Yokooji Spearguns?

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Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby AJP » May 27th, 2014, 12:59 pm

Aloha Hawaiian spearos,

I was just wondering if anyone can tell me anything about Yokooji Spearguns. I have only ever seen them used and for sale in Hawaii. Are they still made? I found one site (not the manufacturer) that sells them, but that is it.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby NaClAddict » May 27th, 2014, 1:16 pm

Good guns from what I've heard. Think he was Daryl Wong's old partner. Also heard zero customer support.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 27th, 2014, 1:19 pm

I'm not sure if they are still made or not. They are usually mentioned as a cheaper alternative to Wong guns, but there are differences.

Rather than being inserted into the wood butt, the pipe barrel sits in a groove on top of the butt. The problem there is that there is no way to put an enclosed track on the top of the butt. My original 55 inch Wong from 17 years ago had an open track, but every Wong hybrid model now has an enclosed track.

The other obvious difference is warranty. You won't be able to find Yokooji, while the Wong has a true lifetime warranty, at least for Daryl's life. After about 15 years, the titanium barrel slid out of the butt of my oldest gun. He replaced it with a carbon fiber barrel at no charge and refinished the butt and replaced the old open slot muzzle with the newer three hole muzzle. You get what you pay for, at least some times.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 27th, 2014, 1:21 pm

NaClAddict wrote:Good guns from what I've heard. Think he was Daryl Wong's old partner. Also heard zero customer support.


They were never partners. Maybe you are thinking of Rick Bettua of Aimrite. They were once partners, but not any more.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby AJP » May 27th, 2014, 1:24 pm

I should add that I am not actually interested in buying one, just wanted to know the story. Thanks.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby manoamatt » June 2nd, 2014, 10:16 pm

They are made by Darien Yokooji on Oahu. I don't know if he is still building, but the guns are sold new in a few dive shops, with used ones available on craigslist. He makes several models. A hybrid which is just as described in regards to the barrel to wood connection. He also makes an enclosed track gun that is unique in construction. Somewhat like pictured here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/71782262@N08/7605469172/

Here are a few listings with pictures:

http://honolulu.craigslist.org/big/spo/4487092910.html

http://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/for/4498071345.html

http://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/for/4419080351.html
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby AJP » June 2nd, 2014, 10:28 pm

manoamatt wrote:They are made by Darien Yokooji on Oahu. I don't know if he is still building, but the guns are sold new in a few dive shops, with used ones available on craigslist. He makes several models. A hybrid which is just as described in regards to the barrel to wood connection. He also makes an enclosed track gun that is unique in construction. Somewhat like pictured here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/71782262@N08/7605469172/

Here are a few listings with pictures:

http://honolulu.craigslist.org/big/spo/4487092910.html

http://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/for/4498071345.html

http://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/for/4419080351.html


Thanks Matt. I was probably going to ask you about it at some point through a PM.

I saw a couple of those the guns above recently. I check the Hawaii craigslist regularly just for fun - better deals than here. :'(
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby Calwaterman » June 3rd, 2014, 10:50 am

Very good guns at a fair price. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is they are built with both Alexander trigger mech and handles. The tube portion of the hybrid, were originally titanium, then later aluminum. The tube runs nearly the full length of the gun. These are very similar to Daryls early models. ;) I have had a 50 in Yokoogi hybrid for years with no issues. They were avail from Hanapaa in the past , but don't see them listed on their site any longer.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby Bill McIntyre » June 3rd, 2014, 2:57 pm

Calwaterman wrote:Very good guns at a fair price. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is they are built with both Alexander trigger mech and handles. The tube portion of the hybrid, were originally titanium, then later aluminum. The tube runs nearly the full length of the gun. These are very similar to Daryls early models. ;) I have had a 50 in Yokoogi hybrid for years with no issues. They were avail from Hanapaa in the past , but don't see them listed on their site any longer.


