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Broadhead Spear Tip

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New Member
Aug 19, 2002
Has anyone seen or heard anything about the broadhead spear tips Patco makes http://www.patcoinc.com/spear_acce.html ? I have been thinking of ways to incorporate the advantages of the design without the negatives. I like the idea of reducing the fish struggling time by the damage the broadhead would do. One of the problems I see though, is the holding capability with no flopper or slip tip/ice pike system. As one spearo told me, it would work great if you stoned the fish, but if you get a bad shot your going to wound it to where it dies, and your going to lose it. Another disadvantage is the price Patco sells them for $119.95.

I’m thinking of machining a Riffe ice pike to accept an archery broadhead tip. This would still give it the cutting damage ability, but also the holding ability as well. The archery boardheads are cheap. Academy has a package of three stainless steel ones for $20. The archery boardheads come standard with a male threaded end that screws into an aluminum fitting on the inside of an arrow shaft. I would have to have my machinist friend cut, drill, and tap the ice pike, thereby ruining it for normal use. The question is, do I want to waste the $90 ice pike to find out if it works?

To add a little more to this, the idea of putting a whole in animal and hanging on until it’s almost dead seems a little archaic. Archery people figured out a long time ago that a 3/8” hole with a shaft in it was not an efficient way to kill an animal. Same idea with hollow tip bullets. This just seems like a place where some improvement could be made.

Encase anyone is interested, this is the broadhead ice pike / slip tip setup I had my friend machine me. The broadhead is an archery stainless steel one. I had the opportunity to try it out yesterday and this is the result.

The positives are: 1.) the broadhead penetrates the fish extremely easy and it does not effect the accuracy . My friend was able to drill the hole with the ice pike centered in a lathe so the attachment is completely straight. 2.) It seemed to kill the fish faster.

The negatives are: 1.) The little extra resistance caused when swing the gun was just enough to make the ice pike keep falling off. The waxed string that goes under the shooting line to hold the slip ring in place just wasn’t enough to hold it with the extra swinging resistance. 2.) The little extra swing resistance of the broadhead, transmitted into a lot of resistance with the huge length from the tip to the handle. The ice pike broadhead is just over 8” long. The 65” shaft that came with the MT-5 already sticks out past the muzzle 10” so this made the total protrude 18”! The barrel is already long to begin with, 48” from handle to muzzle, so the total distance from the handle to the spear tip was 66”! So you can see, a little extra swing resistance from the broadhead, with all the leverage from the length, translated into a lot of swing resistance at the handle.

Conclusion: Although I do see some advantages to the broadhead, the combination of the broadhead / ice pike did not produce the result I had hoped for. I didn’t have a whole of fish to try it on yesterday, due to an earlier storm, poor visibility, and bad current, but I did shoot a few just to see how it worked. So far every fish I have ever shot with my MT-5 has resulted in the spear gone clearing the fish. With the broadhead, its like the fish is butter. There is hardly any impact. The largest fish I shot yesterday was a 15lb chub. I though I must of missed the bones until I tried to pull the spear out.

Frankly, I just can’t see the broadhead cutting all the way through the fish without the shaft going through too. So I think the ice pike setup is unnecessary complication, when used with broadhead. If I try it again, I’m going to attach it straight to the shaft, and I may shorted the shaft some too.


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Damn that is a serious setup you have made Don...It sure looks like it would be "fun" to unstring a fish:cool: The only concerns I would really rave with that archery tip concerns those razor blade-like sides...let's say a big cobia or amberjack swims by and you shot is not a kill shot, eventually you will have to dispatch the poor creature and I can not tell you how many lifeless fish have "awakened" as I grabbed them to seal the deal. Just be aware of that tip at all times is what Im trying to say.

PS. do you think that tip will survive a shot at a cobias skull? If it doesnt can you replace it?:confused:

I LOVE UR EXPERIMENT !!!!!!!!!!!:p :p. Keep it coming. It's better to test than to predict.

I seen the Patco link. I think fishes can take a lot of flesh damage, aside from critical spine and lateral line area. It will eventualy die but most likely elsewhere, if the speartip did not hold.

How many big, say 30 lbs upwards, fish get stoned at first shot. We wish to be that accurate but many of us ended up being dragged for a few minutes. If you want to experiment that broadhead on a regular shaft, I suggest you use the Riffe regular twin flopper and machined that broadhead on it in place where the quad cut tip end is. I am afraid if that broadhead enter a big fish non-critical flesh area, the wound it open up is also big and without the help of floppers you might not be able to retreive the fish if the water is too deep or it will simply took off with messed up flesh. Just maybe.

I seen fishes with intestines dangling out and still able to outswim me. YEP lousy stomach shot.

That waxed string line on the Ice Pick is Kevlar 500 lbs. Aftersome use, the wax will wash off and it will have more friction. Where do you "squeeze" it on ? I squeeze mine at the teak stock/aluminum barrel end where there is a small cut-away/recess for the shooting line after it made the half wrap on the shaft. Ur aluminum barrel is definitely smoother than teak barrel/stock. You may make tied knot on that Kevlar line to allow better grip. One or two knots don't make accuraccy difference.

Keep us posted on ur experiment......I realy like it.Thanks.

I have a 100% Titanium spearhead made like a Riffe Ice Pick by a friend, is coming out soon. It will feature a locking system with a spring. On the stainless steel model tested, it will disengage even when shooting a mineral water bottle. No small line to secure the slip tip. Will let u guys know when I get and tested it.


I sure would like to see if it survives a cobias skull, but I haven’t had the opportunity to yet. I think it will do okay. Some of the guys at work were questioning it strength, because of how light it was made compared to speargun tips. But I reminded them that deer and elk have some pretty big bones too. Most archery tips have a male threaded end that screws into the arrow shaft. Mine is machined so I can replace it with almost any archery tip. They are quiet cheap too. I paid $20 for 3 at Academy.

