Shooting "Line Gobbler", Cavalero circa 1982

  • Decades ago Cavalero Champion manufactured a gadget to retrieve shooting line on their euroguns, it was called the "Line Gobbler". I remember seeing them for sale, but never bothered to really examine one. Recently someone mentioned an old article about them in Skin Diver magazine which shows how they work. Basically they can store and retrieve about 10 feet of shooting line in a tube that is essentially a water pump. The shooting line, a woven cord type, pulls out from the tube during the shot, which does not sound like such a good idea, but it is the retrieve that is interesting. When you operate the water pump it creates a vacuum that sucks water in the front end and with it the shooting line which goes in with the water. Each pump stroke sucks in more of the line. On pushing the pump handle forwards each time water in the pumping chamber just squeezes out past the small hole in the front as the hole does not seal tightly on the line and the water can escape.

    I thought that I would mention it here as probably most have never heard of it, or have completely forgotten about it. Possibly the concept could be used in other applications where one wants to retrieve line underwater without cranking a handle on a drum or wrapping it end to end on some stowage hooks.

    I have yet to find the patent for it. (1982 vintage)


    line gobbler.jpg

  • Thanks for posting Pete, it's a curious gadget. But how exactly is it better than a conventional line retention system? I question how securely the line is attached in there, never mind it being not exactly streamlined. I think this thing must be marketed to bubble blowers.

  • I don't think it is better, I was really more interested in the retrieval system using the suction. It could be used to stow line where otherwise you might use those auto-coil lines that are often employed on pneumatic guns for short distance shooting as it is much the same type of application. When the "Line Gobblers" were originally sold here I don’t remember much enthusiasm for them, but then there were very few on offer and I recall only ever seeing one fitted to a gun in a dive shop as a display item. To get the most out of it the Gobbler needed to be fitted close to the muzzle, but the "Champion" band gun I saw had, like the advert photo, the Gobbler fitted near to the handle. You only have 10 feet of line to play with, hence the range is shortened if the Gobbler is positioned right back, although pumping it is probably easier from that position.

    It would be possible to have the line set up so that the Gobbler only retrieved what was excess to the line wraps so that line only pulled out of the Gobbler after the wraps were used up in the shaft flight, i.e. the shooting line as distinct from the Gobbler line.

  • I have a brand new one, I tried it when I bought it years ago. I worked fine, just did not hold enough line for me.

    "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.

  • I have a brand new one, I tried it when I bought it years ago. I worked fine, just did not hold enough line for me.

    Yes Don Paul, 10 feet is a bit light on, I guess the capacity of the receiving tube limits it and the type of line that has to be used, namely the stuff they supplied it with. Thinking back there was not much interest here with the "Line Gobbler" and from recollection the guy in the shop had no clue how it worked as it was chiefly a sports store with a small dive section which was stuck down one corner in the rear of the shop which only had the basics and a scuba tank fitted with a regulator that was there chiefly as a store decoration. Back then spearfishing was still a fringe activity pursued by people who were soon to be eaten in the minds of the general public after a brief upsurge in the sixties and seventies. Real divers were scuba divers!

  • I could see the scuba guys using it to keep shooting line out of their gear. Maybe it would reduce entanglements? Building one into a polespear might be beneficial.

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