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Barb/flopper Top Or Bottom ?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Jan 16, 2002
Euro guns come standard with the barb on top of the spear ; in S.A. we mount them underneath .
What actual difference does it make ?:confused:
On my omer the barb is on the top side of the shaft.Sometimes its make me crazy coz when i am trying to aim to below (from top to the bottom) it suddenly open and i can`t aim:vangry :vangry
As murat pointed out, it can make it difficutl to aim fish deeper than you are. But what occured to me while thinking about why it is on top of the saft in euro guns, (my omer included), could it because 'loose' barb can make sounds that could scare the fish away.
Barb laying on top of the saft would not as easily move as barb on the underneath.
Just guessing though.

I been wondering too on this subject. I heard top flopper is called Tahitian shaft and bottom flopper is Hawaiian. The Picasso I tried have top flopper and it does make aiming a mess. My Riffe extra shaft is bottom flopper, so far so good.

On the noise side I guess a well made flopper does not rattle, mine doesn't.

Any senior can answer these up/down floppers ????
I think bottom flopers are better since the high quality manufacturers usin it such as Riffe,C4,TOTEM, RA......I don`t know why the OMER and some other major euro makers resist to make top flopers.
Hawaiian vs tahitian

My take on this is that a hawaiian flopper is better because from the moment a shaft leaves the muzzle its tendancy is to gradually and increasingly drop.

A flopper on the bottom introduces a flare on the lower side of the shaft causing the shaft to plane up. So long as the shaft speed is up and drag is overcome with excess power it will do this. As soon as speed falls to below a hypothetical critical level, drag will overcome the planing effect and it will intentionally steer in the direction of the flopper. ( downwards). By this time the shaft speed is useless for fishing in any case.

So a flatter shooting shaft.

A tahitian shaft will do the opposite and probably always shoot low unless the manufacturer has factored out the tendancy by adjusting the handle etc so that the shooter unknowingly and automatically aims high and the parabolic trajectory created will compensate for the shafts inherent instability over a reasonable range.

Whilst i dont have a shaft in my hands my guess would be that a well made Tri - cut tip would have one of its three flat planes facing downwards and the other two planes sloping inwards and upwards meeting in a razor edge facing upwards to further take advantage of this planing lifting effect.

How do you like them apples sir ? :)

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If you are having a problem with the flopper opening up while aiming/tracking etc. you can use the small dental rubber bands. These are the same ones that are used with braces etc. They keep the flopper secure until impact when it slides off onto your shaft or line. Just slide it back up for the next shot. A good way to keep extras in the water is to take one of the clips they use for hanging shower cutains(or golf towels) and throw a handful on there. Then just clip the bands to your float.
Here's an excerpt from a recent email conversation I had with Mark Lobaccetta (OMER USA). He was referring to the Riffe Euro shaft and why Jay makes top flopper styles now.

"The reason is they're more accurate because the barb sitting on top doesn't fall down like it does in the down position and it provides a much better line of sight of the fish not having the barb hanging in the way. The other reason is that although not common, the barb that falls down or sticks out can scare the fish more than the barb resting on the shaft."

Scott Turgeon
I think it probably does not make much difference whether the flopper is up or down because excellent spearguns (Riffe vs Omer) use different styles with great results in the right hands. Basically, you have to know the gun you are using and what you can get away with. I use a Beuchat Mundial Carbon with top flopper and I have never had any problems with it. What about a bottom and a top flopper like some of the Omer shafts? What is that called? Hawaotahitian?
The other reason is that although not common, the barb that falls down or sticks out can scare the fish more than the barb resting on the shaft."

Strange. I have found that the dangling flopper on my Riffe will actually attract fish. A fish that is out of shooting range can be enticed closer by the sparkling of the flopper in the water.

I also use that prinicple to lure Drummer out of caves. They seem very curious about the shiny thing dangling near the sharp pointy thing!:D
Re: Hawaiian vs tahitian

Originally posted by Skindiver

A flopper on the bottom introduces a flare on the lower side of the shaft causing the shaft to plane up.

Someone told me this when I was a novice , also to bend the tip out even further to avoid any chance of the barb sticking in closed position . Have been doing this religiously for many years , certainly not lost accuracy because of it .
Would love to see a super slo - mo of spear leaving gun ...:)
top, bottom, left, right

apart from not wanting the flopper jiggle loudly
or hang down
I never even paid much attention to which side it was on.

if you spear a lot, aiming and hitting
where you want(mostly!)
becomes second nature.

Abri, I too bent the end(s) of the flopper(s) out a little
so it would open sooner
once inside the fish.

With the older type guns I was using
you had to get so close to the fish,
that if he was any kind of size at all
he almost filled your mask.

similar to
Erich Hartmann, top fighter pilot of WW2 (352 victories):
'shoot only when the other plane fills the cockpit'...

...peter, www.juprowea.com/kittel
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