The Best Spearfishing Float to Buy [Updated for 2023]

The Best Spearfishing Float When You're Spearfishing

There’s two key reasons you need the best spearfishing float when you’re spearfishing.

First is the safety, because a dive float and flag makes you much more visible when you’re in the water to any boats speeding past. Some dive locations even require that you have a spearfishing float by law, and you can get fined if you don’t have one.

The second is convenience. The best spearfishing floats also provide a handy bit of storage when you’re on the water. And you can hang onto it if you ever get tired while you’re resting on the surface between your dives.

I’ve used a float while spearfishing for the longest time, and in this buyers guide I want to share my thoughts to help you buy. Having tested every float I could get my hands on, the one you should buy is Spearfishing World’s Compact Lifeguard Float. It’s tough, and will last a lifetime in the water. Click here to get it now.


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The Best Spearfishing Float to Buy: Reviewed for 2023

JUMP TO: BEST FLOAT  |  WIFE’S FAVORITE  |  TOP OF THE LINE BEST FOR BEGINNERS  |  BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS  |  CHEAPEST  | WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  |  MY EXPERIENCE WITH SPEARFISHING FLOATS  |  WHY YOU NEED ONE  |  HOW TO USE A SPEARFISHING FLOAT  |  MY ATTEMPTS TO MAKE MY OWN FLOAT  |  SPEARFISHING FLOAT BUYER’S GUIDE

 

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UPDATE: 12th April 2023. Following a new test of all the different spearfishing floats, the below rankings have been updated, and Spearfishing World’s Compact Lifeguard Float has emerged as the clear winner. It’s just a smart buy. The tough exterior shell will stand up to the elements, and a smart counterweight system will keep your spearfishing flag up at all times.

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But you need a spearfishing float for more than just safety.

With the right setup, your float provides an anchor to your speargun, so you never risk losing it. If you make a lousy shot on a big wahoo and it tears off into the abyss, all you need to do is follow your float. It’ll stop the fish diving down, and you can retrieve both your gun, and the catch of a lifetime (you can even setup a breakaway rig for this exact purpose).

 

What You Need to Know When Choosing A Spearfishing Float

Don’t make the mistake of getting the wrong float for your spearfishing adventures, because it’s a critical piece of safety gear. Before you buy a spearfishing float, you want to make sure that it will help you to:

  1. Stay highly visible in the water, with a flag, bright colors and reflective strips
  2. Will stand up to the wear and tear of the conditions you’re in (rocky reefs vs open water)
  3. Allows you to carry your gear and catch without too much drag in the water

Get it wrong, and you’ll be struggling to pull the dead weight you’re dragging behind you.

Oh, and make sure that whatever flag you’re flying from your spearfishing float is regulation sized. Some areas have specific requirements, like Massachusetts, USA where you need a red flag with a white diagonal stripe, at least 12″ x 15″ that extends at least 3′ above the water’s surface. If you’re in an area that has rules like this, make sure that whatever spearfishing float and flag that you buy, does comply with your local laws.

Right, now onto the best spearfishing floats.

 

Spearfishing with a dive float

 

Spearfishing World Compact Lifeguard Float

Editor’s Choice for the Best Overall Spearfishing Float

One of the most durable options you’ll find for a spearfishing float, this torpedo-style float is hard, tough, and will survive whatever your spearfishing adventures throw at it.

It comes with three easy to grip handles for when you need to rest at the surface you’ll always have somewhere to grab (even if you’ve connected your gear).

What I like with this combo kit is the flag is included too. Bright, and built from Denier Nylon that’s thicker than most flags you’ll find on the market, it’s attached with a counterweight system to ensure your flag will always stay upright, and remain visible even in windy conditions.

The streamlined design helps reduce drag as you’re spearfishing, and I found it incredibly buoyant and easy to tow behind you in the water. Which is important for me, as I often will attach my float to my speargun in a breakaway setup, and too much drag is frustrating when you’re having to push your speargun forward to take a shot.

Why we think Spearfishing World make the best float for spearfishing:

  • 28″ lifeguard style rescue float that’s tough and durable
  • Combo kit gives you everything you need for your dive float and flag
  • Flag can be easily removed for easy storage and transport
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel snap clip to connect to your tow line
  • Satisfy’s coast guard throwable requirements for a life saving device
  • Emergency whistle attached for signaling to any boats or your buddy

Click the product box below to order yours today.

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Riffe Torpedo Pro Dive Float with Flag

Wife’s Choice: The Best Spearfishing Float

Where the inflatable floats really stand out is the space they take up in storage. You’ll hardly even notice they’re there.

