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Need help choosing new bands for my gun

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

Member
Nov 17, 2019
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Hi all. I have a Cressi Cherokee Open speargun, which came with a single 17mm band, but is capable of using two bands. The 17mm band just broke, and I want to put two bands on it now. The shaft is 6.5mm, so I'm guessing two 17mm bands would be too much power for the shaft? On the Cressi product page, they show the gun with two 16mm bands in one of the small images in the right column. That still seems like it might be too much? Any suggestions on what diameter bands I should use? Also, what's the difference between small ID and regular ID bands? Thanks.
 
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Diving Gecko

shooter & shooter
Jun 24, 2008
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Short answer is 2x14mm small ID and perhaps move to a 7mm shaft.

Small ID rubbers have a smaller inner bore so in effect a small ID band will have more rubber in it for the same nominal outer size. That’s one of the reason you can go down in size when going to small ID.
Also, they tend to run at higher stretch factors meaning the band will be shorter and thus, its effective pull will be longer.

Don’t ever trust what a brand like Cressi or Omer show as their standard setup. Chances are they never tested it but are swayed by what they think people want to see. And only now, are many more spearos beginning to realize that going down in band size is often better than going up. But I speculate that the manufacturers think that putting smaller bands on their guns will hurt their sales as customers might think it doesn’t look very powerful.





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MauiBen

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Nov 17, 2019
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Thanks for the excellent answer! I'll try 2x14mm small ID. I would definitely like to go to a different shaft, but I figure I'll wait until I damage this one. The only thing I don't like about the gun is that the shaft overhangs the muzzle by quite a bit. I don't know why they designed it that way, but it defeats the purpose of having a short 75cm gun for hole hunting.
 
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Diving Gecko

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Jun 24, 2008
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I reckon the shaft is 40cm longer than your designated gun length. So, probably a 115cm shaft?
The +40cm was the standard for a long time and still is for many brands. I never fully understood why either as I started spearing just about the time when shorter overhangs become more widely available - probably mostly seen in Pathos guns with their +30cm shafts and the barb resting on the muzzle.

The reasons I have heard apart from just habit is that some people find it easier to aim with the help of the longer overhang. Also, I read some older explanations that the mass in the overhang would help counter wobble in the shaft as it got fired. But since most modern guns use rails I can’t really subscribe to that argument.
On a gun that short, with a shaft that light if you really are just shooting holes a lot of people would tell you to just stick to one rubber for the simplicity of it.

I’m thinking perhaps ask the shop where you intend to buy your bands to check the real thickness of them. The bands may not always be the size they are called and can vary +/-0.3mm or so. I’d say, rather go under 14mm than much over if you had to choose.

But maybe SpearQ8 will weigh in, too. He has done quite a lot of tests on these rubbers and differently sized guns. Though he may not have done anything as short as yours.
What you could do is search youtube for his video on a Pathos 82 roller that he eventually put double bands on for comparison to the roller. In that video he would have shared the exact size shaft and bands so you could use that as a guideline for now. I think that video should turn up if you search for something like “Pathos roller test” by SpearQ8 or Majd.


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MauiBen

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I do like the simplicity of a single band, but I feel it's slightly underpowered, and I'm not purely hole hunting either. Sometimes I need to make medium distance shots and worry about penetration on something like a large ling cod.
 

Mr. X

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You broke a band?!!! Was it badly perished?

Are you spearing in Hawaii or California?

Beginners usually worry about being underpowered but that is rarely a problem. Especially for a "hole gun"! The length and overall "balance" of the speargun (e.g. accuracy, ease of and speed of loading, smoothness of release, etc.) is more important IMHO.

Thanks for the link BTW ;) From that I see you are likely already using rubber loops with Dyneema wishbone (y) rather than screw-in rubbers (dare I call them old-fashioned now?! ;) ).

I quite like the answers already given. The spearguns I have used (in GB) had spears of diameter: 6.6mm, 6.3, 6.3, 6.6, 6.6 - so in the same range as yours. I have tried the following configurations of rubbers: 1x16mm (small inner hole), 1x20mm (small inner hole), 1 x 18mm (screw-in rubbers, so large or very large inner hole), 1x15mm (small inner hole) and 2x14mm (3mm large inner hole). I also have a few more combinations lined up for trial in the future!

