Why you need a dive knife for spearfishing

spearfishing knife to free turtle

The first time I strapped a dive knife for spearfishing to my leg I felt invincible. I was 15 years old, and it was a second-hand blade I picked up at a garage sale for $2. Unlucky for me it wasn’t actually all that secure in the sheath, and it promptly slid out to be reclaimed by the ocean when I started spearfishing.

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Why you need a dive knife for spearfishing

I never found that dive knife again.

But I did invest in a new spearfishing knife a few weeks later. One that actually stayed put around my calf, and I could draw at a moment’s notice.

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The spearfishing knives always drew my eye when dad took me to the dive store. Shiny and sharp, I wanted the biggest and best (despite a significant lack of funds). Maybe it was watching a little too much Rambo as a kid. Or Crocodile Dundee.

After over 30 years in the water, it’s with reluctance I say I’ve never had to draw my knife to fight off a monster from the deep. There’s nothing out there trying to “get you.” Despite the pit of fear in your stomach when you realize the bottom that’s out of sight is also probably out of your dive depth as well.

That’s the open ocean.

But I always recommend new people to the sport invest in a dive knife for spearfishing.

It’s not a weapon.

It’s a tool.


Learn to Hold Your Breath Underwater for Longer


A dive knife for spearfishing is one of the most important pieces of gear to buy.

Because the thing that’s most dangerous to you in the water is other fishermen. Or more accurately, the trash they leave behind.

Discarded fishing line is one of the biggest risks you face when spearfishing. I’ve seen more than my fair share around my local headland, and I typically dive in some of the most remote spots up and down the Australian coast.

Every snagged line that breaks (or is cut) and forgotten by a fisherman above the water, is leaving behind a death trap for those underwater. People and marine life alike. Of course, much of this is not done on purpose, it’s simply a byproduct and waste from a more inefficient form of fishing. And the pain that it can cause is real. In 2017, fellow diver Angelia Dover got her regulator caught and she drowned, unable to surface.

If only she had a dive knife for spearfishing.

She could have cut herself free, and rejoined her family.

But that’s not even the scariest part.

When you’re spearfishing, time isn’t on your side. With each breath the countdown begins, and should you get snagged underwater you’ve literally got seconds to get yourself free and make it back to the surface. That’s where a dive knife for spearfishing comes in handy.

Mine has a serrated edge for rope and sea kelp, along with a line-cutter that’s perfect for slicing through old fishing line. And while many people will swear off of a knife with a point, I also use my spearfishing knife to quickly dispatch any fish I catch. It’s got to be sharp.

We cover everything you need to consider for the best spearfishing knife in another post, but I just want you to do me a favor.

Before you head out into the water, invest in a dive knife for spearfishing. It may just save your life.

Happy spearin!


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