Built from industrial strength nylon with high-visibility orange color, the bottom pouch has 2 pounds of weight to give the float some stability in the water and ensure your dive float remains upright at all times. You will need to inflate this one though, but that’s easy.

The Schrader Stem valve allows for quick and easy inflation with a bike pump at home, or a compressor at the gas station. Comes with a relief vale to prevent overinflation, and once you’re done, with just a pull of the tab you can quickly deflate the whole thing as you’re headed home.

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XS Scuba UFO – Universal Floating Object

Top of the Line: The Best Spearfishing Float

With this spearfishing float you get a versatile, floating platform that you can customize to meet whatever spearfishing requirements you have.

You’ll find 28 different attachment D-rings and 12 hooks, so you can build your own tie downs with the included bungee cord and pull bobs. This means you can securely bring a spear speargun or shaft with you in the water, your flashers, or anything else you don’t want to carry on your person while spearfishing.

I actually prefer the floating boat models like this for longer spearfishing sessions, or if I’m having to do a lot of swimming.

One of the spots my buddies and I regularly spearfish is an offshore reef, that’s about a kilometer out to sea. Not too far with your fins, but being able to carry a couple of drinks and my phone in a waterproof pouch, just gives a little more reassurance we’re equipped, should something go wrong.

Plus, they’ve even added shoulder straps for hands-free carrying.

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DiveSafe Torpedo Buoy Float

Best for Beginners: The Best Spearfishing Float

To get yourself in the water and out spearfishing as soon as possible, the DiveSafe Torpedo Buoy Float is a great combo kit for beginners.

You get the float, the dive flag, the tow rope, and a sleek torpedo-style inflatable covered with 6 different velcro straps and 4 stainless steel D-rings, so you’ve got plenty of places to clip and hang your gear when you’re spearfishing.

There’s even a weight strap to help you affix a standard dive weight to the bottom. Effectively stopping the rollovers previously faced with this spearfishing float and keep your flag flying at all times. The 100ft line is a nice inclusion, and you also get a safety whistle – just in case.

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Rob Allen Foam Spearfishing Float & Flag

Best for Professionals: The Best Spearfishing Float

For anyone wanting a float that’ll stand up to pretty much anything you throw at it, this spearfishing float is a great choice. Made from a tough polyethylene outer shell (the same stuff they make kayaks with), Rob Allen has designed this float to cut through waves and chop incredibly well.

Comes with all the clips and strap that you need, as well as a sturdy dive flag that screws right in. The float is counterbalanced to ensure the flag remains flying at all times, and at 61cm in length it’s more than buoyant enough for you to hang onto and float, or to serve as your marker on a ditch line when you’re targeting bigger game.

If you’re looking for a streamlined float, that cuts through the water and will stand up to any abuse you can throw at it. This is the best of this style you’re going to find.

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Scuba Choice Inflatable Signal Floater

Best Cheap Option: The Best Spearfishing Float

This diver below float is one of the cheapest, most basic spearfishing floats that you’ll find. But it’s worth the money.

Complete with a large dive flag and a 13″ diameter teardrop shaped inflatable float, it’s useful for spearfishing if you’re a beginners or advanced diver. Underneath the bottom of the float is a small pouch that you can fill with water to keep the flag upright. It also has a loop on the bottom to attach to your float line.

One you’ve added the water, you simply inflate the top. For the money, the quality is surprisingly good, and I love how flat it breaks down after you’ve been spearfishing so it won’t take up any unnecessary space in your dive bag.

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Thoughts on the other spearfishing floats we tested

If you’ve ever looked for a dive float, you already know there’s many different options for spearfishing. And my goal with this buying guide is to give you the best possible advice, which also means sharing my thoughts on all the other spearfishing floats we put to the test (but didn’t make it into our recommendations). To help you buy the best spearfishing float.

How to choose the best spearfishing float

 

Palantic Inflatable Float Boat & Flag

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

Another model to consider if you’re after a more affordable “float boat” style design is this inflatable from Palantic. One of the largest float boats we tested at 35″ in length once fully inflated, you get an air pump with this which is a nice inclusion for the price.

Constructed from rugged PVC with reinforced mesh, you get two handles to hang onto if you ever need a break in the water. To strap in all your gear there’s 5 plastic D rings on the top, and another 6 on the bottom, so you’ve got plenty of space to lock it all in. Especially if you want to tie in a waterproof bag to hold your keys, wallet and phone.

The only downside is the quality of the inflatable bladders, as these have held up for me so far but some reviewers weren’t happy with these.

