Choosing the right spearfishing gear can be tough. Over the years, I’ve spent (and wasted) more money on equipment than I’ll ever admit to my wife. In this guide, I’d like to simplify it for you… so that you can put your money to the best use. Showing you the gear you need to get out in the water and start spearing more fish.
Our reviews wholly supported by our readers. If you do buy something we recommend, we sometimes earn a small commission. BUT – this never affects your price or what we’ve picked. Keep reading for our no-nonsense advice (from actual spearo’s who’ve used the gear).
- November, 2020 – Putting in new categories and rewriting the entire guide.
- January, 2020 – Added new content on additional spearfishing equipment.
- August, 2019 – Updated with pictures and sections for basic spearing gear.
When it comes to spearing fish, the gear you’re using makes all the difference. But if you’re new to the sport, it can be hard to know where to look. Enter a spearfishing store, and you’ve got rows of spearguns lining the shelves. Plastic freediving fins to pricey carbon fiber models. And a hundred different decisions to make, as you choose your spearfishing equipment. Everything from gloves to wetsuits, dive knives, masks, float lines, and more.
Of course, learning spearfishing techniques and how to hold your breath is essential. But as someone who started with a pole spear and a cheap snorkeling set, you can get started with very little. But when you’ve got the right spearfishing gear, it’s much more enjoyable to get out for a dive. I started bringing in bigger and bigger fish, and I grew to love the sport.
The trouble was, my friends kept asking me for gear recommendations. It was nice at first, but I found I was repeating myself, over and over and over.
So I made this guide to share my thoughts on every bit of spearfishing equipment you could ever need. Explaining why you might choose to buy it, and sharing the best product in each category. These ranks do get updated as I review new gear, so you can be sure you’re always getting the most up-to-date advice.
The trouble was, my friends kept asking me for gear recommendations. It was nice at first, but I found I was repeating myself, over and over and over. So I made this guide to share my thoughts on every bit of spearfishing equipment you could ever need. Explaining why you might choose to buy it, and sharing the best product in each category. These ranks do get updated as I review new gear, so you can be sure you’re always getting the most up-to-date advice. The same advice I’d give to my little sister, or a mate. Or even a random in a bar as we’re swapping trophy stories over a few beers.
The reviews on Max Spearfishing are always impartial. Always. We put a ridiculous amount of time testing, researching, and putting the equipment to the test. I’d also love to hear what you think of any spearfishing products you’ve used (good or bad). You can leave a comment on this post or get in touch with me here.
The most critical piece of spearfishing equipment is your speargun. You’ll find two main types of spearguns, normal and pneumatic. They operate on a similar principle, shooting a spear at your target fish. The critical difference is what powers the gun. Normal spearguns act almost like the bastard son of a slingshot and a crossbow. Using thick rubber power bands to power your shot. Pneumatic spearguns have an inner chamber filled with compressed air. Once it’s released, that’s what powers your shot.
More: See our detailed write-up on spearguns.
Two things are essential when choosing a speargun. You need to think about the type of spearfishing you’ll be doing and the fish you’re intending to catch. Because there’s a trade-off. Spearguns range from 45cm in length to well over 150cm. Longer spearguns have a much greater range. The trouble is, the longer the speargun you have, the more cumbersome it is to maneuver underwater. Smaller spearguns can be “powered up” by adding a second band (most will have space for this). You can even shorten the rubbers for more power too. Make sure you don’t cut them too short that you find it a struggle to load your speargun.
- If you’re spearfishing in caves and close quarters: Get a 65-70cm speargun.
- If you’re spearfishing from the shore or along a reef: Get a 100-120cm speargun.
- If you’re spearfishing off a boat in open water: Get a 130cm++ bluewater speargun.
IMPORTANT: Never load or shoot a speargun when you’re on land. Spearguns are not designed for this. At best, you’ll bend the shaft and need to buy a new one when it hits the ground. At worst, the shooting line will act as a bungee, and your spear will come flying back to you at considerable speed. Don’t do it. It’s not safe.
Which Speargun Should You Buy?
