• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Help - I need some "Riffe" advice.

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.


tropical wuss
Sep 16, 2002
Hi folks, I've been around a few months now...checking out the past posts on Riffe guns, and I have accumulated a few questions that were left unanswered. The gun I currently own is a JBL Custom Magnum (32 inches total - 24 inch shaft - 18 inch band stretch). I've been pleased with the guns performance (especially for the price), but it is a loud little bugger. My dive buddy Jon can hear me fire it from 200 meters away. I think that the metal o-ring that attaches to the shockline is the main reason for the noise. In any event, I want a silent gun, with a little more range, and I'm willing to drop the coin for a Cadillac. Soooooo, if you cats could give a Wisconsin boy a hand, I'd be much appreciating it :D. The guns of interest are the Riffe Mid-series B and the Metal Tech #1 (the aluminum counterpart). The description on the Riffe web site states that both of these guns come with 42 inch shafts. Yet when I look at the photos, it appears that the Teak model has a 36 inch shaft (See Photo). Is the photo outdated? Did the gun used to come with a 36 inch shaft? If so, why the change :confused:? I ask because I'm currently doing research as to which gun will suit my needs. In Wisconsin, I hunt for 1-30 pound fish. These fish are usually near weed-beds or under fish cribs. If the 36 inch shaft shoots as well as the 42 inch, I would prefer the 36 due to easier menuevering and less entanglement on weeds. I would also like to add a forth band for a little more range, and because the armored scales on a few of the fish species can be very difficult to penetrate. Would four, 9/16" bands on a 36 inch spear be too much (would I sacrifice accuracy) :naughty? Additionally, are the Metal Tech guns positively buoyant like the Teak models?

Thanks Dudes.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jon
Iya should be coming along any second now.............

U have not read enough on the Riffe post-s, try some more, it will answer all ur questions except :

The teak Mid Handle #Bottom comes with 42" shaft same as MT#1. The teak #B has its trigger closer to the butt than Metal Tech, thus the shaft look shorter cause more is "parked" on the gun instead of hanging over the muzzle.

If U are using a JBL Custom Magnum at 32" length, the Riffe you mentioned will be a joy in terms of power, accuracy and quietness. The 1st and 3rd improvement is VERY significant.
The JBL of urs can't be heard from 200 meters, come on.........200 feet maybe, maybe a bit more if you are around a wall or rocky areas. They are super noisy because of that slide ring u mentioned and because of the mettalic V wishbone.

If u can shoot 1-30lbs fish with ur JBL, that means ur stalking is good enough, given its poor range. If that is the Riffe as u wanted on ur hand instead, even a 45 lbs fish is not be a problem if u shoot from the same distance. Avoid Riffe large spearhead, they penetrate poor but they punch like hell. The Riffe u wanted can be used with 8mm Hawaiian shaft and it will penetrate easy.

Scan the post which mention Metal Tech #0, there are 3, the first one comes with tons of information on the ballistic quality you require. Since ur desire is MT#1, you will get more power if u ever need any. Sorry I don't know how to attach a link between post.

Good Luck
Yeah, o.k. Iya....maybe it was more like 200 ft :eek:; in any event...a long ways for such a small gun (not to mention through a 5mm hood) . I've been hunting with that little JBL for 3 years now; you're right on the stalking comment. The 8 foot range on the gun has forced me to refine my stalking technique. Anyway, I've followed up on your search advice and found your posts. Good stuff. Still reading through the bulk of them. On a more cantankerous note ;) , I must disagree with your assessment of the spearshaft. True that the handle on the teak gun is 3 inches further to the center of the gun, but if you look at the notches on the spears (where the bands hook on the back), you will see that I have matched them up equally on the photo. Addtionally, I have matched the guns stock-to-stock, not handle-to-handle, to show this disparity. If I'm still wrong :duh , and it's been known to happen from time to time:D , fill me in on why I'm looking at the photo incorrectly. In the end, this might just be "one of those things". Maybe Riffe goofed on the photo, or maybe I'm just a nutcase, making a mountain out of a molehill :confused: . Orrrrrr, maybe it is the root of a government conspiracy :mute. No matter the outcome....thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

By the way, if you're wondering about the name (unirdna)....it translates "you and I are DNA". Just a little (dry) biology humor there.
Originally posted by unirdna
[Still reading through the bulk of them.

