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What Gun Do You Shoot?

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Paraaronoid

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Just curious to know from some of you fellow guys with limited access to decent spearfishing gear. What gun do you shoot? I've got a Biller (as well as a backup JBL), which to my knowledge are the Ford/Chev of the N. American market. Anyone go for the imports? How are they beneficial over JBL/Biller?
 
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Amphibious

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I have 3 for canadian waters:

Mares Sten 58cm - litte pnumo for really dirty water or cave fishing

Rob Allen 70cm - a primary gun that covers virtually all my fresh & saltwater needs

Riffe #B - big midhandle cannon for anywhere I think I might have a chance at a halibut or when I'm going really deep (it's rigged for a breakaway/floatline)

I grew up using a JBL, have shot lots of billers, and for canadain waters they are easy beat by a 70 - 75cm eurogun.
 
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scottwilson

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Aug 3, 2006
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cressi sioux 60
cressi comanche 75
cressi comanche 90
omer hf cayman 90
seac asso 75 (air)
cressi sl 90 (air)
omer 75 + 90 ( bought second hand have no idea of the name)

My favourite is my comanche 90 I always go back to it.
 
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Paraaronoid

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I grew up using a JBL, have shot lots of billers, and for canadain waters they are easy beat by a 70 - 75cm eurogun.

Thanks for the reply...

How so?

Thinking of someday upgrading to something like an RA, but I would like to know how they beat the Billers...Accuracy, balance, power, etc....All of the above?

For something like an RA, is there a N. American dealer? What about additional spears, tips, lines, etc...Are they hard to obtain through the N. American market?

If you had to choose one Euro that was easily obtainable in N. America, what would it be? (I have already ordered multiple speartips, bands, etc. for my Biller, so this is definitely an issue for me)
 

Amphibious

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all of the above. our fish arn't hard to kill, just hard to find. a sleek little eurogun tracks faster, and has a lot less drag on the dive. sounds like splitting hairs, but when you're clad in 7mm and sporting a 12-14lb belt, you'll look for any edge you can get. aside from lingcod & flatties, most of the fish you'll shoot in canadian waters are small and have very delicate flesh. Euroguns use a thin shaft, with an integrated flopper. combine that with the lack of a slide ring and you have a recipe for saving as much meat as possible.

these are all cases made for the freediver. if you're a scuba spearo, use whatever you want, it really matters little.


Contact Jimdoe2you, a member of this board, he's the patron saint of canadain spearfishermen. operates a store in florida. knows what northern spearos need and our issues with shipping, etc.
 
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Paraaronoid

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Thanks Amphibious, that helps a lot...

I have found that my 45" Biller is pretty bulky, and for our waters the length of it is often not necessary.

Good to know, thanks again...
 

Amphibious

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if you get out to Kelowna, BC area, shoot me a PM and you can play with my gear, try it out and such.
 

Paraaronoid

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Thanks Amphibious for the offer...If I ever make my way to Kelowna, I will definitely take you up on that...
 

Mr. X

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...Contact Jimdoe2you, a member of this board, he's the patron saint of canadain spearfishermen....
Wow, they have saints for EVERYTHING!rofl Excellent Amphibious.

Trying out the gear is the best thing if you have the opportunity. Local knowledge is key & I don't know anything about Canadian conditions beyond what I can glean from Amphibious posts above but here's a couple of thoughts for what their worth (2 cents!):

Get a small size, inexpensive (but not cheapo) gun from a major brand to start with (e.g. 75cm Aluminium Omer Excaliber, Cressi Commanche, etc. for the UK where 75-90cm is the normal recommendation). It sounds like your conditions are a tad worse than mine, perhaps more like Sussex & Kent (pea soup?!), in which case 60cm/65cm/70cm might be the thing. It's cheaper to buy & ship, easier load & use a smaller gun and it will be a lot of fun and you'll learn a lot. The fancy dodas (rails, carbon fibre, dyneema wishbones, sharkfins, etc.) are generally less benefit/important on smaller guns. Because it's cheap, you probably won't mind customising it, experimenting or reselling it as the need takes you. If it's your first gun, it will probably get most use and be the first gun to wear out and, being small, it will be the cheapest size to replace. Once you start running into problems, you'll start to figure out what would work better for you -- perhaps more range or greater agility, a stronger/slimmer spear, screw head trident spear, whatever. For me, the frustration of having a gun that was often too long (90cm) for conditions became unbearable. I'm now having lots of fun with a 75cm, which is great (but I was unable to shoot a couple of massive fish this year because they were now out of range. Typical!