If you want an affordable speargun (that packs a punch), buy the Hammerhead Evolution 2 It’s powerful to catch fish in a wide range of underwater environments, with sizes from 50cm to 130cm. It was also recently crowned the most accurate speargun in America.
- MOST ACCURATE SPEARGUN IN AMERICA as independently tested by both Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine and Spearing Magazine in their magazine reviews of spearguns.
- EVOLUTION^2 REVERSE Trigger Mechanism increases band stretch and keeps the index finger on-target with the shaft for instinctive accurate shooting. The E^2 Handle also features an ambidextrous speargun safety, WJ Cut stainless steel sear, and metal injection molded stainless trigger pull and line release.
- Hawaiian Style Open Muzzle design for clean line of sight and simplicity. Aircraft Grade Anodized Aluminum barrel with integrated shaft guide.
- 17-4 Heat Treat Stainless Steel Shark-fin Shaft, Dual Power Helix Bands.
- Designed by Professional and Commercial Spearfishers for optimal performance and efficiency. Custom modifications allowed include various Shaft/Band Combinations, Reels, Action Camera Mount, or Roller Muzzle Upgrades. Manufactured in the USA.
More: See the best spearguns reviewed for 2020
More: See the best pneumatic spearguns reviewed for 2020
More: See the best spearguns for beginners
More: See the best spearguns under $100
When I first started spearfishing, I used a pole spear. I was new to the sport, super young, and completely broke. It was a more practical option than investing hundreds of dollars into a speargun. And it worked, because a pole spear is a simple tool. A length of fiberglass or aluminum with a pronged or flopper tip, with a rubber loop tied to one end. Threading your thumb into the loop, you stretch the rubber and grip the spear. Releasing your grip fires the pole spear. You’ll get a good 4 to 6 feet of range, which is almost perfect if you’re spearfishing on a reef.
More: See why you should start spearfishing with a pole spear.
When choosing a pole spear, you need to remember these are best on a reef in close range. You will need to learn to get close to your prey, but that’s not a bad thing either. It’s actually a good lesson in underwater stealth. Learning to spearfish with a pole spear teaches patience and how to set up your shots. Creating a good foundation of spearfishing skills before you invest in a speargun. I actually like the speed you get with a pole spear. Reloading takes seconds instead of 20-30+ like a speargun, giving you a second chance at a missed fish.
Which Pole Spear Should You Buy?
The good thing about pole spears is their price. They’re a fraction of what you’d spend on a speargun while still being a deadly hunting tool on the reef. I always recommend a pole spear that breaks down into smaller sizes (it’s easier to pack away). The 6-foot 7-inch travel pole spear from Mako Spearguns is the one I’ve been bringing with me on many recent trips. It’s sturdy aluminum, so it shoots well. And the three-prong paralyzer tip is perfect for smaller fish.
- 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.
- Three 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
- The 3 in 1 Spearfishing Traveler Pole Spear 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
More: See the best pole spears reviewed for 2020
To imagine how a Hawaiian Sling works, you need to imagine an underwater bow and arrow. It’s a bit of spearfishing equipment unchanged for decades, because they’re so simple. And they work so well. A Hawaiian Sling is a short handle of wood with a hollow center that allows for the shaft to pass through. The rubber power bands attach to the handle and the shaft slots in through a hole. You draw it back to release, much like a slingshot or a bow and arrow. Once you’ve lined up your shot, you release.
More: See our comparison of pole spears to Hawaiian slings
The real difference with a Hawaiian Sling is range, accuracy, and firepower. You can reload faster than using a speargun. And while reels and line can attach, most spearo’s keep it simple. So nothing restricts their performance. In our tests, we averaged 2x the range using a Hawaiian Sling versus a normal pole spear. Compared to a basic speargun (off the rack), it’s about 80% as good. Perfect if you’re spearfishing and want an easy option instead of a speargun.
Which Hawaiian Sling Should You Buy?
