If freedivers are in love with their carbon fins, it's their guns that spearos are attached to! And they never replace a gun that gets fish, they just don't. No matter if it's old, rusty, and worn out, they'll keep that gun and use it in almost every dive, simple because it just gets the job done.
Key West Waterman is no stranger to guns as he has actually personally built both his guns. In his latest YouTube video, he goes through the characteristics of each speargun, explaining why they are his favorite grouper hunting tools.
"Today I'm gonna go over my kind of reef setups, the two guns that I shoot most often. Before I dive in, just a thought, just because these are the guns that I shoot, that does not mean that they're the right guns for you. When I first started spearfishing, years and years ago, I had a tendency to listen to people that dove more than me and were more experienced than myself. I thought if I got what they had, I'd be this incredible diver and it turned out that not everything's right for everybody. So this is not the right way, this is not the right equipment necessarily for you, it could be, but just don't think that it is going to be!
These are my two reef guns, I want to kind of compare them and then show you the subtle differences and why I use them and when I use them. I’ll start with this guy, this is the one that I shoot most. It is just under 53 inches, made of teak. Both of these guns are actually teak laminates, I built them myself years and years ago. About every two or three years I sand them down and refinish them, they held up pretty well. So they're both made of teak, they both have poured epoxy tracks, they're both enclosed.
The first one, as I said, is about 52 inches and I shoot this more often than not. It’s got two 16 bands, a single flopper, got an Ulu Sub reel on here, this is 50 meters, you normally aren't going to need more than 50 meters on the reef. If a wahoo swims by, you might be in trouble, but I normally don't ever need more than 50 meters on the reef. All the mechanisms and whatnot are from Neptonics, they sell pretty much everything you need to build a gun. As I said, I did it years and years ago, these are still kicking, there’s a little corrosion on them but I dive more in a year than most people dive in five years and everything seems to be holding up just fine.
This gun is what you would call a rear handle plus, I call it a mid handle and what that means is the trigger itself, the handle is different where the trigger mechanism is, there's a push rod here that makes this trigger push the actual trigger mechanism and it just gives you a little more band stretch. So technically a little bit of a shorter gun has a little more bang for his buck.
My second one is the sister gun, I built it pretty much around the same time, different shape, this one's about an inch longer but like I said it has less band stretch and again band stretch is the amount of power you're going to have. The power and the length of a shot a gun can handle are determined by its band stretch and the number of bands. So from here to the end of these shark fin tabs is about 43 inches on this one. I shoot this guy mainly if I'm hunting really deep, it has a bigger reel if we're doing deep wrecks. Sometimes I'll clip it off on a buoy for pelagic just as a backup. One of the main differences is its double flopper for bigger fish, deeper fish around the wrecks. If you shoot something big in a wreck, you really need to horse it, so it doesn't get rocked up, so I like the double flopper on there.
This is actually what's called a rear handle. The handle is all the way to the back of the gun, and the handle and the trigger are aligned, they are together. Again Ulu Sub reel, this one is I believe 90 meters. As I said, the main differences between the two guns here are double flopper - single flopper. Double flopper I like for bigger deeper fish around wrecks that I can horse, just in case I've had big fish break these floppers off. And then the other difference is the rear handle - mid handle. Personally, I like a little bit of mid-handle and the reason being when I'm tracking a fish I have a little more here to grab onto and it allows me to kind of pivot that gun like that, a little easier to track rear handles are fun too. Another advantage to the rear handle is you get a little more reach you're putting that gun a few more inches closer to that fish when you make that shot"!
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Aaron's Carbon Spearfishing Fins Of Choice