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The Best Speargun for Beginners | Buyers Guide to Beginner Spearguns

the best speargun for beginners

Walking into a spearfishing store is overwhelming. Especially if you’re new to spearfishing. There’s so many shiny new toys, you don’t know where to look. You just want to buy the best speargun for beginners, but then you notice the top-tier spearguns. Or the price tag on the discounts in the sales bin and you’re torn.

Quality or price?

What spearfishing brands are actually any good?

And you’ve got the sales rep trying to push you to decide. But you don’t know what the heck to buy.

I know. I’ve been there.

The amount of spearfishing gear you need as a beginner is a lot. So, let’s stick to the basics. First, you need to get yourself a speargun. But there’s probably more than 30 or 40 options now, not to mention sizes, and different rigging setups.

So, we’ll just cut to the chase. This year we ran a series of tests on most of the spearguns you’re looking at right now in the store. We also asked a whole bunch of professional divers and experts in the industry their thoughts. To be able to recommend to you the best speargun for beginners.

Ready for it?

 

AB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun

Editor’s Choice: Best Speargun for Beginners

As someone new to the sport you can’t go wrong with the AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro Speargun. It’s the perfect gun, combining value for money with real quality components to ensure you’re buying a speargun that’ll last season after season. Which is perfect if you’re only going to be spearfishing during the summers when you’ve time off work. It shoots straight and accurately straight out of the box, and you’ll have no trouble loading it or bringing it up to target a fish.

 

AB Biller SS48 Stainless Steel Professional Speargun, 48'
17 Reviews
AB Biller SS48 Stainless Steel Professional Speargun, 48"
  • Including hardened stainless spring steel shaft
  • Hardened stainless spring steel double Barb
  • Stainless steel speargun

Why the AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro is the best speargun for beginners:

  • Hardened stainless steel spring shaft and double-barb tip
  • Two 9/16 rubber bands straight out of the box for power shots
  • Comes in sizes from 24″ to 54″ (though I’d get a 42″ or 48″ as a beginner)
  • Safety switch can be changed for either left or right-handed divers

 

Rob Allen Tuna Railgun

Runner Up: Best Speargun for Beginners

I’m a big fan of Rob Allen spearguns. A South African brand, they’ve been designed for deadly power while producing accurate shots again, and again and again. They test these freediving with some of the biggest pelagics you can catch in the water, but it’s also one of the best spearguns for beginners as it’s just so versatile. You can use this shore diving on a reef in just a few feet of water, or jumping off a boat offshore with your mates. It’s a great buy, but I do need to mention the railgun design (which gives the power) is also a little noisier in the water. It’s also the most expensive of the three spearguns, but it’ll last you season after season. Just make sure you buy the 110cm or 120cm model.

 

ROB ALLEN ALUMINUM TUNA RAILGUN SPEARGUN WITH OPEN MUZZLE - ALL LENGTHS (110CM)
13 Reviews
ROB ALLEN ALUMINUM TUNA RAILGUN SPEARGUN WITH OPEN MUZZLE - ALL LENGTHS (110CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
  • 2X POWER BANDS: 5/8" (16 millimeters)
  • 7mm Spring Steel Shaft

 

Beuchat Espadon Sport

Value for Money: Best Speargun for Beginners

When price is the biggest concern I get it. Dropping a few hundred dollars on a speargun is a big move for the budget-conscious. If you’re looking for value for money, you can’t go wrong with the Beuchat Espadon Sport. The trigger mechanism is stainless steel, and the speargun can accept up to two 16mm bands for a little extra power. It comes with a 6mm shaft, and is ready to go straight out of the box. You’ll be out on the reef in no time.

 

Sale
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
6 Reviews
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
  • Stainless steel mecanism
  • 25 mm diameter aluminium barrel for a perfect flotation
  • Entry level version and Sport version

 

Hope this helps you to choose the best speargun for beginners, but if you have any questions at all drop me a line. I’d love to help you find the perfect speargun.

Happy spearin!

 

How we chose the best speargun for beginners

buy the best speargun for beginner spearfishing

Hey there. I’m Max Kelley. I love spearfishing, and over the last 30 years I’ve spent every chance I could get in the ocean, chasing my next feed of fish. I’ve tried and tested more spearguns than I could count, and I’d like to help you understand a little about what it takes to choosing the right speargun. Whether you’re planning to swim out to some rocks from the beach, or you’ve got a boat to go offshore, I’d like to share a few things with you to help you choose the best speargun for a beginner.

 

How a speargun actually works

We’re going to run through this real quick, just so you’ve got a little background before we jump into the next sections.

Cool? Cool.

Essentially, a speargun is just a tool that shoots a spear underwater. You take it with you on a dive, and you can start hunting the fish you come across. There are air-powered models (known as pneumatic spearguns) and banded models that work more like a slingshot.

For a beginner, I’d recommend a banded speargun. There’s much less that can go wrong in the mechanics, and they’re a little easier to use.

You can expect an effective range of anywhere from 3 to 15+ feet with your speargun, which really depends on how much power the gun can produce. The length of the barrel, and the number of bands your using will have the biggest influencer, but small factors like the width of the shaft will also play a role.

Now your spear is attached to the speargun with a length of line. After you take a shot, this is what stops the fish swimming away with your spear. Though you will need to hang onto the gun. To reload you simply activate the safety, click the shaft back into place, wrap the line back on your gun, and pull the bands tight. There’ll be spots cut into the shaft for the wishbones (the small piece of metal that connects the two ends of the bands) to fit into.

Then you’re good to go and take a shot.

 

The length of your speargun

When you’re looking for the best speargun for beginners, one of the most critical decisions you need to make is where you’ll be using it. Because it will influencer the length you need to buy.

Generally, there’s three types of spearfishing.

Cave diving. You’re going to be swimming very close to a reef and taking shots at the fish hiding in under the ledges and cracks. You don’t need a whole lot of range, so you’re probably going to buy a shorter gun that’s under the 80cm mark.

Reef diving. When you’re kicking around on a deeper reef and start taking longer dives, targeting slightly bigger fish, and needing a little more distance in your shots, my advice is to look for a speargun in the 100cm to 120cm range. For a beginner, this is the length of speargun I’d recommend to buy, as you can always use your speargun for cave diving (and even pushing out into open water diving).

Open water diving. Here’s where things start to get a little crazy. The photo’s you’ve seen on Instagram with big sailfish, blue fin tuna and the like are from divers going very deep. To tackle the distances needed, and have enough power to actually take down one of these monsters of the deep you need a speargun with multiple rubbers. Something that’s 140+ cm or more, to ensure you don’t miss a shot.

Ultimately, the best speargun for beginners is a versatile weapon that can be used in all three of these situations (even though it may not be perfect in each), and is why I recommend finding a speargun in the 100 to 120cm range.

 

The right type of spear

You’ll hear these called both spears and shafts, and come in three different types.

There’s the pure stainless steel, there’s galvanized options, and the one that you should buy, the spring (hardened) stainless steel. It combines the strength of the galvanized shaft with the corrosion-resistant abilities of stainless steel.

But you also need to consider the size of the shaft. Depending on the speargun you buy it’ll have a certain range of shaft sizes it can accommodate, the most common range from 6.5mm to 9mm. The thinner versions are usually present on smaller spearguns for targeting smaller fish, and they get thicker as the size of the speargun increases. A thinner shaft will be faster in the water but it may lack less “punch” so my advice is to find the middle ground.For those new to the sport or wanting a versatile speargun, I’d opt for an 8mm shaft. It’s what the AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro comes stock with, and is a nice balance between strength and speed.

 

AB Biller SS48 Stainless Steel Professional Speargun, 48'
17 Reviews
AB Biller SS48 Stainless Steel Professional Speargun, 48"
  • Including hardened stainless spring steel shaft
  • Hardened stainless spring steel double Barb
  • Stainless steel speargun

 

Oh, and make sure it’s got a threaded tip for changing out the spear tips. You’ll most probably hit a few rocks while you’re learning to spearfish and this way you can just replace the tip, not the whole shaft.

 

Picking the spear tip

Things can start to feel like you’re going down the rabbit hole now. But when you’re buying a speargun as a beginner I recommend keeping it versatile. You want a single-point tip (not a pronged speartip), that’s got one of two designs. The tri-cut option is exactly how it sounds like, and is great if you’re going after thick-skinned fish with big scales. The pencil-nose tip is the option I’d recommend, it’s perfect for small-to-mid sized reef fish.

Just steer clear from any other choices now. So long as your tip has a flopper (single or double is fine), you don’t need anything else to start shooting fish.

 

Select the barrel material

best speargun for beginners wood barrel or metal

For a beginner learning how to spearfish I’d advise against buying a beautiful wooden speargun. When you’re looking at spearguns at this length (100 to 120cm) the stock of the barrel is mostly just aesthetic, so pick the one you like best. Stainless steel is going to be the best “value for money” choice, and is one of the reasons we chose the AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro as our editor’s choice for best speargun.

 

Get comfortable with the grip

If you look closely in the store you’ll notice there’s a few different variations of the handle on a speargun. Some have a lovely molded pistol grip, while others are far more simplistic. My advice is to try them out in your hand, and see which is most comfortable. You want to be able to keep hold of your gun for long periods of time, when you’re diving or if you’re fighting with a fish on the other end of it. It needs to be easy to hold on to.

 

Only ever use a stainless-steel trigger mechanism

This is rather important, as there are more and more spearguns flooding our markets from cheaper overseas locations. You need a safe trigger mechanism. Otherwise you risk misfiring your speargun. Which means the shaft “fires” without you having pulled the trigger. Sometimes it’s because of a fault within the trigger, other times it’s due to there being too much tension on the shaft. What’s scary though is spearguns with plastic trigger mechanisms. These will wear, and eventually misfire. I guarantee it. Which could spell disaster for anyone you’re diving with.

