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Advice for those starting out

Printed From: The Fishing Website
Category: Diving
Forum Name: Spearo's Corner
Forum Description: Free-divers & spearos chat about their sport
URL: https://www.fishing.net.nz/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=37410
Printed Date: 25 Jun 2024 at 9:29pm


Topic: Advice for those starting out
Posted By: long john
Subject: Advice for those starting out
Date Posted: 01 Feb 2009 at 6:15pm
The purpose of this 'sticky' topic is to provide answers to those questions frequently asked by divers starting out. In the past we've had some questions asked so many times that when the new lurker finally gets brave enough to post there questions, there is a general indifference from other forum members and subsequently a low rate of reply. Not only is that unhelpful but it can look a little snobby too and is hardly encouraging.
So, hopefully this time around, as questions get asked, we can all provide our knowledge and opinions on the best length gun, type of wetsuit etc in the knowledge that we can put that topic to bed forever and at the same time contribute to what may in time become a valuable resource for people wanting to get into the awesome lifestyle that is spearfishing.
There are some amazingly skilled and knowledgable spearfishers and freedivers who frequent this forum so this is a perfect opportunity to get the good oil from those in the know. So c'mon all you lurkers and new guys, fire away!!!!!!! Clap


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Proud member of the Glen Innes Spearfishing Club



Replies:
Posted By: jaydogfish
Date Posted: 01 Feb 2009 at 6:33pm
ill start!!!!!!
does anyone use a spear with two floppers on it? have had a few big fish lost and some with holes so big it ruins the fillet. i know the best result would be to shot the fish "properly"  but most of the time that doesnt happen for me. someone also told me that if the flopper is further back this will help. is this true?


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THE DOGG


Posted By: long john
Date Posted: 01 Feb 2009 at 9:21pm
I don't think too many guys in N.Z run two floppers. What kind of gun you got? A lot of euro guns have tiny little floppers that tend to pull out easily whereas the saffa shafts (and increasingly now the euro ones) have a flopper about 80mm long, which rarely pull as long as the shaft has gone right through.

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Proud member of the Glen Innes Spearfishing Club


Posted By: pure--lure
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 9:18am

Hey guys just got gun and stuff never shot a fish etc and am building confidence up in swimming where would be a good spot to start someone said ti point



Posted By: mario
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 10:27am
Well, at the moment Tee point is getting a real floggin! Terefore it is esy to shoot a snapper say at Takatu point, tan a Butter at Tee point! 
 The place runs hot and cold ,but lately has been an iceberg!!Cry I will suggest to you to try places as Pakery, Teari point, or the Coramandel (Hot water beech, for ex.)
And let Tee point have a bit of a rest.Star


Posted By: hunt&gather
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 11:55am
What is the optimum weight/buoyancy for diving (obviously this depends on size/wetsuit thickness etc) - but should you have positive buoyancy in the top water column? I can dive 10/12m comfortably and have enough weight to be neutral at the surface then obviously sink during decent and sit on the bottom. Should you decrease weight as your ability to dive deeper improves? Confused


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 12:19pm
Thought this might fit in here.

Anyone know of any public/Gym pools in the north shore and how much they are to join. Just for training would be brilliant.


Posted By: Azazel
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 1:01pm
Originally posted by hunt&gather hunt&gather wrote:

What is the optimum weight/buoyancy for diving (obviously this depends on size/wetsuit thickness etc) - but should you have positive buoyancy in the top water column? I can dive 10/12m comfortably and have enough weight to be neutral at the surface then obviously sink during decent and sit on the bottom. Should you decrease weight as your ability to dive deeper improves? Confused

You should be bouyant at half your intended depth at the very least. As you get deeper, weight should be taken off to maintain that.

For reference, I try to be neutral at ~7-8m if I'm diving to 10 or so and aim for ~12m if I'm diving to 18-20.


Posted By: TheSnapperWhisperer
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 1:17pm
TG, please don't train in a pool until you've done a proper freediving course and have someone in the water with you who has first hand knowledge of how to recover a blacked out diver.  Every year a few people worldwide die 'training' for freediving in public pools alone while lifegurds watch on and people swim over them. 
 
Public pools are a pain because most are full much of the time, making sharing a lane a hassle.  If you want to train, do it with a group from No Bubbles.


