Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
Thanked 38 Times in 36 Posts
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When I set sail for Fanning Island, I assumed they had all the speargun parts one finds in hardware stores in French Polynesia. Wrong, they have nothing, and make their spearguns out of whatever salvaged material they can find. If I had know that, I would have brought more materials, like rubbers, stainless for the wishbones, and wood for the barrels. We did find enough materials on board to make our own, with considerable improvising.
In the South Pacific, you wont catch much with a pole spear. Fish have seen spear fishermen for centuries, and know exactly how far and fast a spear will travel. I have held the point of a spear within a foot of a fish, pulled the trigger, and the fish was gone before the spear got there. They react at the sound of the trigger. It takes a 1/4 inch diameter spear , maximum, in a four foot spear gun, with three 5/8th OD by 1/16th ID surgical tubing to be fast enough to catch them. 5/16th thick spears simply dont work down there. Too slow.Go to a spring shop and buy 1/4 inch oil tempered spring steel for your spears. While a lot comes in coils, straight stuff is available.
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"