 

Looking at the bands (rubbers)

For putting a little power into your shots, there’s two things you need to know. The length of the rubber on your speargun, and it’s diameter. Thicker bands equal more power, with the most common sizes being 9/16′ and 5/8′. You will get more power with a thicker band. You’ll also be able to give your speargun a boost by adding a second band. And then by shortening them.

This is known as overloading your speargun, and is mostly safe, so long as the trigger mechanism and the safety can withstand the tension. It’s also why it’s important to get a speargun that has a stainless-steel trigger mechanism. The ends of the bands will connect through a wishbone, which is either a length of cable, cord or metal that is inserted into the rubber and then tied off. Your wishbones are what “clicks” into the slots in the shaft to load your speargun.

 

The type of muzzle on the front

Once you start getting into the details you’ll notice there’s both open and closed muzzle designs for different spearguns. Most spearos will have a preference. Open muzzles are good because you can see all the way down your shaft which helps to aim, and they will rattle less and make less noise when you shoot. But they can be more difficult to reload. Personally, I prefer a closed muzzle. In all the testing we did of these spearguns the closed muzzle was the clear winner, providing a little more guidance so you’re getting more accurate shots, again and again.

 

Know how to rig a speargun

We mentioned earlier about the spear connecting to your gun by a length of line. This is your shooting line, and it serves to stop a fish running off with your spear if you happen to make a bad shot and it’s not quite dead. Most spearos use monofilament for their shooting line, but for smaller fish a nylon line will be just fine. I actually like thicker shooting line as it’s less prone to getting tangled, which is great when you’re starting out.

For a beginner, you don’t need to worry about other types of rigs at this stage. But to go over it quickly, there’s two other setups.

A reel mounted on your speargun can make it easier to bring a larger fish in. And many people will rig larger spearguns with a detachable setup that hooks into their float line. This lets them target big fish like a wahoo or blue fin tuna without worrying they’ll have their speargun pulled right out of their hands. All they need to do is follow the float to get the fish.

 

Finally, choose the best speargun

best spearfishing gear for beginners

Once you’ve got these sorted, you’re well on your way to finding the best speargun. And that’s something else I love about this sport. Buying the gear won’t set you back a fortune. Of course, it can get pricey as you start looking at top-tier brands and guns, but you can really find a great speargun for just a couple of hundred dollars. Think of it like an investment. What other hobby lets you have an adventure, and bring home dinner?

If you’ve got any questions, comments, or would just like to say hi. Drop me a line. I’d love to help you find the perfect speargun, and I hope my guide to the best speargun for beginners has helped you find the right gun.

So go buy it. There’s nothing better than the calm and the quiet you experience on a dive, and nothing compares to the thrill of landing your first fish.

Happy spearin!

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The Best Pneumatic Speargun | Pneumatic Speargun Buyer’s Guide

the best pneumatic spearguns buyers guide

The first time I got my hands on a pneumatic speargun it was a pleasant surprise. I’ll admit it. I was a doubter. Growing up I always used banded spearguns, and that’s all I knew when it came to spearfishing. But once I started experimenting with pneumatic spearguns, I quickly grew to love the size-to-power ratio. They just pound. Especially for short, dirty cave guns. In this guide today, I want to share with you my pick for the best pneumatic speargun in the market, so you can buy the best.

But first, I want to clarify. When we started researching this guide, we had a particular spearo in mind. You. The recreational diver, who probably gets out only two or three times a month to go spearfishing. With that in mind, we wanted to find a versatile speargun. A speargun that would hold up in both shallow dives, as well as deeper water if you’ve got the desire to start pushing out further. Our recommendation for the best pneumatic speargun fits both these needs, and is the perfect buy for those looking to try spearfishing with a pneumatic gun.

And that’s not all. As we narrowed our list of the best pneumatic spearguns we also spoke to the professionals, both spearos and those operating dive shops to hear their feedback on these underwater hunting tools. Plus we got our hands on a few of these to test firsthand. It took a ton of dives, over almost as many weekends to complete the process. But we did find the best pneumatic speargun.

Wanna know what it is?

 

Mares Cyrano Evo

Editors Choice: Best Pneumatic Speargun

Hands down, the Mares Cyrano Evo is the best pneumatic speargun. Powerful straight out of the box, it was actually the first pneumatic speargun I bought, and remains one of my favorites to this day. It’s got a comfortable and easy to grip handle, and you’re able to adjust the trigger as needed to fit your preference when shooting. It’s light in the water and tracks well, while still being a tough and easy to use pneumatic speargun.

 

Mares Pneumatic Speargun CYRANO EVO HF Smu USA w/ Sling 110WP
2 Reviews

Why I think the Mares Cyrano Evo is the best pneumatic speargun:

  • Available in 35″ (90c m), 39″ (100cm) and 43″ (110cm)
  • Allows up to 24 bar of pressure for massive power in your shots
  • The tapered barrel allows for easy tracking and use underwater
  • Highly accurate with a powerful setup straight out of the box

 

Of course, the Mares Cyrano Evo is my recommendation for those wanting the best pneumatic speargun, but there’s a few others to consider if you’re not yet convinced.

 

Salvimar Predathor Vuoto / Dark Side

Runner Up: Best Pneumatic Speargun

Coming in a close second is the SalviMar Predathor Vuoto. There’s a few key differences here, namely their patented “vuoto” (or vacuum) technology that stops water from entering the barrel, so it’s easier to load. It also helps to fire the piston with a little more kick. The line release is tucked in and out of the way on the side which is a nice feature, but it only loads to 18 to 20 bar (factory) though I kicked the one we tested up to 22 and it was fine (although the accuracy dropped slightly). Personally, it’s another great buy, and if you’re looking for something a little fancy try their carbon fiber model. It’s essentially the same pneumatic speargun with a beautiful upgrade to the barrel.

 

SalviMar Predathor Vuoto Pneumatic Speargun, 115 cm
1 Reviews
SalviMar Predathor Vuoto Pneumatic Speargun, 115 cm
  • Vacuum muzzle
  • Easy to load
  • Power regulator
SALVIMAR Dark Side Pneumatic Speargun, 115 cm
1 Reviews
SALVIMAR Dark Side Pneumatic Speargun, 115 cm
  • 100% Carbon fiber
  • Compact design
  • Power regulator

Why buy the Salvimar Predathor Vuoto pneumatic speargun:

  • Available in seven sizes from 55cm to 130cm
  • Factory recommends up to 20 bar of pressure though this can be overloaded
  • Light in the water (especially the carbon fiber model) and tracks easily
  • Almost a perfect balance in the speargun which is nice for a long dive
  • Patented line release that’s side mounted to keep the line out of the weeds

 

Mares Sten Pneumatic Speargun

Value for Money: Best Pneumatic Speargun

The Mares Sten is our value for money pick for the best pneumatic speargun. Versions of this speargun have been around since 1967, and it remains a tried and true underwater hunting weapon to this day. What I like though is the size. Offering a model that’s just 41cm, you won’t find a better mini speargun for cave diving and tight spots. Tested in the water you’ll get about 6 foot of distance in your shots using this model, which jumps to about 10 feet for the larger 55cm model. I find for the larger models I prefer the Cyrano Evo, it allows for more pressure and a more powerful shot. But you won’t find a better mini gun. And the price is fantastic too, especially if you’re looking for a value for money speargun. This is it.

 

Mares Sten Pneumatic Speargun, 84cm
6 Reviews
Mares Sten Pneumatic Speargun, 84cm
  • Optimum Precision, Power, and Reliability
  • Harmonic Steel Shaft (8mm Diameter / 7mm Male Thread)
  • Techno-Polymer Shock-Absorber Bushing and Piston
  • High Capacity Air Tank, Uses 7 or 8 mm Shafts, 1/2" (13 mm) Internal Barrel
  • Complete with Loader, Pump, Shock Line with Rubber Shock Bungee, Tip and Shaft

Why buy the Mares Sten pneumatic speargun:

  • It’s the best in class mini speargun for caves and tight dives
  • The smallest size (41cm) comes with a leg holder to keep your gun handy
  • Can be overloaded to 30 bar of pressure to generate powerful shots

 

Right. Now this is a good list of the best pneumatic spearguns, but it wouldn’t be complete without running through my thoughts on the other pneumatic spearguns we put to the test. Here’s a few more options to help you choose the best pneumatic speargun.

 

Cressi SL Star Pneumatic Speargun

The Cressi SL Star is a staple when it comes to pneumatic spearguns. Cheap and easy to use, many spearos swear by it, but I’ve experienced a couple of small issues with it so I actually prefer the Mares Sten range at this price level. You will need to swap out the attachment that ties your shaft to the gun, as it’s plastic and prone to break. Overall, it’s an okay pneumatic speargun, and at these kinds of prices it’s a great entry-level gun if you’re looking to make a switch from a banded speargun.

 

Cressi SL Spearfishing Speargun-27.5 inch(70 cm)
30 Reviews
Cressi SL Spearfishing Speargun-27.5 inch(70 cm)
  • The SL Star is an ultra light, easy-to-use pneumatic spear gun and fire quickly. Ideal for spearfishing small to medium fishes.
  • The SL Star range of pneumatic spear guns has been in production for many years, and they have won worldwide renowned for their excellence in reliability, precision, power and of being robust.
  • It features an anatomical high grip handle that enabling the gun to be held in line with the arm effortlessly.
  • The bright yellow handle allows you quick and easy identification of the gun even if it ends up on the sea-floor after shooting.
  • The SL guns are fitted with a safety catch to prevent accidental firing and, when the trigger is pulled the line release automatically releases the shaft line.

 

SEAC Asso

The SEAC Asso is another nice little gun, and you could do far worse when buying your first pneumatic speargun. Crafted from an aluminum alloy cylinder, it’s got a 40mm diameter and you can fit up to an 8mm shaft in. What I like is the regulator that can cut out 50 percent of the pressure if you need to make a quick, close shot, and straight out of the shop it’ll come pressurized to 20 to 25 bar giving you a decent amount of power.