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http://www.facebook.com/TheSnapperWhisperer


Posted By: hunt&gather
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by Azazel Azazel wrote:

Originally posted by hunt&gather hunt&gather wrote:

What is the optimum weight/buoyancy for diving (obviously this depends on size/wetsuit thickness etc) - but should you have positive buoyancy in the top water column? I can dive 10/12m comfortably and have enough weight to be neutral at the surface then obviously sink during decent and sit on the bottom. Should you decrease weight as your ability to dive deeper improves? Confused

You should be bouyant at half your intended depth at the very least. As you get deeper, weight should be taken off to maintain that.

For reference, I try to be neutral at ~7-8m if I'm diving to 10 or so and aim for ~12m if I'm diving to 18-20.
 
Thanks Azazel - had a feeling I may have been carrying a bit much weight as having to push off the bottom - can be a bit sapping towards the end of my breath


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 1:45pm
Hi Snapper,

I got you there but I was actually just referring to doing the old freestyle lenghts and actually breathing. hehe. I am very unfit and I actually have my provinsial colours in swimming (Many years qago).

I think swimming (normal swimming the old fashioned way) is a brilliant method of exercise as it gives good cardio and a bit of movement of the muscles without putting much strain on your body (i.e. knees and running)

Later!


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 1:45pm
PS: I am planning a course with no bubbles, but I would like to go there very fit, otherwise I'll feel like I'm wasting my time.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 2:44pm
Quick one.

Shooting line for Rob Allen gun or any gun for that matter. How long and what breaking strain?


Posted By: Azazel
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 3:21pm
Originally posted by TG TG wrote:

Quick one.

Shooting line for Rob Allen gun or any gun for that matter. How long and what breaking strain?

Shooting line length is defined in 'wraps' of gun. On almost all the guns we use here, the line attaches to the muzzle, often with a bungee, then loops back to the line release by the trigger, then back up the barrel, through the muzzle and onto the back of the spear. That makes the line ~3x the length of the gun, with theoretical range as 3xbarrel length + spear as measured from the muzzle. A double wrap is 5x barrel length.

As for breaking strain, the usual range is 250-400 pound mono. 300 should be plenty. Dyneema/Spectra can also be used, if you like.

On the other note about fitness, cardio fitness is nice, especially for repetitive diving, but it's actually not an advantage for breath-holds. In other words, lose the fuel tank by all means, but don't go crazy.


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 3:47pm
I'm doing quite a bit of cardio at the moment and it's killing my max distances. Luckily it's a short term thing (stop the cardio, go back to apnea training and they improve again). Problem is you get really good bloodflow to your muscles (high capillary density) which is not good for oxygen conservation. It's more complicated than that and fitness does help apnea up to a point, but isn't necessary to be more than 'moderately' fit. 


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 3:59pm
Moderately sounds good Mullins. I don't wanna go overboard. In short, seeing that you are one hellava freediver, what do you see as being the best exercise, just doing it and dive as much as possible and see how far you can go under water in the pool as much as possible. (With people watching you of course)

PS: Thanks for that tip about the line Azazel, I have been wondering what "double wrap" mean for some time now but never thought of asking. Makes better sense now.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 4:01pm
Another question maybe for Mullins. If someones wants to start freediving competetively, do you reckon the ripe age of 30 is a little to late to start? I doubt I would want to do it competitively as I am more into the spearfishing part of it but it is intresting to know.


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 4:29pm
The best female freediver in the world is in her mid 40s....

Age has no particular drawbacks in freediving.

What's the best kind of exercise? If you want to train for spearfishing, probably lots of repetitions around 30-50% of your max, e.g. 50m dynamics with 1-2 minutes rest or something. If you want to train to freedive, you need to do fewer, longer dynamics with more rest in between. The two sports are quite different physiologically. Or rather, you'll find they're the same to start off with but as you get better you'll need to either choose one and specialise, or compromise between the two.

I can't really suggest distances, times etc because I'm not that familiar with what newish divers do. I think most find 50m dynamic "ok but a little challenging" then things get more serious around the 70m mark, so it's probably a good distance to aim for to begin with.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 4:45pm
I like that Mullins, saying it in very few words.

So with dynamics? Fins or no Fins.

In my ripe young age I was able to do 50 m dynamic with no fins. Those were the days! Still way off your 200 + m

So for spearfishing, you need to figure out what your best is, then run 30 - 50 % against that and then re-evaluate over a course again.




Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 4:55pm
Fins probably better for spearfishing, because the exercise is more specific and you get strength/technique training thrown in. However most nofins specialists find it very easy to convert across to using fins, because they have the breathhold side of it so well covered. So whichever one you prefer really. Of course, for spearfishing you need to be a reasonably good surface swimmer so that might be the deal-breaker when it comes to nofins.

