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flashers - what how and when

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
405
71
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Burnaby BC Canada
I am thinking to give it a try, but I know nothing about them. I gather flashers are something to attract pelagic fish? When do we need them, how useful they are, what kind works better etc. Any snippets of knowledge will be highly appreciated. Will it work for barracuda? How about tuna? I am packing for Thailand, should I buy flashers (again, which ones?), or can I rig something from tin foil or tin cans while there?
 
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sharkey

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2013
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Stay away from the mirror ball type & the ladder type. Flashers typically attract spearos, sharks & then fish in that order.
Flashers are good for some species & especially dogtooth tuna & wahoo. I dont like the ones made from metal, I like perspex fish or soft skirts which are lifelike in their movement. I have found there is about 15 seconds from when a fish sees the flasher to when it loses interest. It might be tempting to set a flasher below 15m in very clear deep water but it wont leave you much time to get to its level when you see the fish. The point of flashers is to bring the fish "up" & "in" most people just set flashers without understanding or trusting how they work. The greatest tip is when a fish is coming in on your flasher dive on the flasher & not the fish, this will not spook the fish so much & give you a much greater opportunity to take a shot. It sounds simple but most people dive on the fish & spook them.
The top photo is my favourite dogtooth tuna flasher I have shot several dozen of this particular one, I unclip that bird & clip the set with the pusher, under that squid. the pusher sits at 15m under the string of perspex (this photo is it set up as a teaser not a flasher). The bottom photo is a popular & effective type also.
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Mr. X

Forum Mentor
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Jul 14, 2005
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Sunny Britain
Thailand, lucky you. My son was there earlier this year, with his Thai friends.

There are a couple of interesting videos on YouTube on making flashers. One describes how to use the mylar bladder from a wine box to make a squid-like terminator, not unlike the one pictured above.

I only bought a wine box once in my life. We had a lot of guests over but then only one drank wine and then only a few sips. Never again!

There is another by Dan Mann and friends that show a few options for making your own but they seem to have access to parts not readily available in GB.

One video on using flashers mentioned that shark tend to get caught up in ladder-style flashers. Imagine having to sort that out!

Good news, Spearfishing.co.uk have Rob Allen flashers on deep discount. Bad news, they are still eye wateringly expensive. Sadly the pound is much weaker these days than when I first started out with RA gear. They look great, I would love to hang a couple on the wall for decoration :D. I'd love to try fishing over flashers but I think not much use for the murky waters and small fish around most of the UK these days ( but feel free to correct me if you know better ).
 
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Andrew the fish

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
405
71
68
Burnaby BC Canada
I am actually thinking to give flashers a try here in BC, not just Thailand. Greenling always swim right onto the shiny spear tip, all I have to do is to pull the trigger. It is funny how it swims hard from far away and stops just shy, couple inches away from the shiny tip of spear. This makes me think at least greenling will be attracted to flashers. Our waters are quite murky in summer with plankton bloom coming in early May. But at depth it is still clear, though darker. Watching youtube now. We are flying in two days, can’t go with elaborate building project, but will def give it a try. Spearfishing in Thailand has so far been tricky, at least in my case.
 

hydroid

Member
Nov 14, 2016
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Marshall Islands
Are there any good places to spear in Thailand? Here's a link that might be helpful, I tried to find those smaller fish flashers but Chris does not ship them unless it's a big order.

 
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Andrew the fish

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
405
71
68
Burnaby BC Canada
Are there any good places to spear in Thailand?
I only know a handful of places on Koh Chang and Koh Kood. Koh Kood is marginally better in general. Anyplace with coral reef will be full of smaller fish. I scored a few nice size fishes, locals call them snappers although they are not, and I can’t find what they are. Grey bottom fish with dark contour around gill line. I imagine ocean side of Thailand like Andaman Sea will be more interesting for spearfishing but I have never been there.

By the way, I have seen this video, very good one indeed.
 
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Andrew the fish

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
405
71
68
Burnaby BC Canada
just to let you all know, newer wine boxes have no reflecting bags inside. We (our big company, 11 ppl in total) brought 4 differen wine boxes, and all of them had clear see-through plastic bag inside, no aluminium reflecting lining. I think this must be a newer way of wine packaging, so don't waste your money on them. I mean, unless the wine is good.
 
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sharkey

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2013
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just to let you all know, newer wine boxes have no reflecting bags inside. We (our big company, 11 ppl in total) brought 4 differen wine boxes, and all of them had clear see-through plastic bag inside, no aluminium reflecting lining. I think this must be a newer way of wine packaging, so don't waste your money on them. I mean, unless the wine is good.
I have found the large trolling skirts to be just as effective & also easier to make than the “goon” flasher. I suggest putting two or three skirts inside each other & not just using one skirt as the extra body is much more lifelike. Also use light colours not dark. Interestingly it is these skirts & not plastic or metal flashers which I find fish try to eat & not just come in to inspect.
I gave a set to a bloke once & he complained that they were getting chopped up by fish, my response was “what is the problem with that?
 
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Jan 27, 2005
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A friend of mine who moved to Hawaii a couple of years go just told me about a flasher than a lot of divers use there. Its just a shiny spoon rigged with a swivel to dangle under the muzzle. As the gun moves the spoon wobbles and reflects light.I watched a lot of video of a guy who seems to have a lot of success with it, so I just rigged a couple to try later in the year when our yellowtail show up. If it works, it sounds attractive. It's always with you and you don't have to dive to retrieve it before it sinks out of reach.
 

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Mr. X

Forum Mentor
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Jul 14, 2005
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Man Dano you must drink a lot of wine! :D

Bill there is a quite well known SA spearo in the UK who sometimes attached a small plastic/rubber muppet/squid/octopus lure to his muzzle in a similar way to the Toby/spoon-style lure your pics show. Comments from more sceptical forum members suggested that the attraction was mainly to the spearo rather than to the fish! I would imagine, in our often murky UK waters, it might confuse and thereby hold a fish's attention for a moment longer than might otherwise happen, which could be a critical advantage.
 
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