 

SEAC Asso S/R Pneumatic Speargun, 55.5 cm
8 Reviews
SEAC Asso S/R Pneumatic Speargun, 55.5 cm
  • Characteristics: Regulator that allow halving the rifle power if necessary.
  • Wide range of sizes from 30 cm to 135 cm.
  • Comes with: steel spear, injector, harpoon, harpoon loader .
  • Optional: Asso 30 holster.

 

SEAC Caccia

Much like the other speargun from this brand, the Asso, the SEAC Caccia is another option. Many of the technical features align between the two, but the key difference is the addition of a red rifle sight for easier targeting, along with a reduced diameter of the butt of the gun to allow for better sighting. Oh, and it caters for 7mm shafts. It’s a little less powerful than the Asso, but it’s still a decent pneumatic speargun.

 

SEAC Caccia C/R Pneumatic Speargun, 79 cm
1 Reviews
SEAC Caccia C/R Pneumatic Speargun, 79 cm
  • Tank with a slightly flattened form to improve the horizontal traversing and buoyancy.
  • Butt with a reduced diameter at the point for a more precise line of vision.
  • Human-engineered grip in two soft, overprinted materials to increase comfort and grip.

 

Of all of these spearguns I’d recommend putting your money into the Mares Cyrano Evo. For the money it’s a little pricier, but you’re getting a great pneumatic speargun that really is best in class.

Happy spearin!

 

 

How we actually determined the best pneumatic speargun

determined the best pneumatic speargun

My name is Max Kelley. I spent my childhood scouring the reefs in Australia learning to spearfish with a pole spear, before moving onto banded spearguns and pushing out into deeper water. I’ve been in the water chasing fish more than I (or my wife) would care to admit, and I’d love to share my thoughts on what makes the best pneumatic speargun.

Whether you’re heading in for a sneaky shore dive or jumping off a boat into a beautiful offshore reef, there’s a few things you need to understand about how these particular spearguns work. Because even if you’ve been spearfishing for years, it can be difficult to find the right speargun. There are new models, and different brands. Reviews to read and understand. It can be overwhelming, and I’ve definitely wasted money on my share of duds over the years.

It’s frustrating seeing a new speargun give out after only a season or two.

So that’s why I’ve put together this buying guide. To help you buy the right pneumatic speargun, so you can start catching fish, after fish, after fish. But there’s one secret I’d like to share with you. The most expensive pneumatic speargun in the store isn’t always the best pneumatic speargun.

 

Understand the background of pneumatic spearguns

understand the background of the best pneumatic spearguns

There’s definitely a place for pneumatic spearguns in the spearfishing community, but they’re not as common as the banded models. Reason being is they tap out once you start getting to a certain size. Because of what’s needed to load them. Your strength (along with a loading device and good technique) will determine how much pressure you can use in the speargun while still being able to load it. Too much, and you won’t be able to reload.

Pneumatic spearguns are like the bulldogs of the underwater world. Short. Stocky. Often fitted with a heavy duty 8mm shaft that packs a true punch. When you’re looking at smaller sizes, they are often far more powerful than their banded brothers. The downsides are they will require more maintenance to stay operational, as they have far more complex internal mechanisms. Some will oven have a switch to change between high and low pressure, allowing you to use the same gun for both distance shots, as well as short cave shots. Oh, and they can be a little noisier to use as well.

 

How a pneumatic speargun works

A pneumatic speargun uses compressed air to fire a spear, using a piston to shoots your shaft out the front of the barrel once the trigger is pulled. For all intents and purposes, they look similar to any other speargun, except for the oversized barrel. These are usually about 40mm or more in diameter. Within the barrel of the speargun is an air chamber that you “pump” with a pressurized charge. These usually last for about 20 to 30 shots, before the air is spent and these need to be pressurized again.

Most pneumatic spearguns will come with a hand pump for this very purpose, or you can always have them pressurized at your local dive shop before a dive. We setup a small little compressor on our boat for this exact purpose, it’s much easier than manually re-pressurizing them by hand. All you need is an adapter to fit your particular pneumatic speargun, and an air compressor. Just be warned. You will need a high-pressure compressor to do this (i.e. one designed to fill scuba tanks). A cheap one like you use for inflating a car tire will only get you halfway. But you could always finish it off by hand.

 

Mophorn 110V 300BAR 30MPA 4500PSI High Pressure Air Pump Electric Air Compressor for Airgun Rifle PCP Inflator (air pump)
33 Reviews
Mophorn 110V 300BAR 30MPA 4500PSI High Pressure Air Pump Electric Air Compressor for Airgun Rifle PCP Inflator (air pump)
  • Power: 110V Electric high pressure pump
  • High pressure air pump inflating speed: 2800r/min;Work flow: 50L/min
  • Air compressor cooling system: water cooling;Working pressure: 300BAR/ 30MPA/ 4500PSI
  • The airgun compressor must be working with oil, so you must pay attention to the level of oil
  • PCP electric pump can be used for fire fighting, air soft, paintball, leakage detecting, pressure-tight test, automobile tyres, etc

 

Considerations when buying a pneumatic speargun

considerations for the best pneumatic speargun

Before dropping your money on the best pneumatic speargun, there’s a few things to keep in mind. But what you’ll notice when you take your first shot is the lack of a “kick” that a banded speargun provides. There’s simply no recoil with a pneumatic speargun. Which can play tricks on you too, as your brain instantly thinks that the gun sucks and lacks power. I’ve found this is simply a misconception you need to get over. Especially once you start landing fish.

 

The right length for a pneumatic speargun

Ultimately this is like buying any other speargun. Where you’re planning to go spearfishing will determine the barrel length you require. But with a pneumatic speargun there’s something to keep in mind. The smaller versions actually pack a far greater punch than a banded speargun of a similar size. As they get longer the difficulty in reloading increases exponentially. Personally I like using up to about a 110cm pneumatic speargun, as for my height (5’10”) it’s still easy to load with the right technique.

 

Loading techniques for a pneumatic speargun

Now here’s where things start to get interesting. Actually loading a pneumatic speargun can be a challenge if you’ve got the wrong technique. Because it gets damn hard as you start using longer and longer guns. Many spearos actually don’t like pneumatic spearguns because they are a little tricky to load. Trouble is, they’re using the wrong technique. Or they’ve pumping it to a pressure that makes it impossible to load. My advice is to study diagrams and actually learn the right movements before pressurizing your speargun, and then slowly working your way up to a higher and higher pressure.

If you can, find a friend who already uses a pneumatic speargun and try it out first. You’ll get an idea of the “force” needed to push the piston back into it’s ready to fire state, and you’ll be able to try the loading techniques.

Hip-loading. This works for smaller pneumatic spearguns. Place the butt of the gun on your hip, holding the barrel in place with your left hand and using your right with the loading handle to push the shaft into place.

Foot-loading. A similar technique, but this is better for long pneumatic spearguns. The butt of your speargun rests on your foot, holding the barrel in place with your left hand you then use your right with the loading handle to push the shaft into place.

Curl-loading. This is how I load my 115cm Mares Cyrano Evo, as I’m just a bit too short to make the foot-loading technique work when my speargun is highly pressurised. I tuck the barrel of the speargun between my legs, and wrap one around it to help keep it stable. My left hand holds the barrel of the gun just under the muzzle (there’s a place to grip), and my right goes to the shaft. I bring my right arm down until about my shoulder (where I cannot physically move it any further), and then I do what’s best described as an underwater sit up. Crunching in place to bring my right and left hands together and lock the shaft in place. It’s a little awkward at first, but it helps me to use a speargun that’s got far more pressure in it than if I used the other techniques, because I can use the strength in my core to help load it.

 

How to aim with a pneumatic speargun

how to aim the best pneumatic speargun

Getting used to a pneumatic speargun after a lifetime of using banded models took a little getting used to. Normally I can sight my fish straight down the length of my spear, but with a pneumatic speargun you don’t really have this ability. Some of the models have compensated for this and there’s a slight angle in place, but my advice would be to simply setup a target and use the first few minutes of a hunt getting the hang of aiming your new speargun.

 

Don’t neglect maintenance

Finally, you need to think about the maintenance. Because there’s so many moving parts that need to work in unison, a pneumatic speargun will often break down far quicker than a banded one. The seals will go which robs your shots of power, pressure can be lost in the barrel, and a host of other issues. You’re going to need to use a mineral oil to keep the inside of your speargun lubricated (otherwise friction will start robbing your shots of power), as it’ll also help the O-rings to create a water-tight seal, and protect the inside of your pneumatic speargun from corrosion. Just don’t overdo it. A 110cm speargun will need 30 to 35ml of oil, any more and you start robbing the air chamber of space which will reduce the pressure you can load your speargun to. Instructions for how to do this and the exact amount of oil to use will have been provided with your speargun.

 

What’s the best pneumatic speargun for me?

Ultimately, it’s up to you. I believe the Mares Cyrano Evo is the best pneumatic speargun, an opinion I formed after countless interviews and tests run on all of these different spearguns. But I understand price can be an issue. If you’re looking for a cheap pneumatic speargun you can’t go wrong with the Mares Sten. It’s a solid speargun, that will serve you well doing the most important thing. Catching a fish or two for dinner.

Happy spearin!

,

The best pole spear for spearfishing | Pole Spear Buyer’s Guide

the best pole spear for spearfishing

 

Like many of my friends, the first investment I made into my spearfishing hobby was a pole spear. It wasn’t the best pole spear in the market, in fact I bought it for $5 from a neighbor’s yard sale. The prongs were bent, and the rubber snapped on me after a few dives, but it was enough to get me my first fish (and quite a few more), and ultimately get me hooked on the sport of spearfishing.

No matter where I go spearfishing these days, I’ve always got a pole spear or two in the boat, or tucked in the back of my car. They’re so easy to use, quick to reload, and can help you land fish after fish. I highly recommend buying a decent pole spear if you’re interested in spearfishing.

