Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

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Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby chris oak » May 21st, 2015, 1:46 pm

I'm reading up on roller guns and see that the most popular sizes run from 80-120 cm (I know there are some shorter and longer). With most of the spearfishing in California being in kelp and some open water what is the optimum size? Some of my buddies are swinging 110's and I kind of like the 120 cm railguns so I'd lean towards that. Is it that more difficult to load a 120cm or longer roller if you have an extra load tab on the shaft and bottom of the gun? I'd be using the gun on wsb in the kelp and for yellowtail in open water, probably with a 5/16" shaft if I could get away with it, it would NOT be used for reef fish that are in holes etc.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Marko » May 22nd, 2015, 9:21 am

Were you thinking of a double roller, or single? Do you want to spend some time tuning it or something ready to go?

120 double roller is a beast for its size but still loadable. Keep in mind, shooting a slip tip on a roller is not always easy. Roller muzzles have a lot going on making it difficult to secure the slip tip spectra/cable. Alemanni (an Italian gun maker who is the Jedi Master of rollers), connects the spectra/cable with a rubber band to a resting tab in the middle of the shaft. This keeps the line tight and releases upon impact, but then you have to carry rubber bands with you cause they break.

A 115 roller can shoot a 5/16 shaft with power no problem (15-18ft range) and even with thinner bands then a conventional gun. The Alemanni 115 actually uses 13.5mm bands and is very easy to load.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby chris oak » May 23rd, 2015, 1:42 pm

Thanks for the info Marko. I'm going single roller and I'd rather not spend too much time tuning it but I'm sure I'll have to make some adjustments. I asked my buddy about it and he's running his spectra tip under the shooting mono and it's been tight and he hasn't had any tangles so I'll try that first. The gun will have a loading tab on the shaft and two total stages under the gun. I used to load my rabitech 120 with a single 20mm band and even though it was a beeyotch it wasn't a problem so I'm hoping with the two stages on each side I should be okay. I was going to go with a 115cm roller but I figured I can swap shafts with my rabitech if need be so 120cm it is.

I'm tentatively thinking of going 7.5mm shaft with slip tip. I was going to go with 16mm band but you mentioned a 13.5mm band as well. Do you think there would be a big difference in range if I went with a single 14mm vs single 16mm band?
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Marko » May 23rd, 2015, 4:37 pm

7.5mm shaft with a slip tip you will definitely want thicker than 13mm bands. 16 should do it. If you want to push an 8mm shaft with a slip tip I would go thicker then 16mm.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby dustyyoungblood » May 26th, 2015, 8:24 am

The gun Tanc put together is perfect
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby John Hughes » May 26th, 2015, 7:57 pm

I dove with a friend that had a roller the other day. It looked so damn complicated I didn't even want to touch it. With all the different hassles factored in I'm not sure why guys bother but I'm a simpleton.

With what Marko says above (and he seems to know what he's talking about) a 115 will shoot a 5/16 shaft 15-18' no problem. That's the range of my 62 Mori which is hassle free. I realize the pipe gun is going to be a bit easier in the water (aside from having to carry it by the barrel) but the price and the hassles to me don't seem like a fair trade off.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Marko » May 26th, 2015, 8:25 pm

Im a creature of habits. I like gear that works well, doesn't break and is simple. Simple setups I can fix on a boat. A 120 with three bands packs a punch at 15ft and I rarely take a shot at a fish past that distance. I own rollers and use them on occasion, but they are still not my go to (side note: unloading them is a bitch).
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby chris oak » May 26th, 2015, 8:58 pm

I've heard that unloading rollers is dangerous, I also heard they tear up wishbones easier because of the power. I just want to try one out, if worse comes to worse I'll just keep it as my work lunchtime gun. I'm going with 120 cm because then I can swap out shafts with my rabitech 120. I've been reading up and asking around and I'm going to try a 7.5mm shaft with slip tip, I'll post up pix once I get it dialed in.