Having used both simple and advanged models, I can tell you this. You could make a simple Hawaiian Slings at home with a drilled-out length of wood and some rubbers. But what you should buy is a Hawaiian Sling with a pistol gripped handle. It’s easier to hold, and when you draw it back you can put more power in each shot. Of all the ones we tried, my personal favorite was the Sea Archer Hawaiian Sling. It’s more expensive, but it’s a reliable piece of spearfishing gear. I’ve even seen these upgraded with a line and reel for deeper water spearfishing.
- New design allows for quick and thorough fresh water flush.
- Works with all traditional shaft diameters (shaft not included)
- Designed to accommodate right or left handed people.
- Fully upgradeable for use with LMS (Line Management System)
- Pat. 9316458
More: See the best Hawaiian Slings reviewed for 2020
Critical spearfishing gear: Being able to see
Next comes vision. In order for you to actually see anything underwater, and have any hope of spearing a fish, you need a spearfishing mask.
Notice I said mask. Not swim goggles.
Swimming goggles are great if you plan to stay on the surface, but once you start diving underwater to chase the fish, you need a way to equalize the air inside the goggles. Otherwise the changing pressure can literally suck your eyes out of their sockets.
Swimming goggles do not work for spearfishing.
You need to buy a proper mask that works for spearfishing.
Now not all masks are created equal, but what you really need to worry about is the fit. How well your spearfishing mask fits on your face. The better the fit, the less water that will seep through the seal while you’re spearfishing.
Ideally, the amount of water leaking in should be none, but if you’re sporting a beastly beard like me it’s inevitable some will always leak through.
You can test just how well each of these masks fit of these in your local dive shop, simply hold the spearfishing mask to your face, and inhale slightly.
It should “suck” onto your face, and remain there once you let your hand go.
Find the one that suctions the best. Spearfishing mask fit differently from person to person as we all have different face shapes.
Next, think about the volume of air trapped within the mask. The less air it holds the better, as it means you burn less air from your lungs each time you equalize.
We call these low volume spearfishing masks, and they’re a critical piece of spearfishing gear.
Finally, look at the lenses. You want dual lenses in your spearfishing mask, and ideally these have a bit of an angle to them so you maximize your field of vision. Oh, and stay away from anything with a tint, as it only hinders your ability to spear fish.
Right now, I’m rocking the Cressi Metis, it’s quite a low-profile fit which I like, as it means I can see more underwater when I’m spearfishing.
- The Metis is a 2-window low volume mask suitable for freediving, spearfishing and also for scuba diving
- Skirt made in high quality Silicone, a more comfortable and long lasting material than the traditional plastic PVC
- The mask is designed to have the lens close to the eyes, enhancing the field of view. The inverted teardrop lens shape improves downward visibility
- Push button buckles to easily adjust strap length, even with gloves
- Soft Nose Pocket - easy to access to be use with only two fingers for proper equalization, also wearing gloves
Critical spearfishing gear: Being able to breathe
Breathing is next on the list. You need a piece of spearfishing gear that allows you to look at everything happening underwater, from the surface.
You need a spearfishing snorkel.
It’s just not comfortable to go spearfishing without a snorkel.
I know, I’ve tried.
I actually broke the attachment that connects my mask and snorkel on a trip (it’s called a snorkel keeper), after pulling a little too hard to get these out of my gear bag. But instead of taking 10 minutes to hack together a way to reconnect it, I decided to leave the snorkel in my car and just go spearfishing without it.
Big mistake. It made it much more difficult to breathe and swim out to our spearfishing spot, and I couldn’t ever just “relax and float” on the surface.
It sucked. A snorkel is a critical piece of spearfishing gear.
But before you buy the first one you see, let me give you a few pointers.
Snorkels have a few key variations. Some are designed for snorkeling, others scuba, and there’s a particular set of features you want for freediving as you go spearfishing.
The first is the curve.
You’re looking for a spearfishing snorkel with a decent curve in it, so the mouthpiece is right in front of your mouth when you need it.
Snorkels with a piece of flexi tubing aren’t that great because you’ve got to use your teeth and lips to hold them in place. If you open slightly, they’ll spring back straight, and you’ll need to use your hand to get it back in.
