John Paul Castro – Spearing Magazine staff
It seems the concept of tying bands has caught on in the spearfishing world. Custom built guns and even most production guns now have closed muzzles. Store bought bands are becoming less and less of an option so divers are resorting to creating their own bands through the muzzle in which they tie a permanent closed loop band. It works, but is not the best option for those of us who frequently dive or travel long distances.
If you take enough shots, eventually you will break a wishbone, tie a bad constrictor knot, have a band pop or some other mysterious phenomenon at exactly the time you are 100 miles offshore or on a remote island. Boats or far away places are not the most conducive to steady hands with tools, especially in a hurry. Tying in loops for a removable wishbone is the easiest way to replace bands on a gun. It can be done in a matter of seconds just about anywhere. The preparation is only marginally more difficult than closed loop bands.
After you measure and cut your band to the proper length the idea is to create a loop that sticks out of each end of the band. This loop can be made of dyneema or you can buy metal wishbone inserts that in some cases work much better.
For dyneema or spectra you will need a thickness that can be inserted into the band after a double overhand knot but not something too thin that it will slide out under pressure. Something in the 2.5 – 3mm usually works.
The reason I prefer metal inserts is because they are always the same length and easier to insert even if the insert is large, and thus almost never pull out under force.
Once you have the loops in they are secured with a constrictor knot just like a standard wishbone. Next is using a proper wishbone. For large shark fins you can use as large as 3.5mm, for mini shark fins you may have to go down to 2.0mm, and notches even smaller. What you have to make sure is that, especially with metal inserts, the diameter is large enough to close in on its self.
With the wishbone material all you do is stick it through the loop, wrap it all the way around and tuck it underneath itself as shown in the photos.
This way you can make extra bands and put them in zip lock bags with your dive gear. Should you have a wishbone break, bands feel weak, or want to go from 2 to 3 bands, it’s as easy as pulling the band through the band slot and putting on a wishbone. Disaster diverted, power inserted.