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Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch (Read 589 times)
erricrice
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Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
May 28th, 2024 at 1:43pm
 
Hello Everyone!

I'm new to this sport, but after a couple of weeks of practicing with some store-bought slings I figured making my own would be the next logical step...except I don't know anything about braiding or knots, and I generally like minimalist designs so many of the sling designs out there don't really seem like they'd be my forte.

With that in mind, I started thinking about how I might be able to make a sling that is easy to make by hand with as little braiding and as few knots as possible, ideally all out of one cord material(no special material for the pouch like leather). This would also have a secondary benefit of being incredibly lightweight and very little drag because of the sparse material on the pouch.

Anyways, I created a simple proof of concept with some yarn that was lying around(I'm traveling at the moment so I don't have my usual paracord available) and it did work at a very basic level for a couple of throws so I think I'm ready to move on to a full size test once I get home and get proper materials.

But I'd like some feedback overall if anyone has any!

First of all, I wasn't able to find any designs particularly similar to this. Is there a name for this type of pouch, or any information on ideal dimensions for the pouch? The closest I ended up finding in terms of minimal/single material design was Mersa's Noodle https://youtu.be/x3G64qLOzc8 but the pouch is quite different there(although I really like the single cord design and will definitely be making one of my own).

The two cross-threads on the pouch prevent the split from opening too far and letting the ammo fall out, similar to how the split braids create tension in a balearic design preventing the pouch from fully opening. Obviously the length of those cross-threads somewhat determines the ammo size, but the distance between the cross-threads and overall pouch length also would allow for larger/smaller ammo as it will cradle differently.

Is there any theory to support what might be the right length of the pouch and distance between the cross-threads for a given ammo size(tennis ball to start)? Is the idea to contact the ammo only on the "outside" of the swing, thus reducing overall contact? Or is there no particular downside to cradling it from the sides like with a netted pouch or a butterfly leather pouch? It seems like the amouint of contact might affect how much spin you could put on the projectile, but I'm not sure.

Next I'll be researching proper knots for each of the attachment points, so if there are any ideas on the best way to go about that I would much appreciate it(my knot knowledge starts and ends at the square knot). Or better yet, if there's a way to make this "cut-free" with a single length of cord, that would be amazing!

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Sarosh
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #1 - May 28th, 2024 at 2:25pm
 
The pouch length for split pouch sling and tennis balls that works for me is 13cm (12-14cm).
The size of your pouch seems close to 20cm. Without the middle cords the tennis ball would tangle on release making it inconsistent. With the middle cords that length might work fine but it's extra material. (think drag and more parts that might interfere on release)

here is another tutorial https://youtu.be/0PLpqE2vtnQ?si=uNWHyO_1oLAXs1_9
The difficult part might be the reconnection of the split pouch.
You could try reconnecting the pouch with a knot and simplify it ( no need to braid)
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erricrice
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #2 - May 28th, 2024 at 10:14pm
 
Thanks for the tips! 13cm does look like about right for a tennis ball in most situations.

Prototype #2 works quite well. I'm still away, but I was able to scrounge up some rope(although wayyyy too thick, it's better than yarn) and it does look like a longer skinnier pouch cradles well to the point where I may even be able to adjust this to work for both tennis balls and golf balls with the same pouch. I did also make one of Mersa's Noodles and I find this square pouch to be much less fiddly cradling the ammo so it is much easier and faster to load than the Noodle.

The knots aren't final and since they are asymmetric it probably won't throw straight(I haven't spent enough time with it yet to be able to tell).

Trying to decide now if I want to make a separate pouch and tie knots to connect the release/finger loop cords to the pouch(like I did with prototype #1), or go with this looped design for one continuous cord the whole way. I'm leaning towards the continuous cord, but worry that the doubled cord on one side will bias the throw one way or the other even if I fix the knots to come out straight at the ends of the pouch.

More again soon when I get home to some real paracord!