The blades are sharp and care must be exercised when the gun is out of the water, but they really aren’t as sharp as razor blades. I assume they are that way on purpose, because true razor blade sharpness would be just too dangerous to handle. But they are sharp enough to cut through the fish with ease. I’m sure the if you took a dead fish and push both a normal spear tip and the broadhead through it, the broadhead would cut through with less effort. Sounds like a good experiment next time I catch a non-eating fish to make into chum!

Thanks for the interest and the tips on the waxed string line. I think I have been putting it in the same place as you. Your knot idea sounds like a winner.

After spending a few hours looking at archery tips on the internet and at Academy and really examining the Patco tips, I am quite certain that all Patco is doing in building an adapter that takes the male end of both the tip and the speargun shaft and then charging a whole lot for them. Most broadheads I saw have a point tip and then the blades come of the shaft. Most of the points looked like they were made of some very hard, rust prone metal, so I chose this one instead with the no point and just blades. From the little I know about archery I think this is more of the original design of broadheads.

On my gun, the ice pike / broadhead design just isn’t going to work good because of the small amount of extra swinging drag when its multiplied by the extreme length from the tip to the handle. Thanks for the idea with the twin flopper. I just happen to have one, but I think I will try it without first. It looks like the required hole for the male broadhead attachment is small enough that it can be put in the shaft with the normal shaft threads still in place. If my gun can continue to put the whole spear through the fish, I won’t need any holding mechanism, because the spear becomes one. Then all I will need are some bigger fish to try it on!
Hi Don,
It's great to see inventiveness at work. Just some things to think about though. Like Rig was saying, be very careful when handling your fish when you land it. That broadhead flopping around will be pretty dangerous. Also w/ archery the object is to make as big a hole as possible to induce bleed out as quick as possible. When shooting fish its best to keep the hole as small as possible. Also I would imagine that w/ constant pressure on the slip tip the broadhead could possible cut its way back out. Just some thoughts.
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reply to Jay

Thanks Jay,
I didn’t catch Rig’s point when I read it, but you cleared it up. You and he are right. That broadhead flopping around with the fish scares me a little. One fish, I thew the whole thing, fish, broadhead, and shaft in the ice box until it calmed down.

Why do say “its best to keep the hole as small as possible”. Other than problem with sharks, I thought the more bleeding the better. The fish dies faster and the better the meat. A lot of people recommend cutting the tail of certain fish, while they are still alive, so they bleed out. The funny thing about this is, most of the fish that is best to do to, are the real toothy ones.
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Hi Don,
The theory behind the small hole is you want to keep the sturctural integrity of the skin intact as much as possible. More times than I would like to admit, the skin was the only thing left between me and the fish escaping. When a spearhead goes in a fish it pushes the fibers of the skin apart and it seals around the shaft. When using a cutting head the fibers are cut and gives lines of weakness to the skin. Once it starts to tear, it goes pretty easy.
As for the bleeding out. I would guess most fish are pulled in well before they are near bleeding out. The major veins/arteries are protected by bone so they're not easily cut. With a fish shot in an area other than the head or spine you could be waiting a while for it to die due to blood loss. During this time it will be trying to rip itself off the spear and in doing so probably attracting the "tax collectors".
My advice would be to try for brain/spine shots to immobilize the fish ASAP. I'm wondering about the efficency of the broadhead on a heavy boned fish at moderate ranges. There maybe too much drag w/ the large broadhead going through bone. Yes they do punch through bone on land animals but thats not the optimum shot. Generally its a quartering away shot that will slide between the ribs. Also if you look at the broadheads on the market, alot have a bullet or chisel tip before the razor blade to punch through the bone it encounters before the blades have to cut. IIMHO I think you'll have better results w/ the traditional style tip, recover the fish ASAP, and finish it off w/ a stab to the brain. You could also pull the gills out, which will bleed the fish very fast. Take care.
I think you might end up losing more quality fish than you land...if your victim goes ballistic there is alot of cutting suface for the fish to work with. The stength of the icepick tip is that it leaves a clean, small hole which allows the tip to have great holding power when toggled. This holding power seems like it will be compromised by the bigger hole your tip will make as well as the added cutting surfaces. Go for it but keep us updated on your progress...this should be interesting.
although this is my first post I have been considering the broadhead option for a while now
i had plans for a tip with 1 blade (scalpel) on the bottom of the shaft to severe the actual nerve column which lies on top of the rather tough verterbal bodies.
This would allow a little more room for error should you shoot 5mm too high.
im not sure a blade on the top would severe the much thicker verteral bodies of a decent fish when the shot is too low & therefore would prolly do more harm than good.
Dont know how much the average spear twists when fired - if its too much then the blade wont be in the right place - will it!

to clarify the design a little:
a tahitian shaft with a bottom flopper - above this a groove (on the bottom of the shaft) for the blade to sit in - with a replaceable tip system - simply a 2mm diameter hole drilled into the end of the shaft to accomadate a piece of 2mm stainless wire sharpened at one end (cheap and easy to replace while still in the water)

any thoughts would be appreciated - when i have time in December ill let you know how the testing goes
sharp stuff!

nice stuff Don! I had an inkling you were a tinkering type...

Pajama Jay of the Sponge Bob's is correct on both fronts- that's it's great to see the inventiveness going strong and to keep the Wilkinsons on that thing waaay away from your digits. Trust me on that one :hmm

as for the retaining line on the Ice Pick, you'll find it's real easy and smooth to place it between the bands after you load up. That way it get's out of the way of the shooting line and the friction of the rubber keeps it in tension. Trust me on that one too.

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