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Front View Rear View Left Side View Right Side View
Front View Rear View Left Side View Right Side View
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

Raúl Macia Sanchez sent me this Emilsa bobbin in 2022.

This bobbin is 194 mm. tall, 45 mm. wide, 26 mm. thick, and weighs 213 g.

The two side plates are made of 32 by 3.23 mm. aluminum. The upper end of each side plate is bent inwards in a quarter circle so that when the bobbin is in use the side plates keep the rope on the top bollard. The lower ends of the side plates are bent to converge at the attachment point, which consists of a 14 mm. beveled hole in each side plate. One side plate pivots to allow threading the rope. The bollards are turned aluminum with a milled slot to keep them from rotating on the fixed side plate. The bollards are drilled and tapped then bolted to the fixed side plate with 7 mm. bolts. Shoulder nuts lock the bollards in place and also retain the pivoting side plate. The pivoting side plate pivots on the lower shoulder nut and has a slot to allow clearing the upper nut. The lower U-groove bollard is mounted through a hole in its center, but the upper V-groove bollard uses an off-centered arrangement to allow a smaller clearance slot in the upper side plate.

The pivoting side plate is stamped with "EMILSA."


The Emilsa is a copy of early Petzl Simple bobbins, which were in turn designed by Bruno Dressler. Sabaté also made and sold bobbins under the Dresler (not Dressler) name.

There is nothing extra on this bobbin and very little to fail. Even if the user were foolish enough to rig in backwards, the closed attachment hole on the pivoting side plate would almost certainly prevent the bobbin from opening. Since it lacks a gate, it probably is the best for those who prefer simplicity and never need to cross rebelays.


Emili Sabaté [1936-2006] was a prominent caver from Barcelona. He started making caving equipment in 1952, and initially sold his products directly to caving clubs. His products included helmets, carbide lamps, cable ladders, descenders, and ascenders. In 1961 he started selling some of his products in the Saber mountaineering equipment store in Barcelona.

Sabaté eventually formed EMILSA (derived from his name) to take control of his own sales and distribution. We do not know the exact date that he founded the company, but his trademark registration application was dated May 12, 1972. The application required some minor corrections, and it wasn't approved until March 17, 1977.

[1] José Manuel Sanchis. “Lámparas de Mina Españolas: Carbureros de Emili Sabaté, (EMILSA).” Uploaded to by Jesus Alonzo, August 5, 2021.

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