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Seac Sub Sea Mate Inflatable Gangway Boat

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

For an alternative spearfishing float boat, Seac Sub have a similar model that’s a bit more heavy-duty than Palantic’s. It’s made with 420D Polyester and the elastic side straps are perfect for sliding in your spear guns, spears, or anything else you need to secure in place.

Under the keel you’ll find 7 D rings to attach your float line or anything else you’d like to fix under here, and there’s two handles on the bow. Inside this float are three separate air chambers, and it comes with an air pump so you don’t have to inflate this with your lungs.

The roomy pocket at the front locks down with a velcro close, allowing you to tuck away things that don’t always have a place when you’re spearfishing. Like your ikejime fish spike, a backup knife, or all your different flashers that you’ll need when you’re spearfishing.

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Omer Atoll Float

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

With a slightly different design to the other spearfishing floats we tested, the Omer Atoll Float covers two inflatable inner bladders with a protective nylon coating. Designed flat to help it remain upright, you get a variety of different clips, storage pockets and straps to secure extra shafts or a backup speargun.

Because the inflatable bladders are removable, one alternative hack you could make to this float to make it even more durable is to replace these inflatables with sections of the floating pool noodles, so you’ll never face an issue with punctures.

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Cressi Spearfishing Signal Board Buoy

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

Similar to the Omer Atoll Float, this is an ideal float if you want to bring additional gear with you while you spearfish. Designed in red for visibility, the outer casing is a tough and rugged material that protects the two inflatable inner chambers.

I’ve loaded up to three spearguns on this board, which fits quite easily in a bottom compartment and secured with adjustable velcro straps. In the water, it has minimal drag and on the top you have a number of multipurpose pockets for anything else that needs a place, like a bottle of water while you’re out spearfishing.

Included is a flag and a 20m float line, and you also get a safety whistle in case you ever need to attract attention in an emergency situation.

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Cressi Inflatable Float Signal

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

Another option from the Italian spearfishing brand is this inflatable spearfishing float. Designed in a torpedo shape, it’s 210-denier nylon fabric is tough against the elements, and the added high-visibility reflective strip is a nice touch to boost your ability to be seen in the water.

Tapered to reduce drag through the water, the regulation dive flag is stiff and the weigh pouch underneath helps to stabilize the float so your flag remains upright. Tie it into your tow line with a stainless steel D ring on the front of this spearfishing float, and there are four additional connection points on the sides.

To inflate, you simply need to blow this up with your lungs, which is great if you’re heading out to the water without a lot of gear.

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JZLiner Spearfishing Float Surface Marker

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

Available in both high-vis orange and fluorescent yellow, this nylon inflatable spearfishing float is another option to consider.

The wired flag connects at the back of this torpedo float, ensuring it never droops. Like most other torpedo floats you will need to attach a counterweight to ensure the float remains upright at all times, but this is common across spearfishing floats like this.

I love the high visibility band and that there’s plenty of D ring connectors and velcro attachments for all your gear, and you’ll also get a 72ft tow line included. For the price, it’s a good option to consider, especially if you want a color other than orange.

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Scuba Choice Palantic Ball Shaped Float

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

Simple is the name of the game for this dive float, but it’s compact, convenient and has pretty much everything a beginner would need.

Crafted from highly durable 420D nylon, the ball-shaped float comes with a clip-in dive flag that’ll stay securely in place. Inside the inflatable bladder can be inflated with your lungs, meaning it’ll fold down and not take up much space at all with all your other spearfishing gear.

Plus, included is a 60ft tow line, so you’ve got everything you need to get out in the water.

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Scuba Max Heavy Duty PVC Dive Flag Float

Shortlist: The Best Spearfishing Float

Another ball-float for spearfishing, this one comes with a larger 12″ x 15″ flag which is important if you have a specific local requirement to meet with your dive flag.

I’m not the biggest fan of the ball floats, as you need to ballast them with water and they’re not all that aerodynamic in the water, but if you want a cheap and effective spearfishing float, this is a solid option. The PVC feels quality, and it didn’t take long at all to inflate with my lungs.

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My experience with spearfishing floats

When I first started spearfishing I didn’t have a spearfishing float. I didn’t even know I needed it, as whenever I shot a fish I either clipped it onto my fish stringer, or threaded them onto my mono shooting line. That was, until I discovered the lobsters hiding in the rocks.

