Francesco and Joints Spearfishing Tahiti
The choice of handcrafted sling spearguns is complex. Francesco, “Franci” to his friends, is the owner of the company Joints Spearfishing Tahiti, capable of realizing by now since 2015, coincidentally the same year as the birth of Apneapassion, extraordinarily beautiful wooden sling spearguns. Not only that, today Joints also makes beautiful fish filleting knives with Japanese steel blade and teak handle, something extraordinary. Joints recently launched wetsuits with reef colors as well as graphics of reef fish. Beautiful, in the “Human flasher blue water” versions for bluewater spearfishing, with colors made to attract large pelagics, and “Reef Camo“, more camouflage for traditional reef and rock fishing. We will present both and try them shortly.
Italian, Franci moved to Tahiti and realized his dream. Brilliant and adrenaline-pumping, with very clear ideas, Franci knows the spearfishing world in a deep way, but the one other than the Mediterranean. In Tahiti, as in many other seas and oceans around the world, the sea is rich in marine life, and catches are frequent and massive, so sling spearguns must be powerful, accurate, and above all, very reliable, capable of withstanding several shots on each fishing trip. We asked Franci to tell us about his knowledge as an experienced craftsman and to help our readers choose the right wooden sling speargun. Here is what he told us.
Franci Joints, “After years of making Joints sling spearguns, with more than 500 pieces sold directly to customers all over the world, I would like to give you some ideas to help you make the best choice of handcrafted sling spearguns. Above all, here I will show you what mistakes not to make when talking to a manufacturer to work out the details of your future wooden sling speargun, your spearfishing jewel.”
Let’s start with the choice
“It should begin with the choice of the type of spearfishing you want to do with the sling speargun: fishing in the blue, ambush in shallow water, deep aspetto in clear water, ambush in murky water with 3 knots of current. Here are 4 fishing techniques that are so different that they immediately highlight a problem for you: the sling speargun that can do all this does not exist.. And it will probably never exist, at least as long as we use rubber bands and steel shafts. I say this because obviously, many customers ask me for an all-round speargun, with which they can do a little bit of everything. Once we have ascertained this and made a choice based on the statistics of our fishing, we can focus on the details of the sling spearguns.
The rollers I build, for example, tend to be very powerful sling spearguns, and in my opinion they should be used precisely on those occasions where we need long range, accuracy, and penetration ability. The accuracy of a sling speargun in Polynesia is critical. Being able to secure a knockout allows us to bring the fish home, otherwise, after a few seconds of escape, the fish will inevitably be eaten by a shark! Power also plays a key role. Fish often keep their distance, and we generally encounter large ones, above 10kg, up to 50-60kg.
In low visibility and strong current conditions, however, we will tend to go for a single-band solution, much more maneuverable and quiet, and often underestimated in power. Short shafts do not need double rubber bands, but a good 16mm. Well-pulled, this can be very high performance while maintaining a profile that is significantly more hydrodynamic and pleasant to use than double elastic or other solutions.
Here’s another topic, shafts. The choice of the shaft is crucial, and the rule is simple: with the same diameter, the longer the shaft, the more flexible it becomes and the less able to withstand large loads and power from the rubber bands. So if we like long shafts, we need to increase their diameter, to have more range, but consequently must increase the power of rubber bands. The more we add, the more massive and “stubby” the sling spearguns become to contain the nefarious problem of recoil, all at the expense of handling.
In the clear waters of Polynesia I need range, since the fish already see me from above, and always keep a useful distance. Here big rods and big rollers can have their advantages.
Fishing in the blue
When it comes to Fishing in the Blue , on the other hand, we don’t put too much stress on it, we just want maximum power . Beware, however, that “dinosaur” sling spearguns with 5 rubber bands, even if they weigh more than 10 KG, tend to break our wrists, are not very accurate, and should be handled with two hands. So here, too, the newer VELA solutions have taken over, combining great power with handling never before seen together on oceanic sling spearguns.
Approach to the craftsman
Having made these brief basic considerations, we could in fact talk about it for hours, so here is how we should approach a craftsman.
First, we should NEVER ask him for alternative settings to those he proposes. If he has done his job well, he knows how to shoot his sling spearguns and how they should be prepared. On the other hand, if you make your personal requests, you will get more or less polite answers, but if he agrees to apply the changes, his goal is probably only to sell and not to make good sling spearguns.
Rather, in choosing a handmade sling speargun we need to explain to the manufacturer what we want to do with it. Do I need a sling speargun for Sardinia? Clear water, low current? A sling speargun that I need for fishing snappers? I often see nice Amberjacks, or Tunas (where you can catch them of course)? Here I would recommend a Vela between 100 and 115 maximum. With a good reel, or a double roller in the same segments, or even a good double rubber band of 120 cm. Do we need a sling speargun for fishing basses in the shallow water during sirocco expirations? A nice mono-elastic between 75 and 90 with a 6.5 rod and a nice pulled elastic, in the first 2-3 meters there is none for anyone.
Get advice. An experienced manufacturer will have talked for hours with dozens and dozens of great spearfishermen, will have already put his ego aside, and will have set out to make sling spearguns for spearos and their specific needs.
There is one other thing that comes to mind, and maybe we will do a dedicated article on it. When buying sling spearguns, go into the water and shoot, shoot, shoot! Shoot everything, make yourself a target. Too many times I have seen the forums filled with wondrous setups, changed from one catch to the next, perhaps after a missed shot. To understand how a sling speargun shoots, first you have to learn how to shoot and then you have to evaluate how it shoots.
For now, I think that will do. Let me know if you agree on how to make the choice of the craft sling speargun and if you have any other topics for which you would like to hear my opinion.
Franci is a tireless dreamer, who, thanks to her stubbornness of Sardinian and Ligurian origin, decided to make all these dreams come true. After traveling around the world on Sailing Boats as a professional sailor, he decided to settle in Polynesia, “his Neverland!” Here he was able to realize his childhood dreams, even his most extreme ones, among the waves of Teahupoo and spearfishing with sharks, whales, and incredibly vast and colorful underwater wildlife.
After learning Mediterranean Spearfishing, by studying Bardi and Dapiran in great detail, he had to rediscover a new world of spearfishing. Significantly larger fish, more frequent catches, and shark-infested seas put much more strain on the equipment than on his freediving and fishing skills. Often the problem is not fishing, but it is putting the fish in the boat. After several defeats, he decided to build his own line of powerful, accurate, and above all, very reliable sling spearguns capable of withstanding several shots on each fishing trip. He founded Joints Spearfishing Tahiti.