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All Other Gear Tanks, BCDs, Regs, Fins, Stringers, and all other gear we use in Spearfishing.

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Old 05-27-2014, 07:38 AM   #1
freedivingfool
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Carbon Fin Reviews

First off I would like to state that I, in no way, shape or form is connected to any of the mentioned brand name Fins. I do not get paid or get hooked up by any company. My hard earn money pays for these equipment. My review is based on my experience and real world usage. However they are my opinion and my opinions only, so don't go bashing me if you're not happy with what I said about your "favorite" Fins.

I have had and use many carbon fins in the past and I currently have 4 carbon fins to my arsenal (gonna get the Diver R carbons soon). As of right now I have the Leader Carbon Fins(Picasso pockets), Deep Apnea (Medium stiffness)(Omer stingray pockets), Moana Medium stiffness (Mares pockets) and the Bleutec Spearo/Blade soft fins (Pathos pockets) made special for SpearAmerica that was sold to me (new).

The location of my diving is in the Pacific/Japan/Okinawa. It is 80% shore diving most of the time and it's 90% coral reefs. I mostly hunt from 20-80 feet. Currents and lots of surface swimming!

Leader Fins: I mostly use these when i'm diving shallow and I know I will be hunting in holes and caves. I abuse these fins and toss and bang them around my yard/driveway. They are basically good fins for the price, no issues with getting abused. However I did snap these in half by just standing on the reef and jumping into the water, they are fairly fragile it seems like. Coming up from 50 feet they feel no different than what my Omer Fiberglass Pegasus fins did, not as springy and responsive as the higher end fins. They are fairly stiff, you will work hard to get to the bottom and top as I stated they lack that memory and response of the DA, Moana and Bleutec. They are not 100% Carbon, however for someone looking to get into the Carbon fin realm, I think they would be a good start.

Deep Apnea: These fins are at 85cm, so they are fairly long. Diving Deep these fins are great. Good Carbon pattern, responsive, good snap and really springy from coming up from the deep. However since they are long, for the reefs that I dive, it is hard to control the fin. It tends to get caught in the coral, cracks and crevasses if you are not watching where you are landing on the bottom. These fins are easily scratch and more prone to nicks more so than my other fins?? I don't really push off the bottom but it is un-avoidable where I dive. Last they have a tendency to nick and break off a little bit at the end and I don't really have that issue with my other fins, so I have had to sand the edges a couple of times now on these fins, plus it's sharp as heck when the carbon breaks off like that. They are also pretty heavy in the Omer Stingray pockets. My set of Bluetec fins in Pathos pockets weigh just as much as one DA fins in the stingray pockets.

Moana: As some of you guys recall, I'm the only person that I know that have broken a Moana fin. I was out in some BIG ass surf and snap my fins trying to get back to safety. JD was kind enough to replace me a full set for free (awesome customer service). I really like the Moana's, I know guys that dislike the pitted holes in the resin but that didn't bother me. I also really liked the Carbon pattern. The fin was phenomenal coming from the deep (at least 60 feet and below), great responsiveness, minimal effort with kicking cycles and great flexion with proper kick action. The carbon is thicker than than DA and that's why I think it's not easily nicked and scratched easily such as the DA. However it is still lighter than the DA (Blades only). I really like using the DA for diving deep and surface swimming, that is where the Moana was a win for me especially out here . The long swims with the Moana was a breeze witht the angle, my only complaint was that it did make me ankels sore after awhile because of the Medium stiffness. The only thing I would change would be to get the soft next time. My buddy liked them so much though that he bought them from me and he really likes them. SO I have been in contact with JD at Moanawatermen to buy just one blade from him to use those as my Deep diving fins. Plus, it's made in America, **** yeah!

Bleutec's: They are my new favorite fins, due to the fact that I got them in soft and I have them in the best foot pockets you can buy, Pathos! The fin with pockets are SO light!!!! I would say the set weighs not much more than my 2lb dive weights. Swimming with these fins are AWESOME, the softblades really work themselves. Minimal effort surface swimming, I was out for about 6hrs this past Saturday. Surface swimming and diving to 80 feet and covering about 3-5 miles of swimming and locating fish, I lacked the soreness and fatigue as the other fins gave me. The diving is even better, the fins takes very little kicking once I get past the 10ft mark, little gentle kicks and the softness of the blades flexing back and forth takes very little effort thus saving me precious oxygen. I was hitting 60-80ft with less efforts than my other fins combine, I dramatically increased my bottom time from about 1:30 to about 2:00 minutes, it may be due to the soft blades or the fact that I was in an intense Military training for the past 3 weeks where when I was done I swam over 30 miles and swam 5,000-10,000 meters daily, sometimes in full military uniform. I noticed that I don't have to kick as hard getting to the bottom and getting to the surface. The fins responsiveness and flexibility does a lot of the work for you. The Pathos foot pockets are comfy and once I molded them to my foot, I now have dedicated left and right fins. The carbon weave is super nice and I got them in matte black, no glossy coating so it is mostly pure carbon at work. Overall i'm very happy with the Bleutec fins, I think they are definitely worth the money.

