When experienced divers speak you should listen

… or in this case, read. As you read through John’s well thought out tips you can see his experience. He deals with issues that may be new to you now – But if you hunt the big fish, you will come across these issues soon enough.

More spearfishing tips from John Carpenter

John Carpenter
Current member and past president, Long Beach Neptunes

I won’t get into guns per se, but other equipment such as reels, float lines, leader lines, utility floats, type of weight belt/harness, and knives are worthy of discussion. As important, is how you utilize them…

Reels vs Float Lines

I was mentored in the days when most divers used reels. The only time I would use a float-line was in Baja or diving Catalina while pulling a float to alert boaters, etc. However, I’ve been experimenting with float lines in kelp the last couple of years and I believe they are safer. Leader line aside, high quality float line doesn’t tangle nearly as easily as reel line, and it is easier to safely “brake” or slow a larger fish while holding a float line.

JohnCarpenterWhiteSeabass2Leader/Shooting Line

Brightly marked leader line is much easier to find and untangle than clear line. Finding your line quicker makes your dives more productive and safe.

Utility Floats

They serve several purposes, but their most common use is marking a diver’s location. We use them to cinch-up line, hang guns, etc. I also know some divers who like to use the utility float to help raise large fish. They clip-off and activate the “popper” on the leader line side near the fish and unhook and/or cut the leader line. One consideration with this technique is to ensure that the float has enough lift capacity at deeper depths. Another important consideration is that being properly weighted for 25’ is not the same as being safely weighted for 40’ and beyond. Utility floats are excellent for “hanging” extra weight when you are preparing to dive deeper to retrieve that fish.

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