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. You can even use a muzzle bungee for that matter. If you decide to make your own, all you need is some dyneema or spectra from reel line or wishbone material. Cut a 3-5” piece of line and just make a loop with an overhand knot with both ends. Install a loop at each end of the tubing and secure them with a constrictor knot just like making a power band. The finished bungee with loops on each end should be around 5” long. The bigger the loops, the easier it will be to loop the bungee through itself and to load it on the line release with gloves.
Next, you rig your shooting line on your shafts to pull the bungee tight. To make changing shafts easy, make sure to crimp the shooting line loop then put the bungee loop through and run the bungee through itself. You don’t want to make a permanent connection. The bungee keeps the shooting line tight, giving you multiple options of rigging.
A float line can now be connected to the shooting line loop like normal. Just secure the swivel clip to the reel if you go through the line anchor or pull it tight against the reel guide if not going through the line anchor. Just make sure to tighten down the drag so it stays put.
If you find yourself not needing the float and want to switch to reel, simply unclip the float line and connect the reel’s swivel clip to the shooting line loop. There are three ways to do this. The reel can be connected straight back to the shooting line. This method is good when you want to shorten the shooting line in play in marginal viz (if you run the swivel clip through the line anchor this option will not work). If you want another wrap of shooting line, just wrap the reel line around the line anchor and back to the shooting line loop and connect.
The bungee to the line release allows reel guns to utilize both reel and float line, long or short shooting line without changing shafts. If you prefer to use a float line connector, just make sure to make the bungee described here the same length stretched as the connector.