Whether you’re looking for the best speargun for beginners or you’re a veteran in the underwater field, one important fact remains constant: you need to choose the right spearfishing equipment for the job. Specifically, you need to choose the right speargun.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to help you do just that, our spearfishing experts have shared some of their tips. Keep reading to learn what it takes to select the right speargun for your personal spearfishing needs.
Types of Spearguns
Before we get into selection criteria, it’s crucial to get the basics down so you can be sure you choose the right speargun. Basic number one: there are three types of spearguns leading the market today. Those two types of spearguns are pneumatic and band powered. Let’s take a quick look at some of the key identifiers of each type of speargun.
- Pneumatic Spearguns – These spearguns were popular during the 1960s and 1970s, but are only used in a few parts of the world today. Many divers preferred these guns originally because they fired with minimal recoil and allowed divers to make longer-range shots with more accuracy. That being said, the power of this model is limited to the strength of the diver using it. These spearguns also require regular maintenance in order to maintain maximum performance.
- Traditional Band Powered Spearguns – One advantage of operating a band powered speargun is its nearly complete silence when firing. Considering how easy it is to both maintain and use this piece of spearfishing equipment, it’s no wonder most underwater hunters prefer it to old school pneumatic spearguns.
- Roller Spearguns – Roller spearguns have been around since the beginning of spearfishing, though new improvements in materials and designs have fueled a return in their popularity. While also powered by large rubber bands, roller spearguns pull the rubber and shaft over two rollers mounted at the front of the gun. The advantage here is that the bands apply steady and consistent energy to the shaft allowing for a longer stroke than traditional spearguns. Another advantage is that these guns have relatively no recoil, as the rubber and shaft’s energy cancel each other out.
Components to Consider
Of course, there are still a few considerations to make after you’ve decided which type of speargun you’ll be using. Like all spearfishing gear there is no universal speargun solution for everyone, it comes down to a matter of personal preference and abilities. There are moving parts when it comes to your speargun. Let’s dive in!
- Speargun Length – The length of your speargun will rely on several factors, but most importantly it will rely on the type and size of fish you’re hunting. If you’re hunting in cramped spaces like caves or where there is poor visibility, you’ll want a speargun in the 50cm to 75cm range. But if you’re hunting for big game in open water, you’ll probably prefer a 150cm to 165cm speargun, so you will have the additional range to hit the fish.
- Shaft Tip – Of course, one of the most important aspects of a speargun is the spear itself, and the most important part of the shaft is the tip. There are two commonly found spear tips, the Flopper and the Slip Tip. The flopper shaft uses a hinged barb that deploys after the shaft passes through the fish. A slip-tip is a detaches from the shat after penetrating the fish yet remains attached to the shaft with either spectra or wire leader. For Reef fish floppers are predominately preferred where as for blue water fish and more delicate fish, slip-tips are preferred.
- Speargun Bands – When selecting your speargun bands, the two most important factors to consider are stretch and diameter. Shorter bands require more strength to equip, but they also provide more power when shooting.
Ultimately, there’s a near endless amount of customization when it comes to selecting the perfect speargun, and we haven’t even discussed our homemade speargun equipment yet. These essential pieces of spearfishing equipment could make or break your experience, so make sure you’re choosing wisely.
If you’re a beginner, you want to go with equipment that is easy to use and maintain. For more information and a wide range of spearfishing gear for beginners and experts alike, contact Neptonics today.
- Using spearfishing reels is a lot safer when diving in areas where there is boat traffic and the extra line gives you the ability to reach the surface when fighting a tug-of-war with a game fish.
- Watch for a reel to make your gun heavier that water and then it will sink away to the abyss if you let it go.
- Speargun Reel Mount, Set Up [content]
- It is hard to attach signal or recovery float to your system without a float line.
- Reel jam and reel line gets tangled, if this happens after you shoot a big fish at depth and you have a reel failure, you may lose your gun, the fish, and your life.
- One of the best speargun reels that many spear fishers have had great success with is Spectra reel lines but there are a variety of speargun and reel combo options out there and we recommend testing a few to see what works best for your particular spearfishing expedition.
