NSP:128 The Path Of The Jedi – Mike Pooler & Joe D’Agostino

NSP:128 The Path Of The Jedi – Mike Pooler & Joe D’Agostino

Download This Episode 

The Path Of The Jedi – The Benthic Boys – Mike Pooler & Joe D’Agostino

The Path Of The Jedi – The Benthic Boys – Mike Pooler & Joe D’Agostino | Mike Pooler is the owner/operator of Benthic Ocean Sports in Destin, Florida; and Joe D’Agostino is his chief Freediving Instructor International (FII) Instructor there. Additionally, Benthic Ocean Sports services all freediving Spearo needs for the Florida Panhandle and South-East US with the highest quality hardware from all over the world. These guys are an FII-accredited institution and are absolute legends! They instruct Levels 1 & 2, a Waterman Survival Course, and a Spearfishing Course, among many others that they do privately for some of the military folks in the FL panhandle.

Mike and Joe are seasoned Spearos and have had some *seriously* impressive Pelagics on the other end of their spearguns! These guys shoot some of the largest and most epic fish available in Gulf of Mexico waters, and his Chief Instructor Joe D’Agostino instructs and travels throughout the freediving and spearfishing community worldwide. We’re sure you’re going to enjoy this conversation!


Benthic Ocean Sports


Important Times

11:00 Early Obstacles

14:00 What is “Benthic”?

15:00 How did you get involved and put together as a Freediving Shop?

16:00 The Path Of The Jedi

22:00 Favorite species to hunt…tune in for the Panhandle’s most desirable species

27:00 FL Panhandle’s Freedive Spearo Club – Agua Verdes

30:00 Tough situations out in Blue Water

44:00 Veterans Vault: Dyneema vs Mono | Timber vs Pipe | Equipment Discussion

  • Americans with wood guns and mono…what are you guys doing?
  • The Benthic Boys think Dyneema is the right stuff – why?
  • Line memory – what is it?
  • Critical knots to use and why.
  • “Game Changer” – what’s a quick-disconnect knot and why’s it important?
  • Line management and tangles
  • Reels vs. Floatlines
  • Reel Gun safety – Tension, tension, tension!
  • Don’t be married to your equipment – “You can buy a new gun, you can’t buy a new Mike!”
  • The importance of education and safety within the freedive spearfishing community
  • Best Buddy Practices – “Finality is Reality”
  • Minimum safety requirements – One up-One down, learn your buddy’s “dive profile”
  • Courses offered at Benthic Ocean Sports (FII Levels 1 and 2, Waterman Course, Spearfishing Course
  • The mental and physical benefits to spearfishing

80:00 Spearo Q&A

  • What separates you from other spearos?
  • What is the spearfishing destination you’d most like to visit?
  • Most influential person in your spearfishing journey?

Connect with Mike Pooler & Joe D’Agostino at Benthic Ocean Sports @

Check out Joe's official FII Instructor Profile




Links Mentioned

Noob Spearo Partners + Promotions

NSP:127 Marine Science for Spearfishing

NSP:127 Marine Science for Spearfishing

Interview with 4 Marine Scientists

This chat is a panel interview with 4 people passionate and highly educated in Marine Science. We chat about fish fecundity, parasites, equilibrium, threats to the ocean, and best of all, how you can get involved making our oceans healthier. Listen in to a great yarn:)

Download this episode on your iOS or Android APP here


  • Irene Middleton: Currently completing a PHD in Marine Biology. Specialist in Weird and Unusual Fish Species Research. What’s that fish FB Group in New Zealand.
  • Libby Liggins: Lecturer at Massey University. Also spears a wee bit. Marine Biologist.
  • David Aguirre: Libby’s Husband: Invertebrates Geek. Spearo as well. Marine Biologist.
  • Blair Herbert: Fish Nerd and gatherer of weird and wonderful species.
  • Isaac aka Shrek (Host): Hopefully asks a few good questions:)

Marine Science for spearfishing Interview

Important Times

04:30 Personal Introductions, Specialties & Passions

09:00 Whats that Fish Facebook Group | tracking fish species and range data using crowdsourced info

13:55 Aging fish. Otoliths and other methods

16:30 How Marine Scientists like Libby, Irene and David collect and collate the data

18:20 What are the changes Scientists are observing in the ocean and its inhabitants?

