NSP:045 Grant Laidlaw Scotland Spearfishing and Pneumatic Spearguns

Spearfishing in Scotland? Pneumatic Spearguns?

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Thats right! Listen into this interview with Grant Laidlaw, a proper kilt wearing, Mcewan’s lager drinking Scottish Spearo


In this episode we make a call to Scotland to learn about Scottish spearfishing and hear about Grant Laidlaw’s personal spearfishing journey.  Overcoming different challenges he has faced is a huge theme for the chat.

One highlight of the interview is the story Grant shares about changing from a conventional banded speargun to a pneumatic or air-powered speargun. He was able to walk us through this challenge and how he eventually overcame the learning curve.

Big sections of the interview are like this and follow a useful formula. Generally its challenge, personal story, tips and hard won knowledge and then how you can apply it in your own spearfishing. If your challenge is overcoming cold water, buoyancy, breath hold, hunting, changing spearguns or something like night diving then you will find this interview useful.

Also if you love a broad Scottish accent and listening to spearfishing stories then you’ll thoroughly enjoy this;)

Grant Laidlaw with a Pollock caught spearfishing off a kayak in Scotland

Grant Laidlaw with a wee beastie (Pollock) taken spearfishing off the kayak

Fast Times – Interview Navigation with Grant Laidlaw

3:00 Getting started spearfishing story

6:00 Ebay wetsuits, finding people to go with, freezing water and a host of other issues getting started spearfishing

8:00 Most memorable Fish: Weed line hunting and a big Pollock

10:00 General chat about spearfishing in Scotland. Conditions, species, records and more.

15:00 Lobster hunting in Scotland.

16:00 Spearfishing Hunting Technique: Aspettos. A good tip about weighting correctly for the aspettos technique.

Winter Spearfishing Scotland with Grant Laidlaw

19:00 Night time spearfishing. Benefits and some tips to do it safely.

23:00 Scary Moment. Night Diving and a wee bit ah poo. Bull seal encounter (250kg or 550lb).

31:00 Veterans Vault: Learning about Marine Zones in Scotland and the UK

Grant plays an active part (volunteer) in the management of one of the oldest marine parks in the U.K. Listen into the interview to learn about why and how you might like to get involved in Citizen Science initiatives or your own marine parks.

Learn more about St. Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve here. This is where Grant serves as a Trustee and Treasurer. In the link above you can find information on the marine reserve and ranger led activities.

SeaSearch (link here) is a project any UK based divers can get involved in. The main aim is to map out the various types of sea bed found in the near-shore zone around the whole of the Britain and Ireland. Divers are also asked to record what lives in each area and note any problems or issues. This helps them to decide which sites need protection. If you have an interest in being part of a proactive activity to sustain and improve your local fishery and the environment then check it out.

Capturing Our Coast (UK) is a  project where people can log specific marine life sightings and participate in data collection etc. Volunteers receive training and support and are actively involved in the gathering of information for scientists. Learn more here.

The PickUp3 project (more info here)  Pick up 3 Pieces is a really simple idea – just bring 3 pieces of litter back with you every time you visit a beach. Their site has more information but its an easy one to join in on.

Neptune Islands Great White Shark Research Crowdfunding campaign mentioned [learn more here]

the Hobbit! Scotland Spearfishing with Grant Laidlaw

the Hobbit!

Pneumatic Spearguns – Q & A

  • How do they work?
  • What are the main components?
  • What pressure do you charge the speargun to?
  • Biggest challenge was learning to aim (lots of missed fish when he transitioned to pneumatics)
  • Aiming tips and tricks
  • Is there any recoil? Sporasub 1ES
  • How do you load them? What are the other techniques? How long does it take to reload them?
  • Are they noisey when you fire them?
  • How can you minimize the noise? (Dry Barrel kits)
  • Pay attention to the trigger when you purchase a pneumatic
  • Do you lose power when you fire the pneumatic spearguns at depth

This is a really good conversation about spearguns in general and learning to adapt to a different style of speargun.

59:00 Funniest Moments. Night diving in a military area with LED torch’s + scaring the crap out of a bloke line fishing at night.

63:00 Whats in your divebag?

