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All About Pole Spears & Slings What is it about that traditional method of the early hunter/gatherers under the water? These devices are indeed interesting and effective.

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Old 12-19-2014, 10:19 PM   #1
Spearkid48
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Exclamation Sea stinger vs Keller

What is the best for an all purpose spear for hogs , grouper, and monster carp. Do either of these accept the headhunter slip tip?
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:52 AM   #2
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

Keller. I believe there's a threading made out there for the headhunter to fit into a Keller. But Karl has been perfecting his sliptip and from what I've heard is working flawlessly. I've been using his flopper for most of my hunting and its held up well. Depending on where your schooling these grouper you can use a flopper. If there big groupers and in holes you'll want the slip tip. There plenty of reviews on the Keller and I think that says it all. It's just a badass spear that can handle anything.

I've heard of to many issues with sea stinger. Cheaply made tips so on a so forth. Never gave them a chance because of the reviews. So take that opinion with a grIn of salt.

Good luck
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:54 AM   #3
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

Crist seems to be the best for what I'm looking for but they only have a 7.5 foot 3 peice ... Would it be worth it to just go with the 8 foot 2 peice?
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:51 AM   #4
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

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Originally Posted by Spearkid48 View Post
Crist seems to be the best for what I'm looking for but they only have a 7.5 foot 3 piece ... Would it be worth it to just go with the 8 foot 2 piece?
The Crist pole spears are measured by the pole length, without the spear shaft, so you can get the 7.5-ft 3-piece with an 18" flopper shaft for a total length of 9-ft or a 24" flopper shaft for a total length of 9.5-ft. This is PLENTY for the Bahamas. I think Aaron Crist's favorite pole spear is a 6-ft with 24"-36" flopper shaft. Give him a call at (480) 440-4446 and he can help you decide.

I am a big fan of Sea Stingers. Nothing wrong with them, as they are just as durable as any CARBON FIBER pole spear out there. All the guys who complain about the tips failing are people who never cared to learn how they work, so they blame the equipment instead of admitting operator error. One genius badmouthed the tip because it spun off as he surfaced, towing in a hot fish. DUH! Experience teaches you that you have to secure a fish, preferably with both hands, BEFORE you head to the surface. Others claim that the tip pulls off right after shooting a fish. Oops, looks like they forgot to turn the locking barrel to prevent that from happening. Oh, well. It must not be me, but the equipment, because I can do no wrong. Sea Stinger tips get sold out regularly. That's telling you something. If you are not willing to learn how to use any piece of spearfishing equipment properly, especially the more technically oriented devices, then don't buy it, cuz they're not for you. Also, don't expect to go to the Bahamas, spear big saltwater fish, and come home with your pole spear in perfect condition. That is unrealistic. The experienced guys go there with a 3- pole spear quiver of various pole spears, minimum, and may come back with one that is undamaged in some way.

I currently own Sea Stinger, Riffe, Crist, Manny Puig, Gat-Ku, HeadHunter, and JBL pole spears and have brought them all, except for the HeadHunter, which I recently acquired, to the Bahamas. The one I used the most was the Sea Stinger Pelagic. The second was the Riffe, until a 25-30 lb black grouper took it from me. The Gat-Ku and HeadHunter pole spears have a floppy carbon fiber front section, kinda like a soft-action fishing rod, and the Headhunter has a bendy fiberglass rear section. Not the best thing for accuracy. The Sea Stinger and Riffe are rigid in comparison.

The Crist and Manny Puig are very stout and require a heavy band propel them quickly. I doubt you could handle either one for any length of time, unless you've got the ultimate GI Joe Kung Fu Grip. There are a couple of Manny Puigs for sale in the Member Items section. http://spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=178933 and http://spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=178788 The Manny Puig breaks down into three pieces and travels well. Shop now and get one for the holed up groupers. Or get the Crist.

I use a 1/2" band on my JBLs and my 7-ft Gat-Ku and they can punch through any fish, but the band does get tiresome at the end of a long day of pole spearing.