Dont worry about that unirdnda, so are the rest of us!:D Iya really enjoys typing.
Originally posted by unirdna
By the way, if you're wondering about the name (unirdna)....it translates "you and I are DNA". Just a little (dry) biology humor there.

u1/22bmorcre8ive4us, dude! rofl
  • Like
Reactions: loopy
Hey Uni,
As DB's regaler of all things Riffe, your needs and useage would be best met with the MT 0, plenty of punch, easy on the ducats, easy to swing in the viz you have there, ability to be worked on without a degree and lotso parts to tinker with.
Two 5/8 bands will send your stainless love through any thing you have around there and be less to screw around with. The smaller twin barb head will do fine. Attach a floatline on the ass-end to keep things near and dear and you're on the way to smoothness.

Last edited:
Gee Fuzz, I am that predictable....yes ?? :D :D

I think Uncle Sven is right. MT0 will still outshoot ur JBL by far and it is the smallest of the Metal Tech. With ur current skill and succes with ur mini JBL, the MT0 will double ur catch. Why go longer if shorter will do. The Riffe shaft photo, maybe I am wrong but check with Riffe anyway to make sure, they have some misprint on some models. You can't go more silent than a Riffe, unless your buddy is deaf.

Give me a few days, I'll post photos on my MT0 catches cause for the past two weeks I have been visiting my wreck on both weekends and have done extensive testing on the MT0. The wreck is the main reason I bought this MT0 for. Remember I use scuba and I can witstand 2-2.5 knots current on that wreck. I am pointing this out to tell you how little drag it is and how easy it is to swing in the most unlikely places. All you need is to get the floater wing if uwant it to float and make it look cuter. I personaly do not know if it add any stability but as Uncle Sven put it :
"Any extra mass is a help".
U do not need the aluminum muzzle unless u want to power up to 5 x 9/16 rubbers and use 3/8" shaft.

Here are the highlights of the hunt.

Hunt 1, Saturday 2 weeks ago.
I was blessed visibility very rare to this 120 feet deep wreck. It was 30-40 feet. The shallowest deck lies at 65 feet. I armed my MT0 with 36" x 3/8 shaft cause I expected giant trevaly and golden trevaly to be around. Dive 1 was very nice cause in the morning current was 0.5 knots or less. There were no trevalies in sight so I go for the snappers. I was loading all the 5 bands. The viz allows me to see parts of the 565 foot long wreck which I never seen before cause usualy it was too dark and 10-12 feet viz. There were like 40 over snappers waiting for me at 120 feet on the sandy bottom under the hull. The ship sits on its port/left hull. I think there were 3 types of snappers. One is very dark red, the other is probably rather pink and a few is pink with a black dot on the tail. I took my time choosing the biggest size. I was amazed that they never run away from me as usual. I guess I learnt how to be more calm. I shot one from like 2 meters and the 3/8 shaft entirely penetrated till the shooting line. The 4 wraps I did was too long cause the fish swam into the wreck before I could recover the line. Firts fish was OK but the second one went real deep and got stuck in the hull which was torn open by torpedo damage. I dare not enter the wreck cause 60 years old torpedo holed wrecks could be very fragile to pressure of air bubbles expanding. I unclipped the line and tied it on some metal part of the broken hull. I will retreive that when I find a buddy to watch me. If that wreck collapse on me, at least my buddy will know where I died...Touch Wood...Touch Wood:( :(.
A friend once broke a 3" solid steel on a part of the wreck just because a fish went round and around it. The metal is that corroded and fragile.

