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Rabitech Spearguns

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2004
I'm looking to buy a speargun for south Florida. I recently moved here from Virginia beach, and i didn't need to use these silly band guns. But since, you have to shoot 15+ feet away, i guess i have no choice but to buy one. I hear nothing but good things about Rabitech Spear guns. Money is not an issue. I want a really good gun for the area.

The Rabitech Apex seems to be a top choice gun for my area from what Ive researched. Now my dilemma is, i dont know what length gun i need to get. 100cm or 110 or 120cm? How far can 100cm gun shoot with actually penetrating a fish? Do i need 2 16mm bands or one 20mm band is strong enough? Whats the advantages and disadvantages of 1 20mm and 2 16mm bands? I will be free diving around 50 - 90 ft in about 20-40 feet visibility.

Anyone have a Rabitech Apex? if so, how do you like it? Any complaints?


For some reason, you seem to be the 2nd Greek on this board that also relocated to Boca. Frogman or Angelos is also Greek and dives regularly in Boca. You should get in touch with him for further details on freediving and spearing in the area.

Now to your original question, I own a 120cm Rabitech Apex. I love the gun. I initially had two 16mm bands, but soon replaced them with a Medium length 20mm band (~28 inches). I would recommend you change to a single 20mm band once you get comfortable with loading the ZA railguns. The advantages are quickness in loading and for the waters you'll be hunting in, will still give you plenty of power to hit fish from afar and still penetrate them.

For your area, I would recommend the 120cm length although, the 110 is still plenty good. I have both sizes. The Apex is extremely light in the water and very easy to handle and manuvere. The accuracy is superb just like the Rob Allens. If you want further info regarding these guns, I suggest contacting the folks at www.sumora.com or send a PM to Forum Member, "Miles". He's a South African spearo with tons of experience and I'm sure he'll be able to help you out more than I can. Good luck on your future purchase and dive with caution.

You may also want to perform search on this web site for "Rabitech". There have been several threads discussing the pros and cons of this gun.
Hiya Greekdiver

Welcome to DB!!!:D :D

Rolo is spot on with the sizing. As usual!!!:D :D Must get some aiming lessons from him soon!!!:D :D

Anycase, the waters i dive in is very similar to the conditions you've described. 20-80ft and viz also in the 20-40ft range. I use a 115cm Carbon Apex Rabitech, fitted with an omer pelagic reel. Works fabulous for our yellowtail hunting. I'm with Rolo on the whole 2x16's vs single 20mm debate. A single 20mm has more than sufficient power to penetrate a fish at full range.

Alot has to do with the size of fish you are going to be hunting. Rolo will know best regarding that. Unless you're regularly targeting 20kg+ fish, look at a SS 7mm spear with a single 20mm rubber. If the fish are bigger, then a 8mm spear with 2x16mm rubbers. Extra power is needed for the heavier spear.

Regarding availability, check out sumora's website.

Regarding the gun itself, i've got an obscene amount of spearing gear. Most of my guns are Rabitech Apex's and i haven't had any problems with any of them. The only problem was the trigger fitted to one of my guns had some slight rust marks on it. This was replaced and was due to the quality of the metal used in the first batch of guns. That was the FIRST apex sold in SA!!!:D :D Other than that, i'm VERY happy with all my Apex's.

If you've got any queries, please do PM me!!!

Happy shopping!!


ps: Rolo, is it February yet?? :D :D
Rolando and Miles,

I see that most people end up switching to one 20mm band.

What distance can the 120cm Apex shoot at with effectively piercing a fish completely, lets say a 30lb grouper?

Rob Allen guns are just as good as Rabitech? Same quality? I hear more things about Rabitech? Maybe its their marketing? Who knows?

Thanks for the help Miles and Rolando! : )

Where i come from and what kinda spearfishing?

