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Hybrid Guns vs. full wooden guns

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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icarus pacific

icarus pacific

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Nov 7, 2001
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Steve Alexander is the Man !

He's the originator of many of the concepts that along with Potts and Prodonovich, are copied by other builders today and his engineering expertise matches that as well. You'll have to catch him on a good day to get a lot of yakking from him but it'll be worth it. His Inshore gun is a very, very good tool for the kelp beds and rigged with a 100 foot floatline, a peanut float and some practice, will fill your freezer nicely. His collection of butterflies is remarkable a well.

Tell him I said hi.
 
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calispearo

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
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So i'm guessing the consensus is Alexander gun over RIFFE? lol. I think i might end up going with RIFFE. there very user friendly. I think the Alexander is too much gun for me now.
 
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calispearo

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
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Will do Sven. He seems like a nice guy.
 
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Nalu

New Member
Dec 31, 2004
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WOW!
I didnt think my post was going to generate those kind of responses. :ko :blackeye
Like I said I'm happy with my gun. :) It should last for a long time. I just dont have the funds (approval of my wife) :inlove to have several guns to try out.
rigdvr, icarus, thanks for all of your posts out there. Ive read many of them and learned a lot as well. Keep up the good work (posts coming).

Remember the "Golden Rule" - "All things that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them." Mt.7:12 :)
 
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Spinal Tap

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Jul 5, 2004
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I've used a friends 50" hybrid and I own a Wong Mahi (~56") so my experience is only with Wong guns (relative to your subject). The 50" was very easy to handle in the water. It propels a 9/32" shaft with two 9/16" bands, whereas my Mahi slings a 5/16" shaft in an enclosed track with three 5/8" bands The only time I used the hybrid, I tracked an 18lb WSB very easily and shot it from about 12' away. I barely noticed the recoil. My mahi is heavier and bulkier but because I don't maneuver it like a drill team member would his rifle I'm not bothered by the bulk. I've shot WSB and YT with it and the only time I've noticed the recoil is if I'm target shooting a kelp strand. When I'm sighting down a fish and then squeezing the trigger I don't feel any recoil but that's probably due to the adrenaline.

My next gun will probably be a hybrid unless I know I have the opportunity to hunt tuna at least twice a year, then it'll be a dedicated bluewater gun.

Friends tell me they love their Alexander guns. I like dealing with Daryl and like his lifetime warranty and I've had pretty good success with his guns so it's kinda the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" theory.
 
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uluapoundr

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Mar 21, 2003
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Nalu,
Welcome to DB, sorry you had to be in the middle of this :ko . Whenever you ask a question about which gun is better, this is bound to happen. I own wood and euro guns and love them both. For my style of hunting, my 55" wood enclosed track is deadly. Any missed fish is my error. I think most guns, with the right tuning, can be really accurate. Band power, shaft size, balance, ballast, are all factors in accuracy. I've found that Hybrids can be accurate, but overpowering will cause recoil for a mid handled pipe front gun. Increased ease of swinging sometimes leads to a less stable gun. If you need more power, you may need to add some weight in the pipe to help limit recoil. Most people will go with softer bands and sacrifice accuracy for power. Let us know what you think of your hybrid. Most DB members are helpful. Aloha and dive safe.
 
Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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Nalu said:
I finally decided on the wong 50" hybrid titanium barrel. Good lifetime warranty and since I live on the island I can get it fix without mailing it. Can't go wrong with a warranty like that! :)

I got in late, and after taking a peek at the flames, decided to just skip to the end.