Whats in your divebag? Scotland Spearfishing Equipment With Grant Laidlaw

Grants Spearfishing Equipment for spearfishing in Scotland

  • Pathos full carbon dive fins.
  • Spider 5mm dive socks
  • LAS made to measure wetsuits
  • Omer Zero Mask + Dive Torch (Mini Q LED4xAAA batteries)
  • Beauchat Guardian Float
  • Weightbelt and a harness to spread the weight
  • Dive Watch
  • GoPro 5 Black here
  • Pneumatic Spearguns mentioned

Noob Spearo is stoked to bring this interview to you in partnership with Adreno

Noob Spearo. spearfishing.com.au discount codeFor all your Spearfishing equipment needs go to www.spearfishing.com.au or visit their stores in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.

SAVE $20 on every purchase over $200

Use the code NOOBSPEARO at checkout

Check out Australia’s largest spearfishing range at Adreno Spearfishing Brisbane, Melbourne and Adreno Spearfishing Sydney or shop online

Fast 5 Facts for Noobs

  1. Get your equipment priorities right. Wetsuit matters, spend the money.
  2. Learn to relax, slow down and move slowly.
  3. Get your weighting right for the depths you’re hunting.
  4. Get to know a specific area really well.
  5. Treat your catch very well because its all about the eating quality at the end of the day.

Check out Grant Laidlaws YouTube channel here to see videos of the Scottish Spearfishing experience


– Google Citizen Science and you will find activities in your area to get involved in.

Australia Site here

Here is a live Project in Australia about Oyster Gardening – Bribe Island

Thank you for listening! Please leave an honest podcast review wherever you listen to the show:)

Spearfishing Mask and Snorkel

Selecting the right mask and snorkel for spearfishing


The spearfishing mask gives you the ability to see underwater which is vital for spearfishing but not all spearfishing masks are created equal and what is considered desirable by SCUBA divers is not desirable for the Spearo. When choosing a mask look for a small internal volume, soft black silicone skirt and most importantly a water-tight fit.

A spearo’s dive mask has a smaller internal volume than Scuba diving masks. This is because the air in the mask compresses as the spearo descends forcing the mask onto the face. The spearo, therefore must use their precious air resources to equalise it. Therefore it requires less of the spearos air to equalise the mask if the internal volume of the mask is smaller.

A good quality soft black or coloured silicone skirt is important. Clear silicone can let annoying light in around the mask. This is particularly annoying at sunrise making it difficult to see.


spearfishing mask, spearfishing snorkel

To ensure the mask fits your face properly breath in through your nose. If the masks sucks to your face and compresses the nose pocket then it’s a good fit. Also take note of any discomfort around the bridge of the nose.

Fitting a spearfishing mask

The fit of the mask is the most important thing to consider. A spearfishing mask that doesn’t fit your face properly and leaks water is one of the most frustrating problems that can occur on a day’s diving. To get a good fit, put the mask on your face and breath in through your nose. If it sucks to your face and doesn’t let air in then it’s a good fit.

Also be conscious of the bridge across the nose as this can put pressure on your face and be uncomfortable particularly on some of the modern frames that are super low volume.

The final thing to look for is a good field of vision. That is how far you can see in all directions. Don’t be afraid to try on all the masks in the shop because when you get the perfect mask it’s worth it’s weight in gold. Spearos will often by up a spare mask or two when they find the perfect one.


preparing a spearfishing mask

Mask fog is often caused by a layer of silicon found on the inside of the lens left over from the manufacturing process. It is important to burn this layer off with a lighter.

Defogging a spearfishing mask

During the manufacturing process, the lenses in the mask are coated with a thin layer of silicone presumably to help free it from the mould. Whatever the reason is, it causes the mask lens to fog up rendering them useless. What you need to do is carefully burn off this layer with a lighter (see video). Alternatively you can scrub it with your finger and toothpaste. I’ve been using an old electric toothbrush to good effect. Don’t be surprised if you have to do this a few times.

