ROB ALLEN CARANX 120 RAIL GUN REVIEW by Ryan Belworthy
After having been out of spearfishing for a couple of months due to surgery it’s been great to get back into it, although not fully healed I am now able to load my Rob Allen Caranx 120 Rail Gun and boy… what a gun.
Something that is perhaps overlooked with this gun is that every feature is designed the way it is for a reason. Rob Allen has done a great job of combining simplicity with effectiveness. I really found it hard to fault this gun, about the only negative I have is that I sometimes get the tip of my glove stuck between the butt of the gun and my wetsuit but perhaps that’s down to my loading technique as I my hand isn’t 100% healed.
Being a rail gun generally has its advantages and disadvantages but the Rob Allen Caranx is exceptional at capitalizing on the advantages and minimizing the disadvantages. The integrated rail adds strength to the barrel making it one of the strongest on the market. This also means extra weight, which would generally hinder tracking, however; this gun has an increased barrel diameter meaning the buoyancy underwater compensates for the extra weight. In return you have a gun that shoots dead accurate without the being hindered by poor tracking ability. I’ve used this gun in open water off of raglan amongst shoals of kingfish and also inshore around the mount, if one thing can be noted it is definitely its accuracy. I’ve never been able to lie in kelp picking off butterfish from so far away so easily nor have I been able to hit kingfish so accurately. I optimistically lined the first kingie with this gun up for a headshot to see if I could stone it and it made short work of that with the spear going straight through the head.
Beyond accuracy are the smaller details, unlike some of the other guns on the market this gun is very simple, it has everything it needs and nothing more down to the reasoning behind attaching the line to the back of the spear as opposed to running a slide. By not running a slide the spear maintains an extremely high speed as it is not hindered by drag when fired which is essential to placing nice holding shots and believe me this gun lacks no power. I’m currently running a single 20mm rubber but the aircraft grade aluminium barrel accompanied with the plated steel spear are capable of taking 2x20mm rubber without compromising any accuracy. The nozzle is also designed so you can easily change rubbers in the water and utilizing a single loop system means you get extra power with cheaper replacement prices.
I could continue throwing facts out there about the reasoning behind using a single fixed barb, or why the spear line can clip straight off of the gun, but what I really want to emphasize is that this gun is a pleasure to use and easy to maintain. It’s capable of stopping your bigger pelagic fish such as Kingies but that won’t stop you taking it into the shallows to hunt butterfish and snapper. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro this gun does it all, with an easy roll on and off safety that can be done with your thumb, extreme power and accuracy combined with the simplicity yet extremely thought out and calculated design there really is no question in my mind that this is one of the best guns on the market.
Now get out there and enjoy it!