What's the calculation for band length? I've heard you do it the same way as you would for a regular gun but measure under the gun as well.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Schwaman » May 26th, 2015, 11:20 pm

Have you seen that article in the usm spearfishing magazine? Chris Coates has done a lot of testing on different set ups and lists all the specs of his favourite rollers from 90-130cm including shaft and band diam x lengths.
Costs about 2 bucks to download that issue, or i can send the pdf to you if you want.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Marko » May 27th, 2015, 6:59 am

I start with a 3.5 stretch factor but it totally depends on the band material and shore hardness. Im sure Petros could advise based on what he has in stock, and I know he has some great material. Mori also has great material. I really prefer softer bands for rollers since they are easier to load (I prefer soft bands all round, less recoil long range). Chris Coates' article is definitely worth a read but I don't remember him testing slip tip setups, only floppers. More power is required to propel a shaft with a slip tip then a flopper, so the rigging will be different. Alemanni sent me a different pair of bands for the flopper setup and different for the slip tip. The latter were tougher to load cause it needed the extra power. If you plan on a 7.5mm with 7mm threading/tip you might be able to get away with 15mm bands at 3.5, but you will have to test it out in a pool most likely to get a feel for the shot difference.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby One_drake » June 22nd, 2015, 7:19 pm

I built this a few months ago. If you are interested I can PM you all the details. My two cents is to go with a 16mm band. One 65lb sea bass swimming around OC ;) right now would agree. Luckily his little sister came over to see the commotion.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby John Hughes » June 22nd, 2015, 10:42 pm

One_drake wrote:I built this a few months ago. If you are interested I can PM you all the details. My two cents is to go with a 16mm band. One 65lb sea bass swimming around OC ;) right now would agree. Luckily his little sister came over to see the commotion.


that's a really beautiful looking fish but where's the Barn Kelp? I want a big white seabass :D
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby cksea » June 23rd, 2015, 12:48 pm

go with a single 5/8th band but make the loading 2 stage
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby One_drake » June 23rd, 2015, 8:41 pm

cksea wrote:go with a single 5/8th band but make the loading 2 stage



Agreed here is a 8 ft shot today with a 350% 14mm band. Hit the spine but did not break it. 7mm shaft with slip tip, 100 cm gun.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby One_drake » June 23rd, 2015, 8:42 pm

Fish was 46lbs for reference of spine thickness.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Kevin » June 24th, 2015, 3:40 pm

Chris I would highly recommend a 100-110. I think they are optimal length for a Rollergun in CA. I like the shorter length (rather than my 120) for easier maneuvering. And with the range being better than my stock 120, I have yet to find myself wishing for anything longer.

The difficulty with loading will all come down to how you set it up. You can use a 14mm band and have easy loading, or go 16 and work a little harder for the added range/power. With a 14mm band you will likely be able to load it unassisted. For the 16mm I would recommend so form of assist. Extra tab on the shaft, longer heavier wishbone attached to the standard wishbone for grip, dual stage, or a separate "loading band" are all options that work. It all comes down to preference at that point.

Personally I like the ease of the 14mm band, I've found it has plenty of power and it makes the whole setup so simple.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby chris oak » June 27th, 2015, 12:26 pm

Thanks Kevin, I went with a 7.5mm shaft and 15mm bands. I have two stages on the bottom of the gun and a loading tab on the shaft as well. I purposely cut the bands long so I can shorten them, right now they are too weak and the gun is lacking the punch. I kept the gun at 120 cm since I figured I could cut it back later and I also already had shafts for my 120 rabitech. As soon as I get a chance I'm going to start cutting the bands back 1" at a time until I get it right. My wishbones are standard 3". The gun is very different than I am used to, it makes a different sound than I'm accustomed to and it also has no recoil. I'm hoping to dial it in soon so I can start testing it on yellowtail :)
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Kwtony » June 27th, 2015, 1:29 pm

Wold this be considered blue water?? Haha, this is a 160 RA roller, next to a 90 pathos...