But you do have a few options when you start looking at the best pole spear to buy. And that’s where it can get confusing. So, we’ve put together a shortlist and a recommendation for the best pole spear in the market (along with why we like each particular model), to help you choose the right spear.

Ready for it?

 

Scuba Choice 7ft Carbon Fiber Pole Spear

Editor’s Choice: Best Pole Spear

Hands down, this is one of the best pole spears I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. And at this price range, it’s what we recommend as you’re truly getting value for money. It’s crafted from carbon fiber, not aluminium or fibreglass like many others at this price range. And it’s deadly in the water. Like a bullet the carbon fiber spear goes further and the single flopper tip keeps the resistance down to ensure you hit your target fish. It’s perfect for hunting mid-sized reef fish, and I actually prefer the flopper tip as the shaft will usually penetrate fully, so there’s little chance they’ll be able to tear themselves free. Oh and if you travel, or are looking for something compact, the shaft can be split into three pieces, fitting into a bag that’s just 37.5 inches (95 cm) when packed. Perfect to throw in the back of the car on your next beach trip.

 

CARBON FIBER 7' Travel Spearfishing 2 Pole Spear Single Flopper Hawaiian Sling
5 Reviews
CARBON FIBER 7' Travel Spearfishing 2 Pole Spear Single Flopper Hawaiian Sling
  • Carbon fiber is 40% Lighter in weight compared with Fiber Glass. Also more durable than Fiber glass.
  • Break down length: 3' pole + 3" pole + 1' Paralyzer tip. Travel length: 95 cm.
  • Single Flopper with barb: Stainless Steel, 12" long. 8mm diameter thread
  • With Black rubber sling

 

Mako Spearfishing Traveler Pole Spear

Runner up: Best Pole Spear

Coming in close second of the best pole spears was this little beauty from Mako. It’s high-quality fiberglass, but don’t let that fool you. We weren’t able to recreate the splintering problems most fiberglass spears fall victim to as they age, and I’d also be happy taking this out on the reef. It’s a touch shorter at just under 7 feet, but that means it’s also a little more compact when you break it down for travel. In the bag it’s a total of 27.5 inches (70 cm). The only downside with this spear is their thread doesn’t conform to other brands, so if you’re wanting to change out the tip you’ll need an adapter if you’re wanting something other than a Mako product. Out of the box it comes with a 5-prong paralyser tip.

 

Spearfishing Traveler Pole Spear with 5 Prong Paralyzer Barb Tip
56 Reviews
Spearfishing Traveler Pole Spear with 5 Prong Paralyzer Barb Tip
  • NOTE: MAKO Spearguns only sells our products direct to you, the diver. We DO NOT sell to resellers, nor do we authorize any resellers including PositiveThinking2. If you aren't buying direct from MAKO Spearguns, you aren't getting a new, unused MAKO Spearguns product backed by our service & support! You MUST click OTHER SELLERS to choose MAKO Spearguns as your seller!
  • 3 piece design measures a whopping 6' 7" and breaks down to only 27.5" long for easy storage and travel. High strength, corrosion resistant, anodized aircraft aluminum
  • NEVER yields painful fiberglass splinters in the hand (like some inexpensive fiberglass pole spears do when worn down)
  • connecting joints of the MAKO Spearguns Pole Spear are supported by recessed flush screw on connectors for a smooth release
  • Includes: Three interchangeable sections for 3 different pole spear lengths. One 5 prong cluster (paralyzer tip) with "sure grip" barbs on each prong. One full length MAKO Spearguns Latex Power Band for 3 pc and 2 pc hunting.

 

JBL Shaka 7ft Carbon Fiber Pole Spear

Top of the Line: Best Pole Spear

Now what fun would a review be without putting some of the best products to the test? With the JBL Shaka you’re looking at a hybrid pole spear, that combines the best assets of a carbon fiber weave (light), with the strength of aircraft-grade aluminium and a slip tip for big fish. But, it’s truly a beast for one reason alone. The spear will not bend. This is unheard of when it comes to pole spears, as there is always a little bit of “flex” in the shaft, especially when it’s under tension. By designing a spear with zero flex, JBL have given it a significant power boost because all of the force you’re able to generate in your shots is transferred straight to the tip. It’s one of my favourite pole spears to use, but it also comes at a price.

 

JBL Shaka Carbon Fiber 7' Travel Polespear
5 Reviews
JBL Shaka Carbon Fiber 7' Travel Polespear
  • Proprietary Carbon Fiber Weave makes this polespear the stiffest on the market.
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Three piece travel pole spear

 

HeadHunter Predator Carbon Fiber Pole Spear

Deep Water: Best Pole Spear

I have a friend who swears by pole spears, and will only ever reluctantly pick up a speargun if he has to. He loves the intimacy it gives you, and I’ve seen him pull in massive fish with only a pole spear. Well, not just any spear. The HeadHunter has crafted a pole spear that’s an absolute beast. At 9 foot long it’s one of the largest in the market, but it gives you a massive boost to your range that you’d never reach on a shorter model. To cater for the size the base is a hefty composite material, with a carbon fiber top that makes it both light yet durable in the water. But what’s cool is the slip tip prong that HeadHunter designed especially for pole spears, that allows for both easy penetration while protecting the shaft as you target bigger and bigger fish. This is the ultimate pole spear.

 

HeadHunter Predator Carbon Fiber Pole Spear
2 Reviews
HeadHunter Predator Carbon Fiber Pole Spear
  • SPECIFICATIONS:
  • overall length: 9 feet
  • length of bach section: 5 feet
  • length of front section: 3 feet
  • length of tip: 10 inches

 

Scuba Choice 5′ travel spear

Traveler’s Choice: Best Pole Spear

As a more compact version of our editors choice winner for best pole spear, this model is our recommendation if you’re looking for a smaller and more budget-friendly model. It’s a fiberglass pole that comes with a 3-prong paralyser tip, and can be broken down to fit in its travel bag to only 24 inches (61 cm) long. This means it’ll easily fit in most suitcases (yes, even the compact ones), so you’re always able to get a dive in, even on holidays. I really like this spear, as I actually prefer a shorter pole spear when I’m diving on a reef. It’s a little easier to handle, and you don’t always need that much range when the fish you’re hunting are hiding under the ledges and cracks.

 

Scuba Choice 5' Travel Spearfishing Two-Piece Fiber Glass Pole Spear 3 Prong Barb Paralyzer and Bag
116 Reviews
Scuba Choice 5' Travel Spearfishing Two-Piece Fiber Glass Pole Spear 3 Prong Barb Paralyzer and Bag
  • Total length: 5' (60")
  • Pole spear material: Fiber glass
  • 3 Prong Paralyzer tip with barb: Stainless Steel, 12" long. 8mm diameter thread
  • With Black rubber sling & bag
  • Break down length: 24" pole + 24" pole + 12" Paralyzer tip

 

All of these pole spears are a great buy, and it’s our hope this guide will help you purchase your first one. You’ve so many great pole spears to meet different needs (as well as price points), and if you’ve got any questions in finding the best pole spear for you just give us a shout. We’d be happy to help.

Happy spearin!

 

 

How we actually determined the best pole spear

using the best pole spear spearfishing

My name is Max Kelley. I grew up on a small beach in Australia, and every chance I could get I was spearfishing. I started with an old pair of goggles and a second-hand pole spear, and over the last 30 years I’ve used and tested pretty much every piece of spearfishing gear you could imagine.

I like to think I know what makes a good pole spear, and whether you’re just starting the sport or looking for an upgrade to improve your spearfishing game, there’s a few things I’d like to share with you.

When it comes to choosing the best pole spear, there’s three things that actually matter.

  • The length of the spear, as this will determine your range.
  • What the spear is made from, this will influence how well the spear works.
  • The tip, as there are a couple of different variations in spear points.

Personally, I think everyone who is interested in spearfishing should buy a pole spear first. It’s far more cost effective than even buying a cheap speargun, and it also helps you to learn good spearfishing techniques. The shorter range you get with a pole spear forces you to learn how to sneak up on the fish, and build your skills, before investing in a spear gun.

 

Why does the length of my pole spear matter?

Generally pole spears come in options for 5, 6 and 7 feet. The longer a pole spear gets the less maneuverable it’ll be underwater. But it also affects the range. You’ll be able to effectively shoot a 7 foot pole spear a couple of feet further than you would a 5 foot version of the same model. So think about where you’re going to be spearfishing. If you’re targeting smaller fish, in and amongst the rocks and caves of the reef, I’d probably go for a shorter pole spear. If you’re pushing out into open water and want a little more distance to your shots, a longer pole spear will be better.

 

What’s a good pole spear even made from?

best pole spear for spearfishing bahamas

These days there’s three different materials used to make a pole spear. And the key difference here is weight. How much your pole spear weighs will change both the stopping power of your shots, along with how far it travels underwater.

Aluminum pole spears are usually the heaviest, but they’re much better for targeting large fish. The downside is that they will require more power to propel them, and it will tire your hand out fast. You’ve also got to watch out for the seals. Often (especially once they’ve been used a bit) they will start to flood with water, weighing them down so they are even heavier. It’ll also throw your shots out.

At the cheapest end of the spectrum is fiberglass. It’s what most people start out with, as they’re pretty durable, while providing a great spearfishing tool. I’ve killed lots of fish with fiberglass pole spears, and I’ve got to say they can take a beating. Just watch out for them splintering. If you do happen to bend it past breaking point, or notice the shaft is deteriorating, be careful. These splinters are brutal and will hurt like hell in your hand.

Carbon fiber is what the best pole spears are made from. It’s the most lightweight option for a spear, providing massive strength in the shaft. But they’re not that durable. If you happen to sit on it, or smash it into the rocks one too many times, it can break the spear. And if money’s no object you’ll find the top of the line pole spears will be a hybrid of aluminum and carbon fiber. To make them much more durable.