The Sea Stinger is the fastest pole spear of the group, while using a band that is light enough to be comfortable all day. It also has the sharpest and thinnest tip, allowing for easy penetration. This is what you want for Hogfish, Snapper, Rainbow Runners, etc. You can also use it to spear grouper, but your shot placement becomes critical as you have to incapacitate the fish. The grouper I shot with my previous Riffe was hit right behind the head, perfect for a holding shot, but missing the vitals. It was a long shot with a 10-ft Riffe plus 12" flopper shaft and I missed stoning it by ~1"-1.5". $300+ lesson learned. That was a fish I should've used my Crist or Manny Puig on.

The Riffe is the 2nd fastest pole spear of the group, however, its slightly heavier band was giving me fits as the day wore on. I would still find myself reaching for it when there was a chance at pelagics, so I bought another one....used.

There's my 2. Good luck and dive safe.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:31 AM   #5
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

Crist makes some killer spears. Like he said multiple spears is a good choice... But if you want an all around spear I would suggest leaving the hybrids out of it... You just never know what your gonna find and end up plowing.

You'll get opinions all day long and there's pages of reviews.
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:48 PM   #6
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

I'm a decent shot with a pole but I'm typically a freshwater hunter so you have to be. So I'm not sure weather I should go sea stinger and practice on small fish or crist and not have to worry bout it... I wish I had the cash to get both but sadly my buget is about 350 for spear, tip, and extra cables... I've only ever used the mako and cressi travel spears and while they are fun and cheap any fish over 5 pounds will tear off and they don't pack much of a punch... Does the extra speed make much of a difference? I really am new to nice pole spears
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:02 PM   #7
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

The extra speed is nice to have because it aids in accuracy, especially on twitchy fish. Since you are new, you will probably spook more fish, than not. Being able to hit your target, accurately, is what it is all about. Sharks are common in the Bahamas and you do not want to get their attention with a thrashing injured fish at the end of your pole spear. You want to stone every fish you shoot and get it out of the water and onto the boat as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you will have to pick up anchor and move to a different spot every time you attract a shark. This is a big waste of time and you might have to leave the most productive water during peak activity to do so.

The lighter band is nice because your hand will get tired throughout the day. You can easily hold a Sea Stinger at full band stretch for at least 30 minutes, but I doubt you can do that with any other pole spear.

I missed out on an African Pompano while I was swimming on the surface, scanning a coral head for fish, so I did not have my pole spear loaded. I looked up and there was a 15 lb African Pompano, broadside, six feet away! By the time I pulled back and started to aim, it was over ten feet away and all I could see was its tail. Lesson learned.

Those Manny Puigs are on sale for a very good price, especially the first one. Get that and you will be ready for anything in the Bahamas. Look or even start a thread asking for a Sea Stinger and who knows what you may come across as people sell stuff on here all the time.

If you want something new, get the Crist. 7.5 ft 3-piece or 8-ft 2-piece, either one will do all you ask of it. They are on sale, right now, for 20% off. Get them while they are hot. Call Aaron and he will guide you. He has been to the Bahamas and Baja California, Mexico, and he spears in freshwater, too.

Here's a thought. Get a Manny Puig or a Crist and get a Hawaiian Sling. Heck, maybe Aaron will make one for you, or you can make one for yourself. They are SO simple. Use the Hawaiian Sling for hogfish, etc. and use the Crist for grouper, the larger snappers, etc. With Hawaiian Slings, a 1/4" x 5-ft shaft is fastest with very good penetration. I recommend getting a Rob Allen 6.6mm x 150cm notched shaft to use with it. It is a smidge thicker than 1/4" and it is much stronger than the 1/4" shafts that are available. Bring a 2-3 shafts and you're good to go.
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Vegetarian - that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". - Andy Rooney

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. - Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

KEEP CALM AND CHIVE ON

Last edited by SpearoTastic; 12-21-2014 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:47 PM   #8
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Sea stinger vs Keller

Can't beat the Keller guide series. It doesn't break down though. But the speed is equal to any hybrid I've shot. it packs a solid punch. You don't see to much of a difference between the Crist and Keller. just small details. If your doing a lot of freshwater more than saltwater I would invest in a hybrid. I've shot the Gatku, they have a fair price and it held up well with sheep heads, mangroves, red snappers, and amberjacks. That's a decent little spear for the price.

