In Guides, Spearguns

Walking into a spearfishing store to find the best speargun for beginners is hard.

Especially when you’re new to spearfishing, there are so many options, so many different types, made with different materials – it’s all somewhat confusing. So in this guide, I want to share my thoughts on the best speargun for a beginner.

I’ve tried, tested and actually used every speargun in this list, so you can get honest advice on what you need before wasting your money on the wrong spearfishing gear.

But I know many of you want to get started fast, so here it is. The best speargun for a beginner is Rob Allen’s Tuna Railgun. It’s accurate, powerful, and built to last (unlike many other “starter” brands. Click here and spend your money on a speargun that’ll last, and help you catch a ton of fish.

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UPDATE 13th Jan 2022: I’ve spent the last month getting new models of all these spearguns for this test, and I have to say I’m a little disappointed in the quality decline I see across some brands. But that’s neither here nor there.

For a beginner learning to spearfish, get a Rob Allen Tuna Railgun. It’s perfect in the water, reliable, and probably the best all-round speargun you can buy.


The Best Speargun for Beginners: Reviewed for 2022

I love walking around a dive store because there are so many cool new toys.

You’ll see all the top-tier spearguns lining the walls, off-brand models with eye-watering prices, and a sales rep trying to upsell you everything under the sun – when you just want to find the best speargun for beginners to learn to spearfish.

You’re wondering…

Should you choose quality or sacrifice a little to save on the price?

From all of these spearfishing brands, which are any good?

You’ve got a pushy sales rep in your ear, but you don’t know what to buy.

I know, I’ve been there.

The amount of spearfishing gear you need as a beginner is a lot.

But what you need first is to get yourself a speargun. But that comes with 50 or more options, different rigging setups and barrel materials, not to mention all the different sizes.

It’s a lot.

To help you decide, I do a poll each year of divers and spearfishing professionals to get their thoughts on the latest gear. Then I put their recommendations to the test myself.

So I can genuinely give you my honest feedback and recommend what I see as the best speargun for beginners.

Ready for it?

Rob Allen Tuna Railgun

Editor’s Choice: Best Speargun for Beginners

Now, I’ve been recommending gear from Rob Allen for years because it continues to perform, year after year. And that’s the same feedback you’ll get when you ask the pros.

As someone new to the sport, you can’t go wrong with Rob Allen’s Tuna Railgun.

It’s the perfect gun, combining value for money with fundamental quality components to ensure you’re buying a speargun that’ll last season after season. With accurate and precise shots. Because when you’re just starting, you want every advantage possible.

Oh, and this speargun is ready to go straight out of the box.

On size, I would recommend something smaller for a beginner speargun. Perhaps around 90cm or 100cm if you’re shorter, or 100cm to 110cm if you’re taller. It’ll make it easy to load, and you’ll find it fun as you start exploring what’s hiding beneath the surface.

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Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
5 Reviews
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
  • Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45mm
  • Mechanism is glass filled nylon with a solid 316 stainless steel sear

Why the Rob Allen Tuna Railgun is the best speargun for beginners:

  • Integrated rail helps your shots to fly straight and hit targets
  • Two powerbands give you a powerful weapon with plenty of range
  • An ergonomic handle that’s comfortable if you’re spearfishing all day
  • The low-profile open muzzle is streamlined and easy to handle
  • Versatile speargun you can use from the shore or in deeper dives
  • High quality piece of spearfishing gear that’ll last for years

Click here to see my in-depth review of the Rob Allen Tuna Railgun.

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Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
5 Reviews
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
  • Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45mm
  • Mechanism is glass filled nylon with a solid 316 stainless steel sear

Salvimar Metal Speargun

Runner Up: Best Speargun for Beginners

There’s a lot to love about the Metal speargun from Salvimar.

It’s a euro-designed speargun that’s quick in the water, a little lighter than the railguns from Rob Allen and between the two, I find it has a little less drag in the water.

Making it perfect if you’re spearfishing from the shore and chasing after all of those zippy reef fish that like to hide in the wash. Twin 14mm powerbands give it an excellent range, and I found it accurate and quick to reload throughout my dives.

Plus, it’s one of the only spearguns you’ll find that comes stock with a reel.

This makes it one of the best value-for-money spearguns on this list.

A reel gives you the ability to continue using this speargun without any upgrades once you start pushing out into deeper water as your spearfishing abilities improve.