In Virginia beach, i used pneumatic guns and they worked perfect for Chesapeake bay bridge. They load 10x faster than band guns and are extremely powerful. I wouldn't need to shoot farther than 5 feet. The water is so filthy but the fish are so abundant. My uncle has a restaurant so i would stock up his restaurant with Sheepshead mainly. I would shoot roughly 400lbs of sheepshead a day. There isn't any limit on them because very few are actually even caught on hook and line. If people do catch one they usually don't even know what it is....hehe. There are also very few divers in Virginia beach. In a given year, i would see less than 10 divers. My friends and i pretty much have the whole bay to myself ;p

I met Mark. L in Virginia beach but he rarely dives the bay. He must go to North Carolina or dives the Ocean. We went to the same middle school and we just met like 2 months ago. Small world! Hes a real nice guy.
Welcome to Boca. Nice to have another freediver here.
Before you buy a gun you are welcome to try one of my Rob Allens. I have both a 120 and a 130 setup with single band. The Rabitech is very similar (same muzzle/band) but different handle and bonded rail. You can't go wrong with either one. They shoot effectively upto 7-10 feet (I think). In general, I don't like 'Hail-Mary" shots and try to get close shots (but Scott T. may think otherwise about my shot selection :) )


How was your trip? Did you get any big fish? Call me next time, you go fishing in boca. I want to try that gun.
How many different models of RA guns do they make? I only see one model?

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I'm not entirely sure on the range, however, you can probably even reach some fish from 12 feet away or a bit more. I know some folks that will use a short 20mm band and a double wrap mono for them "hail mary" shots.

I go to Virginia often and was not aware one can shoot in the Chesapeake Bay. It was my understanding that it was prohibited or at least in certain areas. Or is it for Strippers? Not sure. I may be going up in the next few weeks and would love to shoot a striper. Any suggestions on shore dives and water temp, regulations this time of year?
I will post a report on my last trip when I get the pics ready. It was great.
Rob Allen basically come in two models that look identical. The only difference is that one has a carbon barrel (Saracen). It is lighter. I like the weight of the standard aluminum barrel with less recoil.
I am sure we will do some diving around here soon.

Originally posted by Rolando

I'm not entirely sure on the range, however, you can probably even reach some fish from 12 feet away or a bit more. I know some folks that will use a short 20mm band and a double wrap mono for them "hail mary" shots.

I go to Virginia often and was not aware one can shoot in the Chesapeake Bay. It was my understanding that it was prohibited or at least in certain areas. Or is it for Strippers? Not sure. I may be going up in the next few weeks and would love to shoot a striper. Any suggestions on shore dives and water temp, regulations this time of year?

Its illegal shoot stripers there anytime of the year. It sucks because Ive seen 50lb stripers. heheh.

You really need a boat to go out on. You wont get anything off the shore. The water is warm and this time of year i dont wear a wetsuit. The bridge carries most of the fish in the bay. The islands (where the bridge goes underwater) doesn't have that much fish on it but its still a fun a dive if clear. Most of the fish you will get this time of the year will be Sheepshead, Spadefish, Tautog, Cobia, Flounder, and Black Drum (if you like shooting them).

I personally think the Chesapeake Bay is the fishing capital of the east coast. They just have so much of every species. TONS of Flounder, Cobia, Stripers, Tautog, Sheepshead, ect...

If you are going to Virginia beach, i might be able to hook u up with some people that go on the weekdays. Its hard to dive in the Chesapeake bay because you could go 2 weeks without diving because of how poor the visibility gets. But when its clear, its the best diving ever!

Here is a picture of where we dive. If you cant get enough of fishing pictures like me, here is a link to all my pictures.

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I'm having some difficulty understanding the Rabitech technology. To begin with how are these guns sized? Does 140 cm refer to overall length or rubber pull length? I assume it is overall because a 140 cm overall length would be 4.6 feet (?) This is a 'bluewater' gun? But maybe it's barrel length or shaft length? We left plated spring steel shafts and stainless arrows behind twenty years ago. American made guns normally come equipped with stainless spring steel. This material is virtually rust free and extremely strong under torsion or torque. In the US, it has been long recognized that an open or semi open muzzle is easier to sight (or 'gap shoot') on long shots. The target is not blotted out for those with that style of shooting. The Rabitech muzzle is not easy to make out from pictures but it looks similar to the old arbalette muzzle. I couldn't hit consistently with the arbalette due to sight picture problems. I'm sure that some could, however. A wood gun has good buoyancy and makes for easy mounting of accessories like reels. To some freedivers a floating gun is invaluable. How is the Rabitech in that regard? Is a '3/4 inch rubber hard to stretch without a cocking stock? How much tension does it have? I'm a former AAU weightlifter and curious about who is cocking this rubber.
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Originally posted by peskydor
I'm having some difficulty understanding the Rabitech technology. To begin with how are these guns sized? Does 140 cm refer to overall length or rubber pull length? I assume it is overall because a 140 cm overall length would be 4.6 feet (?) This is a 'bluewater' gun? But maybe it's barrel length or shaft length?
140cm refers to barrel length. I have a couple Rabitech Stealths & a quick measurement shows that they are 23cm longer overall compared to barrel length. That makes would make the 140cm model 163cm overall, a tad over 64 inches.

