Question Advice on Speargun for a Friend (Honest)

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Scraps

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The wife of a buddy of mine wants me to help her pick out a speargun for his Christmas present. (Yep, she's a keeper.)

He will use this for scuba spearfishing, bottom fish, usually in depths between 60 and 100 feet. He hasn't expressed any interest in pelagic fish even when others have talked about it. His boat doesn't have the range to get into particularly big fish.

He has tons of experience with a pole spear, and he's quite proficient with it, but he wants to move to a gun.

He has borrowed my gun--a 48" AB Biller that I freeshaft with and to which I keep a second shaft bungeed (both as a spare and to keep it negative if I set it down while subduing a fish)--a few times and he has borrowed comparable entry-level guns from other friends. He's fine with that level of quality and with that size or maybe one step up.

He wants a gun that is:
a) Suitable for the fish he usually hunts (bottom fish under 30" long) but will still be adequate if he takes an occasional charter to the middle grounds to hunt larger specimens of the snapper, hogfish, and grouper he usually targets;
b) Can quickly convert from line to freeshaft or vice versa underwater;
c) Can carry at least one, preferably two, extra shafts.

He does not want any kind of spool.

His wife didn't give me a price range, but she wants something mid-range, not exotic or high end.

Ideas on brand, model, and size please?
 

CuzzA

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From least expensive to most. 54" Biller, 60" Ocean Rhino or 58" Koah Battle Axe.

The Biller and Rhino shoot the same notched shaft and given their popularity here on the Gulf coast that is the shaft you'll typically find on the bottom out here so some days are a nice bonus when you find a shaft.

Personally I am partial to teak. So I'd probably go to SpearGods in St. Pete and pick up a 54" teak Biller and have them cut the hand guard off, put a Rhino muzzle or Sea Hornet commercial muzzle on it, convert to the evolution shaft system, add a spare shaft kit, orange bands, ppd holder, and epoxy ballast the handle and your friend is going to have a bad ass gun that will last him the rest of his life with minimal maintenance other than rinsing after use, a shot of Corroison X in the trigger mech every once and a while and a teak oil rub once a year.
 

blue sky

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Personally I am partial to teak. So I'd probably go to SpearGods in St. Pete and pick up a 54" teak Biller and have them cut the hand guard off, put a Rhino muzzle or Sea Hornet commercial muzzle on it, convert to the evolution shaft system, add a spare shaft kit, orange bands, ppd holder, and epoxy ballast the handle and your friend is going to have a bad ass gun that will last him the rest of his life with minimal maintenance other than rinsing after use, a shot of Corroison X in the trigger mech every once and a while and a teak oil rub once a year.
IMO, entirely too much work and added cost.

Ocean Rhino RX-4 or RX-5 or TX-4 or TX5 is the way to go. Google Dan MacMahon spearfishing or David Brown spearfishing. They both shoot Ocean Rhino. If you can find a copy of the DVD "The Bare Bones of Spearfishing" (by Spearfishing Specialties the maker of Ocean Rhino spearguns), it is well worth the money. I saw that Vimeo is streaming it for $17.

The RX spearguns are Rhino coated. The TX spearguns do not have the Rhino coating and are slightly lighter than the RX models. The longer the speargun the further it shoots. I am a fan of their quick load system which allows faster line wrapping and the hyper link system which makes it super fast to switch between line shafting and free shafting. 99% of the time I free shaft.

If Spearfishing Specialties and Kevin Bruington start doing seminars again, try to go to one.

I have both a RX-4 and a TX-5. I shoot the TX-5 most of the time.
 

Johnoly

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....his Christmas present...
b) Can quickly convert from line to freeshaft or vice versa underwater;
c) Can carry at least one, preferably two, extra shafts.
Don't give a kid a Christmas morning gift he has to assemble. Let him play with it straight out of the wrapping paper.

Given what you said above.....that would be the Koah Battle Axe and get the 52" which has both range and easy side to side swing ability. Found discounted at many shops about $695. He'll probably let his wife pick the new boat to buy too!!
 