To help defog the mask when diving it’s important to spit in the lenses of the mask. I like to get a nice one in there and rub it in and leave it a couple of minutes before washing it out.

preparing a spearfishing mask

An alternative to burning the silicon layer off is to rub it off with toothpaste. Personally I rub the inside of the lenses with toothpaste after burning out the silicon. Remember to spit in and smear the spit on the inside of the lenses (wash the spit out) before wearing the mask to prevent fogging.


Remember a high price tag doesn’t always represent the right spearfishing mask for you. Personally I use an Ocean Hunter mask that is considered at the lower end of the price scale.  I love it, it’s comfortable, never fogs up and is lasting well. Shrek has had plenty of trouble finding the right mask due to his ridiculously large melon but he too has found this mask to be perfect.


Simple, comfortable and robust are characteristics of a good snorkel.

Simple, comfortable and robust are characteristics of a good snorkel. Try not to bite the mouth piece too hard.


The snorkel allows you to breath whilst your head is in the water. Unlike SCUBA snorkels Spearfishing snorkels are simpler, more streamlined and generally are a simple rubber or plastic tube with a silicone mouthpiece. Avoid snorkels with too many extra pieces. Some snorkels have a water release valve on the bottom. They make clearing the mask easy but can create noise and scare flighty fish. The key here is again comfort and simplicity. 

There are soft fold-able models on the market but as yet I haven’t heard anything positive about them.


When going on a trip always carry with you spare straps and snorkel holders. These things tend to break when you least expect them to. It’s also good to carry a back up mask and snorkel as well.

Your spearfishing mask and snorkel should be kept as simple as possible like the rest of your spearfishing kit. Here a few of my favourite masks in three different price brackets but remember it’s all about fit.

Ocean Hunter, Chameleon Omer Alien,  Aqualung Technisub



Noob Spearo. spearfishing.com.au discount code

Spearfishing Gear, Spearfishing Fins

Spearfishing Gear, Spearfishing Fins

Spearfishing Fins

A good pair of spearfishing fins need to be tough, reactive and comfortable. Spearo’s don’t do a single P.B dive for the day in a controlled environment and call it quits for the day like freedivers do. They dive all day in amongst the reef and rubble, in the swell and the rocks searching for the next feed of fish. The following article is for those looking to understand what makes a good pair of spearfishing fins and how to choose the best pair for them.


Spearo’s generally use specialised spearfishing fins that are longer and narrower than scuba fins. They are designed to give maximum efficiency from the energy that the diver expends on kicking, thus reducing oxygen consumption and improving the amount of time the diver can be underwater hunting. Though these types of fins can be fast and powerful the emphasis is more on efficiency rather than power.

Spearfishing fins generally come in three main types of material and of course price range. At the top,  there is carbon fibre followed by fibreglass and at the bottom end thermoplastic. Each has their pro’s and con’s which we will discuss.

 1. Foot Pocket and Fit

There is a lot to consider when choosing a spearfishing fin. The first thing is the fit. The foot pocket should be tight enough that your foot isn’t going to roll around inside the pocket. Rolling inside the foot pocket will cause you to lose power transfer through the blade. The blade will also not run true behind the foot and you will lose efficiency through water spillage as the fin blade twists. The foot pocket must also not be too tight or it will be uncomfortable and can cause cramping in the foot. One thing to consider when sizing up foot pockets is the thickness of the dive sock you will be wearing.

2. The right Stiffness

The second thing to consider is the stiffness of the blade. Getting the right blade stiffness for you is crucial to maximising your efficiency and improving your dive time. There are three general stiffness’ available off the shelf. Hard, medium and soft. Which stiffness you choose depends on your body type. For example my mate Shrek weighs in at over 120kg, he’s a big unit and he requires a stiffer fin to get him moving. I’m only 80 kg on a good day after a rump steak and I have a pair of legs that are made up mostly of hair with a bone centre and something under the skin that resembles a calf muscle.  I therefore use a much softer fin than Shrek does. If I was to use a stiff fin I would have to work very hard to move them and burn up my oxygen reserves quickly. Alternatively Shrek kicks like hell in my soft fins and goes nowhere.