What you’ll also notice with spearfishing snorkels is the stopper at the top.
Manufacturers are getting fancier and fancier with attachments to stop water entering the snorkel from the top. The problem, is that this makes your snorkel top heavy, and it will flop around as you dive and get in the way. A simple open top on your spearfishing snorkel is all you really need.
Oh, and make sure the snorkel isn’t too flexible.
You want it to flex a little, but that’s all, so it holds its shape while you’re swimming fast, or powering against a current.
I’m not a big fan of purge valves, after testing spearfishing snorkels that have these (and those that don’t), I’d always choose a snorkel without. Purge valves add another layer of failure to your spearfishing gear, and after a few dives may even stop working altogether.
Finally, you want a comfortable mouth piece that allows you to be as relaxed as possible in the water. Too big and it forces your mouth wider than it should, which isn’t good after a long dive. You’ll get cramps and feel the pain in your jaw the following day.
You want a simple spearfishing snorkel, that fits comfortably in your mouth. I rather like this low-profile option from Sporasub, just make sure you’ve got a snorkel keeper too so it can attach to your mask.
- Matt finish for low profile
- Optimized J-tube ergonomic design for comfort
- Comfortable mouthpiece
- Low profile and light
- Made in China
Critical spearfishing gear: Swim more effectively
The last piece of the puzzle are your spearfishing fins.
For you to glide effortlessly through the water in search of fish to spear, you need this key piece of spearfishing gear.
Spearfishing fins are where it’s at.
A good pair of spearfishing fins will help you easily dive down to hunting depth, using the least amount of energy possible. Efficiency is critical, because the more energy you burn as you kick, the faster your air will run out.
If you’ve ever used fins before for snorkeling, you’ll notice a key difference with the fins I’m recommending. Because spearfishing fins are designed to help you free dive, they are insanely long.
This gives you a ton of extra propulsion underwater.
If you’re just starting out don’t overthink it, a cheap pair of polymer plastic fins will be fine to start your spearfishing adventures.
Though if you’ve got money to spend you can opt for fiberglass or even carbon fiber fins.
- Polymer plastic spearfishing fins will lose their shape over time.
- Fiberglass spearfishing fins are durable and will not bend, but are more expensive.
- Carbon fiber spearfishing fins are the most efficient, but they’re the priciest and also quite fragile.
What’s most important with spearfishing fins is the fit.
Too tight, and you’ll get cramps in the arch of your foot while you’re diving.
Too loose and you’ll lose power in your kicks, get blisters where the boot rubs, and potentially even lose your fins entirely if they slip off in the water.
Your foot needs to be comfortable inside of the foot pocket.
Just remember you’ll probably also be wearing a pair of neoprene socks, so ensure you’ve got enough room in the boot when trying them on in the store, or if you’re measuring to buy online.
The last consideration you need to make when buying spearfishing fins is on the stiffness of the blades.
And this comes down to how fit you are. A beginner or someone with weaker leg muscles will need soft blades. Most people can get away with medium blades, and if you’re a strong swimmer or highly athletic you could even go for stiff spearfishing fins.
For someone learning how to spear fish, I’d stick with a trusted brand for your spearfishing fins and remember you don’t need to spend a ton of cash on this piece of spearfishing gear.
Rob Allen is one of the best spearfishing brands out there, and they make a great beginners fin to help you get in the water and hunting your first fish.
- One of the best fitting, most durable freediving fins available today
- Moulded rubber foot pocket, engineered to prevent over flexing, meaning superior transmission of leg energy to the fin blade
- Purpose softened blade with channels for optimum water transferal
Everything else you need to go spearfishing
Right, now with these few pieces of critical spearfishing gear you’ve got the basics covered.
You can swim around comfortably on the surface, search for the fish, and dive down to take your shot. But let me tell you. I’ve spent more time in the water with a speargun than most people in this world, and there’s a few more pieces of spearfishing gear to buy.
Spearfishing gear that’ll make you more comfortable.
That keeps you safer, and better equipped to spear fish in the open ocean.
