Home made yellowtail gun

Made something extra cool or fixed something broken? Help a brother out!

Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » August 13th, 2013, 10:41 am

This is my 4th gun build. The first gun was a 50in midhandle, supposedly for WSB (still haven’t shot one with that gun yet). It was a boxy thing with a lumpy epoxy finish, but it shoots fish just fine, took some nice groupers and shot my first yellowtail in baja with it. The second gun was a 44in midhandle calico blaster, to replace the JBL I found in the trash. Ironically, I’ve shot more WSB with this one than with the 50in. I rounded it more and the epoxy finish was much, much better. By this time I feel I’ve gotten the hang of it, and wanted to try something a little fancier. So I made a carbon fiber water ballast 6 band tuna cannon for my buddy as a wedding present. That gun came out awesome, but it was way too much work.
The idea for this gun came to me when I was out at the islands in 50ft viz. Suddenly, my 50in gun (which was fine for dirty water) seemed very small in my hand. I happened upon a yellowtail and suddenly I felt I understood the utility of a rear handle speargun. So I started asking around to see what other people like to use in blue water. I decided on a 62” rear handle (about 140cm in euro terms).
I took what I liked from a couple different gunsmiths around town. I love Ulusub lines, and how Jon incorporates band elevators into the stock. I also like how the Seasnipers are set up, with the handle as close in line to the shaft and bands as possible. And Josh at Neptonics posted a build with a pretty trick flush mounted reel, so I though I’d do that as well. I planned on a 7mm shaft and 2x16mm or 3x14mm bands, open track.
After the concept was generally laid out, it was time to get to work. I like working with padauk, I love that red color and the higher density means less lead. I spent an hour digging through a pile of padauk and didn’t find anything that suited my purpose. I have learned the hard way that picking the right board is very important, so I started digging through the teak. After 2 hours of digging and getting amused looks from the guys working the lumber yard I walked out with one board of teak.
I ripped the board into lams and started gluing. I normally do all vertical lams, but because of the grain and the width and thickness of the board, I had to do 4 horizontal lams and 2 vertical. It just meant a bit more work, gluing up the horizontal lams, squaring the stock, gluing up the vertical lams, squaring again (table saw work)… but by the time I was done, I was very happy with the result. Teak cuts like butter, so nice and waxy it lubes the blade as it’s cut. This same waxiness prompted me to take extra care and wipe the surfaces to be glued with denatured alcohol several times to get a nice, clean surface.
Attachments
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » August 13th, 2013, 10:44 am

The first I do after squaring the stock is cut the critical parts of the gun. The track, mech pocket, pin holes, line release slot, handle pocket, band holes and reel pocket get done while the gun is nice an square. Most of the work is done with a router. I made a jig for the router to guide the cutter along the center of the gun to make any cuts that need to be centered. I can also offset the jig and make a cut, flip it around and make another cut to do stuff like the handle pocket so that its perfectly centered. I use a chisel to square off any corners that need squaring, like the mech pocket. I do a pre-assembly to make sure everything fits and that the spear and shooting line is released smoothly. At this point, I always joke that you can tape some scuba weights to it and go shoot fish (I have done this is a pinch).
Attachments
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » August 13th, 2013, 10:46 am

The rest is just details. And as we all know, that’s where the devil is. I ended up having to make a jig to cut the round pocket for the reel, and another to cut the fluting along the track, and another to cut the band elevator grooves. I tapered the gun horizontally and vertically, which is trickier that I though since the last taper has no square side for reference. Because the radius on the stock was so large, and I didn’t have a router bit big enough, I used the table saw and roughed out a curve and finished it with a rasp. Shaped and shaped and shaped, then sanded and sanded and sanded.
Attachments
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » August 13th, 2013, 10:54 am

Finally the oil finish goes on, and the butt pad and line guide pin get glued on. The last step is to ballast the gun. I took it down to the harbor and hung fishing weights on the gun and added and moved the weights around until I got the gun to be neutrally buoyant and level. I routed out a pocket for the weight and used about a pound of “sea pearls” from a gutted scuba weight and sealed it all in with epoxy. Here is the final result.
Attachments
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » August 13th, 2013, 10:57 am

Kill pics.
Attachments
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby chris oak » August 13th, 2013, 3:31 pm