Yes: the difficulty is finding what your actual max is, and it helps for the number to be genuine so you'll be in for a bit of pain. Also, the percentages will probably drop as you get better so my 30%-50% figure is only approximate. E.g. many beginners can comfortably do lots of reps very close to their max, because they have no dive response and it's like a normal (aerobic) swim for them as far as muscle fatigue goes. Whereas if I do a 100% swim I can't walk for the next 10 minutes and I need to go home for a lie-down, have a cup of green tea and possibly call in sick the next day with a headache. Even a 50% swim (124m) puts me in slight oxygen debt.


Posted By: MattB2
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 5:41pm
Thats helpfull Mullins.  I had no idea that 50% for an experienced freediver would be such a task.  Im pretty begginer and I find 50m with fins is comfortable and can do that quite a few times with a 1-2 mintute rest in between


Posted By: Phantom Menace
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 6:05pm
TG and MattB2,
Have you considered Underwater Hockey and Underwater Rugby? 
 
Both are different to free-diving and spearfishing but they will get you in the pool regularly (weekly) with mask, snorkel and fins on.  IMO underwater hockey is more about speed in the water and fast recovery time between while underwater rugby has you on the bottom more and extends your breath-hold as it is played in the 5m dive well and longer bottom-times are good.
 
One of the big differences for both (compared to spearfishing) is that you are usually trying to swim fast rather than stay relaxed and cruise (conserving energy and breath).  There are several others here who play underwater hockey much more seriously than me that can probably comment on the similarities and differences.
 


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 6:08pm
Not a bad idea at all phantom menace. After reading Dave's remarks about determining your limit and going through the pain, I don't really know what the pain is, never done it before. And I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to get to my limit as I don't have any idea on the signs to check for and when to actually know it is time to breath now!

I guess a session with "nobubbles" is in order.


Posted By: Azazel
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 6:21pm
I spearfish, play hockey and freedive, without being particularly good at any of them. Hockey is pretty good for general fitness & getting time in fins while freediving is great for finding your limits, training the dive reflex, training streamlining and efficiency.

From a spearfishing point of view, hockey has the disadvantage of spoiling streamlining and relaxation, plus if you train hard for a while, your body gets used to breathing too often :(. Freediving can make your dive reflex almost too strong, whereby you increase your recovery times because of oxygen debt on reasonably 'easy' dives. In other words, both help, but do them too much and they start to hurt.

Don't forget though that both are also a lot of fun on their own!


Posted By: Keeweebee
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 6:29pm

Hey Dave,

so you're saying fitness can compromise you're breathholding capabilities?, i've noticed that since i've gotten back into running long distances, my CO2 tables have become alot harder and i'm not progressing to slightly longer breathholds as easily as i used to.
Its a real dilemna as i cant give up the running but want to be a better spearfisherman, maybe time to hit the pool and do some dynamic breathholding?
 
 


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"I need the sea because it teaches me"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 6:43pm

Yes, being very aerobically fit is likely to compromise breathhold diving. Doing the pool stuff will probably help a fair bit. Although noticeable it shouldn't be a huge problem for spearfishing depths; it's only at a fairly high level that the two really refuse to play nicely together, forcing you to make a choice between them. Luckily periodisation works fine - do a stint of aerobic work in the off-season and the negative effects will wear off pretty quickly leaving you with a good strength base.



Posted By: Keeweebee
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 7:14pm
Thanks Dave, that one's been bothering me for a while.
You should be charging us plebs for this info.Wink
One more thing, anyone want to enlighten me on what recoil is?


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"I need the sea because it teaches me"


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 8:00pm
And I'm still hoping for anyone pointing me to a pool where I can exercise in the north shore, perferably in Brownsbay or torbay or albany or so.

Yet again Dave, thanks for the info. I'm taking it to heart and I reckon I am going to try and put some effort into both spearfishing and freediving.


Posted By: BRUNTY
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 8:01pm
Boxing is also a very good way extending your breath-hold time .
some may disagree , 10 to 15, 3min reps on a bag is fantastic it works your cardio and done right teaches you to breath with your guts and not your chest, the power you build in your legs is awsome ,
and on the bright side if you miss that 10kg boary , you can take it out on the bag when you get homeBig%20smile


Posted By: smelly nelly
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 8:35pm
if i can get some else experinced to come along i will take out 3 newbies on my boat on a couple of  different weekends,no cost as i would be going anyway,just have to get to waiheke


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 9:48pm
Aye Smelly Nelly, give me shout when you make plans. I can only make it from the end of the month cause I would still like to chip in some $'s for petrol and all. A little on the "end of the month salty cracks" now and basically just hitting a few shore dives not to deep as I am going at it alone.


