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One for Andy135 and anyone who likes seeing fish underwater


JDP
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After showing a bit of interest in the underwater world of filming and spearing I thought you might like this Andy135. This is a young Ozy lad who's living over there at the moment. Even though some don't approve of spearing, the underwater content is very good and can help any boat or shore angler get more of an insight in the fish they hunt over shallow water.

 

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Yes Ive seen a fair few of his videos, pretty certain he's friends with my daughter, though only social media friends. He explains very well (no weird accent).

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1 hour ago, Andy135 said:

Just been looking for spearfishing kit online. @JDP, what do you make of this gun? https://www.spearfishing.co.uk/spearguns/guns/rob-allen-sparid-railgun/

Also need to invest in some proper flippers too.

Don’t you think you should concentrate on being good at catching fish the traditional (rod and line) way first?  Then move onto some thing more risqué . I reckon those dog fish swim pretty quick, you’ll struggle to keep the population at bay with a spear gun. 

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Just now, Saintly Fish said:

Don’t you think you should concentrate on being good at catching fish the traditional (rod and line) way first?  Then move onto some thing more risqué . I reckon those dog fish swim pretty quick, you’ll struggle to keep the population at bay with a spear gun. 

🤣🖕

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7 hours ago, Andy135 said:

Just been looking for spearfishing kit online. @JDP, what do you make of this gun? https://www.spearfishing.co.uk/spearguns/guns/rob-allen-sparid-railgun/

Also need to invest in some proper flippers too.

One of my first guns was a Rob Allen similar to those, they are very popular guns around the world and should be fine. A couple of things I notice which is more to do with UK fish species is that the spear shaft is thin, thin shafts are fast but often lack the punch on bigger fish. Shafts can be changed if you find you bend or damage one, or simply want to go a bit heavier in gauge. 

The bands are 16mm, which are pretty powerful bands and would be a bit hard to load at first for some people trying to learn technique. I normally remove the original bands on guns and drop down to 14mm or 13.5. The formulas for spear rubbers and lengths are commonly found online, a smaller diameter delivers the power more progressively without flexing a smaller diameter shaft which in all improves accuracy. The way those guns are setup Im sure is for the UK market, which should be a great starting point and the price looks very reasonable.

Choosing the right length gun might be something you could look into on UK spear forum or look up clubs etc. Just like rod and line fishing you can end up with many guns for different fish. On a comp my daughter would use a gun of 90cm to 110cm over here in clear water. Often shorter guns are used in dirty water where you get close to fish and the longer guns are for longer shots and bigger fish. We tend to use shafts of 7mm diameter up into 8+ to punch through bigger fish. The nature of the steel with Rob Allen guns means they will rust a little if you don't clean your gear after using in saltwater, so rinse off and use a light lube to keep it good. Also check out Rob Allen video's on straightening a shaft and tuning the flopper. The flopper needs to open and stay open after the shot, often its good to head into a shop for a bit of advice first but there are plenty of video's online. Re-rigging rubbers or mono after a while can either be at a store or once again check out YouTube!!!

Finns or flippers as you call them are easy to make mistakes with. I bought some cressi long fins that were very stiff which were extremely hard on my ancles and the stiffness of the blades meant I couldn't use them efficiently. Go with a soft to medium action even if you consider yourself a strong swimmer, many come as seperate blades to the foot pockets, get something comfortable and don't go by price alone. Without doubt the most popular fins for spearing are DiverR fins but I bought some far cheaper mako fins which have been very good. I have a few friends who bought the mako fins https://www.makospearguns.com who have been very happy with them. The mako wetsuits were what we started off with two. Cressi would most likely be the most common your side of the pond but there are many brands, I would go more by the colour and price you like as most are good.

Dive floats or dive flags on your boat are a good thing to use. When underwater boat traffic noise carry's great distances, so you will often know when a boat is near, unless its sailing!!!

With anything you buy, gloves, fins, suit etc etc the more comfortable you feel in it the more relaxed you will be underwater, this will reflect on your depth time and how fish react to you.

 

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3 hours ago, Andy135 said:

Thanks Jon. Very much appreciated 👍

Any guidance on masks? Or how to stop them fogging?

Really you need to put a few on your face to see how they feel. Don't put the strap around your head when testing them, simply hold it over your face and breath in through you nose to see if it sucks comfortably to your face without air seeping in from anywhere. Masks with very soft silicon surrounds are the most comfortable and a black surround helps you concentrate better in the direction you are facing. Be aware of masks with hard plastic bridges above your nose and lower forehead as these can squeeze on your head when you go down from pressure. Masks with reflective coating to stop fish seeing your eyes can help but trying to hunt without being seen as a threat works equally well. 

New masks often have a coating of silicon on the inside of the tempered glass that some people use a lighter to quickly burn away, others will rub the inside of the mask with toothpaste to remove this coating. I believe the coating gets there from the production of the glass and cooling process. Once this has been removed there are several little bottles of anti-fog liquids on the market but Ive always found a couple of drops of the yellow Johnson baby shampoo works best. When I put a few drops in with a little bit of water I rub it around then leave it upside down to dry. Before getting into the water spit in the masks then rinse in sea water and the mask should stay fog free for a few weeks before needing the shampoo again. The yellow shampoo is a no tears shampoo for baby and kids etc but it also works inside motor bike helmets and plastic swim goggles etc, it will also stop bathroom mirrors steaming up.