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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Schwaman » June 28th, 2015, 11:01 am

Geez, how do you load that thing!?
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Kwtony » June 28th, 2015, 11:05 am

From the hip, like everyone else :)
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Aussie » December 4th, 2015, 2:36 am

How'd you go with your roller, chris?
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby David Z » February 25th, 2016, 1:56 am

For a fella who is new into the realm of roller guns, how would you setup a 90 and 110 RA roller with mannysub muzzle? I've been wondering about rollers for way too long and figured I'd pony up and try them out for myself. I had the legend himself Rob Allen confirm a property setup 110 roller will outperform a 140 rail gun in terms of range. That was enough for me to put down some money and buy some new gear. Tony, Tanc and other experienced roller users... What are your thoughts?
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby chris oak » February 25th, 2016, 7:00 am

Aussie wrote:How'd you go with your roller, chris?


Sorry Tanc, I just saw this today.

The local guru is Kei (sumogurinet) and hopefully he chimes in as he's built probably 15 or more of them by now. My take is that mine is not set up correctly yet. I also don't think the 120 is shooting any further than probably what I would get out of a 110 roller.

The gun is a lot of fun to shoot as there is no recoil. It is harder to load than a railgun and for some reason once in a while my shooting line is tangling in the bands. I'm still working with band stretch too, the 120 is so long that it is hard to load and I'm thinking of cutting it back this year to maybe 110. That being said Kei has one that I want to say was around 105cm that was fully dialed in when I shot it. It shot further than my 120 and he took down a lot of yellows with it this past summer. I'm running mine breakaway with a release that Red Triangle made up for me, that part has been working well.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Schwaman » February 25th, 2016, 7:02 am

Hi David
I am liking the setups Chris Coates came up with:

RA 110
Spear: 150cm x 7.0mm
Bands: 14mm bands cut to 55cm and pre-stretched up to the screws.
This setup is very fun to shoot, and I have used it on tropical reefs for smaller fish up to 10kg

Set-up for bigger fish:
RA 110
Spear: 150cmx7.5mm
Bands: 18mm bands cut to 60cm
For this you will most probably need a load assist.
This one I have never used personally, but I am sure it works well as I have used a 130 with the 7.5 spear / 18mm band combination.

RA 90
Spear 130cm x 6.6mm or 7.0
Bands: 14mm bands cut to 45cm

All setups are with maximum pre-stretch and the bands directly looped to the screws at the handle - barrel connection. This makes it very easy to unload the bands after the day or even on the boat.
The RA pinned spears give a little more band stretch, so these are the ones I use.
I am sure there are many other combinations that would work, for example a 16mm small ID band instead of the 18mm or an 8mm shaft with a 18mm band + a 14mm second traditional band.
cheers Manuel
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Aussie » February 25th, 2016, 12:12 pm

I think a 110 with 18mm band 7.5mm shaft would be the best setup, I'm running the same set up but with a 120. That was the gun I took most of the wsb from last year with along with yellows/wahoo/marlin. my 100 with 16mm is a great reef gun and i took a 35b yellow with it a few months back but then lost a 40lb yellow the next day (I had the fish in hand but the fish wriggled off), I think the shaft didn't penetrate all the way through- I did horse it very hard to keep off the reef and probably went in when it was still way too hot, a 110 would have made the difference or a slip-tip or a better diver.

For me I sort of started the the 120 and stuck with it. I have a 120 inverted roller (8.5mm shaft) which i plan to test later this year. I have heard promising results but don't know how it will perform. I lost a 200+ lb tuna last year and I put this down to being undergunned with the 120/ 7.5mm shaft. I simply wasn't expecting to see the tuna where we were). The 120 roller also wasn't enough for the BFT last year either. You just can't take a 20'+ shot on that gun.

In terms of load assists I very rarely use them but I am not taking a lot of shots in a day. I can load my 120 with full band stretch without it (I'm 6'- arm reach helps). When I boat dive I take one with me because I get tired and by the latter part of the day I do need it. One thing I will say is if you have a reverse mech with a shaft that has the notch right up the very back it's a bitch to get that last inch of band stretch. I have a shaft like that and in future I would stick to an RA shaft, yes you have 2" less band stretch but I'm ok. Perhaps with a 110 you will mitigate this difference. I'm not sure.

