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Air cannon for launching bait into surf

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: Skeeter 115 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:15 pm

I hope I am asking this in the proper area.
I have no clue on how to build or how your air guns work but I want to make an air cannon to send send my fishing bait out 500' or so. I am tired and to old to wade armpit deep into shark waters to cast my line out as far as I can. I saw a few youtubes on bait launchers and thats the ticket but too many types to pick from. I would like to make one as small and lite as I can to get the job done. Like I said, I dont know anything about air cannons but what I see on youtubes. One simple looking cannon is a youtube "How to make a powerful coaxial piston cannon from hardware store" . Check it out.
You guys have so much knowledge on these guns and I hope you all can guide me through this task. Lets not get to fancy with expensive valves and gas bottles. I like simple, a bike air pump for pressure? I need to carry the cannon and my surf fishing stuff about 1/4 mile down the beach.
Thanks, Skeeter.
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:47 pm

You talking about this video?



Not bad but the bore is probably bigger then you need. Lets start with your fishing gear that you need to launch, what are you using and how big and heavy is it?

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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:27 am

You might want to consider building a combustion cannon. It has more than enough power for your needs and will be cheaper and easier to build, as well as less bulky and not requiring effort in terms of pumping.
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: Skeeter 115 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:49 am

Is one quieter then the other? Dont need to draw attention on the beach. Also, do you know if it is legal to use gas or air cannons on the beach in Florida?
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: Skeeter 115 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:31 am

Sorry it takes so long to reply because I am new and my posts need to be approved through a moderator be for posting.
As for size of bait, I use a 6 oz pyamid sinker and a crab, small fish or sand fleas. The small fish is about 2" tall and 6" long. It could be stuck into a 1 1/2" bore.
Also I just talked to a beach patrol sheriff and its ok to use an air pressure cannon but not a ignited combustion cannon on the beach to launch bait.
I don't mind pumping air by hand or taking a small bottle of compressed air to pressure the cannon because I will only fire it about once an hour or 4 times per fishing trip.
Any thoughts on tank volume and barrel length?
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:27 pm

The issuse I'm now seeing is the odd shaped sinker and tenderness of the bait. A sabet will be needed but what to make it from is the question. Using anything that will polute is out of the question. A potato could be used cut with a slug cutter, (a piece of pipe with the bore matching your launcher).

You would probably have to hollow out the slug to hold the sinker and bait. You could easily build the coaxe in the video as is or scale everything down in diameter a 1/2". As for barrel lenght and chamber size a good rule of thumb is 2:1, twice the chamber volume to barrel volume.

Have a good look through pneumatic-cannon-database/ for different setups and configurations because you might find something you like better for your wants.

After you make 5 post you can post freely, (so I'll let the double post slide :wink: ).
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:28 pm

Skeeter 115 wrote:Sorry it takes so long to reply because I am new and my posts need to be approved through a moderator be for posting.
As for size of bait, I use a 6 oz pyamid sinker and a crab, small fish or sand fleas. The small fish is about 2" tall and 6" long. It could be stuck into a 1 1/2" bore.
Also I just talked to a beach patrol sheriff and its ok to use an air pressure cannon but not a ignited combustion cannon on the beach to launch bait.
I don't mind pumping air by hand or taking a small bottle of compressed air to pressure the cannon because I will only fire it about once an hour or 4 times per fishing trip.
Any thoughts on tank volume and barrel length?


IMHO a combustion would be a lot easier to implement. Not to mention a silencer can be added which would be slightly more effective due to the cooling of the combustion products in the silencer reducing the pressure more than in a pneumatic counterpart. If you're worried about noise that is.