Originally posted by peskydor
We left plated spring steel shafts and stainless arrows behind twenty years ago. American made guns normally come equipped with stainless spring steel. This material is virtually rust free and extremely strong under torsion or torque.
There are many factors that go into choosing shaft material. I love 17-4 steel, but I also use Rob Allen shafts that are half the price & have lasted forever. I haven't had to replace a Rabitech shaft yet... though I did permanently bend a Rob Allen shaft when a large trevally got tangled in the reef. I did the same with a 17/64" 17-4 Riffe Euro shaft and at $50, the Riffe sure hurt my wallet a lot more. :(

Originally posted by peskydor
In the US, it has been long recognized that an open or semi open muzzle is easier to sight (or 'gap shoot') on long shots. The target is not blotted out for those with that style of shooting. The Rabitech muzzle is not easy to make out from pictures but it looks similar to the old arbalette muzzle. I couldn't hit consistently with the arbalette due to sight picture problems. I'm sure that some could, however.
Different strokes for different folks... I started diving with open muzzles & still extol it's virtues; however, I have grown accustomed to closed muzzles. In the beginning I really missed aiming down an unobstructed shaft, but soon realized that an adjustment in style was all that was required. Now I can shoot just as well with either style.

Originally posted by peskydor
A wood gun has good buoyancy and makes for easy mounting of accessories like reels. To some freedivers a floating gun is invaluable. How is the Rabitech in that regard?
Rabitechs as well as all euro & south african pipe guns float when the spear has been discharged. Reels may be added to euro or SA guns via clamps or adapters. Omer has some great dovetail mounts & lightweight/compact aluminum reels.

Originally posted by peskydor
Is a '3/4 inch rubber hard to stretch without a cocking stock? How much tension does it have? I'm a former AAU weightlifter and curious about who is cocking this rubber.
Some may not find it easy to load, but as with the aiming - everyone has a preference. After getting used to the loading technique (Here's a tutorial), I now prefer a single 20mm rubber over 2 16mm rubbers due to the quickness of reloading & less drag in the water(one of the primary advantages of a euro/SA gun - it's mobility & lightness). For smaller guns or for lots of reef shooting, I use double bands since I'll typically load one band & just cock the 2nd one if needed.

Originally posted by peskydor
No prob. ;)
Hiya Peskydor

Just a little back-ground on the South African railguns.

The regular euro gun was found to be inadequate for our conditions. Guys then started modify-ing them so as to achieve better results. The rail was added to stop the spear from wobbling once the gun is fired, much like the wooden guns that are so popular in the US. Most of the guns come equiped with a 7mm spear which gives optimal speed and penetration with a 20mm rubber. Recently there has been a trend to use 7.5mm and 8mm spears, but that is with 2x16's and used for bigger pelagic fish.

The advantages achieved with a single 20mm rubber and 7mm spear is quicker loading, less drag, easier tracking. Very good accuracy is probably the greatest asset of the railgun. Due to VERY little recoil, its a very easy gun to shoot and one can become fairly procient with it in a very short period of time. Very little maintanance is also needed. The downside to railguns is that they obviously have the inherent disadvantages of the euro gun mechanisms. They can't handle spears thicker than 8mm with more than 2x16mm rubbers. (sort of actually defeating the whole purpose!!) They also lack the range of the big blue water cannons that some guys use. But then again, thats a very specific market. Loading a single 20mm on a 1.3m gun also takes soem getting used to. Once the proper tecnique is learnt, it becomes quite easy. They're loaded on the chest and not hip loaded like some big blue water guns. My girlfriend is now loading her 1.1m gun with a single 20mm with no problem!!!