Gorgeous gun, I don't think a lot of people really understand all the work that goes into gun building. Loved the yt kill shots too :), that always gets my blood flowing!
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4445
Joined: June 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Mahtzo Lou » August 13th, 2013, 3:46 pm

Beautiful work. Really enjoyed reading about your build, the photos showing the results of your labors are great too. Thanks for posting!
Lou
User avatar
Mahtzo Lou
spearo
 
Posts: 380
Joined: July 2013
Location: Southern California (South Bay)

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby LandAndSeaKahuna » August 17th, 2013, 9:36 am

Wow that thing looks awesome! How long from start to finish did it take you?
User avatar
LandAndSeaKahuna
spearo
 
Posts: 324
Joined: August 2013
Location: Alhambra, CA

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby North Star » August 17th, 2013, 8:29 pm

First class work, and I love seeing the first fish you shot with it. Nothing like shooting a great fish with a gun you made.
Max

nec timor nec temeritas (neither fear nor foolhardiness.)
User avatar
North Star
spearo
 
Posts: 80
Joined: July 2013
Location: Oregon

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » August 18th, 2013, 8:20 pm

LandAndSeaKahuna wrote:Wow that thing looks awesome! How long from start to finish did it take you?

Thanks!

Working in spurts on the weekends, probably took me about 5-6 weekends. Each post below was as much as I could do in one weekend. Actual working time was much less because there is a lot of time spend sitting and drinking beer and pondering the next step. I started this gun in the spring so I would have plenty of time to finish it for bluewater season.

Edit: 5-6 weeks not including the time it took to learn from my mistakes on previous guns. I felt this one went along fairly quickly for the amount of work that I had to put into it. Also the jigs that I made to cut the round pockets and the curve for the band elevator groove is done, so the next gun(s) should be even quicker. I'm making a batch right now that use these two jigs and work goes faster now that they're set up.
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Trace » August 19th, 2013, 8:56 pm

Nice work on the gun and the fish!
User avatar
Trace
spearo
 
Posts: 461
Joined: July 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Bearclaw » August 28th, 2013, 1:12 pm

Beautiful work!
Zeke Bass
User avatar
Bearclaw
spearo
 
Posts: 63
Joined: August 2013
Location: Santa Barbara

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Maguimaraes » August 28th, 2013, 4:55 pm

I had a chance to see this gun in person and it looks really good!
User avatar
Maguimaraes
spearo
 
Posts: 221
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby spearpr » September 4th, 2013, 10:11 am

Nice work
spearpr
noob
 
Posts: 2
Joined: September 2013
Location: Puerto Rico

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby IanB » September 6th, 2013, 1:44 pm

That is a great looking gun. Excellent craftsmanship. I'm curious, if you don't mind saying, how much did you spend in materials alone. I love doing projects and building stuff and I could see myself doing this one day in the future.
User avatar
IanB
spearo
 
Posts: 64
Joined: September 2013
Location: Orange County

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » September 13th, 2013, 4:15 pm

IanB wrote:That is a great looking gun. Excellent craftsmanship. I'm curious, if you don't mind saying, how much did you spend in materials alone. I love doing projects and building stuff and I could see myself doing this one day in the future.

Thank you all for the kind words. I'm really starting to get the hang of it... only wish my first few guns came out as nice!

I think I spent just over 450 bucks, out the door, not including the tooling I already specifically bought for guns, and stuff I already had lying around, like band tying materials, SS rod for the line guide, flip-flop for the butt pad, epoxy, etc.. Prolly would have cost closer to 800 if it was my first gun, so its finally starting to "pay off" (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it :lol: )

But seriously, this is my new favorite gun, I've even taken it into a kelp bed and found it works remarkably well, as long as the kelp isn't extremely thick. Low tide kelp crawls would suck with this gun, I would have to keep it below the surface and swim under the canopy. But thats not what its for, and for blue water hunting I love it.
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Andreas » September 28th, 2013, 2:39 pm

iamasalmon wrote:
IanB wrote:That is a great looking gun. Excellent craftsmanship. I'm curious, if you don't mind saying, how much did you spend in materials alone. I love doing projects and building stuff and I could see myself doing this one day in the future.

Thank you all for the kind words. I'm really starting to get the hang of it... only wish my first few guns came out as nice!