You might also think about what you want longer term. You could aim to get one gun that will cover all your needs. That can be hard to predict but I initially thought one good quality 80cm would be good enough for all my needs and in hindsight, I still think that is true (unfortunately only a 90cm model was available). Alternatively, you might prefer to have two guns that bracket the normal range for your area (e.g. a 70/75cm and a 90cm would be a good pair for the UK). Or you might figure that you are something of a "pack rat" as my American friends call it or "gear freak" as my British friends say and will collect quite a lot of guns over time. I was aiming for the former (1 good gun, gradually adapted to my needs) but alas ended up more like the latter (3 good guns). There is much to be said for the middle option though - having a second gun on a trip is useful in case you loose it, visibility conditions change or something breaks (this occurred on at least 3 occasions when I had a single gun). Either use the second gun or, if they are the same model, you can cannibalize the least suitable one for spares. A single gun will see more use and so will suffer more wear & tear and is therefore more likely to fail.

Sounds like the Rob Allen 70cm is a good fit for your conditions. The RA muzzle uses 10cm more rubber than a conventional euro-muzzle - they're simple and powerful for their size even with a single 16mm rubber (and you can fit two or an 18/20mm rubber) and robust enough to handle the biggest fish. Also, the RA's use a standard length spear, so a 70cm RA will be about the same size as my Omer XXV 75cm, which come equipped with a spear 5cm shorter than normal. It's a great size, I love it - I don't anticipate ever needing anything smaller (we don't get holed up grouper in the UK). In this vein, the Omer Cayman models & Rabitech models are probably worth considering too (the XXV is not sold stateside, its an ultra-lightweight gun), whichever floats your boat. Some folk love Beuchat's, others Seatecs, others Dessault or C4 - not sure if they're even available over there though(?). There are some new brands emerging following the tried & tested railgun formula: Pelaj (Oz?), Orca (SA) & Hammerhead in Hawaii - it'll be interesting to see what kind of innovations & prices might emerge as a result of the competition. Not sure if all the railgun brands will do the small sizes though - I've seen pictures of a 50cm RA railgun, probably a special order for caves. I guess they just need to cut the simple extruded barrel length, the tri-cut spear rod, bulk rubber & spearline a little shorter than usual.
 
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Paraaronoid

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Jul 6, 2007
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Thanks Mr. X for the detailed response.

Here in Saskatchewan, Canada, the water conditions are usually less than ideal. There are a few lakes that I frequent with 30-50 ft. visability, but quite often I am in lakes with 6-10 feet visibility.

Our freshwater species are not anywhere near the size of oceanic creatures, but our Northern Pike can be taken in the 25-35 lb range, our Trout up to 40 lbs, and our Walleye under 20 lbs. Relatively small fish...

I would think a 70 cm would be a good fit. I have a 45" (~114 cm) AB Biller which I find is often too difficult to manoevre and often "choke up" on it due to murky water. It is quite big and bulky. I see vids on YouTube of guys shooting their guns off in the water at fish and I don't think my gun gets anywhere near that velocity or distance. I have not been even able to make the claim that I can shoot 3x the length of the gun effectively. Probably more like 2x to humanely dispatch a fish...

Is there a certain model of Rob Allen that I should be after?
 

spaghetti

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May 31, 2005
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We hunt in freshwater in Italy too (there are 3 lakes where it's allowed on the southern edge of a mountain chain called the Alps) and I don't think that fish and conditions are much different than over there in Canada.
Visibility on some days is so bad that I can't see the speartip of a short Comanche 60. :head
This is why we mostly use short and lightweight guns. Short to match the visibility, and lightweight for quick aiming on fish that suddenly appear from the murk and disappear in a very brief moment.
Here's two pics of Spaghetti's freshwater adventures: Largemouth caught with Comanche 60 and Carp caught with Medisten pneumatic (I am the guy in the pics):
 

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Mr. X

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Nice fish Spaghetti. (Italians are a good looking lot aren't they :D).
...Is there a certain model of Rob Allen that I should be after?
They are all pretty much the same (which I like). Check out Rob Allen spearguns, railguns and other spearfishing and freediving accessories. for details.

The main options are aluminium or carbon barrel (carbon should be a lot cheaper than it used to be). Then the rubber/spear configuration. e.g I have a Sparid which comes with a single 16mm band & 6.6mm spears -- quite enough for Britain (I have a 20mm band on it now but don't like it so much). I think the Tuna model has a 20mm rubber & slightly thicker spear and the Caranx 2x16mm rubbers and an even thicker spear (or was it vice versa?). There is also a cheaper Scorpia model. Originally the Scorpia didn't have a rail but I think some of them do now.