When you go under water the mask will squeeze to your face which you compensate for by simply exhaling slightly from your nose. If your mask lets a bit of water in you simply tilt your head slightly back, support the bridge of the mask with one hand and exhale a little more which force the water out of the bottom of the mask.

Most spear fishers spit the snorkel from their mouths as they dive down for a couple of reasons. Firstly any bits of air you release from your mouth or air simply holding in the curve of the snorkel can release just as you are about to take a shot and spook a fish. Snorkels just like masks need to be very soft comfortable silicon if you plan spending time in the water. Flexible soft snorkels and the most commonly used by spear fishers. Another reason for removing the snorkel from your mouth while underwater is when you surface you don't have to blow the snorkel clear of water to get your first inhale of air. 

There are lots of breathing exercise lessons on social media but for the average person its very unlikely you will get to a stage of blackouts or sambas, people who get to that point have often trained to resist all the body functions that make us want to head up for air. By simply diving to what feels comfortable its very unlikely anything will go wrong. Things that can be a problem is swimming into a gill net, if this does happen (its happened three times for me in the UK) make sure you have a knife capable of hacking through it and don't panic. You should still be able to surface if tangled in a net. Kelp can sometimes become a bit restrictive if you've been lying in it ready to ambush fish, again don't panic just work your way out of it. If you haven't pushed to your limits and something goes wrong you should have time to calmly work it out. 

Make sure you can confidently rig the speargun line out of the water over and over and then practice doing it in the water over and over in calm conditions. You soon learn that unloading the rubbers before getting back into a boat or onto land is far better than shooting the gun off and having to re-set the shaft line again. I will often not load the rubbers until I see fish, which is easier for us as we can see them from some distance most of the time. I would rather poke cranky sharks off with an unloaded gun, if you poke one with a loaded gun and accidentally fire the trigger you may lose the gun or at least wreck the shaft. If you get into it more seriously you can have a spare shaft rigged and ready to go if you have issues such as a bent shaft or sticky flopper etc. Its not just shooting the fish you have to consider but what's behind the fish also, hitting into rocks should be avoided as much as possible. A shaft that gets stuck into marine growth under ledges can often be removed by getting  special tool to allow youth twist the shaft from the back of the spear on the flat section that fits into the trigger mechanism (a small old spanner to fit will do the same).

This first mask is the kind I like using, the second often push into my head around the frame.

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Edited by JDP
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10 hours ago, Andy135 said:

@JDP, another probably dumb question... do spear-fisherpeople work in pairs like dive buddies, or do they work alone to avoid the risk of spearing their partner?

It's recommended to work as a pair. It's a very efficient way of covering ground and much safer way to dive for many reasons.

Safety is one reason, the person waiting on the surface is able to keep an eye out on boat traffic and assist their buddy if they need it with a fish or blackout ( extremely rare unless hyperventilating etc). 

One person may find a rock crack with lobsters at the end of a breath hold which they can send their buddy down onto after they have surfaced, generally you double your surface time to dive time before going back down, so 1 min under 2 at the surface sort of thing.

In saying the above, my daughter is a terrible dive buddy who gets distracted and shoots off on her own. I find diving with her it's best to follow her with the boat rather than try and stay with her in the water. Boat buddying is common where a boat operator stays about 40-50m away and protects the diver or divers from boat traffic etc. This is also a good way to work with several spearfishers as they can drift with currents and cover large distances, which for my daughter is often over 10k in a day. If boat buddying try to avoid putting the engine in gear if anyone has gone bellow the surface, the sound of the gears engaging will often spook fish the diver was targeting.

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1 hour ago, JDP said:

It's recommended to work as a pair. It's a very efficient way of covering ground and much safer way to dive for many reasons.

Safety is one reason, the person waiting on the surface is able to keep an eye out on boat traffic and assist their buddy if they need it with a fish or blackout ( extremely rare unless hyperventilating etc). 

One person may find a rock crack with lobsters at the end of a breath hold which they can send their buddy down onto after they have surfaced, generally you double your surface time to dive time before going back down, so 1 min under 2 at the surface sort of thing.

In saying the above, my daughter is a terrible dive buddy who gets distracted and shoots off on her own. I find diving with her it's best to follow her with the boat rather than try and stay with her in the water. Boat buddying is common where a boat operator stays about 40-50m away and protects the diver or divers from boat traffic etc. This is also a good way to work with several spearfishers as they can drift with currents and cover large distances, which for my daughter is often over 10k in a day. If boat buddying try to avoid putting the engine in gear if anyone has gone bellow the surface, the sound of the gears engaging will often spook fish the diver was targeting.

1 minute under?? That's me a corpse already!!

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Going a bit further into the tec gear is getting a free diving watch. With these you can set alarms for certain depths and keep an eye on your down time etc. These will also let you know how long to remain on the surface between breath holds, as well as training programs in many of them. For me my dives tend to be quite short at first but build up after the more dives I do in a day, normally starting with around 30-45 seconds at around 8m but increasing to around 1.30sec after a while. I can get down around the 20m but my time down there is only short compared o my daughter.

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