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.
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Riffe International Spearguns reviewed by real spearo’s
Riffe International is a spearfishing brand grown out of the founders passion and love for the sport. Born and raised in the sunny coasts of Southern California, Jay Riffe discovered a love for spearfishing at the age of ten.
Armed only with a hand spear, he patrolled the reefs near his home almost religiously, always searching for bigger and better fish.
Jay progressed fast, and at just 15 he took place in his first spearfishing meet. By twenty-two, he had become the Pacific Coast Champion, which led to a spot in the nationals, before he landed a position in the World Spearfishing Team.
But what’s most interesting is he wasn’t happy with the spearguns on the market. So he started to design his own. The goal, to create a hybrid speargun that was both powerful and accurate, highly maneuverable underwater, and silent too.
Using spearguns of his own design, Jay went on to set three world records, including a whopping 277.9-pound (126.04 kilo) yellowfin in January 1991. It’s since been beaten, but it remains a whopper of a fish.
Today, Riffe International is a brand synonymous with spearfishing.
Not only do they have five different series of spearguns catering to every level of spearfishing, they produce some of the best spearfishing gear on the market.
In fact, one of my all-time favorite spearguns is the Riffe Euro 130, I’ve got it overloaded with three (3) rubbers to give me an insane amount of power, and I’ve lost track of the amount of fish I’ve brought home with this speargun. It’s phenomenal. And deadly accurate.
Riffe Euro Series Speargun
This is a highly streamlined version of their standard models, I love it because it tracks so well underwater while remaining highly accurate even while overloaded. The hip loading extension makes reloading underwater a breeze, with space to fit a third band. You’ve also got a choice for buying an enclosed track model, for even more accuracy.
- 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)
Riffe Competitor Series Speargun
The goal with the Riffe Competitor series speargun was to produce a competitively priced entry-level speargun that features the quality you come to expect from Riffe as a spearfishing brand. There’s options for both teak and mahogany barrels (note they no longer use padauk to keep this entry-level speargun affordable).
- Designed to replace Riffe's Padauk Competitor series
- Solid Mahogany wood stock
- Only available in Hawaiian setup
- Hawaiian setup: 9/32 Hawaiian Flopper Shaft, 1 wrap of line, and 2 power bands
- 9/16 (14mm) amber power bands (may upgrade to 5/8 (16mm) bands for more hitting power and longer shots recommended with heavier shafts)
Riffe Euro Travel Series Speargun
Using what’s known as a modular design, this is the perfect speargun for travelers, who don’t want to be limited to a simple hand spear when spearfishing on tour. Both the shaft and barrel break down into two pieces for easy storage and travel, helping you fit a big speargun in your normal luggage.
- Low-Profile, 3 vertical laminate teak stock
- 30" (76.2cm) Back Section with handle
- Front Sections available in 16" (40.6cm), 20" (50.8cm), 24" (61cm), 28" (71.1cm), 32" (81.3cm)
- 2 hardened non corrosive stainless steel 8mm rods secure sections
- Comes standard with 19/64" (7.5mm) break down Hawaiian flopper Euro Travel Shaft
Riffe Standard Series Speargun
Composed of a laminate teak stock, this is a beautiful speargun. Smaller sizes are ideal for the reef, while the larger Baja models are sturdy enough to handle extra bands and proper blue water hunting (four or more bands).
- Heavy duty 4 laminate teak stock with side machined grooves for ease of handling
- 5/16″(8mm) threaded shaft with large replaceable 2-barbed spearhead (tip upgrade optional)
- Models #1, #2, #3 come standard with (3) 9/16″(14mm) power bands (may upgrade to 5/8″(16mm) bands for more hitting power)
- Models #4 and #5 come standard with (3) 5/8″(16mm) power bands
- Auto Line Release
Riffe Midhandle Series Speargun
If you’re serious about hunting bigger game, the midhandle series provides stability and maneuverability not always possible on rear-ended spearguns as they get bigger and bigger. Two of the most notable upgrades in this line are the Blue Water Elite, and Island Elite, both massive deep-water spearguns you can hunt some serious fish with.
- 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 standard with 5/8″(16mm)
- Locking-pin safety
In addition to their beautiful wooden spearguns, Riffe make a couple of metal spearguns out of heavy-duty, heat treated aluminium barrels. They call these their “Metal Tech” series, and offer rear and mid handle setups that are similar to their teak spearguns.
These spearguns come with a metal barrel and a couple of features like a polyethylene shaft slider to ensure it shoots silently.
Riffe also have a Mach 5 Metal Tech speargun that features wooden padauk wings in a cuttlefish design, however I’ve not yet been able to get my hands on one as they sell out fast. You may need to reach out to Riffe directly to order one of these beauties.
But not only spearguns, Riffe makes some of the best spearfishing equipment on the market, producing everything from wetsuits, to gloves, dive knives and more. If you’re looking for a spearfishing brand that produces high-quality gear, look no further.
Ultimately, Riffe International is one of the best spearfishing brands you’ll find in a market that’s fast becoming very saturated. If you’re looking for spearfishing gear that will stand the test of time, hold up to whatever you throw at it, and will serve you well season after season, do yourself a favor. Buy the right gear.
Use our buying guides and get the perfect gear
Finding the best spearfishing gear can be tough. There’s so many brands. And that’s before you start even diving into the different types of speargun, or whether or not you need carbon fiber fins. The list goes on. Check out our buying guides and ensure you’re making the right call, before spending a single dime.