3. Material and Price

The third thing to consider is price and material which generally go hand in hand. Carbon fibre and fibreglass are the most expensive but are definitely the clear favourites when it comes to performance. Fibreglass and carbon fibre spearfishing fins are generally a two part system. The blade and the rubber foot pocket. They can be bought separately or as a package so it can pay to shop around. The blade should have a good rail down the sides to help stabilise the fin and channel the water down the full length of the blade. Fin blades are generally made thicker at the base of the toe and become thinner towards the tail of the fin. This gives the fin a hyperbolic curve or J-curve and is considered essential for good efficiency.

The foot pocket base below the foot should be stiff to impart power from the foot to the blade. The foot pocket has a rail on each side and this can have an effect on the stiffness of the blade as well. Most manufacturers will have a preferred foot pocket for their blades.

The Three Materials Explained

Plastic bladed Spearfishing fins alongside Carbon Fibre Penetrator spearfishing fins.

Plastic bladed spearfishing fins alongside Carbon Fibre Penetrator spearfishing fins. Note the full length rail on the Penetrator fins.


Plastic fins are generally the cheapest fin and this is where a lot of people like myself started. The blade and the foot pocket are generally moulded all in one piece. They are the least reactive of the three materials and are therefore considered the least efficient. They are by far the cheapest and a good pair can be a very tough piece of equipment and are great for thrashing on the rocks. My Cressi Gara fins lasted me for years and were well worth the investment.

My recommendation for this category is the Cressi Gara blades. These were my first freediving blades and lasted me for years. One of my regular dive partners Benny Harper swears by the Beuchat Mundial Elite fins which also look nice and last well.


This is where the real difference begins. Fibreglass or composite fins are extremely reactive and efficient. They are closer in quality to carbon fibre than they are to plastic and are tougher than carbon fibre. These are extremely popular with spearo’s due to their good reactivity and tough composition. Many a spearo has an ancient scuffed up pair of composite spearfishing fins which they will swear by.  

My recommendation for this category is the Penetrator composites available here for the exclusive Noob Spearo design or here for the rest of the range. Another well-known fin brand is the DiveR available here.

Carbon Fibre

carbon fibre free diving fin, penetrator free diving fin

Carbon Fibre is the most reactive and efficient material for spearfishing fins. Here I demonstrate just how reactive it is.

Penetrator free diving fin

The J-curve produced by a good quality spearfishing fin.

The creme de la creme of spearfishing fins. They are the  most expensive in the range and also the most reactive and lightest of all the materials used to produce fins. They are considered to be more fragile than fibreglass/composite fins so may not take your dive partners walking all over them on the deck or being sat on on the rocks. Having said that I have not yet had a problem.

My Recommendations

I recommend Penetrator Carbon Fibre blades (Noob Spearo design) or the full range here. To get to know the man behind these fins, listen to our Larry Gray episode here, you’re sure to learn something about freediving fins. I have been using these fins for quite a while now and found them to be excellent.  Another option is the Dive R blades which are also popular here.

Last but not least. Not all fins are created equal! This is particularly true of carbon and composite fins. In the past, I have purchased fins with a low price point claiming to be carbon fibre that simply don’t perform like carbon fibre should. Go with a trusted  brand and if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is. I use and recommend Penetrator fins. I have used both the composite and carbon fibre models and thoroughly recommend them. If you would like a set of Penetrator fins you can purchase them through our website or the penetrator website. If you choose to purchase another option through spearfishing.com.au remember to use the “noobspearo” code at checkout to save $20.

If you would like to learn more about spearfishing go to our getting started section here or check out our 99 Tips to get better at spearfishing available on Amazon.

the best spearfishing book ever written is available here




NSP:036 Travis Corken Neptonics Australia

Travis Corken Neptonics Australia

Listen and subscribe to the Noob Spearo Podcast on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Podbean

Bluewater Spearfishing Equipment Episode

In this interview with Travis Corken Neptonics Australia owner/operator we do an in depth Q&A to learn more about equipment for bluewater spearfishing. Removing points of failure, keeping equipment simple and building trust with the fish were all themes that come through strong in the interview. If you like learning about innovative spearfishing equipment such as the floatline clutch and weight belt multi adapter for reels, then this is an ideal interview to tune in for. Travis also candidly shares a story about a personal blackout experience while diving in Fiji. After the blackout story we explore some practical takeaways from his experience and its well worth the listen all by itself. Turbo and I were happy to get Travis Corken on the show as we both think he’s one of the most genuine blokes in Australian spearfishing.

