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hey guys, i've been certified for several months and love diving. the little bit of spearfishing that i've done consists of hunting flatfish around the jetties and what not in the o.b. area. i'm wanting to get into some big fishes in the near future. right now i use a single hosed jbl explorer, works great on flounder, even speared a small dolphin on a weed line this summer. what would some of you gurus recomend for ajs, snapper, grouper and what not.
 

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eating tasty
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A wooden gun with 3 bands... Older JBL Woody Magnums are good (don't buy new JBL), Billers, Riffe if you really want a nice gun.
 

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eating tasty
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Look around for a used one on the forum... I bought my JBL woody Magnum on here a while back for 100 bucks... never had a problem with it, used it today! New you will spend 300-400 on a Biller, 600+ on a Riffe... good luck!
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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Biller Sea Hornet 48" is an awesome gun for half the money of a riffe
 

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Stay tuned to the for forum, "stressless" gave me a JBL .38 special woody when I was first lookin'! And I have shot the 42", 48", and 54" Billers and they are great guns. I like the JBL line, as well.
 

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"...New you will spend 300-400 on a Biller, 600+ on a Riffe..."

Those numbers are about $100 high in both cases.

If you know what you're looking for you can find some great deals on used guns. Keep in mind that if you have to "rehab" a used gun with new bands, shock cord, shaft, tip, etc., the cost can quickly approach the cost of a new gun. I've seen a lot of $50 "pawn shop specials" that ended up costing more than a new gun to get them up to par.

Feel free to come by MBT if you need help selecting a gun or if you find a used gun and would likeus to check it out.
 

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I bought a 42 Biller at the MBT sale this past Spring. It is a GREAT gun, and it's priced pretty good. Especially if you catch it on one of the big sales at MBT.

It's a good "starter" gun, and I've shot some nice fish with it. In recent months, as my confidence and experience has grown, I've been going after bigger fish. Especially during tournaments. There have been a few times when I was wishing for a bigger gun for bigger fish. But even a little 42 Biller can take somedecent fish.

During the recent Orange Beach Spearfishing Association tournament, my 42 Biller (with upgraded bands)killed the 1st place snapper at 24+ lbs.(Yeah I'm still a little giddy about that one... does it show?) My gun is definitely marginal for a fish like that. The spear didn'tpenetrate the backside so I had to hustle to stringer the fish before hethrashed off the spear. So, I think I'll need to upgrade by next Spring. I'll probably get a bigger Biller.

I really like the wooden Biller guns.A lotof the guys I hunt with shoot Riffes. They seem like great guns, but I've not shot one. Everyone says, "Don't shoot a Riffe unless you're ready to buy a Riffe." Well, with my limited budget, there's no Riffe in my immediate future, so I choose to not shoot one... I don't want to contract a severe case of speargun envy.

Good luck with your selection, and go visit the guys at MBT. They'll surely point you in the right direction.
 

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I have both a Riffe and Biller and have shot both types of guns for years. The riffe in my opinion, is more powerful and accurate relative to size than the biller but is harder and takes more practice to string/reload quickly.

Currently I have a Riffe midhandle No ka Oi with a 60" shaft. I also have the Biller paduak limited with a 60" shaft. A 42"-48" Biller is a good all around gun. Shot a 48" Biller for 20 years. I guess starting out I would recomend the Biller. Try to get a limited model with the solid wood barrell all the through the gun.

http://www.leisurepro.com/Catalog.aspx?Op=dtSearchhas resonable prices and they are easy to deal with.
 

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What are the benefits of a solid wood gun compared to a gun thats still wood but the trigger looks to break the wood in two. Like the one of the JBL sawed off mahogany guns?
 

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Pierce07 (11/15/2007)What are the benefits of a solid wood gun compared to a gun thats still wood but the trigger looks to break the wood in two. Like the one of the JBL sawed off mahogany guns?
Just as with anything. One solid piece is always better than something that has been joined. Something that has been mechanically or chemically joined has a weakness at that point vs. a solid piece.
 

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So does it affect the noise at all? Will the split not absorb the sound as well?
 

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I've owned a 38 JBL sawed-off magnum, 36 Biller mahogany, 48 Biller mahogany and various pole spears. By far my favorite (for the money) is the 48 Biller. Have shot and appreciate the qualities of the Riffe but never used one extensively. It's often hard to beat a long pole spear with a tri-cut tip. My standard weaponry for a killer dive is a 6-7 ft pole spear and 48 Biller and two knives and heavy duty stainless stringer. Don't forget a stainless snap link to clip it all together for your ascent. Good hunting!
 

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Getthe biggest gun you can comfortably load fast. Diving the gulf, you will shoot 2lb snapper and 40lb Ajs on the same dive.

Smaller guns always get replaced and sit in corneruntil there sold online to the next sucker. 48' in the gulfwould be the minimum in my opinion. Safe shootin!
 

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What evensplit, brandy, bmoore, felix, and others said.

Do not go anything smaller than 48". You will not have the range, or power. And yes, small gun can take a fish in close...but aint it nice to take 15 foot shots and still get good penatration?

One thing felix got to mention is the other guy on our team, hatescheese, had the same 42" gun, and he lost a fish or two?? :poke

Also, a solid stock gun with the trigger and handle mounted to the bottom is just gonna last way longer, can take more abuse. Besides Riffe, wich are a pain (in my opinion) to string (but I still have one) like bmoore said, the A.B. Biller Limited 60". I am going to buy one of them bad boys. Buy a large 50 to 60" gun, and you will only want a smaller gun for out of town relatives.

And important thing to remember...the bigger and heavier the gun is, while it does have more "drag" in the water, it is NOT heavier! (if you stay with wood). In fact the bigger the gun, the more bouyant! SO dont hold a big one up with one arm in the store and think "dang, this is too heavy to hold up", cuz it will be a one hander under water!

Good luck man! Before you buy, borrow. I got three guns, and take at least 2 on a trip, so there is always one for someone to borrow during a dive. NAd with three guns, I still use the same gun almost all the time.
 
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