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I just discovered the world of "dark house" pike spearing and was wondering what the best way would be of forging a spear. Thinking some forge welding would have to be involved.  Being from Oregon, I had no idea this fishing culture even existed.

 

 

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I would call that a "Gig", rather than a spear, ... but that's just a regional thing.

To make one, I'd bend 3 progressively smaller "staples", and arc or mig weld them to the center point.

No need for forge welding, unless you want to do it that way.

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You can take a piece of stock and split it, leaving one center spike, and two side pieces of metal. Then take the left side metal and split it to make 2 more spikes. Do the same for the right side. You will end up with 5 spikes. No welding required.

If you need more spikes, plan out the splits and split and peel off one spike at a time on either side. This will reduce the width of the material with each split and spike so a little planning is in order before you start. When finished cut the lengths of the spikes to fit your needs.

 

Nothing wrong with fire welding U shapes onto a common bar either. If you are concerned about your fire welding capabilities, then follow up the fire welds with mig welds.

You could even rivet the U shapes to a common bar. Just make the U, flatten the bottom curved part, drill a hole and rivet.

The idea is to fish, so make the pike or gig and go try it out.

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We made single barb frog gigs in high school shop class. No we didn't have frogs worth gigging but that didn't stop us. We'd take a piece of 1/4" rd. and flatten an end a little more than you would were you making a screw driver. Next grind half of it off, from just beyond center on one side to the end of the other, heat it and bend it the hard way so the remaining end turns back near the shaft. Grind a point and edge and you have a single barb gig. With practice you can make one in maybe 10 minutes.

You don't need to use 1/4" rd. of course but rd stock does make less work to finish up.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Glenn, thanks.  I was looking at photos on the Michigan Dark House Angling Association Web site and saw spears with as few as four and as many as nine points, but the majority had seven. We don't have much ice fishing in Oregon , not to mention zero northern pike, but I was wondering about how to proceed nonetheless. Would you be splitting out the tines on a hot cut hardy?

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I'd split tines and barbs with a hand held hot cut with someone else holding the workpiece.  (Well actually I'd forge weld the tines and use the hot cut for the barbs.  I'd use what I call a slitter to cut with: thin blade of high alloy steel---H13 is good)

Now before I'd get it within a mile of any water I'd check the Fish and Game rules about such things. Just having one in your possession near water could result in some unpleasantness.  As I recall in a couple of western states taking fish with a spear is often reserved for indigenous folk.

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13 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

 

I'd check the Fish and Game rules about such things.

That's what I was thinking...

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I've made a study of such gear.  IMO the best spears are made with only one center spike forged from the parent stock.  Then pairs of spikes are forged in u shapes with the center of the u left square.  They are inserted into a slot mortise and secured with a wedge.  

IME I've found that I can make nice barbs by forging out a small bump near the tip and then hot or cold cutting the barb with a chisel.  

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Over here we have different styles of eel spears / gigs. The styles depend on the bed of the water you are fishing in - narrow rod type barbs for muddy bottoms and broader heavier barbs for rocky bottoms.

There is a book that has a chapter on the variations called nets and coracles if I remember

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