I think you made a great choice. A guy I know got the 50" hybrid this summer as his very first gun and since he lived in the same town as me, Daryl referred him to me for help rigging it up. I told him it was a great gun for smaller fish and halibut, but he would probably want something bigger eventually. It came with two 5/8" bands and he asked me if it could handle a third. I told him I didn't know, so he ordered one. He has taken yellowtail up to 27 pounds with that little gun and showed me how much I know.
:)

On the larger question of hybrids vs. all wood- I own 55" and 60" hybrids, a 56" Mahi, and a 60" ono gun. They all have their strong points. The all wood guns are heavy enough to use three 5/8" band and a 5/16" shaft with no problems with recoil and muzzle flip. The hybrids are lighter, so they use 9/32" shafts and three (at least for me) 9/16" bands, and they are slightly easier for me to swing and aim. A heavier shaft or thicker bands would be too much for them. But my biggest fish this summer, a 54 pound white sea bass, was taken with the 55" hybrid, so the lighter shaft and bands are not that big a limitation unless you need a lot of range and punch.

Santa brought me what I hope will be the perfect compromise, a 56.5" magnum hybrid. The magnums have extra lead ballast and more teak to balance it, and the butt is cut into an enclosed track for 5/16" shaft propelled by three 5/8" bands. I'm hoping this will be like my Mahi, but easier to swing and aim. I hope the weather will let me find out soon.

But the bottom line is that the choice between hybrid and all-wood is really personal, like chocolate vs. vanilla. Unfortunately for me, what is most important is the skill of the diver.
 
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icarus pacific

icarus pacific

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Let me know what you think of that new rig, Bill. It does sound like the best solution for launching stainless at the WSB and yellowtail. I'll give you a ring come spring as I'm going to bring my boat down and try to hook up with some of the local talent down your way. I've just finished a new 58" fully enclosed woody that is screamin' to be baptised.
 
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Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Jan 27, 2005
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icarus pacific said:
Let me know what you think of that new rig, Bill. It does sound like the best solution for launching stainless at the WSB and yellowtail. I'll give you a ring come spring as I'm going to bring my boat down and try to hook up with some of the local talent down your way. I've just finished a new 58" fully enclosed woody that is screamin' to be baptised.

Thanks for falling for my self-delusional babbling about why I needed just one more gun. Now would you explain it to my wife? :)

I do feel a bit silly even thinking I need another gun. The 55" hybrid was just fine, but at least I did have the excuse of wanting a bit more band stretch and range, so the purchase of the 60" was somewhat justified. I thought it was the perfect gun for So Cal for two years, and then a friend got a Mahi and I convinced myself it would be nice to have the heavier shaft and thicker bands for a bit more range. It was my "final solution" for a couple of years, but then I was using the 55" hybrid this summer because I was diving in dirty water and didn't need any more range than that, and I did notice that it was indeed easier to swing than the Mahi, so that was my excuse to get this "hybrid version of the Mahi." Someone please stop me before I buy again. :)

Let me know when you are coming down and maybe I can tell you the latest rumors.
 
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sharpshooter123

New Member
Dec 2, 2004
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I still think you need some of your wongs off your hands and you can just give thjem to me. Simplest solutin there is I think and the cheapest (at least for me ;)).

Devin Dowdy,
Laguna Beach, CA
 
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Spinal Tap

New Member
Jul 5, 2004
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sharpshooter123 said:
I still think you need some of your wongs off your hands and you can just give thjem to me. Simplest solutin there is I think and the cheapest (at least for me ;)).

Devin Dowdy,
Laguna Beach, CA


Get in line! :naughty
 
Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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sharpshooter123 said:
I still think you need some of your wongs off your hands and you can just give thjem to me. Simplest solutin there is I think and the cheapest (at least for me ;)).

Devin Dowdy,
Laguna Beach, CA

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your concern. :)
 
Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Jan 27, 2005
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uluapoundr said:
Nalu,
I've found that Hybrids can be accurate, but overpowering will cause recoil for a mid handled pipe front gun. Increased ease of swinging sometimes leads to a less stable gun. If you need more power, you may need to add some weight in the pipe to help limit recoil. Most people will go with softer bands and sacrifice accuracy for power. Let us know what you think of your hybrid. Most DB members are helpful. Aloha and dive safe.

I got into this thread late, but I wanted to address that suggestion that you add weight in the barrel. I don't think that would be a good idea for two reasons. One is that you would have to break the seal in the barrel to get the weight in, and the other is that it would make the gun very tip heavy.