The first time I caught a lobster was a bit of a story. In addition to slashing my fingers to shreds (spearfishing without a decent pair of gloves was a mistake), I had to swim the entire length back to shore with it clutched in my grip. It wasn’t very optimal, and looking back at how I managed my catch of fish – probably not all that safe.

I mean, there wasn’t a whole heap of boat traffic where I grew up. But there were sharks. After a little Tiger tore a Bream off the end of a friend’s spear while on a dive, I realized I no longer wanted to keep my catch so close to my hands, or clipped to my belt. So, I started researching spearfishing floats, so I could keep my catch on a fish stringer.

Spearfisherman with dive float and speargun

 

Why you need the best spearfishing float

Depending on where you’re spearfishing, you may be legally required to have a dive flag. Some states require this by law, and they also have certain requirements you must follow, in terms of the diver below flag size, how high to fly it, and even how close it needs to be to you.

These laws are for your safety, and for the safety of those on the boats zooming past. It’s important you’re highly visible in the water. The flag and a bright orange float makes it easy to spot you, and avoid running you down in a tragic boating accident. Pick something highly visible, that’s also big enough to hang onto if you need a breather in the water.

For me, visibility is important but it’s not the only thing I look for. What I love about having a float with me while I’m spearfishing is that it’s a place to keep everything. I’ve got a bottle of water. A stringer to store my catch. A spare shaft just in case. My phone, wallet and keys in a waterproof pouch.

I treat my spearfishing float like a floating backpack of gear that I have within easy reach, so I’m always prepared on a dive.

A float can also provide a lifeline to your speargun.

Even if you’re only targeting small reef fish, if you’ve got a line connecting your speargun to your float you will never lose it in the ocean. This means you can set it down if you’re trying to pull a lobster from a cave, or if you need to readjust your mask. It’ll be there on the end of the line, connected directly to your spearfishing float. And just in case a monster wahoo decides to stick his head out at you, taking that shot is now possible because you can let go of your gun once he takes off. Just follow the float to your prize.

Though if the worst happens and you need to replace your spearfishing gear, check out the best spearguns on the market today.

How to attach a spearfishing float to your speargun

What type of float do I need?

Personally, I’m a fan of anything that’s going to make my efforts swimming through the water easier.

Less drag means less effort to pull your float, which makes it far easier to swim. I’d recommend getting a torpedo-shaped float, so it can easily cut through the water. Some of the boat-shaped spearfishing floats are great options if you’ve got lots of gear to take with you, or you’re swimming a longer distance.

Next comes the size. Of course, you could use a smaller buoy but remember that this may get pulled under if you happen to shoot a larger game fish. I’d not recommend anything less than 35lt if you’re spearfishing in deep water, and I’d also advise against an inflatable. You want a hard shell, to ensure it will always maintain its buoyancy. That’s also why my spearfishing float of choice is Spearfishing World’s Compact Lifeguard Float.

Guys with spearfishing floats for spearfishing

 

How to actually use a spearfishing float

It’s not rocket science. Your float and dive flag are at one end. There’s a piece of float line connecting the float to your speargun. And of course, your spear is connected to your speargun. There are different setups you can use for blue water spearfishing, like the breakaway setup that allows your shaft to break free from your speargun completely, but I’ve found this is the simplest setup that works for the majority of my dives.

No need to overcomplicate things, unless you’re specifically chasing big fish.

So you just need a length of float line to connect your float, to the base of your speargun. There are many different types of float lines available, the key here is to find one that floats, and won’t tangle as you dive. Like this.

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Making your own spearfishing float on the cheap

Here’s where things get a little fun.

Because I was a kid who barely had enough money to buy my first beginner’s speargun. Dropping even $50 on one of the cheaper options wasn’t an option. So I made mine.

The first spearfishing float I made was god-awful. I wish I had pictures of these but we’re talking pre-digital camera days now (I know, I know, I’m a dinosaur).

  • I took two square plastic milk bottles, the big 2L ones with the handle
  • Wired in a length of dowel in between for my diver below flag pole,
  • Wired two large sinkers to the bottom of my flag pole to keep it stable
  • Painted the whole think bright orange with some leftover spray paint

Underneath, I tied a mesh net bag for my lobsters and a home-made stringer for my fish. It was ugly, but it sort of worked. Though by about the second or third dive the paint started scratching off, and by the end of that particular summer the whole thing was trash.

My next attempt was a little better,

  • Taking an old bodyboard we had in the garage that no one used,
  • I bought four screw-in plastic plugs (the kind you use on bodyboards to attach your arm rope)
  • And used these as anchor points to fix a net bag to go on top of the board, as well as a couple of straps,
  • I punched a new hole in the top-centre of the board with another plug for my towline to connect,
  • And punched another small hole where I glued in a thin bit of PVC pipe for the flagpole.
  • This just slid in, and I had clips either side of the pole to hold it in place (so it could be taken out too).

