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Riffe model comparison

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
May 5, 2002
With xmas right around the corner i am finaly going to treat myself to a brand new gun. Ive narrowed my choices to either the Standard 3 or the mid handle Hawaiian. These guns have identical shaft sizes and lenghts, identical bands and stretch, and range. In your smooth and knowledgable opinions, is the extra $ for the mid-handle model worth the increased maneuverability?
Ive foung a #3 for +- $430, and #H for +- $530
What do you think?
smooth and RIFFE

in the same sentence??:D

In my humble, (no really!) opinion, getting the mid handle'd Hawaiian is going to put you ahead on a couple of accounts-
the mid handle is going to be easier to swing in open water and for certain around the kelp beds there in So Cal. Also, you'll enjoy the control when you get into more open water, as in heading down to Baja and such. The Hawaiian is pretty much the perfect size gun too... sometimes I'll have to choke up on my Island with reduced vis or kelp. But then all's fair when I need to reach out and touch something...

The Standard is a great design and all, but you'll play hell to swing the thing subtly with the handle that far back. Sure the reach you get with the foot or so further you can extend the gun is fine and all, and I'll probably wish mine was back there come April in FL, but if you can swing the somolians for a real gun, then get a real gun- a mid Handle.

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Even though I am a rear handle user due to short (but strong ) arm. I have to agree with my Uncle Sven. The Hawaiian is a very, I repeat very nice size. The proportion of the butt against whatever length of stock/barrel after the pistol grip make it a well balanced and fast tracking gun.

Standard #3 is 140cm and Hawaiin is only 124cm and mid handle, you can't out track and out balance a Hawaiian if compared to #3. Hawaiian is infact still a faster tracking gun than my #2. The power is the same as #3 because Hawaiian rear set trigger allows longer band pull and shaft. Go for it boy.

If I can freedive well, I will surely use a mid-handle.

Now Uncle Sven, where's the tip you promised if you get my support.....:D :eek:
Originally posted by Iyadiver
Even though I am a rear user... the proportion of the butt against whatever length of stock/barrel allows longer...shaft...Go for it boy. Uncle Sven, where's the tip you promised

To everyone who has suffered through my posts this week...as you might of guessed it was finals week at school. It seems after reviewing my own posts that I used the forums as a stress reliever. Rest assured that I took my last final tonight and will soon return to normal

Yeah right...:t
Yeah, boo finals week. I've had a headache all week. But my biology of fishes lab is over, and I can now key nearly every fish in the sea to family :)
Ive been doing these breath hold exercises while on break during the night school I go to twice a week. I go to the top of the parking structure, take a deep breath, and while imagining a dive, descend a few floors, turn around and head back to the surface (top). My max right now is three flights.
Anyway, while I was visualizing my dives tonight, the gun I had in my hand was a mid-handled Hawaiian. So I get home and read your advice and it confirms my gut instincts. Thanks for your input.

Oh yeah, If I get my choice of shaft on this machine, do you think I should go for a 9/32 with a single barb, or a heavier threaded shaft that would allow for a slip tip?


Get the muzzle reinforcement kit, u can't drill those like Riffe.
With this kit u will be able to use 4 bands in the future and use 3/8" shaft............the impact will stunt you, get Ice Pick spearhead.....you will drool by it. U can actualy use this set up for entry level blue water hunting. You will bore thru a 30 kg Tuna if shot from 4 meters.

Go for the standard 8mm + large spearhead. Don't get conned by getting 9/32" while paying the same money.

However do own a 9/32" Hawaiian shaft for reef work. At 2 bands the shaft is a killer. Notice how the recoil get reduced by a mere 1mm shaft reduction and tracking get to be even faster. Ur 9/32 Hawaian should be the 57" not a 55" like 8mm threaded shaft.

You will love it I guarantee.
go for the threaded shafts, and the muzzle kit. Pass on the other stuff, as the Hawaiian is just plain, smooooth...

speaking of "choking up" on the Hawaiian, you over there now, Harold?

