Shaft Design

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Shaft Design

Postby castronova » August 25th, 2013, 4:58 pm

Since I've started using the Abellan Denton 120 as my reef gun it has made me start to think a lot about shaft design. When you start digging into how efficient Victor Abellan made the gun it makes you really appreciate how he never lets even the smallest detail go unpolished. The same is true of the shafts that are provided with his guns.

There are problems that come along with a European designed shaft though. First and foremost is strength. The shafts are faster and will undoubtedly have more penetration on target but that comes with a shaft that is thinner in some areas and thus weaker.

I have taken a few pictures of shafts I've used in various guns. I missed focus on a few, sorry about that but everything was put up before I realized.

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Salvimar 7.5mm is the original shaft that came with my Abellan Denton 120. The design of the shaft by Victor was made by Salvimar. It's an absolutely incredible design. The flopper is hidden within the profile of the shaft as are the sharkfins. The back where the line attaches is also slimmed down so the shaft can engage the mech without binding from the shooting line. The mini sharkfins are the nicest shape I think I've seen and they are put all the way back toward the mech which is one reason the AD 120 has so much power. They are small but they are only holding one band so it works. The problem is where the flopper is recessed the shaft is about 6.5mm. To hide a flopper in that recess it has to be thin, and it is, but its very weak. The sharkfins are pinned through the shaft also creating a weak point in the shaft. All that said it doesn't matter because the metal this shaft is made of is the softest I've ever seen. It is basically like shooting aluminum (hell, it might be).

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The second shaft is the Vector Marine Prototype but I'm going to leave that one for last.

The third shaft is the Salvimar 8mm wired which is now standard with the new model Abellan Denton 120. It is a much stronger stainless design. It has the same type 1mm flopper recessed into the profile of the shaft. The sharkfins are "wired." As you can see in the pictures they have legs front and back that are adhered somehow into a small groove in the shaft. I do not know if they cause the same turbulence as a standard large sharkfin but they would have the same leading edge profile. The rear of this shaft is also slimmed down for the line to go into the mech. I believe this is a more standard Salvimar shaft as the sharkfins are not as far back as Victor's other shaft so a little power loss.

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The next shaft is a custom Rob Allen 7.5mm with pins. A good friend of mine who has been shooting the Abellan Denton for some time made a custom order of Rob Allen shafts for the gun. The pins are all the way back in the same position as Victors shaft so the gun still has 122cm of band stretch. The pins are also very low hydrodynamic profile. The flopper is also recessed but not as dramatically as the Salvimar shafts. The Rob Allen flopper is the best in my opinion. It is strong enough to handle any thing I've shot but slim enough to stay hydrodynamic without a large recess cut into the shaft. The leading edge is also nice and thin. The reason I'm looking further is because I'm bending these shafts way too much on grouper, big jacks, and earth that is to close with the shaft speed the gun produces.

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The bottom shaft is a Spearcrafters 5/16" which is kind of a traditional American spear shaft. It has 4 large shark fins (not shown) as its for my 65" enclosed track gun. The flopper is pinned on without any recess or tuning. The leading edge is very bulky giving the shaft a half round profile of about 12mm. Not exactly hydrodynamic.


I left the Vector Marine Prototype 8mm for last because I just started working on with Dean. I'm very thankful he agreed to take the time to make this shaft. The sharkfins are his standard welded fins but set on a recessed portion of the shaft all the way to the end. The fins are actually back further than the Salvimar and Rob Allen giving me 123cm of band stretch. The flopper area was also lathed down to 7.5mm slimming down the flopper just a bit. The line attaches through a hole in the shark fin instead of the rear of the shaft. I believe this may slow the shaft down a tad but it solves two problems which are 1.) no more issues if the loop gets kinked with it going in the mech and 2.) you don't have to move the line to load the band. So far I like this shaft a lot. It is thicker than the Rob Allen 7.5mm I had been using and also its SS and not a carbon steel. I've taken a few shots that have hit rocks and shot a grouper that went into a hole that had the spear stuck bowed. I yanked the grouper out bending the flopper in the process of fighting the fish and the shaft was still fine. I still need to test it a little more as its a bit longer than the 8mm Victor made the gun for I need to make sure it still gets the distance without causing to much recoil from the added weight. The only thing I really want to add is a tri-cut tip. I have also thought about adding a cone to this shaft as Tin Man has posted a really simple way to add a stainless cone with a plumbing T-adapter and compression fitting sleeve which will hide the part of the flopper that sticks out without the effect of slimming the shaft to recess it.

