Choosing the Right Spearfishing Float for You
There are countless options for different types of spearfishing floats in different sizes and styles. You will need to do plenty of research to determine what size and type of float will meet your needs. In broad terms there are four types of floats and we will be looking into the benefits and drawbacks of each type of float.
Inflatable floats are generally inflated orally or a bicycle pump. These floats come in a wide range of sizes which allows them to have different buoyancy. The biggest benefit to inflatable floats is the compress to small sizes very easily. They do have two major drawbacks. They compress as the pressure increases, as a fish pulls the float deeper it will compress. The float gets less buoyant when it compresses which then reduces the strain on the fish. The fish is then able to pull the float deeper and the problem becomes worse and worse. There are also a wide range of durability with inflatable floats, so keep in mind. You get what you pay for.
Pressurized floats are in a category separate from standard inflatable floats. They tend to be a higher class of float. These floats are generally designed to be pressurized so they maintain their buoyancy to a depth of 66 feet (20 meters). Most of the good pressurized floats are a torpedo design and have 100lbs of buoyancy. They compress down and are easy to travel with and can be filled with a bicycle pump. Ocean Hunter floats and Riffe floats have a torpedo shape that helps them move well through the water when hooked up to a big fish or being placed back in position for your bluewater drifts. Learn more about the 3 atm float here. The only drawback of these pressurized floats is they tend to cost more.
Hard Floats are in two categories, foam-filled and hollow. Hollow floats are very durable and generally cost less than foam filled floats. They have fixed buoyancy and do not lose buoyancy as they begin to descend in the water. The drawbacks of hard floats is that they are bulky, which becomes a challenge when traveling. The biggest drawback to the hollow core hard floats is the risk of the float imploding at depth. This happens as a result of large amounts of pressure pushing in on a hollow float and become particularly problematic because the large fish you shot that is pulling your float down has effectively removed any upward pull your equipment had on them.
The issue of imploding hard floats has been effectively removed with the foam filled hard float. The benefit of this there is less of a compressible vacuum within the float, so the float will keep its shape to significantly deeper depths. They still can implode at extreme depths, but that usually requires several hundreds of feet of water for that to occur. Really the only drawbacks of the foam filled hard floats are that they are heavy and bulky, which makes traveling with them a challenge, but if it’s a trip for a fish of a lifetime it may be worth the oversized luggage fee.