Posted By: David C
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2009 at 10:43pm
Mullins this is probably a question for you.

Whats your thoughts on diet.

I imagine at your level you would be on a strict diet and you can probably notice the difference if your not eating rite.

Do you think a decent diet would do much for an intermediate level spearo in combination with a few pool sessions and then spearfishing during the weekends?  





Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 12:04pm
To double wrap? Or not to double Wrap?

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: long john
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 12:28pm
That is the question! Easy answer before I duck for cover is 'No'. Get closer to the fish.

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Proud member of the Glen Innes Spearfishing Club


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 12:30pm
3 metres does sound efficient, not meaning that I reckon I can get that close to the fish but I just dunno if I would be able to hit anything further than 3 m! :)

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Phantom Menace
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 12:41pm
A thread from a few weeks ago with some useful (and not so useful) info if you are starting out:
http://www.fishing.net.nz/asp_forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29586 - http://www.fishing.net.nz/asp_forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29586
 
Just thought I would post a link from the sticky thread so it doesn't get lost.
 


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 12:52pm
I'm down to page 17 (Working my way from the last page forward). Didn't read all the topics but caught those with newbie info. I can honestly say that I have learned a great lot there and I reckon every newb on the forum should go through that exercise.

One think that I read in the old forums was that some guys injected LAtex into their inflatable floats. Does this make them sorta solid. I am asking as the inflatables seems to be way cheaper than the solid ones. Are they OK or is it better just getting the non-inflatable ones?


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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: David C
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 1:25pm
If you have limited space or your planning on traveling then get a decent inflatable float,
you will have to take a bike pump with you every time you go out though

Don't get one of the blowup ones, they puncture really easily around rocks etc and are just crap.

The solid ones are good for diving around rocks.
The ronstan ones are good & quite cheap, they also have an indent to wrap your float line around.



Posted By: Azazel
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 2:34pm
Originally posted by TG TG wrote:

3 metres does sound efficient, not meaning that I reckon I can get that close to the fish but I just dunno if I would be able to hit anything further than 3 m! :)

Actually for a 1m it's:
3m of line*
1.4m of spear
1m of gun*
60+cm of arm

So the fish can be a good 6m from your body and ~4.5m from your muzzle.

*In reality these lengths are under, rather than overestimates. Close enough for government work and all that.

Originally posted by TG TG wrote:

One think that I read in the old forums was that some guys injected LAtex into their inflatable floats. Does this make them sorta solid. I am asking as the inflatables seems to be way cheaper than the solid ones. Are they OK or is it better just getting the non-inflatable ones?

The latex kind of seals the bouy if a small puncture happens. Won't do much for a rip though. Get a plastic float like a ronstan, a foam-filled like the RA solid, or if you want an inflatable, the South African ones have a solid outer that makes punctures less likely.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2009 at 4:05pm
Thanks Azazel, I think plastic is the way to go then.

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: nikilaulau
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 10:00am
OK, another n00b question:
I'll be in Coromandel this Saturday on the East coast of the peninsula. With my limited understanding of swells and weather conditions I'm thinking it will be pretty average vis because of the easterly swell on the preceding days - I'm using swellmap.co.nz to try and figure that out. Would you experienced guys agree with that?
And if that is right, then am I also on the right track in thinking the West coast of the peninsula might be alright for vis on Saturday?
If the Western side does look OK do you reckon Fantail bay or Waitete Bay would be decent places to start?
I know I could find this out myself given time trying different places, but appreciate any advice you guys can offer will help with that steep learning curve I'm facing right now, so thanks in advance.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 11:34am
I have read up a little on the differences but still seem to fail to understand completely what the difference between a railgun and Tubegun is. If the Tube doesn't have a Rail, how is the Spear guided. Tried getting some close up shots of the difference in what the look like but don't find any.

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 12:01pm
Originally posted by TG TG wrote:

If the Tube doesn't have a Rail, how is the Spear guided?


Just by the two points: muzzle and trigger mech. Although some tube guns also have 1-3 plastic guides that stop the spear from sagging in the middle.

In the case of a rail gun, the shaft is supported by the rail all the way from trigger mech to muzzle (well, sometimes the rail stops short of the muzzle or trigger mech like on Esclapez carbon guns, but most of the shaft is supported).