The place to add weight is inside the handle. I want my guns as heavy as possible while still floating, so I experiment with various lead sinkers in the handle until I get it right. And in one case where a gun was slightly tip heavy in the first place, I removed the butt cap and drilled a couple of holes in the wood and inserted 45 cal. bullets.

Another obvious way to add weight is to use a reel, but of course that only works if you like reels. My Riffe reels with line weigh about 13 ounces, and that is a large percentage addition to a hybrid's weight. As one example of the effect of a reel, for the first couple of years after I got my 60" carbon fiber hybrid, I used it with three 9/32" bands cut shorter than the normal 3.5 to one ratio and with a reel, and it hit dead on as far as I could tell. Then I removed the reel and used a breakaway and float line, and it started hitting low. At the same time, a friend got the same gun and started out using a float line, and he was shooting low. He installed a reel, and started hitting the fish. As an alternative, I guess we could have tried to use more lead in the handle, although I don't know if you could get 13 ounces in there.

With the magnum hybrid I just got, Daryl included a molded piece of lead that slides right into the handle. He said that he sends that to the guys in Florida who switch between freediving and scuba, and who want the gun to float without shaft while freediving and sink when scuba diving. The lead bar weighted about 11 ounces, and when I installed a reel and did a float test with the lead in the handle, the gun sunk like a rock. I have played with various chunks of the lead and now I have 2 3/4 ounces in the handle and it barely floats with the reel.

Obviously, every piece of teak has different density, but I mention these details just as an example of the lengths I go to trying to adjust gun weight.
 
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uluapoundr

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Mar 21, 2003
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Bill McIntyre said:
I got into this thread late, but I wanted to address that suggestion that you add weight in the barrel. I don't think that would be a good idea for two reasons. One is that you would have to break the seal in the barrel to get the weight in, and the other is that it would make the gun very tip heavy.

The place to add weight is inside the handle. I want my guns as heavy as possible while still floating, so I experiment with various lead sinkers in the handle until I get it right. And in one case where a gun was slightly tip heavy in the first place, I removed the butt cap and drilled a couple of holes in the wood and inserted 45 cal. bullets.

The gun I added the lead to (only 1.5 ounces) was a Yokooji Hybrid. The front of the barrel is plugged but there is enough room for a coin shaped lead. The Yokooji has a very slim muzzle (the Wong is bulkier and heavier) and with a lot of wood in the back (more than wong), the gun just seemed to move all over the place. After adding the 1.5 ounces, the tip seemed to be more stable. I'm sure adding to the handle would also be good since it is at the pivot point and shouldn't affect balance, but in my case, the tip wasn't heavy and I felt it needed more stability. It worked for me.

A while back, when my friend was having accuracy problems with his Wong hybrid, Darryl Wong himself recommended that my friend switch from the blue 5/8" bands to the amber or more softer bands. He told my friend that the gun should have plenty enough power and stated that amber bands is what he uses on his gun.
 
Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

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Uluapounder-

Thanks for the info on the Yokooji. I have seen photos of them, and they look like nice guns, but I've never seen one in person.

That's interesting that you can add some weight up front without breaking the seal and without making it tip heavy. I don't think I could do that with my Wongs.

I'm not sure I get it about Daryl recommending going from the blue bands to the amber bands. Are the blue bands stronger, and does he ship the gun with the blue bands? I am a power glutton, and in general resist reducing power to limit recoil. I just had a similar conversation with a guy who wanted to buy a Riffe Hawaiian. He said he was told that all he had to do was use a lighter shaft and less rubber, and it would shoot fine. And my thought was why buy a gun that can't properly use the shaft and bands that it is sold with?