Click here to see our in-depth review of the Salvimar Metal Speargun.

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SALVIMAR Metal Spear Gun 105cm
  • Anodized aluminum body
  • Removable butt pad
  • Heavy metal trigger
  • Open track, shark fin tab shaft
  • Comes with delrin maxi reel

Rabitech Stealth Pro Speargun

Budget Option: Best Speargun for Beginners

If price is a concern, don’t worry – I understand. Because dropping a few hundred dollars on a speargun is a significant spend for the budget-conscious readers out there.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. For example, the Stealth Pro from Rabitech is another South African style railgun (like a Rob Allen), yet it’s a little easier on your pocket without sacrificing what you need for your first speargun.

Twin 16mm powerbands give it plenty of power, and the lined track helps it shoot as quietly as possible in the water, so you may even get a second shot at any target fish you miss.

It’s incredible value-for-money, so you’ve got the cash you need for all your other gear.

Click here to see my in-depth review of the Rabitech Stealth Pro Speargun.

RABITECH SPEARGUNS Stealth PRO, Aluminum, Made in South Africa (100 cm)
  • RECORDS ARE SET TO BE BROKEN – by RABITECH Spearguns
  • WORLD RECORD Spearfishing is the motto of Rabitech. Rabitech Spearguns have set the benchmark on the most challenging gamefish. From World Record Dog-Tooth Tuna, Marlin, Grouper, and Sea Bass.
  • Super Slick Glide V-Track ensures accuracy even when shooting 8 mm Spears. Patent Pending Band Risers on the Muzzle help ensure accurate shots.
  • Stainless Steel Trigger and Line Release. 7 mm Tri-Cut Carbon Steel Shafts. 16 mm White Power Speargun Bands, Muzzle bungee.
  • Made in Cape Town, South African by legendary spearo Louis Hattingh

Riffe Euro Series Speargun

Top-Shelf Option: Best Speargun for Beginners

Many beginners shy away from Riffe spearguns with the price tag, but I believe that’s a mistake. There’s no doubt it’s a premium bit of spearfishing gear, but there’s a reason.

The beautiful teak barrel is a streamlined Euro design, and it gives you an incredible level of precision and power in the water. With a range you just don’t get on other spearguns, every shot on target.

If you can buy a speargun at these prices, do it. It’ll outlast any other speargun in this list. Riffe builds spearguns to last, and the Euro is my go-to speargun to this day.

This speargun will help you catch way more fish than any other, even as a beginner.

Click here to see my in-depth review of the Riffe Euro Series Speargun.

Riffe Euro 110X Speargun
18 Reviews
Riffe Euro 110X Speargun
  • 58" Euro Series
  • Larger track, accepting up to 5/16? (8mm) diameter spearshafts, both European and Riffe square notch
  • Includes a 5 inch (12.7cm) rear extension for hip loading and aid when swinging gun
  • Hawaiian Flopper

Thoughts on the other beginner spearguns we tested

You all know me by now, and I can’t help but put all the other spearguns to the test.

So here’s a few other options that you might be considering for your first speargun. I spent so long in the water testing these; I hope you find my insights helpful.

So here’s what I think of the other spearguns for a beginner.

AB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

The rugged durability of this speargun from AB Biller is what makes it so great.

It’s an entry-level speargun, so that’s good for a beginner. And with a stocky American-style build (over the more streamlined Euro spearguns we’ve covered so far), it means it’ll hold up against pretty much whatever damage you throw at it (within reason).

You’ll get an 8mm threaded shaft that feels impossible to bend, and the twin 14mm powerbands it comes with is plenty of power to get you started spearfishing.

Accurate, reliable, and it’ll serve you well as a first speargun.

Click here to see my in-depth review of the AB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun.

AB Biller Professional Powerful Speargun (Stainless Steel, 42')
94 Reviews
AB Biller Professional Powerful Speargun (Stainless Steel, 42")
  • Hardened Stainless Spring Steel Tip, with Double Barb, Swivel and Safety Cap.
  • Stainless Spring Steel shaft, 5/16" hardened to Rockwell 44C. Open Muzzle for easy top loading.
  • All natural rubber slings, 9/16" O.D. with stainless steel wishbone, Muzzle, grip and butt are rugged plastic.
  • Redesigned, patented safety allows for easy, one-handed operation featuring silent lock and unlock. Adapts for both right and left-handed position.
  • Patented trigger mechanism manufactured from hardened stainless spring steel and housed in a Nylon cartridge provides smooth and reliable trigger action.