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 12:11pm
Ahhh, ok, so instead of being supported along the whole barrel, the tube gun spear is only supported on a guide on the muzzle?

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 12:22pm
Yep, just rests on the muzzle which is normally raised slightly above the level of the barrel.

Even some very fancy European guns are like this, C4 springs to mind. The idea is that by removing the rail a fair bit of drag is lost, and a longer overhang in front of the muzzle is supposed to reduce and balance the shaft sag between muzzle and trigger mech (the shaft would still be an 'S' shape though). I'm a bit skeptical of how much friction a rail is actually responsible for but that's their reasoning.

Some people also say that the shaft doesn't touch the rail but instead sits on a layer of water. I think this would depend largely on whether the bands were pushing the shaft slightly upwards or slightly downwards, onto the rail - but the water would at least do some lubricating.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 12:43pm
Intresting points Mullins.

I am asking cause I have decided rather to take the cheaper Rob Allen 120 Scorpia Tubegun as money is a little tight at the moment with the new baby and all. Herby gave good advice of just getting the Caranx raigun now and get it over with but after re-evaluting a bit I think I will get a Caranx in June. I should be able to afford it a little easier then. I can then just sell the Tubegun or possibly keep it as a spare for diving buddies.


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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: JRDO
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 12:56pm

RE: UW Hockey helping diving, I've found competitive to hockey have a negative effect on my diving, becasue they use completely different energy systems. However some casual club hockey will be helpful as your general fittness will increase, that said, if you're after some general cardio vascular fittness which will undoubtedly improve your diving you are better off doing a land based sport as your body supresses your heart rate for some reason when you are in the water, hence the need for hockey players to cross train!



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BANNED from doing anything about anything anymore.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2009 at 1:03pm
Intresting JRDO. I've read many places that the best exercise for diving is just to dive. lol. Maybe they have a point. I quote like the site that Mullins published somewhere (I think it was in some of the old forums, finally got through it all). It is short and to the point (More with regards to freediving though, but hey, you need the breat hold capibility). Link is here:

http://forums.deeperblue.com/beginner-freediving/64959-how-start-freediving.html


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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Redfinger
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2009 at 9:23am
nikilaulau - swell not looking great for weekend on east side.
The other side might be worth a look- nothing ventured nothing gained?


Posted By: nikilaulau
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2009 at 9:51am
Thanks Redfinger. Good to get confirmation that I'm understanding the swell forecast correctly.
I'll definitely get in the water in any case, might try a couple of different places on the west side just to suss them out even if vis isn't great.


Posted By: TheSnapperWhisperer
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2009 at 4:21pm
West side is generally poos.

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Posted By: TheSnapperWhisperer
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2009 at 4:21pm
West side is generally poos. stick to the east coast

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http://www.facebook.com/TheSnapperWhisperer


Posted By: fish food
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2009 at 5:13pm
Yep all the way up the west side the viz is poo. as you drive up your thinking its never going to clear up. round fantail bay and further it gets ok, long drive tho. I did the same thing once for a few butterfish, snapper and a couple of crays when the other side was raging and the best viz i got was about 5 metres.


Posted By: Oli
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 3:30pm
Yeah I've had a double flopper spear I brought back from France.
Was the best spear I've ever had. Very hard to lose a fish with it as there is always a flopper sticking out (particularly valid when you grap the spear with a lively fish still on). I've never lost a fish with it, until a kingi liked it so much it took it with him to show his mates.
I haven't been able to replace that spear...Cry
if anyone know where to find one in NZ, I'm keen to hear that !
Oli


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 7:10pm
Hi Guys,

I had my first real spearfishing trip today. We started out at about 8:00 am in Torbay and hit the road up to Leigh. It was wonderful and never to forgotten....

Let's cut the crap. It was hell on earth! hahaha. Now I know what all you guys are going on about, but you want to know what? I fell in love with the sport. I had the most problems that I ever had. I had 1 hour sleep last night (My lovely daughter ate something she shouldn't have and was up all night puking. LOVELY) and things were just insane. I didn't even notice we drove through a tunnel that way and only noticed it on the way back. And nope.... No sharks whatsovever. "Never been there, new to new zealand and haven't really got around to exploring"

Firstly (And if anyone can help here it would be appreciated, I have BIG problems equalizing, I cannot equalize at all. I am heading out to lake Papuke,  tomorrow to try and sort this out), I am having serious problems equalizing. I get down to about 4-5 metres and try and blow out the nose and it just isn't happening. I realize that it was my first real dive and I promised myself to be very patient with it. Any advice would be appreciated. I seem to be able to equalize (just popping the ears) out of the water, but as soon as I get in the water, it doesn't work out for me. I must say that I did borrow a snorkel that I never spat out as I was scared of loosing it. I also had immens issues with my mash leaking as I completely forgot to shave (Blame it on no sleep) as well as feeling unconfortable with my nose open and able to breath(Crazy, I know, my parents always said I am not well). I tend to breath out my nose when I go down accidentally. that doesn't help at all as I get water in it then. My suit hood also seems to mess around with my mask, it seems to be a little big and I am too afraid to cut it. It seems to get in between my face and my mask. Bit of a mission on the first dive to still try and get the rubber out from under the mask.