 

The different options for the pole spear tip

The most common you’ll see is known as the paralyzer. It’s essentially just a set of three (or five) prongs, set in a circular design with a slight outward taper. Each of the prongs on the spear has its own barb, and the idea is that these will help to grab hold of the flesh of the fish. For a beginner this is what I’d recommend, as they’re a bit more forgiving when it comes to aim. Plkus, they’re great for catching small fish. Though you will need to secure the fish quickly because they can wriggle off a pronged spear fairly easily. Rely on the impact of the shot to “stun” the fish, so you can swim down to it and retrieve.

 

Scuba Choice Spearfishing 12-Inch Stainless Steel Pole Spear Tip 3 Prong Barb Head Paralyzer
27 Reviews
Scuba Choice Spearfishing 12-Inch Stainless Steel Pole Spear Tip 3 Prong Barb Head Paralyzer
  • Durable, Strong Stainless Steel material
  • Total length: 12" long
  • Female thread: 8mm in diameter
  • Thread outside diameter: 14.2mm, Thread line: 1.25mm
  • REPLACEMENT SPEAR HEAD ONLY FOR POLE SPEARS SOLD BY SCUBA-CHOICE

 

A flopper tip is what I prefer on a pole spear. Using a single barb you can get a better penetration than a pronged tip, which means you can target bigger fish that would simply break away from even a perfect shot on a pronged spear. Plus, if you happen to hit a rock (like if you’re shooting into the back of a cave), the spearhead is a bit more durable and won’t get as damaged. Then of course there’s slip tips for even bigger fish, but I’d not recommend these unless you’re really pushing out into deeper water. And then it may pay to invest in a decent speargun, so you’ve got a better range.

 

Sale
Scuba Choice Spearfishing 12' Stainless Steel Pole Spear Tip Single Barb Head
32 Reviews
Scuba Choice Spearfishing 12" Stainless Steel Pole Spear Tip Single Barb Head
  • Durable, Strong Stainless Steel materials
  • Total length: 12" long
  • Female thread: 8mm in diameter
  • Thread diameter: 14.2mm, thread line: 1.25mm
  • REPLACEMENT SPEAR HEAD ONLY FOR POLE SPEARS SOLD BY SCUBA-CHOICE

 

How to actually use a pole spear

actually using the best pole spear

Using a pole spear is relatively straightforward. You’re essentially creating a slingshot with the spear gripped in your hand, and once you release the spear will shoot forward in the direction the tip is pointed.

Start the process by slipping your thumb into the loop of the rubber band. Wrap your fingers around the shaft of the spear, and move your hand up towards the middle of the spear. This will stretch the band, putting the tension on the spear. The further you stretch the more power your shot will have, so take a strong grip and hold the spear tight.

Stretch your arm out straight and point the spear at your target. When using a pole spear what you actually want to do is “stone” the fish. It’s like knocking someone out. The best way to do it is to hit the fish in the spine, right behind the gills. Get it right and you’ll stun the fish momentarily, reducing the chances it’ll get away before you can swim down and secure your catch. It’s also the most humane way to spearfish, as it greatly reduces the chance you injure the fish and have it swim off injured and suffer until it dies.

Once you’re sure of the aim, get as close to the fish as possible and release. As a rough guideline, you’re good up to about 5 or 6 feet when using a 7 foot pole spear, but this may vary based on how tight you’re able to pull the rubber. The more tension you can get on the band, the more stopping power your shots will have. But don’t spend your entire dive swimming around with your pole spear ready to go. Holding it ready to fire the entire time will set your hand cramping, draining your energy and also putting more stress on your body, which will reduce your bottom time. I tend to keep it only loosely loaded, and stretch it tight when I see a fish I intend to take a shot at.

Just remember to keep it slow. The smoother you’re able to move through the water the less likely you’ll spook any large fish in the area. Fast, jerky movements will get you the wrong kind of attention, and send any decent fish quickly out of reach.

After a successful shot, you need to be fast to ensure you don’t lose your catch. The first step is to secure the fish on the shaft, so push forward with the spear to ensure the prongs are deeply embedded, (or you’ve got the flopper the entire way through). A sandy bottom works great for this, then slowly swing the spear to the surface and bring your spare hand round to grab the fish. Once you’ve got it close, a quick dispatch before threading it onto your stringer, and you’re ready to find another fish.

The best pole spear is the one you can afford, that gives you an opportunity to learn and experience just what spearfishing is all about. Don’t stress too much about buying your first pole spear, use a guide like ours to get a quality recommendation that won’t break the bank, and focus on actually getting in the water and spearfishing some fish. Oh, and be sure to send me a pic of your first catch. I’d love to see it.

 

Happy spearin!

,

The “Best” Blue Water Speargun to Catch Massive Fish

the best blue water speargun to catch massive fish

 

When you’re chasing really big fish, you want the best speargun possible. And in the open ocean, bigger is better. To take down a monster tuna or wahoo, you need a speargun version of a bazooka. And that’s where the blue water speargun fits in. It’s been specifically designed for power and distance, allowing you to hunt some of the biggest fish in the sea.

But this is the part of the sport that starts getting expensive. There’s plenty of manufacturers out there who make great blue water spearguns, and many of these will set you back upwards of $1500 or more. Often a lot more. My most expensive speargun cost me a little under $3,000. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome speargun, but it’s also a lot of cash to drop.

Now here’s the interesting part. We’ve done a bunch of tests on the best pneumatic, cheap and spearguns in general, and it was quickly apparent that the most expensive guns aren’t always the best. So, a few weeks back we put the blue water spearguns to the test. And discovered a few different options that won’t break the bank.

Ready for it?

Riffe Bluewater Elite

Editor’s Choice: Best Blue Water Speargun

Hands down this is one of the most ultimate spearguns you can buy. If you’re after an award-winning fish, or a catch that you can brag about to your friends for years, you need this speargun. It’s a teak stock with padauk “wings” which adds stability to the massive length of this speargun, while the enclosed track prevents your shots flying off-course, even when you’re pushing distances out to 25 or 30 feet. You will not find a better speargun at this price range.

 

Riffe Bluewater Elite Speargun
  • Full body weighted Padauk wings 11/32 (8.7mm) x 65 (165cm) threaded shaft w/ rest tab Ice pick slip tip 500lb. test 7 7 coated cable Breakaway setup 4 x 5/8 (16mm) power bands (5th band optional)

Why buy the Riffe Bluewater Elite

  • Comes pre-rigged with a breakaway setup for targeting big game fish
  • At 170cm it’s literally a bazooka and will truly send your shots flying
  • Space for up to 5 bands (comes stock with 4) to add power and distance
  • 2-piece stainless steel trigger that accepts up to a 9mm shaft
  • Heavily reinforced muzzle and locking-pin safety feature

 

Of course, there’s a few others we tested to find the best blue water speargun, you can see the results below.

 

Koah Twin Roller Series Speargun

Most Versatile: Best Blue Water Speargun

What I love about the Koah Twin Roller speargun is you get all the power of a massive blue water speargun in a weapon with a barrel only 135cm long. Designed to hold two power bands, this speargun uses 4 delrin ball-bearing rollers to ensure the maximum velocity in every shot. Plus, if you happen to take this gun on a reef dive or need a little less power in your shots, there’s two different positions for the bands which allow you to change up the power considerably (while you’re in the water). Very impressed.

 

Koah Twin Roller Series Speargun - Euro 135Cm
  • Shaped band ramps at the muzzle to promote band separation down the stock
  • High strength 11/32 heat treaded 17-4PH shaft
  • Carbon fiber band lifters, safety and plates
  • AR Aluminum handle base for interchangeable grips comes standard with the Rubberized houge Grip
  • V.B.S (Variable Ballast System) neutralizes remaining recoil

Why you need the Koah Twin Roller Series Speargun

  • Aluminum handle with easily interchangeable grips (comes stock with rubber)
  • Bottom resting notches to help you readjust as you load the speargun
  • Aggressive yet ergonomic shape for easy maneuverability in the ater
  • Shaped band ramps help separate the rubbers down the stock of the speargun
  • Comes with a heat-treated 11/32 (8.7mm) steel shaft

 

AB Biller LTD Teak Speargun

Runner Up: Best Blue Water Speargun

AB Biller is one of my favorite brands when it comes to value for money spearguns, and their limited edition series is perfect for blue water hunting at 60″ (152cm). You’ve got the option to buy the AB Biller LTD in teak, mahogany or padauk, but personally I love the teak finish. The trigger mechanism is installed directly into the wooden stock barrel of the speargun for extra durability, and it comes standard with a 7.9mm stainless spring-steel shaft.

 

AB Biller LTD Teak Speargun with FREE DDF Slap Strap (60")
  • Handcrafted from selected Padauk with the trigger mechanism and safety fitted directly into the gun barrel
  • Stainless spring steel 5/16' diameter shaft
  • 2 - 9/16' natural rubber slings with stainless steel swivel wishbone and hardened stainless spring steel double-barb swivel tip
  • Also available in Mahogany and Padauk

 

What to consider when buying a blue water speargun?

Once you start chasing the biggest fish in the ocean, you need spearfishing gear that will hold up to the stresses you’re about to put it through. Top of the list in terms of importance is finding a blue water speargun with two main qualities. It must be tough as nails to hold up against the fight the massive dogfish will give you. And powerful enough to give you the range and ability to hit your targets at a distance.

 

The length and strength of the spearguns barrel

This is a double-edged sword when it comes to blue water spearguns. The longer the barrel the more power you’ll be able to transfer into the shaft. But too much and it’ll start throwing your spear off-course. Overpowered spearguns will “whip” the shaft and kill your accuracy, and even on a roller gun can send your shots on a massive downward arc. Then there’s also the problem of the barrel warping under all that pressure. The trick is to find a balance, where you’ve got a strong, supportive stock in place, and an enclosed rail to keep the shaft flying as true as possible.

 

Where the handle is positioned for maximum comfort

With blue water spearguns there’s two main choices when it comes to handles. The rear and the mid. Rear handled spearguns are the standard. It’s what you get on most European-styled spearguns, and it’s the most user-friendly to use.

