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Dummies Guide to Rigging a Speargun

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miles

miles

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#21
Reels!!!

There are quite a number of reels on the market. Virtually every gun manufacturer has built a reel. Some are quite easy to fit, like picasso reels on picasso guns as well as Omer reels on Omer guns. They generally have a bracket already on the gun and the reel simply slides on.

How-ever, most other reels will have to be mounted. This entails drilling holes in your barrel, so as to anchor your reel. Different reels requiring different ways of mounting them. Some reels are mounted vertically, whilst others horizontally. Some spearo's prefer the vertically mounted reel, claiming less drag when tracking with the gun. I use both and can't really tell the difference between either way.

Here's a selection of reels and they way they're mounted.
 

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miles

miles

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#22
Once you've figured out how to attach your reel to your gun, you're going to need a eye ring at the muzzle for the line to pass through. Most guns don't come with it fitted, but they can be purchased from most dive shops. The Rabitechs have a welded O ring whilst the RA's have a SS bracket with a hole in it, which allows the line to run through it.

Refer to picture for the Rabitech set-up.

Some spearo's simply don't use the ring or bracket and simply thread the line through the hole in the muzzle which is normally used for a second band. Obviously, this only works for guns that have a double muzzle and only used a single band.

Some spearo's also advocate running the line straight off the reel. Not using any rings or brackets. I've never used it this way, so can't comment.
 

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#23
Now that the reel is mounted and the ring/bracket is on the gun, you run the line from the reel, through the bracket/ring. I normally attach a clip to the line now. This allows you to remove the shooting line should the need arise.
 

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miles

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#25
Reel line:

Everyone has their own preferences, so here are some choices:
1.8-2.0mm Dyneema/Spectra. Good line for area's wheres there's lots of reef, as the abrasion resistance of this line is very good. The downsides is that its quite slippery and not that easy to grip and its quite costly. Tangles quite easliy in the thinner diameters too.

3.0mm Dyneema/Spectra, same as above, only slighlt easier to grip, because it is a thicker line.

Parachute cord. This is a cheap line thats freely available. VERY easy to grip and good enough strength. Not as abrasion resistant as Dyneema, but roughly a quarter of the price.

Thats as far as my knowledge on lines go. Bill McIntyre will hopefully add in some more options as he's done quite a bit of experimenting with different types of reel lines!!
 
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miles

miles

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#26
Tie-ing your own bands

Generally, you get two type of gun muzzles. Those with screw in bands and those with bulk rubber muzzles. The manufacturers of guns with bulk rubber muzzles, claim that the extra bit of rubber gives additional drive to the spear. Sound pluasible.

They great thing about bulk rubber muzzles is that it allows you to use bulk rubber bands!!! These bands are CONSIDERABLY cheaper than screw in bands. It also allows you to modify your bands to your specific needs. For instance, you're looking for more power, you can shorten your bands, alternatively, you can set up different band length and sizes for different spears. This way you could shoot with a 16mm band and a 6.5mm spear and with-in a matter of minutes, switch it over to a 7mm spear and a 20mm band.

A short while back, euro adaptors became available. This nifty product allows spearo's with screw in bands now also to use bulk rubber. These little things simply screw into your muzzle and you can then tie the bands onto them. (See picture)
 

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miles

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#27
Here's the way to tie off your bands as well as a chart which offers suggestions as to what length your bands should be.

Note: every batch of bands are different. Always tie your bands a bit longer, as its easier to shorten them but IMPOSSIBLE to make them longer once you've cut them too short!! (ask me, i've kicked myself for doing that waaaay too many times!!!:vangry :vangry )
 

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miles

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#28
Removing bands or installing bands into a bulk rubber muzzle is easy. I simply spray silicone spray onto my bands, where it is inside the muzzle, and pull down hard on both bands, close to the muzzle, This will stretch the bands and allow you to slip them out of the muzzle. Some brute force will sometime be required here!!! (soapy water will also work in place of silicone)

If you're not going to use you guns for a while, it would be worth your while to remove your bands, wash them in fresh water, dry them off and put them in a plactic bag in the fridge/freezer. Your bands will stay healthier for much longer this way!!
 

Bill McIntyre

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#29
This is great stuff.

Since I use "American Style" guns for want of a better term, they have line anchors under the muzzle that the reel line can be run through, so there is no necessity to add a ring of some kind. However, I don't run the reel line through there anyway. I prefer to have it just running off the reel to the fish without pulling my gun around so that its always pointed at the fish.

I use both 2 mm and 3 mm Spectra, depending on the capacity of the reel. If he reel is big enough to hold at least 100 feet of the 3 mm, then I prefer it because its much easier to grab as well as easier to see down in murky water wrapped through the kelp. But of course few reels have that capacity, so I use the 2 mm on the smaller ones. I'm not sure what value this will have, but here are photos of a reel with 145 feet of pink 3 mm Specra, and two others with 170 feet of yellow 2 mm and white 2 mm.

I agree with Miles about horizontal vs. vertical reel mounting. I can't really notice any difference in handling, although I suppose its a bit easier to reel line back onto the reel with the vertical mounting.

Edit- in case anyone wonders what I meant when I mentioned the line anchor under the muzzle of tree trunk type guns, I notice that the photos with the yellow reel line shows one. In this case, its where it is for use as a rest tab when cocking the gun, but its the same thing that is screwed to the bottom of the front end of most tree trunks- Rifffe, Alexander, and Wong for instance.
 

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Huan

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#30
miles said:
Here's the way to tie off your bands as well as a chart which offers suggestions as to what length your bands should be.
That is a handy chart Miles, could it be stickied? it would be a good reference for many people.
 