Because that’s what you’re after right?
While you can certainly start with the critical items only, I highly recommend investing in these additional pieces of spearfishing gear.
Additional spearfishing gear: A comfortable wetsuit
Sure, in the middle of summer you won’t hesitate to jump in the water in a swimsuit alone.
But once the temperatures start to drop, you’re going to want a spearfishing wetsuit.
You see, the neoprene rubber a wetsuit is made from acts as an insulator.
Protecting your body from the cooler ocean temperatures sucking away your warmth.
The downside is wetsuits are very floaty, and you’ll need a weight belt (and weights) to offset this so you can actually make it to the bottom to go spearfishing.
There are many different types of spearfishing wetsuit, from the surfer-style wetsuits with a zip up the back, to two-piece versions with both high pants, and an overall-style “Farmer John” wetsuit.
But right about now your biggest question to answer is how thick your spearfishing wetsuit needs to be.
The thicker the neoprene, the better it insulates you from the water.
Generally, here’s what you’re looking at:
- Above 85 degrees, you probably need a 1.5mm wetsuit (at most).
- From 85 to about 75 degrees, you need a 3mm wetsuit.
- From 75 to about 65 degrees, you need a 5mm wetsuit.
- Anything below 65 degrees, you’re looking at 7mm (or more) for your wetsuit.
For me, I usually spearfish in a 5.5mm wetsuit. It’s a bit thicker than what my buddies use, but I tend to get cold easy and I’d much rather flush a little water through my wetsuit to cool down than to be unable to get warm as I go spearfishing.
Now, onto the print.
There’s a growing trend of camouflage-styled wetsuits that are marketed directly at those going spearfishing.
I’ve used a ton of plain black wetsuits in my time, and camo spearfishing wetsuits as well, and I’ve got to say, there is a slight difference. Having your outline broken up by the camo print can help you close in those last couple of feet, so long as you’ve got your spearfishing techniques down.
Finally, you need to understand the difference between open and closed cell.
It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot, but essentially, it’s just a fancy way of saying this:
- Closed cell wetsuits are lined with nylon making them very easy to put on
- Open cell wetsuits don’t have this, making them very difficult to put on
The difference, is that open cell wetsuits are much more flexible, and will keep you much warmer in the water.
Most spearo’s I know used open-cell wetsuits.
Personally, I’d recommend buying a Farmer John cut with a good green camo print, and I couldn’t be happier with my buy earlier this year of the Salvimar N.A.T. It’s one of the best wetsuits I’ve found that fits my athletic frame, without needing to be custom-made.
- Two piece wetsuit
- Open cell inside
- Neat camouflage outside
- Country Of Origin : China
Additional spearfishing gear: Quick-release weight belt
If you’re spearfishing in a wetsuit a weight belt becomes an important piece of spearfishing gear.
Otherwise you’ll never get to the bottom.
A weight belt is essentially just a belt loaded down with a bunch of weights, to offset the buoyancy of your wetsuit. The weight belt makes it easier for you to swim to the bottom, and much easier to stay down there and spearfish.
The trick is to get the weights right.
But there’s a few things to consider when choosing how much weight to use:
- The depth you’re planning to dive to go spearfishing
- The thickness of your spearfishing wetsuit
- The saltiness of the water
- The composition of your body
All of these will affect the amount of weight to use.
Of course, you could overload your weight belt and you’d hit the bottom lightning fast.
But you’d be in trouble once you try to return to the surface.
You need to find the perfect balance, of weights that let you spearfish effectively, yet still kick your way to the surface when you inevitably need to breathe again.
There’s a whole science to this, but in short you want to find the right amount of weight that leaves you positively buoyant on the surface (so you float), but only barely.
That way when you start to dive, it’s much easier because you’re not having to fight the massive buoyancy of your wetsuit.
As a general rule, to find the amount of weight you need take the thickness of your wetsuit then + 2 to get a starting point.
- 3mm wetsuit = 3 + 2 = 5kg of weight
- 5mm wetsuit = 5 + 2 = 7kg of weight
Just remember, these are rough guidelines assuming you’re about 80kg in weight.