Trouble is, once you start using bigger and bigger spearguns, it becomes harder to swing the front around to aim and target a fish. So, the mid-handle was released. It moves the pivot point you’re holding closer to the center of the gun, which makes it far easier to swing through the water. Often, these mid-handled spearguns will also allow for a longer shaft, owing to how much further back the shaft can sit. Personally, I find it much more difficult to aim and hold a mid-handled speargun steady, but many of my friends like it. Each to their own.

Riffe Mid Handle Series Speargun - #N No Ka Oi
1 Reviews
Riffe Mid Handle Series Speargun - #N No Ka Oi
  • Heavy-duty 4 laminate teak stock with side machined grooves for ease of handling 5/16(8mm) threaded shaft with large replaceable two-barbed spearhead (tip upgrade available) Models #B thru #H come standard with (3) 9/16 (14mm) power bands (may upgrade to 5/8(16mm) diameter for more hitting power) Models #I and larger come standardwith 5/8(16mm) Locking-pin safety

 

What kind of fish you’re going to target

When we say blue water spearfishing it usually means we’re going after big, pelagic fish. The name comes from the particular part of the ocean they live in (the pelagic zone), and these are the real monsters of the ocean. Blue fin tuna. Wahoo. Sailfish. Everything you see the game fisherman targeting with their deep-sea rod setups, except we’re getting in the water with them and our speargun. Understandably, you need the most heavy-duty gear possible to actually land one of these fish, and there’s three key tips you need to follow when you’re chasing them.

 

Use a breakaway setup with float rigging

This is the smartest piece of advice I can give you. You need a breakaway setup on your speargun. What this means is that instead of your spear being tied to the stock of your speargun, it connects to a separate floatline (and float). Once you take a shot, if the fish decides to high-tail it out of there at a million miles an hour, you’re not going to lose your gun. And the float will help you track it down and pull it into the boat. It’s the only setup I’d recommend using when you’re spearfishing in deep water, as it eliminates any possibility of a big fish running off with your blue water speargun. Just remember. Using this technique there’s now nothing keeping your speargun with you. So once you’ve made a shot slip your arm through the rubbers so it doesn’t float away while you’re pulling the fish back to you.

Use a slip-tip instead of a traditional flopper

Once fish get above a certain size, you need to start worrying about the damage they can do to your shafts. These fish are powerful, and can bend and warp even the best spring steel. Yes, even your monster 9.5mm spear the guy at the local dive shop said is indestructible. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. And no one wants to be buying new shafts after every dive. What you need, is known as a slip tip. It’s a novel little piece of gear, that screws onto a threaded shaft just like any other spear tip. But it has a trick. It’s able to separate into two pieces, that are joined by a piece of strong steel cable. So once you’ve hit your target fish and the spear “pulls back,” the slip tip disengages and the cable threads into the fish. This becomes what the fish fights against, and because the cable is so much more flexible than a straight metal spear, it greatly lessens the chances you’ll lose the fish, or have it bend and warp the shaft.

Riffe Mini Ice Pick Slip Tip for Spearguns (5/16 (8mm))
1 Reviews
Riffe Mini Ice Pick Slip Tip for Spearguns (5/16 (8mm))
  • 5" (12.7cm) length6mm ThreadHeat treated and polished 17/4 Stainless SteelPrecision machined**Adapter, Tandem Slide, and Ring Line Assembly included

 

Use flashers and lures to attract the big fish to you

Spearfishing flashers are exactly what they sound like. A series of bright, shiny and moving objects that you use to attract fish. They work much like lures for a line fisherman, as the mirrors reflect the sunlight and bring the big fish in close to investigate. When you’re spearfishing in deep water, you need a reason for the fish like the tuna and wahoo to come in close. I guarantee you they’re almost always out there, but without an incentive they’re not going to come anywhere near you on a dive. Plus they’re easy to setup. Just buy a set of flashers, tie them off to a float (you will need a separate one unless you want it tangling the hell out of your breakaway floatline), and use it as a focal point on your dives. I’ve seen the best results with mirrored flashers, especially if you can find one that’ll move in the current on its own. It gets annoying to have to keep “jiggling” it on the surface. My flasher can be adjusted to about 30 feet deep, and uses a series of these types of lures along it. It works a treat.

Spearfishing Mexican Flag Throw Flasher Pelagic Fish Attraction
  • Holographic design for maximum flashing attraction
  • 1 flat card and 1 angled card to create vibration and movement when moving through the water

 

Testing the accuracy of the blue water spearguns

tuna blue water speargun catch of the day

When we got these blue water spearguns in the ocean we looked for a number of traits. How much pressure could be loaded on the stock before it started flexing, at what point the shafts started warping when they were fired, and of course how well each brand held up at a distance. We also looked at usability, and how easy it was to actually load, reload and target the fish once you were in the hunting zone. I’ve got to say here, this was probably the toughest series of tests we’ve done, and it became really hard to judge between each of the different models. Once you start spending this amount of money on a blue water speargun, they’re all pretty good options.

Successful blue water spearfishing comes down to your gear. You need the right speargun that’s up to the task, and I can’t recommend enough the Riffe Blue Water Speargun. It’s already setup to handle these types of fish, and powerful enough to take them down. Then all you need to do is leverage tricks like the flashers to bring the big fish in close. That’s how you’ll be successful, and that’s how you’ll land a prize-winning fish.

Oh, and do yourself a favour. Buy the right speargun.

 

Riffe Bluewater Elite Speargun
  • Full body weighted Padauk wings 11/32 (8.7mm) x 65 (165cm) threaded shaft w/ rest tab Ice pick slip tip 500lb. test 7 7 coated cable Breakaway setup 4 x 5/8 (16mm) power bands (5th band optional)

 

Let me know how you go, and I’d love to see a pic of your biggest fish.

 

Happy spearin!

 

 

 

,

The “best” cheap speargun for under $100

best cheap speargun under $100

With spearfishing getting more and more popular, it’s important those getting started know what to look for in a speargun. It’s all well and good to want the bells and whistles of a top-of-the-line speargun, but I want to let you in on a little secret. There’s plenty of great spearguns around that’ll set you back less than $100. Just because you’re buying a cheap speargun, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to help you catch a feed of fish.

With the help of a few friends, we tested the cheapest spearguns we could find. Or more accurately. We wanted to see how fast we could get a cheap speargun to break, while also putting them through a series of accuracy and distance tests. I wasn’t all that surprised with the results, as they reflect what most of the industry has been saying for a long time, along with my personal experience after decades in the ocean.

Right. Now onto the list.

Beuchat Espadon Sport

Editor’s Choice: Best Cheap Speargun

Beuchat has found that perfect balance between quality and affordability, and as a result it’s easy to understand why they’re at the top of our list as the best cheap speargun on the market today. Their spearguns are great. Easy to use and manoeuvre underwater, the thinner shaft provides a power boost while minimising the hole your shots leave in the fish. My only advice would be to shorten the factory rubber it comes with for a little more power, and perhaps even fit a second rubber to give your shots a little more distance. You’re not going to find a better deal than this cheap speargun.

 

Sale
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
6 Reviews
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
  • Stainless steel mecanism
  • 25 mm diameter aluminium barrel for a perfect flotation
  • Entry level version and Sport version

Why buy the Beuchat Espadon Sport

  • 25mm barrel is slim and easy to use for those learning how to spearfish
  • 13mm factory bands easy for even kids to load as a first speargun
  • Stainless steel trigger mechanism for safety in the water
  • Powerful and accurate speargun to ensure you actually catch your fish
  • A 90cm barrel makes it one of the largest “cheap spearguns” available at this price

 

Of course, there’s a few others we tested to find the best cheap speargun, you can see the results below.

 

JBL Carbine D6

Runner up: Best Cheap Speargun

With a high-strength stainless steel shaft and trigger, the JBL Carbine is also a good choice for a cheap speargun. At 27″ (roughly 68cm) it’s a little shorter than the Beuchat Espadon Sport, but it’s a great little speargun for the price. In our tests it was accurate up to about 10 feet, which is about as good as you can expect when you’re buying spearguns in this price range. You will need to shorten the factory bands though to ensure your shots actually pierce the fish at these distances, but all-in-all it’s a great introductory speargun. Oh, and make sure you’ve got a file handy. The speartip you’re given with the setup is rather dull, it’s worthwhile getting this to a nice point before your first hunt.

 

JBL Freediving/Spearfishing Mini Carbine Metal Speargun D6 w/ Free Coil Lanyard
53 Reviews
JBL Freediving/Spearfishing Mini Carbine Metal Speargun D6 w/ Free Coil Lanyard
  • This package includes: JBL Freediving/Spearfishing Mini Metal Speargun D6
  • BONUS: includes free Quick Release Coil Lanyard with Buckle - Scuba Essentials by DiveCatalog
  • This exclusive package by ShootingUnderwater saves you an additional $23.95
  • All products are brand new with manufacturer's warranty, original packaging, manual, and standard accessories included.
  • Accessories listed are items that have been added by ShootingUnderwater for your convenience and additional savings.

 

Cressi Apache

Shortlist: Best Cheap Speargun

With the Cressi Apache I was suitably impressed, and it sits third in our list as a cheap speargun. It’s also one of the lightest spearguns you’ll find at this price range, which makes it super easy to track and handle in the water. There is space for a second band to be added for a boost in power, and we were able to accurately shoot at about 7 to 8 feet. Not bad considering the gun we were testing was only 18″ (roughly 45 cm). If you’re looking for a cave gun this would be the speargun I recommend, as it’s perfect for getting into tight spaces to hit those big cod and other fish hiding out of sight.

 

Cressi Spearfishing Apache Speargun (45-cm)
61 Reviews
Cressi Spearfishing Apache Speargun (45-cm)
  • The Apache is a small and compact speargun for small to medium fish, a great starter gun for any young spearo.
  • Durable anodized heavy duty sealed aluminum barrel.
  • Closed muzzle for improved accuracy and ease of loading.
  • Advanced Tahitian-style flopper shaft for superior penetration. Special handle angle to increase the shot's precision.
  • Replaceable band and wishbone assembly is user friendly.