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The grouper I shot bent the flopper up pretty bad. The tip just barely went through the second gill plate so the flopper was in its gills. I could not push the flopper through the plate as the leading edge was getting stuck as it sticks out further than the shaft. After I fixed the bends in the flopper and tuned it I took my dremel with a grinding bit and sharpened the leading edge of the flopper making its profile more streamlines. I wish I would have taken a before but I wasn't thinking about this post when I did it.

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I realize that most people get away with, well, whatever. Flopper shmopper, doesn't matter. There a few reasons I'm at least attempting to keep things streamlined. One is the gun will start to lose all its advantages if I don't and two is I've lost a few fish from large protruding floppers. And of course they were all big. I shot what would have been a PB mutton, about 17-18lbs right in the skull and the shaft stopped the fish with only the tip its brain. As I pulled the fish up it somehow came back to life and flinched a few times, just enough to fall off the shaft in 60ft. of water with a raging current and I couldn't get back to him. I also landed a 16lb dog snapper that the same shaft stuck in its brain and the flopper stopped its penetration. That one died and I pulled up from 70ft. with just the friction of the tip stuck in its skull. Both of those shots were in 150ft. viz which sometimes makes it tough to get close.

The 8mm shaft is definitely the go to shaft here in the keys. Anything smaller just gets bent by yellow jacks and grouper (unless its Deans UHT). The problem with the Abellan Denton 120 is that once you see how it performs you don't want to ruin it. The gun shoots so hard and so accurate it's unreal. But the design, like any, has limitations and I'm trying my best not to break them. The new model gun was made with more mass than the previous as it is designed to shoot a 140cm 8mm shaft. We have been using the Rob Allen 7.5mm because we can make it 150cm and easier to aim but keeping it close to the same weight. My gun shoots perfect with no led in the compartments in the gun and also floats so I have room to play thus I had Dean make me the prototype shaft at 145cm of ~57". It is a bit shorter than the Rob Allen shaft but with 6.5" of overhang it is still easy to aim a long shot. I added led to the gun compartments front and handle for the added mass of the longer thicker shaft. It shot fine with no noticeable increase in recoil. The gun does not float shaft in anymore but is almost perfectly neutral at the surface, starts to sink very very slowly. It seems to be a good compromise.

With the gun only being 6lbs I'm trying my best to stay within its limits of weight and design. I'm balancing ballast, shaft weight, tight bands, hydrodynamics, etc. to keep the 2 band gun as accurate as possible. Every part plays a role which is one reason the gun shoots so well, Victor did not skimp on anything. Unfortunately I needed to mix some American muscle into the equation for bigger tougher fish here. I'm just glad there are people like Dean willing to help.

I also love the fact that I have a stainless shaft again that does not rust before your very eyes. I almost forgot what that was like.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby castronova » August 26th, 2013, 4:33 pm

...but apparently I'm the only one who wants to talk about it.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Freeryde » August 26th, 2013, 8:12 pm

I think you would get more people responding in the ca section. That seems to be the one everyone looks at. Thanks for the great post and photos. I actually necked down my 5/16 shafts and put on smaller floppers so they are now streamlined and it does make a big difference in penetration power. I tested both shooting a bodyboard in a pool. I think it improves accuracy as well. A freind of mine who is into target shooting spearguns says that a flopper shaft suffers from poor accuracy unless you add a cone above the flopper or recess it
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby chris oak » August 26th, 2013, 8:15 pm

WOW that's quite a lesson on euro shafts! Those mini sharkfins are the smallest I've seen, do you have to use a 2.2mm dynema for wishbone?

Have you had problems with pinned fins breaking off? The reason I ask is I had one snap off during a load, it was on a used gun that I bought, I'm not sure of the maker of that shaft. I was going to mention Deans UHT shaft, the last time I was down there he handed me a piece of finished stainless and asked me to bend it. I bent it gingerly and he told me to really bend it so I did and it sprung back into shape. Pretty neat stuff!
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby castronova » August 27th, 2013, 4:48 am

Freeryde, your quite welcome. I want to start testing set-ups in my pool. I bet there is a lot to be learned when the environment is controlled and there are no fish on my mind.

Chris, I use either 1.5 or 1.8mm wishbones. With the Vector marine shaft I could go much bigger though. I have not broke a pin and my friend Harry who has been using the pins for 4-5 years longer has not had a pin break off.

I used a 61" x 5/16" UHT shaft for over a year including a trip to Mexico. I've never seen a shaft bend like that and come back straight. When I switched guns I've been through 5 times that many shafts in less than half the time. I went against the UHT for the prototype because that didn't make sense but I may just stay with the non UHT anyway. For one the cost is pretty significant, not when you think about how many shafts I've been through since but compared to his standard shaft. A couple other reasons are I want to buy a bulk order when I do settle on the shaft. When I go west like I will this weekend I will be 80 miles from home. It is great to have an unbreakable shaft but on the UHT I had I broke off the flopper and also I'll be going through shooting line all the time and I don't want to deal with that on the boat... or in Mexico on a panga. I rather just grab another shaft thats rigged.