Travis Corken has also been an active contributor to many of the best spearfishing magazines over the years, as you will see in the IFSN covers below. Fairly recently Travis became the owner/operator of Neptonics Australia, which is conveniently located right next door to Peter Kesby, creator of Kes Spearguns. Travis started bluewater hunting in 2009 when he and some of his mates wanted to start exploring waters further afield from Australia. 2009 was the year that began a journey traveling the world in search of fish and meeting some of the worlds best divers in the world including guys like Justin Bates and Brandon Whalers & Simon Fairbourne.

IFSN cover featuring Travis Corken Neptonics Spearfishing Australia

Here is a bit of background on Travis.

“My name obviously is Travis Corken, not Travis Hogan, haha so many people get this mixed up! I have been spearfishing now for 15 years. I was born in Melbourne but at 3 months old my parents moved to Port Macquarie and introduced me to the ocean. Ive written several articles for different publications, spearfishing magazine, SDM and IFSN and I was lucky enough to score the cover twice. (blue marlin & dogtooth IFSN). Being part of a TV series called adventure bound for a spearfishing segment for Freedive Fiji with Jaga Crossingham was also pretty special.”

Travis also designed the ROAM speargun which is featured on the Kes website here. The speargun is quite universal, with the ability to be powered up with 5-6 bands and  a two piece wing kit to target big fish over 50kg. The Roam speargun can also be broken down to a 2-3 band gun, and with the removal of the wing kit can then be used to shoot smaller reef species and pelagics. If you would like to learn more about the Roam speargun there is a link below.

Spearfishing Marlin by IFSN cover featuring Travis Corken Neptonics Spearfishing Australia

For an online Spearfishing shopping experience that offers you a comprehensive range of equipment, cheap shipping and competitive prices head over to  www.spearfishing.com.au


Use the code NOOBSPEARO to take advantage of an exclusive online deal. Get $20 off every purchase over $200 when you use the NOOBSPEARO discount code at checkout. Just for listeners of the Noob Spearo Podcast!

Support the Noob Spearo Podcast by shopping with our major Sponsor. Check out Australia’s largest spearfishing range at Adreno Spearfishing Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney or shop online.

Helpful Times for Travis’s Interview

We start of the episode with some long overdue shoutouts to the Noob Spearo community. Thank you for reaching out to us!

Turbo lists of  some of Travis’s Personal Best fish and spearfishing travel experiences before we get into the meat and potatoes of the interview.

5:00 Travis’s experiences getting started spearfishing. Meeting mentors and mates and learning his local species. He also talks about his early spearfishing gear that many of us will relate to. Mentioned were Andre Ruakura, Simon Latta and Toddy Degraph (excuse my spelling errors).

10:00 Early obstacles, overcoming breath hold issues and learning the ropes by watching the experienced guys.

12:00 First Memorable Fish – Wahoo with a mask half full of water.

15:00 Travis’s Favorite spearfishing hunting technique. Getting to the bottom and letting the fish come to you. He introduces a theme for the episode about ‘building trust with the fish’.

21:00 2 Scary Moments. Aggressive Tiger shark experience and a personal blackout tale. This is an in-depth and honest look at a significant spearfishing blackout event with several key takeaways.

Increase Bottom Time for SpearfishingFind out more about the online “10m Freediver Course” and “5 Minute Freediver (advanced 28 day program)” here

33:00 Spearfishing Bluewater Equipment deep dive. We start off chatting quickly about a 220kg (nearly 500lb) Marlin that Travis speared a while ago and the full mount he had made up. Mentioned was Glenn Stuart a renown marine taxidermist based on the East Coast of Australia.

We talk about hard running fish and some of the essential equipment changes to make when taking on larger fish.

Here are a few of the other items we discuss.

