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Q: Roller speargun recommendation for UK waters & fish?

BigGreenMudMachine

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I did all the research on here and other websites and contracted a bad case of "paralysis by analysis" over roller or not to roller!! Too much info/opinion by too many people! Haha! And a suspicious lack of manufactures actually power/distance/ lbf etc charts.......

Like so much in life I guess practice and experience is key, I went down to Spearfishing store yesterday to compare the rollers and band guns and talk to the guy there, as I'm just starting out Spearfishing I was expecting to get a big sales pitch to buy the whole kit, but the guys there were the complete opposite, very friendly chaps.

Very refreshing to get a lot of time, info and advice from a shop but not pressed into buying anything :) I came away with the Apnea ST 75, can't wait to get in the water and try it out, I know I'll be getting another gun or two in the future and when I know what I'm doing and can look back on experience I may get a roller gun.

Anyone here had a go moulding their own lead weights??
 
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Mr. X

Mr. X

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I like the idea of knots instead of beads. The simple overhand knot is surprisingly strong and versatile. I've even abseiled/ rappelled on 2 ropes joined by a single double-rope overhand knot; seems crazy dangerous but it works and far less likely to jam than traditonal rope-joining knots. It featured in the impressive Petzl catalog several years ago.

I've heard of others using a double-figure8 for the same purpose. I might try a double overhand knot ("surgeon's knot"? " Surgeon-style stopper?), It's a bit bigger.

The American rubbers I use were supposedly developed for castrating cattle. Ooh.
 
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Mr. X

Mr. X

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Welcome big green, a 75 or 80 cm Apnea ST sounds like a good choice for a beginner in south Devon. I would probably have suggested a single band, ideally 16mm bulk rubber or 16 or 18mm euro rubber (a Whaler, Cressi Pacific or Beuchat Hero perhaps) but the double band gun will just take a bit longer to load, so you'll get more practice loading! :D The 14mm bands should be easy to load too, so that will help keep this enjoyable and pain-free. Good choice :)

You could start with a roller but I don't think most spearos would recommend it. BTW what did the folk in the store say about their rollers, or their customers' feedback in them?
 
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Mr. X

Mr. X

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BTW I believe Foxfish and several of the other Guerns cast their own bullet-shaped weights. Under the watchful eye of our late and greatly missed friend Old Man Dave, Foxfish's brother.

There was also an active member is S. Devon who cast Alton weights. I think he supplied them to one of the Torbay stores, perhaps still does, as the Spearfishing Store carries Alton weights. If you choose to buy rather than make your mould, I suggest getting an Alton mould, or one of the similar models in the same range, they were designed for spearos and freedivers with input from spearos in this forum.
 

BigGreenMudMachine

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Nov 17, 2019
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UK
I like the idea of knots instead of beads. The simple overhand knot is surprisingly strong and versatile. I've even abseiled/ rappelled on 2 ropes joined by a single double-rope overhand knot; seems crazy dangerous but it works and far less likely to jam than traditonal rope-joining knots. It featured in the impressive Petzl catalog several years ago.

I've heard of others using a double-figure8 for the same purpose. I might try a double overhand knot ("surgeon's knot"? " Surgeon-style stopper?), It's a bit bigger.

The American rubbers I use were supposedly developed for castrating cattle. Ooh.
A simple overhand knot is good, but put an extra twist in to form a barrel knot and it's even better ;)
 

BigGreenMudMachine

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Nov 17, 2019
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Welcome big green, a 75 or 80 cm Apnea ST sounds like a good choice for a beginner in south Devon. I would probably have suggested a single band, ideally 16mm bulk rubber or 16 or 18mm euro rubber (a Whaler, Cressi Pacific or Beuchat Hero perhaps) but the double band gun will just take a bit longer to load, so you'll get more practice loading! :D The 14mm bands should be easy to load too, so that will help keep this enjoyable and pain-free. Good choice :)

You could start with a roller but I don't think most spearos would recommend it. BTW what did the folk in the store say about their rollers, or their customers' feedback in them?
The shop stocks 90 or 95 % band guns, that tells you what customers are asking for, and not all manufacturers make roller guns (yet?) I'm too new to this to have any opinions yet!
 

foxfish

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A roller gun offers undisputed power benefits over a single band gun of the same length but that may not equate to more fish on the table.
Nothing compares to experience and that basically equates to just how close you can get to your target.
In my mind a single band tube gun is the best gun to start out with .
Yes home made bullets weighs are the way to go for neatness and comfort, they crimp in place on a rubber belt .
My brother made a mould about 30 years ago and it has made thousands of bullets, the mould has traveled around the U.K. but is now retired in my shed as it has finally developed a few hairline fractures.
 
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popgun pete

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I cast most of my weights using a "Sea Hornet" mold made of alloy that the company used to sell. A thick wall alloy saucepan was used over a gas torch to heat the scrap lead.

If you want to understand rollerguns look at the basic rollergun diagram thread.
 

