Rigging a reel with breakaway

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Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby chris oak » January 1st, 2018, 11:59 am

I know we had a discussion on doing the hawaiian breakaway which is the way most of us rig our guns with floatlines. But I couldn't find a thread on rigging a reel with breakaway.

I rarely use reels unless I'm hunting reef fish, but I didn't want to have to rerig a gun just to use the reel. I ended up running my line through the line guide hole on the gun and then clipped the swivel to the breakaway.

For some reason it didn't work, luckily I stoned the reefie that I was aiming at because as soon as the spear left the gun, the reel line tangled up in the bands and shooting line. The tangle was so bad I had to cut the line out because even without gloves on I could not untangle it. I couldn't even get it off the shooting line so I just left a small birds nest on and rerigged it where it came directly from the reel to the breakaway. I promptly stoned the second fish as well and didn't have to use the reel, luckily I ran into no white seabass as if I had shot it the first time I pulled the trigger it would have been a cluster fugg.

Here's a picture of the tangle, as soon as I go back into the garage I'll put a pix of the new rigged reel/breakaway.

btw there are several different types of reel lines available, there's the waxed type which is thinner diameter and is great for smaller reels. I prefer the thicker dynema unwaxed type because it's easier to untangle but you have to use a bigger reel for it if you want a lot of line.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Behslayer » January 1st, 2018, 7:36 pm

Chris,

I'm having trouble picturing how you rigged this.

The way I rig a Reel gun for possible use with Breakaway is to rig the gun for breakaway and then clip the reel line heavy duty swivel onto the Shooting line loop as I would if I were clipping my Floatline onto that loop. I just use a very simple 3/16" diameter Bungee cord tied in an over hand knot to make a loop. This goes from my Shooting line to my Line release. From there I can either clip on a Floatline or clip on the Reel line with the same Shaft/shooting line set up.

I never run my reel lines through the forward line guides. It keeps my reel lines closer to my bands when fighting a fish. The Snap Swivel is metal and has edges etc and is more likely to tangle in the shooting line, especially if you shoot a fish at closer range, this means there will be excess shooting line which is playing out kind of slow, as the swivel is falling.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 2nd, 2018, 8:07 am

I'm having trouble understanding how Chris rigged it too, but I think I'm with Behslayer on this. Even when I was using reels without trying to switch between float line and reel, I never ran my reel line through the line guide. I know I'm in the minority, but I didn't like that snap out there were it could tangle in the bands. The photo below shows how I rigged to be able to switch between reel ands float line without changing shooting line lengths.

I'm using the past tense since I now longer have reels on anyof my guns.

I wish I could take credit for this way of rigging, but I got it from someone else- I think it was Nate Baker.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Nate Baker » January 2nd, 2018, 4:15 pm

Not me. I run mine through the forward line guide. Overall it seems easier to re-spool.

I rig Hawaiian too, and when I use a floatline I just clip it to itself up at the line guide. It has never tangled. It takes about a minute to change from reel to floatline or the other way around.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby castronova » January 3rd, 2018, 1:53 pm

Nate Baker wrote:Not me. I run mine through the forward line guide. Overall it seems easier to re-spool.

I rig Hawaiian too, and when I use a floatline I just clip it to itself up at the line guide. It has never tangled. It takes about a minute to change from reel to floatline or the other way around.


Same here. I hate the line Not through the front guide. I also switched away from that softer line (sling it) a few years ago to the newer and stiffer Aussie/Benthic style line and my tangles went from happening every so often to not happening at all.

One of the reasons I started putting the line through the guide was after losing a few wahoo the other way. I'd pull up the line to the wahoo and if he wanted to run again now he has to pull the gun from the middle and you have the drag of a 65" gun from the center point, fish rips off almost instantly. When its through the guide the gun will run straight with very little drag as you allow it through your hands.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 3rd, 2018, 2:32 pm

I like the 3 mm spectra that I got from Mori years ago. Its stiff enough
and thick enough so that it never tangles, and its thick enough to grab without cutting your glove and hand. I leave the drag just tight enough to keep the shooting line strung up and then grab it with my hand to regulate drag, but that might not work as well with wahoo.

But I don’t get why the line coming off the reel directly makes a fish tear off when running it through the line guide doesn’t. It’s the drag that matters and running it through the line guide only adds more friction. The line is coming off the reel through my hand either way. What does the line guide add?
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Behslayer » January 3rd, 2018, 5:51 pm

Learned another drop today.

