Bluewater Spearfishing Gear Breakdown – Spear Tip To Float
Bluewater spearfishing gear can be a complicated, especially to the novice. In this blog we will attempt to explain all the equipment in an approachable way from the tip of the spear to the floats on the end of your equipment. There are of course hundreds of variations and preferences on how to set up your gear. For more in depth explanations we will link to other articles that explain further.
Slip tips are the dominant tip for bluewater spearfishing gear. The flexibility it provides allows the fish to run without putting too much strain on the fish’s body. Flopper shafts create too much force on a fish’s body and cause a large hole to become larger. In many cases this hole can get big enough that the spear shaft can pull out and the fish just swims away wounded. The slip tips prevent this from happening by allowing more flexibility. The big choice comes down to spectra or cable slip tips. To learn more about that and other factors in slip tips read this article.
Slip tips require a threaded spear shaft. It is how they connect to the end of the shaft. You should use loctite thread locker or teflon thread tape to ensure the slip tip base is secured on the end of the shaft. Without some kind of security the slip tip base can be jostled loose.
Spear shafts also tend to be thicker for bluewater spearfishing. The added weight and heft of the spear shaft help to put more force on the fish in an effort to terminally injure it. The added weight also helps to slow down the fish once it has been shot. The remaining benefit of the thicker spear shafts are that they tend to be less prone to getting bent by the fish. For more information on spear shafts you should read this article.
There are three types of shooting line. Dyneema/Spectra, Cable, and Monofilament. All have their benefits and detractors. Dyneema is great because it is easily adjusted. It can stretch a little, but you can simple adjust your knots on the boat. Cable is preferred for extremely large fish, like tuna or billfish. Mono is inexpensive and stretches under extreme pressure. Monfilament needs additional tools to be adjusted. For more information on different shooting lines please read this article.
Bluewater spearguns tend to be longer, bulkier, and have more bands than standard spearguns. There are several reasons for this. The number of bands is important to the amount of power the speargun can hold. For more information on bands and the power they retain read this article. The speargun has to be larger to compensate for the recoil of the number of bands. For simple math the speargun needs to weigh at least two times the weight of the spear shaft.
For spearguns using five or more bands that math can be a little off and the speargun may need to be three or four times the weight of the spear. It comes down to basic physics. With six (6) 5/8’ (16mm) bands you have up to 660 lbs (260 Kg) of force pushing a 3 lbs (1.5 Kg) object around 30 feet (10 M) through the water. You need mass in the speargun to compensate for that amount of force. Most six band tuna spearguns average around 14 lbs (6.5 Kg) to compensate for the force. Without that amount of weight the recoil causes inaccurate shots, or even injury to the diver. For more information on the right speargun read this article.
Break Away Adapters
The breakaway adapter, or floatline adaptor, is what connects the shooting line to the floatline or tuna bungee. There are a couple different options on on styles of breakaways. Breakaways tension the shooting line. This keeps both the shooting line and floatline streamlined to the speargun. To get a more in depth look at different rigging options read this article.
Floatlines and Bungees
Floatlines and tuna bungees are a critical part of landing big fish. There are several different options on these pieced of bluewater spearfishing gear. The biggest determination on what you need is based on the species you are targeting. The more extreme the species the more specific equipment you will need. After looking into the type of species you may want to consider your diving ability in determining what floatline or tuna bungee you may need. For more information on selecting the best floatline or tuna bungee for you read this article.
Floats can be a controversial subject between different divers. No diver likes dragging around a bunch of giant floats in the water. For a basic guide to selecting the right float for you read this article. For an in depth explanation of how these floats work and why you may need multiple floats read this article.
Additional Floats and Bungees
If you read those other articles you may not need this paragraph. Basically, if you need multiple floats you will want to connect them with more bungees. These are different options for this, and you can identify what you need based on what you are targeting. It is all about limiting back pressure and allowing for a gradual buildup of pressure rather than a sudden buildup. It comes down to balancing drag in the water with the ability to effectively fight and land your fish species.