As far as the beach patrol goes, an onboard meter and project box for ignition and fan controls (along with an easy vent like a ball valve) could be played off as pneumatic.
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: Skeeter 115 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:27 pm

jrrdw, The potato sabot could work or I could make a mold to freeze the bait and sinker in water that would melt away. I think I would need an 1.5" bore for sinker and bait dia.
I'm thinking about a 1.5" (1.875 od) pvc 5" long inside a 4" pvc pipe kinda like what is in that video. Thoughts?
mark.f, way over my head. sorry. I want to stick to simple air pressure to try to stay legal. No combustion allowed on that beach.
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:48 pm

Skeeter 115 wrote:jrrdw, The potato sabot could work or I could make a mold to freeze the bait and sinker in water that would melt away. I think I would need an 1.5" bore for sinker and bait dia.
I'm thinking about a 1.5" (1.875 od) pvc 5" long inside a 4" pvc pipe kinda like what is in that video. Thoughts?


That sounds like a good plan. You would probably need to use steel leeder with the ice slug. I don't know if froozen monophilment line would hold up to the shock of the launch once the slack is taken up and the line starts pulling off the spool. You can always exspierment once the launcher is built...
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: Skeeter 115 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:26 pm

What psi do you think? Is 40 psi enough?
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: PeteS » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:55 pm

If you want to keep it simple, using a sprinkler valve is easier than making a coaxial in my experience. One that I built is shown at pneumatic-cannons/topic25597.html I think it would suit your needs well. The barrel on mine is aluminum, but 1/5" pvc would be fine. Also you could get by fine without the camloc fittings.
Image

You can also find others to use as a guide and it can be a very simple project. I would be willing to share more details or answer questions if that is of interest to you.
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: Skeeter 115 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:05 pm

Thanks, Have you seen some of the bait launcher videos on youtube? Do you think your type of cannon will launch about 8oz of bait and sinker (in a sabot or frozen) out 500'?
Is a sprinkler valve fast? And how do you modify it?
Also, How much tank to barrel for that kind of weight?
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: PeteS » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:16 pm

Skeeter 115 wrote:Thanks, Have you seen some of the bait launcher videos on youtube? Do you think your type of cannon will launch about 8oz of bait and sinker (in a sabot or frozen) out 500'?
Is a sprinkler valve fast? And how do you modify it?
Also, How much tank to barrel for that kind of weight?


I just looked at some of the utube videos.

You might need a little longer barrel than I have on that one in my picture, but yes I think it would do the job. I have not tried it with that heavy of a projectile though. You can get a 1" sprinkler valve for about $13.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_50552-74985-571 ... Id=1186963

If you aren't in a hurry I could try it with an 8 oz projectile and see how it does. It might be a few days before I can get around to it though.

The valve is pretty fast if you get rid of the electrical solenoid and pilot it with a little ball valve of shop blow gun. The details will vary with the valve you choose, but the following link will give you the gist of it.
how-to-database/topic305.html

Since the tank screws in to one end of the valve and the barrel into the other you can swap or mix and match parts. For the tank size you want it big enough but the bigger the more effort to pump it up. There is probably a fairly wide range of what is acceptable. My suggestion is to buy 10' of barrel and make a 4' and 6' one.
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: Skeeter 115 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:49 am

Yea, give it a shot (punn intended) See if it will launch 8oz and how far it will go.
I looked at sprinkler valves at lowes and it looks like there is not much volume flow inside it compaired to a 1" brass ball valve.
Will the modified 1" sprinkler valve dump the volume of air as fast as I can flip the ball valve handle ? Or as fast as the piston type ? Anyone ever test that out ?
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Re: Air cannon for launching bait into surf

Unread postAuthor: PeteS » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:57 am

Skeeter 115 wrote:Yea, give it a shot (punn intended) See if it will launch 8oz and how far it will go.
I looked at sprinkler valves at lowes and it looks like there is not much volume flow inside it compaired to a 1" brass ball valve.
Will the modified 1" sprinkler valve dump the volume of air as fast as I can flip the ball valve handle ? Or as fast as the piston type ? Anyone ever test that out ?


OK. I'll give it a go. I may not try it with a line being dragged behind though.

Don't let appearances fool you. Sprinkler valve pass more air better than it appears looking at them. It is hard to flip a ball valve fast enough to be as fast as a sprinkler valve. That said I gave my daughter and son in law a couple guns with ball valves and my son in law seems to be able to flip the valves really fast, maybe fast enough to rival a sprinkler valve. My wife could barely make the projectile fly on the same gun.
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