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Big guns and pelagics

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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mojarra frita

New Member
Oct 9, 2002
Hello all,

I am a somewhat experienced spearo who is just starting doing some bigger fish and I have a couple of questions regarding the equipment.

For years I have used euro guns, up to 130cm with plenty of power to get the fish in the mediterranean but since i moved to CA, USA the spearos here use extremely big guns with up to four rubbers and lots of weight. They shoot at White seabass and yellowtails mainly. The thing is that they pretty much laugh at me whenever I get my euro gun out and they think I can't catch anything with it, yet I got yellows over 25 - 30 lbs no problem with it.

Anyone who feels the same and want to give some advice?..
Should I get me a big gun?
Is it worth the price and the cumbersomness?

Thanks for your help.

Welcome to the site Mojarra. As one of the euro supporters I'd say go w/ what you know. There's been alot of respectible fish taken w/ euro guns. You may not have quite the reach w/ your gun compared to a four band wood gun but technique can make up that difference. You could also move up to two 16 or 18mm bands instead of one 20mm for a little more reach. For the WSB and YT I think euros would do nicely. Just MHO. Again welcome.
euro guns

I am not sure what would be best for you, but I feel what you are saying about people thinking that more power is always better. hitting your mark (spine) is more important than sticking a 3/4 inch shaft out the side of the fish. I shot both euro guns and riffes and can tell you one thing a Rob Allen 130 with twin 16mm bands packs a hell of a punch and is very sleek in the water . Check http://www.roballen.co.za/pics.htm and see for yourself some of the fish taken with these guns, granted they are hte best euroguns on the market but they are better priced than the omers a picassos and have a range that wouldn't belive. Im sure those dudes won't think its funny when you show them up with a gun they were laughing at. its not the arrow but the indian that counts.Taking a good shot counts for more than half the battle and the accuracy of the rail guns is excellent, shafts are only 20$
if you are interested call florida freedivers
hope this helps a bit
hi mojarra

welcome to the forums.
it seems that taste in guns is a bit like fashion - whats cool in one area isnt in another. i have seen one wooden gun in my life, and thats a piece of memorabilia hanging on our bar at my local dive club, but you say you get laughed at for using an euro when you have dived in the states.:hmm
in my opinion, if you've already got a 130 (thats pretty long by South African standards), and it works for you, then stick with it.
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Euros hell yeah


As Db's biggest fan of the Railgun and all Euros you should stick with what ya got man. That is a gun to make most proud.

I thnk a large reason to why the guys in California use those 4 rubber woddies and I imagine they are Riffes, is because that is what they have grown up to know and use. Guys like Jay riffe and Terry Maas set the standards with these big guns and everyone else follows which is fine.

If your mates think your euro cant get big fish send them here and Im sure any of our South african mates will be able to tell them a tale or two about GIANT marlin being speared with single band railguns.

If your desperate for more range or whatever you may want to take on a Ra of 150 cm length or more this way you will be using what is natural to you and have a bit more range over your 130.

As Sven will tell you real men use a single rubber right sven

:D :t ;)

RA 120

OK guys. I need some help here. Whats the best way to load my new RA120. needless to say the band is a bit shorter than I'm used to w/ my other euros. I know this is somewhere in past threads but I can't find it. thanks in advance.

Jay if you check the Rob allen Web site they have a couple of pics on how to load.

Basically I grab the right hand side of the rubber with my right hand and get the left hand ready on the handle. Now pull the rubber back with the right hand whilst pushing the handle forward with the left hand, and when doing this try and direct the handle up towards your 2 highest ab muscles. When it is on there make sure you keep holding the rubber with your right hand take your left hand off from behing the handle (Sometimes your hand will get squashed against your stomach) and now pull the rubber back with both hands.

Some prefer to put the gun on the chest, but I find the top 2 ab muscles to be far more effective for me. Once in the first notch I then arch my stomach outwards to get the most leverage and then attempt to get to the second notch. Bout 5 times out of ten I will make it to the second notch :duh Bear in mind my 20mm is only 50cm long for a 110 barrel. what length is yours ( Nothing dirty here sven) :D


BTW I forgot Jay congrats on getting the second best sized gun Ra makes.

