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.