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speargun for a lil lady

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Oct 16, 2003
I have tried a couple of spearguns and just can't load them. What's the easiest for a beginner, weak, small girl like me to try?? Getting a bit pissed with having to hand the gun over to men to get it loaded :)
what kind of guns have you tried (euro or wood)? What brand? what type of bands are you using? what is the length of the gun? How tall are you? or your arm reach? all these things will enable us to help you more.
Loading guns is all about technique. Everybody and anybody is able to load just about everygun if they have the right technique. grab the gun with one hand near the handle. with your other hand grab the rubber. Then pull the butt of the gun as far up your chest as you can. once you have the gun as high as you can reach for the rubber with the hand holding the gun and pull back. This will enable you to use more leverage and utilze your back muscles which are probably stronger than your arms.
Euroguns are meant to be loaded on the chest.
if you are still unable to load the euroguns maybe you should try a shorter gun or modify the muzzle to an open muzzle where you are able to custome make your bands to whatever length you need.
amber rubber tends to be softer and easier to load than white rubber and black.

Don't worry too much about loading your gun, we all battled when we started!!! I couldn't even load my 90, and that was with longer than usual 16mm's :eek: :eek:

Well, you basically got two options, firstly try using longer 16mm rubbers (assuming that you're using a euro gun). If you're shooting fish in excess of 5kg's, two longer than usual 16mm rubbers should do the trick. As you become more proficient at loading your gun, you could simply shorten your rubbers.

Alternatively, you could get your local dive shop to cut another notch into your spear. This then acts as a rest tab. You load your rubbers to the rest tab, then pull it back to the proper notch.

In really desperate situations, you could use longer and softer rubbers plus a rest tab ;) kumuhunta explains the tecnique needed quite well. Also make sure that you've got a loading pad on your chest. Your chest will probably hurt for 2-3weeks, but after that you'll have no problems.

Best of luck!!

Actually we have talked about this topic 2 or 3 days ago in the chat room. I'm also interested in buying a speargun for my gf and we've talked about the options. IMO as miles said you should start with longer than usual 16mm rubber. But even if it cause you trouble, you can also try double 14mm rubber, which is smooth.

and please use a loading pad, not to injure your chest.

ps: at that chat session we've decided that a cressi-sub comanche 75 would be good for a beginner lady.
I originally posted this in reply to the post "A story of rubber" posted by Benjamin Lecler, but it seems to fit here too.

A lot of cocking bands is simply technique and practice. If you hip load, I do if I'm in a hurry, put the butt of the gun high in the hip joint, grab the first band with one hand on each side of the wishbone, now pull with your arms and use your abdominals to try to curl yourself into a ball at the same time. You'll find it much easier to pull the bands using your abs, when using only arms you may not be able to do it at all. I load my Riffe Competitor #3XS and #1's (11 yr. old son's) Comp #2S this way, three 9/16" bands. The Metal Tech #1 is short enough I can reach the bands with both hands with the butt of the gun on my chest, so I just chest load it.:)
Use 16mm bands on euro gun. You don't have to be man to load 16mm bands, even not shortened ones. But if you increase the length of the 16mm band size you will load it easier for sure.

What brand of hun you are using, what length of the gun and which type of fishes do you hunt?

In my opinion you can use OMER Power 18mm bands very easily. These bands are very powerfull with smallest loading effort. Just buy one or even two size longer for your gun. By that way you will have more power than 16mm bands and still you will load them like 16mm. May be even easier with longer bands. I advice you excalibur model of the omer good reliable gun for its price. Choosing the length of the gun depends your target fishes and visibility of water. If you have clear water don't buy too short gun, i have both 75cm gun and 100 cm also and loading 100cm is not harder than 75cm gun. Its only depends if you can reach the bands. But if you can't you can simply use technique that kumuhunta described.

Hope that helps a bit..;)
Last edited:
It`s all about practice!
I`m a bit embarassed to confess i had a hard time loading a 55 euro with single 16`s in the first place... And i do bodybuilding.......
After a week my poor technique improved and i could load it one handed easily for the rest of the holiday. Now it`s a 100cm euro with 20mm bands, no problems.
You`ll figure it out!

