Shark spike for spearguns

  • This is what is known as a kill spike although I call it a shark spike because to me that is it's primary use. Here is a picture of a spike on one of my guns. I made it from a Ray Odor kill spike by cutting off some of the plate, drilling an extra hole and shortening the shaft. If you give Ray the specs I think he'll make one like it, otherwise it will not fit a Riffe speargun.


    I think a spike on a speargun in south Florida waters is very important. Sharks show up when the shaft is stuck in a fish. This is a time when a diver is vulnerable as his speargun is little more than a wooden stick. At the least the spike can be used to drive the shark away from the fish on the spear. In the worst case a diver can defend himself from a rushing shark or give an inquisitive one a reason to beware. I put it on all my guns. Recently I modified one of my guns and it became a problem to put one on it. This made me consider carefully where I can connect the spike to the speargun and consequently how long and robust it has to be. These are my thoughts.

    No matter how long or sharp a spike is you will NEVER be able to kill a free swimming shark with it, these are the sharks we're concerned about. My experience is that shark skin is very tough yet very sensitive. The sharks react to the poke instantly not giving the tip a chance to sink in. If the spike were able to sink in deep it would not reach any vital organs and it would not hurt the shark any more seriously but it would increases the possibility of the shark ripping the speargun out of your hand. I remember reading an old book where divers would make a shark stick from a wooden dowel by nailing an upside down beer cap to the tip of it.

    Consequently for it's intended use I don't think the spike has to be long at all, it need not protrude more than 1.5" in front of the speargun muzzle. This is also long enough to accommodate and detonate a slip-on powerhead.


  • Since the above writeup I've settled on this way of attaching a spike the gun. It is simply a hole in the muzzle, the muzzle does have to be solid without a band insertion slot. The spike is threaded and screws into the wood. I've also found myself from time to time being too lazy to reach for my knife and dispatching fish with it. Tin Man and I talked about the idea of a spike for pipe guns which is in the second pic but there doesn't appear to be much interest.

  • I forgot about the "Euro spike"! That's a much more elegant installation on the second gun pictured. I guess you give up a minimal amount of band stretch, but you also greatly reduce the weight of the spike, which is probably for the best most of the time.

  • Interestingly even on a solid muzzle like that people unnecessarily set the holes too far back. I guess it's for aesthetic reasons but there's at least 3" lost on this gun.

    I often wondered if track past the band slot affects accuracy. Theoretically there's always some muzzle kick, if there's more gun past the band slot that's more possibility of kicking up the shaft.

  • I have wondered about that arrangement myself. Does it have any redeeming qualities? Maybe the shooting line is less likely to tangle in the bands? Or maybe as bands snap forward they could affect the rear end of the shaft less due to the extende muzzle? Or maybe, as you say, it is only for looks.

  • I shot a cuda a while back that made some good escape runs. The difference was that I was in shallow water messing around without a float and line. When I have a float I usually let go of the gun and play the cuda from a distance until I know it is spent. I couldn't do this yesterday and consequently was rather quick in trying to handle it before it was spent. I did this by grabbing the mono to bring the fish closer to me. That's when the fish made another run and the mono slipped through my hand. As it was going through my fingers I had a mental image of the speargun getting closer and then "the spike" but it was too late. I got spiked in the left arm. I must've tightened up on the mono instinctively because I stopped the cuda's run, I don't think it was my skin that stopped it as the spike didn't perforate it completely. I imagine it could have been much worse had it been a stronger fish and had it got me in the head. In the future I may put a cap on the spike and keep it there until the moment I need to use it.

  • The Tin Man shark spike is what I have on my RA130 Tuna. It works great. It looks great after months of diving and does everything I wanted in a shark spike for a rail gun. There is no better.
    I have used mine to poke sharks away and even test fired a PPD on mine with no problems at all.
    Thank you Tin Man for a great design and product once again:D

  • Hau is too modest. I know nothing about railguns, and this would never have worked out withouth his input. Sounds like you have had no problems with water leaking into the barrel then?

  • My barrel is perfectly dry inside. I applied Marine Goop to the barrel holes and the screw threads and have taken my muzzle off just to check for water inside. Not a drop inside.
    My spike protrudes just 2in past the muzzle end=perfect for me and my PPD.:D
    I do not consider my guns complete without a kill spike and like pargo said, the spike works great to
    finish off a fish also.
    Thank you Tin Man for a great tool.:)

  • hey tinman...have you thought about a design that might work on billers? since the wooden barrel is not as wide as the muzzle, it seems like it would need like a riser pad or something...I for one would love one

    i like to spear fish

  • Actually, I haven't made any more of these since the first batch of three prototypes, but I don't see any reason why something similar could not be made to fit a Biller. I think the reason that Dan originally thought of the rail gun version was that the 28mm barrel is such a popular standard shared by so many different manufacturers.

  • HMMMM. I never tought of this in the past. and for sure will help giving the final blow to the fish wothout having to pull out the knife. I for sure will get this done on my next gun.

  • Dan, I've been reading your posts in this thread dating back to June 2009 and August 2008 regarding shark spikes for spearguns. In your 13 AUG 2008 post you emphasized the need for a spike on spearguns in south Florida waters and your subsequent posts and exchanges with has and Tin Man address was of attaching a spike to a gun with further mention that it need not protrude more than 1.5" so that a PPD may be slipped-on. I have two spearguns that I shoot and both have slotted muzzles for the power bands which may be problematic for shark spike attachment(?). One gun is a Riffe Model M Mid-Range (44" stock) teak mid-handle gun and the other is a custom mahogany DeathStick (built by Ken Jones) that is fitted for carrying a [second] freeshaft on the left side. The DeathStick is equipped with a slide ring that slips over the Hawaiian flopper tip to connect the shaft to the shot line. The Riffe mid-handle has a horizontal reel and the reel line feeds through the line guide underneath the muzzle. Both guns can also be (and frequently are) configured with Neptonics' break-away rig so the spearshafts' shot line is connected directly to a float line to the surface float. I doubt Ray Odor or a successor is still manufacturing his original "kill spike"/shark spike since he must be in his early 90s, i.e., if he is still alive. With my DeathStick I can slip a .223 PPD over the tip of my spare shaft IF I haven't used it but, with the Riffe, I have only the blunt wooden muzzle to fend-off an aggressive "tax collector". I'm wondering whether you or your colleagues might have appropriate solution for my two wood spearguns. Any and all advice is appreciated as I continue spearfishing (both free diving and on scuba) in my late-60s.

  • See the picture in post #2. It's just a hole drilled into the muzzle with a short piece of shaft inserted. The Riffe should probably have enough wood in the muzzle under the slot to do this. If there's not enough wood I would go this route.. Think the Riffe muzzle reinforcement kit pictured below. Just cut a stainless steel piece that's shaped more like the actual stock dimensions and extends all the way to the end of the muzzle. Then weld the spike to that. Insert in the slot and secure with two screws from the bottom up. Use bands rigged with a detachable wishbone system like the Speardiver Low Profile Plastic Wishbone Inserts and you will not need a slot to insert the bands.

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