I'm not very eloquent, so have simply taken a brief description of the usual questions asked from a railgun website. Here it follows:
What's the difference between a Railgun and a basic gun?
Railguns are unique in the sense that they have an extended "rail" incorporated into the aluminum barrel all the way along. This rail supports the spear the full length of the barrel and continues on into the muzzle. The rail barrel tube is also much stiffer and stronger than a normal tube because it is thicker-walled and has a slightly bigger diameter. The integrated rail adds further strength. We also use aircraft grade aluminum when the barrels are extruded. This gives the barrel even better strength and stiffness, enabling it to handle strong rubbers and be used in longer lengths without flexing. It is basically stronger and stiffer than wood of the same diameter. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Would the extra aluminum not increase the barrel weight making it heavy to handle?
It does increase the barrel's dry weight, but we have increased the internal diameter of the barrel to allow for a greater air cavity, giving the gun more buoyancy, therefore compensating for the extra weight and making it feel light in the water. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why is the spear in a railgun shorter than in a standard gun?
The support given by the rail allows the gun to use a shorter spear than a normal gun. To make a standard gun accurate, the length of spear has to be such that the section protruding from the muzzle will counter the sag in the middle section. This will be apparent when too short a spear is used, because it will shoot high. The opposite is true if too long a spear is used, as it will shoot low. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

What are the advantages of a shorter spear than normal?
Having a shorter spear in relation to your barrel length means less drag at the end when swinging the gun onto a fish, improving maneuverability. The shorter spear is also stiffer, and therefore less likely to bend. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

How does an incorrect length spear affect the accuracy of a standard gun?
The spear in a standard gun is only supported in the mechanism and in the muzzle. To see this visually, try setting a long spear up on a table, lying it flat, and supporting it at both mechanism end and barb end with a matchbox. Now look along the spear, basically sighting along it from the mechanism end. You will see a prominent sag in the middle. The amount of sag you see will depend on the length, diameter and the stiffness/ tensile strength of the spear. If you move the matchbox at the barb end back towards the other box, the spear sag in the middle will decrease. At a point where the length of spear ahead of the moving box in roughly 1/3 of the total, the sag in the middle will be approximately equal to the now sagging end piece. This is again only really a factor with long spears. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why can't I put a support for the spear on the barrel and achieve the same result as a rail?
With supports on the barrel the spear tends to drop out of the mechanism when fired and "bump" over the support, causing an exaggerated wobble on the spear. This wobble will slow the spear down a great deal while it is traveling. With a rail this wobble is eliminated totally because the spear is supported all the way along and does not have a sag at the end because it is shorter than normal. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why does my railgun seem to shoot the spear much faster and straighter than my standard gun?
On a railgun there is no sag in the middle of the spear because of the rail supporting it, and the length protruding out of the muzzle need only be short, therefore the spear weighs less. The drive ratio of the rubber is now much improved because the length relation of barrel to spear has increased; therefore more speed is attained without increasing the rubber strength. Another reason the spear is faster is because the spear does not wobble because it is supported level before being fired, and remains straight once momentum is achieved. Wobbling of a spear develops with a standard gun when the spear has a slight sag in the middle along with sag at the end. The moment the trigger is released the spear tends to "buck" creating a wobble when fired from a standard gun. This obviously creates more friction and therefore slows the spear down a great deal. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

My railgun feels heavier than my standard gun but in the water it is much lighter and more maneuverable. Why?
When in the water the railgun seems lighter and more maneuverable than a standard gun because the barrel to spear ratio is greater and the internal diameter of the barrel is also larger, therefore giving it more buoyancy. The front of a standard gun is always heavier because the spear protrudes further beyond the muzzle. Some try to compensate by adding a foam piece to create lift. This does work but increases the end profile of the gun making it more difficult to maneuver.Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why does my standard gun lose accuracy when I fit stronger rubbers?
Some standard barrels tend to bend when under big loads from strong rubbers, especially so with long guns. When you pull the trigger of a gun that has this problem, you release the compression on the barrel, which then straightens out. Because you are holding the handle at the back, the muzzle then moves the most, downwards, which in turn chops down on the spear as it is leaving the gun. This creates a bad wobble that slows the spear down and makes it very inaccurate. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Is the railgun not noisier than a standard gun because of the spear being against the barrel?
Noise is definitely a factor underwater. A railgun is no different to any other, and it does make a noise. Fish are affected by noise but more so by the "pressure wave" that the rubbers put out when the gun is fired. The pressure wave moves through the water at the same speed as the sound of the gun and with greater force. No matter how quiet you make the gun you still cannot eliminate the shock wave the rubbers will create when fired. Some divers put a neoprene sleeve around their standard barrel to try to silence it. The problem with this is that the spear rests on it, therefore affecting the performance of the gun. The performance and "wet weight" of the gun will also vary at different depths because the neoprene sleeve will compress the same way your suit does.Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Does the spear resting on the rail not cause friction on the spear and slow it down?
When in the water the rail and spear are both wet. Once the spear gets going it will slide on a thin film of water, which eliminates the possibility of it touching the barrel. A well-used railgun shows no wear in the rail, which it would show if there was significant contact friction. This is similar to the way that a slipper bearing or a beach skimboard work. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