For what its worth, I've always used Riffe rubber on my Wongs, either black or amber, and I can't tell any differences between the colors. Both hybrids seem to handle three 9/16" bands cut even shorter than normal, but the 60" does need the reel to stay accurate. For some reason, I seem unable to overpower the 55". A few years ago when I was younger and stronger, I took pride in the fact that most people I loaned it to couldn't even cock it, but it was still right on. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the shorter gun can't rotate as many degrees if the muzzle rises, but that is just a guess.

Come to think of it, a friend who has the 50" and uses three 5/8" bands seems to have no problems with recoil. On the one hand I recall that its the first gun he has ever used so that he has no basis for comparison, but on the other hand he seems to hit everything he aims at, so its working.

I can't begin to tell you how much I have delighted in his success so soon after getting his first gun, and after I told him it was probably too small. These beginners have no respect for the advice of their elders. Now that I'm older than dirt, I think I have more fun seeing beginners get fish than I do getting them myself (well almost anyway.)

All of this stuff is so nebulous though, and its hard to know how much weight to give to someone else's impressions of a gun. One guy may think its just wonderful and hits right on, while another guy says it can't hit the broad side of a barn. Its what works for each of us that counts.
:)
 

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icarus pacific

icarus pacific

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The Yakooji's, especially the Hybrid and the 55" enclosed track models are ridiculously nice nice guns. Having seen and used both, my impressions are that you could do a lot worse than either. Alexander components, slightly less area in the barrel and a very nice finish put them on par with anything out there, if you can get them. Darian is putting out some lower cost but equally well put together guns for Hana Paa'. Andy York here has the enclosed track and has a standing offer from me to pick it up if/when he wants to sell it.

When I set up my 48" Hybrid, modeled after a Wong, I went with an Alexander line release and handle and the weight of the handle was enough to send the thing to the bottom, and then I compounded it by adding an Omer reel. Suffice to say I ended up adding additional wood to the stock to offset the negative bouyancy and with three of the blue bands it sends out those 9/32 shafts faster than a good buddy ever thought he'd see one go right through a Yellow Bar Jack 12 feet away.
 
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uluapoundr

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Mar 21, 2003
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Bill,
You are so right about how some guns will suit the owner, perhaps it's shooting or diving style?

As for the question on the power of bands and the colors, all I can relate with is the bands they sell in Hawaii. Most sold locally say that the amber is the softest, red is the same but with UV coating, black is supposedly the medium power, and white, the strongest, the blue is white with the UV protection. The Riffes come with amber, which through my experience is softer, but in multiple band guns, makes for ease of loading and still packs a punch. I use two blue 5/8" bands on my 55" enclosed track gun and it packs a nice punch. My 100cm beuchat has two black 9/16" bands. My Rob Allen has the factory bands, which I must say, are pretty powerful. These are way better than the black bands sold locally. So, now that I've probably confused you more, I guess one has to find bands that works for their setup. I don't particularly know the brand of the bands sold locally, but with trial and error...many error, one can find what works best for his gun, shaft, and style of shooting.

Icarus,
Darian does make some sweet guns. I once owned a little koa wood enclosed track gun, but it was too beautiful for me to use, so Fuzz has it now. My friend owns a 55" enclosed track, what a work of art. He was even making a hybrid with interchangeable barrels, now that's thinking outside of the box.
 
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andysodyssey

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Aug 29, 2006
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I think that you will find that everybody has a different opinion on what they consider the best gun and the truth is they are probably all right,wooden guns are popular because you can build a good gun at home in the shed and they are very durable, euro guns are very manouverable ,but honestly it is more the skill of the diver not the design of the gun, in the islands of the pacific kids dive with crude homemade guns and have great sucess, I think that to be sucessful you must stalk the fish and move slowly so being able to swing agun quickly through the water is not so important, when I first started diving as kid I soon discovered quick movement only scared away the fish and chasing after a fish will never work , simple fact is they can always swim faster than you , the only big advantage I can see in a euro gun is that they are less tiring to drag around through the water,but no one can deny that for a big canon as you call it for large fish timber is king because the mass of the gun helps to controll the big recoil, hope that this can help you ANDY.
 
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