Spearfishing is the ultimate outdoor activity. It combines great aspects of both hunting and fishing. While sometimes it seems easy to dive down where the fish are and get the fish it is really much more involved than that. When spearfishing you leave the boat and enter what can be harsh ocean conditions. Once a fish is taken the fish is still fighting on the line. Also, the blood in the water can attract sharks so it is important to handle the fish carefully.
Spearfishing is typically done on a reef where snapper, grouper, hogfish, kingfish, mackerel and cobia can be taken with a speargun. However, in some countries like the Bahamas spear-fishermen are not allowed to use a speargun with a trigger and are not allowed to take fish while scuba diving even with a pole spear or Hawaiian sling. Once you get good at spearfishing on reefs blue water spearfishing is considered the next level where people target, wahoo, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Most fish that can be kept while fishing can be taken with a speargun if the fish is legal size. There are some exceptions like tripletail which cannot be harvested with a speargun.
Freediving is the best way to spearfish in my opinion. It is recommended to start out on shallow reefs less than 20 feet deep and then start working deeper as your spearfishing and freediving skills increase. Also, consider taking freediving lessons which will increase your freediving skills much more than you would probably realize. Below I will discuss the best spearguns to use to match the location and type of fish being targeted.
The speargun we have had for years is the AB Biller 42 inch Special. This is about a 110 cm gun and is great length spearfishing for the reef. It has about a 10-foot range and can be used in open water as well. The AB Biller Special series comes in lengths 24-60 inches which correlated to rage effectiveness of 6 to 15 feet. The powerbands are two 9/16 inch rubber slings and have a 5/16 stainless steel shaft. This a beautiful gun and comes in three wood finishes, mahogany, teak, and padauk.
AB Biller Speargun
Price: Around $350
AB Biller special series spearfishing gun. Comes in lengths of 24, 32, 36, 42, 48, 54 and 60 inches.
This was actually the first speargun I ever used and it was not difficult to learn. The 42-inch gun does not come with a spool which makes it easy to use. We took the gun on a dive and practiced shooting in the sand before trying to hit a fish. It really did not take much practice before we could consistently hit a small target at about 8 feet away.
Riffe Euro Speargun
Price: Around $530-700
Riffe Euro has an open-muzzle with magnets to hold the shaft in place. Speargun comes in lengths 55, 75, 90, 100, 110 and 120 cm.
The Riffe Euro has been leading speargun design for many years. This style has a low profile stock compared to other spearguns of this size. Some people like the shore stock, other people prefer a long stock. This gun comes with stainless steel inserts for a reel.
Riffe Competitor Series Speargun
Price: Around $380-480
Riffe Competitor Series spearfishing gun comes in lengths 27, 33, 39, 45, 48 and 55 inches.
The Competitor series is built from one piece of Mahogany wood. This a solid well built speargun. This comes in the Hawaiian setup which consists of the 9/32 Hawaiian Flopper Shaft, 1 wrap of line and two power bands. This is good for short-range shooting. This is a good entry-level setup. Large bands, a spool, and heavier shaft are better for long-range shooting.
Riffe Spearfishing Spool
Price: Around $276
A spool is needed on a speargun when you are targeting large fish over 5 pounds. This big fish can would otherwise pull to hard a risk pulling the speargun out of the user’s hands. For really big fish even spool is not enough and floats are needed to help tire the fish. We will discuss this in more detail below.
2. Spearfishing Pole
There are lots of 3-6 foot pole spears on the market but they are flimsy and not very good at taking fish that are over 12 inches long. If you are going to pole spear I would recommend buying a sturdy and long pole spear over 8 feet long. The exception to this is when targeting lionfish, then a 2-foot sling pole spear is perfect. You can take it on a dive with you and it is easier to carry. Lionfish are not spooked easily and will sit in the same spot even if you shoot and miss so this is all that is typically needed.
Neritic Big Blue Spearfishing Pole
Price: Around $300
For areas where spearguns are not allowed or for divers that prefer a pole spear this pole spear is a great option. The Neritic Big Blue is a great speargun for small, medium and large fish on the reef or in blue water. The pole spears have two 3-foot sections and one 2-foot section and a two-foot injector rod. This means the gun can be made into 4,5,6,7,8 or ten-foot lengths. The longest length section is only three feet long so this is a great pole spear to use while traveling. I know people purchase these when going to the Bahamas because trigger spearguns are not allowed.
The flared tip is connected to the injector rod with a magnetic slip-tip. A cable is also attached to the tip and spear. The tips slide off the front once a fish is taken. The pole spear also has 8 inch machined grooves in each section which are good for grip. Each threaded area has o-rings to ensure a secure fit. At the end of the spear, there is a cable ring that can be connected to a float. The pole spear power band is very strong and can be knotted when the pole spear is shorter than its full length to still get a powerful shot. It is important to do a freshwater rinse to the threads and connector areas after each use.
