DD's case, the rope that is slightly under the surface of the water to catch the roots of the duckweed and bunch it up to haul it in.
I've also often thought if I used complete pool noodles on a rope to section off an area I cleaned, I could keep duckweed out of one end and that is something I'd like to try. Or would the duckweed get under the pool noodles?
I went to Dollar Tree for 10 noodles for $10 and have 40 feet of these things--worth a shot. I'll post pictures.
BZ, dude, you're a genius.....been rackin' my brain for weeks on how to get this gunk out of my pond. Tanks a whole heap!
Not real sure what kinda weed/grass in my pond, I guess my kids would call me a noob. But this seems like the way to get it out since it's all died and floated to the surface. I'll update.
Check this outhttp://www.skimoil.com/oil_skimmers.htm
Looks a bit small but it moves a lot of water and it says it works with DW and WM.
I used poly rope last summer when our 110x50 foot pond was being overrun by duckweed and water meal. I left the rope in place but after awhile it started to sink, so i put cheap foam pipe insulation around it and voila! it floated just the right amount. I put 12" zip ties around it (clipped to 4" or so) which helped to keep the pipe insulation on.
You do really need to net out the duckweed once it's corralled, though. When it gets that smushed together, it starts dying off and it really stinks on hot days. (Kinda fun to watch little frogs hop across it like it's a solid surface, though.)
Thanks for the awesome tips. I found these on ebay, look like they might work well.http://www.ebay.com/itm/32-each-CrabHoud...=item4176062dbe
I can try the foam pipe insulation as another easy to buy and install 'float' material.
If you zip tie the foam pipe insulation then you probably still want to puncture through the foam and the middle of the rope to prevent spinning of the zip ties.
I think I can get by with 100' rope but i do wonder how people get the one end of the rope out to the middle of the pond, and then circle back to the shore to trap the debris without a boat?
I have a floating pond fountain for an aerator and I use 1' segments of the pool noodles spaced every 8' to keep the electric wire and the tie rope afloat. I zip tie the rope to the wire every 3'.
This makes it much easier to set it in place in the Spring and reel it in during the Fall. A one man job.
Otherwise, the wire and tie rope goes to the bottom, shortens up the distance I want the fountain at, gets gunked up, and is very difficult to send out and retrieve.
Canyoncreek, our pond is not more than 4' deep at any point so I just waded across. I have also just staked one end of the rope at the shore, walked the other end to the other side on shore and let it down onto the water and started pulling until I'd pulled all the slack out. Then I staked that end at that point and went around to the other end and did the same thing, sort of zig-zagging the line until I reached the other end of the pond.
If you have a good throwing arm and your pond isn't too wide,you could tie a string to the end of the rope and a rock or something to the other end of the string, then throw the rock/thing across the pond and haul the rope across.
Thanks spanky.. I think I can use 2 people. My pond is an elongated oval. I think I can start on the end of the oval and drag across the whole pond at once. That might take just more than 100' of rope though. It also means I'm straining the whole pond width at once. I don't know if this means the leaves that build up and drag along will get too heavy and fall out or it means that my setup will take less time since i can do the whole thing in one pass !
I'm guessing I'll be starting at the small end of the oval, walking the rope along the edge of the pond till I'm about 1/2 way down the rope length, then trying to throw that end across to the other side (maybe diagonally across back towards where I started rather than straight across), then walk the two ends back to each other making a big loop and then drag the loop back in to where I started.
Been there, done that as well!
100' poly rope with 3 zip ties woven through the rope to keep them from spinning.
This is before I attached the floats but I just used the pool noodles and it worked great.
After I corraled it (from shore and by boat), I then tossed out the "skimmer" you see in the photo (lower left) to bring it in.
These both worked great, except the pond is 2 acres and it was completely covered in DW.
Then I met Fluridone!
But for "pond tools", both were very effective, with all the credit going to the great folks here on PB!
Thanks for the pictures! I see that the top picture in this post the zip ties are single, but oriented in different directions as you go down the rope. The bottom picture shows 3 zip ties all on top of each other and in 3 different directions. I wonder if it works better with more 'single' zip ties closer spacing, or stacking the 3 like in the latter picture and more spaces in between?
Good question CC but they're probably equally effective for the task at hand.
The skimmer has been the most useful for me. Having the floats on it with long toss-ropes it reaches quite a ways, and as I pull it in, the front drops just below the water line and skims up any floating debris.
Both were cheap and effective, although putting all those zip ties on the "prickly rope" was very time consuming. But with a nice day at the pond, a lawn chair, a beverage and some good tunes, it wasn't so bad
Especially knowing this is what lied ahead
I wish you the best