So I need to buy a new snake, I'm starting to do more and more outdoor gigs now and I'm sick of borrowing / cross renting.
I need to get a 32 x 8 and I've seen some here locally that come on a reel. Do these work in real life, or are they a pain?
I'm wondering whether the cable ever runs onto the drum properly and does the snake end up with an evil twist to it?
Do they ever spin when everything is plugged in at the stage end and make a twisted mess?
These are the ones I'm thinking about http://www.swamp.net.au/multicore-on-reel-32-Channel.html
I find snake reels to be more attractive in theory than in practice.
1. They make wrapping the snake a two-man job. No, it's not impossible to reel in a snake by yourself, It's just more difficult than when it's not on a reel.
3. They cost money. Why on earth would anyone spend money on something that makes the job more difficult?
7. They add weight. I am not a fan of weight when it's not needed. Of course, that's never stopped me from stopping for ice cream.
11. They take up space. On smallish stages, they can be absolutely unruly.
19. They break. After a while, when the rollers and bearings fall apart and/or get gummed up, what was a simple one-man job becomes a living hell for at least two people.
My advice would be to get a rolling 24"x30" case with two slots cut out of it on opposite sides, where the bottom section meets the lid. The slots make it so you can close the case lid while storing the excess snake length. Make the slots twice the cable diameter, so you can fit both snake ends through the same hole.
At FOH, this makes a dandy stand for an FX rack a laptop computer, or even your mixer.
Every show that I have ever done with a genuine Big Boy Varsity Sound Company, I have never seen a reel snake in use.
I suppose there is a reason for that, since I just know that those guys are aware that snake reels exist.