If my spear gets a little bent will it be able to still work in the railgun?
If it is badly bent then there is nothing you can do but try to straighten it. A spear with a very slight bend or twist, or even one that has been straightened and now has a few kinks, will still work in the railgun. The reasons for this is that the rail in relation to the rubber is set up to give a slight downward pressure, keeping the spear tracked. The center of the rubber when loaded is about 2mm below the spear center giving it the slight downward force. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why do most railguns only use one rubber?
Using one rubber on a gun helps with loading speed and reduces the drag when trying to swing the gun on a fish. This is only really a factor when using a long gun such as one with a 1.2m barrel. A long gun, with multiple rubbers, creates drag that will hinder your ability to swing. Through demand we have introduced a new muzzle which can accommodate an extra rubber.Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why is it better to attach the spear line to the back of the spear and not onto a slide?
The line at the back is to improve the streamlining; a slide is generally bulky and causes drag on the spear when it is travelling through the water. Also when stringing the spear with the line at the back your range is one spear length better. With a slide, to get better range you need to have more than one line loop to the line release which takes up more time when reloading and can become a hassle. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.
Is the wishbone notch in the spear not a weak point, considering the fact that the line attachment point is behind the notch?
The disadvantage of having the spear line connected to the back of the spear is the wishbone notch. This can get broken when a fish struggles in a cave and manages to wedge the spear and fight against it. There are many advantages to having the line attached at the rear though such as retrieving the spear when a fish takes it deep into a cave, since in pulling from the rear you have much greater control. A spear with the line attachment ahead of the notch will jam up much easier, and both fish and spear will be lost. Another advantage of the rear attachment is when shore diving in a strong current and you shoot but miss; a standard spear will hook up in the reef at the back and in very strong currents all your equipment can be lost. This has happened on many occasions on the Natal South Coast. Having the line attached at the back means that you could lift it off the reef more easily and just shake the barb lose if it hooked up on the bottom. Still another advantage to having the line at the rear is when the spear goes right through a fish that is shot at close range. When this happens you can retrieve the spear back into the fish. Standard spears will "T off" on the other side of the fish. Also, if a shark bites the fish while the line is through it, you lose your fish and your spear. If you are able to retrieve the spear back into the fish, the fish then fights on the spear and if a shark bites it you are more likely to retrieve your spear with maybe only a bend. We have recently developed a new wishbone notch system where the spear has a 2.5mm hole drilled where the notch would be, and a mushroom shaped pin is peened into place. This is then shaped to take the wishbone. The system means that much less steel is removed and therefore the spear is thicker at this point and much less likely to break. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why do most divers use monofilament nylon, surely it can cut on the reef easier?
Monofilament nylon is better in many areas; it has a much greater breaking strain than the standard polyester of the same diameter. It is easier to handle in the water because it is stiffer than other lines. When firing the gun, the spear with mono nylon will be much faster through the water than that with a polyester multi-fibre line. This is because being a mono fibre, it doesn't hold water like a multi-filament which would slow the spear down when the gun is fired. With polyester, the knot in the line is also larger than that of a crimp on nylon, therefore the drag is greater. In terms of being cut on reef, the best is to do a test at home with mono line and similar diameter polyester on a very rough rock or sharp surface. We have found mono line to be much better. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why do railguns not have screw-on rubbers in the muzzles?
The idea of a single looped rubber makes it more economical to produce and therefore less expensive to the diver. In actual use the extra rubber that goes around the muzzle gives extra drive. In other words, the rubber can be made a little shorter than that of a screw on set up, therefore giving you a longer drive that will give more speed to the spear. These muzzles are also designed to enable the diver to exchange rubbers easily in the water without tools if he is carrying a spare rubber clipped to his float. The length of extra rubber in the head of the muzzle is 10 cm. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Why are single fixed barbs most common on railguns?
We have found that the vast majority of spearfishermen have at one time or another used or tried a drop head (slip tip). They virtually all change back to a single barb for a variety of reasons, the main reason being accuracy. Here we have found that it is very difficult to get the drop head to sit on the tip of the spear without any play (basically sideways movement). If you can get it to fit without play, then invariably it is too tight to come off resulting in the head pulling back through the fish and the fish being lost. The very tip has to be perfectly stable and central to maintain the straight flight of the spear. Even a very small amount of play will cause the spear to be inaccurate. This is because the extreme tip is what keeps the spear traveling true. A slight movement to one side or the other will cause a varying degree of inaccuracy depending on the amount of play. To show this you just need to sharpen a spear, which has a fixed barb, slightly off center, and you will see how much the accuracy is affected. Another problem with a drop head is the hassle. Slightly too loose and it falls off when you dive down, to tight and it stays on and pulls back out of the fish. This can be most frustrating. In terms of drag the drop head is bad, since the diameter is greater than the spear. A good head shot with a slip tip can become a major problem when it jams in the head. The only way to get it out is to cut it out. This can be difficult in the water and most frustrating when your buddy is still shooting fish around you. In terms of comparing fish lost with fixed barbs to those lost with a drop head, the majority of South African divers feel the fixed barb to be the better. In South Africa several large marlin, over 200 kg, have been landed with fixed barbed spears. Large marlin that have been lost are mostly due to the float system failing, not the spear. One of 500kg + was lost because the diver couldn't handle the fish in the water and eventually the boat crew "helped" by pulling on the float which parted company with the rest of the gear at an old boingie. Another disadvantage is costs; a fixed barb spear is much less a spear with a drop head.Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Can a railgun be loaded with the line under the spear?
No. Because of the rail, anything under the spear will cause it to lift up and shoot inaccurately. When loading the gun you must make sure that the line is on top of the spear and not under it anywhere along the barrel. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

