MAKO Spearguns - Poor quality made in China

  • Source of MAKO Spearguns products. Spearboard forum censors bad reviews to protect MAKO Spearguns.

    Some background information before getting into the source of MAKO Spearguns products and the real reason for their cheap prices. In 2010 the advent of high definition POV cameras brought huge interest in the GoPro camera, capable of producing near professional quality video. But the GoPro camera housing had a curved lens which caused underwater video to be blurry, making the GoPro unusable for divers. A German company Aquapixs developed a flat lens compatible with the GoPro camera which solved the focus problem. Speardiver International was the US distributor for the Aquapixs flat lens, and the first to include a free lens with every GoPro camera purchase. This marketing strategy proved to be a great success among divers.

    Being a GoPro dealer himself Dano, owner of Mako spearguns, knew that the flat lens is a major selling point. He bought the Aquapixs lens from Freedive Store, copied it and began selling his own inferior version. Ensued a heated argument on Spearfishing planet forum, one of Mako Spearguns main advertising venues, between Dano and the Aquapixs lens inventor MAKO Flat Lens for Go Pro Housing - Spearfishing Planet. Most of the posts by Aquapixs have since been deleted by Spearfishing Planet forum administration, to protect Mako Spearguns who is their paying advertiser.

    When confronted by the lens inventor, Dano posted a rant justifying his actions stating that the Aquapixs patent pending lens was too expensive, then disclosed his own cost of making the lens to demonstrate how benevolent Mako Spearguns is in pricing their products. Conveniently omitting of course the costs of research and development which Mako Spearguns did not have to pay since Dano simply copied the lens. Then in a condescending fashion Dano offered the very same person who's work he stole, to buy the lens from Mako Spearguns because he was capable of manufacturing it for less.

    Mako Spearguns appeared on the spearfishing scene only two years prior. Their debut on Spearboard forum consisted of the copied line of Rabitech spearguns. MAKO Spearguns main marketing strategy was to capitalize on Rabitech established presence in the spearfishing community and undercut them. Followed a barrage of re-branded Made In China low quality gear along with other copied products. Mako Spearguns saturated the online forums Spearboard, Spearfishing Planet, DeeperBlue, and ScubaBoard with incessant propaganda, quickly earning a bad reputation among experienced spearfishermen, but at the same time establishing a presence with newcomers to the sport who were swayed by the cheap prices and were not in a position to understand what they were really buying.

    Copying the GoPro flat lens was our call to action to bring to light Mako Spearguns unethical behavior. Since Mako Spearguns is a paying advertiser on the all the major spearfishing forums, criticism of Mako products is stifled by the owners of those forums. The most blatant example being Spearboard where anyone who posts about having a problem with Mako Spearguns immediately has their posts deleted and threatened with banning, at the explicit direction of Tony Grogan the owner of Spearboard. The grogan, as he is affectionately called by the many spearos that he alienated, is another gem in the spearfishing community, see background information about him here The Spearboard monopoly

    Mako Spearguns cheap prices on the surface appear to benefit the spearfishing community, the reality is their products are sub par to say the least. This information needs to be available to the spearfishing community, and the only place where it can be done is here on Spearfishing World forum. We now offer the following expose in the style initiated by Dano himself. Mako Spearguns prices are cheap because the products are cheap Chinese made crap. Visit this Chinese company's website and have fun finding many Mako Separguns products.

    We contacted Aropec and ordered mask samples. These masks were low quality. Mako is selling these masks for $35 and wetsuits for $160. It appears that mako really cares about spearos, but we know Aropec's prices and those are $4 masks and $30 wetsuits. You get what you pay for.

    Check out to see Mako's assortment of spearguns. Take a close look at the handles of these spearguns, if you're new to speargishing gear you'll probably miss the fact that they're not ergonomic and do not allow a good grip on the gun for tracking. To the uninitiated this handle design may appear to be something special for spearfishing. In reality it was designed by Daniel Hu a Chinese manufacturer, who does not dive or spear. They're just something he thought would be different and marketable.