On Second dive I got my buddy to watch me enter the torpedoed hull. I was holding my breath the entire entry some 25 feet into the superstructure. My fish was still stuck and twisted, so I just pulled hard and the shaft was freed from its flesh but the fish escaped. I swam out and only then started breathing. I shot some more snappers. The 2nd and 3rd snappers I was shooting with 4 bands only and kept 3 meters (10 feet ) distance and still I was shooting entirely into the fish. I have enough snappers (3 ) by the second dive.

Third dive is what I waited for cause current pick up later in the afternoon and it will be about 2 knots. This is when the trevalies will come to the wreck to play around the turbulence. I loaded 4 rubbers and went to the middle topedoed hull where the trevalies will be there if current is strong. The MT0 was a beauty in this strong current, I can swing aim left/right with ease where if I were using my 124cm Standard #2 Riffe, I would have the guns aim swept by current if I aim more then 2 o'clock position.
One hand on the broken metal hull to keep moving and kicking like mad to move forward. I reached the spot and started scanning. My left hand was in pain cause I used it to hold myself in position against the current. The glove I wore is only 2mm thick. I peek at the torpedoed hull below me and saw a big brown grouper. I hate this grouper cause it is not good eating, the meat is like rubber when this big ( 60 lbs ). Then out of the torn open hull rushed out a +- 16 lbs Golden Trevalya and a smaller one behind. The trevalies always swam out of this opening everytime I take a peek cause they then could hear my breathing. I aimed at the bigger one and it was far, more than 13 feet away. By the time I shot it, I just remembered that I loaded only 4 bands. I shot the trevaly from behind it, so there are more meat to penetrate, little did I know that the shaft did not full penetratring the fish. I used to hand to pull the shooting line towards me and natural I was swept by the current by then. I was going 6,oclock and the fish was going 12 o.clock. The spearhead lost grip and I lost the fish ......damn !!! At that size, it is considered a big one for this wreck.

I then drifted around the wreck and spotted another two 12 lbs golden trevalies. I waited for it to give me a side profile but it kept coming head on. I just shot and the shaft went till the shooting line in the gills. I call it a day, I got all I needed. I did not even stringe the fish and it dragged me down for the first 3 minutes while I was ascending.

Since I did not get easy penetration on that 16 lbs Golden Trevaly, I modified my 3/8" shaft. The first 6.5" forward of the 36" shaft was converted to 9/32" and to be made like a pencil point Hawaian single flopper. The shaft will look like Apollo 13 where the shaft will have two diameter. I want the 9/32 pencil point cause I need easier penetration and I maintain the rest of the 29.5" of 3/8" as 3/8" thickness to maintain momentum. I don't know if trajectory or accuracy will be effected, me need to experiment.

Hunt 2, Last Saturday.
The viz was so good last week, I have to come back with a video camera, and I did. Luck was not on my side, the viz was at its normal state, a lousy 12-15 feet and dark like hell. My modified 3/8" shaft was not ready, so I took my original 32" x 9/16 and screwed on the large spearhead. The first and second dive was video only, which the result was so poor in terms of the videography ( I scan too fast, had not hold a video for almost 2 years now ) and picture cause of water viz. On my 4th dive I took my MT0 because the current was much stronger than last week. My#2 Riffe was swept by the current on my 3rd dive, I almost could not aim, landed one golden trevaly. So I need my MT0 on 4th dive. The water was darker at 3:30 PM and the current was mad, must have been like 2.5 knots. I needed 700 psi just to hit 65 feet deck level, swam like mad and practicaly moving by hands on the descent line. I went back to one of my favourite broken hull at the bow. There were a few big golden trevalies swimming around and none was in range. With 5/16 shaft and only 4 bands, I think my best range will be at 13 feet and I doubt penetration on other than the soft flesh is possible. I was able to track the fast moving fishes with ease, it swam up and down on the broken open bow. They were almost invisible except for the yellow color of the tail and fins . I dare not shoot, it was too far. I too could not move forward too cause there is no part of the wreck to grab. Shooting a shaft against a current have taught me that the shaft power will be reduced. By the time the fishes seen too much of my bubbles, they disapeared.