I had rushed through rigging a shooting line the other night and rather than look for the right tool, I just grabbed my crimper and used the line clipper to trim the line down to the crimp. But this does not make a perfect flush cut like a scissor.. I figured what could possibly go wrong.. So I'm in this Rip today pulling me out to sea and thinking this feels fishy.. I make a drop and sure enough here comes my target species. I place a good shot and my Slip Tip Toggles on the other side and the fish takes off. But something is wrong.. and I'm getting pulled pretty good down and out. So that littttttle Y formed from that litttle nub of extra mono sticking out of the crimp has caught my band wishbone..and this in turn has created a tangle. I have already reviewed these scenarios in my head, so I think 1,2,3,4. Try to release the Tangle. If not. Grab the reel line from the Reel guide, loosen the drag and swim up with the line playing through my fingers, If not. Cut the line. If not. Let go. Luckily I was able to undo the tangle and then the fish sped off with a whole lot of reel line. He's neatly packaged into 8 dinners for the family in the freezer now. But it was a learning point so I figured to share.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby castronova » January 4th, 2018, 6:19 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:But I don’t get why the line coming off the reel directly makes a fish tear off when running it through the line guide doesn’t. It’s the drag that matters and running it through the line guide only adds more friction. The line is coming off the reel through my hand either way. What does the line guide add?


I'll try my best to explain... First, when I shoot fish on a reel as soon as I get to pulling up the line or the fish rocks up or stops I tighten the drag. If I don't tighten the drag I will always have problems... If the fish is rocked up there is always current/waves so if I'm diving the fish my gun is now 300' away and instead of reeling in 70' I have a huge mess and a crappy angle of line to dive. If its a running and fighting fish situation, when I go to pull in the fish and swim up the line I also tighten the drag. If I leave it loose and it gets tugged or is in a bunch of wave action it's almost guaranteed to start bird nesting and get tangled. If that fish runs again and I have loose line around a reel that isn't going through the front guide it gets wrapped on the reel, reel handle, or handle.

Also, when you don't have the line through the guide and you leave the gun, the gun does whatever it wants. This could mean turning 180* from you. When this fish runs again even if you only have a little drag the line has to pull out at 180* from the guide, or 90*, whatever... it takes a lot more force than straight forward through the guide. If its through the guide and the fish pulls the gun will turn and run straight. When the gun gets back to me I stop the gun and this almost always allows the line to run or I quickly loosen the drag. But the line is always running out the reel forward out the guide how it is supposed to. Never at 90* or more which always creates more pressure.

Last scenario, what if you pull up the line and gun, now behind you, gets line tangled on the reel? If you have 50' of line behind you and the line is through the guide the gun will run straight forward with little drag until it gets to you, you can prevent a tear out. If you don't have it through the guide, the fish is pulling a big gun from the center like I explained before.

There are so many scenarios where running it through the line guide is much better. The first thing I always to is make sure the bands are flipped over the top and go with the fish so they stay that way.

I realize most people may never see some of these things play out or if they do they may not think to much about it. I've just happen to see some of these situations but to me situational awareness is the number one criteria of spearfishing if you want things to go right.

Bill, I guess back to what you said directly I'm talking about when I big fish runs and you can't hold on any longer. You are just guiding the line but the drag comes from the gun which is way behind you. That's how I've had these things play out.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 4th, 2018, 9:46 am

Thanks for the detailed explanation JP. Its obvious that our conditions dictate a lot of differences. When I was using a reel, it was usually in the kelp. You say that when a fish is rocked up you always tighten the drag, but that is exactly opposite of what we should do if a fish is wrapped up in the kelp. If we leave the drag tight and dive for the fish, then when we come up with the fish, we are pulling the gun down into the kelp since its very rare that we are bringing the fish up without the line going under a lot of kelp. The gun gets pulled down until it finally hangs up. If the diver isn't back on the surface by then, he is forced to turn loose of the fish and it sinks back into the kelp. If there is a current it makes it even worse. Just last summer my buddy found a gun wrapped in the kelp because of that very problem. The diver had been forced to turn loose of the fish right at the surface, there was a stiff current, and he never found either the fish or the gun. Luckily we advertised on the OC Spearos website and were able to get the gun back to the owner.

I can recall a friend having the same problem. Stiff current had the kelp bent down to 20 feet. He dove down under the kelp and shot a white sea bass. He came up, locked the drag, and dove to retrieve the fish. When he brought it up through a different spot in the kelp, he dragged the gun down until it hung up and forced him to turn loose of the fish and shaft, which immediately disappeared into the kelp in the current. In this case he came back with scuba the next day and found his fish on the bottom, then followed the line up to his gun in the kelp. So anyway, one of the things I alway tell newbies is to be sure to release the drag before they dive for a fish.

You make a good point about the line being pulled at any odd angle through the reel's line guide. Thats one reason I always like open vertical reels like the Riffe with no line guide. In particular, I liked it that when I was heading the surface with the gun pointed up, the fish could be heading down taking line. And without running the line through a guide on the gun, it wasn't pulling the front of my gun around. I could control which way the gun pointed.

In open water I do turn loose of the gun, so I can end up with a lot of line behind me. I see your point there. If the fish makes a long run the gun could be pulled sideways or the line could be wrapped around the reel. But by the time I get a fish to the surface, I can't recall one making another long run again. It may get out of my hands and take 10 or 15 feet of line, but never a lot. Maybe its different with tuna and wahoo. I've only shot one wahoo and I was using a float line. And if I set out to shoot wahoo or tuna again, I'll certainly be using a float line anyway, so that part of the discussion is moot for me.