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Stabyhoun
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #3 - May 29th, 2024 at 4:28am
 
I was scrolling the legacy content, and your design quite resemples a couple depicted there:

http://slinging.org/membergallery3.html
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TOMBELAINE
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #4 - May 29th, 2024 at 9:04am
 
erricrice wrote on May 28th, 2024 at 10:14pm:
but worry that the doubled cord on one side will bias the throw one way or the other even if I fix the knots to come out straight at the ends of the pouch.


+1
3 free cords : it's ok. Just my idea.
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erricrice
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #5 - May 29th, 2024 at 9:30am
 
Stabyhoun wrote on May 29th, 2024 at 4:28am:
I was scrolling the legacy content, and your design quite resemples a couple depicted there:

http://slinging.org/membergallery3.html


Ahh yes, so it is! Thank you I'll look through these!


TOMBELAINE wrote on May 29th, 2024 at 9:04am:
erricrice wrote on May 28th, 2024 at 10:14pm:
but worry that the doubled cord on one side will bias the throw one way or the other even if I fix the knots to come out straight at the ends of the pouch.


+1
3 free cords : it's ok. Just my idea.


You're absolutely right. Having three free cords on the pouch doesn't really change anything about the design overall and in fact would make it even more functional for a wider range of ammo sizes. I'll give that a try!
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erricrice
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #6 - May 29th, 2024 at 4:09pm
 
erricrice wrote on May 29th, 2024 at 9:30am:
You're absolutely right. Having three free cords on the pouch doesn't really change anything about the design overall and in fact would make it even more functional for a wider range of ammo sizes. I'll give that a try!


I've found that this actually causes the ammo to want to push to one side or the other of the pouch because it doesn't want to sit right on top of the middle cord. It wants to be cradled between two cords since this is more of a "flat" pouch than the traditional 3 cord concave pouch. There are a couple of solutions to this that I'm working through now.
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #7 - May 29th, 2024 at 9:18pm
 
erricrice wrote on May 29th, 2024 at 4:09pm:
I've found that this actually causes the ammo to want to push to one side or the other of the pouch because it doesn't want to sit right on top of the middle cord. It wants to be cradled between two cords since this is more of a "flat" pouch than the traditional 3 cord concave pouch.

Yep, for a spherical projectiles like a ball you'll need a pouch that has more of a cup or bowl shape to it.† Or at least something that allows the ball to sit in it that way.† A flat pouch will work better for glandes or stones of irregular shapes.
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Rat Man
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #8 - May 30th, 2024 at 2:39pm
 
   When I want to keep it really simple this is my go to.

https://slinging.org/42.html
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erricrice
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #9 - Jun 2nd, 2024 at 7:33pm
 
Alright so after tons of struggling with what turned out to be a very dumb problem, I finally have a decent prototype to work with. Still need to trim up my cord ends and streamline the process, but it's functional!

I landed on a design with a single lenth of cord overall, a short second length attached in the middle to create a split pouch, and a single crosslink in the center of the pouch. The two ends of the pouch are tucked sheet bends(mirrored for symmetry when throwing), and the crosslink is attached to the pouch with constrictor knots.

I tried this with 90# paracord and 275# paracord(with 90# for the crosslink). Both worked, but the 90# paracord has some issues. It's prone to twisting while swinging, and the constrictor knots don't tighten down properly because the two ropes are the same diameter. Maybe there's a solution to this, but I didn't bother looking because: I imagine over time the 90# would wear on your fingers quite a bit since it's so thin. Not interested in blisters.

Overall, I've found this decreased weight to be a HUGE improvement in both control and power over the butterfly leather pouch sling I started with when throwing tennis balls. I noticed immediately that I had to adjust my release significantly, and when going back to the leather pouch it felt incredibly sluggish and difficult to aim like the pouch was really yanking on the tennis ball upon release instead of just letting go.

I would have considered the leather pouch sling to be fairly low weight(22g) since many woven paracord or jute slings are 70g+. However when compared in ratio to the 55g tennis balls I'm throwing, it would increase the mass of the system by 40%, which seems significant. Honestly, I don't know how you guys throw tennis balls with these huge slings with any level of accuracy.