21:30 Purple Urchin | Decimated Tasmanian Abalone. The Kina/Sea Urchin Barren Phenomena

28:30 Basic Marine Biology Concepts

  • Equilibrium and Marine Ecosystems
  • The Food Chain in the Marine Environment
  • Governance and how people interact with the ocean

33:10 How can spearos get more involved in helping good ocean management?

  • Join your local Whats that Fish or Redmap and share your catch information

36:30 Shifting Baseline Phenomena

39:00 Researching Bait

45:30 Parasites and Disease in Fish and Marine Species

57:35 What do Marine Scientists think are the biggest threats to the Marine Environment?

62:30 Where can people connect with you guys

Links Mentioned

Noob Spearo Partners + Promotions

NSP:126 Ed Martin Florida Keys Killshot Craftsman

NSP:126 Ed Martin Florida Keys Killshot Craftsman

Interview with Ed Martin

This episode covers spearfishing in the Florida Keys. We chat species, hydrography, conditions, and more. Ed Martin is a speargun craftsman and Freedive Instructor based in Isla Morada. Listen in!

Ed Martin Florida Keys Spearfishing. Interview with Killshot Craftsman

Important Times

03:50 Ed Martin Introduction and Background. Crappy gear, Angola & Barracuda

12:45 Massive discussion about Sharks, Shark Shields, Body Language and Tales!

21:15 Popular boats for spearfishing in Florida

23:15 Most Memorable Fish | Mangrove Snapper

28:00 What is something that scared the crap out of you and what did you takeaway from it?

‘We don’t rise to the level of our expectation, we fall to the level of our training.”

31:00 The relaxation Conversation!

36:00 Veterans Vault: Spearfishing in the Florida Keys

50:00 How to make a Poke

63:00 Funniest Moments out Spearfishing

69:00 Whats in your spearfishing dive bag?

82:00 Spearo Q&A

Important Links

Noob Spearo Partners + Promotions

NSP:125 Jerry Guerra Neptonics Madman | Geeking out on Gear

NSP:125 Jerry Guerra Neptonics Madman | Geeking out on Gear

Interview with Jerry Guerra

In this interview with Neptonics madman Jerry Guerra we get right into equipment. We chat speargun components, rigging FO-Pars & points of difference, proprietary Neptonics gear and more. But it’s not limited to equipment. Jerry has a very effective style for explaining core hunting strategies and ideas and I learned a sh#t tonne. This interview is killer. Listen in and Subscribe!

Neptonics is a brand well know for high quality spearfishing equipment. They specialize in high grade speargun components and have their own patented and unique equipment. Jerry Guerra’s journey started with his own shop in 2004 and eventually he joined forces with Neptonics and became an owner of the business. Learn more at neptonics.com

Download this episode on your iOS or Android APP here

Jerry Guerra Neptonics Madman | Geeking out on Spearfishing Gear. King Mackerel

Jerry Guerra with King Mackerel

Important Times

3:00 Jerry Guerra Introduction and Background. The Old Man & the Sea and Boy Scouts of America

9:50 Starting to spearfish deep. How it all started

12:00 Spearfishing equipment preparation

17:00 The spearfishing hunting journey to mastery

  • The cone of death. Dropping within a 30ft span of your target fish or structure.
  • Reducing profile. Less intimidation for fish, increased hydrodynamic efficiency
  • Increasing deeper diving accuracy and economy
  • The rock bottom hunting technique. Allowing the fish to relax and return