- If you’re lighter, I’d only add 1.5kg of weight.
- If you’re heavier, I’d add perhaps 2.5kg of weight.
Your goal is to get yourself floating in the water so your eyes are above the water.
- If you’re too high, add on a little weight.
- If you’re too low, drop a little of the weight.
The idea is that you’ll eventually hit the perfect amount of weight, that sees you remain positively buoyant in depths up to about 7 meters, and once you dive deeper your buoyancy shifts into the negative, so you can glide effortlessly to the bottom.
As a beginner, it may also pay to keep your weight belt a little lighter than you need, just till you get comfortable with all of your spearfishing gear. You don’t want to be fighting for buoyancy as you’re trying to spear your first fish!
Right, now most spearfishing weight belts come in either rubber or nylon.
I highly recommend buying a rubber weight belt.
Rubber weight belts wont slip from side to side as you’re spearfishing, and they also have a little elasticity so they don’t get loose and jerk around when you’re spearfishing deep.
Oh, and make sure whatever weight belt you buy has a one-handed release.
If you ever get into trouble in the water, you want to be able to drop your weights at a moment’s notice. It can help you get to the surface if you’re in trouble, as it’s much easier to replace a weight belt than it is your life.
- Low-cost and efficient rubber weight belt
- Horizontal ribs to prevent unwated motion
- Cam-lock buckle constructed from glass-filled nylon
- 20lb Weight Capacity
- 54" Long, 2" wide
And don’t forget your weights.
- Colorful, fade-resistant colors
- Vinyl is tough and long lasting
- Matte finish resists scratching
- Hardened with antimoney to prevent deforming
- Available colors: Black, blue and yellow
Additional spearfishing gear: Float line, flag and stringer
Always, always use a spearfishing flag and float when you’re in the water.
It’s an important piece of spearfishing gear as it helps you to stay safe.
Because the most dangerous thing when you’re spearfishing isn’t your speargun. Or the sharks. It’s the guys zooming around in their boats.
Get hit by a hull or a propeller and it’s game over, so it’s important you’re highly visible to everyone else in the water.
It’s also an easy lifeline.
You can hang onto your float if you get cramps and need to catch a breather on the surface, and it provides an anchor you can use to connect to your speargun.
The spearfishing float I’m using these days is this little beauty from Rob Allen. The hard shell means it’ll stand up to anything I can throw at it, and it’s sleek and aerodynamic in the water. Plus, it’s easy to hang onto if I grab it when I need a breather.
- Tough Polyethylene Outer Shell and a hollow core
- Can cut through the surface chop extremely well
- Comes with clips and strap
- Dive Flag is optional
And don’t forget the flag.
In some areas it’s a legal requirement to have a “diver below” flag, which makes your float a thousand percent more visible.
Perfect if you’re worried about boat traffic, or if the sea’s a bit rough and you want to make it easy for your boat to keep an eye on you.
Attached to my spearfishing float is my fish stringer.
It’s pretty simple, a loop of metal that you can thread the fish you catch right onto, while some others are more like a “T” shaped bit of wire. What I like best though is it’s fast. I can get a fish off my spear and onto my stringer in about ten seconds.
My spearfishing float, flag and fish stringer then connect to my speargun with about 30 to 35 meters of float line when I’m spearfishing from the shore. Here’s a good option for you to buy.
- Choose lengths 50' - 125' in Blue or Yellow Jacket
- 1600lb swivel, 1400lb tuna cord
- Includes welded stainless steel rings & long D shackle and 2 heavy duty tuna clips
- Highly flexible outer vinyl tubing for both warm and cold temperatures prevents knotting
Connecting your speargun to your float works for two reasons.
First, it means your speargun isn’t loose.
If I need to drop it to check out a hold full of lobsters, my shaft gets stuck in the reef, or I manage to shoot something that’s too big to handle, I can let the speargun go.
I just need to kick back to the surface and my float is there to reel it back in (or to take a breath and go back down to untangle it from the reef).
But it’s also for safety.
