I've just bought a 100m abseil rope and am trying to find out the best way to prepare it for first use. I want to avoid turning it into a horrible tangled mess for the rest of its useful life.
The rope is 10.5 DMM worksafe. There is nothing specific in the certification that came with it or on their website.
I have read that simply uncoiling carefully avoiding twists and then re-coiling should suffice. I have also seen on Needlesports website that they recommend soaking the rope in water (carefully flaked out avoiding twists) drying and re-coiling. This shrinks the rope but is allowed for. It is Beal rope which they stock and I wonder if this treatment is specific to them?
Depends how it is coiled, there are some 'uncoiling a rope' instructions for the first time you do so.
On the soaking in water... It depends on how the sheath feels. If it feels fairly tightly knitted together I'd leave it alone but it feels a little soft (for a static) then you can soak it to shrink the sheath a little bit. This will make it more hard-wearing.
The rope is cut off a 700m piece. It is tied in a large hank already. I have seen instructions on how to pay the rope out for the first time from this situation.
Looking at it the sheath it does bunch up a bit if you compress a section longitudinally so maybe it would benefit from a soaking.
I don't know if abseil ropes are the same as climbing ropes but I find it useful to drag the rope along smooth ground for as far as possible (eg local rec, remembering to first check for dog shit)to allow any bad twists to work them selves out as far as possible.