In Speargun reviews, Spearguns

When you’re just getting started and want an entry-level speargun, you can’t really go wrong with the JBL Woody Elite Sawed-Off Magnum Speargun. It’s just a nice gun. Shoots straight, easy to use, and virtually indestructible.

My buddy had an older version of the woody when we first started diving, and that thing got put through the works. Even with the old dud (plastic) handles, it held up for years. So when I had the chance to get my hands on this gun I couldn’t wait to see how far they’d come.

Overall, I was impressed. It’s not a premium gun by any means, but it’s a fantastic deal.

JBL Woody Elite Sawed Off Magnum 2 Band Spear Gun with M8 Trigger 6W44E
1 Reviews
JBL Woody Elite Sawed Off Magnum 2 Band Spear Gun with M8 Trigger 6W44E
  • One piece African Mahogany construction
  • Body measures 43.5" without shaft
  • 5/16" heat treated stainless steel shaft with Tahitian style flopper and integrated 5/16 threads (Shaft: 744-E)
  • Two 20" x 5/8" bands (320E)

And here’s why.

  • Wooden barrel is not only sturdy and solid, it looks mint
  • JBL’s trigger mechanism in this gun is one of the best in class
  • Heavy-duty speargun that will hold up in deep water without the price tag of other brands

 

Behind the brand

JBL have been making spearguns for over 40 years now, and they’re one of the most common names you’ll hear when it comes to cheap and effective spearfishing gear. In days gone by some of their products were a little inferior, but they’ve made some good changes and I do recommend their spearguns now. Especially the JBL Woody Elite Sawed-Off Magnum Speargun.

JBL Spearguns

Where JBL stand out for me is the gun design. Each of their spearguns are simple and to the point, which makes it a great gun to learn with.

All up, there’s three main “series” JBL use to describe their different guns. The Woody is the entry-level gun, and as you can imagine it’s carved out of a piece of wood. African mahogany to be exact. Take it up a notch and you’ve got their Elite line, which comes with a better shaft and you can swap out the wood barrel for an aerospace alloy. And finally you’ve got the Magnums. With a cast aluminium handle and stainless steel trigger mechanisms, this is the line that helped JBL step up their game and really make a name for themselves with spearos the world over.

The JBL Woody Elite Sawed-Off Magnum Speargun

In my mind, this gun takes the best that JBL has to offer, and bundles it together so even a novice is ready to take it out on their first hunt. Being 44 inches long (111.75cm) it’s a nice mid-sized gun, which is perfect both in and around the reefs or if you’re venturing out into deeper water.

The Magnum grip and trigger mechanism is what makes the gun great, and it can fit up to an 8mm shark-fin shaft. The spear is threaded, so you can easily replace the tip, or swap it out for a break-away tip if you’re targeting larger pelagic fish.

Now I’ve got to be clear here. This is a good beginner’s gun, and if you’re just getting started in the sport you’d get a good run from a JBL Woody Elite Sawed-Off Magnum speargun. But if you’re an advanced diver or looking for something a little more premium, this isn’t the gun for you.

Price

The cost of the JBL Woody Elite Sawed-Off Magnum speargun will differ based on the length of the gun you want to buy, and comes with a limited warranty that covers the metal components of the gun only.

JBL Woody Elite Sawed Off Magnum 2 Band Spear Gun with M8 Trigger 6W44E
1 Reviews
JBL Woody Elite Sawed Off Magnum 2 Band Spear Gun with M8 Trigger 6W44E
  • One piece African Mahogany construction
  • Body measures 43.5" without shaft
  • 5/16" heat treated stainless steel shaft with Tahitian style flopper and integrated 5/16 threads (Shaft: 744-E)
  • Two 20" x 5/8" bands (320E)

 

General Specs

  • Barrel carved from a single piece of African mahogany
  • Fits up to two 16mm rubber bands with Spectra cord wishbones
  • Ergonomically designed 45° handle with JBL’s M8 trigger mechanism
  • Hardened 8mm spring stainless-steel shaft with 2 shark fin tabs
  • Integrated open muzzle

The handle

The handle is well, amazing. Combined with the M8 Trigger, you can understand why JBL are suddenly back on every spearos radar. There’s a honeycomb pattern on the grip that helps you control the gun, and the angle of the handle is perfect.

But that’s not even the best part. The trigger is almost effortless to pull, which makes every shot enjoyable. JBL designed the 3 piece trigger mechanism especially for their spearguns, and it’s the stand-out on the speargun.

The spear

After using euro-style guns, the 8mm shaft felt a little heavy, but that’s also a good thing. Especially if you’re new to the sport it’s a little tougher, so you’ve got a bit more protection against bending the shaft. What I also like is how easy it is to swap out the tips. I’d recommend getting a break-away if you’re targeting big game fish. Otherwise, stick with the flopper.

The barrel

It’s well, beautiful. That’s probably the most apt description I can give. The lacquered wood and the grain just looks awesome, and it gives a nice heft to the gun.

The muzzle

Known as the integrated open muzzle, the shaft rail guides the spear to improve accuracy and it’s spot on. The only thing I didn’t particularly like is the weight of the muzzle. I had to add a little foam for buoyancy so it’d sit comfortably in the water.

How it actually feels to use

It’s such an easy gun to use, it’s got to be one of your go-to choices when you’re in the market for your first gun. I’ve tested mine in both open water and the shallow reefs around the headland and it’s caught me a bunch of fish. And that’s the real test, right?

I’d recommend it when you’re targeting anything up to about 30 or 40 pounds, bigger than this and you’re going to need a more premium gun, because of the range. It’s important to touch on as JBL maintain it’s good up to 22 feet. Maybe. But not with the setup that comes stock. It’s more like 10 feet right off the shelf. If you want to up the range you’re going to need to shorten the bands.

What I didn’t particularly like was the buoyancy. The gun doesn’t really float with the shaft in, and as soon as you add anything, like a reel or even strap a GoPro in it just sinks like a stone. I modified it with a little foam to keep the tip up, but it just feels a little too “heavy” in the water. Once you take a shot though it’ll float just fine, which is handy once you need to start detangling the fish you caught.

The downsides

The biggest downside for me was the buoyancy. Without modifying the tip you’re going to wear yourself out trying to keep the gun stable to aim, and it’s a bit too heavy if you’re planning on a long dive or anything that involves a heck of a lot of swimming.

I also thought the finish on the wood seemed a little rushed. If you start looking closely in and around the trigger pocket the cut is a little rough, though I’ve noticed this on a few other brands too.

The results

Overall, it’s an inexpensive gun that will serve a beginner well to learn the art of spearfishing. The JBL Woody Elite Sawed-Off Magnum Speargun is tough as nails, and can take a beating if you’re zooming around in the surf, or even just a little rough with your gear (like me). I don’t like things that break too easy.

The weight of the gun helped offset any recoil you get as you shoot, and I found the open muzzle to be incredibly accurate, which is a definite confidence booster as you learn the sport. The mechanics in the M8 Trigger are phenomenal, it’s so smooth to shoot.

All aesthetics aside (the wood really is pretty), what matters most is this guns ability to perform. It’s precise, accurate, and easy enough to use. In this price range, you’re going to have a tough time finding a better gun.

jbl woody elite sawed-off magnum speargun review

 

Happy spearin’

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