Hammerhead E2 Hi-Bred Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

If you’re looking for a wood speargun as a beginner, this particular model from Hammerhead is a great option. Plus, the beautiful mahogany barrel is just awesome.

The semi-enclosed track helps with your accuracy, and I was impressed with the buoyancy of this speargun, along with its rugged plastic handle. It sits nicely in the water, and you’ll have no trouble catching fish, after fish, after fish.

Click here to see my in-depth review of the Hammerhead E2 Hi-Bred Speargun.

Hammerhead E2, Hi-Bred Speargun 105 cm
  • The Evolution^2 HI-BRED is a perfect fusion of hand-shaped natural mahogany beauty mated to the Evolution^2 Handle, precision manufactured using 21st century technology. Inherting the best of both worlds; tracking and aiming of a Euro-Style gun and beauty and additional mass of mahogany.
  • Hand Crafted Mahogany wood barrel with a deep semi-enlcosed track is extremely light and maneuverable.
  • Professionally rigged with 17-4 Heat Treat Stainless Steel Shark-fin Shaft, Dual Power Helix Bands.
  • 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.
  • Designed by Professional and Commercial Spearfishers for optimal performance and efficiency. Custom modifications allowed include various Shaft/Band Combinations and Speargun Reels or Break-away. Manufactured in the USA.

AB Biller Mahogany Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Another option for a wood barreled speargun is AB Biller’s Mahogany.

(they also do teak and padauk barrel options which are lovely spearguns, just a tad more expensive)

The mechanics of this speargun are the same as their stainless-steel barrel model; however, some people do prefer the look and feel of wood.

I like how quietly it shoots while staying nice and level in the water. And of course, you get the threaded 8mm shaft which allows you to easily swap out any tips you damage as you learn to spearfishing.

So it’s another budget-friendly choice for your first speargun.

Click here to see my in-depth review of the AB Biller Mahogany Speargun.

AB Biller Redesigned Professional Speargun, Stainless or Wood (Made in USA) (Mahogany Wood, 42')
93 Reviews
AB Biller Redesigned Professional Speargun, Stainless or Wood (Made in USA) (Mahogany Wood, 42")
  • Hardened Stainless Spring Steel Tip, with Double Barb, Swivel and Safety Cap.
  • Stainless Spring Steel shaft, 5/16" hardened to Rockwell 44C. Open Muzzle for easy top loading.
  • All natural rubber slings, 9/16" O.D. with stainless steel wishbone, Muzzle, grip and butt are rugged plastic.
  • Redesigned, patented safety allows for easy, one-handed operation featuring silent lock and unlock. Adapts for both right and left-handed position.
  • Patented trigger mechanism manufactured from hardened stainless spring steel and housed in a Nylon cartridge provides smooth and reliable trigger action.

buy the best speargun for beginner spearfishing

How we determined the best speargun for beginners

My name is Max Kelley, and I’ve been passionate about spearfishing since I first got my hands on a pole spear. Over the last 30 years, I’ve spent every chance I could get in the ocean chasing my next feed of fish – most of it with a speargun in hand.

With this review, I wanted to run every beginner speargun through the works personally, so I can explain (in plain English) what you should look for when choosing your first speargun.

It doesn’t matter if you’re spearfishing from the shore and want to explore a shallow reef, or you’re jumping in a boat and heading offshore…

Here’s my advice (and what you need to know) to help you choose the best speargun for a beginner.

Things like….

  • How easy is it to handle, and how well does it float?
  • How much power and range do you get (unmodified)?
  • Does it sit comfortably in your hand on a long dive?
  • Is it tough enough to stand up to all spearfishing conditions?
  • Are the barrel and trigger mech built from high-quality materials?
  • Or anything else that bears mention?

Ultimately, there was a clear winner as I ticked off everything on this list.

The best speargun for beginners is the Rob Allen Tuna Railgun.

It’s tough, versatile, and easy to use, at a price that won’t break the bank (it even comes with a lifetime warranty which is pretty damn awesome).

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Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
5 Reviews
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
  • Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45mm
  • Mechanism is glass filled nylon with a solid 316 stainless steel sear

How a speargun actually works

If you’re reading this far, I love that you’re still here, and I’d like to explain the basics, so you’ve got a little background info on how a speargun works before we continue.

Cool? Cool.

