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Selecting a Speargun for Dirty Water and Tight Spaces

Selecting a Speargun for Dirty Water and Tight Spaces

For most applications, spearfishermen tend to always think that bigger means better. Most of the big guns you see are designed to kill big fish, right? But sometimes, conditions call for a smaller gun more suitable to dirty water. Because of our shop’s location in Tampa, our employees have spent a lot of time diving in Tampa bay, where 10 foot visibility is normal. Because of the low visibility, most of the shots that get taken are on fish that are much closer to a diver than normal, which means the window for taking a shot is much smaller before the fish spooks. Because small spearguns are highly maneuverable, they’re an excellent choice for that quickdraw style of hunting. They are much lighter than the longer guns that are used for Bluewater and offshore reef hunting, which makes it easier to hip fire at fish in those inshore situations. But isn’t hip fire less accurate? Of course you’ll most likely miss some shots at first, but smaller spearguns can have one wrap and often one or two bands so they’re much faster to reload. The shorter length of small guns also means that they won’t spook fish as quickly. If you’re in low vis and sticking a long gun out in front of you, fish will spook earlier from the gun than if it was shorter and closer to your face.


Sometimes, it’s not just visibility that makes a shorter gun more effective: hunting holes or tight hard structure like bridge pilings and concrete culverts calls for a shorter gun that can be maneuvered better in those tight spaces that make up a lot of the spots in Tampa bay and throughout Florida and the Carribean.


In the California kelp forests, this problem of chasing big fish with minimal visibility and tight quarters is common for those that go after white seabass. Some divers there have adapted to the conditions by shortening their guns, but a lot of them have utilized an innovation in speargun manufacturing to decrease how much of the gun is in front of their grip at any given time: the mid handle. The mid handle allows divers to have a gun of the same length and power as one they’d use in clean, open conditions, but without all of that gun sticking out in front of their faces. The handle is placed higher up the gun, and a push rod runs from the trigger in the handle back to the actual trigger mechanism at the butt of the gun. This allows the gun to be more maneuverable without compromising on length or visible range. However, these guns are most effective in the Californian kelp forests because the kelp structure isn’t solid, and it gives when the gun hits it. In the bay, maneuvering a long mid handle gun between pilings of a dock or around concrete culverts with reef growing on them could result in hitting the gun against solid, barnacle-covered structure and damaging the gun.


We hope this article helped you think about diving dirty water, and if you have any questions for the shop feel free to call us at +1-813-867-3250!

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