Chris is right, they are harder to load (18mm bands at least) there's no doubt about it. I would say it's much quicker though when compared to a triple band gun. I've never had any issues with tanglement and the ease of maneuverability along with little recoil has me converted. I don't think I could ever go back to a traditional gun. Ask me in 5 years. :)
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby David Z » March 2nd, 2016, 5:51 pm

Cheers for the information above guys, awesome stuff

I'll start with the specs Chris Coates uses and test them out. Thank you for posting that Manuel :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby sumogurinet » March 3rd, 2016, 12:07 pm

Thanks Chris. I am not really a guru :'( , but I tried many because I don't know what I am doing. I tried 60, 75, 85, 95, 3 x 100, 105, 115, 118, 120, 125, 127, 130, and 140 roller pipe guns in combination of 3 different handles with 5 different roller muzzles and many different band materials and length. I recently started suspecting that longer Rollerguns are not for an old and weak guy like me and Chris :'( . In order to get a longer roller dialled in especially with thicker shaft and sliptip, I had to use stiff band at high stretch to push the weight of shaft. I am so weak that I could only load once or twice on those longer rollers that I can get reasonable power. I cannot load Corey's roller at all where he can easily load from hip.

For rollers that I can get reasonable power that equates or outperform railguns in similar length and load multiple times a day are 100cm or less. I especially like my 85cm. I clearly felt that 85cm was able to outperform similar length railguns that I owned.

All my roller guns had 2 or more stages except my old RA with loading butt. When I converted a couple of RAs with loading butt, I was able to load fine without staging at reasonable stretch. However, when I started using new reverse mech handles, I could not load at the same stretch as RA converted rollers. So my only solution was to have two stages and the 2nd stage tab locating much more forward position than the last notch on the shaft, so I can load easily. The solution has worked out well, and I was able to get the same or little more stretch than my older RA rollers.

Rollerguns are so addictive that I cannot get out. I truly need natural therapeutic treatment from wood guns. Although I am aware that longer rollerguns are not for me due to my age and physical inability, I am still dreaming of a sweat, super light, low recoil, long range rollergun.

This winter has been pretty brutal due to work and unfortunate conditions of water out there. I have not had much lack to dive. My imagination of a perfect rollergun for an old man kept growing in my head. I put together a super-complex tweaked multi band roller and 3 x inverted pulley rollers in 100, 105, 118, 130cm during this winter. I need to test more, but so far they are perfect in my imagination. Hope the conditions improve, so I can test my ultimate old-man rollerguns that Chris and I can load :D And Thanks to Mori. Even if I am trying something stupid, Mori has been very supportive! :bow-blue:
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Schwaman » March 3rd, 2016, 12:24 pm

Load assists make it possible for long lengths and more enjoyable for the short ones too.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Aussie » March 3rd, 2016, 6:04 pm

sumogurinet wrote:I tried 60, 75, 85, 95, 3 x 100, 105, 115, 118, 120, 125, 127, 130, and 140 roller pipe guns in combination of 3 different handles with 5 different roller muzzles and many different band materials and length...

You are without doubt the Roller Gun Guru. :bow-blue: I can't imagine how long it would have taken to do all of that.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby looknofurther » July 13th, 2016, 10:31 am

so what size roller is everyone using for island yellows?
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby Aussie » July 13th, 2016, 4:02 pm

looknofurther wrote:so what size roller is everyone using for island yellows?



I use a 120. You could get away a 110 but I like the extra range. I have a mate that uses a 130 but I think it's overkill.
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Re: Optimal Size for california/pelagic Rollergun

Postby CATriton » December 27th, 2016, 2:16 pm

The new Sea Sniper 110 Roller is really sweet. I had the pleasure of testing it while in its development and I have honestly become a believer. Secondly, because these bands sit really tight to the gun, it makes it possible to shoot with a spectra slip tip.

Definitely worth consideration.

I hoping to get some video up soon with this specific configuration.

Thanks
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