BigGreenMudMachine

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Nov 17, 2019
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UK
I cast most of my weights using a "Sea Hornet" mold made of alloy that the company used to sell. A thick wall alloy saucepan was used over a gas torch to heat the scrap lead.

If you want to understand rollerguns look at the basic rollergun diagram thread.
I may have a go at casting my own weights, straightforward metal foundry work for a bloke in a shed with a blowtorch :)

I've read this and other websites front to back and the physics of a roller setup makes perfect sense, I'm just going to get practice with a standard band gun first as they've been perfectly good for centuries and rollers are more expensive. And I'm poor :(

But I'm aware that Spearos end up with a selection of guns and if I take to this sport then I'm sure I'll invest in one!

The old Nimrod Gaucho I was given MAY still be serviceable as a small band gun thanks to the advice of the guys at Spearfishingstore. We shall see!
 

BigGreenMudMachine

New Member
Nov 17, 2019
14
2
3
36
UK
I like the idea of knots instead of beads. The simple overhand knot is surprisingly strong and versatile. I've even abseiled/ rappelled on 2 ropes joined by a single double-rope overhand knot; seems crazy dangerous but it works and far less likely to jam than traditonal rope-joining knots. It featured in the impressive Petzl catalog several years ago.

I've heard of others using a double-figure8 for the same purpose. I might try a double overhand knot ("surgeon's knot"? " Surgeon-style stopper?), It's a bit bigger.

The American rubbers I use were supposedly developed for castrating cattle. Ooh.
Also, this has been bugging me now, if you abseil down two ropes (one working line, one back up) that are attached via one kot at the top then you're still only abseiling on effectivly one rope due to the problem of what happens if the knot fails....... I don't want to sound pedantic, it's just that I cringe if I see "safety" that's not actually safe! :LOL:
 

popgun pete

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The “Gaucho” guns don't float after the shot because the rear half of the gun floods due to the pull rods used in the remote trigger arrangement. The trigger mechanism pulls a rod out from under the sear lever, relatch is accomplished by the sear lever being pushed back on a slot to escape the rod before being moved forward when latching is complete. Nemrod reused some parts from the Silver series pneumatic guns to make the "Gaucho" guns and they did not float either.
 
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BigGreenMudMachine

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Nov 17, 2019
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UK
The “Gaucho” guns don't float after the shot because the rear half of the gun floods due to the pull rods used in the remote trigger arrangement. The trigger mechanism pulls a rod out from under the sear lever, relatch is accomplished by the sear lever being pushed back on a slot to escape the rod before being moved forward when latching is complete. Nemrod reused some parts from the Silver series pneumatic guns to make the "Gaucho" guns and they did not float either.
Thanks for the tip :) it's all these nuggets of info I'm absorbing! In you're experience does anyone use "antique" spearguns like the Gaucho or do they get hung on walls and replacements bought?
 

popgun pete

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Thanks for the tip :) it's all these nuggets of info I'm absorbing! In you're experience does anyone use "antique" spearguns like the Gaucho or do they get hung on walls and replacements bought?
They tend to be hung on walls as finding a replacement spear can be very difficult if you lose it. There will always be people who try them out and the thick shooting line originally supplied will not easily break, but the spears can be bent and tips damaged.
 
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Mr. X

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Also, this has been bugging me now, if you abseil down two ropes (one working line, one back up) that are attached via one kot at the top then you're still only abseiling on effectivly one rope due to the problem of what happens if the knot fails....... I don't want to sound pedantic, it's just that I cringe if I see "safety" that's not actually safe! :LOL:
No, that's not how it works. I'm talking about descending real multi-pitch rock faces and mountains. There is no back-up or safety rope. The ropes are joined and go around a boulder/ spike/ etc. Or through a tape loop or rappel ring/krab on a tape sling. It allows you to descend one full pitch or rope length at a time. You must then recover the ropes to descend the next pitch, failure to recover both ropes can have very serious consequences. Failure to ascend and descend quickly can also have serious consequences.
 

BigGreenMudMachine

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No, that's not how it works. I'm talking about descending real multi-pitch rock faces and mountains. There is no back-up or safety rope. The ropes are joined and go around a boulder/ spike/ etc. Or through a tape loop or rappel ring/krab on a tape sling. It allows you to descend one full pitch or rope length at a time. You must then recover the ropes to descend the next pitch, failure to recover both ropes can have very serious consequences. Failure to ascend and descend quickly can also have serious consequences.
Ahh I'm with you now - two ropes joined lengthwise :) I thought you were talking about an industrial abseiling twin rope set up not rock climbing :)
 

popgun pete

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Because the spear tail does not roll the sear lever back in a pivoting yoke movement, which is the usual method, there is no backing projection on the sear lever located behind the sear tooth. Instead the spear tail presses against the rear wall of the sear box which stops the shaft tail notch in the correct location for the sear tooth to pop up into it.
Gaucho diagram.jpg
Gaucho mechanism.jpg
 
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BigGreenMudMachine

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Fantastic! I
Because the spear tail does not roll the sear lever back in a pivoting yoke movement, which is the usual method, there is no backing projection on the sear lever located behind the sear tooth. Instead the spear tail presses against the rear wall of the sear box which stops the shaft tail notch in the correct location for the sear tooth to pop up into it.
View attachment 55280View attachment 55281
Fantastic! I googled Nimrod Guacho and didn't find any diagrams like that, have you got any more you could send me or send me a link for??
 