While the line on top not interfere with the rubber during loading?
No, it will not interfere because it moves off to one side when the rubber is loaded.

I have been using a standard gun for many years and now I find it difficult to aim with a railgun, is it just me or what?
Many divers have problems at first because the railgun is so different. When you are accustomed to aiming and using equipment that performs a certain way then change will feel strange and may take a while to get used to. Before getting further in this subject, let us try to visualize two geometric concepts, most important for a better understanding. 1) Horizontal plane: lean down at the head of a long table until your eyes level with the tabletop. Now everything you see on the tabletop, or along it, is in the same horizontal plane of your eyes. 2) Vertical plane: lean one ear against a long wall. Everything you see along or up and down the wall surface, like a picture, is in the same vertical plane of your eyes. That understood, be aware that the main problem area seems to be in the way some divers aim. Most look over the top of their guns while aiming, bringing the gun up onto the target. This tends to make it accurate in the horizontal plane because of the way you are looking over the gun, but not so in the vertical plane. We have found the best way to aim a railgun or any gun for that matter, is to not aim over the top, but rather along the side of the gun. What this does is it helps you to keep it very accurate in the vertical plane, which is much more important than the horizontal because most fish are much longer than they are wide. This is especially true with open water game fish that are difficult to get close to. When looking along the side of the gun, the rubbers, barrel and spear are all in the same [horizontal] plane as your eyes. All you have to do now is lift or lower the whole gun until it is on the same plane with the fish's spine. When this is in line, then the gun is moved from side to side to control the horizontal plane while keeping it in line with the spine vertically. In this way the shot will be on target with the spine but maybe a little out regarding the lateral placement. This lateral, hence horizontal, inaccuracy is not as important considering the spine is as long as the fish is.Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Is a small shock absorber on the shooting line necessary?
Some divers use them, but we feel that the mono line has sufficient stretch in it so you do not need one. The more you put onto a gun the more drag there will be when maneuvering and the more "fittings" that can fail. The only time one is necessary is when using Dynema cord. This is a very strong line, available in less than a 2mm diameter with a break strength of 260 kg. This cord has no stretch and therefore needs a line shock absorber (bungee) just to be able to stretch it onto the line release. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.
What is the advantage of the clip on the muzzle where the spear line is attached?
This snap clip allows the diver to unclip the spear when he is having trouble getting the spear out and push it right through the fish, line and all, before clipping it back on. Another advantage is to be able to clip a spare spear on quickly when the old spear gets damaged or lost.