Another reason I may not opt for the UHT is the cost makes it more dangerous for me. Diving more and more 70 - 80 ft reef, or deeper, and wrecks I will always want to keep going to whatever depth to not leave that much money behind. I also remember not taking a last second chance shot over a deep wreck because the chance of well over a hundred dollars could disappear if I don't stone the fish. Hmmm.... maybe thats good and not bad now that I think about it.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Freeryde » August 27th, 2013, 6:48 am

I am originally from Florida and still visit my family there a few times a year, so I understand the way the fish like to hole up there and bend shafts. I also have problems with jewfish and bullsharks bending shafts when they get the fish. I switched to using mainly slip tips unless I am hole hunting under ledges or something. I'm curious to know why you don't use a slip tip as this would separate these powerful fish from your shaft? I use the riffe mini tips and have had good luck with them. They are stronger than the mori (good if you miss and hit a rock) and you can buy just the tip to replace it for $22. The key to getting a good riffe tip is to pick one that has a very close tolorance when sitting on the adapter with no wobble. For California I cut off the cable on the tip and use a doubled hollow spectra. It is interesting to note that my old riffe shafts had the tiny recessed sharkfins and recessed flopper with the hole for the shooting line drilled through the shaft but the new ones have the big sharkfins and the big bulky flopper (before I modified it). I have been using mori shafts the last two years and they are awesome! I don't know what they are made of but look stainless.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » August 27th, 2013, 8:07 am

Nice thread Castronova, I wouldn't worry about lack of discussion for a few days. This place has several family guys that are consumed with kids, work and sneaking in a dive all in the same day. I appreciate the time you took to image the shafts and start a discussion, you bring up very good points.

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Re: Shaft Design

Postby castronova » August 27th, 2013, 8:24 am

Don,

I gotcha man. I was just being sarcastic with my second post. Plus, I'm single without kids so I have way more time that anyone should have for spearfishing.

Joe,

In all honesty I just can't stand slip-tips. It is certainly not common in the Keys (not that that has ever stopped me). They are typically heavier and less accurate although I did have a very good diver recently tell my he really like the new Mini Ice-Pick. I guess I would have to see it in person to decide.

Just thinking about the last 3-4 shafts I've bent I believe only 1 would be saved by a slip-tip anyway. One was a shot on a 22# yellow jack that took off with its body dead center on the shaft and under a ledge making it into a nice bow and another was through a 20# groupers gills that turned and jetted into a hole before I could pull the line tihgt. He was also up the shaft a bit when the ends hit the rocks. The flopper didn't have time to engage in either situation.

I'm not saying it wouldn't help but I don't know if it would be worth the accuracy lost at range and PITA of dealing with it every reload and tangled in everything on the boat.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby chris oak » August 27th, 2013, 9:37 am

Castro do you tune your floppers as well? I've read a few things about tuning and have tried it with disastrous results lol.

Slip tips are definitely a bit more cumbersome than a flopper, we use them more so on soft bodied fish like white seabass. It can be harder to remove them from a fish if it goes through bone etc, sometimes you have to string the whole shaft thru to get them out. Mori makes the best ones, his ball/sliptip fit is very tight, not wobbly like others I have seen.

When it's hot fishing and the yellows are everywhere I use floppers. If I'm only going to get one shot off and the fish are big I use a slip tip so I don't go home with the fish bag flapping in the wind :). The Australians and a lot of other folks around the world use just pipe guns with floppers and they seem to do just fine.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby castronova » August 27th, 2013, 2:44 pm

chris oak wrote:Castro do you tune your floppers as well? I've read a few things about tuning and have tried it with disastrous results lol.

Slip tips are definitely a bit more cumbersome than a flopper, we use them more so on soft bodied fish like white seabass. It can be harder to remove them from a fish if it goes through bone etc, sometimes you have to string the whole shaft thru to get them out. Mori makes the best ones, his ball/sliptip fit is very tight, not wobbly like others I have seen.

When it's hot fishing and the yellows are everywhere I use floppers. If I'm only going to get one shot off and the fish are big I use a slip tip so I don't go home with the fish bag flapping in the wind :). The Australians and a lot of other folks around the world use just pipe guns with floppers and they seem to do just fine.



It makes more sense for you all to use slip-tips as most of your fishing is for soft bodied pelagics and they are big powerful fish out in the open. We are hunting ledges and rock formations and we probably shoot more volume on a reef hunt than you all. I have a slip-tip for my bluewater gun but out the 7 or so wahoo I've shot the last two seasons only one was a slip-tip. The rest were with a 72" addiction double flopper and a reel. I may switch to the Ultimate slip-tip this next season as I've had a few marginal shots rip off with the heavy long shaft weighing on the wahoo.