I think I spent just over 450 bucks... Prolly would have cost closer to 800 if it was my first gun, so its finally starting to "pay off" (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it :lol: )

But seriously, this is my new favorite gun, I've even taken it into a kelp bed and found it works remarkably well, as long as the kelp isn't extremely thick. Low tide kelp crawls would suck with this gun, I would have to keep it below the surface and swim under the canopy. But thats not what its for, and for blue water hunting I love it.


Congrats on the craftsmanship. The build looks beautiful. I was wondering the same thing in terms of cost while I was reading your post and appreciate your attention to the teak grain structure. That's solid.
Whenever I build something I try to justify the expenditures as eventually "paying off" too. Glad I'm not the only one haha.

Post some more kill photos every once in a while, I'd like to see how the gun breaks in overtime.
User avatar
Andreas
spearo
 
Posts: 292
Joined: September 2013
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Westbury » September 29th, 2013, 2:57 pm

Great looking gun!
What line are you using on the reel and where did you get it?
User avatar
Westbury
kook
 
Posts: 647
Joined: July 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » October 1st, 2013, 8:29 am

I got the reel from Neptonic Systems (the Salvimar Reel) and it came with the line. No problems yet, except the line guide on the reel got bent a bit from a 15lb dodo (the drag was set too tight).

Since I was eager to take it out, I didn't put enough coats of oil on it, and after a long day of bouncing around on a boat some of the bare wood was showing through the oil coat. I have since been trying to build up more coats of oil, but its been hard since I've been going out every week these past months. Now that things are slowing down, I might have time to build up a nice glossy finish. Finish or no finish, it kills fish just fine...

Last weekend I got 2 rat yellows and 1 rat dodo, which are very hard to hit when they are skittish, btw. A few weeks before that I let my buddy borrow it so he could feel how a custom gun shoots (compared to a production gun). He nailed the first thing he pointed it at (15lb dodo), raving at how big a difference from his shelf gun, how nice it shoots.
Attachments
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby the fisher » March 5th, 2014, 12:54 pm

WOW! Such a sweet looking/functioning gun! I'm hoping to build one myself this summer! Enjoyed the sequence of pics.
User avatar
the fisher
spearo
 
Posts: 54
Joined: October 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby iamasalmon » December 10th, 2014, 10:49 pm

Andreas wrote:
Post some more kill photos every once in a while, I'd like to see how the gun breaks in overtime.


Just shot my PB yellow with this gun a couple weeks ago... 28.5lbs

Since I do most of my diving from a boat, I hardly use anything else. So of course, I got desperate one day and whacked a calico with it. Even with one band, I still wrecked the shaft on a rock.

Also I experimented with different band setups and have settled on 2 5/8 bands at 400% stretch, very tight bands, my sissy dive buddies can't load it ;) . I'm surprised if I don't stone a fish when I play my cards right. 3 9/16 bands is ok, but 3 5/8 bands is terrible, couldn't hit squat. Also tried different brands of rubber and there is a huge difference. Some bands I got were lumpy, looked like a string of beads. The rubber I've been getting from Stugill lately is sick, he says it's the stuff Mori uses...
Attachments
User avatar
iamasalmon
spearo
 
Posts: 246
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby NaClAddict » December 11th, 2014, 6:58 am

If you have time I'd be curious to see the jigs you built. Thanks.
NaClAddict
spearo
 
Posts: 284
Joined: August 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby campbell » December 21st, 2014, 8:29 pm

Hey great thread. Thanks for sharing.
Awesome gun and fish.
User avatar
campbell
spearo
 
Posts: 103
Joined: September 2013

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Highliner » June 11th, 2015, 6:43 pm

For a 4th build that's an impressive result!
I'd be glad to see a pic of the jig you made for the band grooves if you can put it up.
HighlinerCustomBoats
User avatar
Highliner
spearo
 
Posts: 99
Joined: March 2015
Location: San Francisco, California

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby WilliamDennison » August 31st, 2016, 10:20 pm

Awesome work!! Thanks for sharing.
WilliamDennison
noob
 
Posts: 3
Joined: August 2016

Re: Home made yellowtail gun

Postby Westbury » September 1st, 2016, 6:48 am

I know this is an old thread, but I noticed the handle on your reel...... did you machine that custom for the reel?
User avatar
Westbury
kook
 
Posts: 647
Joined: July 2013


Return to DIY's: Do it yourself

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

  • Supported by