Based on the above:
1x20mm was unpleasant (and I've tried it on at least 2 different spearguns) when new and it worked better on 75mm than 90mm (not recommended by me)
1x18mm big hole/screw-in was fine. (tried on 2 spearguns)
1x16mm is my preferred set-up currently (tried on 3 different spearguns)
1x15mm --------ditto---------------------------------- (tried on one speargun)
2x14mm seems pretty good so far(tried on 1 speargun, only 60cm long though) but double bands slow down loading and contributes to tangles, esp. with you try to take advantage of the extra power by using a double wrap (suggest single wrap, or possibly a Cameron Kirkconnel style 1.5 wraps if using a reel - see youtube for details ;)

So I guess my recommendation would be:
1x16mm small hole bulk rubber with a single wrap of speargun - beautifully simple and cheap.

Failing that 1x15mm, or 1x16mm or 1x18mm with a 3mm hole.
Or, for double bands, 2x14 or 2x15 with either size hole. 1 wrap or, maybe, 1.5 wraps of spear-line. I think 2x16mm would overpower your spear; RA equip with 7.5mm spear for 2x16mm.

Where are
 
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DiveHacker

Active Member
Jun 17, 2020
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I am new so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I saw Rob Allen himself say he woulda made his overhangs as short as possible (I am paraphrasing), but the markets want longer overhangs, I take it especially the American and perhaps Aussie markets. I like the advice of 30cm longer than your gun number.

Two small ID 14mm bands are ideal it would seem. You could of course only use one band. But for power and accuracy with 7mm shafts and under it seems to be those are the way to go. I bought ten feet of the14mm small id stuff off of spearit.

I think the stock guns are simply just banded up to sell and not necessarily for performance. If they think they will sell more with 16mm bands, that is what they put, and I can't say I blame them. I would like to see stock setups more idealized though.
 
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Mr. X

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Re. overhang, I used to feel the same way about my first speargun, a 90cm speargun which was much, much longer than 90cm overall. But I now think it is a good thing, although perhaps not essential in smaller sizes and/or if you have a rail. Some Australian retailers require the 40cm overhang or is it a spear 40cm longer than the specified barrel length, always get confused over that, the latter I think(?). I expect @Rob Allen could provide more insight about spear overhangs than most.

My current spearguns have a slightly shorter overhangs than is traditional I think:
  • My 2 Omer XXVs both overhang the muzzle by about 25cm (they were originally specified to have spears 5cm shorter than traditional for each size I think) they seem to work well but tend to be used for taking snap shots at relatively small, fast moving fish, rather than highly accurate long range shots, so a shorter, light spear makes sense (less lateral drag and mass). The spear on the 90cm speargun is only 110cm. No rail on either.
  • My Apnea Amarok 95 (pretty much a 90cm speargun) has approx. 20cm overhang but the spear is the full 130cm traditional length. The explanation is that it has a reverse trigger mech, which pulls the spear back onboard another 5cm approx. Railed.
  • My little Apnea ST60 has only 12.5cm of overhang it also has a reverse trigger mech. and a rail. I think this spear is too small, as the muzzle line interferes with the spear flopper; not a big deal but a spear at least one cm longer or, better yet ,an inch or 2 longer would have been better really IMHO.
I think if you are targeting bigger fish, in clearer water, you might be glad of that extra length and mass.

Yes for caves/holes a short spear, perhaps stouter and threaded with a replaceable multi-prong tip (see Omer/Epsealon cave guns models) but that is quite specialized, unless you have multiple spearguns or will only be targeting close in shots (e.g. cave/hole/gulley/wreck). Some of the very inexpensive Apnea models seem targeted at such use (i.e. you probably don't really need a really nice, fancy speargun for such short range applications).
 
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DivingNomad

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2015
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Some Australian retailers require the 40cm overhang or is it a spear 40cm longer than the specified barrel length, always get confused over that, the latter I think(?

It is 40cm added to the gun barrel length giving you around 27cm overhang. As an example, a 90cm barrel length gun will required 130cm shaft and if you measure the overhang extending from the tip of the muzzle to the spear tip, it will be around 27cm.

