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1" Ball clamps- branded or unbranded?

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#1 smk82


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Posted 19 July 2018 - 12:46 AM

Up until recently I've been using a variety of ball clamps on my rig; some recycled from previous setup and some second hand. Despite a thorough cleaning and soaking every time I've used them a lot of salt corrosion has built up, although some was present on the second hand ones I purchased anyway (and can clearly be seen on the clamps) plus some were becoming hard to tighten down. I've treated myself to some new nauticam ones and strobe attachments, but I'll need to get 4-5 more to replace all of them.


Anyway I noted on ebay recently that you can get several 4-6 1" ball clamps from the far east for the price of 1-2 nauticam ones. Whilst I certainly appreciate the adage of "you get what you pay for"; I have to ask if people think that the "branded" clamps are worth it vs the generic cheaper ones?

#2 Barmaglot


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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:10 AM

They are kind of hit or miss. I bought a bundle of tray + 2 arms + 4 clamps on Aliexpress for $137, and the clamps were good. However, another pair of clamps that I added, also bought via Aliexpress, were junk - the screws rusted immediately upon contact with salt water, and the edges were sharp and scratched up the 1" balls on my arms. I tossed those and bought a pair of clamps from Meikon ($42 for the pair) and those were good.

#3 TimG


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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:17 AM

Interesting question. 


I've been using the same ULCS arms  and clamps etc since about 1999. They  have never once caused me a problem and even now look in great shape. 


They are one of the few items of u/w gear that I have found that hold their value. I don't know how the value-holding v cheaper arms/clamps calculates financially but I have always felt that arms and clamps are one of the few buy-them-once-and-you-are-done components of the equipment we use. May as well buy well....

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#4 okuma


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Posted 19 July 2018 - 11:31 AM

+ 10 for ULCS!

As for going the cheap way; some times you get what you pay for and sometimes you don't!

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#5 casts_by_fly



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Posted 21 July 2018 - 05:24 AM

Same experience here. I started with some used ones, bought some cheap ones, bought some expensive ones. Mixed bag on the cheapies but the good stuff is like brand new. I’ll always use 1” ball fittings so buy once and forget about it.


#6 eyu


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Posted 29 July 2018 - 03:39 PM

I have been using ULCS clamps since 2002 and they have held up very well, no corrosion and function well.

I've also gotten some longer clamps by Nauticam (to hold focus lights), 4th generation (Stix floats) and they are working well too.



Edited by eyu, 29 July 2018 - 04:49 PM.

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