I've used the mori slip-tip also, work of art. I don't know if I would be able to shoot it into a rock :shock: It's just not practical taking so many shots with a majority close to hard bottom. But maybe I'll try it one day, I've been wrong before.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby castronova » August 27th, 2013, 2:51 pm

Oh, and yes I tune my floppers once they need it. You can tune most of them with a pair of dull dykes or a nail set. It's not always easy though.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby dustyyoungblood » August 28th, 2013, 10:57 am

This IS a good topic. I appreciate the effort of seeing all those euro shafts to compare.
On the subject of floppers..... There can be some work done to improve them for sure. After all, spear guns should be a model of efficiency, and that included the floppers/tips
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » August 28th, 2013, 3:02 pm

Viagra may make a steel shaft stiffer, heat treating will not, for that ....
you want greater cross section. Yeah Baby. ;)
And...I've tried freezing it too over my long life... burr...cold stabilization. fleck dat. ;)

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Re: Shaft Design

Postby dean_the_machine » August 30th, 2013, 3:23 pm

Don Paul,

The rate at which the shaft cools down can affect the stiffness in my limited experience.

There are some new stainless steels out there that require forced cooling from 1900+ F down to room temp in seconds to get really really hard ... but who has the equipment to do that and keep the shaft straight??

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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » August 30th, 2013, 4:51 pm

dean_the_machine wrote:Don Paul,

The rate at which the shaft cools down can affect the stiffness in my limited experience.

There are some new stainless steels out there that require forced cooling from 1900+ F down to room temp in seconds to get really really hard ... but who has the equipment to do that and keep the shaft straight??

Dean


Yes Dean, I'm up on that mate. The University of Ohio worked with Gary Cola on his ''Bainite Steel''project.
I will be calling you this winter for some custom UHT shafts for my 140cm fart gun, I'm not going to be doing my own anymore for my guns.

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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » August 30th, 2013, 5:04 pm

I shoot 1/4, 9/32, 6.75mm, 7mm, 5/16, only 3/8 in Baja, like bullets they all need different power depending on the barrel length and prey. I have no favorites, they are just tools, I have a lot of them.

They remind me of cars.1/4'' Ferrari Fast but high maintenance, not good for towing shite.(400#mono)
3/8'' Mercedes S class, fast when hi powered, but once moving...keeps moving and it can go though a wall. (will tow a F-250 if you have a hitch)....500# mono and wire rope).

What I was alluding to is: All steels have basically the same modulus of elasticity and are all equally stiff.
Heat treating ( precipitation hardening steels) will not make a shaft harder to bend but will change it's yield strength before permanent deformation....as in... dat flecken big Gropa pretzel'd me shaft.
Thicker solid spear shafts( greater cross section) (of the same material) are stiffer then their thinner counter parts.

P.S. I've shot a shite load of fish up to 50# with 1/4'' spring steel shafts, my first ones were made of Maraging steel.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby dustyyoungblood » August 31st, 2013, 8:55 pm

I like that you mention 1/4" shafts here Don.
I have had a couple really happy gun owners that we set up with 1/4" shafts in custom guns. Extremely fast muzzle speed.
Specifically, in short guns to 40" max. When making a gun for 1/4" shafts, I step down to 1/2" rubber (2-3 bands) and Tie them 300% not 350%. and pair that with 250lb mono.
I don't now all the calculations on that combo.... but I know it is very effective on fast moving tropical reef fish.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » August 31st, 2013, 9:46 pm

dustyyoungblood wrote:I like that you mention 1/4" shafts here Don.
I have had a couple really happy gun owners that we set up with 1/4" shafts in custom guns. Extremely fast muzzle speed.
Specifically, in short guns to 40" max. When making a gun for 1/4" shafts, I step down to 1/2" rubber (2-3 bands) and Tie them 300% not 350%. and pair that with 250lb mono.
I don't now all the calculations on that combo.... but I know it is very effective on fast moving tropical reef fish.


Perfect...you get it, mixing it up is fun.

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Re: Shaft Design

Postby SBH2Oman » September 9th, 2013, 6:42 am

Great thread, very interesting topic, and timely for me as I just started rummaging through all my shafts to try and get some organizational system going.

A couple of comments:

1) I've used those rob allen shafts on my 100cm pipe guns for 4 or 5 years now, and they hold up really well except I have broken off three or four of those pins, which as far as I know renders the shaft useless (I can't imagine a cost-effective way of adding a pin?). Some times its because they get pulled in under a ledge (very sensitive to being banged against a rock), and some times they have snapped off when loading (like what Chris described). For this reason, I've stopped using them.

