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Oilrig Spearing!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
May 20, 2004
Hey ya'll! Been lurkin for a while, finally registered:D

Quick intro: My name is Yan, I'm 20 years young and I live in Dallas TX where I go to college, but sadly am far away from any good spearing waters:waterwork. I'm a relative n00b when it comes to spearing, been out in the ocean a couple times, never got anything too big...

Now to the good stuff. I'm making a trip down to the TX coast later in the summer to do some spearing around the oilrigs in the gulf. I've seen several posts about rig spearing, so I figure I've got plenty to learn from you vets;).

My speargun is a 80cm Rabitech CF Railgun, newly purchased from Florida Freedivers when they were on clearance on e-bay. 100 bucks isn't too bad of a deal from what I've researched on these bad boys. The trip isn't until later in the summer, and since all I can think about is it:D, I'd be thankful if you guys could satiate my curiosity

Questions for you BAMF spearos:

-What prey is suitable for my gun, an 80cm Rabitech stealth CF railgun? Factory configuration with single 20mm band. What type of range and penetration can I expect from it? I don't wanna injure any fish that I don't have to.

-Since I've got most of a summer to dream of spearing, lets put this wasted energy to work and talk MODS!!! I'm planning on adding either a Floatline, possibly breakaway, or a reel. Keep in mind that I'll be initially fishing around a rig, so pilings could pose a problem with tangling lines. While my initial trip will be to an oilrig, I'll eventually be hunting around other areas, so a versatile rig would be good. Suggestions?

-Anyone have any extra info? Any safety concerns around the rigs other then not getting tangled up or pulled into pilings covered with sharp things? Any hunting tips?

Thanks for the help ya'll. Can't wait to go! Spearfishing is great, I've never encountered such a fun, challenging, and gratifying sport. I've got alot to learn:D! Peace!

I am not expert of oil rig hunting but can say that 80cm gun is bit small for those monster fishes... May be 120-130 suits better.

Rigdvr knows more about it, if he miss the thread send him a pm;)
Dont worry about the size of the gun, just get good shots. Most rig fish are curious. The mid sized (20-40#) AJ's will swim right up to you. I regullarly kill them with my 50" hybrid. Snapper have an extremely hard gill plate and you would need to get pretty close to the bigger ones with that gun. Mangroves stay closer to the surface and will be good to hone your stalking skills on.

As for hunting tips....If you are on a rig deep enough to hold AJ's, dive to 30-50 feet or wherever you are comfortable hanging for a while and just drift. This often brings the aj's up from depth...no sense diving 80-100' if you dont have to. Alway look for a cobia when you first hit the water. They are very curious and will often come right up to you to inspect the splash. Do be careful and do use cable as your shooting line...mono will not hold in the rigs.

Use the rig to your advantage. Get on the down current side and get in the eddy of a leg while breathing up to save energy. When a fish you are stalking wont let you close enough get a leg between you and him and then close the distance while he cant see you. Have fun. Be aware. Learn something every dive.
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Rig’s advice is good. On a float line verses a reel, I prefer a float line, because if a fish dives deep after you spear it, it may wrap up the reel line and you won’t have enough line left to make it to the surface. Then you would have to drop the gun, which means you may lose it if the rig is in deeper water than you can dive, which likely it will be. With a float and float line, the gun shouldn’t sink deeper than the length of the line.

Speaking of losing guns, you should always approach rig diving with the realization you could lose your gun and you can afford to lose it if necessary. It’s just better to have this already thought out, because when and if the time ever comes, you need to calmly let go of the gun and swim to the surface. Rational decisions like that are difficult when your at low O2 and haven’t pre-thought it through.

Regardless how warm the water is you need full body protection to dive the rigs. Have fun, and if at all possible get someone who has some experience to go with you.
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Thanks for the info guys

Thanks for reassuring me that it's not the size of my gun, but how i use it. LoL. Good fish-specific tips, I'll practice on the mangroves like you suggested if they'll oblige me.

I was leaning towards the float line myself. Would'nt fish diving and wrapping up the line still be a problem? How would a vinyl float line hold up to abrasion on the rig? I would much rather loose gear than my life, Thanks for the heads up.

I currently have mono on my rabitech, where can I get cable? What about that dyneema stuff? I'll probly put an order in sometime for spearing stuff. cable crimps, crimper, extra line/cable, extra shaft, band material, band making supplies. Any good places to get this kinda stuff?

Sorry for inundating you guys with questions, but I figure there's no use in reinventing the wheel.

Wrapping up the float line is a problem, but most of the time you can eventually unwrap it. This fish and your gear cannot get lower than the length of the float line. If you have to drop your gun to surface with a reel, the gun may sink deeper than your diving ability.

A likely scenario with a float line is the fish runs into the rig and weaves through both some vertical and horizontal pole structure. The depth at where the fish and shaft is, is not that deep so by diving inside of the rig you can reach it. You don’t have to unweave it all in one dive. If you make some progress each dive, eventually it will be untangled.

spearfishinggear.com sells dyneema and the most of the supplies you mentioned at prices that are usually a little lower than their competition.
Man o man Don...how much you have learned in the last couple of years:D I remember a man that tried to reinvent several wheels;)

I do prefer a floatline as well in most situations. I have of late taken to hunting with a reel. I would recommend to everyone starting out to use a float. It will save your gear and possibly your life.

Jug...those mangos are tough cookies. As a school they are quick learners...shoot a couple and then youll wonder where the rest went. They have a habit of rolling on their side when you approach which makes shot placement difficult. They are alot of fun. Get out there, shoot fish, have fun. Then start paying attention to things like angles, shot placement, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck and safe hunting.
Yea I’m getting more conservative in my old freediving age! ;) I still use the inflatable float in certain circumstance. Like when shooting mangrove/grey snappers that are swimming around the outside of the legs fairly deep. The best stalking method I have found it to dive inside of the rig and go underneath cross members coming out the backside of a leg they are using as a turning point. Without a float line I can take the shot and keep swimming out and surface on the outside without dodging cross members on the way up. A reel would work to.

On the outside of the rig I definitely prefer a float line now. Now that I am getting deeper, I really like to tie the float line to the gun without a breakaway and drop the gun and surface with hands above the head. On a deep dive the reduce drag of the narrower shoulders feels much better. It shortens the “I hope I make it” time in the last 30 feet, substantially. :D

Yan, I forgot to answer your float line material question. Something like nylon cord covered in vinyl tubing works good. The vinyl tubing really protects it well. There are some old threads telling you how to make it, but the main trick is to duck tape a vacuum cleaner to the end of the tube to help suck the cord through while you push.
you might want to check out spearboard.com its a great place to meet other spearos and catch rides out to the rigs.
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