  • Float line/ Hard line setup along with the innovative floatline clutch. If you would like to learn more about the floatline clutch go here
  • Removing points of failure.
  • Roamgun – a winged spearfishing weapon that can be powered up using an 8-10mm shaft and 5-6 rubbers or bands. Check it out here
  • Stainless cable as shooting line, do the double crimp and buy coated because it holds its memory.
  • Bungee and its application in deeper water.
  • Double Roller Speargun under development
  • Stay onto your gear maintenance
  • Use D-Shackles instead of shark clips.

Jaga Crossingham from Freedive Fiji  was mentioned. We interviewed Jaga a while ago and some of the fish that they have taken over there are phenomenal. listen into some Fiji Spearfishing adventures here or checkout this facebook post with a recent 57kg Wahopo capture by Jaga.

55:00 Funniest moment. Cobia story

59:00 Whats in your Divebag?

  • Kez gun with a reel and belt reel (Aussie Reels).
  • Special Fins.
  • Travis jumper back on with us recently to talk about his personal experience with the new HECS wetsuits, unfortunately due to some audio complications we weren’t able to include it but if you would like to know more about them then give him a call (his details are below).

Bluewater Themed Fast 5 Tips with Travis Corken Neptonics Australia

  1. Travel as much as you can > You learn more
  2. Teamwork is crucial. 3 divers for bluewater spearfishing is perfect
  3. Have good Floatline awareness. You need to know exactly where it is
  4. Removing points of failure.
  5. Dont chase Fish > Relax and build trust with the fish.

“Dont chase Fish > Relax and build trust with the fish.” – Travis Corken

“Travel as much as you can > You learn more” – Travis Corken

67:00 Get in touch with Travis here. Call him up and chat about the latest in bluewater spearfishing equipment, his personal experience with the new HECS wetsuit technology and take advantage of a limited time discount hes offering to Noob Spearo Podcast listeners. Travis said;

“I wanna be able to have somewhere where people can come and view our spearfishing gear before they purchase. In the warehouse we will have on display a 220kg blue marlin plus Jaga Crossingham’s 94kg Fiji record dogtooth tuna. The warehouse can be open at anytime as I live next door so after hours appointments are fine.

I can offer a %10 off discount to the first 20 NSP listeners across our range. They can enter code #neptonicsaus at checkout to receive this discount.
I appreciate all the support from taking over the business in the last 12 months and hope to offer my advice as a spear fisherman and build relationships with fellow spearos around Australia.”

You can get hold of Travis on 0422 309 405, he is based in Frederickton, NSW 2440 which is the gateway to south west rocks, hat head and crescent head.

Visit Neptonics Australia Online here


Travis Corken Neptonics AustraliaIf you enjoyed this interview please leave us a review on iTunes here! Thanks for listening.

NSP:035 Emanuel Bova from MannySub Spearfishing Equipment

Emanuel Bova from MannySub

Listen and subscribe to the Noob Spearo Podcast on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Podbean

Emanuel Bova  is competing this year in the Australian team that is going to Greece in the next few weeks. Get behind the Aussie team here!

About Manny’s Spearfishing Equipment Journey

Manny grew up in Genoa, Italy, and started spearfishing way back in 1984. In 1988 he moved to Sydney, Australia where he continued spearfishing and we chat about the contrast in conditions and difference in biodiversity. With a passion for spearfishing and innovation it was inevitable that he would begin a spearfishing business in Australia. Initially he started importing equipment from Europe, first with Omer (1993-98), then with TopSub wetsuits (1998-2009), and then in 2010 he launched his own brand MannySub with the roller speargun conversion kit. Manny was the first to produce a roller muzzle and also introduce the roller concept to many countries such as Australia, South Africa , the Middle East, USA and several other countries. His Roller Speargun conversion kits continue to be highly popular alongside MannySubs range of spearfishing equipment.

About Manny’s Spearfishing Experience

Alongside his spearfishing business Emanuel Bova has been an active member of the San Souci Dolphins Spearfishing club in Sydney since 1994. He has been competing for over 22 years both locally and abroad. This year he joins the Australian Spearfishing team again as they head to Greece to take on the worlds best. You can follow the Australian teams adventure here. Part of the appeal of Manny’s interview is hearing stories from a bloke who has dived in Italy, France , Croatia, Mexico several times (the Gulf, Caribbean, Sea of Cortez), Panama, New Zealand, Fiji, USA, Hawaii, and both the eastern and western coastlines of Australia as well as the coral sea.