So I went to the middle damaged hull where I failed to penetrate the trevaly last week. There were a few golden trevalies on the open water side zig zag-ing in to the current. It was too far. I usualy dared not move any deeper or be in front of this opening on the hull cause if I ever loose hold and start to drift inside, I won't be able to get out at this current speed. I decided to follow the hull contour to go deeper and keep the hole/opening on my right. This small MT0 was almost no drag on me, so I can move forward easier. I waited like 2 minutes before I decided to shoot and that shot was a desperate one, the bad viz screw up my distance estimation. I never thought the shaft could even reach the fish. Then I recalled my testing at 4 bands and only 3 wraps, the left over energy of the shaft pull is quite strong and it means I should be able to shoot effectively at about 16-17 feet (maximum distance of speartip to gun muzzle ) if for a mere +- 4" thick flesh on a 12 lbs fish. I do not know how far the fish was at the edge of that visibility, the spearhead did penetrate the shoulder when it gave me a side profile.

I call it a day cause I was getting tired after 4 dives and 2 of these trevallies are good enough for a nice meal. On the surface the wind already pick up throwing 3-4 footer waves. Since this is a center console boat, I was sprayed by the beam sea entirely for 2 hours ride 50 miles to home marina.

I am getting used to the MT0 and the more I use it the more amazing I find its performance, for such a short gun. This is a very suitable extreme current and low viz gun. More so if u are a scuba dude like me where the hand which holds the gun keeps getting hit non-stop by a current for an entire dive can get very painful cramps.

Sorry the post is long but in order for you to get the whole picture I guess how and where I do my dive is important info for you...after all I am "Mr. Long Post."...:D :D
just a word to those new to DB... when you see a post from Iya, have a few minutes available. ;) You're in for a fun and often times technically beneficial read, (if you can get past the mutilation of the English...) but even then it's all good!:cool:

Nice stuff Iya! Dropping in on a glory hole of snapper has got to warm the suit, eh?;)

It sounds like penetration isn't so much your problem as is retaining the fish to the shaft. I'm going to assume you're using a Riffe small double barb tip? Give a serious look and try with a good quality, as in really good detachable that will toggle in the fish's flesh as well as on the outside, like a Kitto or an Alexander. The small lip on the tip is designed to grab hold of some tissue or bone and hold it while you hustle along the cable and do the deed. When the tip gets shot clear through, a ball detent makes sure that it disengages and lets the fish struggle against the retaining cable with the whole 4 or 5 inch tip acting as the barbs.

Both these tips aren't cheap at $60-90 US, but then again, what's cheap these days?

That tapering of your shaft sounds kinda fun until it tweaks on you... I think being able to have a tip like I described is the way to go. I've pretty much replaced my tips with these, excepting a couple of IcePicks and the usual JBL twin barb spinner on the little rock gun :inlove and am eating pretty well. Look forward to seeing your pictures, but ferchrissakes man, wash your own gear huh?!:hmm