2) Reading your article, it sounds like your favorite shaft is the Vector, but your issue with it is the cost due to the UHT material?

3) There seems to be clear benefits to recessing the floppers or adding some kind of hydrodynamic enhancement (can you post a picture of this "cone" you mention?). Wondering why no one except Salvimar seems to be doing it? (shaft strength?). I've had regular flopper shafts snap off right where the pin for the flopper is drilled, but that was after being badly abused.

castronova wrote:Oh, and yes I tune my floppers once they need it. You can tune most of them with a pair of dull dykes or a nail set. It's not always easy though.


I'd love to see such a thorough write up on flopper tuning. I would also love to see a discussion on the various standards for trigger mechanisms and shaft notches, as I have notices some very slight variations (particularly on euro shafts) that make me wonder about mating various triggers with various shafts..

Thanks!
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » September 9th, 2013, 11:30 am

I use cones on my 7mm fartgun shafts, I would never shoot a fish without a tuned flopper.

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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Trace » September 9th, 2013, 4:48 pm

Great thread. Wish I could add something but learning so much and have a bunch of ideas for up and coming build this winter. Thanks guys.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby dustyyoungblood » September 9th, 2013, 6:44 pm

I have always wondered if the community would be open to a new sear notch design if it had a good purpose. My Gut feeling is we are stuck with American and Euro sear notches till the end of days.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Tin Man » September 9th, 2013, 6:53 pm

I played around a while back and found that the 5/16" size of "Swagelock" or similar brands of tubing ferules seem to make good cones if you want to retrofit an existing 5/16" shaft. The increase in penetration was noticeable on a foam archery target, but I only installed them on a few of my longer shafts which I rarely use. So I can't say how long they will last.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby SBH2Oman » September 9th, 2013, 7:51 pm

dustyyoungblood wrote:I have always wondered if the community would be open to a new sear notch design if it had a good purpose. My Gut feeling is we are stuck with American and Euro sear notches till the end of days.


I'd love to see some basic standardization of sizing. It's crazy how the industry mixes and matches SAE and metric, even on the same products. Especially when it comes to shaft diameters and thread pitches.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby castronova » September 10th, 2013, 4:31 am

SBH2Oman wrote:Great thread, very interesting topic, and timely for me as I just started rummaging through all my shafts to try and get some organizational system going.

A couple of comments:

1) I've used those rob allen shafts on my 100cm pipe guns for 4 or 5 years now, and they hold up really well except I have broken off three or four of those pins, which as far as I know renders the shaft useless (I can't imagine a cost-effective way of adding a pin?). Some times its because they get pulled in under a ledge (very sensitive to being banged against a rock), and some times they have snapped off when loading (like what Chris described). For this reason, I've stopped using them.

I have only used the Rob Allen shafts since Feb. but I can tell you I bend them way before a pin can possibly corrode and break off. I don't see one just breaking off from force. I use bands stretched to 400% with no problems. If you have pins breaking I'm guessing they are old and had some corrosion where they were drilled. in. Harry (Greekdiver on the other boards) is who ordered the Rob Allens custom for the Abellan Denton. He is right now testing a new Abellan Denton 130. He had to get run of the mill shafts to test it and he drilled a hole way back and pinned it. From what he told me he has added those same pins with a drill press to a dozen shafts over the past 5 years himself and has never had one fail.

2) Reading your article, it sounds like your favorite shaft is the Vector, but your issue with it is the cost due to the UHT material?

In all honesty my testing thus far still has me favoring the Rob Allen 7.5mm. The 8mm Vector Marine shaft is not a UHT shaft and the price was very reasonable. I think its a great shaft but for this gun I have not found the proper set-up. I don't know if you have seen the Videocean speargun video test that was posted on just about every forum a few months back but when the AD 120 was tested the highest kinetic energy was a 140cm x 8mm shaft with 2 400% bands. I have only tried 350% bands with the Vector Marine shaft so far. The few fish I have shot (groupers/Yellow Jacks/Muttons) have been pretty close range and the 8mm certainly has more punch on target than the 7.5mm and its noticeable. I have only had the opportunity to shoot one somewhat long shot and the shaft speed I'm used to with the 7.5mm was not there and the drop was considerable. This just has to do with same power pushing more mass. I'll add some more HP to that shaft and try again.

I may end up using both, I'm quite sure I will. One thing that did happen that has not before is shooting the Vector last trip out I shot a ~12# Cero Mackerel and the shooting line snapped (3/32" SS Cable) and this was only the 2nd dive trip with it. I have not had that happen before and this is the first shaft I've used on this gun with shark fins. I don't know why the line snapped but I wonder if that has something to do with. Although that hypothesis seems silly considering how many guns use shark fin shafts with the line through them, it most likely is coincidence. I had to chase this pissed off fish with my nearly new VM shaft in 55' of water swimming in 100' circles till it finally fell to the bottom. If someone were filming I'm sure it would have been hilarious.


