XTAR D26 Whale Review | LED Diving Torch for underwater foraging/hunting
“Overall, this has been one of the best dive torches I’ve used. It’s bright, durable and easy to secure.” – Cam
Cam lives and dives mainly around Sydney although him and I have dived in Victoria and South Australia using this torch. I asked Cam to put together a review based on the hectic use he has given it chasing mainly Eastern Rock Lobsters. Here is the rest of what he had to say. – Shrek
In particular, the brightness of the XTAR D26 Whale is great, and is probably the best dive torch I’ve used for both brightness and illumination. It has four brightness settings, getting up to a strong 1100lm, which can apparently reach up to 310m on land but also makes a solid effort under the water.
The torch has what it calls the “unique side switch (patented) and power indication”. The power indication light is a really handy warning tool. The light is green normally, but it turns to red when it is between 25% and 5% and then flashes below 5%. The locking mechanism of the side switch takes a little bit to get used to. You need to hold the switch down and then twist it to the left 90 degrees to lock it in place. While locking systems are good so you don’t bump it in tight spaces, this one can be a little hard if you need to use it with one hand or a thumb if your other hand is otherwise occupied (such as reaching for a cray).
At almost 300g it is a bit weightier than most, however, I actually don’t mind that and it doesn’t impact much as soon as you’re in the water.
The lanyard/wrist strap that’s included is actually really good. It might not sound important, but the length of it is long enough to be able to stow it and the toggle doesn’t slip when locked, so you can keep it tied to your wrist without worrying. This is important when it’s not in your hand, as you often can’t feel it through your wetsuit or glove.
The quality seems to be great and it has been relatively maintenance free. I’ve been using it for over a year now without any issues of corrosion or any water appearing to get into the working parts. However, there are two spare O-rings included in case you need them.
A fun addition is that it also has a standard tripod screw hole, which allows it to be fixed to items such as a dive photography system, a handle, or a wrist mount.
Four brightness settings up to 1100lm: 60/200/600/1100
Colour temperature: 6000K
Beam throw: 310m
IP rating: IPX8
Material: Anodized aircraft 6N01 aluminium alloy
Dimensions: 155mm x 46mm
Weight: 293g (including battery)
Battery: 18650/18700/26650 Li-ion batteries (26550 5000mAh rechargeable battery was included in the set with a charger)
Run time: up to 48h on low or 2h on “turbo” (1100lm)
Max diving depth: 100m
Spot light angle: 5 degrees
Here’s a vid of Cam and Shrek using the dive torch in South Australia
“This delicious crowd pleaser of a recipe is perfect for when you are having a few guests over and want to put on a good feed. We have used a coastal fingermark in this exact recipe here but you could try whichever whole fish you’d like. One whole fish around that 45cm mark will happily feed 2 people, top it off with some nice fresh greens as a side and your onto a winner. We hope you guys enjoy this dish just as much as we do, cheers!” – Jordan Hunter@the_hunter_downunder
For the fish
Medium whole fish, filleted and cut into chunks. Keep the frame for presentation
Rice bran oil – for shallow frying
3/4 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cup sushi seasoning
2 Tbs ginger, grated
Use the soy sauce, sushi seasoning and ginger to marinade the fish frame and chunks. Leave in fridge for 1-3 hours.
Heat oil in pan, coat marinated fish frame in tapioca flour. Shallow fry. Repeat with marinated fish chunks.
Place cooked fish chunks on the frame for presentation.
Chilli tamarind dipping sauce
1/2 cup coriander, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 long fresh red chillies, coarsely chopped 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
1/3 cup shaved palm sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1-2 tbsp water
Blend coriander, garlic, chilli and salt to a paste in the nutri bullet. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir-fry the paste for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the shallot and ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add tamarind, sugar and fish sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
Lime and coriander drizzle
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp garlic
1 chilli, chopped finely
1/4 cup of coriander, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 cubes of palm sugar, finely chopped
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
All ingredients in a pouring dish, mix well and let sit for 30 mins to infuse.
This post was made with the permission of Christopher Marsic, a new member on the Noob Spearo Community on Facebook who introduced himself with this story. I liked it so much, I asked him if I could share it on the Noob Spearo Vault blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! – Shrek
I live in Victoria (soon to be Mackay QLD) and I guess my biggest struggle was overcoming the conditions down this way to chase those rare southern gems.
In my early days of spearfishing 10 years ago I spent a lot of time diving Port Phillip Bay, which when I first started I thought was the best thing ever! I would jump in after work in horrible visibility 2-4m (on a good day where I lived) and would swim around for hours I started off like all spearos shooting the feared dusky morwong, but before long I worked my way up to bream and snapper and became pretty decent at getting onto the pinkies.
Most places in the bay I dived had an maximum depth of around 3m however I was super interested in the breath hold part of spearfishing so I started doing some research and that’s when I found the spearing down under magazines. I’ll never forget the first time I put one of those DVDs on and my jaw hit the floor … Watching these guys descend deep into the blue then shoot these monster fish really got me excited to get better at the sport.