AlexF

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#31
Here are my two cents, well, they are not my two cents, but what I was told by one of the two only US rubber manufacturers:

Speargun rubbers should only be streched up to 3.5 times their unstreched size. Anything over 4 times produces the molecules of the rubber to crash against each other producing undesirable effects.

This also happens with rubber for manufacturing bungie cords can stretch up to 7 times (has thiner walls and is therefore easier to strech), but after 4 times it also gets damaged internaly. The bungie cords I just made can strech up to 2.5 times and work like a charm. I have not tested my new lines, but will do so in a couple of weeks if conditions are right and I can find really large tuna or other large fish willing to volunteer for the testing.
 

Bill McIntyre

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#32
Lately I seem to be running into people with Omer reels who are not taking advantage of one of the best features of the reel. With most other brands that I have used, you have to tie the line around the spool with some sort of knot, and its hard to keep it from slipping as you try to get the line started winding on. It also makes it hard to wind the line on perfectly evenly because of the lumps caused by the knots.

Omer reels have a little hole in the side plate. You can put the line though the hole from the inside out and then just tie a simple overhand knot. Then you can wind the line on as evenly as you wish. Its not as if the other way doesn't work, but this is so much easier. In the photo, you can see the knot at 7 o'clock next to the drag knob.
 

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#33
Hiya

Completely forgot to mention that!!!rofl rofl

When using 3mm line, its a tight squeeze, but you can get the line through!! When i first used 3mm line, i battled to get it through that hole, so i simply tied it around the spool. The first nice yellowtail i shot, simply pulled all the line off the reel, even though i had it locked up solid and had my hand on the reel!! The knot on the spool simply rotates around the spool, allowing the fish to pull line off even with the reel locked down. Needless to say, i took a little more time and got the 3mm line threaded........eventually!!

I've done the same with my RA reel as well.

Thanx Bill McTyre!!

Regards
miles
 

Bill McIntyre

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#34
When I have had trouble getting the line though the hole, I've even resorted to a drill to enlarge the hole just a bit.

I also did this with my RA reel. The knot can be seen at 1:30.

The only other reel that I am aware of that has this feature is the ancient "Riffe" that is not longer made by Riffe. You can barely see the knot at about 11:30.
 

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miles

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#35
Reel Gun vs Float line

Now that i've posted how to rig up a reel gun, i've been asked WHY do i use a reelguns and what advantages there are. To the experienced spearo, its very easy to decide what to use where, but to a newbie, its a bewildering experience.......do i use a floatline, a reelgun, break-away rig, why not a floatline AND a reelgun, etc,etc

The biggest reason we use reelguns is for the mobility. No floatline to tangle around you. No floatline to tangle with your buddy's floatline. No more floatline in the boats propellor. ANyone that dives with a floatline will agree that its a royal pain!!! Tangling around anything and everything!!

How-ever, reelguns do have thier downsides as well. Its very easy to lose your gun, should you drop it. Reels DO jam or reel lines tangle, making the loss of your gun a very real threat!! Not suitable for taking large pelagics. We use them for yellowtail up to 20kg's, but even thats pushing it a bit!! The BIGGEST negative of a reel gun is that boats can't see you!! Even your own boat can run you over.

In some countries a float is COMPULSORY. It is much safer to user a floatline with a float. Much more difficult to lose your gun. Makes other water users aware that there is a diver close by. Gives you a place to put your fish if you're diving from the shore. Allows you to shoot a fish and drop your gun, and use the floatline to pull up your catch. Much safer, especially if you're hunting deeper water and you've overstayed your welcome stalking a fish!!

Some spearo's use a slight variation, by cliping a floatline to their reel gun. They can then swim to fishy looking spots, unclip their guns and then dive the area around the float, totally unencumbered. I use this technique when hunting thick kelp beds.

Our type of hunting here is very specific. We chase after birds working or do drift dives in strong currents with a boat. Normally 3-4 spearo's in the water at the same time. With yellowtail, which is our prime quarry, speed is of the essence. First diver in the water generally gets the fish. Here reelguns excel!! As you don't have to unroll your floatline. Also having 4 divers very close to each other is a disaster should they all use floatlines. Since all fish gets put into the boat immediately and the boat is always close by, we can use reelguns safely. I've seen it happen where a spearo's float line tangles with the boats prop, and the divers in the water are drifting very fast towards a commercial fishing boat moving up current!! The boat is effectively out of action and the situation could have become VERY dangerous had i not picked their divers up!!

Hope that helps!!

Regards
miles
 
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Ted Budion

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#37
Also, when you do a lot of cave hunting, a reel gun is a plus. You can't sneak in cracks, holes and caves, trailing a float line. And the reel line isn't for fighting fish just a receptacle to store it if you need to surface without leaving your gun on the bottom.

There are cases like, here, where boat traffic is a hazard, so we carry a float tethered to 1/2 kg dropable weight and the reel gun. Yes, it's major pain to drag that crap around but it can be pratical to mark spots on the bottom when you can't see them from the surface. It also becomes handy for diving on current without boat. You anchor it to the bottom and ventilate without swimming to stay in place.
 
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deep thinker

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#39
Thanx guys this is really informative stuff and I think some info all could use and thanx for the band guide miles. I must say I also found the float line a bit of a hassle especially when diving in kelp :head . Im thinking of getting some sort of reel for my float line then you can roll off a lenth of line and secure it again and you dont have to worry about 20m of line dragging in the water behind you.
 

dave

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#40
deep thinker said:
Im thinking of getting some sort of reel for my float line then you can roll off a lenth of line and secure it again and you dont have to worry about 20m of line dragging in the water behind you.
I find that the line winder is more of a pain than the extra line, as it tends to hang up, whereas a streamlined, small float and line with no attachments can be pulled through a lot of obstructions
cheers
dave
www.spearo.co.uk
www.c-ski.co.uk
 
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