3) There seems to be clear benefits to recessing the floppers or adding some kind of hydrodynamic enhancement (can you post a picture of this "cone" you mention?). Wondering why no one except Salvimar seems to be doing it? (shaft strength?). I've had regular flopper shafts snap off right where the pin for the flopper is drilled, but that was after being badly abused.

Tin Man already commented on the cone idea he had which I've PMed him about a few weeks back. I'll try it on a shaft and see how long it lasts and get back to everyone with the results.

castronova wrote:Oh, and yes I tune my floppers once they need it. You can tune most of them with a pair of dull dykes or a nail set. It's not always easy though.


I'd love to see such a thorough write up on flopper tuning.

I'm really not an expert at any of this. I can try and show what I've learned but there are people much more versed in shafts than I and I'm hoping (and glad for those who have) they chime in. I believe Daryl had an old post on Spearboard about tuning floppers. Maybe someone can get him to chime in?

I would also love to see a discussion on the various standards for trigger mechanisms and shaft notches, as I have notices some very slight variations (particularly on euro shafts) that make me wonder about mating various triggers with various shafts..

Thanks!
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby RichT » December 2nd, 2017, 6:31 am

I stumbled on this page by accident while looking up something else and thought I might be able to give some insight as a spear manufacturer.
I work for Spearcrafters where we sell custom and production spearshafts.
We sell wholesale shafts and retail spearshafts and our shafts are used as OEM by numerous custom and production gun makers...
Some of our shafts are branded and some are not.
Our production shafts are rarely "tuned" as we have received too many complaints from people who simply do not want them tuned or people who want different tuning (more or less tuning).
We also have some new designs coming out this spring as well as some new options which will address concerns brought up in this thread.
We also make shafts to custom specs for different customers so you may see differences from one shaft to the next. This is common in the industry by the way...

There are a host of considerations when choosing a shaft besides just looks, profile.
Straightness and hardness should be near the top IMO. Especially straightness!

At Spearcrafters, we have literally rebuilt hundreds of shafts from virtually every manufacturer this past year. I also have a distributor that brings me brand new shafts to check and straighten occasionally.
The findings have been very surprising!
1.We have learned that quality and hardness are way below what it should be from most manufacturers!
2. 90% of spears that come in for rebuilding have some sort of flopper damage either to the flopper itself or the pin is damaged or bent causing them not to work properly.
3. Many of the shafts were never straightened properly to begin with and they are sold with unacceptable twist and bends!
See... cuts (notches) and welds cause the metal to be bent in unmistakable ways from fish/rock bends.
Many of the shafts we have examined do not have these bends corrected which can be 3/8" or more! May not seem like much but it will mean the difference of several inches of accuracy at distance.
We also found that most (7 out of 9) shafts that were rockwell tested were not heat treated properly resulting in shafts that were way, WAY softer than they should be.

Conclusion:
We do not manufacturer or sell shaft cones (yet) but I believe that shafts could greatly benefit from the addition of shaft cones in order to protect the floppers.
I believe they would also aid in penetration and accuracy as well.
I've also learned that the custom shaft makers put out a superior product.
We are always looking for input so feel free to ask any questions or post any concerns you may have and I will do my best to answer. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
Rich



http://www.spearcrafters.com
https://m.facebook.com/spearcrafters/
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » December 2nd, 2017, 8:18 am

Great post mate. Thank you for your candor.

Cheers. Don
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby John Hughes » December 3rd, 2017, 9:12 pm

Great thread. Thanks for the effort guys and thanks for chiming in Rich.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby castronova » December 4th, 2017, 10:51 am

RichT, awesome that you stopped by. I actually have quite a few spearcrafters but haven't used them in years since I haven't had an american Mech gun but I do now. I shot a good majority of my first 10 or so wahoo with double flopper spearcrafter tri-tip shafts.

We would be glad to hear more from you in the future. I'm always interested in spearshaft design and I sure would like to know what products you have available as well.

P.S. I can't believe I have been on this forum since 2013. I didn't even remember this thread. I just looked above and I don't use a single shaft anymore that I started this thread with.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Bill McIntyre » December 5th, 2017, 11:06 am

RichT wrote:We are always looking for input so feel free to ask any questions or post any concerns you may have and I will do my best to answer. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
Rich



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https://m.facebook.com/spearcrafters/


Hi Rich. Its weird that I didn't seem this thread before but I'm glad you brought it back to life. I notice on your web site that you supply shafts for Red Tide (GR Tarr). A flew months ago I ordered an 8 mm flopper shaft from him and had to wait a few weeks since it wasn't what he usually carried. Did that shaft come from you? It had a mini rest tab but the tab didn't have a line attachment hole in it. Lately I've decided I like attaching the shooting line to the rest tab so that it isn't back there involved with the wishbones, so I drilled a hole in the tab. Would it be possible to order shaft direct from you with holes in the rest tabs? I'm not trying to cut GR out of the business, but simply trying to find the best way to get what I want.