    Mako Spearguns Predator Pro speargun AKA Taiwan Sports Master

    In turn Dano the owner of Mako Spearguns is not a spearfisherman himself. To date there hasn't been one spearfishing report posted by him on any forum, nor has he participated in any spearfishing discussion other than to promote his company. Dano doesn't know good spearfishing gear simply because he doesn't use it. He just selects the cheapest offerings from Chinese manufacturers that to his eye looks like it should function properly, as long as it fits his pricing structure he'll sell it. On the surface it appears Mako undercuts other legitimate spearfishing gear manufacturers. In reality Mako products are sub-par and not comparable to anything a self respecting company would offer as spearfishing gear.

    Keep reading the thread, there are regular additions about new Mako Speargun products as they come out, disclosing the China source and offering uncensored reviews.

  • OK I confess.... I shot a Mako once and really enjoyed it.... steak'ed out and seared on the grill.

    Never even saw or touched the brand in the flesh, or met the guy behind it... so no help from me on topic.
    I will say I view this Freediving Spearfishing Forum as one that has very low BS rhetoric on gear, history and adventure,
    Like a dive club news letter, with out contributions from the membership the burden falls heavily on the principals.


    "Great mother ocean brought forth all life, it is my eternal home'' Don Berry from Blue Water Hunters.

    Spearfishing Store the freediving and spearfishing equipment specialists.

    Edited once, last by Don Paul ().

  • Mako Spearguns are not freedivers, at best Dano has acquired some knowledge about the requirements of freedive spearfishing receiving feedback after he started to sell. In the meanwhile Mako Spearguns offers products like this wrist strap. Inexperienced freedivers must be aware that this speargun tether sold on the Mako Spearguns website is a dangerous item that can cost your life. It's a clear indication that Mako Spearguns are not experienced with freedive spearfishing, this is also reflected in many of their other products.

  • Geez, I thought I was going to do some light Sunday morning reading with my coffee..

    Here's some thoughts.. I'll try to be objective.

    1. A lot of people were unhappy with the way that Mako came into the Spearfishing Market. Certainly they took a lot of other people's hard work and put their label on it. Certainly they rocked the boat by then undercutting the market which they could afford to do because they did not need to spend huge amounts on Original Product Development, Certainly some of their product is produced in China/PR China even though they advertise differently. Certainly, they have pissed off a lot of people who have been working hard in this industry for the past 2O years. And, certainly they continue to rebrand items that are copies of other people's hard work to this day.

    2. I know that Mako have also made some big steps in good directions over the past year. They have resourced their Gun Barrel manufacturing out of Asia. They have made strides towards improving the Quality of their products, for example their new line of Wetsuits. They have teamed up with some of the best American Speargun Building minds and created some truly awesome original items, ie Enclosed Track, new Hybrid, etc. These are steps they do deserve credit for. They are steps in the right direction. For me, they did start off in very muddy water.. but I do see them making some steps in good directions. Also, it needs to be said that within every comment about Mako Spearguns there is always a mention of Customer Service being top notch, infact one of the things Mako has done is to set the standard for Customer Service from a Full range Online business in this market. Lastly, I have seen Mako use their popularity to benefit countless auctions, event sponsorships, and good causes. They are not the evil empire.. Dano seems like a real hard worker and a good guy to me though I have never met him. My guess is that he's in the office 7 days a week and is thinking about Spearfishing, Spearguns, Equipment, Design and Product Development when ever he is awake.

    3. Most all other full range Spearfishing companies also rebrand items which may be copies of other people's hard work. Many of these companies also source these items in Asia. I can look on the Pursuit Website and see a glaring example. The Pursuit Low Volume Mask which is a great mask. It doesn't come from the Chinese distributor, and I'm not going to name the source, but this is an exact copy of a mask from a major Diving company and I'm guessing that this Major Dive company put forth a lot of resources in time, money, work, for it's product developers and designers to make this Mask originally.. Then it was blatanly copied exactly by another company and offered for rebranding.. I've wrestled with this exact question many times. Here's a Great Mask. There's no way I can afford to develop one on my own, I have the option to re-brand this and offer a great product to my customers.. Many times I've wanted to call foul on others, but couldn't justify it because at the time, my own company used one small item that was similar looking on the outside to that of another company.. we sourced this from an open manufacturer. I reasoned that until this changed about my own company, and we were 1OO% original, that I was in no position to call foul on anyone. Some items involve expensive moulds.. Masks, and especially Fins, Euro Gun Handles, Muzzles, Knives and Sheaths, and even some of the most progressive and established companies will rebrand these items.

