The Best Speargun for Beginners in 2023 [Tested & Reviewed]

The Best Speargun for Beginners

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 spearfishing 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 get a starter speargun that’ll last years, and help you catch a ton of fish.

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The Best Speargun for Beginners in 2023 [Tested & Reviewed]

UPDATE 20th March 2023: I’ve spent the last three months testing 20+ different beginner spearguns, and in the five years since I first wrote this review it’s a shame to see some of the quality dropping across brands. That being said, there are still great deals to be had. So keep reading and learn why Rob Allen’s Tuna Railgun is the best spearfishing gun. It’s reliable, nicely balanced in the water, and probably the best all-round spear gun you can buy. 


Skip to the good part:

  • Best Overall for Beginners: Rob Allen Tuna Railgun Speargun
  • Wife’s Favorite Beginner Speargun: Hammerhead Evolution 2 Speargun
  • Best Combination Reef & Offshore Diving: Salvimar Hero Speargun
  • Best Speargun Under $150: Cressi Apache Speargun
  • Best Speargun Under $200: Mares Bandit Speargun
  • Best Speargun Under $250: Cressi Comanche Speargun 
  • Best Speargun Under $300: Hammerhead E2 Jurassic Speargun
  • Top of the Line Speargun for Beginners: Riffe Euro Series Speargun
  • Most Powerful Beginner’s Speargun: Rob Allen Tuna Roller Speargun


Why you need help finding the best beginner’s speargun

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.

So 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 decades because it continues to perform, year after year. And that’s the same feedback you’ll get when you ask the professionals. As someone new to the sport, you can’t go wrong with Rob Allen’s Tuna Railgun.

It’s the perfect spear gun when you’re learning to spearfish. 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 getting started spearfishing, 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 spearfishing a lot more fun as you start exploring what’s hiding beneath the ocean’s surface. For this set of speargun reviews, most of the spearguns we tested were in the 100cm to 110cm range.

Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna RAILGUN Speargun with Open Muzzle - All Lengths (110CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
  • 2X POWER BANDS: 5/8" (16 millimeters)
  • 7mm Spring Steel Shaft

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

  • Integrated rail helps your shots to fly straight and stay on target
  • 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.

Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna RAILGUN Speargun with Open Muzzle - All Lengths (110CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
  • 2X POWER BANDS: 5/8" (16 millimeters)
  • 7mm Spring Steel Shaft


Hammerhead Evolution 2

Wife’s Favorite: Best Speargun for Beginners

There’s a lot to love about Hammerhead’s Evolution 2 speargun. 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. They’ve made the front a tad more buoyant to balance the European handle, which also lends it stability.

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 on their 110cm speargun, and I found it accurate and quick to reload throughout my dives.

A fact they’re proud to mention, as both Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine and Spearing Magazine named this the most accurate speargun in America.

The ambidextrous safety switch is a nice touch, and I like being able to sight straight down the shaft. From the shark fin tips on the shaft all the way to the open muzzle.

Click here to see our in-depth review of the Hammerhead Evolution 2 Speargun.

Hammerhead E2 Speargun (110 cm)
  • 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.


Salvimar Hero Speargun

Combination Reef & OffShore Diving: Best Speargun for Beginners

If you’re looking for a versatile speargun that’ll suit spearfishing in any conditions, the Salvimar Hero is a great choice. Instantly recognizable from the acid green highlights, what’s great about this speargun is how easily you can change the handle and safety trigger to suit a left or right grip.

What’s nice though about the Salvimar Hero is the barrel design. Not an oval or elliptical shape, it’s a flattened oval which means the top’s a little flatter than the bottom half. This helps it easily cut left and right through the water as you aim, straight down the barrel to the open muzzle.

Coming standard with a spearfishing reel, for any speargun over 95cm you’ll get the Salvimar Max Reel which loads 75m (246ft) of 1.5mm mono shooting line. With twin 14mm powerbands and space for a third, the 105cm barrel we tested for these beginner speargun reviews packed plenty of power.

Perfect for anyone who wants a speargun that’ll do well along the headlands or spearfishing from shore. Yet powerful enough to keep up once you start spearfishing in deeper water.

SALVIMAR Hero Speargun, 105cm
  • Aircraft Aluminum
  • Teflon Track
  • Open Muzzle
  • Ergonomic Handle
  • Heavy Metal Trigger


Cressi Apache Speargun

Best Option Under $150: Best Speargun for Beginners

The Cressi Apache speargun is a solid choice for anyone seeking an entry level speargun that won’t break the bank.