Thanks for the help Ivan. I'll give it a try this afternoon. I'm not sure what the length is on the rubbers. It's the stock one's they sent it w/. I got the 120 'cause I already have 2 110 esclapez guns. Lookin forward to trying this bad boy out though. Thanks again.

And Jay when you test out that baby make sure you blood it on a nice fat 80lb Cobia for me :cool:

I just found the loading instructions on the RA site:duh . I'll give it my best shot the next coupla' days on the Cobia;)

Jay will your at it make sure its at 100ft plus just to make me jealous :D


Not on subject but I thought I would tell you about this guy we had out scuba diving today. I was giving out weightbelts and this big guy walks up and says I need 45lbs :duh , I was like WTF are you talking about but he insisted ans I got him 45lbs of lead which he put on his belt. Anyone heard of more weight than that for a recreational scuba dive. BTW he was in a 5mm steamer.

Rob Allen

I believe the previous thread is titled; "Rob Allen Loading Butt". Just run a search on the forum for "Rob Allen" and you'll find it. The thread was initiated in Feb 03 and Rob Allen himself participated.

Also, check out this web-site for loading techniques;


I recently bought the 110cm. I freedive out of the S.FLa area. My very first shot with the gun was at a Hog Snapper about 8' distance. The gun struck just where it was aimed. The accuracy for this gun is tremendous. Good luck with yours!

Sweeeeeet as honey! I just need to fine-tune my loading technique. Best gun I've ever owned.
Ivan--If the 120 is the second best size gun Rob Allen makes, what's the first best? Just curious...

Mojarra--I think the use of tree trunks (wooden guns) in SoCal is rooted in the generation-long history of spearfishing in this area. Most of us were taught by older guys who had to build their own guns or have them built locally because of a lack of availablity of good European hardware up until the last few years. The 5' tree-trunk with a slip-tip and reel is the quintessential SoCal setup.

There's also the joy in owning such a beautiful piece of equipment. Whether you agree with the tree trunk philosphy or not, it's hard to argue with the stunning good looks of a hand-made teak gun.

WSB have soft flesh so most of the local hunters use slip-tips, which tend to work better with 3+ bands that only tree trunks can accomodate. Slip-tips also allow the use of reels, which are very convenient for swimming through kelp, but recently the trend seems to be toward 50'+ floatlines with no float.

I think a single-flopper shaft would work great if used with a floatline, as long as you don't put too much pressure on the line. Plus it would be cheaper and have better shaft speed than a slip-tip. It's just that traditionally, it's not a setup that's seen too often around here and like I said earlier, SoCal spearfishing has deep-rooted traditions (hence the ridicule--sorry about that!).

I say if your method ain't broke, don't fix it! Hope that helps...

RA 120

OK, here's the report from the first outting w/ my new RA 120. Yesterday PM a couple of friends and I went out to a inshore artificial reef. The vis was a murky 25ish feet, good for there. After a very interesting loading sequence(man that things a bear to load). I found the wreck and started swimming over it. I looked down and saw 4 large fish under me. I dove on the and sawit was some nice AJ's(amberjacks). Well I figured this would be a good test. I was slightly above and the fish was quartering away from me. I lined up as I normally do and fired. The shot was a little high so it missed the brain but still exited the opposite gill plate. I knew the shot would hold if he didn't wrap me on the wreck. Let's just say the shot didn't slow him down much. After about 15min of towing me around I finally worked him up so I could grab it and finish it w/ my knife. while he was dragging me around I could see the shaft bent almost in a U shape. I figured, "Well there goes my shaft." We got the fish in the boat and to my amazement the shaft was still straight as an arrow. I reloaded, hopped back in and popped a spainish mackeral and the other guys shot a few more but the 'cudas keep stealing 'em. We were expecting a cobia or large king mackeral but none showed. I'm not sure of the exact weight but back at the dock it bottomed out my 50# scale. I'm guessing around 55-60#. My friend took a pic w/ his phone(go figure). I'll try to post it later.
I was using the RA breakaway system w/ a float line, it worked great, although I think I'm going to put a reel on it. I can say this is a great gun so far and am looking forward to getting some more water time w/ it. Thanks for all the advice guys. Now off to the gym for my workout so I can load the darn thing
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