Jerry Guerra Neptonics Madman | Geeking out on Spearfishing Gear. Grouper

30:00 Boating reconnaissance and building skills for finding new ground

34:00 Memorable Fish | Black Grouper Behemoth

39:00 Blackout Story | How he survived and what he learned

46:30 Geeking out on Spearfishing Equipment

“No one will take care of your gear like you will” – Jerry Guerra

  • Different style Mechs | pros and cons
  • Are there some common issues people have with DIY speargun upgrades?
  • Triggers and handles. Pulling shot issues
  • Safety | Do or Do not have
  • Shafts | preferences
  • Tom asks “A question that I spent a lot of time researching was how to eliminate points of failure, what kind of knots, bungee connected to gun or float, what gauge shark clips, better options for shooting line bungee, basically how do you make connections as fail safe as possible?”
  • Dyneema vs Mono shaft to speargun line aka shooting line pros and cons
  • Muffling noise, parts and accessories?
  • Spectra, dyneema, monofilament, stainless wire. Uses and application
  • Essential 3-4 knots every spearo should learn. Where to learn and where and when to use them
  • Floatline material | PVC, Vinyl, (+spectra fusion – Riffe float lines), thermoplastic, poly lines. Application for each
  • Reels? How and what application should they have?
  • Breakaway setups | Key adjustments to make and changes to your hunting
  • Shark Clips vs D-Shackles
  • What setup did you use to capture a 280+lb fish?
  • Floatline Clutch | Utility

Jerry Guerra Neptonics Madman | Geeking out on Spearfishing Gear. African Pompano

90:00 Planning and preparing for international spearfishing trips

  • Spearfishing Equipment checklist for trips by Jerry Guerra from Neptonics
  • Chlorophyll
  • Warm water plumes and Wahoo behaviour
  • Wahoo hunting technique | racing the fish to mimic the competition drive for bait

99:30 Funniest Moment out Spearfishing | Hunting MahiMahi naked

101:20 Spearo Q&A

  • What is the single biggest lesson youve learned
  • Who is your fav person to go diving with and why?
  • What is something you do a little different than everyone else?

Connect with Jerry Guerra @

Links Mentioned

Noob Spearo Partners + Promotions

NSP:124 Valentine Thomas Making a Living Spearfishing

NSP:124 Valentine Thomas Making a Living Spearfishing

NSP:124 Valentine Thomas Making a Living Spearfishing | Part 2

Second Interview with Valentine Thomas! This episode we cover what’s happened to her in the last 5 years including guesting on the Joe Rogan Podcast, attending international fishing symposiums, moving to Florida, shooting a huge Marlin and her very own cookbook. You know pretty much just your average person’s last 5 year story:) In addition, we review some safety issues, sustainability, and so much more. Listen in!

Download this episode on your iOS or Android APP here

Valentine Thomas Black Marlin taken spearfishing

Valentine Thomas with the Black Marlin mentioned in the interview

Important Interview Times

06:00 How her perspective and life has changed since our last podcast

  • What has changed? Events, discoveries along the way
  • International Symposium of Fisheries Sustainability, organized by the FAO of the United Nations in Rome.
  • New life in Florida | French Fish and Seafood Cookbook
  • How has that been reflected in her life, choices, and habits
  • Confronting attitudes and dealing with BS
  • Freediving and spearfishing progress. Marlin in Cabo, Baja
  • Fish handling | reducing fresh water to clean the fish before bagging or vacuum packing


Valentine Thomas spearfishing Marlin

19:00 Her work in fighting against certain commercial practices

  • RECENT INSTA POST: Markets and fishing | making better choices and influencing others. Perceived value
  • Seafood labeling and carbon monoxide
  • WASTE: Valentine POST on INSTA: Fisheries are discarding and wasting around 10 BILLIONS pounds every year (conservative estimate!). Why is that?
  • 1 – To comply with regulations. If they fish over their quotas or if they accidentally caught species they aren’t supposed to (by-catch)
  • 2 – The market value of the fish caught is too low
  • This is why varying our diet and why the variety of species we consume is so important. We create the demand, consequently the market
  • Nefarious practices | impinging on National waters, people smuggling
  • Inequality of fishing laws, fishing law enforcement and some countries inability to police their own waters
  • Traceability and Seafood Labeling | Ecolabels
  • Lionfish – Invasive Problem | Creating consumer demand, incentivizing restaurants and changing public perceptions
  • Also countries with very well managed fisheries now importing a huge percentage of their national seafood intake from poorer countries with less well managed fisheries
  • Aquaculture. Seems to be an amazing idea with lots of problems. Enclosed waterway nets of species like Yellowtail Kingfish cause damage with the volume of fecal matter and also seem to attract disease whereas open ocean fish farming seems to mean large nets can be broken off in storms and become ghost nets and lose their capital investment in the equipment.
  • Reduced Transport Footprints | Additionally, why do people in Australia demand fish from 1000’s of km away when they have amazing fish on their doorstep. Very short shelf life
  • Different forms of fishing and how they impact the environment. Harvesters (Oysters), purse seine, long-lining, trawling
  • Helping bleeding hearts understand the place and utility of commercial fishing and using quota to ensure stocks are maintained.
  • Using the whole fish | sharing the good stuff with others and promoting good practice