Essentially, a speargun is a weapon that shoots a spear.

But unlike a gun or a rifle, a speargun is designed to work underwater.

You bring it with you when you’re snorkelling or freediving in the sea, and it allows you to hunt any target fish (or other sea life) that you come across. Some people will also spearfish in lakes, rivers, and dams, though you must avoid breaking local laws.

Spearguns get their firing power in two ways.

Pneumatic spearguns are air-powered, and use this compressed air to fire the weapon. The shaft is pushed into the chamber, compressing the air inside until it “clicks” into place and is considered loaded. Deactivate the safety switch, and you can fire.

this is a pneumatic speargun

The most common types of spearguns use what’s known as a powerband (these might be called “rubbers” or simply “bands” depending on who you’re talking to). The bands are stretched and hooked into notches in the shaft to load it. Kind of like a giant slingshot. Deactivate the safety switch, and you can fire.

this is a powerband speargun

For a beginner, I’d recommend using a speargun with powerbands.

These are far more popular because they’re a more straightforward device. As a result, much less can go wrong in the mechanics inside the speargun. Plus, they’re also easier to use.

You also get more range and power from a speargun with powerbands.

Depending on the size of your speargun and the length of the powerbands, your range will vary. You might get an effective shooting range from 5 feet on a small speargun or 20 to 30 feet on a larger model. It all comes down to how much power the speargun can produce.

The length of the barrel will play the biggest role. A 50cm speargun will get far less stretch in the powerbands than a 120cm speargun. The more stretch, the more power and force that will get directed into the shaft when you shoot.

Other factors also play a role here. Like the width of your shaft. Or the thickness of your powerbands. Or any friction or resistance of the shaft on your barrel as it fires.

Each is a trade-off.

Thicker shafts are more durable, but they shoot slower. Thicker powerbands give more power, but they’re also harder to load and can reduce the accuracy of your speargun.

A spear (you’ll also hear this called the shaft) attaches to a speargun with a length of line. This is called your shooting line.

After you take a shot and land a fish, this shooting line is what stops the fish from swimming away with your spear – if you don’t land a perfect shot and stone it (kill it) immediately on impact. But you will need to hang onto your gun, or the fish will swim off with it all.

Some people will use a reel to “play” out fish from the surface as you target bigger fish. While those who spearfish in blue water will either have a floatline connected to their speargun or directly to the shaft, so they can freely let go of the whole thing if they bite off more than they can chew with a large fish.

Then you simply follow the float and retrieve the fish from the safety of your boat.

To load your speargun, you’ll need to turn the safety on, which will allow the shaft to “click” back into place. This locks the shaft into the trigger mechanism for loading.

Next, wrap your shooting line around the line holder (you may need to make two loops), and then you’re ready to load.

how to load a speargun for beginners

Place the butt of your speargun either on your chest, your hip, or your foot, and grabbing either side of one powerband with each hand, pull it tight.

You will need to stretch the bands until the wishbones (the metal, Dyneema or Spectra line) can lock into the notches or fins of the shaft. If you have two powerbands, you’ll need to do this for each band. Once done, your speargun is loaded.

When you see a good target fish, disable the safety switch and take your shot.

What’s the right length for a speargun?

To choose the best speargun for beginners, you need to understand the type of spearfishing that you’ll be using it for. Because that’ll have a significant impact on the length of the speargun that is best for you to buy.

Generally, there are four types of spearfishing.

Spearfishing in the rocks

You’re be spearfishing along a rocky structure, like a reef or an artificial rock wall or jetty.

Swimming very close to the edges looking for fish hiding in the holes, caves, spaces and cracks of the structure. You’d be surprised how many bigger fish like to tuck into these tight spaces, where they believe they’re safe from larger predators like yourself.

You don’t need range for this type of spearfishing (the fish will be close).

And a powerful speargun will do a lot of damage to your shaft. Because in the close range, your spear will blast through a target fish and smash straight into the rocks behind. Hitting rocks will eventually damage the tip and result in a bent shaft. That’s not good.

What you want here is a shorter speargun, something between 60 to 80cm in length. It’ll be easy to use to poke around in these holes and won’t do too much damage to the shaft if you happen to hit the rocks behind now and then.

Spearfishing from the shore

I grew up spearfishing from the shore.

Kicking off from the sandy beaches and swimming along the headlands and reefs that were within easy reach, typical for the East Coast of Australia.