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Mr. X

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Well, Santa arrived a bit early for me, dropping off my new spearguns :) Man the package was worryingly heavy! Then I remember, I bought a 1kg lead weight too :D

First impressions (Apnea Amarok 95cm roller speargun): Actually the Amorak 95 roller speargun itself is quite heavy and very muzzle-heavy out of water - much more than the non-roller version, as best I can recall. Had I tried lifting this one in the store I likely would not have bought it, at least not in this size. I likely would likely have checked out the smallest version, 75cm, to see how that felt or bought the non-roller version, which I have handled. Perhaps best to stick to shorter sizes for rollerguns? Just hope that PU barrel covering helps it balance better in the water, fingers crossed everybody. If not, I may need to fit a bi-pod at the front end! :D

Also bear in mind though that I have only used superlight, carbon-barreled Omer XXVs for the last several years, compared to which any non-carbon speargun would feel heavy.

That said, otherwise I am otherwise loving the Amarok, it exudes quality. Loving the cuttlefish PU barrel coating, sharp-looking anatomic pistol grip. The grip feels good and I think it will feel even better with gloves on, plenty of room. It came fully rigged* (thank heaven!) and with my favourite style of muzzle bungee (rubber bone). And a double-wrap too I think, good choice I would think, considering the expected power. The spear quality looks exceptionally good, I am seriously impressed, nicer than my Rob Allen and Omer spears even, and they have nice spears. All steel trigger mech and line release, as expect, I guess that increase weight, hadn't considered that before. No butt clip but a nice solid looking bar inside the handle to tie into, will likely add my own cord and orcas swivel-clip, as I did for my Omers. Unexpectedly, it has a rotary dial on top of the trigger mech. near the front, not sure what its for but I'm guessing adjustable trigger tension??? Not a big fan of tacked on, unnecessary feature like this but perhaps it will turn out to be a blessing.

* Actually not sure about the rigging. Cord ends were frayed not melted (sorted that myself already) and the muzzle bungee is tied into the fairly insubstantial front line guide (which is more substantial than my Omers had, before I removed them :) ). I don't think line-guides are designed for that kind of tension (?), I may refit it later, perhaps to the very substantial looking metal roller axle/spacer just behind it. I'm hoping for big fish with this speargun!

Moving on...
 
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Mr. X

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First Impressions (Apnea ST 60cm speargun - with 2x14mm rubbers): Again, surprisingly heavy, especially for a such a diminutive speargun. Again, a super-nice spear - probably responsible for a significant chunk of the weight. Unexpectedly all metal trigger and mech (as far as I can tell). This wasn't mentioned in the product description, they looked metal in the pictures but I assumed they were likely grey plastic, so nice surprise (although at this price, to be expected I think). Again the quality, metal parts likely add to the overall mass (weight). Nice barrel, like the Whaler model, the rail is smoothly integrated with the barrel, unlike the Rob Allen railguns; not an improvement, just a difference I think. I've gone off rails, especially for shorter spearguns, because of the increase side profile and consequent lateral drag. But like many others, it was a feature I looked for early on.

It comes with spear-line and muzzle bungee (of my preferred kind) but they have not been fitted this time. The package also includes crimps (y) That's ok I can handle this more traditional set-up myself :D The package also includes two pieces of red-and-white cord, I haven't figured out what those are for yet (suggestions welcomed?), perhaps spare wishbone cord or constrictor cord but it is unlike those cords already fitted. I'm thinking maybe spare wishbone cord. Nice muzzle. I didn't care for Apnea's open-muzzle on the original Amarok and current Whalers.

I'm looking forward to using it :)

First impression (Cressi Cherokee magnetic muzzle): cool design, smaller than I expected, looks like it will only handle smaller rubbers, 14mm, maybe 16mm but I think 18/19/20mm would be difficult to fit and might even break it. It looks like the magnet(s) and hidden under a small cover in the middle of the rail. I might try fitting it to the Amarok if the roller doesn't work out (but I hope and expect it will). Comes with 2 O-rings fitted and a plastic rod to secure it in the barrel tube.


First impression (Apnea New Generation reel): Hard to get excited about a matt black piece of plastic but it looks comparable to most other reels I've seen. The winding-handle folds up out of the way. The open spool like is like RAs, so presumably will help the line drain and dry, just like the RA reel :) A metal line-guide slides up-and-down a plastic guide-guide(?). Not overly light but not over heavy, without line. Once filled and fitted, it will add weight to these already quite heavy spearguns, so I now wonder if I will ever fit it. Perhaps get a bracket to fit it to my weight belt? Early days. Not sure which speargun might most benefit from this (if any!), suggestions, thoughts?
 
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