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Old 06-04-2013, 01:04 AM   #1
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spearguns (JBL) and scuba diving... thoughts???

Hi everyone! My name's Tom. I live in San Diego, California. Im looking to get a different speargun than the one I have for scuba diving. I've heard a few words of advise from random people and would like your opinion.
I have a jbl 38 special northwest. the northwest version has a thicker 3/8 shaft instead of a 5/16, and mine is the older silver version, without a float chamber, both qualities that make the gun feel really heavy. Despite the THREE bands, the shaft projects at a speed, slow enough for fish to react and dodge to, at anything further than, oh, 4-5 ft.
So, in looking for a new gun, here are some of the things I've been told and/or have come to the conclusion to, through experience.
Being that I'm using a scuba system, and making "the most noise I could ever make underwater with all my bubbles and breathing, other than the boat I came out on," I might as well bring 4 leaf clovers and rabbits feet with me in hopes of seeing a pelagic fish, seeing as how they're so skittish. Also, being that I live in California, and the vis is typically 5 to 10 ft, 15 to 20 being a memorable dive, getting a long gun (above 50 inches) is rather pointless.
So here's how I spearfish. I go down to the bottom, find a sea urchin (black and purple spiky ball thing), cut it open a bit, set it down, move about 8 ft away, and wait for all the fish to come and battle over the innards... and then i shoot the largest one that comes over, usually being about 12 to 15 inches long. its always been kelp bass or sheephead. Since the minimum is 12 inches for sheephead and 14 for kelp bass, its usually male sheephead and the occasionally large kelp bass i shoot, but its tough to get them because the large ones always hang out on the outside, further away, wisely and cautiously. So getting a gun too short is a pain also. I've ran out of shock line less than a hand full of times, but its happened. So getting a gun in the 30's is doable, but pushing it, as far as being too small. So I've been looking at guns in the 40's. Am I good so far? Thoughts? Opinions? Would you still recommend a 30's gun like a regular 38 special since it has a thinner, possibly faster shaft, and all the new jbl magnum series have float chambers? Or could there be a chance on this earth that I might see a pelagic fish while scuba diving, and would recommend something in the 40's.
Lastly, spearfishing with scuba takes up ALOT more air than just scuba diving. Pulling up and cutting sea urchin, loading fish onto your fish loop after catching them, and reloading the gun. Sooo, i figured, getting a gun that's quicker to reload would save me time and air. I was thinking of getting a jbl lightning series single band gun, but it doesnt have a float chamber (helpful so gun doesnt get all banged up on coral or tangled up in shaft while im working the fish) and reviews led to my belief of them not being powerful enough. Pardon my constant reference to JBL if you're not a fan, they're the more affordable of the only two companies I see here constantly, them and Riffe. So I've been contemplating a two band gun. JBL makes a "Competition Magnum." It's about 46 inches long and has two 22" bands. Kind of weird, seeing as how the next model smaller AND larger than it both use 3, 24" bands... dont know what that means.... help???
But yeah, I've been thinking about that gun because of the above reasons. Does anyone else spearfish with scuba? Different experiences or perceptions? Strategies? size of fish you've shot with different sized bands or guns? Any info helps!
P.S. I've been working on holding my breath guys! Don't bash me just yet! have faith!
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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Re: spearguns (JBL) and scuba diving... thoughts???

Hey Tomek, I use a Northwest as well here in Lake Mead and Willow Beach. I find it to be a very powerful little gun although it did have some flaws in the beginning that sounds somewhat similar to what you describe. How I overcame these flaws was fairly easy. First off check that the bushing slides along the shaft smoothly and easy. Mine had a small bump along the shaft that need some minor sanding to smooth out. The second thing I did was to ditch the stock shock line in favor of a reel setup. I picked up a Cressi reel and fabricated a mount using a piece of 1 1/2" aluminum bar stock. With the reel installed and some nice 300 lb test Dyneema I was able to do a third wrap on the line release which gave the gun just over an 11' reach from end of muzzle to top of shaft before the spear started taking out line on the reel. Once I did these mods the gun felt like it had considerably more punch at a longer range. Since then I have launched that heavy 3/8 shaft clean through several large carp. I am intrigued, however, about putting a thinner shaft on board but I'll probably save that for an open muzzle conversion later.

I haven't tried hunting with scuba yet although I'll be finishing my certification this month.

Anyways, hope that helps out a little. I will post up pictures of my gun as soon as I get the picture thing sorted out.

Happy hunting!
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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Re: spearguns (JBL) and scuba diving... thoughts???

i have owned jbl lightning and i own now a jbl sawed off magnun that i have put two 18mm bands. the lightning was the fastest shooting but the magnum has full power till about 12 foot ive now done some research and purchaced a mako (etr) its supposed to have 25 foot range i will post again once i test my new mako etr this weekend at willow hopefully
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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Re: spearguns (JBL) and scuba diving... thoughts???

I think that you should step up to a longer 'better' gun. Scroll down a few threads to the Service @ Pelaj post.
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california, jbl, magnum, scuba, wsb

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