The 275# sling is 8.1g, a 64% decrease in weight from the already light leather pouch sling, bringing the sling's addition to the system down to only 15%. For giggles, the 90# paracord was 2.5g, an 89% decrease in weight and adding only 5% weight to the system.

Anyways, this has thoroughly convinced me that low mass slings are the way to go. Although I would like to hear opinions from any of you out there that prefer heavy slings as I'm sure there are plenty that do.

I'll be sure to put together a build guide for this once I smooth out the process. For now, a couple of notes for posterity(I'll repeat these in relevant section of the guide):

1 - You only need one crosslink, not two like I originally had. It is not the purpose of the crosslink to help cradle the ball at all, but rather just to prevent the split from opening too wide and letting the ammo fall through.
2 - You want the split to be slightly longer than half the circumference of the ammo so that the knots don't contact the ammo when cradling. But not too much longer than that because then the triagle formed by the crosslink and the pouch knot will be so large that the ammo can fall through. For a tennis ball, I've found the sweet spot to be 15-16cm.
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« Last Edit: Jun 3rd, 2024 at 8:41am by Rat Man »  

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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #10 - Jun 5th, 2024 at 6:56am
 
erricrice wrote on Jun 2nd, 2024 at 7:33pm:
Alright so after tons of struggling with what turned out to be a very dumb problem, I finally have a decent prototype to work with. Still need to trim up my cord ends and streamline the process, but it's functional!

I'm happy for you.  Smiley
erricrice wrote on Jun 2nd, 2024 at 7:33pm:
Honestly, I don't know how you guys throw tennis balls with these huge slings with any level of accuracy.

Because we are all different.  Wink
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #11 - Jun 6th, 2024 at 7:31pm
 
Iíve experimented with lots of super lightweight slings . In my experience the main downside of ultra lightweight slings is the lack of feedback. You canít really feel what the sling is doing and this can lead to some bad habits building up overtime.
Another downside is they donít always perform as well with a large range of different ammunition. If youíre using a specific ammunition then they can be better. Switching between tennis balls golf balls smooth rocks rough rocks lead ect seems to be a downfall in my experience.
I personally like my target slings to sit around 20-30g .
Another downside is misfires and full effort throws are much more likely to cause an injury because thereís little to no resistance. Things ping.
As far as performance goes thereís definitely an increased amount of efficiency regarding release time and slight speed increases depending on the timing adjustments of the throw itself.
Moving up to long distance slings I see more benefits in ultralight designs but for standard target slings I like a little bit of weight.
Also smaller diameter cords are just harder to get good repeatable handling from . This is a trade off with release cleanliness.

Iím very fond of the seatbelt design as a all round winner for a design but everyone has their own preferences
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erricrice
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #12 - Jun 8th, 2024 at 2:48pm
 
Ok I finally got around to writing up the guide to build this yourself. It doesn't look like there's an easy way to embed the images in-line with the text, so sorry those don't line up. Got it figured out, but sorry the images are doubled at the bottom, doesn't look like there's anything you can do to prevent that unless you host the images externally.

  1. For a sternum-width sling you want to a length of cord fingertip to fingertip, with additional slack from one fingertip back to the same elbow (to account for knots and wiggle room).
  2. Your pouch should be about 70% of the circumference of your ammo from inside of the pouch knot to inside of the other pouch knot so that the knots don't touch the ammo, but also aren't so far apart that the ammo falls through once the crosslink is installed(a later step). This comes out to 15cm for a tennis ball, 9-10cm for a golf ball. And you'll want to add at least 8cm extra(with 275# paracord, more for 550) to that when cutting to account for cord wasted in knots and for wiggle room.
    • If you're using paracord don't forget to singe your ends so they don't fray.
  3. Mark the center of both lengths to help with alignment while doing your knots. you can find the center easily by folding it in half.
    ...
  4. Tie your finger loop first so you don't lose track which side is which when tying your pouch. You can always retie your finger loop later to dial in the sling length.
  5. Align the center marks on your two lengths with the pouch on top.
  6. Make a downward facing bight(knotting term for a crease) on the right side of the pouch length that reaches the center point.
    ...
  7. Tie a tucked sheet bend(good guide here]) around that bight, keeping your center points aligned. You can adjust this later, but it's easier to keep them aligned initially.
    • There's a key difference here from a standard tucked sheet bend: the pouch bight should go on top, not behind, the figure 8 loop when tightening(this doesn't change how you tie the knot, just how you tighten it down). I would guess knot purists would complain about this, but it is still plenty secure. We're not rock climbing here.