 

SEAC New Sting

Shortlist: Best Cheap Speargun

The SEAC New Sting is another good choice for a cheap speargun, and at 65cm it’s comparable to the JBL Carbine. What I didn’t like was the shaft, as it’s a thick 7mm but it’s a little softer than the others in this category. I do need to mention a warning here, as many buyers of this gun have seen problems with the trigger mechanisms misfiring. This shouldn’t happen, and if you find your gun is malfunctioning your best course of action is to return it and get it replaced under the manufacturers warranty. I bought a SEAC New Sting especially for this test, and despite my best efforts, I wasn’t able to actually get it to misfire. Believe me, I tried.

 

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SEAC New Sting Sling Speargun, 65 cm
70 Reviews
SEAC New Sting Sling Speargun, 65 cm
  • Innovative muzzle.
  • Barrel in extruded anticorodal aluminium.
  • Sternum rest.

 

Mares Bandit

Shortlist: Best Cheap Speargun

I’m actually a big fan of Mares, and their Bandit speargun is a great cheap speargun for beginners. At 45cm it’s one of the smaller ones you’ll get under $100, which is also why it’s a little further down the list. You will need to add a second band to the gun if you want it to have any sort of power, the factory setup is only good for a few feet, though shortening the band it comes with should get this up to an effective range of 6 to 7 feet. I didn’t like the way the speartip is setup (it’s a tri-cut tip), so you may want to get a file out before you go diving and round these out a little. It’ll help the spear penetrate the fish better.

 

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Mares Bandit Spear Gun
23 Reviews
Mares Bandit Spear Gun
  • Bandit Speargun, Tahitian shaft, Dyneema Wishbone, S power speed slings
  • Mares Bandit Spear Gun
  • Designed for Beginners to Intermediate Spear Fishers
  • Australasian Rigging
  • Tahitian Tri-Cut 7mm Spring Steel Shaft w/Single Flopper

 

 

What to consider when buying a cheap speargun?

Spearfishing is a great hobby, but when you’re just getting started or cash is tight, it can be hard to justify dropping hundreds of dollars on a speargun. I get it. When I first started spearfishing 30 years ago all I could afford was a pole spear. Here’s our list of the best pole spears on the market today, and these days there’s also many options for a cheap speargun. I’m glad times have changed. But before you drop your hard-earned cash on the cheapest speargun you can find, there’s a few things to look out for.

Because no one wants to buy a dud.

 

The length of the spearguns barrel

When you start looking at cheap spearguns, what you need to pay attention to most is the size of the barrel. Small spearguns do have their place in cave diving or in around the rocks on shallow hunts, but they can be difficult to use. As a big guy, I actually struggle loading smaller spearguns, because I can’t get enough leverage with a 45cm or 55cm speargun. It’s just too awkward for me. A shorter barrel length also affects the power of your shots. The shorter the barrel, the less tension you’re going to be able to put on the speargun, which means you’re going to have less force behind your shots. So you’ll miss more fish. In some of our tests the factory bands even resulted in the spears bouncing off our target. Which is crazy. It’s a fricken wicker target we were shooting at. But with a cheap speargun the size does matter. My advice, is to get at least a 75cm model or higher.

 

Where you’re planning to go spearfishing

We touched on this in the last section, but you really need to consider where you’ll be spearfishing before buying a speargun. I’ve got a small pneumatic speargun that I love for cave diving, but it’s not really practical for much else. If you’re looking to hunt in the wash of the breakers, searching in the cracks and shooting the fish hiding in caves, a smaller speargun is actually what you want. It’s easier to position and aim, and you’re likely to only be a couple of feet away from the fish you’re targeting. So you don’t need an insane amount of power. Actually, too much power here is a bad thing, as it’ll blunt your spear tip faster, and perhaps even bend the shaft which will render your speargun useless. And even though you bought a cheap speargun, you don’t want it to break on your first dive.

 

Remember to think safety with your cheap speargun

When you’re looking at buying a cheap speargun it’s important to pay attention to the trigger mechanism. This is usually the first point of failure on all spearguns, and misfires can be deadly. A misfire is when your speargun goes off unexpectedly. Perhaps you were able to squeeze the trigger and the speargun released while the safety was ON, or you were able to shake, rattle or knock the handle and get the gun to fire. What you want to find is a cheap speargun that still uses a stainless steel trigger mechanism. It’ll hold up far longer than the moulded plastic a lot of brands use on their entry level spearguns, while being much safer for the friends you’ve convinced to try spearfishing too.

 

Find a hardened shaft with the right tip

There’s a balance when it comes to the size of a spearguns shaft. The thinner it is the faster it’ll rocket through the water, but it also means it’ll be more prone to damage if it’s shot into a hard object, like the rock wall directly behind the fish you’re targeting. For the most part, you’re not going to get the finest quality “spring steel” shafts on a cheap speargun, but we did notice a lot of variance in the models we tested. The Beuchat Espadon Sport was the clear winner, though the high-strength shaft on the JBL Carbine puts this speargun at a close second.

JBL Freediving/Spearfishing Mini Carbine Metal Speargun D6 w/ Free Coil Lanyard
53 Reviews
JBL Freediving/Spearfishing Mini Carbine Metal Speargun D6 w/ Free Coil Lanyard
  • This package includes: JBL Freediving/Spearfishing Mini Metal Speargun D6
  • BONUS: includes free Quick Release Coil Lanyard with Buckle - Scuba Essentials by DiveCatalog
  • This exclusive package by ShootingUnderwater saves you an additional $23.95
  • All products are brand new with manufacturer's warranty, original packaging, manual, and standard accessories included.
  • Accessories listed are items that have been added by ShootingUnderwater for your convenience and additional savings.

 

Testing the accuracy of the cheap spearguns

cheap spearguns being tested in the ocean

All up we put five cheap spearguns to the test for this review.  Straight out of the box I have to tell you that the distance you’ll get with a cheap speargun just doesn’t compare to what you’ll get by spending just a couple of hundred dollars on one of the best spearguns in the market, but that’s neither here nor there. All of the spearguns we tested had no problems with accuracy up to about 7 feet, and you could push this out to 10 to 12 by shortening the bands. Personally I felt like I got the best “kick” out of the JBL Carbine and the Beuchat Espadon Sport, as the thicker shafts on the other cheap spearguns seemed to rob them of a little power. We did end up shortening all of the bands to see how much of a boost they could get, and the Beuchat was the clear winner.

Sale
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
6 Reviews
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
  • Stainless steel mecanism
  • 25 mm diameter aluminium barrel for a perfect flotation
  • Entry level version and Sport version

 

Just because you’ve not got hundreds of dollars to spend, there’s still plenty of great spearguns available for under $100. The trick is to do your research, and listen to the “old salts” like me who’ve put these spearguns through the works to recommend the best for you. I truly hope you can find a great speargun, even if it is a cheap speargun, and you get out in the water on your first dive soon. There’s nothing in the world quite like spearfishing, and nothing makes me happier than seeing all the new people trying it out.

Let me know how you go, and I’d love to see a pic of your first fish.

 

Happy spearin!

 

 

 

,

The Best Speargun for Your Spearfishing Adventures

the best speargun for your spearfishing adventures

 

I’ve spent the better part of the last 30 years in the water, or dreaming about my next spearfishing adventure. And with spearfishing getting more and more popular, one question I get asked again and again is. What’s the best speargun to buy? With the help of a few spearfishing experts, we’ve created the best speargun buyers guide to answer this very question.

Over the last few months we interviewed every expert our team could get a hold of and put some of the best spearfishing brands to the test. We spent over 100 hours in the water testing these spearguns for ease of use, accuracy, distance and more to determine which speargun is actually the best.

Ready for it?

AB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun

Editor’s Choice: Best Speargun “All Round”

The AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro is the best speargun for all round spearfishing. And what I love most is that it’s not going to break the bank, which is important if you’re only spearfishing every now and then. I’d opt for the 42″ (or the 48″ model if you’re a little taller) so you’re not going to need to upgrade your speargun when you start pushing out to deeper water. Either of these will be a great size for a speargun that can target most fish.

 

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AB Biller SS42 Stainless Steel Professional Speargun, 42'
17 Reviews
AB Biller SS42 Stainless Steel Professional Speargun, 42"
  • Including hardened stainless spring steel shaft
  • Hardened stainless spring steel double Barb
  • Stainless steel speargun
 Click here to see the full details of our AB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun Review.

 

It was a close race though. And what would a buying guide be without second place?

 

Rob Allen Tuna Railgun

Runner Up: Best Speargun “All Round”

Our runner up from the tests was the Rob Allen Tuna Railgun. It’s a South African brand, designed for power and durability. Highly accurate, this is one of my favorite speargun brands, but its railgun design means it’s a little bit noisier in the water. It’s also a little pricier. But it’s also a great buy if you’re looking for a speargun that will last you season after season. I’d recommend the 110 or 120 cm speargun.

 

ROB ALLEN ALUMINUM TUNA RAILGUN SPEARGUN WITH OPEN MUZZLE - ALL LENGTHS (110CM)
13 Reviews
ROB ALLEN ALUMINUM TUNA RAILGUN SPEARGUN WITH OPEN MUZZLE - ALL LENGTHS (110CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
  • 2X POWER BANDS: 5/8" (16 millimeters)
  • 7mm Spring Steel Shaft

Click here to see the full details of our Rob Allen Tuna Railgun Review.

 

Beuchat Espadon Sport

Best Speargun “Value for Money”

But I get that these two might not be the best speargun for those on a budget. If you’re wanting a cheap option to get started spearfishing the Beuchat Espadon Sport is by far the best speargun when you’re talking value for money, though you’re probably going to want to shorten the bands after your first few dives to give it a little more power. Oh, and it might be worth checking out our guide to the best pole spears if price is a concern, along with our round up of the cheapest spearguns on the market.