CuzzA

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IMO, entirely too much work and added cost.

Ocean Rhino RX-4 or RX-5 or TX-4 or TX5 is the way to go. Google Dan MacMahon spearfishing or David Brown spearfishing. They both shoot Ocean Rhino. If you can find a copy of the DVD "The Bare Bones of Spearfishing" (by Spearfishing Specialties the maker of Ocean Rhino spearguns), it is well worth the money. I saw that Vimeo is streaming it for $17.

The RX spearguns are Rhino coated. The TX spearguns do not have the Rhino coating and are slightly lighter than the RX models. The longer the speargun the further it shoots. I am a fan of their quick load system which allows faster line wrapping and the hyper link system which makes it super fast to switch between line shafting and free shafting. 99% of the time I free shaft.

If Spearfishing Specialties and Kevin Bruington start doing seminars again, try to go to one.

I have both a RX-4 and a TX-5. I shoot the TX-5 most of the time.
I don't need to watch videos as I've shot on Dan's boat and held his gun. Dan does not shoot a Rhino gun. Ricky makes all their guns. It's teak wood gun, Sea Hornet commercial muzzle, Neptonics trigger mech and he imports South African notched spring steel shafts. SpearGods is the only one I know of who has the old school commercial muzzle as Rich recently had a production run made.

Dave Brown shoots the teak Windsong Rhino.

I own an RX5 and a teak 54" Biller upgraded as I described earlier. The Rhino is a fine gun, but with spare shafts it's muzzle heavy as the balance suffers from the injection molded grip and stock as there's no way to lengthen it like a traditional wood gun. A lot of plastic on the butt end. You'll note the Windsong Rhino gun cures this problem by using a thicker piece of teak for the barrel.

I have not shot the Windsong edition guns but logic tells me it would be a very comfortable gun to shoot with the added buoyancy of the barrel. Of course the trade off is it's a much thicker stick to handle underwater and more expensive.
 

CuzzA

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I am a fan of their quick load system which allows faster line wrapping and the hyper link system which makes it super fast to switch between line shafting and free shafting. 9
No way. SpearGods Evolution shafts are the way to go. The hyper link systems has that big bulky piece of metal sliding on it. Consequently they are more expensive, have more drag and cannot be backloaded.

If you want to watch YouTube videos you'll note Dan doesn't have any sort of lineshafts and Dave, as well as myself use the Evolution Shaft system. Which was a very clever design by Rich (by the way Spearcrafter's machine shop and SpearGods share the same warehouse where all of these shafts are made) to maintain the profile of a free shaft, yet use a slide ring that used to only work with shark fin shafts. A simple, but brilliant design by reducing the 5/16" shaft diameter only where the flopper sits to allow for the use of a smaller diameter 9/32" flopper and slide ring that still catches on the rear crimps of the shaft.
 
OP
Scraps

Scraps

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Thank you, everyone!
This gives me a lot of good information both for the immediate Christmas purchase and for when I upgrade my gun.
Appreciate all the informed comments.
 

Johnoly

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(by the way Spearcrafter's machine shop and SpearGods share the same warehouse where all of these shafts are made)
Is Rich shipping his other items also from Louis's warehouse? I do agree that the Evolution shaft is nice to have that tiny hole for restaurant chefs rather than a shark fin being pulled thru. Rich is a great guy and really active in the dive industry.
 

CuzzA

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Is Rich shipping his other items also from Louis's warehouse? I do agree that the Evolution shaft is nice to have that tiny hole for restaurant chefs rather than a shark fin being pulled thru. Rich is a great guy and really active in the dive industry.
Yes. Rich is one of the great assets to the community. Their warehouses are adjoining. One side is Lou's machine shop and the other is Rich's dive shop. He also works with GR and distributes the Red Tide line of products from the shop. He will ship anything and his website is a work in progress which should be getting a major overhaul soon. His goal is if its spearfishing related, you can buy it from him. The number of different guns in his shop is staggering. And he has a shitton of SKUs.
 

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