Muchos Gracias

Thanks for the wise words sven and iya. Sven, you recommended the small, two-barb spearhead. Would I need an 6mm thread adapter for that head? I think that the gun comes standard with the large spearhead. Iya, keep the long-posts coming; your words will not go unread ;) . You are swaying me towards the MTO. The thing is, I'm so used to speargun manufacturers exaggerating the effective range of their guns, so I presumed that if I wanted a solid 4 meters of range, I would have to go for a gun that claims 5-6 meters. Judging by your advice, Iya's tests, and past posts it seems that Riffe isn't "fluffing" the stats. If the MTO can in fact shoot a fish at 14 feet (like Riffe claims), then that IS the gun that I would want. Visibility is usually 20 feet or less in most of the waters I hunt, and the best bluegill, crappie and perch are usually pretty wary. They pop into view, and then pop out just as fast. You need to take the shot while you've got it. If you're looking for the perfect, line-up shot (like you see in blue waters) you're going to go home hungry, so the faster I can swing the gun around, the better. On a side note: Wisconsin gamefish such as large-mouth bass, small-mouth bass, and walleye don't seem to be afraid of divers. In fact, bass frequently will come to within inches of divers, seemingly out of pure curiosity. This can be frustrating since it is NOT leagal to spear these fish :naughty....and walleye are oh, so tasty :p. It is almost as if the Department of Natural Resources did a psychiatric examination of all the fish, found out which ones are paranoid, and then proclaimed that these are the only legal fish to hunt. In the long-run it is probably good for the sport though; stops over-harvesting and keeps the spearo population to...er....non-existent :). Finally, I am curious to see if the silent Riffe gun will keep the small schools from leaving the area after I stick one or two (especially the big crappies). I have a feeling that the loud "clinking" from my JBL is the reason I usually have to pick a new hunting location after a few shots. I'd like to give the fish credit for putting two and two together when they see their neighbor get its ears pierced, but I don't think that this is the case since lucky anglers can sometimes sit on top of a school and yank them out of the water all day :head . I don't know if there are a whole lot of fresh-water spearos in the forum, but I'll be sure to let y'all know how it works out.

I think you should just go ahead and get a whole quiver of new guns so that I can see what works best before I drop anymore cash.;)


i have the the riffe c1 and use the hawaiian shaft. the flesh damage is minimal compared to the threaded-on tips and i also believe accuracy is a bit better. personally, i don't feel you need to be cocking 5 bands for bluegill. :D 2 9/32 bands will be fine, and maybe step up to 2 5/8 bands for the prehistoric fish. ;)

oh yeah, you can sometimes find the hawaiian setups quite a bit cheaper, too.

Hawaiian shafts


Originally, I was hoping to get a hawaiian on my new gun because of the exact reason you mentioned. But then I noticed (on Riffe's website) that the hawaiian had 3 feet less range than standard shafts. It's true that you don't need just a whole lot of punch to get through even the largest of panfish ;) , but I would still like to have that extra range. What is your experience with the hawaiian shaft. The C1 is one size larger than the MTO bear in mind. I think that your sling-stretch is 28'' and the MTO is 22''. In any event, let me know what your "real" range is with that hawaiian of yours. What did you boys go after in Colorado anyway? Spearing rainbows in the rapids are you :D? Impressive.


Grab a doughnut and kickback until all of my research is done...then hop aboard the pain train. You don't need to go buying any more pop guns. You would have had more luck holding out your gun and waiting for a fish to impale itself rofl. By the way, thanks for using my real name online....now the witness protection program will have to relocate me.

Ted (unirdna)
That 3 foot lack of range is due to the extra band put on in the specs for the other gun ;)
Hmmm,........ I didn't sleep at all last night so not sure if my posts are making sense.

What I meant was:

On the metaltech series, the model 1 has 2 bands, but the model 1S with the threaded head has 2 bands :) More bands = more power = more distance.

Ugh, I feel so brain-dead :head Please let me know if I'm incoherent.

Personally, for the game you're seeking, I'd stick with a couple nice Euro guns. ;)
Euro guns

Ted I think that I mentioned Euro guns to you and you shot that idea down.;)

If you keep talking about government cover-ups my wife is going to think that your one of those internet serial killer types and won't let me dive with you anymore!:eek:

BTW: I still have one "real" gun that I am dying to try out in the good vis that we now have- so I can see the end of the muzzle. If the snow clears away we might be able to get out this weekend.

