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When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

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Diving Gecko

shooter & shooter
Jun 24, 2008
From the cold northern home waters of my ancestral Denmark, I bring you The Fish Lasso.
Actually, scrap that, I am only the messenger and Denmark, whilst still Scandinavia is not exactly freezing cold. I don't even live there these years, but I do keep tap on developments back home and wanted to share this neat fish catching tool:).

Sadly, I don't have a pic of a full length one so for now, you'll have to do with these for now (from a Danish shop which sells them):




But why not use a speargun, I am sure you are wondering. Well, the lasso was born out of necessity and allow me a brief "history lesson".
Danish spearos (and I think Finnish, too) have been allowed to spear with torches at night for a long time. This has been great for a chance at catching the elusive sea trout which come close to the shore at night whilst they are incredibly hard to catch during the day. There are still size restrictions, closed seasons and such and the fish stock is healthy, so the limited flack spearos have been taking have come from anglers, who, perhaps, feel we are somehow evil and cheating.
Now, Denmark (and Finland) are members of the European Union and new, common fishery regulations were passed last year that wiped out our regional exemption which allowed night spearing. Now, it’s illegal to use a tool which uses a “projectile” or any kind of spear when the sun is down. So, no spearguns, polespears nor slings at night.

Hence, Danish spearos had to come up with a solution if they wanted to keep their beloved night fishing alive. So, a spearo called Søren started working on a snare powered by bands and dubbed it the Fish Lasso.
I should also mention, that on the Danish forums there's a bit of chatter about whether a non-projectile fishing tool like the lasso could be legal in otherwise anti-spearing countries like Sweden and Germany but so far no conclusion on that.

The way the lasso works is that bands, tied at the front, pull on a small rod inserted into a normal trigger mech. Also connected to this small piece of rod is a dyneema line which runs towards the rear of the barrel where it turns 180 degrees and runs up to the “muzzle” where it connects to the lasso loop. The idea is that you bring the lasso around the fish, and then when fired, the bands pull on the dyneema which closes the loop fast around the fish.

Another Danish Spearo, Jens, runs a youtube channel which shows the type of spearing most people do back home and he has recently done a few videos about his first trips with the Fish Lasso. I subtitled them so that non-Danes have a chance to understand what’s going on. Just find the CC button on the bottom right of the Youtube player window:

In another part of the country, and I think a bit earlier than Søren, a guy called Henrik made an underwater catch net which can be folded and closed by pulling on a line:

(Jens also did a video about the foldable net, but I haven't subtitled that one, yet).
While the net is probably more draggy than the lasso, its advantage is that you can release undersized or out of season fish. The lasso supposedly snaps too hard for this to be viable.
Whether Henrik and Søren are the first to make these fishing tools, I don’t know. It’s a big world, so perhaps not. But it’s the first, we have seen of these in Denmark, I think.

Also, there's a nice write up with more background for these inventions on a fourth Danish freediver and spearo Morten's website. It's in Danish but I think Google Translate will make sense of it.

So, thanks to Søren, Jens, Henrik and Morten so that I could steal content and thoughts from them to be shared here:)
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Here in Greece I believe the law states spearfishing as 'underwater hunting', so even grabbing them by hand would be illegal.

But I really welcome new inventions! For too long we're only iterating on the old stuff. Was about time for someone to step outside of the box. Next up, 'turbine fins'? :)
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