Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing underwater that has been used throughout the world for millennia.
Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing underwater that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks. Over the years, it has evolved into a sport; its modern form uses heavy rubber bands or pneumatic gas to power underwater spearguns. With knowledge of the viscosity of water compared to air, such advanced tools have allowed us to traverse the waters and catch the agile and fast fish.
The sport has always been a passionate hobby for Andre Wicaksana, who is from Indonesia. He grew up in Bali, the Island of the Gods, which is renowned for its beaches surrounded by crystal clear seas. When he was in 6th grade, he grew fond of the sea and tried several aquatic sports. Andre was first taught spearfishing during his first year of high school by his family. He then became immersed in the sport, spending time in the sea – almost every day – using his family’s spearguns.
Desiring a speargun of his own, he created one with wooden blocks, making it similar to a real speargun. It took about a month to complete his first hand-made speargun using traditional tools. After several attempts of crafting several spearguns, he grew eager to commercialize his product along with his growing customer portfolio. However, due to the laborious hours to produce one speargun, he searched for alternative methods to increase productivity; the use of power tools.
Since Andre’s parents run a wood furniture business, he understands the function of several power tools. Wood cutting has become easier with the use of a power tool – it is effortless, rapid, and even guarantees the adroit precision of the angle.
Water, particularly those in the sea and ocean, has completely different characteristics from air. The density of saline water is greater than that of air. The deeper we swim underwater, the higher the viscosity of water, making it more difficult to drag objects – not to mention that big fish usually swim in deep waters. It is essential to be able to drag a speargun into deep waters; therefore, it needs to be right weight with a hydrodynamic design.
“For simple and cheap maintenance, a heavy wooden rubber-powered speargun is a must! It also depends on the type of fish that we want to hunt. I have built numerous spearguns using several types of wood, but nothing can beat teak wood from Java. It has the right weight to drag underwater, and you can be sure of its quality if uncertain: long-lasting and able to endure all sorts of environments. We use them under saline water!” said the entrepreneur.
Nevertheless, Andre couldn’t find the right power tools to support his work until he tried Bosch. Their light weight and durability has contributed so much to his work. “I have been using these power tools for almost a decade. I have had the big machine GCM 10S for almost 10 years!” He uses it to cut big wooden blocks as its powerful 1800 W motor has a large cutting capacity with the highest precision.
His collection of Bosch power tools doesn’t stop there. Andre has been using the GWS 5-100 Angle Grinder – a handheld power tool used for cutting, grinding, and polishing, making the gun very hydrodynamic. “The gun should be able to swim with you. It shouldn’t slow you down due to the water friction, especially when you are swimming in deep waters.” However, the angle grinder is quite multifunctional. It can cut, sand and polish metal or in this case, stainless steel. Wood and metal are 2 main components used for the spear and the trigger.
For the assembly of the different elements of the speargun, Andre binds the materials together with the GSR 10,8-2 LI – a cordless drill used to drill metal to wood. “It is very light, making it effortless to use and the reason behind our increased productivity.”
Since he started commercializing his handmade spearguns in 2000, Andre’s company has continued to grow, employing 12 people under his supervision. His team is able to craft up to 60 spearguns every month with approximately 80 percent of the products are exported to diverse countries, such as Australia, the United States, and Thailand.“
The interest in spearfishing in Indonesia is considerably still low therefore it explains the large number of speargun exports overseas. “Only recently – around 2-3 years ago – has spearfishing become a trend in Indonesia. You wouldn’t expect high demand here, as I have been crafting spearguns for over a decade.” Andre Speargun was founded in 2000, making the company the first manufacturer of spearguns in Indonesia. It is still the only speargun shop in the nation.
Bali is known for its large number of international tourists who are passionate about the sea and diverse water sports, such as surfing, diving, snorkeling, and spearfishing. The latter has grown in demand, driving Andre to increase production. “Looking back at the journey I have gone through, it’s actually interesting how many challenges I’ve overcome,” uttered Andre with a smile. “Bosch has accompanied me, witnessed my journey, and assisted my business to what Andre Speargun has become now. Hopefully, there will be a growing interest in spearfishing because it is a fun and legal sport that does not damage the ecosystem.”