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All About Guns What's your weapon of choice, and why? Discuss the beloved speargun here!

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Old 02-09-2020, 11:43 PM   #1
Diving Gecko
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When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

From the cold northern home waters of my ancestral Denmark, I bring you The Fish Lasso.
Actually, scrap that, I am only the messenger and Denmark, whilst still Scandinavia is not exactly freezing cold. I don't even live there these years, but I do keep tap on developments back home and wanted to share this neat fish catching tool

Sadly, I don't have a pic of a full length one so for now, you'll have to do with these for now (from a Danish shop which sells them):





But why not use a speargun, I am sure you are wondering. Well, the lasso was born out of necessity and allow me a brief "history lesson".
Danish spearos (and I think Finnish, too) have been allowed to spear with torches at night for a long time. This has been great for a chance at catching the elusive sea trout which come close to the shore at night whilst they are incredibly hard to catch during the day. There are still size restrictions, closed seasons and such and the fish stock is healthy, so the limited flack spearos have been taking have come from anglers, who, perhaps, feel we are somehow evil and cheating.
Now, Denmark (and Finland) are members of the European Union and new, common fishery regulations were passed last year that wiped out our regional exemption which allowed night spearing. Now, it’s illegal to use a tool which uses a “projectile” or any kind of spear when the sun is down. So, no spearguns, polespears nor slings at night.

Hence, Danish spearos had to come up with a solution if they wanted to keep their beloved night fishing alive. So, a spearo called Søren started working on a snare powered by bands and dubbed it the Fish Lasso.

The way the lasso works is that bands, tied at the front, pull on a small rod inserted into a normal trigger mech. Also connected to this small piece of rod is a dyneema line which runs towards the rear of the barrel where it turns 180 degrees and runs up to the “muzzle” where it connects to the lasso loop. The idea is that you bring the lasso around the fish, and then when fired, the bands pull on the dyneema which closes the loop fast around the fish.

Another Danish Spearo, Jens, runs a youtube channel which shows the type of spearing most people do back home and he has recently done a few videos about his first trips with the Fish Lasso. I subtitled them so that non-Danes have a chance to understand what’s going on. Just find the CC button on the bottom right of the Youtube player window:





In another part of the country, and I think a bit earlier than Søren, a guy called Henrik made an underwater catch net which can be folded and closed by pulling on a line:

(Jens also did a video about the foldable net, but I haven't subtitled that one, yet).
While the net is probably more draggy than the lasso, its advantage is that you can release undersized or out of season fish. The lasso supposedly snaps too hard for this to be viable.
Whether Henrik and Søren are the first to make these fishing tools, I don’t know. It’s a big world, so perhaps not. But it’s the first, we have seen of these in Denmark, I think.

Also, there's a nice write up with more background for these inventions on a fourth Danish freediver and spearo Morten's website. It's in Danish but I think Google Translate will make sense of it.

So, thanks to Søren, Jens, Henrik and Morten so that I could steal content and thoughts from them to be shared here

P.S.
I guess this could could go in the Slings and Polespears section and if an admin sees fit, feel free to move it.

Last edited by Diving Gecko; 02-10-2020 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:59 AM   #2
popgun pete
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Re: When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

Very interesting and thanks for posting it. I see that fish “sleeping/resting” under overhangs and among crevices in the rocks are having the monofilament loop placed over them and it is then drawn tight by the band powered line tensioner that shoots a connected rod and the loop at the front end of the long hollow rod or wand retracts into it like a tube worm in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately if it is too successful then you will probably find that this new method of dynamic snaring of fish will be banned as well. Here the act of a diver coming out of the water at night with fish would be considered unlawful and just how you got a hold of them would be irrelevant. We have this state of affairs thanks to abalone poachers who worked by night and now freediving and any form of hunting at night is totally banned because it is assumed that you must be a poacher. Guns with lights are also banned, although there are always ways around that as you can have the flashlight hidden away somewhere else for daytime use in caves, hollow, etc.

P.S. the fish look good to eat!

Last edited by popgun pete; 02-10-2020 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:43 AM   #3
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When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

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Originally Posted by popgun pete View Post
Very interesting and thanks for posting it. I see that fish “sleeping/resting” under overhangs and among crevices in the rocks are having the monofilament loop placed over them and it is then drawn tight by the band powered line tensioner that shoots a connected rod and the loop at the front end of the long hollow rod or wand retracts into it like a tube worm in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately if it is too successful then you will probably find that this new method of dynamic snaring of fish will be banned as well. Here the act of a diver coming out of the water at night with fish would be considered unlawful and just how you got a hold of them would be irrelevant. We have this state of affairs thanks to abalone poachers who worked by night and now freediving and any form of hunting at night is totally banned because it is assumed that you must be a poacher. Guns with lights are also banned, although there are always ways around that as you can have the flashlight hidden away somewhere else for daytime use in caves, hollow, etc.