It never got particularly deep, perhaps 15 to 30 feet (5 to 10 meters) for the most part, and you were generally always able to see the bottom.

Target fish were those that liked the wash in and around the rocks. Or anything larger that liked to zoom around the reef. For this type of spearfishing, you want a speargun that’s not too cumbersome but has enough power to get a little more range.

When you’re spearfishing from the shore, you’d probably want a speargun that’s between 80cm to 110cm.

I’d say around 100cm is the perfect size for a beginner, as it’ll be short enough that you can “make do” if you happen to do a dive along the rocks and yet have enough power should you want to take your chances taking down a larger fish you happen to come across.

Spearfishing on a reef

When I say reef, I’m talking offshore structures and formations that attract big marine life.

You’re probably regularly diving down past 20 to 30 feet (10 meters or more), and the fish you come across are starting to look huge. Unfortunately, they’re also a bit warier, so they won’t let you get too close, and so you’ll need a longer speargun with more range.

When you’re spearfishing on offshore reefs, you want a speargun around 120cm.

It’s got the range you need should a decent fish swim into view, likely with two 16mm powerbands to ensure your speargun packs a punch. For this type of spearfishing, you’d also be wise to consider a reel or an attached floatline for your speargun (just in case).

Spearfishing in blue water

It’s this level where things start to get a little crazy.

If you’ve ever seen spearfishing pictures on Instagram, with professional divers grinning ear to ear next to a giant marlin, a sailfish, or even a bluefin tuna – they’ve likely caught these beasts of the deep in open water.

blue water spearfishing in open water

They call it blue water spearfishing because that’s all you can see.

Endless blue in all directions. At the same time, you’re trying to shoot some of the biggest, most challenging, and meanest predatory fish on the planet.

To take down one of these fish, you need a speargun that’s up to the challenge. Bluewater spearguns are not often shorter than 160cm and will commonly have 4 or 5 powerbands to give the heavy 8mm shafts an incredible shooting range to 30 feet or more (10 meters ++).

These big spearguns are by no means for beginners, but I want to give you an understanding of everything so you can be better informed and choose the right speargun for your first gun.

Ultimately, there is no “right” speargun for everyone because each person will have slightly different demands on their speargun for the conditions they’re diving in.

But as a beginner, if you choose a quality speargun around 100cm in length, that’ll give you a pretty versatile weapon to learn the sport. You can always upgrade later.

What’s the right type of shaft for my speargun?

When you hear people talk about shafts, they may also call it a spear.

This is the thing that looks like an arrow that your speargun shoots. Cheaper shafts will be made out of pure stainless steel or perhaps a galvanized option. Avoid these.

You want to choose a “spring-steel” shaft made of stainless steel. These are hardened through heat treatment, corrosion-resistant, and will stand up to the punishment you throw at it while you’re spearfishing.

Euro-styled shafts are one piece and generally thinner – around 6.5mm or 7mm.

The end of a Euro shaft has a tip cut into it, with a flopper connected into the shaft. To load, the shaft will have “shark fin” tabs for your powerbands to hook into.

American-styled shafts have a threaded tip and are generally thicker, 7.5mm or 8mm.

The end of an American shaft allows the tip to be screwed in and out. Great for beginners who may damage their spear tip on the rocks. It’s cheaper to replace the tip than a whole shaft. To load, these shafts usually have notches cut into the shaft for powerbands to hook into.

Your speargun’s range will be affected by the shaft you’re using.

Smaller spearguns will generally have thinner shafts for targeting smaller fish, and the size of the shaft increases as the size of the speargun increases. This counteracts any warping from a heavier load and makes the shaft more durable against bigger fish.

But there’s a balance.

Thicker, heavier shafts are more durable, but they shoot slower. Thinner shafts shoot fast, but they don’t always have as much “punch” behind the shot to puncture through your fish, especially at a distance. And they’ll bend easier. What you want is the middle ground.

Somewhere around 7mm for a Euro shaft, or if you’re spearfishing around the rocks with a smaller speargun, perhaps an 8mm American shaft is ideal – that way, you can easily swap out the tips if you happen to damage this as you learn how to spearfish.

What kind of spear tip is best?

Euro-shafts are all pretty similar and will generally have a tri-cut or pencil nose tip, with one or two floppers (the “barbs” that open and prevent a fish from falling off your spear).