There can be a few subtle differences. E.g. the more expensive models (e.g. carbon) sometimes include a stainless steel line release rather than plastic (also available separately & with the breakaway rig). The regular railguns all have nice chunky metal clips, one on the heavy-duty muzzle bungee and another on a swivel at the base of the handle. I think the scorpio may come without a muzzle bungee & handle clip. The Scorpia originally only came with a single-rubber muzzle (but that's lighter & more stream-line & realistically, I'll probably never use double rubbers) and the spear probably only has a single notch for a single rubber. You can always change things like muzzles, spears, rubbers later. In theory, you could also change the barrel on your RA as they sell them -- how easy they are to come by or remove is another matter (I tried unscrewing the barrel but the screw started to distort, so I stopped).

Part of me would say, splurge a bit extra for a railgun rather than the Scorpia. Another part of me might say the same about carbon, the railgun could probably last you a lifetime (if you don't loose it or drive over it), however, the price I was quoted for a carbon 70cm with reel was twice that of an Omer XXV Gold with reel :(. However, I also know that you don't need a rail on such a short gun (Rob Allen told me this himself). Carbon probably won't make much difference on such a small length (although my carbon Omer XXV is oh so light:)). Also, I took the big game bungee off my RA to reduce weight, drag and noise. We don't really need bungees in the UK, when using using mono spearline, although I use 3mm marine bungee, 4mm on the RA - it's strong enough to hold my weight belt & probably more. For my Omers, I just tie a piece of climbing accessory cord around 3-5mm into the handle, with an RA Orca clip on (the RA clips are bigger than necessary for these lightweight guns but I had them already). I think you'd be happy with any of the RA models.

A Scorpia with a plain carbon tube barrel might be a good option, if available. RA do take custom orders if you have specific needs but the factory configurations seem well thought out and balanced (e.g. my spear is a good thickness for the single, powerful RA 16mm rubber but is also strong enough for a 20mm rubber & it comes double notched so it could take double rubbers - although 2x14mm might be a better match than 2x16mm for a 6.6mm spear).
 
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Amphibious

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go for the Tuna Model with the Single 20mm band and 7mm shaft. the heavier shaft comes in very handy when shooting into the ground (think walleye on the bottom) or armored fish like carp. stay away from carbon. it doesn't make any difference in accuracy or rigidity in such a short pipe and the added costs are disgusting. also, if you decided to hunt the coast, every peice of rock out here is covered in razor sharp barnicals. a nightmare for a carbon tube.

a reel down the road is nice, but really not required. I think you'll find for canadian waters and part availability up here, keeping things as simple as possible is going to be in your best interest.
 
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Mr. X

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I think this model is called the Caranx. The Tuna has 2 bands and a 7.5mm shaft.
Quite right (according to the new RA website). My bad.

I see they claim of their carbon barrel:
"As 100 % carbon fibre is used at the highest possible loading, along with an integral rail further adding to the stiffness, the Rob Allen Carbon railbarrels are the best in the world."
Better warn Spaghetti, the honour of Italy is at stake!:D
 
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Paraaronoid

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So, I think I've narrowed it down to one of two: the Omer Excaliber or the Cayman in a 75cm. Cost is somewhat of an issue: I want to try a new gun without making a huge expense (eg. RA, Riffe, etc.)

Is one preferable over the other? How so?
 

feign

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So, I think I've narrowed it down to one of two: the Omer Excaliber or the Cayman in a 75cm. Cost is somewhat of an issue: I want to try a new gun without making a huge expense (eg. RA, Riffe, etc.)

Is one preferable over the other? How so?


The Cayman is newer technology. Better handle and trigger. I would go with that.
 

Old Man Dave

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Seen and touched the Cayman but never shot it. looks good and reports are favourable. Have used the Excaliber and it is a good gun. The cayman is newer but the Excaliber is well proven. Depends on the price you can get them for. If it was cheaper and price was an issue then I would go for the excaliber, for starting out anyway.

Dave
 
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Mr. X

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I almost got an aluminium Excalibur 2000 as my first gun -- looking back, I think it would have been a good choice. Esp. in a smaller size (e.g. 75/80) as a lot of the fancier features of more expensive guns offer pretty marginal difference for smaller sizes. A smaller gun is useful to keep around even when you move to a longer gun. If you haven't got a lot invested in it, you might be more inclined to buy an additional gun, rather than trade-in.

One of the new/advanced features of the Cayman is consistent (& moderate) trigger pull under different loads. Quite clever and desirable but something we've managed without in the past. Several Cayman owners have posted with positive reports. Either way, I think you'll be happy.
 
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Amphibious

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if you choose either of these guns pick up an extra set of bands. they are the screw in type and so far I've never seen any for sale anywhere in Canada.

DeepRN (another canadian spearo) uses the excaliber and has had excellent luck with it, although if memory serves, we did an RA muzzle conversion on it. Omer makes quality spearguns.
 
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