When I was younger I had a close call with a friendly little bull shark.
I hadn’t noticed him hanging around, (he kept just out of sight), but as soon as I speared a little bream he swam right in to attach the fish too. In a few seconds it was all over, with the shark swimming away happily munching on his free feed.
I shudder when I think what would have happened if that fish was closer to me.
Or worse, clipped onto the base of my speargun or my weight belt. I’d probably have a piece of me missing. It was after this I setup my spearfishing float line, having previously thought it was a waste of time. These days, I never keep my catch on me, it’s just not safe.
Additional spearfishing gear: A sharp dive knife
Having a spearfishing knife ready to go is a smart idea. You never really know what could happen in the ocean, and over the years I’ve found it to be an important piece of spearfishing gear. But not to fight off any monsters of the deep.
- Your speargun is the weapon.
- Your dive knife is a tool.
My dive knife primarily gets used for dispatching my catch.
You see, far too many people have heard that blood in the water attracts sharks.
Everyone knows that.
But what they don’t usually know is there’s a bigger shark attractant.
A dying fish.
Notice I don’t say dead fish.
A fish that’s struggling on the end of your spear (or still kicking on your fish stringer) is like a beacon to any sharks in the area.
Because sharks hunt using vibration sensors in their bodies, that are finely attuned to the energy signals that a struggling fish gives out.
It’s like ringing a dinner bell that brings the sharks in. You don’t want this.
The best way to overcome this natural instinct built in to sharks is to quickly and humanely dispatch any fish you catch. That way they’re no longer struggling, and you’re much safer in the water.
The other benefit to having a dive knife is getting untangled.
With your float line, the mono connecting to your shaft, and of course all the discarded trash and fishing line that gets left in the water, the ocean can be a dangerous place. Especially if you get snagged.
With limited air getting tangled up underwater can be a death sentence, and having a dive knife handy may just save your life if you can cut yourself free.
You need a spearfishing knife that’s small and easy to use, is comfortable to wear, and you can quickly and effectively draw one-handed.
I always opt for a dive knife that has a serrated “sawing edge” and a hook to quickly cut fishing line. I also prefer pointed tips (it helps me to dispatch my catch), but you will need to be a little careful as you use it.
This is a great dive knife when you’re starting to spearfish.
- Skorpion is a modern knife of the latest generation design and medium dimensions, with a resistant tempered blade of tempered AISI 304 steel, with a smooth edge and a serrated edge with a wire cutter incorporated.
- The Skorpion is available in two different blades: pointed tip and blunt tip. The blade is long 4 3/8 in (11 cm). The total knife length is 9 1/8 in (23.20 cm).
- One side of the stainless steel blade is straight-edged, the other one is serrated right along the blade; they are both very sharp and effective for line cutting. It is separated from the blade by a small technopolymer thumb tab.
- The knife comes with a sheath that features a locking mechanism to allow one-hand release. The sheath comes with two, standard issue straps to attach it to your leg.
- "The Skorpion is designed in Italy by Cressi and made in Taiwan. Cressi has been an Italian brand pioneer in Spearfishing, Freediving, and Scuba Diving since 1946. "
Additional spearfishing gear: Robust dive gloves
One thing you’ll notice after spending an hour or so in the water is just how soft your hands get.
The water soaks your skin, and what wouldn’t even leave a scratch normally can tear a large gash in your hands.
And that’s before you even start spearfishing.
Catching lobsters. Wrestling with fish. Even just hanging onto a ledge to peer into a cave can slice your fingertips open.
A good pair of dive gloves needs to be part of your spearfishing gear.
Much like your spearfishing wetsuit, your dive gloves need to be a comfortable fit, so you’ve still got full range of motion with your fingers.
You want to be able to hold your speargun tight, and also grab onto anything you need as you’re spearfishing.
For me, what normally goes first on my dive gloves are the pads of my fingers. I’m always reaching into caves, hanging onto rocks as the waves crash over me, and basically putting my dive gloves through the works.
Most brands simply don’t cut it, and I wear them out halfway through the season.
