Author: Spearing

Tuning a Flopper

By John Paul Castro – SM Staff By far the most unknown and also most important piece of spearfishing gear is the flopper on a shaft and how it works. All too often I run into people who buy stock shafts and just have no idea that the flopper, or barb, should not just open and close completely by the force of gravity.  A proper working flopper should only open to about 30 degrees when pulled by gravity. The idea is, when shot the shaft goes through the fish then the flopper drops open. When the fish tries to escape, it jams the flopper open to 90 degrees where it should get stuck. If the flopper is free then if the fish slides back down the shaft and flips upside down, the flopper could possibly close and the fish could slide off and escape. Tuning the flopper makes it jam open after the fish pushes against it so that it cannot escape. This will cover floppers on most shafts, such as Riffe, Rob Allen, Spearmaster, Addiction, and so on. The idea is to get the metal to pinch on the shaft when it is pushed past its resting point. You do this by squeezing the ends together on the backside of the flopper. It can also be achieved by bending one side on the back. First you take the...

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Product Review: Flatline Spearguns

Building a speargun from scratch takes a lot of creativity, especially when using repurposed wood. Travis Emory builds each speargun by hand in his garage in Treasure Island, Florida from repurposed wood salvaged from old buildings and boats. “You have to be creative with the cuts, avoid nails and holes. You never know what you are getting until you cut into the wood. But that’s why every gun is different and that’s what makes each one unique.” Travis built custom rods for a while and has always liked making things. He crafted his first speargun in 2011 from the trim of a 1976 Aquasport because he wanted to build a customized freediving gun for himself. The rest is history. Like any speargun, a freediving gun must be light, easily maneuverable, powerful, and most importantly, accurate. It’s an added benefit that the older, salvaged wood he uses also has beautiful grain patterns. What makes a Flatline speargun unique? When he builds a gun, he includes all the features he can to increase accuracy, but at the same time makes sure to have a good understanding of what the customer wants so it will be built to the exact specifications the customer desires. Each piece of wood has its own amazing history, even before it’s constructed into a sturdy gun. Travis has been shooting guns since he was old enough to...

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Spearfishing Reel or Float? Why not both?

By John Paul Castro You need not be involved in spearfishing for more than 10 minutes to find out there are two groups of hunters: those who use gun reels and those who use float lines. When I started, just like everyone else, I sought out knowledge from every outlet I could. Every person had a different reason for what they chose. The reel gives the diver the most freedom, the float line the highest feeling of safety. The reel can be useful when many divers are present or when there are obstacles in the water, whereas the float line and float can help with fighting bigger fish or making the diver more visible. Whatever method you chose, and for whatever reason you chose it, conditions and diving situations are always changing. Sometimes they change from one country to another, sometimes from one day to another, and in some locations they change from one dive to the next. This simple way of rigging your shooting line will allow you to choose to either clip on your reel or float line with any shaft rigged in this manner. This means you can go on a trip not knowing with certainty the diving conditions and be ready for all of them. First, you need a small section of tubing. This tubing can be just about anything, similar to a muzzle bungee....

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Product Review: Gill Gun

Words by Chris Okamoto The surest way to start a fight with a group of spearos is to step into a crowded room and ask them, “hey what’s the best speargun?” If you should be brave enough to ask that then as soon as the last word leaves your lips you probably want to dive for cover while covering your genitals (and any other susceptible area that is prone to injury by your peers) as no one will agree on this. For sure there are special guns for special situations. I love my Mori 65” enclosed teak for big wary yellowtail. 80 cm Rabitech pipe gun for halibut. 55” Wong carbon hybrid for shore diving white seabass. But for all around pelagics mixed with calicos? Hmm read on brother… As I learned the ropes I went from pipe guns, to hybrids, to customs and all around again. I’ve owned guns from many different makers; you might say I am a recovering gun whore. Somewhere around 2009 I started hearing guys talk about a gun made by Gilbert Gacula who used to own Spear-Diver spearguns. Gil used a cnc mill so each gun was to his exact specifications. I chatted with Gil for a while, as I wanted a new go to local gun. I wanted something with range and punch, something that could sling a 5/16” shaft accurately. I...

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Doug and the Giant Pargo

by Chris Chaput What do you get when you combine experience, skill, luck, and total idiocy? This story! Doug Jones and I literally have 1,000 hours apiece of blue water hunting under our belts. And when I say “literally,” I don’t mean it like a 13 to 17-year-old girl means it. “Like, OMG I literally can’t even manage to wear anything other than my (****ing obnoxious) pajamas to the airport to travel for the second time EVER in my life!” Seriously, 1,000 hours is not an exaggeration. At the very least, we’ve floated around for enough time to realize when we’re on a slow trip. This story is about one such trip. And, of course, idiocy. A few years back, we were on the fifth day of a five day tuna hunting trip to our favorite fickle stomping grounds outside of Puerta Vallarta. Desperate for some action, Doug and I decided to ditch our 100′ bungee, three-float tuna rigs in exchange for a 75′ hard line with one 35l inflatable. Our intent was to finally to “tag team” the big pargo (cubera) we’d been seeing for years as we drifted past the ridge at Corbatena. We had our plan: one gun, two guys. One up, one down. The guy on the bottom shoots the fish, while the guy above limits the damage by pulling up the float line as...

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