This build was a much bigger spearfishing float, but it lasted me for a couple of years until I upgraded to a store-bought spearfishing float.

 

Learn to Hold Your Breath Underwater for Longer

 

Buying Guide to the best spearfishing floats

There are a few key things to consider when you’re buying this piece of spearfishing gear, so make sure that whatever dive float you get you’ve considered these different options. In general, you want something durable, that will float well, ensure you’re highly visible in the water and can store the spearfishing gear you need.

 

What size spearfishing float do you need?

Depending on the type of spearfishing you’re doing, the size of your float is going to matter.

If you’re going into deep water, or rough conditions, bigger is better. Your float will be more stable, give you something to hang onto if you get a cramp or need to rest, and will help you be spotted in the water. Of course, the alternative is also true, that in calmer conditions or close to shore, you could easily get by with a smaller spearfishing float.

In my opinion, you want something that’s stable enough to keep your head above water, while you’re taking a break before your next dive. Adequate rest intervals on the surface are critical when increasing your breath hold times for spearfishing, and it’s a lot more comfortable with a float to hold onto.

 

How durable does it need to be?

There’s two aspects to the durability question that you should consider.

If you’re spearfishing on a reef, or anywhere with rocky conditions, you do not want an inflatable spearfishing float. There’s just too much risk that a rogue wave will send it scraping over the barnacles and sharp rocks and puncture it. In these kinds of conditions, I’d recommend a hard shell spearfishing float.

I’d also recommend a hard shell spearfishing float, like the Spearfishing World Compact Lifeguard Float if you’re using a breakaway rigging setup targeting bigger fish. You never know what can happen once a fish takes off with your shaft in it, and it’d be a shame if they managed to pop or pull an inflatable spearfishing float underwater and escape.

When it might be less important to have a hard shell float is when you are doing long spearfishing dives and want something that can carry more of your gear, so you could consider the board or boat designed floats that have much more space for all your gear.

 

Think how visible your float is on the water

Ideally, your dive float is there to help an approaching boat spot you in the water. So one important consideration is just how visible you’re going to be with a particular model. You want a float that sits high in the water, and supports a long enough flagpole (with a rigid flag), that ensures you’re easily seen.

Things like clips to attach a flashing signal beacon, or even the addition of reflective visibility strips are good things to look out for on your spearfishing float.

 

What spearfishing gear do you need to carry?

Another important aspect are all the storage options that some of these floats come with. Because you’ve likely got a lot of spearfishing gear to carry.

Built-in compartments to tuck in gear like your flashers or a spare shaft, as well as all the different straps, clips and attachment points that suit your needs in the water. I like spearfishing floats that come with a handle, as they also make it easy to hang onto when you are catching a breath on the surface.

 

Will you be able to keep any interested sharks at bay?

One thing that’s important to think about with your float line setup, is in it’s ability to keep sharks away from you.

Because in addition to all the safety aspects, one of the primary reasons most people who spearfish will use a floatline is as a place to store their catch. But to any sharks in the water, what you’re dragging behind you is like ringing the dinner bell. They will detect the dead and bleeding fish, and they will swim up and take your carefully harvested fish, without a seconds thought. Sometimes aggressively so.

If you’re in an area where sharks are a problem, one of the best investments you can make is in a shark shield. It’s one of the only proven electronic devices to keep sharks at bay, that you can attach to your leg, or hang from your float and towline. It’s a wise buy.

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Wrapping up the best spearfishing float to buy

Ultimately, a spearfishing float is an essential safety tool when you’re on the water. But more than just safety, buying the right float allows you to have the spearfishing equipment on hand that you need, so you’re productive in the water.

Remember to consider your unique needs when buying a spearfishing float, and all the different aspects like the visibility, the size of float you need and what gear that you’ll need to bring out on a hunt with you. I hope this has given you a lot more information (at least, as I see it), on what makes up a good spearfishing float, but if you have any questions at all (or would like my input on any other brands or models), please reach out. Would love to help you make the right decision.

And for everyone else, get your hands on the Spearfishing World Compact Lifeguard Float. It’s tough, durable, and built to last. Everything you’ll likely need in a spearfishing float, so click the link below and get yours today.

Happy spearin!

 

Learn to Hold Your Breath Underwater for Longer

 

The Best Spearfishing Float When You're Spearfishing

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