A good pair of spearfishing gloves will have reinforced palms and fingertips, offering more than enough protection to keep your hands safe.
Personally, one of the only ones I’ve found to suit me are the Ocean Strike Kevlar gloves.
They’re far sturdier than anything else I’ve tried, and the sealed seams ensure there’s also very little water leakage so my hands stay toasty warm. This is a big plus as I tend to get cold fast in the water, and the first thing to lose feeling is usually my fingertips.
Don’t buy any other dive gloves, you need a pair of these.
- 2mm high stretch neoprene provides superior fit and comfort
- Kevlar panelling in critical areas ensures protection against the likes of crayfish spines and sharp gill cavaties
- Unique seam sealing across all seams offer enhanced toughnexx and product longevity
- Comes with multipurpose mesh carry bag
Additional spearfishing gear: Gear bag to throw it all in
As a kid I kept my spearfishing gear in a large plastic trunk, that quickly earned a permanent place in the trunk of my car. It stopped the water from my wetsuit soaking through into my trunk, and also helped contain the lovely smell of fish that you can’t help but bring home.
But once I started getting invited out on boats with my friends, the tub just wasn’t practical.
It took up too much space, was a bit unsightly, and would slide all over the place every time we hit a wave and the boat moved.
Plus, it wasn’t very cool.
Which I quickly learnt was the feeling that many boat owners seem to go for.
I needed an upgrade.
That’s when I bought my first spearfishing bag. It was essentially just a waterproof duffel, that functioned exactly the same as the cheap plastic tub I’d been using. With two key benefits.
First, it was much more compact, so it could be packed in under the bow with everyone else’s spearfishing gear.
I was no longer the one lugging around a giant plastic tub.
It was also much easier to carry, with a shoulder strap I could actually have my hands free when climbing in and out of the boat.
These days I keep my gear in one of these.
- A large and roomy bag, plenty of space for storage. Internal capacity of 4. 75 cu ft (135 liters).
- It is made from a strong radio frequency (RF) welded seam PVC and is waterproof, perfect for carry in a boat.
- Durable straps for carrying any style.
- 2 Shoulder straps and handle straps on both ends of the bag.
- Draining cap for washing bag and equipment at the same time!
It’s basically just a rugged, super-sized version of the bright red “dry” bags you see everyone selling. With extra pockets so you can keep your phone dry, it’s even got a nifty little cap you can use to drain out any water inside.
Of course, I still need to wash this bag at the end of a spearfishing session along with my other gear, but it’s much more practical than what I used to use. Oh, and you’re also going to want a cover for your speargun.
Spearguns tend to scratch up easy and you don’t want your rubbers getting blasted from direct sun all day on the boat (it ages your bands far quicker, and they’ll break and need to be replaced).
If you luck out you may even get one when you purchase a speargun, but if not, you could always buy something like what I use.
A simple cover keeps my spearguns protected when I’m not in the water, makes them easier to carry when I’m headed to or from a dive, and also makes my spearguns a little less obvious to anyone looking.
- Dimensions are 200mm x 1850mm
- Made from PVC coated material
- Designed to carry spearguns and speargun shafts
Wrapping up the spearfishing gear mega-post
Phew. That was rather long.
And thanks for reading it through.
I hope everything I’ve shared gives you a good insight into the spearfishing gear you need to start spearfishing.
To recap, I’ve got each piece of spearfishing gear you need listed here.
It can be a bit of investment at the start I agree, but there’s one key thing to remember.
Once you’ve bought your spearfishing gear there are no ongoing costs.
All it takes is for you to head down to the shore, gear up with your spearfishing equipment, and swim out in the ocean to catch your dinner.
My spearfishing gear has paid for itself many times over, with the amount of fresh seafood I bring home after a dive, not to mention just how much fun it is to actually go spearfishing.
There’s nothing in the world quite like spearfishing.
If you’ve any questions at all, on any of the product recommendations or anything to do with spearfishing at all, drop me a message or leave a comment below.
I love hearing from my readers, and if I can help you to get started spearfishing – even better!