Available in lengths from 35cm to 75cm, if you’re looking for an easy to use speargun that’ll help you shoot small to mid-sized fish, this is a great entry-level speargun. It’s lightweight, which makes it easy to track left and right and handle in the water. And you’ve got space to add a second band which you’ll likely need for some extra power in your shots.

The closed muzzle is typical of a beginner speargun, which does make it easier to load and a little more secure when you’re swimming through waves or the wash.

For spearfishing around the rocks, or if you’re just learning how to spearfish, this would be the speargun I recommend. It’s perfect for getting into tight spaces to hit those big cod and other fish hiding out of sight.

Cressi Apache, Black, 60 [Duplicate]
  • The Apache is a small and compact spear gun for small to medium fish, a great starter gun for any young spear.
  • Durable anodized heavy duty sealed aluminum barrel.
  • Closed muzzle for improved accuracy and ease of loading.
  • Advanced Tahitian-style flopper shaft for superior penetration. Special handle angle to increase the shot’s precision.
  • Replaceable band and wishbone assembly is user friendly.


Mares Bandit Speargun

Best Option Under $200: Best Speargun for Beginners

I’m a big fan of Mares spearfishing equipment, and the Mares Bandit speargun is their entry-level speargun for beginners.

Testing the 110cm speargun for this review, one of the first things I noticed was that the 16mm band on the gun comes slightly oversize. It makes it easy to load with the Dyneema wishbone, but sacrifices power. You’ll definitely want to cut and shorten your rubber, and add a second 16mm band for a little more range with your 7mm shaft.

The extended loading pad is comfortable, and you can use the ergonomic handle with either a left or right grip. The guided rail in their 110cm+ spearguns is a nice touch, that adds to the accuracy of your shots and why I’d recommend getting at least this size with the Mares Bandit.

What I didn’t like was the tri-cut tip on the shaft, I’m not a fan of this style. So I took a file out to round these down a tad.

Mares Bandit Sling Band Speargun
189 Reviews
Mares Bandit Sling Band Speargun
  • This Item Includes: Bandit Speargun, Tahitian shaft, Dyneema Wishbone, S power speed slings
  • Mares Bandit Spear Gun
  • Designed for Beginners to Intermediate Spear Fishers
  • Australasian Rigging
  • Tahitian Tri-Cut 7mm Spring Steel Shaft w/Single Flopper


Cressi Comanche Speargun

Best Option Under $250: Best Speargun for Beginners

Spending a little more on the Cressi Comanche speargun gives those learning to spearfish a lot more range in their shots.

Because this speargun comes shipped with a 16mm band that is rather tough to load. Something that I do like, because many spearguns will have oversized bands on them that require shortening, my wife actually struggled a little bit getting this one loaded in the water. It needs good technique, and a little strength.

What you will want to do however is replace the mono shooting line that comes shipped with this speargun with your own dyneema line. The crimps are done poorly from the manufacturer, and after reading the comments about these we were able to make ours fail too. Change the shooting line, as you don’t want to lose your shaft.

The trigger presses well with a gentle and accurate release, and the loading pad is helpful though lacks any real padding.

All up, it’s a decent entry level speargun for the price.

Cressi Comanche Rail 110
  • Comanche is the world champion spear gun, the result of continuous fine-tuning and pursuit of perfection.
  • Very gentle shaft release system, ring for the line, sternal support for reloading, dovetail triggering for the reel.
  • The standard bands are black, highly reactive and quick, with a diameter of 16 mm and articulated wishbone.
  • Special, anti-corrosion aluminum tubes eliminate any bending of the barrel, even on the long models: Ø 28 mm.
  • Special handle angle to increase the shot’s precision.


Hammerhead E2 Jurassic

Best Option Under $300: Best Speargun for Beginners

With a somewhat similar design to Hammerhead’s Evolution 2 speargun that my wife loved as a beginner speargun, there are a few key differences to the Jurassic model.

The cleaner, more minimal design has simpler lines, an enclosed muzzle and a notched stainless steel shaft. It’s another tri-cut tip on an oxide shaft, which is a treated stainless steel shaft designed to resist corrosion. Included is one 16mm power band, while you’ve got space to add another if you’re seeking a little more range when you’re spearfishing.

What I like with the internally ballasted barrel Hammerhead Spearguns use is that it reduces recoil as you shoot, while keeping your shots on target. It’s smooth and easy to load, and the mono shooting line can be nicely tucked out of the way as you reload.