Emanuel Bova from MannySub. Spearfishing interview

Emanuel with a large Mulloway or Jewfish taken spearfishing in NSW

About Manny’s interview

This interview is our longest yet but its for good reason. Manny takes us on an equipment deep dive in his Veterans Vault where we talk in detail about; Flopper maintenance, Speargun Rubber, Dyneema vs Mono-filament as a shooting line, equipment maintenance and then we dig into Roller Spearguns with questions from us about inverted rollers and the double roller, both of which are rapidly growing in popularity with Bluewater Hunters. As Manny is a regular listener of the show he fires on all cylinders sharing stories that all of us can learn from and his Fast 5 Facts For Noobs is phenomenal. Listen into an absolute cracker interview.

For an online Spearfishing shopping experience that offers you a comprehensive range of equipment including MannySub, cheap shipping and competitive prices head over to  www.spearfishing.com.au


Use the code NOOBSPEARO to take advantage of an exclusive online deal. Get $20 off every purchase over $200 when you use the NOOBSPEARO discount code at checkout. Just for listeners of the Noob Spearo Podcast!

Support the Noob Spearo Podcast by shopping with our major Sponsor. Check out Australia’s largest spearfishing range at Adreno Spearfishing Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney or shop online.

Helpful Times for Emanuel Bova’s Interview

01:20 Manny’s history covering Omer and TopSub spearfishing equipment, competing in Croatia with the Australian Team, early lessons, the beginning of MannySub, moving to Sydney and the contrast between Italian Mediterranean spearfishing conditions and Australian spearfishing conditions.

12:00 Overcoming seasickness

14:00 Yellowfin Tuna Coral Sea on the burley trail. Great takeaway lesson on observation from this story.

19:00 Heading out the day before a big competition when an opportunity that does not come to many Australian spearo’s presented itself.

Emanuel Bova with a Sydney caught Snapper. Mannysub Noob Spearo Interview

Highly desirable Australian Spearfishing Species. Commonly called Snapper, scientific name Pagrus auratus

23:00 Spearfishing Hunting Technique – burley with newspaper or even toilet paper. Great rundown on how effective this technique can be. Best burley for using in shark infested water. Can use in combination with a flasher.

Increase Bottom Time for Spearfishing101 Freediving for Spearfishing Q&A here

30:00 Scary Moments

  • Boat pulling free from anchor overnight while miles out to sea.
  • Fiji deep diving injury – the Bends while freediving. Manny lays out his process of deduction alongside symptoms. Supporting article with more information about the bends while freediving here. Manny talks about his journey to recovery along with the advice and medical help he received along the way.
  • Reef shark near miss. Beware of hazards when you are a long way from home. Takeaways include the advice to be very careful spearfishing around dusk with sharks.

Veteran’s Vault: 46:45 Spearfishing Equipment Deep-dive – Maintenance, Tips and DIY

  • Tuning the flopper on a speargun shaft. Full rundown on how to tune and where to tune it too. YouTube Video to help
  • Speargun shooting line. Dyneema vs Mono-filament – Manny is a Dyneema evangelist and lays out how to set your gear up with it.
  • Equipment Maintenance – What Spare equipment do you take on different trips
  • Speargun Rubber. How often do you change rubber? Manny gives us a rundown on types of rubber and how colour is no guarantee of quality or brand. Overview of Progressive vs Reactive rubber.
  • Penetration testing equipment in the swimming pool with various rubber and shaft sizes. Manny talks about he sets his pool up for testing including foam and protection for the pool.
  • Roller Spearguns. Bearings vs Caster Roller Muzzles. Chris Coates research concurs, read about it here.
  • Inverted Roller vs Double Roller – what are they and what are the characteristics. Mannysub Inverted Roller.
  • Turbos Video for roller muzzle conversion here. We also get some clues about the balance between pre-tension, shaft and rubber diameter.

