Roller spearguns are all the rage right now.
They allow you to pack a punch in a shorter gun with reduced recoil. Recoil is the killer of accuracy in spearguns. I’ve been using the Pathos roller for some time, but my buddy Brian recommended I try out the MannySub roller kit because of the ceramic bearings.
He said with the lower friction rollers, quality rubbers, and the speargun properly set up, it’d be hard to beat against any off-the-shelf guns.
I took him up on it and documented it in this video:
Converting My Traditional Speargun To A Roller Speargun
I have a Meandros b28 that’s a decent gun. It’s nothing special.
It’s an aluminum tube with a decent trigger mech and got the job done. The nice thing about pipe guns is that they’re easy to modify. Pop off the muzzle, add a few anchors, and replace it with a roller muzzle and you have yourself a new gun.
I decided to leave it 105cm even though Brian recommended I cut it down the barrel length to 90 or 95cm. I guess I just like more power and left it alone.
MannySub Roller Kit
This ceramic roller head isn’t cheap. It was over $300USD which made it more expensive than my b28.
Since Brian was my friend, I bit the bullet and bought it. The kit comes with all the components you need to set up your rubber bands. Apparently, MannySub has its own formula for rubbers making them better than Primeline. They seem solid to me.
Tips For Improving Your Roller Speargun
Fill your barrel with foam to prevent water from entering. This will give it a bit more density to absorb recoil as well as sound dampening for metal tubes in case you bump them on the rocks.
If you want the maximum range, speed, and shot accuracy, you’ll want to dial in your pretension. Having your roller gun too hot will throw everything off. Extra power isn’t always better. MannySub gives you a sheet outlining the exact rubber diameter and pre tensioned rubbers underneath your gun you need to make it perfect.
Make sure your trigger mech is strong enough to handle roller guns. The Meandros and Ermies triggers are solid. The others might not work due to the load. Be careful which one you choose.
Make sure you use short sharkfins to have your spear shaft clear the muzzle.
When unloading your roller, the rubber releasing is different. Use your arm to slowly release the rubber to the muzzle if you’re unloading without shooting. It’ll prevent the muzzle from damaging.
Will I Stick To Rollers?
I’m on the fence…
I love the simplicity of conventional spearguns. Although traditional requires more bands, more mass, and doesn’t look as cool, it’s hard to beat their simplicity.
What I’ve learned is that traditional spearguns can improve their recoil by modifying the handle to make your body take the force instead of just your thumb. I’ve seen 130cm three-banded spearguns with a proper handle have more speed, more penetration, and more accuracy than monster guns with 6+ bands.
I’ll likely always keep one roller in my arsenal. The rest will be traditional.