I find that adding a 40cm to the barrel length for shorter guns, 75cm and shorter, makes the gun cumbersome and doesn't really suit the purpose of a shorter gun, hunt in holes and caves, in my experiences. For ≤ 75cm gun, it should be 30cm at the most.
 
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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I don't know about Cameron's youtube channel, but way I get 1.5 wraps is to screw a line anchor to the mid point of the bottom of the gun. I do one wrap around the line anchor under the muzzle, and then the second wrap just around the one in the middle. Of course this is one more reason I use nothing but wood guns. Screwing a line anchor to the middle of a pipe gun or carbon fiber gun might be a problem.
 

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Mr. X

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The increasingly popular reverse trigger mechanisms complicate things by moving the spear 5cm further back on the speargun.

Part of the reason for the extra length is to help prevent the spear drooping in the middle on long rail-less barrels. Interesting though that RA railguns typically have the traditional extra 40cm, even though they have a rail supporting most of the spear. Perhaps this is partly so that users of other spearguns feel at home and remain accurate when switching to a railgun, without the need for a long transition period. Probably the reason the Oz dealers have required this too.

Shorter spears are cheaper to make/buy and to ship. So there is an incentive for less scrupulous manufacturers/suppliers to provide shorter spears than might be optimal for spearing. Another reason the Oz suppliers might require +40cm spears.
 
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Mr. X

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I can't figure out how to do that and I couldn't find the video on Cameron's youtube channel.
Might be on Florida Freedivers channel, he did a video for them. He has at least two different reel rigging videos.
 
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Mr. X

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Bill's, approach works. I think Hammerhead used to sell a sharkfin hook intended to be used much as Bill shows.

If I recall correctly, I think Cameron just added an extra barrel length to the spearline and then tied that into the reel line, near the reel.

Unlike Rob Allen's approach, changing to a regular non-reel configuration is not practical with this approach, without cutting the spearline shorter. But it can be used instead with a break-away rig, if you are Bluewater hunting.


See below @9 minutes in ;)
 
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MauiBen

Member
Nov 17, 2019
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You broke a band?!!! Was it badly perished?

Are you spearing in Hawaii or California?

Beginners usually worry about being underpowered but that is rarely a problem. Especially for a "hole gun"! The length and overall "balance" of the speargun (e.g. accuracy, ease of and speed of loading, smoothness of release, etc.) is more important IMHO.

Thanks for the link BTW ;) From that I see you are likely already using rubber loops with Dyneema wishbone (y) rather than screw-in rubbers (dare I call them old-fashioned now?! ;) ).

I quite like the answers already given. The spearguns I have used (in GB) had spears of diameter: 6.6mm, 6.3, 6.3, 6.6, 6.6 - so in the same range as yours. I have tried the following configurations of rubbers: 1x16mm (small inner hole), 1x20mm (small inner hole), 1 x 18mm (screw-in rubbers, so large or very large inner hole), 1x15mm (small inner hole) and 2x14mm (3mm large inner hole). I also have a few more combinations lined up for trial in the future!

Based on the above:
1x20mm was unpleasant (and I've tried it on at least 2 different spearguns) when new and it worked better on 75mm than 90mm (not recommended by me)
1x18mm big hole/screw-in was fine. (tried on 2 spearguns)
1x16mm is my preferred set-up currently (tried on 3 different spearguns)
1x15mm --------ditto---------------------------------- (tried on one speargun)
2x14mm seems pretty good so far(tried on 1 speargun, only 60cm long though) but double bands slow down loading and contributes to tangles, esp. with you try to take advantage of the extra power by using a double wrap (suggest single wrap, or possibly a Cameron Kirkconnel style 1.5 wraps if using a reel - see youtube for details ;)

So I guess my recommendation would be:
1x16mm small hole bulk rubber with a single wrap of speargun - beautifully simple and cheap.

Failing that 1x15mm, or 1x16mm or 1x18mm with a 3mm hole.
Or, for double bands, 2x14 or 2x15 with either size hole. 1 wrap or, maybe, 1.5 wraps of spear-line. I think 2x16mm would overpower your spear; RA equip with 7.5mm spear for 2x16mm.