77:00: Funniest Moment. The dive spot for a date deal
84:30: Whats in Manny’s Divebag. Speargun MannySub 90cm and 1100cm inverted for clean water chasing bigger fish. Salvimar Noah mask, DiveR fins, custom made smoothskin wetsuit.  Special round rubberized dive weights (look like a hand grenade). You can screw them on and off as needed.
87:45: Fast 5 Facts For Noobs

  1. If you want to get good at spearfishing join a club, if you want to get really good – start competing
  2. Dont try and learn too fast. Respect the learning curve.
  3. Reels, not on big fish and not in deep water. Statistically Reel guns have been involved in lots of shallow water blackout incidents.
  4. Prepare properly on the surface. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing and replicate the feeling of going to sleep.
  5. Get a good nights rest the day before spearfishing, especially the big days

Emanuel Bova Spearfishing Amberjack aka Reef Donkey. MannySub Noob Spearo Podcast

Join Manny on Facebook or check out rollerspearguns.com for more information about him.

Manny on Facebook


Manny also operates a spearfishing charter in NSW, Australia. Check that out here.

Emanuel Bova Spearfishing Wahoo. MannySub Noob Spearo Podcast

Noob Spearo & MannySub Roller Conversion Kit Competition

If you enjoyed this interview make sure you check out Chris Coates interview or Anvar Mufazlov’s interview

DIY Roller Speargun – Fitting a Roller Power Head

DIY Roller Speargun – Fitting a Roller Power Head

 DIY Roller Speargun. Guide to converting your Gun.

#Video of the entire DIY Roller Speargun conversion process at the bottom

Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 1. Read the DIY Roller Speargun instructions before you start. Yes, all the way through!

Manny Sub Power Roller Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 2. Remove the screw holding the original muzzle. It may be corroded in so you may need to use penetrating lubricant. Mine was so tight I had to use a block of timber and a hammer to tap it out.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 3. Mark the barrel for the required length reduction. Skip this if you’re not changing the barrel length.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 4. Cut the barrel to the required length. It is important to make sure the cut is square to the barrel so the power head fits properly. If using a drop saw make sure to use an aluminium blade. Otherwise a hacksaw will do the trick.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 5. Sand the inside of the barrel to remove any oxidation or foreign matter to ensure a good seal. It is also important to file any sharp edges to prevent damaging the plug’s “O”rings upon insertion. Filing the outside edge of the cut will prevent any annoying sharp edges.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion

Step 6. Lubricate the inside of the barrel and the power head plug with marine grease before installing into the barrel.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 7. Use a twisting motion to insert the the Roller Power Head into the barrel. Twisting will prevent damage to the “O” rings and ensure a good seal.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 8. Align the Roller Power head with the rail. I used the spear in the trigger mechanism to make sure everything was aligned. The power head may sit proud of the rail but this will not affect accuracy or flight path.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 9. Turn the gun over and measure 8mm back from the conversion plug. Mark the hole and use a centre punch to get started.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 10. Drill the 3mm hole.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step11. Screw in the provided screw and the muzzle is fixed into place.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion

Step 12. Remove the screws either side of the handle and and drill out the holes with a 5mm drill bit to accommodate the new handle-pin and anchor bushes.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 13. Drill out the screw holes with a 5mm drill bit for the new threaded handle pin. This pin will hold the line anchor bushes.


Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

Step 12. Put one of the line anchor bushes on the threaded handle pin then push the pin through the handle. Next put the other line anchor bush on and tighten the nut with and 8mm spanner. Cut the remaining handle pin off  flush with a saw and file smooth.


DIY Roller Speargun

Handle pin and line anchors in place and your DIY roller speargun is done.

Manny Sub Roller Power Head Conversion. DIY Roller Speargun

The front end of the DIY Roller Speargun with Manny Sub Roller Power Head installed rigged and ready to go.

So, there you have it, a converted 1.2m Rob Allen Tuna. Now a 1.1m Manny Sub Roller Power Head. It’s a simple process and the plans are very clear but it’s important to read the whole document before you start.

Here is the entire Roller Speargun conversion video guide

Also for more information, tips and techniques read roller speargun Part 1 or Part 2 Roller Spearguns here

If you are interested in looking more at the MannySub Roller Speargun conversion kit head here to Adreno and save $20 by using the NOOBSPEARO discount code for spends over $200.

Cheers, Turbo

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