I'm in the line to get an Abellan Denton 120 as soon as Harry has the new ones in stock and I'm not sure what choices of Hunt shafts he'll be offering. When I bought my Abellan Denton 110 I had Mori make me a 5/16" shaft with the front two inches necked down to 9/32" with 6 mm threads to mount a 9/32" slip tip. Could you do that along with two mini tabs and a rest tab with a hole? If so, would I order direct from you or through GR? Could you give me an idea what it would cost?

I hope you will be offering cones for your flopper shafts.

Thanks.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby RichT » December 6th, 2017, 8:10 am

castronova wrote:RichT, awesome that you stopped by. I actually have quite a few spearcrafters but haven't used them in years since I haven't had an american Mech gun but I do now. I shot a good majority of my first 10 or so wahoo with double flopper spearcrafter tri-tip shafts.

We would be glad to hear more from you in the future. I'm always interested in spearshaft design and I sure would like to know what products you have available as well.

P.S. I can't believe I have been on this forum since 2013. I didn't even remember this thread. I just looked above and I don't use a single shaft anymore that I started this thread with.


Thanks! Glad to be here. I have been mostly off the forums for a few years due to family, work and the drama associated with some of them but have more free time lately it seems.

The company I work for "Spearcrafters" is one of the largest U.S. Based spear manufacturers that still actually makes spears in the U.S.
Spears are pretty much all we make and we make them for a couple large manufacturers, dozens of custom gun builders/dive shops and hundreds of individuals around the World. Some of our shafts are branded (built to customer specs) and some are private label (built to certain specs).
I personally have been spearfishing recreationally and commercially for 38 years. I have competed at the local, State and National level at various times in those many years.

The biggest thing that makes Spearcrafters different from any other manufacturer is the steel we use.
It is hands down superior to anything that anybody else is using(in the World) and nobody can dispute that.
We use AmericaN made, aircraft quality, certified, 17-4 steel. (this means our shafts are consistent, have the proper amounts of chromium, nickel, copper etc, and they don't have excessive amounts of contaminants).
We also have our steel made by a special process called "Center-less ground".
Center-less ground steel is much straighter than extruded/cold rolled and it has the stresses removed from it resulting in a product that is much straighter and it will stay straighter much longer than a normal shaft as it doesn't get the micro bends/twists that make a spear inaccurate after shooting it awhile.
We also have our very own custom built heat treat oven unlike many others who don't specialize in shafts. This makes a HUGE difference in quality, consistency and hardness...

We stock our steel in American sizes which have metric equivalent.
1/4"(6.3mm), 9/32"(7mm), 19/64"(7.5mm), 5/16" (8mm), .334"(8.5mm), 11/32"(8.7mm), and 3/8"(9.5mm).

Redtidespearfishing.com carries a good selection of our shafts made to various specs as well as many other brands.
We custom make shafts to order and sell to individuals so long as order is $150 or more.

I love to hear feedback about what people like and what they don't like about spears and I would be happy to explain/answer any questions. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
Rich
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby RichT » December 6th, 2017, 9:11 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:
RichT wrote:We are always looking for input so feel free to ask any questions or post any concerns you may have and I will do my best to answer. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
Rich



http://www.spearcrafters.com
https://m.facebook.com/spearcrafters/


Hi Rich. Its weird that I didn't seem this thread before but I'm glad you brought it back to life. I notice on your web site that you supply shafts for Red Tide (GR Tarr). A flew months ago I ordered an 8 mm flopper shaft from him and had to wait a few weeks since it wasn't what he usually carried. Did that shaft come from you? It had a mini rest tab but the tab didn't have a line attachment hole in it. Lately I've decided I like attaching the shooting line to the rest tab so that it isn't back there involved with the wishbones, so I drilled a hole in the tab. Would it be possible to order shaft direct from you with holes in the rest tabs? I'm not trying to cut GR out of the business, but simply trying to find the best way to get what I want.

I'm in the line to get an Abellan Denton 120 as soon as Harry has the new ones in stock and I'm not sure what choices of Hunt shafts he'll be offering. When I bought my Abellan Denton 110 I had Mori make me a 5/16" shaft with the front two inches necked down to 9/32" with 6 mm threads to mount a 9/32" slip tip. Could you do that along with two mini tabs and a rest tab with a hole? If so, would I order direct from you or through GR? Could you give me an idea what it would cost?