Where are

I'm from Maui, but I live in California now. I like the idea of trying a Rob Allen 7mm shaft with two 14mm bands. If I don't like it, I'll go back to the original config, which worked well enough. My previous gun, which I still have, is a Pathos Laser Open 75. It's a good gun except for the damn line release, which is tiny and way too hard to hook the line on with gloved hands. I did like having two bands on it though. One band for shooting point blank into a hole, and two bands for medium range shots at a free-swimming blue rockfish or the like.
 
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Mr. X

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Good choice ;) The new Sparid Evo looks pretty darn good to me:

Also, 2x14mm was practically invented in Hawaii!

The Turkish Apnea ST provides something quite similar albeit cheaper with somewhat lighter construction, thinner 6.6mm spear and larger (3mm) hole rubbers.

If you anticipate encountering a lot of very big/tough/powerful fish or you are making the trip of a lifetime, the RA is definitely the way to go. Their service is also second to none - well worth having in my experience. But the ST is probably more than adequate otherwise.

The ST seemed to be available in mainly in smaller sizes in the UK 60-90cm I think but I expect it's available in 100, 110 and maybe 120cm too (?). I have a 60 but I think this would be awesome as a 90 or 100.

Rob Allen railguns tend to be stocked in sizes appropriate to the country selling them but 70-160cm seem to be their range but they once told me they can make them to any length I want (I was thinking a 50cm might be handy for caves/holes/wrecks).

Mako sell their own brand of ZA style railguns in the USA and might have something similar available Both Rob Allen and Dano from Mako are DeeperBlue.com forum members.

The short Apnea Whaler roller spearguns seem like they mightoffer an interesting and unusual option. Available 35cm, 45cm, 60?, 75?, 85--ish? 90?. Spearfishingstore.co.uk still had a 35cm and a 45cm last time I checked, all other sizes sold out. Hard to imagine a speargun that short esp. as a roller. But the roller and reverse trigger at least makes the most on the diminutive barrel.
 
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Mr. X

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I am new so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I saw Rob Allen himself say he woulda made his overhangs as short as possible (I am paraphrasing), but the markets want longer overhangs, I take it especially the American and perhaps Aussie markets. I like the advice of 30cm longer than your gun number...
I asked him something similar, maybe 14 years ago (so his thinking may well have evolved in the meantime) and he said probably ok to go 10cm shorter.

But we've had forum members complain when a shorter spear had thrown off their aiming technique. See my earlier comments re. Oz importers.

Also, reducing spear length also reduces spear mass (and muzzle end weight :), possibly increasing recoil effects). I wonder if RA would switch to a thicker spear if they reduced the spear length by much more than 10cm? E.g. shorten spear by 20cm-30cm but switch from 7mm to 7.5mm diameter? I think they probably would, they seem to balance their configurations.
 

Diving Gecko

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Jun 24, 2008
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I'm from Maui, but I live in California now. I like the idea of trying a Rob Allen 7mm shaft with two 14mm bands. If I don't like it, I'll go back to the original config, which worked well enough. My previous gun, which I still have, is a Pathos Laser Open 75. It's a good gun except for the damn line release, which is tiny and way too hard to hook the line on with gloved hands. I did like having two bands on it though. One band for shooting point blank into a hole, and two bands for medium range shots at a free-swimming blue rockfish or the like.

If that Pathos has the line release which is just a pin dropping into the handle during the shot, you can actually make it a tad longer without it snagging. I can’t recall if it’s 3mm rod but get some in the same size, bend it to match the original and make it about 1-2mm longer. Doesn’t sound like much but makes a lot of real world difference.

Then if you really wanna check whether it’s still short enough to not snag the line during release you take a few shots with an actioncam pointed at the handle and review the footage. Best to set the cam to its highest possible frame rate (most slowmo).
I had a former Pathos dealer tell me that Pathos had tested the release and it had the perfect length and shouldn’t be extended. Well, I did it and checked on the GoPro and... he was wrong. I’ve been taking hundreds of shots on that gun with no issues;-).
So, now I can easily fit two wraps on that gun which used to be a real hassle. So much for yet another Euro brand testing their products thoroughly.
(This is for the d’Angelo 1 handle, your mileage may vary).


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