Besides everything, I think this is the best sport/past time in the world. Even though I have never experienced so much pain in my ears and they still hurt, I think this is brilliant!.

The catch of the day (Not me, I don't have a speargun yet and Mark from Bluefins can testify that I was crusing around with a PVC pipe as a poking stick, just in case some biteys tried to join) was 1 kingfish by my friend. I'm including the pic below. We cut some steaks and smoked the bugger and it went down very well.

I am going to post this one in the "newbie" sticky as well as I would really like to get some input on the equalizing issue I am having (And yes, I am already busy reading through the old "equalizing" posts)

Cheers!

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 7:44pm
When you equalise, are you 'blowing' using your chest?


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 8:38pm
hmmmmm,

Thinking about it Mullins, Yup, indeed. I do it by using my chest. Just done it here on the couch and that is indeed how I do it


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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 8:57pm
That'll be the problem. Very very difficult to equalise effectively that way, unless you're a bubble diver and can afford to turn upright for 5 seconds every couple of metres.
 
You need to close off your throat and use the back of your tongue as a piston (google 'Frenzel'). You can generate much more pressure that way and with more control.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 9:16pm
Thanks Dave, I have a word document saved here somewhere on the laptop with all the eq techniques and Frenzel was one of them. Going to search for it and crack it open again.

Are you using the Frenzel technique?

PS: If I get this under control, I'm sure things are going to look up much more than what they are now!


-------------
TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 9:55pm
Been sitting here practicing the "frenzel" Mullins, I seem to be getting the hang of it. I have a nice step by step doc here explaining it but I think I am going to call it a night for now. No sleep last night and my ears still seem to be sensitive from todays dive.




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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: jr.spero
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 10:34pm

does smoking effect your time under water or really does it not do too much?



-------------
"is it dead?"


Posted By: Paul M
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2009 at 11:05pm
Smokin sorta improves your bottom time, a lot of the old school aussie spearo's would start smoking before comp season. Apparently it builds your co2 tolerence.
 
Todays school of thought would suggest this is false economy and apprently lung cells drowning in tar is bad.


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 10:41am
Originally posted by TG TG wrote:

Are you using the Frenzel technique?

PS: If I get this under control, I'm sure things are going to look up much more than what they are now!


Yes, I use Frenzel all the time - it's a fundamental part of deep diving. I can hardly equalise at all head-down using Valsalva, not enough pressure.

It will give you a lot more control, you just need to remember to periodically open your throat and shift some air up into your mouth to equalise with. Every few equalisations, you also need to let go of your nose and puff a bit of air into your mask to avoid mask squeeze.



Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 11:35am
I would assume as all things, it's not too easy to master hey mullins?

-------------
TG
http://mondoedge.com
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 11:51am
Frenzel should be fairly straightforward. The coordination required to bring up air and periodically equalise your mask can be more difficult as the timing is important on a freedive (scuba divers don't have to worry so much about sequence 'cos they descend slower).

The Frenzel action is the opposite of sucking through a straw. Note than when you suck in through a straw, you don't use your chest to inhale. Instead, you close your throat and drop the back of your tongue to create the vacuum. Try reversing this action (suck in then try to spit back out but close your mouth and nose). As long as you have your soft palate open (allowing the air to get to your nasal cavity) then that's basically the Frenzel technique and should generate plenty of pressure.


Posted By: Azazel
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 11:51am
Originally posted by TG TG wrote:

I would assume as all things, it's not too easy to master hey mullins?

Like all things, 'it depends'. I'm lucky enough that I've used frenzel even before I knew the word and I never even knew how to valsalva. Others take a while to learn. The good news is I don't know anyone that's tried hard to learn frenzel and flat-out couldn't.

Any takers there?



Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 1:17pm
Thsi straw analogy makes alot of sense to me Dave, only way now is that I seem to inflate my cheeks when I close my mouth and nose and do the reverse straw thing! I seem to be getting there though.

