All posts by USFA

Rigging a gun with mono

The mono on a speargun is one of the most overlooked maintenance job by the average diver. I constantly see divers with ratty, cut, frayed and nicked mono on their guns. This may be fine for shooting a few bream and smaller reef fish but when you go to take that shot on a big jewie, kingfish, mackerel or wahoo you’re going to wish you had changed your mono.

For me personally I change my mono if it gets any sort of nick or cut. If a particular fish during the day runs me around some reef I’ll make a mental note to change that mono. It doesn’t take much for a big fish to trash your mono. One particular rock hop I had just put new mono on the spear and speared a kingfish of 14kg on sand. No damage done to the mono at all however I ran into the school again over some rocky reef and after shooting another 14kg fish and landing him my mono was worse for wear. So much so it was the one time I was wishing I didn’t run into a jewie or cobia, I would have been hesitant to try my luck with mono that had shreds coming off it. Another spot mono wears a lot is the hole in the back of spears, it is essential to make sure these holes are smooth and burr free. Now we know why its important to change your mono out regularly and check it for signs of wear how do we go about doing this? With some spear fishing retailers charging $15 to put a new mono on a speargun it makes sense to do it yourself. These are the basic tools & materials I use to put mono on a speargun.

Pictured are mono (duh!), crimps, crimping tool, lighter, scissors and a speargun waiting for new mono. As for the mono I use 1.80mm stuff as I find it fits in mechanisms better than the 2.0mm variety and doesn’t affect the flight of the spear as much either. For this mono I use 2.2mm crimps (also sold as 2mm crimps in dive shops). Brand is debatable but I have been having great success with Shibahira brand. Other popular brands are Shogun and Jinkai. I use double barrel copper crimps as they are very strong and in my opinion hold the mono better than a single sleeve crimp such as the aluminium variety. You can also use your copper crimps on stainless cable for slip tips ect but you can’t use aluminium as it will corrode out.

As for the crimping tool make sure you get a double actuated type not a single actuated like a pair of pliers. A good set will cost around $50-$90 depending on where you shop. I use a pair of Hi-Seas brand and they work great for me. Steer clear of tools where the jaws do not line up correctly as they will deform the crimp. Omer brand crimpers are notorious for this and are green in colour and sometimes sold under the Hi-Seas brand in dive shops so be sure to check the origin before buying up. Getting started. I tend to uncoil a few metres of mono from the roll rather than cutting a piece off because this means no wastage (even though it is cheap). We start by threading a crimp into the mono and inserting it through the spear. I personally rig all my guns over the left of the muzzle, just how I have done but most people will go over the right hand side of the muzzle.

If your going over the left hand like myself you will thread the mono through the left hand side of the spear so the mono sits nicely and runs up that side of the gun and doesn’t cross over. If you run your mono over the right hand side simply thread the mono through the right hand side of the spear first. I use a lighter to burn a little blob of mono on the end. This prevents crimp pull throughs and makes it easier to adjust the position of the crimp prior to crimping. I adjust the loop size so the crimp sits on the flat part of the spear so it goes through the muzzle with ease. Make sure your loop isn’t too long or it will sit over the notch in the spear and make it a pain to load the bridle into the notch. Now using the appropriate hole size on the crimping tool you start the crimping in the middle of the crimp like so. Make sure you squeeze it good and proper. Next we move out to the ends but not all the way.

Leave approximately 1.5mm from the end uncrimped. If you crimp right on the end it pinches the mono and if the crimp does slip it will get shredded very fast, if a crimp slips and its got the ends flared out it won’t shred and you will still land the fish with any luck. So now you have the mono neatly crimped to the spear. Put the spear into the gun to check how it all fits. It should slide into the mechanism with ease. As I mentioned earlier I run the mono to the left of the gun on the left hand side of the muzzle like so. Run this back down to the line release and up to the clip on the front of the gun. Make sure the mono is firm but not over tight as mono shrinks in water. Nylon is porous and absorbs the salt water which dries and the salt is crystallised into the nylon which makes it expand in width which shortens it. With the other end of the mono form a small loop about 1cm from the end of the clip whilst holding the mono on the gun firm. This extra 1cm distance will have the mono at the proper tension and will alleviate the need for bungies or shock absorbers. With an open muzzle gun I would recommend perhaps 2cm for a slightly tighter shooting line. Now cut the mono loop with enough room to fit a crimp into the mono.

After threading and burning the end of the mono on the crimp you will have an uncrimped loop like so. This is where you double check the distance from the clip on the muzzle to the loop on the mono. Adjust it to the right place and crimp it like before starting in the centre of the crimp and then crimping the outsides leaving 1.5mm distance from the ends uncrimped. All that’s left to do now is take the mono off the shooting line and attach it to the clip on the muzzle and you’re done! Here’s one I prepared earlier Out of interest if you have a gun that will only ever be rigged with a pranger you can do away with the clip on the front of the gun and crimp the mono directly to the muzzle. Just one less thing to worry about because you don’t need to unclip the mono to thread a spear through the fish because the pranger won’t (shouldn’t) fire all the way through the fish.

ISo there it is. The initial outlay to buy a proper crimping tool, mono & some crimps might be around $100 give or take depending on where you shop but at $15 a pop to change mono at a dive shop you will be more willing to change it out and no go for a dive with mono that ‘will do for today’ and get a whole lot more value for money.

 

DIFFERENT STYLES OF GALLERIES:

 

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Sting remedy flawed

Vinegar may kill rather than cure victims of box jellyfish stings, Queensland researches found. The remedy, used for decades, causes up to 60 per cent more venom from the lethal jellyfish to discharched into the victim.

The finding prompted calls for the Australian Resuscitation Council to revise its sting treatment guidelines.