56:50 The Blackout Story from the SinkPhase crew


64:52 Captain Dan Walsh Speargun Story

Links Mentioned

Noob Spearo Partners + Promotions

NSP:123 DIY Wooden Speargun 101 | Ed Martin

NSP:123 DIY Wooden Speargun 101 | Ed Martin

The Timber Speargun Build Episode

From concept to shooting fish with Ed Martin from Killshot Spearguns

Download this episode on your iOS or Android APP here

Important Times

03:30 Ed Martin from Killshot Spearguns Introduction and all about the Florida Keys (his store is in Islamorada).

  • Geography
  • Water Temps
  • Depths and bottom structure
  • Seasonal issues
  • Common species

DIY Timber Speargun. DIY woodie speargun. Ed Martin Killshot Spearguns with African Pompano

16:00 The rationale behind this Wooden Speargun DIY build episode + Ed Martins spearfishing background and the Killshot Speargun story

23:25 Errol “What are the pros/cons of Wood VS Pipe speargun in your mind?

Duncan Henderson also asks “Why do you choose to work with wooden guns? whats the advantages in your opinion?”

DIY Timber Speargun. DIY woodie speargun. Ed Martin Killshot Spearguns how to make your own speargun

27:50 CONCEPTING AND PLANNING | Making your first speargun advice!

  • What are the crucial decisions to make before you start?
  • SearchingForTheEdge on the spearfishing Subreddit advised prospective gun builders that the number one key is to build your gun around your spear. Don’t try to build a gun and then later try to find a spear for it. It’s much easier and faster to buy the spear and use it for all the measurements. Is this good advice?
  • Sven Franklin “what is the ideal shaft overhang length as this varies from company to company and personal opinion among spearos?”
  • Joe Pedro “Enclosed track vs open track, how to decide which is best for certain fish targeting setups?”
  • Can we borrow or steal some ideas from the best manufacturers?


  • Composite vs Solid one piece?
  • Wood types? Mahogany, Sepo, Teak etc
  • Glue? Resin? Sealant? Epoxy? What is the difference?
  • Making a test gun
  • What components should I buy rather than make myself? How do you make these choices? Where is a good place for buying components?
  • To safety or not to safety?
  • What tools do I require? What tools do I desire? Clamps, jigsaw, dropsaw, mitresaw, cordless drill, gloves, plastic, straight edge, file, masking tape, rubber for relieving clamping pressure, tape measure, belt sander, verniers, small chisel, router, drill press

DIY Timber Speargun. DIY woodie speargun. Ed Martin Killshot Spearguns how to make your own speargun

66:15 How much time does it take to make a speargun?

69:00 Buoyancy and ballast | How do we work this out?

74:40 Daniel Mann “Why is oil a terrible choice to finish a timber speargun?”

79:00 Care and maintenance

80:30 Duncan also asks “What are the common problems with people’s homemade wooden guns?”

92:00 Rubber Powerbands

  • How often do you replace them?
  • Wishbones – the horror of metal wishbones

Links Mentioned

Noob Spearo Partners + Promotions

Noob Spearo Spearfishing Email Newsletter

Subscribe To The Floater

Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from Shrek and Turbo....oh yeah and some freebies, equipment discount codes and that kind of stuff

You have Successfully Subscribed!