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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Dec 7, 2003
Hey Everybody, I am new to this board, and new to spear fishing all together. I have been wanting to start spear fishing since I started diving, and now I have some knowledgable people who are willing to teach me all the ins and outs of the sport. They told me to go ahead and get my own gun so I would be familiar with it from the get go. Being that the LDS around hear only sells JBL's I was wondering if this would be a good gun for a beginner, or if I should look for something better. I will be diving on the Florida Gulf Coast, and The rigs along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, if that matters.

Thanks For all of Your help
I would try to find a better gun. JBL are good but I wouldnt recomend them. Ive seen a lot of dealerships on the internet that operate in florida.
Some guns you should look at are Riffe, Omer, Picasso, RobAllen. These guns tend to be the choice of many experienced divers. The Euroguns tend to be cheaper but they are accurate and reliable. A lot of Pros use Euro type guns becuase of thier consistant accuracy. The other type is the wood style of guns. I would go for a riffe, daryl wong, or yokooji. all of these gun makers have websites. Daryl has a great warranty on all of his guns (lifetime no hassle).
I started off with a jbl but didnt like it at all. As soon as I had the money I bought a new gun. I bought an Omer excaliber 75. I love this gun its great for reefs and holes. I later decided to buy a riffe for a little more distance and power.
my advice is to borrow some friends guns and see what you like. There are a lot of divers from florida on this website that will probably be able to show you some of the hidden dive shops that you normally wouldnt come across.
If you call daryl wong he will give you great advice on guns and walk you through the whole process. to help you decide what kind of gun would be best for your diving needs.
Try to stay away from JBL and seahornet type guns. some divers swear by them but many more hate them. dont waste your money.

other than that welcome to the forum
there is a lot you can learn from the seasoned divers here.
also try to use the search function of the website to locate any more info on guns.

dive safe
The problem is I live in Mississippi, I just dive in florida because its the closest decent water. I will probably start diving the rigs in Mississippi once I get a gun, but until then I will only be occasionaly diving in florida. Another problem is I rarely dive with people who have guns, so its hard to try other guns out, and the only people I know who have guns, have JBL's. By the way what kind of Riffe gun did you get? I also just looked at the Omer Excaliburs, and saw that there were three different types which one did you get?
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I don't know that you're in the best and only place for sage advice, hydro, but kumu is correct on many accounts. Maholo brah.

First off, you'll do fine with a JBL. You're going to see a lot of them working around the rigs. I started with the same JBL that I use for halibut up here in No Cal., and that's 30 something years ago. They're relatively cheap and can take a real beating from a quick learner. When you find that your skills and the size of your prey grow, then you can start to look around at the other makes popular for your area- AB Biller, Riffe MetalTechs and lately, Wong.

I've done a whole bunch of work on the rigs there and I think if you took a stroll over to ebay, typed in speargun and let your wallet and common sense drive, you'd be smooth. A 38 Special, or a cut down Magnum would pretty much pop anything you'll see for the next couple of years.

Diving the rigs takes a real solid set of diving skills to begin with and you don't wanna be dicking around with your gun, so if and when you get one, take it to the pool, or close inshore and practice like a mutha. The last thing you need is trying to remember how to wrap the shooting line while your mask is flooding and your weights are sliding... Let us know how you do.
I have a Riffe comp 3 and an Omer excaliber 75 aluminum.
Depending on the water conditions you will be diving in and the type of fish you plan to land should help you make a better decision.
ex. if you dive in murky water you dont really need or want a big gun. However if you dive in water that is very clear you may want a little extra power and range.
If your diving in a place with a lot of holes you may want a shorter gun to stick in them. But if you go bluewater hunting for large game then you may want more range and power again.
theres a lot of things to consider.

Euroguns are also about the same price as a JBL and Id truthfully rather get a Eurogun as opposed to a JbL.
whatever you choose dive safe and have fun
be selective of the fish you shoot.
I better not here you go to Florida to hunt ever again! We have some of the best hunting and diving in the world right in our back yard.

JBL is the standard rig gun, especially for beginners. Specifically the Gulf Magnum XHD. They are less expensive, quicker to load and take quite a beating. Their drawbacks are they are LOUD when shot, less accurate, and cant be powered up b/c of the trigger mech.

I have used AB Biller's, JBL's, Riffes, and now Wong's on the rigs and had success with all of them. The biller just wasnt strong enough and I got away from the JBL when I started freediving as well as tank dive. The Riffe MT served me well but the Wongs are a whole nother level.

What shop are you using? Glenn at Divemaster in LB is very knowledgable about spearing and will use nothing but a JBL.

What some of the others dont understand is the style of hunting on the rigs. The vis is highly variable(10-150') and the fish can be extremely large. Cable is a must for every gun and I use it on all mine including the small reef gun. A detachable tip is nearly a necessity as well. Check out what the other guys are shooting as they have probably experimented with setups already which will cut your learning curve in half. You will also need some sort of gun "ditching" technique. Some divers use a "riding" rig while others use some form of a "clip off" rig.

If you need any more advice feel free to pm me or email me and I will be more than happy to help. If you would like to see some of Daryl Wongs custom spearguns I have a 50" cf hybrid gun, a 57" enclosed track MG special, and a 60" enclosed track ono bluewater gun. For your purposes (it sounds like you will be tank diving?) I would go with the JBL or a Riffe MT3 or 4.
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Thanks Rigdvr for the advice, I live in Pass Christian so glenn is only 5 minutes away so Ill have to go and and have a little chat with him.
I live in Long Beach so we are practically related!

Tell him Mike Freeman sent ya....then he'll charge ya double:D
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