    ...
    ...
  8. Before tightening the knot, be sure to line up your center marks. This is a good time to feed the long cord one way or the other in the knot to get it centered before starting on the other side of the pouch.
  9. If you tied it correctly, you'll see the unused tail exits the knot centered above the two pouch cords(pouch still on top). This will keep the pouch straight when cradling and will keep release straight. Not sure how much difference this really makes, but it can't hurt.
    ...
  10. Mirror flip the whole assembly left to right and top to bottom so the unfinished pouch cord is on bottom this time(unused tail from last step will be sticking up). Be sure current knot stays aligned this way while tying the second knot or it will cause them to misalign and will mess up the release slightly. You'll want to end with both knots facing/mirroring each other when the pouch is loaded.
  11. Bight the pouch cord upwards this time.
  12. This is a tucked sheet bend again, but you'll want to tie it differently because the left side isn't loose and easy to work with anymore. Start with a figure 8 knot with the left-side loop facing down, then finish it by fishing the bight through from left to right to left (and bottom to top). Don't forget to pull the bight loop above the figure 8 again when tightening to make our custom tucked sheet bend.
    ...
    ...
  13. Pull knots tight and ensure mirror alignment and that both pouch cords are the same length(no slack on either when taught). Either side of the knot seems to work as the inside of the pouch once you trim the tails. They're both quite centered on the release cord. I prefer the side without the tail because OCD.
    ...
  14. Cut your crosslink, ideally from lower gauge cord(I used 90# paracord for this 275# paracord sling) so the constrictor knots don't interfere with the ammo. You want your crosslink to be 20% the length of the† circumference of the ammo or it will risk falling through(4cm for a tennis ball, 2cm for a golf ball). Add 8cm for your cut to account for the knots(makes tying much easier).
  15. Tie your constrictors centered between the pouch knots. I prefer the cross of the constrictor knot to be on the outside of the pouch, but it doesn't interfere with the ammo much either way. You can use different color crosslinks to tell you what size ammo to pouch is for.
    ...
    ...
  16. Tie your finger loop, release knot, trim tails, singe ends, and you're done!
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erricrice
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #13 - Jun 8th, 2024 at 3:07pm
 
And lastly, an all done photo, and one showing the alignment/position of the knots when loaded.
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erricrice
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Re: Ultralight square/minimal mesh pouch
Reply #14 - Jun 8th, 2024 at 3:09pm
 
Mersa wrote on Jun 6th, 2024 at 7:31pm:
Iíve experimented with lots of super lightweight slings . In my experience the main downside of ultra lightweight slings is the lack of feedback. You canít really feel what the sling is doing and this can lead to some bad habits building up overtime.
Another downside is they donít always perform as well with a large range of different ammunition. If youíre using a specific ammunition then they can be better. Switching between tennis balls golf balls smooth rocks rough rocks lead ect seems to be a downfall in my experience.
I personally like my target slings to sit around 20-30g .
Another downside is misfires and full effort throws are much more likely to cause an injury because thereís little to no resistance. Things ping.
As far as performance goes thereís definitely an increased amount of efficiency regarding release time and slight speed increases depending on the timing adjustments of the throw itself.
Moving up to long distance slings I see more benefits in ultralight designs but for standard target slings I like a little bit of weight.
Also smaller diameter cords are just harder to get good repeatable handling from . This is a trade off with release cleanliness.

Iím very fond of the seatbelt design as a all round winner for a design but everyone has their own preferences


Thank you for the tips! I figured there must be more to it. As I'm new to this I'll have to try some heavier slings as well to make sure I don't develop any of those bad habits  Smiley
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