After doing tons of research and learning about blackouts etc I decided it would be best to find a dive buddy so I headed to the forums back then you had to jump on a website forum there wasn’t fb groups those days that’s when I met one of my best friends to this date Jai KP and he basically introduced me to ocean diving and man that first dive in the ocean changed everything! I never wanted to dive the bay again! Little did I know this was a double edge sword.
Although there is good fish to be had here in Victoria it is very based on season and in that season you only get handful of days you can actually get in the water especially from shore. You gotta align our constant big swell, low wind and the right time of the year.
Don’t get me wrong;
– this didn’t stop me getting in the water all the time but it was hard going and not super rewarding for the beginner, so I turned my attention north, over the next few years I would dive locations like Bermagui, Eden and Townsville which made the motivation to get back into the water in Victoria super low.
I basically repeated this trend of going north and diving then coming back to Vic and basically only diving those perfect days until about 2 years ago when I took the plunge and bought a jetski and boy did that change everything.
I started becoming obsessed with getting a blue fin tuna the jet-ski I got was super capable and I soon found that as long was the wind was good it didn’t really matter what the swell was doing (within reason) I could get out to my favourite parts of Vic the South West. I proceeded to spend the next month chasing tuna seeing them time and time again but either the viz was really bad and I’d just catch a glimpse of them or they would just hang out of shooting range and pass me by.
But then it happened …
…it was towards the end of the day and I had basically called it on the tuna and headed in to an island for a bit of a look for crays and to get some footage of seals, but on my way in to the island the sounder lit up in 60m of water and I knew exactly what they were, I had the gun in the gunnel ready to go attached to my two Riffe floats which was then attached to the ski, I rolled off the side of the ski into the blue breathed up and swam down to around the 10m mark, as I was swimming down I was just surrounded by massive tuna it was absolutely awesome and super hard to keep calm I lined up one of the smaller ones that came in close as I had no idea how hard the fight would be and pulled the trigger.
Ever since that day I’ve been a lot better at finding the blues and it has reignited my love for spearing, I never imagined 10 years ago when I shot my first dusky that I would be shooting Bluefin tuna.
Absolutely love spearfishing and its journey that it brings and I cannot wait to start my new journey when I move to Mackay, Queensland later this year .
Hello Shrek, my name’s Guilherme and I’m a Portuguese spearo. I was listening to your podcast with Josh Bollen and you guys were talking about cooking octopus. In Portugal we have lots and lots of octopus recipes and some tricks to cook them. Unfortunately I didn’t finish my submission for the cook book 99 Spearo Recipes but I still gave my support on Kickstarter. Anyway here are some tricks to cook octopus:
1. ALWAYS freeze them.
What makes the octopus so tough are it’s his muscles and when you freeze them you’re helping to loosen and break some of them down.
2. ALWAYS boil the octopus even before grilling them.
Here is how you boil them. Put water to boil in a pot with nothing more than a glove of garlic and a whole onion. Both without being cut up. When the water is boiling, get the octopus and start submerging it for a few seconds and take it out. Wait a few seconds and do it again like 3 times or so. Then you let it boil on a low heat for about 30-45 mins depending on the size of the octopus.
For some yummy Portuguese octopus dishes, search;
“polvo à lagareiro“
“arroz de polvo“
“pataniscas de polvo“
“alcatra de polvo“.
The last is also a traditional dish that we eat on Christmas. Let me know if there’s still a chance to submit a recipe! Thanks for all the great content keep it up!
Today’s episode is with Daniel Mann! If you do spearfishing and watch any YouTube and you don’t know who he is you are missing out! He runs one of the best spearfishing channels around, stocked full of great content and tips. He’s recently been really upping his chef game, as you’ve probably seen in his recent videos. A talented chef that is also an extremely talented spearo, we chat about reel guns – when to use them, why you would and wouldn’t want to use them, alternatives and tips and tricks with using them. We also chat about some of the amazing recipes he’s been cooking and his thoughts on the 99 Spearo Recipes cook book!
Do you use a float line or a reel on your speargun?
Daniel Mann scanning the bottom spearfishing
07:05 Welcome back Daniel!
08:27 Who are you, where do you stay and what are you doing with your time?
10:55 We got a message from a spearo that can’t use a float as it is too dangerous
12:20 Why I use a reel gun
14:25 Be prepared to lose your gun
18:43 Type of structure you dive on
20:10 90% of Noob Spearos need a float line
21:20 Diving alone and dive watches
23:35 Old school approach to safety when using reels
27:45 What do you need to look out for when diving with a reel?
29:30 A good boaty
32:10 Getting caught in the reef
40:05 Shrek, what do you use?
43:21 So you moved to the spearfishing capital of the world, London – the London International Spearfishing Club
48:25 The core appeal of spearfishing is the same wherever you go
54:25 Traveling and spearfishing – lessons learned