But with a screw-on tip, you do have many options. There are three and five-pronged tridents, five-pronged cluster tips, and then a whole range of single flopper, double flopper and even powerhead-fitted tips that’ll screw straight onto your shaft.

But I’d advise you to keep it simple.

Get a shaft with a pencil nose tip with a single (or double) flopper. You don’t need anything else to get in the water and start spearing some fish.

Should I get a metal or wooden barrel?

For a beginner learning to spearfish, buying a beautiful wooden speargun can be overkill.

Because a weapon at the kind of length you’ll be buying (around the 100cm mark) makes the barrel stock more or less just an aesthetic choice, so pick the look you like best.

Wood barrels are beautiful, and there’s a lot to love with a speargun like the Hammerhead E2 Hi-Bred Speargun below. If you love the look, by all means, this is a great beginner’s speargun, but there are more cost-effective options.

Hammerhead E2, Hi-Bred Speargun 105 cm
  • The Evolution^2 HI-BRED is a perfect fusion of hand-shaped natural mahogany beauty mated to the Evolution^2 Handle, precision manufactured using 21st century technology. Inherting the best of both worlds; tracking and aiming of a Euro-Style gun and beauty and additional mass of mahogany.
  • Hand Crafted Mahogany wood barrel with a deep semi-enlcosed track is extremely light and maneuverable.
  • Professionally rigged with 17-4 Heat Treat Stainless Steel Shark-fin Shaft, Dual Power Helix Bands.
  • 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.
  • Designed by Professional and Commercial Spearfishers for optimal performance and efficiency. Custom modifications allowed include various Shaft/Band Combinations and Speargun Reels or Break-away. Manufactured in the USA.

And as I see it, a beginner will probably do just fine with a metal barrel. They’ll perform about the same at these sizes, and if you get a quality speargun like the Rob Allen Tuna Railgun, it’ll last you for years.

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Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
5 Reviews
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
  • Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45mm
  • Mechanism is glass filled nylon with a solid 316 stainless steel sear

A metal speargun will save you a bit of money, which is cash that you can put towards other key pieces of gear, like your fins and your mask.

Get a speargun with a comfortable grip

If you look closely at the spearguns in the dive store, you’ll notice that the handles vary depending on the different brands.

Some have a lovely moulded pistol grip, while others’ handles are far more simplistic.

My advice is to try them out in your hand and see which is most comfortable. See how well you can hold onto each speargun with your arm at a full extension (i.e. held straight out in front of you). It’ll be heavy (because you’re not in the water – so it’ll be easier when you’re spearfishing), but think about how comfortable your wrist is in this position.

Because this is the position, you’ll be in while you spearfish.

And you’ll be holding your speargun for a long time. Whether that’s swimming on the surface, at the bottom waiting, or fighting a fish on your spear.

Your speargun needs to be easy to hold onto.

Only ever use a stainless-steel trigger mechanism

Now, this is important because you need a safe trigger mechanism.

There’s a flood of cheap, poorly-made spearguns available on the market – but they often have plastic components or cheap steel in their firing mechanism (to save on costs).

The downside is that these components will fail fast, resulting in misfires. Situations where your speargun fires, but you’ve not pulled the trigger (or deactivated the safety), so there’s no way it should have gone off. But it did.

When your speargun shoots, but you didn’t mean to – that’s a misfire.

Sometimes it’s the fault of the trigger, sometimes it’s too much tension on the shaft, and sometimes it’s simply a fault from the manufacturer (and their poor-quality standards).

But it’s dangerous. Get a speargun that advertises itself as having a full stainless steel trigger mech, so you’re not putting your spearfishing buddies in any danger.

What size powerbands should I get?

Think of your powerbands as the engine of a speargun.

Powerbands tie in a loop, with the ends connected using a wishbone. That’s either a length of cable, cord or metal inserted inside the rubber tubing and tied off. It’s this wishbone that gets pulled into the slots in your shaft as you load your speargun.

When you fire, the powerbands propels the shaft through the water. Then, as the tension from the stretch transfers into the shaft, it shoots forward like a rocket.

Now, more tension equals more power – right?

So you’ve got three key variables when it comes to your powerbands. That is how…

  • Thick your powerbands are (diameters from 14mm to 20mm)
  • Long your powerbands are (shorter bands mean more stretch)
  • Many powerbands your speargun uses (most will use two bands)

The only risk of adding more tension to your speargun is overloading it. That’s why a quality stainless-steel trigger mechanism is essential. You want the components inside to be strong enough to not buckle under the pressure.