Research co-author and venom specialist Jamie Seymour says the research changed hist mind about vinegar.

AAP. Illawara Mercury, Wednesday April 9, 2014.

Shared responsibility is the best approach to protecting our waterways

An oil discharge into Botany Bay during heavy rain last month has highlighted the potential impact that industry and natural weather events can have on our urban waterways.
Following the release of oily water into Botany Bay by Caltex Refineries as part of the company’s stormwater management emergency procedures at its Kurnell premises, oil was blown to the northern shoreline and onto rock platforms at Congwong and Little Congwong beaches. NSW Environment Protection Authority Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said businesses, individuals, emergency response services and regulatory authorities such as the EPA all have a role to play to prevent and/or minimise impacts to the environment during such incidents.

“While pollution incidents can often be exacerbated or even caused by extreme weather events such as heavy rain, environmental impacts such as that which occurred following this incident on 24 March are unacceptable,” said Mr Gifford. “Industries regulated by the EPA under Environment Protection Licences (EPL) have a duty to report pollution incidents threatening or causing harm to the environment, and are required to prepare Pollution Incident Response Management Plans. “The EPA also relies on members of the public who are aware of pollution to report incidents so the appropriate authorities can act as soon as possible.” There are a number of regulatory authorities who respond to water pollution incidents, including councils, marine authorities and Sydney Water, but in the first instance people can call the EPA’s Environment Line, 131 555, 24 hours a day seven days a week to report incidents. The appropriate response agency is determined by the nature, size, source and location of the water pollution incident. Typically, small incidents are managed by the local council, but if the incident involves hazardous materials, an emergency response service such as Ports Authority, Roads and Maritime Services or NSW Fire and Rescue will be the lead combat agency in charge of the initial clean-up. The EPA provides assistance and advice to combat agencies during incidents when requested and investigates suspected breaches of environmental laws. “Regardless of whether or not the EPA has been asked to assist during an incident, as the state’s lead environmental regulator we will always have officers on standby to attend and assess any environmental impacts,” said Mr Gifford.

“The EPA takes into account a range of factors when determining our response to pollution incidents. This includes the degree of environmental harm, health impacts, community expectations and the actions of the offender,” said Mr Gifford. “We have a range of regulatory tools we can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, clean up or prevention notices, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, penalty notices, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions. “Our regulatory response is designed to hold the polluter to account, raise awareness about the problem, encourage behavioural change and repair any environment damage.” In the case of the Botany Bay incident, the EPA issued Caltex with clean-up notices to implement an ecological assessment program. The EPA is also conducting a detailed investigation into the incident. For more information on reporting pollution and the relevant regulatory authorities throughout NSW: EPA’s water pollution contact page. Meanwhile, people shouldn’t swim at ocean or harbour beaches during or after heavy rain. For more warnings about safe swimming, beach pollution forecasts for the Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra regions and the State of the Beaches 2012-13 report, visit Beachwatch NSW.

Other helpful links and contacts: All boat owners should understand their responsibilities for preventing pollution under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Source: NSW EPA - April 2014

Loosing a mate to the sport you love

It wasn't easy waking up to hear reports that a spearfisher had been struck by a boat back home. It was early one morning, while I was holidaying at Surfers Paradise QLD, when I heard on the radio that a spearfisher had been struck by a boat off the coast of Currarong on the NSW South Coast. I immediately woke to grab my phone and started the frantic calls to check if it was one of my dive buddies. Three out of Four answered their phone. One phone went through to message bank.

I hopped online, switched on the TV and started looking for information. An hour had passed and I still didn't have a return call. I had a gut feeling that he was gone. FaceBook started to wake up and many posts started appearing in the online spearfishing fraternity trying desperately to find information. It was about half an hour later that I read on a mates wall “R.I.P” posted by a friend. It was now obvious to me, that the worse had happened to one of my good dive mates.

The day passed with many thoughts, mainly all the times that we went diving together and all the early morning calls that I would get, nagging me to go diving. Its only now that I am thankful that I did drag myself out of bed and go have a dive.

Months passed before I got back into the water. It was only then that I realised the dangers of diving. I had numerous close calls before with boats, but never really thought anything of it.
We were a drop in the ocean, I thought. We would have to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong 30cm x 30cm section of water, I thought. It would never happen to me or a mate, I thought. Oh how wrong I was.

Even though he was using a float and flag, was experienced and knew the area well, he still died.

At the time of writing, just over a year has passed. A day does not go by without the thought of a good mate passing away. I hope that this short life experience of mine at least gets one of you to use a float and flag, dive with a buddy and keep a damm good lookout.

I wish no one to go through the pain that I did. I wish that everyone in the ocean could work in harmony. Please keep the rules of diving at the forefront of every breath and dive safe.

Sambas and Blackouts

Shallow water blackout is a loss of consciousness caused by cerebral hypoxia towards the end of a breath-hold dive in water typically shallower than five metres (16 feet), when the swimmer does not necessarily experience an urgent need to breathe and has no other obvious medical condition that might have caused it. It can be caused by taking several very deep breaths, or hyperventilating, just before a dive. Victims are often established practitioners of breath-hold diving, are fit, strong swimmers, and have not experienced problems before.

Samba is a loss of motor control. It is a partial loss of physical or mental integrity and generally occurs up to 15 seconds after reaching the surface, normally during your first breath after a dive. It happens due to not having enough oxygen in your brain.

Watch this video on Sambas and Blackouts by Erez Beatus an AIDA Freediving Instructor and Judge, Former Freediving Coach for Israel and Former Freediving World Record Holder.

Thankyou and credit to the North Shore Underwater Club and Erez for this essential and valuable safety video.