  • Like
Reactions: unirdna
what fuzzy's trying to say is that the threaded getups come standard w/ 3 9/16 bands and the hawaiian getup comes standard w/ 2 of em. bump up your 2 9/16 bands to 5/8 and (as IYA might point out) your range should be approximately the same as the 3 9/16's on the threaded shaft.

i'm a florida native and my c1 is my most accurate gun up to 15'. my last outing was w/ aquiles off miami. my 116cm omer wasn't set up so i grabbed my C1 and said "what the hell". i took 10 shots at fish ranging from 2-30 lbs; hit all 10, stoned 7, and had one 30# grouper rip off in a cave. and, it only has 2 9/16 bands and a hawaiian shaft.

remember, range is great on paper and used in practice for "punch", but try hitting a fleeing mutton at 20 feet.... just won't happen. :hmm but, if you DO hit it, chances are your filets will look a bit butchered when you clean it. i think it's better to practice closing in those last few feet w/o scaring the fish than dumping ducats on something w/ more range. :t

good luck,

Now u too have to be relocated:D :D
The Hawaiian shaft model on the Metal Tech are always on 2 rubbers powered, thus less range. Even at 3 bands a 9/32" shaft has slightly less impact but it counter that with easier penetration.
Riffe has an adaptor where u can use its 24" thread shafts and place a JBL brand speartip. I have that adaptor but never use it. Remember, MT0 sinks. Mine with aluminum muzzle and floater wing kit still sinks. No aluminum muzzle, I guess it will float if u have the floater wing kit.

C1 like Anderson uses have taken fish in sizes u won't believe.....see Riffe Web Album. I rigged my MT0 as such cause I just love to experiment. I make up my poor stalking with longer range modified guns...:p The trevalies on the wreck is kind of "shy" so they stay far.

Uncle Sven,
I have 3/8 and 5/16 Ice Pick, I don't think I will order any Kitto or Alexander slip tip unless a friend visit the USA, shipping not worth it. I have very limited experience with Riffe Large spearhead but I think the penetration is not as easy as say a JBL Tri-Cut which I been using for years. I find the JBL Tri-Cut damage hole a bit excessive and have lost a lot of fish from it. I am getting kind of Hawaiian Shaft "fever", it is so easy to use. In extreme current like 2 knots or more, a slip tip is more time delay to re-do and will fall off easy, I know I can slide the retaining line between the bands. I am on tanks Uncle..... he he he.

I have calculated my expense on my fully rigged MT0 and it is coming almost to US$700 with the 3 different shafts and shipping, tax not included.:confused: Anyway I realy like the 270 lbs coated cable from Riffe. It's diameter even when coated is only like a 300 lbs Riffe black mono. I double crimp both ends and it worked like a wonder on that wreck sharp metals.

BTW, how do you know I do not wash my own dive gear ?
I only wash my reg and guns, the rest are "servant" operated, a luxury a third world country can offer ....he he he.


I'll let u guys know how my 9/32 tapered ( yes this is the word !! , sorry guys English is not my primary lingo ) to 3/8" shaft perform. The snappers photo should be available tomorrow. I just sent it for developing today and stupid me, I opened up the camera before I rewind the film..........there is going to be red strikes on the pictures...:duh

My friend was impressed with how I could managed to aim in that fast current speed last Saturday with the MTO, he wants to get one........... I ain't selling mine. He wants to get a 3/8" shaft with Ice Pick. He could not aim his Standard #2...... on that kind of current :t.

I still have extra untouched 3/8" and 9/16" shafts for the MTO, I will use it with a JBL Tri Cut from my condemned JBL, see how it perform. I'll dig my old stuff, I know I have at least 3 JBL different speartips .

Just for fun, I am attaching an image which I scanned directly from my video camera LCD screen...wha ha ha ha. I have a capture card but I don't know how to make it work....:duh.
Be ready to throw up when looking at the image quality ...........:yack. Those are Golden Trevalies. My Aussie fish book rate it at 4 star man !!!!! 5 star is highest.

Last edited by a moderator:
The rating of stars in my Aussie fish book is the level of eating quality of the fish. Do you have this kind Golden Trevaly in USA or Hawaii ???
Last edited by a moderator:
We have a lot of those in Hawaii. Not the most common species of trevally, but quite frequent in some areas.

Personally I like eating them as sashimi, but after 10 pounds their meat starts getting rather tough. That's my excuse for shooting the smaller ones ;)
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.