    I think what you are really referring to here and what makes you legitimately upset is that there is a big difference between adding one or two items which are good items which have been sourced from an open manufacturer, and creating your entire companies' starting range by sourcing items which were developed previously specifically for other companies, and then the Manufacturer decided to partner up with a local company to act as a front for these goods and sell them out.

    These are issues within this industry that are definitely not confined to one brand, rather, which involve almost all of them. Many people feel that Mako started off questionably. But, the ball is their court now as they have cash flow and a more stabilzed business, to do the right thing by putting quality of product and original ideas, and product development as their new focus. My message to MAKO would be. "What wasn't acceptable of a new company busting down the door last year is completely unnacceptable of a now established company. Take every single one of your products and review them. If it's a direct copy of someone else's work, even if it's been changed 1O%, ie the new Reels, which have Rob Allen tossing and turning in his sleep, phase those items out. Move forward with your own designs. Always forward." And in doing so.. and seeing just how much time, energy, work, and money is involved in truly original product development.. I'm sure the pricing will equal out as well.

    Okay.. enough light reading for Sunday. Coffee is finished. Gone surfin.

  • Funny you should mention the Speardiver Micromask, I was thinking about it as this thread progressed. Yes it's a copy of the Technisub micromask, but it's the only such item you will find in the Speardiver line. There are some design changes from the Technisub, but not enough to make it truly original. Still I'm not the one who copied it, requested to copy it, or manufactures it. And I'm not the first to sell this copy in the US, other reputable companies such as Spetton and IST started selling this copy under their own brand a year ago. As you pointed out having one such item doesn't come close to what Mako Separguns has done.

    The awesome and original products from Mako Spearguns that you mention, have you actually tried them? or are you just echoing the hype?

  • I don't have much to say on this other than I look at the Mako Spearguns web site and the wetsuit camos are ugly , and even if the price is lower I still saving money to get me a green camo Speardiver suit.


    que viva la :fishing2: :cuba:

    Que viva la pesca :cuba:

  • My encounters with Mako Spearguns have been pretty frustrating, both as a forum/community member and as a customer. Won't go into detail on the customer issues, since they got resolved (eventually), and I'll get my tires slashed by their mob for suggesting any degree of apathetic customer service.

    Here is an example that's more relevant to the conversation in this thread:

    I think I asked some pretty basic and simple questions, but Dano pretty much absolutely refused to give a straight answer. Did he not want to outright admit to rebranding something? Everything he wrote was pretty much an evasive, non-answer. I let it slide since it wasn't something I was interested in buying, anyways.

    My paraphrasing of the debate:

    Me: Are these rebranded beuchat foot pockets?
    Dano: I won't comment on how good beuchat foot pockets are, but I can assure you these are built to the same high standards!
    Me: It's a yes or no question.
    Dano: I don't want to badmouth beuchat.
    Me: I'm just asking if they're off the same mold of an existing product from someone else, so people can make informed decisions on something they're buying online and can't try on in person. Footpockets are like clothes and shoes with how personalized the fitting and sizing is. Lots of reviews on different footpockets online, so take advantage of it. Answer the question.
    Dano: Yes I need lots of good information on my site! I'll get right on it!


  • Hi Dan,

    I chose my words carefully. Yes, the Speardiver Mask is a direct knock-off of what was probably a lot of hard work and investment from the Technisub designers. I know you are not manufacturing it, but it's a point in case that this practice includes the best of us. And I repeat, having one such item in your range is a far cry from starting your entire business on such items. Sould you sell it? I already gave the endorsement that it's a great mask. I've tested it for a year. It's an awesome Low Volume Mask. I think a lot of us would have been happier if that mask looked a little differently, but it is how it is.. the mould is made. So, now we can either use it and move forward or not.

    As far as the new direction I've seen from Mako. I haven't seen the new Wetsuits, I've never held in my hands the Enclosed Track, or the ET Hybrid which was designed by two of the best Speargun Designers I know of, and includes the Neptonics Tuna Mech. I'm not following any hype on these items. I've seen the Speargun and ET items in photos and from a design standpoint, they are original and well designed. Truth is I've never seen in person a single Mako Product.

    I think it's important to have a truly open forum of discussion, but as you are the forum owner, own a compeitive brand and a compeititve webstore, and have an obvious dislike for Mako on a personal and professional level, I'm trying to add a more objective view.