Greets, joe
Thanks for all the great replys!
In answer to some of the questions - I'm only 153cm and 50kg and was trying to learn on a Piccasso 120cm - not wood. I think it's a 16mm band - whatever it came with. Will have to go home and look.
Is that a euro gun (i am reaaaaly a beginner)?
In answer to "what type of fish are you hunting" - none because I can't load the damn thing... he he, but NZ snapper, cod and small kingi's - nothing too big.
thankx again - heading out this weekend, so will keep trying until I can get a smaller gun.

120 picasso is a big gun. I know some guys i'm spearing with right now that would have difficulty loding that gun!! It is a eruo gun and comes standard with 20mm rubbers. You've got two options, either buy a smaller gun and learn on that or modify your existing gun. Rubbers for picasso guns will be expensive. Rather get a conversion kit from your dive shop, which would allow you to use bulk rubber (much cheaper!!). Also remove the articulated wish bone and replace it with dyneema wishbone. Your spearshaft will now have to have its notches sanded down so as not to cut the dyneema. Your local dive shop should be able to do this modifications. I really hate those wishbones on the picasso. It slipped once out of my hand and almost took my finger off:(
Try extra long 16mm rubbers, which you can shorten as you progress. Please note that your chest will hurt, even though you've got a loading pad on your wetsuit. This is normal and you should be ok after a week or two .Don't worry too much, you'll be loading your gun in no time at all:D

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I agree with miles, but if anything goes wrong, just make your boy friend load the gun ;) As miles said, slippage of an articulated wishbone hurts too much! and you chest will hurt anyway...
Looook she has BIGER gun than mine:eek:

When i read your first post i thought about small sized euro gun...

And loading 120cm gun is not definitely beginner task. Its normal that you can't load it. It needs special technique that descirbed in Rob Allen speargun internet site. Couldn't remmembered the link now but sure someone will, or did they already give it?

By the way i strongly recommend omer power 18mm bands insted 16mm bands especially for big gun. In big guns spear is much longer thus has more mass so you will need something powerfull to throw it a good speed and fair distance. Hovewer 18mm omer bands can be loaded as easy as 16mm...
Im only 5' 6" and not particularly strong I use an Imersion Concept Pro 90cm its about as long as I can load, but have no problem doing it (except for the obvious pressure point :eek:). I use low power bands for the first few days out then change to the high power ones when I get in the swing of it but I find its the way you do it rather than brute force. I can use this gun with comfort in open water and close into the rocks
I'll mirror the rest and recomend a shorter gun, maybe 90cm or so and twin 16mm bands. I have taught rather petite girls to spearfish in the past and found it was more gun length then band size that made for difficult loading. a 90cm gun equiped with a reel will tackle most gamefish you're likely to encounter as a newbie. I see Alison is on the Gulf, my favorite gun for the Arabian gulf was always a 96cm Mundial. easy to load, swing, and with 2x20mm or 2x16mm, more then enough punch for larger pelagic fish.

again, as it has been said before, don't let pride get in the way of safety, when in doubt get help to load your gun. Slipping can cost you fingers and in my case, 2 cracked ribs and 3 weeks off diving. :head

Good luck.
Something I do that Im sure most men would never think about, is to put some padding "inside" my wet suit between my boobs, this stops the suit stretching to much and causing excesive discomfort (Its a girl thing!! you never see a man loading his gun against his tackle!!)

I dont fish out here I never have the time when I do get in the water I just like to look, this stuff is far to pretty to kill and to be honest I have never eaten a local fish Ive liked. I fish in the UK in North Wales (Home) I moved back there a while back for a few years before moving out here again. I fish for Bass and plaice mostly, Ive been thinking the last few weeks to pack it in here and move back home, if I do Im taking the summer off to fish and sun bath, OH and have a barbie of course (Bass daily):friday
Hey now, I used to use an old mouse pad under my suit to help load my blue water gun. Thing is it was prone to slippage and I was worried about that chunk of wood hitting my "tackle" :hmm . I load my reef gun on the hip but the canon goes on my lower abs. It is more comfortable there. Oh and instead of curling in a ball, I use the arch method. Involves arching your back, pulling the bands with your back muscles and thrusting your hips forward kinda like you're uhh...well you know.

Mouse pad really works great i am regullarly using mine;) cost me less than 5 dollars with camo. tank top:cool:
I stitched 2 mouse pads together and wear them under a skinsuit when I'm hunting in the Gulf. works great.
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