Why are plated spears becoming more popular than that of stainless steel?
Stainless steel spears are very good in terms of looks but when it comes to cost and stiffness they can’t compare. A stainless steel shaft can not be made as stiff as that of standard spring steel and costs around twice the price. The main problem when using a stainless steel spear is when it gets bent. The spear will still look good and the diver will be reluctant to change it for a new one because of this and due to the cost of replacing. A common problem now is the diver tries to straighten the spear and use it in this condition. He maybe able to straighten it to some degree but it is very difficult to straighten it properly. This will now most probably cause the spear to shoot inaccurately and, the place where it was bent will now be weaker and most likely to bend at the same place on the next fish if he is lucky to hit a fish accurately. I always liken it to the rod and line fishermen; very few use stainless hooks because of the cost and strength differences and rather use a hook as a consumable. Answer Courtesy of Rob Allen Spearguns.

Sorry for the veerrryyyy longggggg post!!!!:D :D :D
Thanks, I'm still laughing. Not at you. Some of that stuff about 'spear droop' is fascinating, and true. But the bit about sighting along the side of the gun reminds me of the guy who said he would convert from side by side to over and under if his eyes were stacked vertically like the barrels. The contention that spring stainless will bend is ludicrous. However, I will concede to the other gent who posted about the bent Riffe shaft (the skinny 9/32 is notorious). That #%$&&$ Riffe should have his arrows heat treated someplace other than Mexico. Bending a Biller shaft? Good luck. Rust? Nada. The stuff about slip tips is mixed. Some good 'points' are made but the claim that fewer fish are lost with a fixed point needs to be examined further. Yes, they are not as convenient. Yes, the sliptips offered by some manufacturers leave much to be desired. His comments about the slide ring and drag is true but overlooks the convenience and fast loading of a gun so equipped. No clear direction on that one. I use both types of arrangements, with and without slide rings. Allen has a gift for gab, I like him.
Here he comes againnn! I've been having a senior moment. Not the first time. Are the 'rail' gun folks getting something for nothing or have I missed the boat and there is a perpetual motion machine out there? That guy Monte, and the other fellow, the ones who built those big roller guns and made those excellent presentations on Niko's site, reported measured speeds of 45 mph (20mps) with a single thick rubber band and approx 5/16 shaft. This would impute a speed of about 35 mph to a standard gun (including a rail gun) with similar rubber and arrow weight. Even considerating a shortened 9/32 arrow (skinny) the speed would only be about 40 mph from a standard gun. Biller claims speeds up to 125 mph for multirubber guns. However, I estimate that the gun discussed in the Biller 54 thread produces about 85 mph. (It's my gun). Moreover, to add to the mystery, a rail gun with 3/4 inch rubber can be cocked by a woman and it's all in knowing how. Hmmmmm, I can pull over 200 pounds on the rowing machine (all the way to the chest is how it's done) and I know darn well that I could not cock a 3/4 Riffe rubber. Wonder what kind of rubber the Rabitech uses? What kind of speeds are they getting, any idea?

Oh, a small factoid for the droop troop: A steel shaft weighs 12% less in water. I have no idea what this does to droop but it can't help the theory.

The human eye is a marvelous thing. It can't see a rabbit at 2 miles like an eagle but it does something else. The eye can detect incredibly small angles of excursion, tenths of a degree. That's why women notice things like pictures on the wall. I wonder why I've never seen a wobbling shaft? Or heard one for that matter. That is not proof that it doesn't happen. I would expect that very thin shafts, less than 5/16 would be subject to some flexing if over powered or not supported properly.
Shooting Spanish is not easy, congrats. Could you give us a few details of the weather and current, depth? Were the fish swimming in schools or were they in singles or twos and threes? What depth were they swimming or hanging? Did they circle or go straight line? Did they swim slowly, hang or dart? Did they swim with undulating movements, like a snake, or did they power through with short strokes? Did you shoot from above, below or from the side? Did the others spook when you took a shot? How long were you in the water? Did you string the fish or where did you put them? Did any try to bite you? How many did the other guys get? How did you clean and cook them? Anxious to hear all the details.
Hey Bucket,

What type of knife did you use to filet the fish? Did you sharpen it beforehand or during the fish carving? Did you leave the skin on the mackeral? or did you remove it? Was it a full-moon when you fished? Did you take another "dump" during your session? Who killed Kennedy? Does the Lochness monster exist? How 'bout Bigfoot? Is it true that freedivers have bigger "guns"? Is Hilary a dike? Who'll win the super bowl this year? Am I rambling? Are these enough questions?:D
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