P.S. the fish look good to eat!

I did indeed have you in mind when I subtitled the videos and wrote this post - figured you’d be interested in it and perhaps a few more folks, too.
I think our cod is Atlantic cod and they can be great eating. Also, not too hard to catch as they tend to move slow. Even in day time they move a bit slow, but perhaps they go deeper, too.
I am not sure, but I think our sea trout is related to salmon and it’s just such a beautiful fish. Wrapped in silver foil with some white wine and veggies and steamed/baked in the oven is an easy way to make a delicious meal out of them.

You are spot on about how the lasso works but I have to admit that when I first saw a mentioning of a “fish lasso” I expected it to be gimmicky. But the video shows how powerful and efficient it really is and I applaud the thinking going into coming up with such a functional solution.

Morten, whom I also linked to (website in Danish), is super knowledgeable about the regulations and has done extensive work educating people and lobbying for our rights. He explains, that while night spearing was already illegal in most of Europe, we were actually supposed to keep our “night rights” within the big roll out of the new EU fishing union laws. He says the night ban in most European countries stems from trying to protect species such as dusky groupers from being easily poached at night and sold illegally to restaurants.
But we don’t really have a species in Denmark at risk like that (except the eel, which was almost gone in the 80s(?) but then successfully protected). But somehow, when the member states voted for the full package, our local exemptions had not been included in the text - though supposedly agreed upon beforehand. Maybe just a bureaucratic mistake but EU is a big ship to turn around so it might take some years to regain the rights lost.

It’s also being mentioned on the Danish forums that a non-projectile fishing tool like the lasso could be legal in otherwise anti-spearing countries like Sweden and Germany but so far no conclusion on that.


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Last edited by Diving Gecko; 02-10-2020 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

I was just in Denmark a few weeks ago and thinking it looked like an awesome place to dive. Are spearguns still allowed in the day time?
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

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Originally Posted by Hpwatson View Post
I was just in Denmark a few weeks ago and thinking it looked like an awesome place to dive. Are spearguns still allowed in the day time?

Ah, hope the Danes treated you well. It always freaks me out when people have visited in winter time as we shy away from human contact and hurriedly crawl into our nicely designed Ikea-laden homes but also quite a bit up our own butts. Come summer, I think we are altogether nicer people, haha.

But back to spearing. Yes, day time is no problem. You do need a license or tag but it’s very affordable and I think you can get it online now.
The fishing in Denmark tends to be in shallow waters - but I think after the night ban more and more spearos will start diving deeper in the day time. E.g. for bigger cod on wrecks and banks but you may need a boat for that.
Fish aren’t huge there but great eating. E.g. once people know how to spot them in the sand they catch quite a lot of turbot - some even by hand - and that’s very likely the most expensive fish you can buy in a restaurant or at the monger in our part of the world.

But if you are in Scandinavia once in a while, you could also consider heading to Norway. That’s the best fishing the north has to offer, I suppose. Big schools of cod and ling. Scallops for hand picking and the chance of a giant halibut. And the landscape there is just stunning.
Some great videos on YouTube from Norway - e.g. some by Aussie Danial Mann.

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Last edited by Diving Gecko; 02-10-2020 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:50 PM   #6
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Re: When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

Yeah I was wondering about halibut in Denmark, are there not many there? We had an awesome time for sure, no problems with snobby people like you say, everyone was super nice. Of course it was new years eve so they may have also been a bit drunk as well but hey so were we. It definitely made me want to dive Scandinavia more, my wife is Finnish so we go at least once a year and I'm always tempted to bring my dive gear.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:21 PM   #7
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Re: When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

For some reason halibut is quite rare in Denmark, not sure if spearos even take some once in a while. Don’t know if it’s a salinity, temperature or “habitat” issue.
When I watch videos from Norway I’m always impressed with how many and how big the fish grow there in general.



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Old 02-12-2020, 04:28 AM   #8
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Re: When Guns Are Not Allowed - The Fish Lasso (A Rubber Actuated Snare)

That's pretty cool, thanks for sharing. I've used a lobster snare to free lasso a few fish (two lionfish and one red grouper). The strategy was to loop them over the head past the eyes because the eye sockets stick out from the head and stop the line from pulling off.
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