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Looking a gift speargun in the mouth?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2002
So to speak, anyway.

I was recently given a couple of spearguns. One is a JBL Custom, and the other is an Arbalete Champion. Anyone heard of the latter of those guns? Are either of them any good, or are they the stuff mantlepiece displays are made of?
custom is a fun little gun for holes and "mess'n around" not sure about the champion....


Good score either way!

Is the arbalete champion the one with the plastic handle, narrow diameter barrel and a spear with a slide ring that the shooting line is attached to. if it is then is the same as the first speargun i bought. i paid R50 (about $7) for it and i think that i paid R50 too much!
if its the champion with the steel muzzle, with line release tab (fin looking thing just in front of the trigger) then you've got a gift. a lot of guys still use those handles here in SA.

i think that beuchat make the champion. if its what i think it is it looks something like this.

and so it begins...;)


  • gun6.jpg
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window display??? well maybe, it depends on what you want to use it for. The champion came in a lot of different lengths. Mine is 30+ years old (I bought it new) has a 36 inch shaft, was made for US Divers (I think), still works fine and looks a lot like the previous picture, except for the line release and it has a plastic spreader bar for the bands The trigger mechanism/line release is very strong and durable, I have sure abused mine beyond any reasonable limit Overall, the gun is very reliable , but not very accurate, no where near the better guns today. Eventually, if you use it a lot in salt water, the scew holes on the barrel begin to rot out where the stainless screws set up an electrical reaction.
Mine started out as my main gun, but after I got a much more accurate shooter, it became my rock gun, going after grouper in holes, where accuracy ( or a straight shaft) didn't matter and a line was necessary. I only used it every other trip or so, but took a whole lot of fish with it, including some big ones, black grouper 50 pounds plus and a triple grouper shot . I would use it still, if doing that kind of diving.
Still no pic, but here's a little more about the champion: it has a metal handle, and the length unloaded is about four feet. There is no plastic on this gun, and it must be 30+ years old. It has a second handle about one-third of the way down.

Please bear with me, this is my first speargun, and I know very little of the terminology...:eek:
the champion handles used to be used by rob allen for his early guns, and they were still, until recently, used by another local speargun maker called jack lugg. his homepage is


whats the condition of the spear and rubbers? also you say its four feet unloaded...what do you mean by that?:confused:
if you get a decent spear and some new rubbers, you've got a good setup for starting out (at least, if you lived here you would :eek: )
enjoy it.
The length of the gun is about four feet long, using standard measurement.

The spear itself is very grubby, it needs some work and may be rusted. Not good at all. No rubbers were given to me with the gun. It looks like the gun will need some work to make it usable, but it's better than a stick in the eye, it sounds like.

There doesn't seem to be any red at all on the gun- either it was never there, or it wore off over the years.
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A Custom eh?? SWEEEET!!

The Voit, Swimaster or JBL Custom is a perfect starter gun. I mean perfect! It's all metal and the guts are beefy, you can take it anywhere and make it put food on the table and it's not cranky when you throw some bigger parts at it. Hmm... sounds like me... :hmm

The Custom is a great kelp gun for calicos and blues/black rockfish and is dakine gun for lingcod and cabezone down on the bottom. Give it a good cleaning, squirt some WD40 down the trigger inlet and get some 9/16 bands and a twin spinner rocktip and head off to class. A better gun has not been made.

Octo here and a couple other well fed individuals of class and stature use a Sultany modified Custom to put the protein on the plate. Mine has done so for over 30 years. Yep! :p

In fact the latest convert is DB judge and stud-in-training Eric, seen here prior to going out and slaying the halibut in Monterey, CA in early 2003. Wotta guy!! :king

Lose the Arbelete... it's money pissed away that you could use to build a float.
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Sounds like fun!

One question though, what is a twin spinner rocktip? The tip that came with the gun looks like a little three-pronged pitchfork. Like I said, the terminology...:eek:
Twin spinner rocktip refers to a tip with two folding wings on it, called floppers when on a Tahitian/Hawaiian shaft, that also rotate about the axis of the tip and shaft, which keeps the fish from spinning/tearing off, and any tip that is for around rocks has a rounded cross section rather than a tri cut tip that has facets on it.
Gimme a PM or email me with your general area and I'll set you up with a local shop that will have one, or I'll send you one.

I have two working Arbelete champions..they now have spring stainless shafts..custom bands and still very accurate..great for groupers on the Palm Beach Wall..Been using them all my life..I am now 55..got my first one at age 14..Never had a reason to try anything else..cable wishbones of course..
I have mine from YEARS (decades) back. I am currently trying to re-assemble it after only rescuing a few parts. I have the main gun, but no spear and no rubber. :(

Did you find out what type of spear they'll accept? The one I tried in a local dive shop would not lock into the handle.
Greetings; Maybe I'm sentimental, but the Arbalete Champion, although old, is the best gun I've ever used. Even after almost 40 yrs, mine is still in great condition- although I've made my own line holder from the thick plastic of a 5-gallon bucket to replace the original which wore out from usage (just used the broken piece as a template) When the rubbers connectors broke, I'd replace them with heavy metal coat hanger pieces which were as good as the the original. For me, the gun is balanced so well in water and swings readily with no drag that it was the 1st thing that amazed me. I bought it new and replaced the light spear shaft with a heavier stainless steel which traveled truer, with force, and resisted warp. The line, I immediately replaced with a thicker cord which proved valuable in underwater tug-a-wars with bigger fish. All in all, I'd say try it and see if you don't find it to be an easy yet reliable gun that's good for reef as well as some open water hunts. There may be better guns but not for me. Good luck :)
Added note: Yeah, the Arbalete Champion is a metal gun at 4' and has the red trigger safety mounted on top where a flick of the thumb will lock or unlock readily. Mine says it was made by "Rene Cavalero- Marseille, France". An internet search may give you more info. Aloha nui
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