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Discussion Starter #1
In my bowfishing experiences with asian carp, I found a gaff to be wholly inadequate. The fish seldom cooperate as you try to get the gaff at just the right angle for the tip to penetrate the flopping, scaled beast, and it always seems the first five or so whacks hit dead-center on a scale. As the fish flopped defiantly, it was always my unstoppable instinct to use the gaff as a makeshift club, but alas, it was too dainty and did not have any noticeable effect. I decided factory wares were not the way to go and began to ponder the creation of a new tool--either an extremely heavy gaff hook on a ~3ft. handle, or a club with a spike on it.

One day, I was placing an order with MidwayUSA (and made the obligatory scan through the clearance section before finalizing my transaction) when lo and behold, I found such a thing already existed. A flopper-stopper-picker-upper.
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Cold Steel calls it a "war hammer." And it was on clearance! The price was low enough to justify not fabricating something on my own, so it was added to the order. Far sturdier than any gaff, it is (in my opinion) just right. Not expecting to have to parry any attacks from an edged weapon, I left off the side plates as dead weight. With the ample length of the handle, an effortless blow to the head stops the flop instantly. A quick rotation of the handle and a second effortless blow buries the spike fully into the skull, providing a fish-handle an arrow could only dream to be. If a particular fish does something to particularly rouse your anger, a heavy blow from the hammer will fragment the skull to pieces, spraying viscera a considerable distance, thus alleviating said anger. The only alteration I have made is to grind a row of serrations on the inside bend of the spike to help grip the fish a little better, since the curvature of the spike is a little on the slight side. It grips only when pulled and still allows easy removal. Indeed, if one hand is placed on the handle and the other grips the hammer poll, by rotating the torso and putting you body behind it, a fish carcass can be hurled an enviable distance. Fish Hurling: a new Olympic sport perhaps? I don't believe Cold Steel realizes the goldmine on which they are sitting, if only they would market to the right demographic. And so, my dear fish-shooting friends, I let you in on the little secret I call the "Flopper-Stopper-Picker-Upper." I think they would do better with my name. But seriously...this thing works.:D
 

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Best part is how well Cold Steel stands behind their stuff. The one knife of theirs I had any issue with (small-ish folder), I expected a small replacement piece, got a totally new knife instead under the lifetime warranty. I have one of their boat bats as my fish priest, as a local place clearanced them out of being carried in store, though a war hammer is a much scarier piece to have around. I'm pretty sure I'd end up swinging it and putting a hole in something I didn't mean to.
 

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As Volock said,I could see a hole in the bottom of the boat with a misplaced swing of the spiked end.....:co:
 

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I would definitely knock a hole in my boat with that thing lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As Volock said,I could see a hole in the bottom of the boat with a misplaced swing of the spiked end.....:co:
"Stay tuned for next week's episode: How to fix a hole in the bottom of your boat..."

I have no doubt it would easily punch a hole through a boat hull. After all, that's pretty much what it is designed for. I was truly surprised at how little effort it takes to pierce a fish's skull. I would have to recommend trying to use it outside the boat, swinging alongside the hull instead of at it. It's best to use the flopper-stopper before using the picker-upper; however, bowfishing often provides us with less-than-ideal opportunities and I have used the picker-upper before using the flopper-stopper on many occasions and the only difference is that the fish is still free to flop (watch out for the arrow sticking out of the fish). I generally have a relatively "tidy" approach to bowfishing. I try to keep fish in the water, in the air, or in the barrel. Blood and slime on the boat is tempting fate a little too much for my luck, and keeping it off of equipment makes for longer-lasting, more reliable equipment in my experience. You don't have to impale the fish either, it can work like sliding a gaff hook on the bottom of the head up under a gill flap and lifting, but is not as secure (but is easier to remove). Even when I'm on the rip-rap, I find a blow from the side is more natural than a vertical one, and could be safe inside a boat with a little practice. I guess it would all come down to how much you trust the people you let in your boat! It has my seal of approval, but I guess it's one of those "with great power comes great responsibility" kinda things. Don't know if it would help you with rays, though. I do guarantee it'll mess up just about anything that swims, if you take the notion. Even a boat!
 

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I absolutely love your write up/review of this thing :laugh:

Looks like a handy piece to have in the boat....but I wouldn't let just anyone wield it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I absolutely love your write up/review of this thing :laugh:

Looks like a handy piece to have in the boat....but I wouldn't let just anyone wield it.
It would be a shame for years of work on that masterpiece to come to a head with some moron sinking it trying to kill a fish!:laugh:

It just so happens I was at the dam Monday and had it all to myself so I did a little real-life recording and it features some video on the practical use of this handy implement.

It makes its first appearance at about the 3:00 mark. Please excuse the poor camera angle (first time with the head mount).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Ec9WrEF48mU

 

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Same with axe gaffs, you have to keep your head on about swinging. It could absolutely put a hole in most hulls. I swing parallel to the boat or down at the water, not toward the boat. But the pick/wedge on that hammer looks like it would make a BIG hole in the boat! Not a little bowfishing tip size hole.

How cheap was cheap?

I am trying to decide now if I should rig something to the backside of an axe gaff, lol. I smack fish once in a while with back side but it;s not always convincing to them.
 

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Maybe I'll weld a plate on the back and drill and tap to allow bolting on lead ingot. Then experiment with the weight. Seems like it would get heavy fast and then I really might end up with a hole in the boat trying to hit a fish with the added weight. :headbang:
 

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Forget anything you swing. I'm gonna guess that one of these babies sharpened at the end and attached to 100 psi tank would be devastating to any fish! Pin it against the deck...give it a shot of air...and give it a sweeping soccer kick! :D

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Discussion Starter #15
It would be neat to have an arrow with a compressed air or co2 charge that would inflate the fish after being shot like they do with whales. That way, it wouldn't get away so easily for tournaments and such. Plus, it would make them look more impressive...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update: went bowfishing yesterday (sucked by the way) but did find a new use for the flopper-stopper-picker-upper. Caught my first fish with it. No bow required. Just wish I had my gopro running...
 
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