No matter the which you use it is up to the individuals personal preferences. Some fish should never be shot with on a reel set up for example when spearfishing tuna or other extremely large powerful game fish, not that it is impossible to land a such a fish but it will prove extremely challenging. We highly recommend that new comers to the sport use a floatline when learning the basics for the main reason that if you are spearfishing and run out of air you can let go of your gear and get to the surface safely
- Very effective when you need a float to wear down a game fish especially if remember to pull up and then clip the line off to your float.
- Great in kelp, allowing you to get to the surface and still hold on to your fish. Is highly visible when diving down through the kelp to recover your fish.
- The long trail behind you creates a hazard when boats are in the area.
- The longer the line the higher the risk of getting tied up in your line.
- When fishing in sharky areas sharks can become entangled in float lines.
- Floatline Clutch: A floatline clutch allows you to fight your fish. It attaches to your floatline, which connects to your shooting line and shaft. By shooting a shaft into the fish, you can break away from the system and leave the fish to fight against the float. The line can be taken in, but with the clutch, the fish can’t take it back out.
- Floatline Plugs: Stainless steel floatline plugs connect to your spectra (which can take up to 1,600 pounds) and make sure you don’t lose your fish. Floatline plugs should fit your tubing tightly for best performance.
- Consider researching spearfishing floatline setups online, the spearfishing community is a welcoming one and there are a number of digital channels and discussion boards that can help guide you through the process, provide illustrations, tutorials, and more.
Spearfishing is one of the dangerous sports an adventurer can pursue. The following will help you safely navigate the pursuit of underwater hunting.
- Notify someone responsible of your dive plan just in case you don’t return so they know when to call for a search and recovery and where to tell them to search. Remember to let them know you have safely return.
- ALWAYS DIVE WITH A BUDDY. There are a host of spearfishing dangers that everyone should be aware of and the first and most important one is to always dive with a buddy, never alone.
- Remember the weight belt has a quick release and be prepared to activate it.
- Speargun Safety – Always treat your speargun like it is a loaded gun! When talking to your partner on the surface, don’t put your gun under your arm or between your legs because you are now pointing a loaded gun at him – not a good thing. Don’t bring a loaded gun on the boat, even if you are just quickly hoping spots. It just isn’t worth the risk.
- Make positive identification on the fish before you pull the trigger. It may save your thumb, your gun, your life, or your dive buddy’s life.
- Take a Freediving Class to learn about the principals of freediving and how to save your dive buddy.
- Get yourself trained in CPR and First Aide.
- Know the topography of the location you are diving and understand the more water that is being restricted from passing, the stronger the current. That is why there is more current near pinnacles, underwater walls, islands and points.
- Know the tide tables for the day and expect the current to be stronger when the slop of the tide is highest. Also watch for the current to change directions when the tide changes but sometimes it will just get stronger with a tide change
- Work out for diving. It is a sport and you need to be an athlete. Train like your life depends on it … because it does.
- If you are a beginner, don’t plan a full 5-6 hour competitive dive tournament. Plan to do half the dive. Work up to longer dive days.
- Make sure that you are properly weighted for your spearfishing wetsuit and dive conditions.
- Beware of the other ocean predators in the environment you are diving in, not just sharks, seals, barracuda, and even large groupers might try to take your fish and could potentially get entangled in your gear.
- Make sure you are hydrated.
- Be aware of boats and heavy boat traffic areas, make sure that you can be seen with a floatline and float set up to avoid getting run over.
Neptonics diver, puts our new Dyneema gloves to the test on a SoCal Bluefin tuna. While these gloves maintain the beloved features of other Dyneema gloves, the inside of the of gloves are coated with a layer of teflon so that they can be easy put on while they are wet. This eliminates the “finger trapping effect” other gloves have when they are soaked. It makes a huge difference when you are putting gear on in a hurry to shoot a tuna before they go back down to the depths.
A quick video showing how to cut a pushrod track with 1/4 inch bit. The track only needs to be deep enough to sit nicely below the base of the handle and the bottom of the gun. A seperate shorter track will need to cut to allow space for the top of the trigger which is deeper than the rest of the track. Be careful about not cutting the track past the front of where the handle will sit or past the trigger slot or you will end up with more track than you need – cosmetically not ideal.