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Going Nuts Trying to Find the RIGHT gun

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Jun 11, 2002
:duh i am new to freediving and i am running into SO many problems. I have worked out the suit problem, i need a custom one. I think i have the fin problem worked out, Sporasub H.Dessault Open Heel, I have a size 14 US or 49 Euro foot, i will also be weraing a 3mm booty, so i will need a size 15 or 50, does anyone have any other recommendations? But the serious issue is the gun. I live in Southern California, right near Catalina. The fish i will be targeting are Halibuts, White Sea Bass, Yellowfin, Sheephead, and smaller fish like sand/calico bass, sculpin, rockfish,etc. I will be fishing rocks, reefs, kelp beds but also have the ability to fish deeper water for white sea bass. I spoke with Roger Yazbeck of Picasso and he recommends his Century gun. I spoke with the Riffe's and they suggested their guns. I just can't seem to get a good solid straight answer. Should i just go with a picasso 110,120cm for general all purpuse (even for halibuts...i am just worried about the shafts getting wrecked) and then get a Riffe for blue water...something like a MetalTech (i was also told that metaltechs aren't worth their pricetags)? I am going to Maui in Dec/Jan and i want to go after some big Ulua 20-100+lb fish, so with that in mind, what type of blue water gun would suffice? and i am looking for guns i can get here in the US (riffe, omer, sporasub, picasso, sporasubs, etc.) please help guys. i reall appreciate any and all info you give.
go buy a cheap JBL and beat the snot outa it the first year. you'll learn much more and have fun too. I used a JBL NW Special for years! still have it - range ain't so good, but will go strait through an oil drum.... if thats important...... and a great learning gun. Go with a Riffe if you have the cash. Picasso if you don't mind destroying a bunch of shafts while you learn marksmanship.


One thing to remember. A well built gun like the Riffe allows future modification on power increase. Power is something any spearo will want to increase as his skill progress or the game get bigger or further to shoot.

Not all spearguns are designed to accept increase power because most of them have trigger units which are designed to accept only minor (30% ) increase of power from extra strong rubbers or more rubbers. Some guns muzzle doesn't even allow extra rubbers. Some guns trigger will self-fire or jammed up under heavy rubber loading exceeding its design limit.

Riffe triggers are the same thru out their entire range from the Baby unit to the Beast. This is a good start.

There will be a limit though on power increase.

Why don't u search this forum and read thread by thread on the gun discsussion, it will help you a lot. The most frequent asked question is "What is the right gun ?", the answer is none unless you know where u hunt and what will be the target. Since a spearo skill improves overtime, having more than one gun is common. Do some homework on the net, it will help you a lot.
Asking a speargun manufacturer won't be that very useful because they will naturally lead u to their products. Scan the net and there will be a few popular brand/names being mentioned all the time because of satisfied owners. A few of the guys on this forum have more than 1 gun, some have more than 4 guns.

If you read the forum well you will get a lot of data, the key is reading & surfing patience. In most cases I notice in any popular forum is that a question which pops out very so often will get least reply in the long run cause the regulars got tired of repeating the same thing over and over again. However this is a very friendly forum, you should get replies in a few days but in the mean time ............. do some of ur own search to be satisfied.

Price of a speargun in most cases don't lie because it reflects the engineering quality of the gun. Speargun is not like fashion goods: Versace or Armani where you pay more for ego.

Good Luck
Hey Sask
Been there and done that. Get a Riffe 2S with a detachable. Should be a perfect gun for summer in the kelp bed. For up north, halibut or dirty water, get a short 3/8" shaft, with a five prong, for it. Have someone show you how to choke the rubbers and you're all set for anything.
If you go to PV, Catalina, deep hole or La Jolla, and you don't have the Riffe Blue Water (or equivalent if there is one), some day, some way, you'll be sorry.
Ulua in Hawaii I haven't done yet but, bigger is probably better here too. From observation, getting position at 60 feet in the current is the biggest problem.
P.S. It took all my spare time for almost a month to build my first and only addict gun thirty years ago. It doesn't look as good now but, it works a little better. Swallow hard and spend the money.
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choke the rubbers?!

you're scaring 'em Bill!

Seriously though Sask, everyone's right here, though some are just righter than others...:confused: so here goes:

Amphibious Willer is really correct in his telling you to go and get a JBL .38 special or a Northwest. They're not inexpensive, but they're great guns to learn on, bang around with and keep. I've had mine since the Earth was cooling and my son is making plans to acquire them when I go for that CW record when I find my innards won't hold dinner anymore.

Once you get comfy with your gear and talents, then you'll be more able to identify what it is you want to do... open water, reefs, sand, kelp, etc. The manufacturers would love to tell you that their stuff will do it all, but it ain't gonna happen. That said, for your SoCal stuff, you could do a lot worse than a Riffe Competitor 2XS, like Bill recommends and a whole lot worse than a Metal Tech 3. These guns aren't so long or ungainly that you'll spend a lot of time untangling them from the kelp and they'll give you some range when the water clears up.

Head over to Bill-land for Uluu and you'll need something along the lines of a NoKaOi from Riffe, or step up to the plate and get an Island. I love mine. Then too you could give a look at the hybrid pipe guns from Wong and Yakooji, but that's a ways down the road for you. Something to look forward to.

The types of fishing in the areas you're going to will need a couple of guns, but you'll be happier and more well fed in the long run. Bu before anything else you'll want to get comfortable and safe enough with nothing in your hands and then you can go be the great hunter. Welcome to the fold.

PS... Bill, my Mantis Amber from AQA is just nuts!

Thanks for all the help

:p I have gone through all the posts and read everyones input, advice, recommendations and such on guns. I have settled on a Rob Allen 120cm w/7mm shaft. i am getting it from FloridaFreedivers. This should suffice for everything i want to hunt...bass, sheephead, halibut, yellowtail and even some smaller white sea bass. When i become more skilled and want to go after the bigger fish, then i will invest in a Riffe (does anybody know if the Riffe daughters are married or dating anyone... perhaps i can ask one of them out on a date and try to get a discount ;) just kidding) But that is the plan.

I really have to thank you guys for all the time and effort you put into this site. I know alot of the questions you guys answer seem trivial and a waste of time... but you really are helping alot of us Newbies out. My hats or should i say fins.... off to you guys. Thank you all.

Regards, The Sask
Good Job on the 120


Nice choice on the 120 cm Euro style gun! I live in S. FL and use a 120 cm gun 99.9% of the time. I kill 12 inch mangrove snapper up to 40-50 lb. amberjacks, wahoo, and cobia regularly. And I wouldn't be too sure about shying away from big white seabass with your newly acquired gun, a guy I know just killed a 130 lb yellowfin tuna in Louisiana using a 120 cm OMER Aluminum. As I like to say "It's not the size of the gun that matters but the skill of the diver".

Best of luck!

Scott Turgeon
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