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Spearhead damage - Let's pile it up to see !!

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Mr. Long Post
Apr 22, 2002

I am just curious to see the possible damage anyone of you had experienced on spearheads. My gang and I been using Riffe Ice Pick spearhead for like 14 months now and this is the worst documented damage so far. See attached photo. Bent 5/16" ( 8mm ) shafts are too common and not worth mentioning.

The last and only other Ice Pick damage we had was a factory defect because the U-Loop where the cable is connected at the detachable head gave away after like 1 year of heavy usage, while others remained sound till today.

The damage as seen on the photo was caused by merely a +- 60 pounder (+- 25Kg ) Giant Trevally or Ulua to Hawaiians. The hit was at the gill and it so happened that it was rather aft and the spearhead also hit the inner gill plate which is damn tough. Complete penetration was not achieved because the fish was too thick, thus the Ice Pick could not do its full duty and when the fish went wild, the force of the water drag caused the leverage action to bend the adaptor and break both skirts of the detachable Ice Pick. No rocks to assist the damage, just water & power of the fish. Shooting distance was about 6-9 feet ( 2-3 meters ). The gun was a Riffe Standard #2 shooting this fish with 4 x 9/16 bands using 5/16 shaft.

Giant Trevally is the only species we find often in big size, other big species are rare.

Any other documented damage will be good for my learning cause I want to hunt decent size Tuna soon ( under 50kg ). Input please.............please.....please.

It's the price you pay to play

I'd have to say that with the damage you're showing and describing and the time and usage that the gear has seen, that you're way ahead of the game as far as gear breakage. It's the price to play.

Jay's design and manufacturing talents are so far above the norm that the breakage you have with his stuff would have led you to just toss anyone else's away, including Rob Alexander's, Darryl Wong's and the like. JBL, OMER and the rest wouldn't stand up anywhere near as much either.

Having access to a pretty well equipped machine shop and loads of time to think things up, I use Riffe gear and save myself a lot of grief.

Shooting anything that is going to take offense at having a 5/16" piece of stainless going into it, you'll be amazed at what a small fish can accomplish trying to get the Hell away from you. A halibut over here might go 5-6 kgs but will act like a pit-bull dog on steroids when it get's stuck. Those of use in the know just figure on tweaking a shaft per fish. Like I said, it's a price to play...and then it gives you and the folks a chance to get together while the fillets are broiling to straighten out the gear and plan the next onslaught.

One thing you might try is to sharpen the tips, SLOWLY and COOL, with a file and oil or a grinder and a lot of water or coolant so you don't work-harden the stainless. And check the cable holding the slip tip before every dive... those things don't rust and get buggered overnight.


Ur very right, my gang and I actually spent the least money after we use Riffe gears. In my JBL days broken-in-2 detachable or non-detachable spearheads and shaft machined end is so common, we take it as "operational-cost".

The Ice-Pick is one of the item I almost thought as indestructable, in fact it is almost true. Too bad we don't have Halibut here but I can imagine its power but the meat quality I heard is mouth watering...yummy...yummy.

I changed my Ice Pick cable like 2-3 times a year cause the Trevallies always kinked it bad, but since I do my own crimping, I use two crimps on both ends. Same serice interval with my shooting line which is the same 500 lbs coated cable like the Ice Pick. I have yet to experience cable failure. My friend another Riffe user uses a Japanese non coated 400 lbs s.s cable and because he was shooting in a FAD, the metal structure cut off his cable, the fish was only a +- 45 lbs Giant Trevally. Sometime its a wonder that these fishes can pull at least 3 times its body weight equivalent in terms of force.

Good tip on the sharpening, thanks. Will take a note at that.

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