So overall I think my favorite fins are the Bleutec's with the Moana a close second. I think if I had the Moana in soft they would probably perform just as great at the Bleutecs. But as I stated i'am Moana-less right now, until I can buy another one from JD. I'm very happy with all my fins but the Bleutec has top them all in the performance category due to the responsiveness and action of those blades. But as I stated if my other fins were also in soft, i'm sure the results would be fairly similar. I plan to get the Diver R Carbons in the future to finalized my collection of the top Carbon Fins out there. I also have a video of me bashing my broken Moana and Leader fins against concrete, my chain link fence post, screw driver and last a three prong and the results are pretty phenomenal.
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Last edited by freedivingfool; 05-27-2014 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:44 AM   #2
2fishin2
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

Nice review there freediving fool or whoever you are today. Didnt have to read about fat chicks and still understood what he best fins are. Thanks bro!
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

Good review man. I have to agree with your review of the DA and Moanas. Both great fins, the Moana meds were too stiff, love the deep apneas for going deep.

I had DiveRs with the omer stingray pockets and they are grossly heavy. Really hard to accurately judge without them being in the same pockets. The pathos from my experience freakin rock
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

I agree with you on the bleutecs!I have a pair in medium and man they are insane!
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

That is a kickass review freedivingfool. I have gone the same path to bleutec spearo blades and can't agree more about that insane recovery the blades have when the kick takes so little. I can't relate myself to your time in the water or mad depths but it doesn't take much to see the difference in sweeping currents here
You going to switch to pathos pockets for your moana blades? I can't imagine going back to my stingrays after being spoiled by pathos
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:36 PM   #6
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

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Originally Posted by jshuster View Post
That is a kickass review freedivingfool. I have gone the same path to bleutec spearo blades and can't agree more about that insane recovery the blades have when the kick takes so little. I can't relate myself to your time in the water or mad depths but it doesn't take much to see the difference in sweeping currents here
You going to switch to pathos pockets for your moana blades? I can't imagine going back to my stingrays after being spoiled by pathos
The only plan for me in the future is using nothing but pathos foot pockets!! I do plan on getting the Moana in pathos pockets and if a good deal comes through on the Diver R but they really suck at customer response on thier website, so I kind of given up on them! I plan on using the Bleutec's as my primary fins but I'm a fin nut so I may just keep trying them all!
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

DiveR fiberglass fins are heavy. The carbon/copper beryllium whatever they are made of are very light. So your Pathos molding worked out? Now just need to figure out which blades are for me. Oh yeah DiveR Ray is a no nonsense good guy. He tells it like it is....but he can be slow on responses sometimes. Doesnt Neptonics have the blades?
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:34 PM   #8
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

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Originally Posted by 2fishin2 View Post
Oh yeah DiveR Ray is a no nonsense good guy. He tells it like it is....but he can be slow on responses sometimes. Doesnt Neptonics have the blades?
I asked Josh at Neptonics about the DiveRs. Apparently, DiveR is having a hard enough time supplying the Australian market right now, so exporting is not a priority. Consequently, Neptonics does not have them at the moment.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:27 AM   #9
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

i cant wait to try my new leaderfins in my mako pockets
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:16 AM   #10
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

Leader fins are great fins to get into the carbon world, you can tell if you are switching over from plastic fins. I always tell new divers to get the best fins they can buy and yes a carbon or learn the hard way and buy cheap plastic fins and when they get better and more confident, they will want to go to fiberglass or carbons eventually. Now they have plastic fins that they only used for a couple of months that they no longer need and no one wants to buy beat up plastic fins. So in turned they should of just bought the carbons as I told them too in the beginning.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:54 PM   #11
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

thanks for the reviews. i will be hopefully upgrading to some carbon fins this summer. just debating on what to get and if i should stick with my omer foort pockets
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:11 PM   #12
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

I have a set of Moanas and I love them. I did break one of my blades kicking into a 4 knot current at SCI. All of a sudden I just blew a tire... thought the blade came out of the rail... lucky I had some plastics for the rest of the time.

JD promptly replaced the set and I have been using them ever since. I have the Mares pockets which I like a lot more than the Pathos pockets (I guess if you really mold the pathos ones they work quite well, but I liked the natural fit of the mares.)

I made a number of consecutive dive last weekend to 70+ to cut out a fish... and man did these perform. great fins.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:21 PM   #13
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

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I did break one of my blades kicking into a 4 knot current at SCI. All of a sudden I just blew a tire... thought the blade came out of the rail...
Was the blade scratched up before the break?
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:31 PM   #14
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

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Was the blade scratched up before the break?
2nd time ever using it, basically new condition. JD believes there was a flaw in the sheet they were cut from. I have not had a problem since they were replaced. These were medium stiffness and I have strong legs from kicking for years. Combine the current with a minor flaw in the blade and snap.... possibly the same sheet freedivingfool got his blades out of...
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:58 PM   #15
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Re: Carbon Fin Reviews

Well I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one that broke a moana blade, same thing swimming in some rough stuff and the blade just snapped but JD promptly replaced. People were blaming it was me and I was inexperienced but I know that wasn't the case. I would like to try the soft moana in the future but if anyone gets a chance these bleutec's are super nice!
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