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 1:27pm
I used to have a little Staforshire terrier that used to get so pissed at me cause I did this whistle thing by using the straw suck and blow thing with my tongue, blowing the air in and out through my lips with my tongue in this manner, making a whistling sound with the air going in and out through my lips. Just now trying the straw thing Muliins mentioned it came back to me.

But as said, I seem to be inflating my cheeks if I close down my nose and mouth. Just need to figure out how to direct the air into those tubes.


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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 1:30pm
Gotta relax (open) the soft palate to allow airflow into your nasal cavity. To describe what this means:

Breathe in and out through your mouth only = soft palate closed
Breathe in and out through your mouth and nose = soft palate relaxed/open.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 2:02pm
I'm going to lazy out on my couch tonight with a straw and give all this a go until I get it right.

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 2:23pm
I found that doing a swallowing action when doing the piston thing with the tonque pops my ears. That good or should I not swallow at all?

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 2:43pm
The swallowing action is fine, it's not required but it does force the tongue in the right direction, so the outcome is the same. 


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 2:44pm
Ahhh, think I got it. I can now pop them with my tongue, I do notice that sometimes my Epiglotus doesn't close completely and some air rushes down there with a few weird sounds coming out. But now that I got it right I see what you guys mean, it is so much easier and it takes so much less effort to pop your ears than using the Valsalva method. 

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:28am
Just a little more on Equalizing if no-one minds:

1. When do you equalize the first time, before you dive down or once your ears start hurting or just before you know your ears are going to want to explode?
2. Is it safe to say that you equalize more or less every 4 metres and that on a dive of 10 metres you would most probably only equalize twice?


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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Azazel
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:51am
Originally posted by TG TG wrote:

Just a little more on Equalizing if no-one minds:

1. When do you equalize the first time, before you dive down or once your ears start hurting or just before you know your ears are going to want to explode?
2. Is it safe to say that you equalize more or less every 4 metres and that on a dive of 10 metres you would most probably only equalize twice?

1: First equalisation is before you leave the surface.
2: The more often you equalise, the less pressure you put your ears under. That means more time in the water before they get bunged up. On a dive to 10m, I'd probably equalise six or seven times, though I could get away with two or three.


Posted By: nikilaulau
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:57am
From what I've read I understand what snooping means, but am unsure about weedlining.
Does it mean diving down and kinda' snooping around weed/kelp?
Or does it mean covering distance along weedline on the surface, and then diving down when seeing fish?
And does it refer to the area where weedline stops and open rocky terrain starts, or is it more generic and just means any area that has weed?


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 10:28am
Good stuff, thanks Azazel.

Another question:

My hood on my wettie seems to be too big. I would like to cut it down a little but as life goes, I do not want to spoil the suit. I find it very hard getting my mask on as the hood always get stuck under the mask skirtings. HELP. Is there any sort of guideline as to where to hood should sit. I don't have a massive head so I think it is overwhelming my face a little!


-------------
TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: long john
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 3:07pm
A weedline or weededge is where the weed meets the sand. You want it be be fairly abrupt rather than broken ground petreing out over a distance (good for boarfish though) Then you just plonk yourself on the bottom and wait for the fish to show themselves. If not, then swim along a ways and repeat. It's generally considered better to do your swimming on the surface as you're less likely to spook things. It's not often you'll actually see the fish from the surface but you might see bait or something else that might make a particular little bit of the weedline better than another. Most fish you see only after being on the bottom for a time. Weedlining should always be done in pairs as that requirement for some bottom time can lead to blackout.

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Proud member of the Glen Innes Spearfishing Club


Posted By: nikilaulau
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 3:48pm
Originally posted by long john long john wrote:

...Most fish you see only after being on the bottom for a time. ...

wicked, thanks for the comprehensive answer Long John.
I suppose stuff like this is obvious for 99% of the people on this forum, but this basic stuff is gold to guys like me with minimal experience.


Posted By: Reel Screamer
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 6:08pm

Where are good places to look for John dorys, e.g depth terrain and location?



Posted By: jhjhhj
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 6:17pm
simon most people arnt going to tell u thea spots =p  but good

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I snoop Red Moki!


Posted By: jaydogfish
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 10:20pm
ask (it gota away) if you can share your wetty together. just make sure he knows the no pissing rule, AND you will be able to scope out fish easier!