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If you don't have a hurry and will do the reef hunting and small pelagic hunting wait a little.I am waiting for some custom gun info from Julie Riffe.;)
Just got back to SJ this week Sven ;)

I'm so glad to be in California. All those fine-looking beach honeys, 100-foot vis., & being able to shoot fish like I'm at a fish market got tiresome really quickly. First chance I had to get out of that wretched sun & come back to nice cold Nor. Cal., I was out of there :D

I'll tell you, I never knew how much I took Hawaii for granted till I came diving up here :(
You can use the 9/32" with single flopper if you use a float line that releases from the gun. You won't need the muzzle kit with this setup.

With the shooting line attached to your gun, use the slip tip on the 5/16" shaft, otherwise a white seabass or yellowtail will rip right off when it hits the end of the line. And don't ask me how I know this =).

Just been viewing Riffe album, my hobby and found some encouragement for you.

This is the lastest catch and significant one using a Riffe 127cm Hawaiian. Notice that bent shaft is a 9.5mm ( 3/8 ) and the spearhead is Ice Pick. This is a 195lbs Yellow Fin Tuna. Have fun......... :D

Note : The cable that holds the Ice Pick is not standard length, that is at least 40% longer than original config. Don't ask me why.
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Iya, that tuna looks real tasty. If people are able to catch a fish like that with the #H, then that gun is good enough for me. Im looking at local and online retailers to find the best deal. Thanks for the encouragement....

Riffe Hawaiian has good 4 x 9/16 bands power potential, as long as you can adjust the range according to the thickness of the fish, you will do fine.

Typical slip tip need at least 7" exit on the other side of flesh to disengage properly, it work even within the flesh but total penetration guarantee better hold.

Don't use Riffe shooting range as ur bible reference, be more conservative. No such 127cm gun is designed specificaly to penetrate almost 2 feet thick of that tuna and exit another 7".
The clearer the water the more distance error you will get. 3 meters or 9.9 feet distance in 70+ feet viz looks like an arm reach, especially so if the fish ur shooting is 50 lbs or bigger.

I am a poor clear water hunter, I get screwed on distance estimate too often, I tend to shoot from far. Ask other seniors.

Good luck.
Hey Adam,

If you need more encouragment keep looking Riffe album you will see big dogy Tuna taken with hawaian and few more gig fishes.But don't forget it depends on your stalking techinque to get big fishes with small gun, actually fully rigged Hawaian may perform better than most of the big guns.
So I finally did it. Put down the plastic and ordered the #H with the muzzle reinforcement kit, 5/16 shaft, and the icepick. Man, i'm gonna have to pay some dues with the wife in order to balance this purchase out. The current trade is for a set of 1ct. diamond stud earings. I dont suppose you all know a someone with an extra set? Ha!!
Anyway, what exactly is the muzzle reinforcement kit? Does it increase the amount of space to hold the rubber bands?
Also, the first #H I saw did not have the bungie/ pigtail swivel, and the display model I saw tonight did- it looks the same as the one on my competitor #0. Whats the standard set up?
Thanks again for the help, its made this process a bit easier. Im hoping to be able to post a photo of a fish caught with this machine soon (knocking on wood)
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Muzzle Reinforcement kit is only a set of screw, insert and a washer. It close shut that muzzle where you can slide your powerband in by the wishbone line.

It allow the muzzle to take more beating and that extra 4th band with peace of mind. Even on 3 bands it is a good thing to have cause the muzzle will be stronger with it, less flexing.

All teak Riffe of 150cm or longer will have this as standard item cause they offer more power and thus stress on the muzzle.

Congrats on ur Hawaiian. I don't know about the bungie being standard but I always want to use that 5" bungie cause I use cable.

If u already have a Competitor #0, a Hawaiian need a little practice with the aiming, it is slightly different. Do some practice and you will be fine.
Hey Iya,

A while back in your MT#0 posts you mentioned that you weren't very impressed with the large, standard Riffe Spearhead (when threaded to the 5/16 shaft). Did you ever experiment with thread adapters and/or different spearheads to see if you could get better penetration or punch a smaller hole?

I posted a similar question at the end of this thread (http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?threadid=30301) a while back, and wonder if you have any new insight.

Thanks buddy,

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