The head hunter is my favorite hybrid and the spear I hunt most smaller fish like sheepshead sometimes snapper.. That being said I'm not afraid to punch that slip tip into a hole and plug a grouper or fat mangrove, but it will break on the right fish. The Keller is my go to when I find fish hiding in holes Or if I want to just clobber a fat amberjack. It is literally a death stick.

It really depends on the hunting my friend, if your not get into coral heads, wrecks and rock caves and looking for smaller fish I would get the hybrid, they're fast spears.. Most break down into travel sizes. They're good spears... But a Keller will handle it all.
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Last edited by Lyterkillsling; 12-27-2014 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:56 AM   #9
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

Although I like the Sea Stinger it has limited ability to penetrate large fish. If you are certain that you are only going to shoot small hogs then it would be my first choice. But if you are hunting larger quarry, upwards of 10lbs, there is no comparison.

Also Karl is more like a partner in your spearfishing than simply a manufacturer.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:07 AM   #10
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

x2 on the Keller guide spear. Tough as nails and still super fast and hits hard.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:44 PM   #11
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

I bought a Keller after a trip to the Bahamas in August. At the time of the trip, I had a SeaStinger with the center extension. For whatever reason, I kept missing fish, and when I did hit them, the SeaStinger tip did not hold them. I borrowed my buddies Keller, and what a difference! First, the Keller hits like a ton of bricks. Second, it is tough as hell. I look forward to my next trip so I can use my Keller.
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Old 12-26-2014, 09:40 PM   #12
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

I bought the Sea Stinger that EastCoastHunter is referring to thinking I was getting a Pelagic. http://spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=177260

Here is what I got. A Sea Stinger Lighting Rod with a Type II tip and the extension used to make a Pelagic.

Yup, he had the extension, but he did not have the longer band of the Pelagic to go with it.

What does this mean? It means two things.
  1. The pole spear was underpowered, losing 18" from the powerstroke. Band stretch is everything in any latex band powered spearfishing device. The longer the powerstroke, the more stored potential energy the band dumps into the pole spear for acceleration. So, losing 18" of the powerstroke is a critical reduction in the terminal velocity of the pole spear. Why is this significant? Because Kinetic Energy is defined by 1/2 (mass) x (velocity^ squared). So any reduction in terminal velocity has a huge reduction in the kinetic energy at the point of impact and kinetic energy is what forces the tip through the fish. High velocity, along with sharp fine tips, is essential in lightweight pole spears for effective penetration. Any reduction in either one will reduce penetration dramatically.
  2. The pole spear was never balanced properly, because there is no way you can stretch the Lightning Rod band the extra 18" to get your hand at the balance point at the tapered handle. Sea Stinger pole spears are a mass forward design. That means that most of the mass is in the front 1/3 of the pole spear. Gripping the pole spear over the balance point makes it really easy to point the pole spear at your target, allowing your aim to become instinctive. If your hand isn't over the balance point....you're not doing it right.

On top of that, the slip tip was dull. No biggie, easy to sharpen, but a dull tip does not aid in penetration with an underpowered pole spear. I always liken a Sea Stinger to a scalpel, not a broadsword. Who wants to have a surgeon cut them open with a dull scalpel?

Operator error? You decide. But, it certainly wasn't the equipment that was faulty.

BTW - The Sea Stinger II tip was either crazy glued or Loctited on, permanently, so I cannot swap out tips to a Sea Stinger III. Lucky for me I have extras and can swap out the front sections.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:58 PM   #13
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Re: Sea stinger vs Keller

My Keller pole spear has been good to me and has taken many big Bahamian grouper. Comparing the Keller to a sea - stinger is not worth the comparison. Keller gear is made for big fish in harsh conditions and from my personal experience it does what it is meant to do. Sea-stinger is a smaller fish weapon meant to take fish under 20lbs Tops.