The contoured pistol grip is comfortable to hold, and every part on this speargun has been designed for full inter-operability with other Hammerhead parts.

Hammerhead E2 Jurassic Speargun (110 cm)
12 Reviews
Hammerhead E2 Jurassic Speargun (110 cm)
  • Reverse Trigger Mechanism
  • Pistol grip, Stainless Side line release
  • Power X-change bands with nylon coated Dyneema wishbones and bridles
  • Mono shooting line, loading pad, bungee, & safety grip all standard features
  • Precision-machined 17-4 Heat-Treat Stainless Steel Shafts


Riffe Euro Series Speargun

Top of the Line: Best Speargun for Beginners

Riffe spearguns are best in class, and if you’re looking for a top of the line speargun to learn to spearfish; you can’t go wrong with the Riffe Euro Series speargun. 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 light in the water, while better absorbing recoil and any sounds as you fire that might spook your fish. Riffe make tough spearguns that will hold up to years of use with proper care, with some of the best trigger and safety mechanisms you’ll find on the market. They’re built to last. With a range you just don’t get on other spearguns, every shot on target.

For me, the streamlined Euro barrel is what makes this speargun a winner, as it easily cuts through the water. And in the hands of a beginner learning to spearfish, you will see a difference in the fish you catch, thanks to the increased range and accuracy. You get an ideal line of sight down the shaft to the open muzzle. This speargun will help you catch way more fish than any other, even as a beginner.

This comes stock with twin 16mm bands on this speargun, and the patented Mag Track to help your shaft stay locked in place as you reload. It’s essentially a tiny magnet inside the integrated rail that holds everything in place. If you’re free shafting, this is one of the only open muzzle options for you.

In short, if you’re a beginner looking to buy the best, the Riffe Euro speargun is easily one of the best options you have available.

Riffe Euro X Speargun Series (110X)
  • Low-Profile, 3 vertical laminate teak stock. RIFFE's Stainless 2-Piece Steel Trigger Mechanism with added silencer. Side rotating spring loaded safety. All models come stock with 9/32” (7.1mm) Hawaiian flopper Euroshaft with large tabs
  • (2) 5/8” (16mm) black coated amber RIFFE Gorilla Rubber power bands with 1000 lb. Spectra wishbone line (accepts (3) 9/16” (14mm), (2) 5/8” (16mm) power bands). Rigged with 300 lb. abrasion resistant Nylon monofilament shooting line for faster shots. 5″ Bungee Shock Chord with 500lb. test Pigtail Swivel (400lb. Snap Swivel optional)
  • Automatic side mounted line release. Reinforced bolted muzzle. Heavy duty reinforced glass filled Nylon handle with over molded cushion grip
  • Rear loading pad with full vision when aiming down the shaft. Automatic side mounted line release. Built in stainless steel threaded reel inserts, designed to fit the RIFFE Horizontal Reel - Flat mount
  • X Models feature a 5” (12.5cm) rear stock extension for ease of hip loading and aids in a faster swing


Rob Allen Tuna Roller Speargun

Most Powerful: Best Speargun for Beginners

Now if you’re looking for pure power and range, the thick and heavy bluewater spearguns with 3 to 4+ bands are generally what we recommend for spearfishing.

The downside is a bluewater speargun is huge, and not all that easy to use for a beginner. If you’re new to the sport, one of the most powerful spearguns you can buy will use rollers. Instead of the bands sitting at the front of the speargun, the bands on a speargun like the Rob Allen Tuna Roller connect underneath, near the handle.

Roller spearguns allow you to get more power out of a much smaller speargun. Primarily because a roller setup gives you twice the amount of band stretch of a normal speargun. And when you fire, your shaft is under velocity the entire length of the barrel. Normally, you get velocity only 30 to 40% of the barrel length. Roller spearguns give you more range and punching power in a smaller speargun, without sacrificing accuracy on your shots. And they’re faster to load than the big spearguns.

What I love about the Rob Allen Tuna Roller is how quiet it fires, and the lack of recoil. The 110cm speargun we tested for this review gave the greatest range of all the beginner spearguns. It’s about on par to what a 130cm speargun with twin 16mm bands delivers. So if you’re looking for a compact, yet powerful beginner’s speargun, this is the one.