Thanks for going into detail. Its good to have discussions like this. It helps people decide what is best for them and the conditions where they dive.
Last edited by Bill McIntyre on January 4th, 2018, 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby castronova » January 4th, 2018, 10:13 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:Thanks for going into detail. Its good to have discussions like this. It helps people decide what is best for them and the conditions where they dive.


I couldn't agree more. Just goes to show you how many different diving conditions there are. Very interesting to read the situations you deal with too.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby castronova » January 4th, 2018, 10:42 am

Back to happened to Chris, looks similar to what Jon described. That crimped tag end can cause all kinds of problems. I never cut my line after crimping but thats just me. I usually pull the line tight and stretch the bungee to where I want it to end, then just mark the line or hold it in my fingers at the cut point. Let the tension off, cut the line, then crimp with the line perfectly even with the outside of the barrel or even a fraction of an inch inside so I don't ever have that issue.

Obviously Jon's was on the quick but that V that can be created will catch everything.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Behslayer » January 4th, 2018, 11:07 am

I guess this discussion is in many ways Species specific and conditions specific. Some fish are going to hole up, some are going to run along the bottom, some will sound as deep as they can, others look for structure to wrap up on, and some are going to take off like lightning and fly around in the mid water taking out as much line as they can more horizontally than vertically.

I'm speaking mostly to the latter. When I'm hunting, I have my drag set relatively loose. I know if I shoot something, other than a Stone shot it's going to take off like a rocket and if the drag is at all tight, it will rip the gun out of my hands. As I'm swimming to the Surface and in those first runs, I'm holding my gun almost like a fishing rod. Watching my Reel. playing my drag. The line playing out is nowhere near my bands. When the time comes, I transition to fighting the fish. The Reel is Line Storage.. the fight is essentially a Handline fight. If I have a competent buddy we might play the fish differently with them grabbing the gun and reeling in excess line and also playing out any neccesary line while I handline the fish. If they have a buoy, they might clip off to the gun. Normally, I don't want to encumber my buddy and I will string my gun around my shoulder through my bands. I might have 300' of line out, and currents etc... The whole time I'm fighting the fish I'm swimming forward and trying to maintain my reel line behind. Line management is key. It should be possible to keep all of your line in a loop behind you with a Pelagic fish, or atleast away from you. You always need to think about what could happen if the fish makes a strong run, gets taken by a Shark or a Marlin.. The only time a fish is going to be pulling my gun through the water is if they have spooled me and I'm just going along for the ride swimming as fast as I can with the fish and being thankful that my reel is recessed into my stock and my knot is strong. If I have a buddy there. They may reel up some of the line as I fight the fish, but normally I'm just handlining. just like handlining a fish in a boat, I'm being careful with my line management. once the fish is landed. I carefully reel all the line up.

During this whole process after the initial runs. That line is going from the reel to my hands to the fish. My gun is normally strung around my shoulder by the bands. So, it would be awkward to have the line running through the Forward line guide. Ofcourse sometimes the whole plan goes to shit..
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Behslayer » January 4th, 2018, 11:23 am

But back to the original post and point of learning. When you are running a Reel to shooting line, or a Breakaway to Reel line, or both. Whatever you are running. Keep in mind that your joins are points of potential snags. Metal sinks. Especially big clunky metal. Sometimes you shoot a fish up close and not all your line plays out at speed, metal sinks.. loops happen. Breakaway bungees, knot joins, unclean Crimp Joins.. can all become Snag points. Shrink tubing can help. Covering joins with Electrical tape can help. Using lighter rather than heavier connectors can be of benefit. (a 3,000lb piece of Kevlar line vs a big Pig Tail. etc..
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby chris oak » January 7th, 2018, 11:58 am

I rigged my gun the same way as Bill and test shot it last week, it worked out fine. The way I rigged it before was the line coming out of the hole in the line guide and doubling back towards the reel. The swivel was connected to the shooting line which connected the hawaiian breakaway. I'm not really sure why it tangled up, but like Jon pointed out metal is heavy and perhaps the swivel fell in some odd way.

I usually carry a chicken line to all my reel guns, I know this defeats the whole reason why to use a reel but in the past I've been spooled by big wsb to the point where if I didn't have the chicken line I'd end up losing the whole rig. I'm in the midst of working on one of mori's OSB bungee's that is a lot shorter but will have some stretch in case the reel jams up. I don't intend to use this gun with a reel for seabass, I will remove the reel and run my normal floatline at that time, BUT right now when I'm hunting reefies I don't want to chance losing a nice seabass.
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Re: Rigging a reel with breakaway

Postby Behslayer » January 7th, 2018, 12:48 pm

Chris, you can bring that string up on top of the Reel to get it out of your way. These pics don't show exactly because these are not rigged for breakaway, but your get the idea.
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