View Full Version : So there I was....
02-11-2003, 10:36 AM
Silently floating down to the bottom as I loaded my gun. I can't say for sure what happened to the new bands I put on the previous day, but as I pulled the first band back I could see a little slice start to spread like a prom queens legs after the dance. It started about 3 inches back from the barrel on the left hand side. SNAP!! Damn that hurt. No problem, I have two more I thought. Plenty of power left.
As the number 2 band's wishbone landed in its spot on the shaft, I saw it coming. The rubber tore cleanly apart about 5 inches back from the barrel on the left hand side. WHAP! As I floated there waiting for the stinging pain to come, I wondered what had gone so wrong. My answer, nothing. I didn't get a smack from the second broken band and I hadn't done anything wrong that I could think of.
A bit gun shy, I tested my last band. Pulling, looking, stretching, inspecting every bit of it for any sign it might break. Looked good to me. Pulled it back and I'll be damned if the thing didn't tear at the collar on the wishbone. It didn't seperate, but I quickly used the one shot I would get for the day and headed back up.
I am not sure what was wrong with those bands, whether they were just old and had been sitting around when I bought them or what, but the moral of the story is even if you have new bands on your gun, carry a couple spare ones on the boat. I didn't have any spares and the rest of the day was spent with a fishing pole in my hands rather than my speargun. Still beats the heck outta working!
02-11-2003, 10:42 AM
I had the exact same problem with 3 bands that broke within minutes of being used this past year on my Biller. Bought em at my local dive store. They were in a plastic bag labeled "Trident" If i remember correctly.
02-11-2003, 11:06 AM
with me under water.
02-11-2003, 11:39 AM
subdude, what kind of gun do you have and how many bands does it have? My gun has 3 bands and I had never even considered all 3 failing on the same dive.
I have a hard enough time putting the bands on above water that I think underwater it would really be a chore. Have you ever put one on at depth?
02-11-2003, 11:55 AM
I've been told by manufacturers that ozone kills the rubber. Storing bands near anything that makes ozone might cause your problem.
02-11-2003, 12:02 PM
I have never considered loosing all 3 at once either but I have had to replace 1 band at depth. It isn't fun but only takes a minute and depending upon the circumstances when the band breaks, it is an option.
02-11-2003, 12:09 PM
I had a band break on me once. It snapped back so hard, I thought it broke a finger. You are a glutton for punishment to keep pulling the 3rd time after the first 2 went tits up on you.
02-11-2003, 12:50 PM
fernandezh, I am persistant if nothing else. But come to think of it, I did take the short bus to school! :D
subdude, you and I are shooting the same gun. Hats off to you for being able to get a new band on that sucker underwater or above for that matter. Mine is such a pain in the arse to get the new bands on, that we usually do it as a two man job. One to spread it, one to thread it.
02-11-2003, 01:11 PM
02-11-2003, 02:38 PM
my .02 is to learn to make you own bands. If you want something done right, do it yourself
02-11-2003, 02:53 PM
I have always wanted to learn. Never knew anyone that did it to teach me thogh. I am sure it is like almost everything else, real easy once ya know how to do it.
02-11-2003, 03:24 PM
I don't even wait for a band to break to replace them. You won't believe how much more power new bands have than bands, say 6-8 months old. Diving with a fresh set of bands really shows on the first fish you puncture.
This is the way I've made bands:
1. Estimate the amount of rubber you need for each band position.
2. Buy and use cable wishbones. They last a very very long time.
3. I use stainless aircraft lock wire, after learning the process from a local commercial diver. You double-lap the wire, wrap it twice around the band, and twist with pliers until the loop is snug around the wishbone and band, but don't overstress the rubber.
4. Cut the remaining tang of the wire off, leaving about 1/2 inch, then bend it into the non-tensioned side of the band material.
Wire ties do not work, regardless of what anyone has told you.
This method has worked well for me, although it looks scary with the tangs hanging out. I think Spear One has a very neat and effective way of doing bands. He uses a waxed braided strong fiber that looks like dental floss in a way, ties a knot with it and then covers it with heat shrink. It is a very clean and nice looking design, unlike my wire looped bands.
02-11-2003, 03:42 PM
Inlet: You are so right. I just replaced one of my three 24" x 9/16" riffe bands with a new 5/8" x 24" band. What a difference! I suspected that the 5/8" band would be harder to pull back than the 9/16", but the new band must be twice as hard to pull back as the old bands which were on the gun when I bought it a year ago. I thought that the old bands had been firing fine, but when I get done changing out all the bands, it will be like having a new gun. Problem with the Riffe bands is that although they would get weaker, they wouldn't break so I never changed them out until one was starting to show a little more wear than the others.
02-11-2003, 05:36 PM
I make my bands not that everyone should. Now I change bands before they **** up on me and end even one dive. On a MG trip on the JRII I change bands two times and I bring three sets.
Local I have 1 back-up set with me or will have stock to make bands for others.
02-11-2003, 06:42 PM
I have always wondered how hard it would be to make my own bands. Now that I know that others do it, can I get some detailed instructions from one of yall. Maybe a few pics to help out with the instructions of the process and finished product. Kind of like you were talkin to a child. lol
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