The other challenge with an overloaded speargun is affecting your shooting accuracy. Putting too much force into a shaft creates a “shaft whip”, which can pull your spear off target. It can (in some extreme cases) also cause the barrel to warp and flex under pressure. This also affects your accuracy once the tension is released.

If you are adding thicker powerbands or shortening them, my advice is to test the changes once you get back in the water. Take a few practice shots into the sand or on an object like a piece of weed, and make sure you’re still shooting on target.

Should I buy a speargun with an open or closed muzzle?

Once you start looking at spearguns, you’ll also see the very front of the gun has two main designs. There’s an open-muzzle and closed muzzle.

Open muzzles are good because you can see all the way down your shaft, which helps to aim, and they will rattle less and make less noise when you shoot. But they can be more challenging to reload for a beginner because nothing holds the shaft in place.

Closed muzzles have a guiding opening that your shaft passes through as you load it. Of course, you lose a little on visibility as the muzzle will be there in your field of view when you aim, but they’re much easier to load because the shaft won’t fall out of place.

Ultimately, I’d say beginners should go with a closed muzzle. It’s a little easier to load, especially when figuring out how to spearfish. It’s one advantage that’s worth it.

Should beginner spearguns use a reel?

This is a question I get asked a lot because it’s an easy upsell for a dive shop.

I wouldn’t recommend getting a reel if you’re new to the sport. It’s one more piece of equipment to learn, and you don’t really need it unless you’re going for bigger fish.

Earlier, I talked about how your spear shaft connects to your speargun with a length of line. We call this your shooting line, and it works to anchor your spear to your speargun. Stopping a fish swimming off with your spear if you happen to make a lousy shot and your target fish isn’t dead on impact.

Off the shelf, most spearguns will come with a nylon shooting line, and for smaller fish, this is really all you need. Some people like to upgrade this to monofilament (it’s lighter, and you can double or triple-wrap it for more range), but I think that’s overkill for a beginner.

The thick nylon shooting line is less prone to tangles, which is great when you’re starting out.

Mounting a reel on your speargun is an upgrade you can make at any time, as many spearguns will either have a mounting plate attached, or the reel will come with a mounting plate to bolt it to your barrel securely.

The extra shooting line with a reel means you can shoot bigger fish and then play them in safely once you’re on the surface.

beginner spearfishing with a speargun reel

For blue water spearfishing, the setup is a little different.

Instead of connecting the shaft to your speargun with the shooting line, you need a detachable setup. For example, connecting the shaft to a large floatline with plenty of lead line.

This way, you can shoot pretty much anything that comes your way in the water, like bluefin tuna, wahoo or even marlin. Then, after landing a shot, you simply follow your float from the boat and pull it in.

But again, beginners – all you need is a simple wrapped shooting line.

Wrapping up the post on the best speargun for beginners

So that’s it, pretty much everything you need to know before buying your first speargun.

I hope I’ve answered your questions and given you a few great options (based on my experience) for a beginner’s speargun that’ll suit your price range.

You know, that’s also what I love about this sport. There’s such a wide range of gear you can choose the right options for you, and it won’t set you back a fortune.

Of course, if you’re looking at premium spearguns, these do have expensive price tags, but some of the best spearguns for a beginner are just a couple of hundred dollars.

Think of buying your first speargun as an investment.

What other hobby lets you go on an adventure in the ocean and potentially bring back dinner again and again (and hundreds of dollars of fish).

And with a speargun like Rob Allen’s Tuna Railgun, you’re getting a quality piece of spearfishing gear that’ll last season after season.

Sale
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
5 Reviews
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
  • Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45mm
  • Mechanism is glass filled nylon with a solid 316 stainless steel sear

If you’ve got any questions, comments, or would just like to say hi. Drop me a line. I’d love to help you find the perfect speargun, and I hope my guide to the best speargun for beginners has helped you find the right gun for you.

And with that, I’m off for a quick afternoon dive myself.

There’s nothing better than the calm and the quiet you experience while you’re deep underwater, and nothing compares to the thrill of landing your first fish.

Happy spearin!



Sale
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
5 Reviews
Rob Allen Open Muzzle Tuna Aluminum Barrel Speargun (100cm)
  • Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45mm
  • Mechanism is glass filled nylon with a solid 316 stainless steel sear

The Best Speargun for Beginners

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