Just received my new gun from Jason at impalerspearguns.com and it looks and shoots pretty sweet. I kind of wanted a spare freedive gun, something very similar to to what I had for using on the reef. I have two of everything mostly. Living in the Keys you can’t really just run to a store because some piece of gear failed and you need it to dive the next day.
Anyways Jason had been trying to get me to try one of his deep open track guns, he swears by them. Also by making the track open you can decrease the overall mass of the gun. I personally want the smallest thinnest gun possible. Others disagree with this and are willing to swim around with a giant piece of wood in the water.
My concern with the open track is that it will make loading slower to some degree. Anyone who has dove with me knows that I am very skeptical of any gun that is slow to load. There are so many instances where you miss, or a fish tears off and you need to get the gun loaded ASAP. Struggling with tangled double wrap while a nice fish is slowly swimming away up current makes me so upset I want to scream really.
Also open track and open muzzles to me are a source of operator error. When you’re trying to load a gun fast and it has barely any track, you can screw up. The shaft can come out of alignment and miss the trigger mech. You can roll the shaft and get the mono twisted around it etc. So I was skeptical of the open track, which kind made me think I should not get the gun in a crazy color in case I would have to resell it.
Anyways after taking the gun out for a couple days, taking long shots with it and reloading. I can say the deep track is almost the same as an enclosed track in terms of quick loading. Once the shaft was in the track, I don’t think I got it out of alignment even once.
This gun is a bit longer and then my orange gun and I rigged it with short bands. Another thing people who have dove with me have probably noticed: I use long bands that are easy to load. I also tend to get very close and shoot fish in the head. These two things go great together, but they are not always possible.
Pelagic fish and jacks (not sure if they technically pelagic) seem to like to hang out just out of reach, also sometimes when diving deeper I am not giving quite as much time to get close. I think this yellow gun will help a lot in these situations.
I used to crank my bands tight as possible because more power is better, right? Over time I have changed my thoughts on that. Sometimes it’s just more power sending that shaft into a rock.
Since I plan on using this larger gun on deeper dives, I am using more and thinner diameter reel line. I am also busting out the white Aussie reel. Everyone says they are best reels, but I need to see for myself.
Why the bright colors?
Well other then the more juvenile need to be differentiated from the herd. Visibility, I want people in boats to see me as much as possible. The idea of swimming around with blue camo on, which in my opinion does nothing for the fish, hiding from boats, is kind of nuts.
When I shoot a fish, and the gun is floating behind me the boat knows immediately. If I am far away from the boat I wave this gun in the air, they see it. It’s like carring a safety sausage.
Hurts to load?
This though just popped into my head while I thinking about the positive qualities of my Impalers. They feel great to load. I have dove with people who will want to keep their gun loaded, even out of the water between spots. Not because they are going to be hyper ready at the next spot of whatever, but because it hurts them to load the gun.
If you have gun that literally hurts you to load it, you should really get another gun. Or maybe glue a mousepad to your wetsuit or rashguard.