Riffe Pole Spear 9-Foot
Price: Around $430
The 9 foot Riffe pole spear is another top-quality option. This is also a three-piece pole spear.
Neritic spearfishing dive gloves
Neritic spearfishing dive gloves are a good idea when using large pole spears for a better grip.
Lionfish Pole Spear
Price: Around $34
Lionfish 21-inch pole spear. For lionfish, a two to four-foot pole spear is all that is needed. Make sure you handle lionfish properly because they have poisonous barbs and spines that will hurt an unbelievable amount and swell the affected area for days to months.
24-inch lionfish zookeeper to hold lionfish while spearfishing. If you plan to shoot and keep lionfish a zookeeper is a great tool to have. You push the lionfish into the container through a one-way cone. When you pull the spear out of the zookeeper the lionfish should remain in the container. The side is made of plastic which protects the user from the large spines on the fish. Just one poke from a lionfish can cause extreme pain and swelling. Like the worst pain, you have ever felt. However, lionfish are delicious and an invasive species in the USA so please harvest them whenever possible.
3. Cheap Spearguns
Cheap spearguns can still be powerful and take large fish but are going to have a few drawbacks. These guns are light and have more recoil than wood spearguns. The spear shaft floats above the guns and travels through a muzzle which makes them less accurate. These guns are air-filled and are less neutrally buoyant. Good entry-level guns will likely last a few years but have plastic parts that are going to wear out with age and use. A typically good but lower-cost speargun used a 7 mm spear and is 90 – 110 cm in length. All that being said this is a good option for people that only go spearfishing during vacations a couple of times a year.
Cressi Comanche Power Band Speargun
Price: Around $140-220
Cressi Comanche power band speargun comes in lengths 60, 75, 90, 100 and 110 cm. In English units, the lengths are 23.6, 29.5, 35.4 and 43.5 inches.
This is a decent speargun, one important thing I would recommend doing is adding a shock cord to the speargun line. Many users reports line snapping after several shots without the shock cord. Also, users say the band can be difficult to pull initially which is true of most powerful spearguns. The longer the speargun the more power or energy obtained. If the band is too difficult longer power bands can be purchased, just go one size longer. I describe both of these items below.
Shock Cord for Speargun
Cressi shock cord for speargun rope tether.
Cressi Speargun Reel
Price: Around $75
Cressi reel with 100, 130 and 160 feet line capacity. Adding a reel is important when targeting fish over 5 pounds. You do not always stone the fish and they can rip the gun right out of your hands if you do not have a reel.
Braided Spearfishing Line
Kevlar braided line for speargun reel.
Replacement Power Bands
Replacement power bands for the Cressi competition series spearguns.
4. Spearfishing Gear
Flasher for blue water spearfishing. This flasher slowly sinks and spins which can bring fish in closer for a shot while spearfishing.
Stainless steel rattle filled with BBs to make noise underwater to attract fish closer. Twisting and crushing a plastic water bottle underwater is know to work to attract bull sharks and other game fish as well.
Scuba Dive Stringer
Heavy-duty stainless steel dive stringer to use while spearfishing.
Blue Water Float
Speargun Float Line
Speargun float line in lengths of 50, 75, 100 and 125 feet.
Cammo 3mm neoprene one-piece wetsuit.
Vinyl Coated Dive Weights
Sea Pearls vinyl-coated lace through weights for a weight belt. Come in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 pound sizes. Color options are black, blue and yellow.
Riffe Rubber Weight Belt
Riffe Rubber Weight Belt with Buckle that is 54 inches long and two inches wide.
Drift Dive Float
The boat follows buoy for the vessel to follow while drift diving or for general diver safety.
Other Spear Fishing Gear
Spear Fishing Safety Tip!
While spearfishing either with scuba diving gear or freediving I would strongly suggest having a PLB in a submersible canister on your person. Visit our PLB Page to learn more about these devices! This could save your life if you are separated from the boat or get swept out to sea from the shore. These devices are very similar to EPIRBs.
This is a video last time I tried spearfishing in blue water. Normally I am not scared of sharks but these sharks were following the large school of tuna and it seemed like a good idea gets out of the water.
Thanks for visiting Global Fishing Reports. I hope these suggestions help you catch more fish when spearfishing!
If you have any suggestions for top spearfishing gear, leave a comment below!
Captain Cody has worked on charter fishing boats in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands and Alaska. Cody grew up in Pennsylvania and has also done extensive freshwater fishing including bass fishing tournaments. Cody strives to provide detailed information about the best fishing gear and tactics to help both novice and experienced anglers have a more productive and enjoyable time on the water. Cody also has a background in aerospace engineering and neuroscience but really only takes pride in being good at one thing and that is fishing!