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THE DOGG


Posted By: Narcosis_prince
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 9:04am
Any one got any descent plans for a fish boat/plait ( the float you actually put the fish inside) just did my 3rd ever dive at the merc's the other day on my own ( had the old man on the boat ) and got bumped by a 9ft bronzy! ...... and are ya meant to whack them on the nose, cause i dont think he liked it to much?
 
 


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"Going down is a way of life"


Posted By: Reel Screamer
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 10:32am

Ma mate said , this is kinda stupid but.. buy a kid blow up boat from the warehouse and put a box or something like that in it so is dosent get a hole in it LOL



Posted By: _Jimmy_
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 1:07pm
search PLAT using the search function.Wink


Posted By: Diver Dan
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 2:34pm
A boogie board with a bag on top works OK


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 2:45pm
Until it fills with water, turns into a drogue, comes to bits and you can't make it back to the starting triangle cos you're already buggered from swimming out to Red Merc. For instance.


Posted By: TheSnapperWhisperer
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 3:12pm
Yep, those who try building plats tend to regret it and wish they had just spent the $500 or so to buy one off Steve McD.  Otherwise, as DD says, a cheap boogie board and home made flag and an old catch bag.  Still, you might find you still end up wasting some money on a half-a$$ed effort.

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http://www.facebook.com/TheSnapperWhisperer


Posted By: KeriBOI
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 4:37pm
Originally posted by Reel Screamer Reel Screamer wrote:

Where are good places to look for John dorys, e.g depth terrain and location?

They can be anywhere, ive shot them in weed, on sand in on the rocks.

Usually the best place is a weedline. Look for small fish and dive that area with your buddy watching. They can be hard to find. Check out this vid for what to look for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyWmXCPkm9E&feature=channel_page



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Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


Posted By: Reel Screamer
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 9:23pm
Hi what method of finding snapper do you find more sucessful..burleying or snooping?


Posted By: KeriBOI
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 9:59pm
Bigger snapper are usually snooped, but you can still get goodies on a berley

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Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


Posted By: TheSnapperWhisperer
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 10:25am
Burleying teaches you alot about snapper behaviour and where is a good location to find them.  When you have burleyed for a while you will begin snooping as if there is a burley in front of every likely looking rock, and eventually, your snooping will become good.

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http://www.facebook.com/TheSnapperWhisperer


Posted By: Narcosis_prince
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 1:14pm
alright so have had a change of heart about the plats. unless i can find one thats easy to transport and fish storage in one...... thinking more along the lines of a kayak? maybe kill two birds with one stone... any of you guys use one and whats the best model to spear from? the mrs wants a tandem but i figured thats all good, just means i got more room to put the fish!


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"Going down is a way of life"


Posted By: Narcosis_prince
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 1:15pm
alright so have had a change of heart about the plats. unless i can find one thats easy to transport and build...... thinking more along the lines of a kayak? maybe kill two birds with one stone having a means of on water transport and fish storage in one... any of you guys use/used one and whats the best model to spear from? the mrs wants a tandem but i figured thats all good, just means i got more room to put the fish!


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"Going down is a way of life"


Posted By: Fizzlesticks
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 2:23pm
I reckon Tandem is a good option because you can leap frog each other down a section of coast. However the big problem is finding a crew member for your yak (I wouldn't rely on the mrs). Check out snoop dogs kayak/plat setup.

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It doesn't have to be fun to be fun


Posted By: TheSnapperWhisperer
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 3:57pm
kayaks are great - there is a range to choose from. Sit on tops are easy top get in and out of and often have good stowage that suits.

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http://www.facebook.com/TheSnapperWhisperer


Posted By: Reel Screamer
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 8:30pm
Do freediving fins make much of a difference to your spearfishing and freediving. And as a beginner what sorts of brands, materials etc of fin shall I get?


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 8:34pm
To me it makes a big difference. I have a pair of "seasub" fins that is ok for a start i reckon. I paid $110 for them.

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TG
http://mondoedge.com
http://twitter.com/mondoedge
http://facebook.com/309681785793



"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Narcosis_prince
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 8:37pm
Yeah i reckon they are a big help to me.... i used to use just normal fins, but when i changed to free diving ones i was nearly doubling my depth. i guess cause your getting alot more for a lot less effort. I only use a pair of cressi garras ( check spellin ) but they seem to do the trick, i was told not to go to stiff to start with,,, but whatever your comfortable with i guess

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"Going down is a way of life"


Posted By: Reel Screamer
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2009 at 8:11am
Am looking for some soft flexible fins. would the immersion green made by Jean-Baptiste Esclapez at wild blue do the trick. Any other suggestions for fins 2 get....Cheers



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