How to fill/smoke a metal sheesha?

For a few years I’ve enjoyed smoking a sheesha (aka narghila or hubbly bubbly), those Middle Eastern water-filtered pipes with flavored tobacco. I brought a glass-bottomed one home from the Middle East years ago and use it on average maybe once a week. I know visually how far to fill it with (I’ve been told cold, this works well) water and when I fire it up, I get a nice, steady draw of smoke until the tobacco plug is spent (burned/smoked).

My girlfriend bought me a metal, multiple-hose (4) one for my birthday after I admired it in a store window, which I’ve had very little success in using. Part of my problem is the bowl is opaque, so I can’t see the water level, which I believe is part of the problem. Trial and error becomes difficult when you can’t see what’s going on in there; I’m used to the translucent ones. The ‘neck’ is all metal, and rather long/thin, screws together in sections but I believe is airtight. I’m also unsure if the additional hoses cause an air pressure problem… we haven’t had much success when 4 people try to use it at once either though, nor holding a thumb over unused hose holes. Always a very weak head of smoke, not worth bothering.

It looks cool on the coffee table - actually makes me look like a bigtime pothead, which ironically I’m not at all - but when other folks come over I’d like to be able to fire the darn thing up. (Selfish motivation too, want to keep my one-hose pipe to myself!)

Anybody know if there’s a rule of thumb with these things in terms of water level? Does the mere fact it’s metal mean I have to do something differently? Shokran jazeelan…

Generally speaking, we don’t allow threads like this on the board. And, yeah, I know that you aren’t using it for illegal purposes.

We just choose to stop trouble before it starts.

samclem GQ moderator