  • The truth is when it comes to copying it's a dog eat dog world. Still there are ways of doing things and ways of doing things. You have to admit that Mako takes the cake in all categories; copycat, cheap unsuitable and at times dangerous crap, but great customer service :rolleyes1:

  • I should not post after the two Fat Martinis ..... but F... it I'm here for the long haul, Dan has treated like the brother I wish i had growing up. I see him as a pitbull for the little guy....the Champion of guys like Jack Prodanovich who got ripped off by --------. when they stole his handle and trigger assembly. Johnny Carrol invented many designs that never earned the man more then a $1.00 per gun. The US patent system is a joke.


    "Great mother ocean brought forth all life, it is my eternal home'' Don Berry from Blue Water Hunters.

    Spearfishing Store the freediving and spearfishing equipment specialists.

  • The Patents are NOT joke - the company that I work for was involved in quite a few battles from both ends regarding patents, and rest assured these are not a joke.

    If a company owns a patent for a product that is now copied by and sold as "mako" (or "pursuit"), then the patent owner has plenty of legal actions to go after the patent infringement. The fact that the product is manufactured in Asia and only sold under the mako brand doesn't protect mako from a law suit.

    If somebody can post a link to the patents that mako (or pursuit) is in infringement for, then the discussion would move on a more professional level. In absence of that information, this post could be seen as pure envy for ones success and a lame attempt to bash a competitor.

    As for the mako products: the only ones I bought are the floppers at $5 a piece, and some rubber. I won't comment on the rubber, but the floppers initially looked poorly designed and I got a bit frustrated as I got at least 20 of them. However after installing them on 5/16 shafts they proved to be great.

    Regarding the guns: one of my buddies has one, and after holding one I realized why a few folks complained about accuracy: the loading tab is pushing the hand "low" hence loosing the euro handle advantage. After removing the loading tab the gun became more accurate. Big problem, small fix, but shows a lack of understanding of basic euro guns features.

    I am impressed by their large barrel. Noisy due to the Al rail, but impressive none the less. Unfortunately it does push the shaft a bit higher and that doesn't help with accuracy.

    As for suits: the vast majority of my suits are bought from (Spain), shipped to NY for a total of $170 for apnea suits 3.5 mm or 5 mm, Cressi. Not the best suits in the market, but i get a few years out of them. Same as band rubber, most neoprene comes from the same sources and it is of only a few types. Paying for the camo pattern, inner lining (if any) is a taste I still have to acquire.

    I have a huge respect for IP (proven IP through a patent), so let see where Mako is at fault.


  • Patent pending is not the same as a patent, it is the step before obtaining a patent. It demonstrates the inventors seriousness about protecting their investment and will lead to a patent when/if approved. The USPTO patent pending number for the Aquapixs Lens sold by Speardiver that was copied by Mako is 29387406. Mako was informed of the patent pending and publicly stated that he will not respect it and continue manufacturing and selling his version of the lens. Once the patent matures it will be easy to sue Mako because he also publicly admitted to copying the product.

    What Stephan said about Mako's speargun handle is absolutely true. When you see something like that you wonder how such a thing is possible, haven't the designers used their own product? I was amazed to find out the answer was really that simple. These products are designed by Daniel Hu of Taiwan, he is not a diver, not a spearo, the rumor in the Taiwanese diving community is that he can't even swim. A while back I got an email that I found interesting and entertaining, from a Taiwanese diver now living in Florida. He gave me permission to post the part of it pertaining to Rabitech and Daniel Hu.

  • I think Mako has a place in the industry offering cheap gear to beginners or spearos on a budget. I have never aquired any mako gear with the exception of some flasher tape. But I have seen quite a few Mako´s pieces of equipment coming apart. They offer both quality and cheap, poor quality stuff. I don´t know anything about their business practices though. I know they destroyed rabitech, but that´s capitalism rules to blame. A lot of people enjoy those products and the C.S. Personally I don´t enjoy very much Aimrite gear for instance. But that´s another story

    I'm a Speardiver, not a freediver

  • "A bad day spearfishing is better than a good day at the office"........after all that above ^^........i think i rather do a lil hunting in some strong current, sea ants and 2ft vis than read the minutes from this meeting....

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