If you shoot fish that can possibly bend metal then I recommend you don't use a fragile material like carbon fiber....Buy a metal pole spear.

Carbon fiber is great for the aero space industry and even freedive fins. But it is super fragile and doesnt really belong on the reef being dragged through the rocks by a big fish.

Check out the Keller reviews and read what the guys raking bug fish are saying. Sure with a 2min breath hold and the skills of a pro you MIGHT stone the fish and keep your carbon gear intact BUT if your like me and just a decent spearo let me recommend a spear with built in forgiveness. KELLER
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:21 AM   #14
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Sea stinger vs Keller

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Originally Posted by KILLIAN View Post
My Keller pole spear has been good to me and has taken many big Bahamian grouper. Comparing the Keller to a sea - stinger is not worth the comparison. Keller gear is made for big fish in harsh conditions and from my personal experience it does what it is meant to do. Sea-stinger is a smaller fish weapon meant to take fish under 20lbs Tops.



If you shoot fish that can possibly bend metal then I recommend you don't use a fragile material like carbon fiber....Buy a metal pole spear.



Carbon fiber is great for the aero space industry and even freedive fins. But it is super fragile and doesnt really belong on the reef being dragged through the rocks by a big fish.



Check out the Keller reviews and read what the guys raking bug fish are saying. Sure with a 2min breath hold and the skills of a pro you MIGHT stone the fish and keep your carbon gear intact BUT if your like me and just a decent spearo let me recommend a spear with built in forgiveness. KELLER

Thank you. I don't think some people will ever want to change their minds... Just give more excuses.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:23 AM   #15
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Sea stinger vs Keller

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Originally Posted by SpearoTastic View Post
I bought the Sea Stinger that EastCoastHunter is referring to thinking I was getting a Pelagic. http://spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=177260



Here is what I got. A Sea Stinger Lighting Rod with a Type II tip and the extension used to make a Pelagic.



Yup, he had the extension, but he did not have the longer band of the Pelagic to go with it.



What does this mean? It means two things.


  1. The pole spear was underpowered, losing 18" from the powerstroke. Band stretch is everything in any latex band powered spearfishing device. The longer the powerstroke, the more stored potential energy the band dumps into the pole spear for acceleration. So, losing 18" of the powerstroke is a critical reduction in the terminal velocity of the pole spear. Why is this significant? Because Kinetic Energy is defined by 1/2 (mass) x (velocity^ squared). So any reduction in terminal velocity has a huge reduction in the kinetic energy at the point of impact and kinetic energy is what forces the tip through the fish. High velocity, along with sharp fine tips, is essential in lightweight pole spears for effective penetration. Any reduction in either one will reduce penetration dramatically.


  2. The pole spear was never balanced properly, because there is no way you can stretch the Lightning Rod band the extra 18" to get your hand at the balance point at the tapered handle. Sea Stinger pole spears are a mass forward design. That means that most of the mass is in the front 1/3 of the pole spear. Gripping the pole spear over the balance point makes it really easy to point the pole spear at your target, allowing your aim to become instinctive. If your hand isn't over the balance point....you're not doing it right.



On top of that, the slip tip was dull. No biggie, easy to sharpen, but a dull tip does not aid in penetration with an underpowered pole spear. I always liken a Sea Stinger to a scalpel, not a broadsword. Who wants to have a surgeon cut them open with a dull scalpel?



Operator error? You decide. But, it certainly wasn't the equipment that was faulty.



BTW - The Sea Stinger II tip was either crazy glued or Loctited on, permanently, so I cannot swap out tips to a Sea Stinger III. Lucky for me I have extras and can swap out the front sections.

Keller + Fish = Dead Fish. It's simple math man.
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