The use of harnesses versus weight belts is increasingly more popular. Many divers like the harness because it spreads out the weight and is easier on the lower back and hamstrings. The disadvantage is the inability to as effectively unbuckle & hold it like you can a regular belt while ascending so that it will fall off in case of shallow water blackout.
However, some divers wear a waist belt in addition to the harness and keep minimal weight on the harness. This enables them to easily dump the waist belt in an emergency and still have sufficient positive buoyancy without unbuckling the harness.
Some of us like to weight ourselves heavy when diving for white seabass. While this is not wise by itself, be very aware that it impacts your ability to dive safely and might be the determining factor on whether or not you return to the surface after what you thought was a “routine” depth for you.
Line entanglement is one of our greatest dangers. When selecting a knife, make sure it will easily cut the line you are using and that you securely attached it to a portion of your body where you can quickly access it. Some like wearing knives across the chest, some upper arm. Buying a knife is not a time when you want to go “cheap.” However, paying a lot of money for a particular knife is not a guarantee that it will serve you appropriately. If you use cable, make sure you have quality cutters on you. Tom Keough, an extremely accomplished San Diego Freediver, taught me to test any knife or cutter on the material you plan to cut before finding out that it might not be all that efficient in a life & death situation. I’ve thrown away several knives that did not “make the cut!”