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Tough Fish and a Reel....good set up ?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Mr. Long Post
Apr 22, 2002

I need proven input. I was out last Sat and got a +- 28lbs Dog Tooth Tuna. This is the first time I get to test the Riffe reel on my MT3.

I am new again to a reel, ever since I stop using my JBL reel on my old JBL years ago. This doggie is smaller by some 5 pounds than the one I landed at the same place but this one was hit at the gill plate and exited out at the tummy. This doggie didn't seems to feel any hurt compared to the last bigger doggie, I was pulled much harder by a sligthly smaller fish.

I hit it at 90 feet and it dive deep to 120 feet and trying to make circle somewhere at the bottom , I couldn't see the fish but could see where my yellow Kevlar line was going. I was assuming it wanted to ruin my shooting cable at the rock, thus I only allow the line to pay out about 1/3, perhaps 50 feet or so, adding to my 30 feet shooting line and 4+ feet shaft, it was then about some 80 feet away from me.

Since I am not used to a reel and have been fighting fish directly from the shooting line anchor point of the gun, I feel that when a shot is made at a strong part of the flesh, allowing the reel to pay out the line could actually allow the fish more chance to breakfree by making knots on rocks or whatever. Depending on the species of course. If the shot is at soft area like the tummy and the fish is like a King Mackerel which does not have the brain to make knots out of my shooting line and reel line, I think in this case a reel is a winner. Also Mack likes to shoot up to the surface, this make a reel a good choice.

Since my shooting line has been only 23-30 feet longest, I have always been able to at least see where the fish was heading and to visualy confirm ( after some fight ) where it was hit in order to decide if I can do roller coaster ride or swim along to reduce breaking of flesh.

Assuming I pay out all my reel line to a big fish where the sea bottom is only 120 feet ( safe for me a bubble blower ) and it ended up making a dead lock knot out of my reel line on a boulder, it will have the leverage to break free from the spearhead. On the other hand, if I were NOT to use a reel and fight from my shooting line, I could avoid it from making a knot on a boulder easier with such a short cable, at the cost of a roller coaster ride.

A freediver will ascent when a shot is made. This means the reel line more or less will have a free path, less area to tangle. Me a bubble blower will stay at the depth where the shot is taken and will only be able to ascend so very slowly, by that time the reel line will be payed out entirely and could be messed up by the surrounding terrain.

Since this doggie was still strong when hit, I was finning like crazy to stay shallower and instead I went deeper because I did not allow it to take more line off my reel out of fear of boulder entanglement. Since I already payed out some 80 feet of total distance, I could not tug the fish to the direction I intended as easy as when I am not using a reel.

Some of you have been using reels and fight big fish as a freediver, I would be happy to hear some input for a typical fish that likes to head for the bottom and make knots around the boulder. How how ? Thanks.
Hi Iya , congratulations on your doggie .
Although I prefer spearing with a line and float , there are times when I grab my 110 with reel . This is usually when I do shore entries to reefs of around 15 m. max. I have 40 m. of dyneema on the reel .
As a freediver using a reel you pretty much have to make up your mind beforehand what you are prepared to shoot at , as you stand a very good chance of losing your rig to a big/strong fish . Shot placement is also very important .
A doggie of the size you speared would be real borderline . I would probably attempt it if I could place a spear right where i want it : back to front , slightly from above and ideally entering behind the peck and exiting the gillplate . (Sounds as if you speared it from ahead ; this leads to a good chance of bending the spear and also increases the drag and possibilities of snagging .)
You really need that streamlined shot with full penetration of the opposing gillplate in order to be able to brake the fish if it heads for the bricks or reaches the end of your line .

Well , wether this helps or not ; you owe me bigtime for making me tap out this (by my standards ) HUGE post ...:D
HUGE and smooth.

When I'm hunting with tanks Iya, I most often use the shooting line, but it depends where I'm at. In the Gulf of Mexico where Rig is at, I'll use a reel with cable as the oil platforms and bouys are just too eager to part a line. But I set the drag pretty high and essentially choke the reel into acting as a slightly longer shooting line, about 25-30 feet. After that, I'm going for a ride with the gun locked in one hand and a pair of wire cutters in the other.

