View Full Version : powerhead?
09-28-2003, 10:19 PM
hello all, i am new to the board but have been lurking here for a few weeks .first i would like to offer my condolences to Carson's family and friends. my question is about the use of powerheads ,the legalities side,the realistic side,reasons why you personally use them(or hypothetically ;) )and types of powerheads you prefer and why.
i am trying to make an informed decision as to whether a powerhead will be part of my dive gear.
thanks in advance.
09-28-2003, 10:24 PM
Welcome gsxr1997. Do a search on the word "powerhead" and you will find a ton of info.
My advice would be to study up in them, but stay away from powerheads until you get some experieced dive buddies that can show you the ropes and fill in any gaps in your reading.
09-29-2003, 04:48 PM
I am in the same position, however, i got one for free so i figure why not. From a beginner to a beginner, all i can say is be extremely careful. Have one of the Guys like Fin advis, Deepfish, or D4B show ya how....im sure they can give you some good pointers........
09-29-2003, 07:04 PM
ok i did the search and one thing i did not come up with is the legalities of such use. i know the FWC says that powerheads are illegal to use period. being involved part time in the firearms field i also would have to think there is some regulation by BATFE .specifically by people making them in their garage.basically what i am trying to find out is what i can and cant do with one,what to do if stopped by customs, FWC,etc.
09-29-2003, 07:59 PM
We are avid usesers of them in Ga and I believe that the state of Fla is a no no but three miles is Federal and no such regulations that we have heard or have seen apply.
09-29-2003, 09:10 PM
and do a search on powerheads.
Just so long as you use it for personal protection ;)
As for the BATF the firing pin must be 26 inches long or something like that.
09-29-2003, 09:20 PM
thanks for all the replies
09-29-2003, 09:34 PM
so from the way i read the statute-as long as a fish is shot outside the three mile limit,and the boat on which the shot fish is being transported does not stop once inside the three mile limit until docked ,then FWC cannot bother the boater provided the fish is legal to keep in the first place.
09-30-2003, 08:25 AM
Keep in mind that the slip on powerheads, or poppers, are not considered concealed weapons because your shaft is the firing pin. Most shops sell the spring style powerheads with a metal rod welded to them so that they can sell them. As soon as you take the rod off, it is a concealed weapon.
09-30-2003, 08:59 AM
actually its not a concealed weapon its to short to be legal.
concealed wepon is a hole other topic.
09-30-2003, 09:27 AM
OK guys I thunk all the Info you need about POWERHEADS is available in this thread. CAUTION ignor the post from SEA-mom & SEA-dad.http://www.spearboard.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=897&highlight=powerhead
09-30-2003, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Spear One
I am darn proud of the fact that I am a spearfisherman and I am not about to back down to anyone who has developed some personal issue with spearfishing. The last time I checked, powerheads are an "allowable gear" in federal waters outside the stressed area.
A powerhead is a very safe and effective type of gear to harvest fish with when used by RESPONSIBLE individuals. A powerhead is not a problem until it gets in the hands of someone who chooses to use it irresponsibly, recklessly, or illegally. A person can just as easily use a rod and reel to harm or kill hundreds of fish indescriminantly if he chooses to ignore size and bag limits.
Powerheads will not, or cannot be made illegal as a gear type until it can be shown that they are an over effecient gear type or a gear which produces a high bycatch mortality. As we all know, neither of these criteria are met concerning powerheads. The inherent limits of diving in general will never allow powerhead use to ever approach the harvest capacity of trawls, longline, nets, etc.
This does not mean that politics won't enter the picture somewhere down the road and someone will try again to get powerheads banned. There was a push on this issue a couple years ago and the NMFS dropped it from consideration because there simply was not any real data to support it. The reported catches using powerheads were so small, even commercially, further discussion was not needed in their opinion. Besides, there were, and are much greater issues concerning fisheries facing us today than the use of powerheads.
I fully respect everyones right to an opinion on the use of powerheads. If carrying a powerhead makes you feel more safe while underwater, fine. However, I still maintain that recreational individuals should refrain from using powerheads for harvesting fish because the vast majority of recreational divers spear inside the stressed area most of the time. If you do not know exactly where that boundary lies, you are eventually gonna get yourself into big trouble.
The recreational limits are so low now that most divers can shoot all the fish they need with a shaft. There really isn't a lot of sport involved in powerheading on a recreational level. I have always viewed powerheads as a "commercial harvest" device for Amberjacks and Cobia. It was a lot easier on the fish as well as a lot safer for the diver.
I never used powerheads to harvest Grouper, Snapper, etc. during my commercial career even though I could have legally. Frankly, it just wasn't as effecient for me as freeshafting was.
Simply decide if a powerhead is right for you and if you do decide to use a powerhead, learn to use it safely and responsibly.
I will leave it to SPEAR ONE to explain what a "stressed area" is.
09-30-2003, 11:25 AM
GSXR97, you are from Sarasota, which is the Gulf Coast. Federal waters don't start till 9 miles off the gulf coast. Just something to keep in mind when pulling out that powerhead.
09-30-2003, 01:53 PM
Im not so sure I would ask FA about powerhaed safety.
09-30-2003, 04:59 PM
Personally I don't give a rats ass about laws re: powerheads, I'm not going into the water without one, even if I hafta make it in my garage, it's like a mountanman going west without his Hawkins and green river, 'taint going to happen zeN
10-01-2003, 03:39 PM
well the use of power heads are legal in federal waters, over 3 miles on the east coast and 9 miles on the gulf, but dont stop to fish or dive in side state waters. As for legality, the power head has to have a 16 or 18 inch fireing pin (there has to be a piece of metal connected to the base, not threaded onto) if you buy an abbiller it comes with this long shaft attachedwhich most people cut off. It now become a prohibited weapon (just like a sawed off shotgun).
the poppers/ slip on tips solve this problem because there is no fireing pin in the mechanism (your shaft fires the bullet).
jbl tack welds a piece wire to the side of theres
most law enforcement officers dont know/enforce this size requirement but you never know who is going to stop you
10-01-2003, 03:59 PM
The supposed basis of this length issue is the "any other weapon" portion of the National Firearms Act (1934). Powerheads were not considered in the "any other weapon" category for decades, now they are included?
The "rules" seem to change with administrations, probably due to the ignorance of the appointees. I expect this is a Slick Willie holdover ruling based on the other dumb things related to firearms that came out of that administration. Actual law and regulations can be found at:
The law as written addresses full auto and modifed firearms. Nothing in the law addresses submerged hardware, since that didn't even exist in science fiction at the time. Placing the powerhead in the fictional "mob weapons" category created by the NFA indicates the "regulator" is either having LSD flashbacks or halucinating from some other cause.
That said the regulations carry the force of law until someone fights them and wins, which means they have to get busted first to have "standing" to fight it. Lawer types may have more info on that side of the issue.
In the meantime I'll ping on my congresscritter for an ammendment to legislation exempting the entire class. As useless as that can be educating the congresscritters is about the only hope we have.
10-02-2003, 12:48 PM
I actually battled for someone on this issue. As a cop, I went to assist another officer on a vehicle search. Well, as he is searching the vehicle, he comes across a Sawed-Off Magnum (JBL, not shotgun). He then finds a powerhead, and as soon as he sees the bullet in there, he goes off on a kick about how this suspect modified a speargun to shoot bullets. I tried explaining it to him, and he didn't want to listen. The report got forwarded to the DA and I had to bring books and magazines to explain its' use and that it really wasn't illegal. Case was dropped and the cop always gave me a cold shoulder. This was in California by the way which has some pretty tight gun laws. Just be careful.
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