The Alexander handle is a negative for me, but then I realize that a lot of people like them. But I wonder why he went from titanium to aluminum? That seems like a step backwards. When I bought my first Wong, Daryl offered a choice of aluminum or titanium, but he dropped aluminum shortly after that. Now all he offers is carbon fiber.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby AJP » June 6th, 2014, 7:13 pm

Bill McIntyre wrote:But I wonder why he went from titanium to aluminum? That seems like a step backwards. When I bought my first Wong, Daryl offered a choice of aluminum or titanium, but he dropped aluminum shortly after that. Now all he offers is carbon fiber.


Apparently, the switch was a cost saving measure and not related to functionality. I did a search on the other site and saw a couple of remarks that indicated that cost was the reason for the change. Seems like something that should be worked out rather than side-stepped for a "premium product."
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby Bill McIntyre » June 6th, 2014, 8:16 pm

AJP wrote:
Bill McIntyre wrote:
Apparently, the switch was a cost saving measure and not related to functionality. I did a search on the other site and saw a couple of remarks that indicated that cost was the reason for the change. Seems like something that should be worked out rather than side-stepped for a "premium product."


I'm sure it was a cost saving measure that enable him to sell at a lower price, but its a matter of personal preference whether it was related to functionality. Aluminum corrodes. I realize that all the popular rail guns are made of aluminum, and maybe they will last long enough to suit you. And perhaps I have a different perspective at my age, but below are some photos of an anodized aluminum gun I bought many years ago. It is not functional. I'm pretty sure that if I had left my the titanium barrel of my first Wong under salt water for the 17 years I've owned it, it would look the same as the day I bought it.

In any event, when I bought that at first Wong, it cost me $350. I can't be positive, but I think the titanium cost $20 more than the aluminum. I was glad to pay for the "premium product." Others may just focus on price. I'm glad I didn't.

This is so timely, but today on my boat, I told my buddies the story of the first time I tested the Wong warranty. I left my Wong hanging over the side on a clip line, and my buddy left his Riffe Island hanging on another clip line. He was on the bow pulling the anchor, and I was on the bridge idling forward. The engine lugged down and died. When I investigated, I found that my bands were wrapped in the duo-props, the muzzle was torn off the barrel, and the shaft was torn out of the mechanism, destroying it. My buddy's gun had the reel side plate snapped off and took some deep gouges in the wood.

I emailed Daryl and ordered a new mechanism. He asked why I needed one. I confessed that I had a senior moment. He told me that it was warranted and sent me a new mechanism. I said "no shit?"

My buddy didn't have a similar experience with his Riffe damage. Maybe he would have had an experience like mine if he had been using a Yokooji, but I seriously doubt it.I've never hear of anyone even being able to contact Yokooji with a claim.

One more story- after about 15 years, that titanium barrel slid out of the wood butt of my Wong. I know of at least two other guys who had the same experience. When I called Daryl, he said that it seemed to be happening to guns in California, and he thought maybe it was because our cold water caused the titanium to expand and contract and break loose from the epoxy. Maybe he was bullshiting me about why it happened. I really don't care. What matters is that he replaced the titanium barrel with a carbon fiber barrel at no cost to me. And he did that for the other guys who had the same experience.

Over the long haul, the money I paid up front for the "premium experience" has been one of the best investments I've ever made.

Edit- Oh shit! I see that I repeated myself on the barrel coming out of the butt story. Oh well.
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Re: Yokooji Spearguns?

Postby AJP » June 6th, 2014, 8:35 pm

I completely agree with what you said Bill regarding functionality/cost. Actually, what I meant to state was that the builder inn question chose a cost saving measure without regard to functionality. I was in no way implying that an aluminum barrel was a good substitute for titanium.

In fact, I just had a great experience with DW that concluded yesterday. I'll share it soon in another thread.

For whatever its worth, I'll buy that explanation with regards to the titanium contracting in cold water.
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