 

Sale
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
6 Reviews
Beuchat Espadon Sport Speargun (900 (90cm))
  • Stainless steel mecanism
  • 25 mm diameter aluminium barrel for a perfect flotation
  • Entry level version and Sport version

 

Riffe Euro Speargun

Best Speargun “Top of the Line”

On the other end of the scale there’s some truly beautiful spearguns out there. Spearguns that will give you more power, more distance in your shots, and have found that perfect balance between sturdiness and being able to actually track and target fish underwater. My personal favorite is the Riffe Euro Series. I’ve got the 130cm model. It’s my go-to speargun, with a beautifully crafted teak stock that still shines as bright as the day I bought it. Plus, there’s space to use three (3) rubber bands, giving more than enough power when I’m out chasing big fish. The gun pounds. And I’ve brought home some truly whopping fish with it.

 

Riffe Euro Series Speargun (130)
10 Reviews
Riffe Euro Series Speargun (130)
  • Low-Profile, 5 vertical laminate teak stock Models E-55 up to E110 come standard with 17/64(6.75mm) Hawaiian flopper Euroshaft (upgrades optional) Models E-110X up to E-130 come standard with 9/32(7.1mm) Hawaiian flopper Euroshaft Models E-110X up to E-130 have a thicker stock for increased strength (2) 5/8(16mm) Black RIFFE Gorilla Rubber power bands with 1000lb Spectra wishbone line (accepts up to (3) 9/16(14mm), (2) 5/8(16mm), or (2) 3/4(19mm) bands)

 

Any of these four spearguns are a great buy, and at the three different price points you should be able to find the best speargun for you. So, stop procrastinating. Order yours today and spend the next sunny weekend in the water. You can thank me later.

Happy spearin!

 

 

 

 

How we actually determined the “best speargun”

My name is Max Kelley. I grew up by a small beach in Australia, and every chance I could get I was in the water. It wasn’t long before I bought my first speargun, and over the last 30 years I’ve gotten a firsthand understanding of what makes a good speargun. Whether you’re shore diving or jumping off a boat to reach an offshore reef in 40 foot of water, there’s a few things to look out for, and I’d like to share them with you.

Because even if you’re not new to the sport it can be difficult to find the right speargun. Plus, there’s so many different models and styles. Brands to learn about. Reviews to read. It’s a tad overwhelming. I’ve bought my share of duds over the years. And it’s frustrating to see them only lasted a season or two before something goes seriously wrong.

Finding a good speargun is one of the most crucial decisions to make. Get the right speargun and you’ll start landing fish after fish. Spearfishing gets easier. Everything just seems to work. And I want to let you in on a little secret, the most expensive gun in the store isn’t always the best speargun.

 

The key types of speargun

A speargun isn’t the most complex piece of fishing gear. There are really only two choices when it comes to type. Those that use rubber bands to fire the shaft, and those that use air.

 

Pneumatic Speargun

A pneumatic speargun uses compressed air to fire the shaft. It’s very easy to use, simply shove the shaft into the speargun barrel, and as you push it in there’s a piston that stores this compressed air before the shaft clicks into place. Depending on the size of your pneumatic speargun it can hold anywhere from 15 to 30 bar of pressure. They do require a little practice to get your aim right, and good technique to load it, but these spearguns are often the go-to choose for beginners because they’re so easy to use and perfect for shallow reef spearfishing. Plus, you get more power in a shorter gun. If you’d like to read more we’ve done a round up of the best pneumatic spearguns here.

 

Banded Speargun

A banded speargun uses rubber bands to fire the shaft. It’s a little more cumbersome to load this type of speargun, especially if you’ve got more than one band on it. First you need to click the shaft into place, then you need to load the speargun by stretching out each band and securing it in place on the shaft. But there’s also a plus side. As you start targeting bigger and bigger fish, a banded speargun can be “overloaded” to produce more power than a similar pneumatic speargun. So, you can get a boost in power and send your shots further and further. For this reason, most spearfishing professionals use a banded speargun.

From here, there’s a few different styles you can choose for a band-powered speargun.

  • European spearguns are sleek and slim. They’re often produced in smaller sizes, to allow for greater maneuverability through the water, and feature thinner bands and a thinner shaft that’s usually 6 to 7.5mm wide. This makes them lighter, easier to load, and easier to use.
  • American spearguns are designed for power. The barrel stock is thicker, to allow for more pressure to be loaded onto the gun, with multiple bands and a thick 8 to 9mm shaft. They can feel a bit heavier in the water, but they’re more durable, and able to take down massive fish without concern for damaging the shaft.
  • The railgun. Consider these the bastard son of the European speargun. Taking the sleek and slim design of the European models, a metal rail is added for strength along the barrel, allowing thicker shafts to be fitted and more powerful bands. They’re noisy though. But they can pack a punch.

What I will say here is that unless you’re going to be shooting fish bigger than 10 to 15 pounds, the style of speargun isn’t really going to matter. Don’t get too caught up on it, and choose a speargun you feel comfortable with. Unless you’re wanting to land a monster. Then there’s a whole other guide we’ve got for you on the best blue-water spearguns.

 

Where are you planning to go spearfishing?

In this guide to the best spearguns we’ve made our recommendations based on what we believe most people will use their spearguns for. Unless you’ve got a boat to go offshore, or are crazy enough to jump off the end of your headland and swim a mile out to sea chasing a big pelagic, you’re probably just going to be kicking around the rocks in 5 to 20 feet of water. Which is fine. That’s where I started spearfishing, and remains one of my favorite areas to hunt.

For most people, these types of coastal areas are where they’ll be spearfishing. And it’s also important. Because you don’t need a massive speargun to be effective in these conditions. You will need something with a little maneuverability. One of the biggest factors here is the size of your speargun. 42 inches is just about perfect. Not too cumbersome, but big enough to give you power in your shots, and also to help you keep up if your friends happen to take you out on their boat for the day.

When we ran the tests for this guide we almost exclusively used 42 inch (or as close as possible) sized spearguns, with the factory stock sized rubber bands and shafts. There were a couple that we couldn’t get our hands on in time for our test, so we did improvise with other sized models, but this didn’t really affect the results as we had a clear first and second place winner for “best speargun.”

 

Think about the barrel you want on your speargun

At these kinds of sizes, the barrel material is more aesthetic than functional, so I’d recommend simply choosing the one you like the look of best. Some of my friends swear by wooden stock barrels, and whilst I agree they are lovely as hell, they can quickly add a couple hundred dollars to the price of your speargun. It’s not really for everybody. For the best bang for your buck, my advice is to go with a metal barrel, and is one of the key reasons we chose the AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro as our editor’s choice for best speargun.

 

Find a comfortable speargun handle to grip

Comfort is definitely key for me, especially if you’re planning on long shore dives. Where most cheap speargun models lose out is a poorly designed handle that’s not easy to hold over a long period of time. Try a few different spearguns and see how it is to grip, and remember that you’ll also be wearing gloves so a little breathing room is important. It needs to sit well in your hand, with your arm fully extended. Don’t be shy to try this in person. It’ll help you choose the best speargun.

 

Consider the safety aspects of the spearguns trigger

Within the handle the firing mechanism is also very important, as this is what locks the shaft into place. It needs to be strong and sturdy enough to prevent both misfires, while still being easy to flick the safety off and shoot. My advice is to find a speargun with a complete stainless-steel trigger mechanism. Plastic will wear and eventually misfire. And that could be a recipe for disaster for you or your diving buddy.

 

Understand your options for speargun shafts and tips

The speargun you buy will come with a factory stock shaft, and depending on the speargun it’ll range from 6.5 to 9mm thick. Obviously, a thinner shaft will be more prone to bending if you’re firing it into the rocks or trying to spear a much larger fish. The good news is you can replace shafts fairly easily, and most spearguns have the ability to accept a slightly larger size (depending of course on the manufacturers specifications). For those new to the sport or wanting a versatile speargun, I’d opt for an 8mm shaft. It’s what the AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro comes stock with, and is a nice balance between strength and speed.

For the tips, you’re probably best with a single flopper. This is also known as the Tahitian style, and has a single barb that hangs from one side of the shaft. I prefer these as they’re easy to remove, and perfect for targeting reef fish. But if you’re worried about losing your fish you could attach a double flopper for a little more security. The breakaway tip is the third option, but these are primarily to keep massive fish from bending your shaft. You’re not going to need that unless you’re spearfishing in deep water.

 

Testing the shortlisted spearguns for accuracy and distance

This was the most fun part of the day. Probably the most competitive too. We piled over thirty spearguns in my boat and headed out to a shallow bay for a little target practice. Instead of hunting fish we used an old wicker target held down by a bunch of lead spearfishing weights, and everyone got three shots of each gun. We ranked the spearguns on accuracy at 10 and 20 feet, as well as finding the maximum effective range for each. Long story short, once you’re within 10 feet of your intended target you’re going to smash it with any of our four recommended spearguns. And depending on your ability to predict where a fish will dodge, they’re all quite effective above this distance too. I would recommend shortening the stock bands though if you find there’s not enough “oomph” in your shots.

 

Know what you’re willing to spend on a speargun

What I love most about spearfishing is that you can get quality gear without needing to spend a fortune. The final cost of your speargun will of course depend on the brand, the materials used, and the size you’re after, but it’s very possible to find a great speargun for just a couple of hundred dollars. Like the AB Biller Stainless Steel Pro, or the Rob Allen Tuna Railgun. Most spearguns will fall somewhere in the range of $80 to $600+ so there really is the chance to find the right speargun for everybody. And if you take care of your equipment it’ll last a long time too. Think of it like an investment. One that allows you to bring home fresh fish after every successful dive. It’s definitely worth it.

It’s my hope that this guide to the best spearguns helps you make one of the best decisions you can make, to buy a speargun and start spearfishing. There’s nothing quite like the calm you feel while you’re hunting, and the excitement you’ll feel landing your first fish.

Happy spearin!