When I get the rare chance to do some actual diving on a reef , I just use the shooting line with a 5-6 foot wire leader.

Around here where the fish are fed and stoopid :hmm it's all shooting line, 1000 pound tuna cord. I should make mention that I have all these set ups utilizing a no bullsh!t shock bungie, either a Riffe or my own. That, and I really take care to place the shot. That has cost me some fish for sure, but has saved moore from getting gut-shot and tearing off only to die where I can't get to them :naughty Definitely un-smooth.

Suffice it to say that I'm not the biggest fan of a lot of line in the water and using a floatline or a bouy on SCUBA is a pain down South.

Hail . oh Karmically constipated ...:D
I just wanted to add my support to your mentioning about taking wild shots and having seriously wounded fish needlessly flopping about . :naughty

Whee , three compliments in as many weeks ...;)
Thanks lovely boys....:D :D .... A huge post indeed Boet... he he he.

I seldom do desperate shot now adays, have matured a bit... he he he. This doggie was coming from the deep and when it saw me, it gave me a side profile and wanted to run away, so me aimed at the pectoral fin and the shot was a bit to the right hitting the start of the gill inner plate. But after I otopsy the wound, it exited the tummy from the gill plate meaning it was about to turn and I already shot.....too excited I guess.

I think I will fight from the shooting line next time and only allow the reel to pay out if I am in real emergency. Let the Mackerel have the reel line but not for the doggies...... Thanks boys.

If you are into Japanese Shashimi style here is a Rainbow Runner on top of the cool box served 20 minutes after it was caught. I don't think you can get any fresher serving than that !!!!! Now I am hungry. The fish my friend is showing is his first Green Job fish.
I was lucky I got two Rainbow Runner in one shot...... he he he.

I am going BACK again to this spot this Saturday..... Ha ha ha ha. I found a new terrain last week which looks promising and this area is also a Rainbow Runner heaven, 2-3kg size is so common in school of 50-100 !!! Water depth only max out to 100 feet.:p :p
iya, i was talking to some rod fishermen the other day and they were telling me how you fight the fish for the first 40m and then it dies because of the rapid pressure change. i was wondering if a scuba spearo would be able to exploit this sort of thing
not sure I see what you mean...

I know when line fishing, the pressure change kills fish, but can't see how that would apply to spearfishing. :confused:
i was thinking, if you are on scuba, you are probably fairly deep, and you have a tank full (hopefully) of compressed air, so shoot the fish, fill a lift bag, and you have a titan missile dogtooth.
it would take the fun of getting towed around out of it though.
Its been done...with decent success among commercial spearos. They have gun setups with multiple shafts(up to 4) and put the peelay on some whoppers. Kinda movin into that grey area of sporting however, whats the point?
Originally posted by Iyadiver
Some of you have been using reels and fight big fish as a freediver, I would be happy to hear some input for a typical fish that likes to head for the bottom and make knots around the boulder. How how ? Thanks.

Nice fish, Iya. :cool:

When we chum in about 90 feet of water in the keys, the muttons will come up off the bottom a bit. We'll drop right on top of them and squeeze off a safe shot. They'll want to scream down to the bottom in a hurry, but I won't let them have any line off my reel. Even if it means I'm going down with them. Granted, I won't fight hard against them, but I want them to know that they're pulling against a lot of resistance. Shortly after their spurt they'll freeze. This is when I'll freespool and head towards the surface. When they start up again, I'll put the breaks on, but the second burst is shorter so I'm freespooling again shortly and heading towards the surface.

I do this so I won't spend a half hour getting them out of the rocks in 90'. Not fun. :blackeye The key is to not fight them but clamp down on your drag. Obviously there are more consequences for scuba divers doing this, but I was just trying to answer your question about freediving techniques with reels.

Also, like the brothers in "unlike" arms mentioned previously, I won't take a shot unless I'm way within range and the fish turns broadside. A wounded fish in the keys will only go hide in a hole and start ringing the dinner bell with its convulsions. :hmm

I'm sure others have different techniques, but this has worked for me pretty well.

Again, nice fish. :D

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