The Cherokee line by Cressi, one of the most famous, successful and high-performing line by the Italian Company, has in the last months grown with the new Cressi Cherokee EXO. After the Cressi Cherokee Fast, this is an additional interesting option. Beyond its high visibility almost fluorescent green, the EXO has a number of key technical strengths.
Release mechanism and grip
The release mechanism is one of the key elements of the Cressi Cherokee EXO. The lightness of the entire component is obtained utilizing a special innovative Nylon 12 loaded with 65% glass fiber for the release mechanism containing box.
This material is definitely a revolution, as it is considered by all means a substitute of aluminum in the mechanical characteristics. It also has no humidity absorption and so keeps its dimensions unvaried for an extremely long time. Unchanged dimensions mean constant performance in time. Cressi indicates that components made in Nylon 12 are dimensionally even more precise than the ones in stainless steel. This is valid especially when you need to bend the latter and weld the parts together.
But the key effect of using Nylon 12 instead of what was the top solution previously, stainless steel, is also the extreme weight reduction. In fact, in this specific case the weight goes down by 41 grams (AP measurement). This is a very high decrease, meaning the grip of the Cressi Cherokee EXO will be, and feel, definitely lighter. This will result in a better balance of the EXO, especially in the short-medium versions. So a much more costly material (3 times compared to standard glass loaded Nylon), but indeed a long-lasting performance e a great weight reduction.
The other elements of the release mechanism such as the lateral line release lever, the trigger and the internal mechanism are in AISI 316 stainless steel. AISI 316 stainless steel (UNS S31600) is the second most commonly used austenitic stainless steel. Due to the addition of Molybdenum (Mo), the SS316 has a great improvement in corrosion resistance and certain properties compared to SS304. These parts are manufactured through CNC cutting of solid material. The lateral line release lever is machined to avoid cuts on the mono-filament.
Centrally a steel rounded element helps to insert the shaft with no risk of cutting the mono-filament. Such steel element can also be dismounted to widen the insertion area for very high diameter shafts. Laterally to the release mechanism there are guides in self-lubricating polymer. A special TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) shock absorber reduces noticeably the noise during the release of the shaft.
The grip is made also of PA66 30% glass loaded Nylon. The rear of the grip has a dismountable element in “fluorescent” green, just as two lateral inserts. This light color can make the speargun more visible in the water, for example after shooting a fish in a den, when the Cherokee EXO will position itself vertically with the grip upwards.
The rear of the handle has the possibility to mount two different dimensions sternal supports. These are made in thermo rubber. The safety lock system is activated by a reversible side lever that can be well felt by the spearo when the system is on (locked).
In the advanced part of the grip there are two lateral “wings” that are very useful to position the mono-filament away from the line of aim. In addition, such solution also helps to tension the mono-filament better after the loading phase.
Made of anticorodal anodized black aluminium, the barrel of the Cressi Cherokee EXO is decorated with green “fluorescent” graphics. It is complete with an integrated open track shaft guide and it is made of a 1 mm thick wall 28 mm diameter circular section tube. The inferior part of the barrel, all along its length, there is a flat part, where the wall of the tube is thicker (2 mm).
The shaft guide all along the barrel also has the additional function of stiffening even more the barrel, especially in the vertical axis. The shaft guide internally and centrally has a veining that helps creating a water pillow that reduces friction on the shaft during the shot. The know-how by Cressi in the design and selection of the highest quality aluminium barrels is a well recognized strength on the market.
The connection barrel to grip and barrel to muzzle is sealed with double O-rings. The available lengths of the barrel are 60, 75, 90, 100 and 110 cm.
The muzzle of the Cressi Cherokee EXO is an open track solution. It is made of 30% glass loaded Nylon. The design is the Cherokee solution, extremely compact and functional. In fact the small wings to pass the mono-filament hold it in place perfectly. There are two open passages for circular bands, that can reach 18 mm diameter. In the inferior part there is a resistant and durable steel ring for the passage of the line.
A very useful and convenient technical solution of the Cressi Cherokee EXO muzzle are the two magnets inserted in it. They hold the shaft perfectly even without the mono-filament holding it. The magnets are capable of holding the shaft even with the Cherokee EXO upside-down. The technical solution is not as easy as it can seem. Cressi has studied a solution where the magnets are completely embedded in a plastic material. This is the only way to avoid any rust on the magnets. A great solution!
Elastic bands and wishbone
The Cressi Cherokee EXO is offered standard with a singular “fluorescent” green circular rubber band. It is made of natural latex with anti-UV superficial layer and it is 16 mm of diameter (for all the lengths of the EXO). The wishbone is in 2 mm diameter tied Dyneema with polyestere cover. This is done to improve resistance to wear, which is the weak point of Dyneema, as you can read in this interesting link comparing Nylon to Polyestere and to Dyneema. A very important detail by Cressi.
On the other hand, the Dyneema wishbone is embedded inside the two ends of the elastic band. This is a “clean” solution, but we prefer the one with the loops coming out of the elastic band. In fact, this latter solution permits to change the Dyneema line easily without having to dismantle the knots on the ends of the elastic band.
The shaft on the Cressi Cherokee EXO is a 6.5 mm diameter solution with three shark fins. The third one is mid length along the shaft and it is there, for the EXO, to help the loading phase, or for those who prefer connecting the mono-filament in such position.
In fact, all three shark fins have holes for the passage of the line. The barb is positioned in the inferior part of the shaft. There are two reason for this. The first is that the line of aim is more “clean”. The second is that since the trajectory of the shaft tends along the way to go downwards, the barbs has a lifting effect just as a flap.