I have always been into any kind of fishing or hunting, and was recently introduced to spearfishing by some friends. They were having far more luck sub-surface than I ever had with my trusty old fishing rod. With that in mind, and having watched a lot of inspiring spearo videos on YouTube, I was more than happy to give it a go. The exciting prospect of bagging a few decent sea bass for the table was beginning to grab me (failing that, perhaps even just a flattie or two).
Not wanting to spend a fortune on equipment (as a beginner), I was looking for a speargun that would perform as well as my growing abilities required. After a lot of research online, it was apparent that Rob Allen’s design of speargun would be sturdy and strong enough to handle the rough ground hunting in Cornwall, while packing enough muscle to fire a strong straight shot at a fast moving sea bass.
After chatting to the guys at Spearfishing.co.uk and getting some valuable pointers, I am also incredibly fortunate to be able to review a Rob Allen Scorpia 90 beginners speargun. The Scorpia series are built with the same high quality components as other top of the range models and use the same 16mm bands. Priced at £89.99 for the Scorpia 90 (prices vary for other sizes) – it is perfectly priced for the beginner spearo.
Rob Allen Scorpia Series – Specifications:
- Single 16mm band
- Available in sizes 50 – 110 cm
- 6.3mm tri-cut stainless steel spear
- Aviation grade aluminium barrel 1mm thick
- Mechanism manufactured from glass reinforced nylon
- Single wrapped heavy duty shooting mono – 2mm thick with 400lb breaking strain
- Low profile muzzle available (Free upgrade worth £19)
My first impressions as I unwrapped the Scorpia 90 is of an extremely well made bit of kit. Constructed from aviation grade aluminium, it feels very rugged but also light enough to hold up and aim with one hand. The terrain that I will be fishing is rough Cornish coastline (boulders and kelp), and so a speargun that allows one hand free is essential as I can steady my stance whilst simultaneously taking aim at passing fish (a technique that may need some practice, but it’s good to start off with the right gear).
The handle and trigger mechanism (including safety catch) feels sturdy with a positive click and a strong hold on the spear end. Being made from glass reinforced nylon it will not corrode. I “false fired” (without loading the rubber) and replaced the spear into the trigger catch several times until I was 100% confident of its reliability (solid). By placing the spear on the floor (or a nearby chair) and stretching out the line, it is also clear that the length of the mono line provided (in addition to an outstretched arm + length of speargun) gives a substantial range of fire. The handle also has a moulded reel mount which may come in handy when I start hitting big enough fish to let them run.
I opted for the low profile muzzle which allows the addition of and extra band if required. By flexing the rubber a bit (but not loading it out of water, as this is extremely dangerous), I can immediately feel the potential power capability of the single 16mm band.
How to Load the Rob Allen Scorpia 90 speargun:
Loading the Rob Allen Scorpia 90 speargun for the first time was a little daunting because it raised a few questions in my mind about whether I was setting it up correctly. My questions were kindly answered by the guys at Spearfishing.co.uk and a quick demonstration confirmed that it was as straightforward as I had originally thought. Loading and setting up the Rob Allen speargun is actually very simple and neat, with a very small amount of practice required to get the chest loading technique nailed.
- How do I load the speargun correctly (without busting a gut)? -> The chest loading technique is widely recommended in the spearfishing world as the easiest and safest way to load most spearguns. (look it up on YouTube)
- Should the line run on top of the speargun when loaded? -> The mono line cannot run directly on top of the spear, as it would obstruct the notch in the spear (where the wishbone sits and catches the spear) – The line should run slightly to the side of the spear (but not underneath), with the crimped loop sitting on top of the spear at the trigger end.
- Should the line run over or underneath the speargun rubber at the muzzle end? -> The mono line comes out of the end of the muzzle (alongside the spear), running down over the top of the rubber (neatly near where the rubber is held into the muzzle).
- How does the line catch work? (situated underneath the trigger mechanism) -> The line is neatly held back along the length of the barrel with the line catch, as the trigger is pulled the line catch simultaneously releases the line.
- Will the crimped end of the monofilament line catch on the speargun muzzle when I fire it? -> Although the crimped end of the mono line sits pointing forward on top of the spear, when fired should not catch on the muzzle. The sheer speed of the spear firing out of the muzzle combined with friction from the surrounding water pulls the crimp and loop backwards so that it is free to pass through the muzzle. (no problem)
Verdict: The Rob Allen Scorpia 90 ticks all of the boxes for me, it is an extremely well designed speargun and is produced without cutting corners and compromising on quality. At only £89.99 it is very competitively priced and you get all the power and versatility you will need to see you through your first couple of years as a spearo. The full range of Rob Allen spearguns and spear fishing accessories is available at www.spearfishing.co.uk (the UK’s Official Rob Allen Dealer).
Check out their video below which gives some great advice on choosing the right speargun.