I hope you will be offering cones for your flopper shafts.

Thanks.


Bill,
All of the production shafts we are currently building will be made with the hole in the rest tab as well as the first front fin.
Some of our older shafts were made with hole in only first front fin.

We make fins in 3 styles.
We make traditional fins (similar to what everyone else uses)
We make a fin for enclosed track guns that lifts the band slightly so there is no damage to wishbone or gun as is slides down the track. (this fin allows greater spear velocity since there is less friction)
This fin is our design by the way but is now being copied by others...

We make mini shark fins which are ideal for euro style open track guns.
And we can cut notches
All of our fins are machined and fully polished.

We only use solid rivets to attach floppers for maximum strength.

Our threaded 5/16 shafts typically come with 5/16-24 threads but we can turn them to accommodate 6mm accessories.
I Work closely with GR from redtidespearfishing.com since he is a friend and local to me so if he doesn't have what you need I can build it or modify something he has (like add hole to rest fin).
If you can't work something out with him, you can order directly from us, so long as minimum purchase requirement is met ($150 min purchase)
Turn around is typically +- 2 weeks from the time we receive payment as everything has to be made to order and we may be running production in certain machines.

Thanks,
Rich


spearcrafters.com
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Bill McIntyre » December 6th, 2017, 11:42 am

RichT wrote:Bill,
All of the production shafts we are currently building will be made with the hole in the rest tab as well as the first front fin.


Great! That's good to know.

Our threaded 5/16 shafts typically come with 5/16-24 threads but we can turn them to accommodate 6mm accessories.


Just to make sure I'm being clear, its not just about changing thread size, although its nice to be able to use my 9/32" tips on all my shafts. My other purpose is to be able to use a 9/32" slide ring on a 5/16" shaft. This is a replacement for putting tape on the shaft to keep the slide ring from being pushed to the end of the spectra and then getting jammed there by a scale or meat.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby RichT » December 6th, 2017, 12:20 pm

Bill,
Yes, that is no problem. It's not common on any production shafts I can recall but it is something we have done before and any of the custom shaft makers like Mori, Addiction or ourselves can accommodate.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby NORCALer » January 27th, 2018, 3:46 pm

Just recieved 3 shafts from Rich Taylor at Spearcrafters. Soup to nuts it took leas than 3 weeks to get custom shafts made & cost $215 to my door step. Great looking spears for sure & shipped in a pvc tube w/caps-can use it later in Sportube. Thx Rich.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 28th, 2018, 10:16 am

NORCALer wrote:Just recieved 3 shafts from Rich Taylor at Spearcrafters. Soup to nuts it took leas than 3 weeks to get custom shafts made & cost $215 to my door step. Great looking spears for sure & shipped in a pvc tube w/caps-can use it later in Sportube. Thx Rich.


That sounds very reasonable. I have a shaft on order from another source and its considerably more expensive, but I suspect its because of what I asked for. My Abellan Denton 120 came with this nice shaft with welded cone, the loading fins about as far to the rear as possible, and a small rest tab with the line hole in it. So I ordered a threaded shaft with the same measurements and necked down to 9/32" in the front end. When I got my Denton 110 a year or so ago, I ordered a similar threaded shaft from Mori, but I didn't think to specify how far the loading tabs should be from the rear end. Mori put them an inch or so farther forward, so I had different band stretch between my flopper shaft and the threaded shaft. It wasn't his fault- I just didn't think of that when I ordered.

So anyway, this time I sent photos of my flopper shaft and said I wanted the threaded shaft to match. I think the non-standard placement of the tabs probably added to the price, and the rest tab and necking down did too. My shaft should arrive next week.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Donzi Paul » January 28th, 2018, 10:29 am

I never thought id never say tis to a guy: but nice shaft.

Cheers. Don
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 28th, 2018, 10:33 am

Thanks Don. We can be open about these things now days.
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Behslayer » January 28th, 2018, 11:10 am

With all this maxing out of band stretch and real estate, I wonder if there isn't something to be said for spacing out the sharkfins a little? evening out the force a little over a broader area? I mean it's easy enough to pull line out the reel with a double wrap already?
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Re: Shaft Design

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 30th, 2018, 3:50 pm

I received my shaft from Addiction today. Dean Koutras did a nice job of matching the distance and spacing of the fins on my Hunt flopper shaft, and he necked down the 5/16" shaft to 9/32" on the front end. It costs a little extra to neck down the shaft, but I like being able to use my 9/32" tips on a 5/16" shaft and I like not having to put tape on the shaft to keep the slide ring from pulling the Spectra tight and preventing the tip from deploying.
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