Rob Allen Tuna Roller Speargun - 110cm
  • Roller speargun gets its extra power from the longer band pull
  • Increase in power allows for better penetration on the target
  • Reduced recoil from the roller muzzle


Thoughts on the other beginner spearguns we tested

Now, this wouldn’t be a great guide if we stopped here. You all know me by now, and I can’t help but put all the other spearguns to the test.

You’ve got so many different options when it comes to choosing your first speargun, it can be hard to know what’s best. You might be considering a different model, from a different brand. And as part of this review we put several other spearguns through the works. Keep reading to get my candid thoughts on all the other beginner spearguns we tested.

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

Testing the best speargun for beginners

Salvimar Intruder Wild Pro Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

For anyone looking for a shorter speargun, the Salvimar Intruder Wild Pro is a great buy and sits just 75cm long.

Perfect if you’re spearfishing in murky waters, or in close quarters. When I was learning to spearfish we found large schools of reef fish hiding in caves where you’d struggle with anything longer, as you just need a couple of feet of range to land your shots.

With this beginner’s speargun you get 14mm threaded bands (Salvimar’s screw-in option), with a comfortable ergonomic grip and a 6mm shaft. I’m not a big fan of the plastic trigger, I prefer it to be completely stainless steel. But it’s one of the cheapest entry-level spearguns you’ll find on the market. It’s not a bad buy if price is your concern.

SALVIMAR Intruder Wild Pro Speargun - 75cm
  • 14mm salvimar threaded bands
  • 75cm in length
  • Ergonomic Grip with stainless steel trigger mech components and plastic trigger
  • Perfect for beginners and Intermediate spearos
  • 115cm x 6mm Shaft


Hammerhead Spearguns Proteus

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

As a starter speargun, there’s a lot of good things about the Proteus from Hammerhead Spearguns. Available in sizes 35cm to 75cm, it’s versatile and compact, and a good option if you’re new to the sport and learning how to spearfish. I like the 16mm band that comes with the 75cm model.

The enclosed muzzle makes for easy reloading, along with the extended butt pad. They even use a patent-pending metal wishbone that’s meant to be safer than other alternatives.

The challenge is that it does lack power straight off the shelf. You’re likely going to want to cut and shorten the stock bands, in order to get this speargun firing well.

Hammerhead Spearguns Proteus 75
  • Protean and Compact for spearing around Rocks and Crevasses.
  • Easy, Simple, High Quality Components for dependability.
  • Simple yet Effective Trigger Safety Lock
  • Patent Pending Metal Coil Band won’t cut fingers
  • Perfect Starter Speargun for Younger Divers


SEAC Sub Sting Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Another shorter speargun, the Seac Sub Sting is available with either a 55cm or 75cm barrel length. For a smaller speargun, they’ve added space to fir a second power band which is a nice touch, and I like the design of the grip and handle. It’s ergonomic and contours well, and you’ve also got a butt pad for easy loading.

For the money, it’s a decent buy. Though you do get what you pay for and this is an entry level beginner’s speargun.

In the water I found the buoyancy to be good and it’s not tip heavy like some of the other cheap spearguns. But the line is missing a shock absorber which you probably want to add if you’re shooting with two bands.

Seac Sub Sting Spear Gun with Sling, Aluminum Finish
  • Barrel: in extruded anti rust aluminium to maximize resistance and prevent bending.
  • Double muzzle: allows mounting of one or two slings
  • Handle: new anatomic grip and sternum rest and line release trigger and safety catch in high-strength
  • shockproof Nylon
  • Triggering device: in stainless steel and filled polyamide to ensure the utmost functionality and reliability.


Mares Sniper Alpha Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Mares makes another beginner speargun, with the Mares Sniper Alpha model. You’ll find this speargun with a barrel length from 35cm to 75cm.

At 75cm, I found it’s got a somewhat shorter range compared to some of the longer spearguns we tested, but it packs a surprisingly good punch for such a small speargun. Stainless steel trigger is a win, and I like how well built the line release and trigger mech all seem to be.

The compact and tapered muzzle tracks easily in the water, and you can fit two bands into it to dial up the power. Plus it’s got a shaft guide to lend a little more accuracy to your shots. All up, it’s a pretty decent choice for a beginner speargun if you’re wanting something 75cm or less.

Cressi Cherokee Fast Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

The upgraded Cressi Cherokee speargun has a unique open muzzle design, using magnets similarly to Riffe to lock the shaft in place.

Along the barrel you’ve got an integrated spear guide to keep your shots flying straight, and I like how you can adjust the handle to set a smaller or larger grip. This is another versatile beginners speargun that comes with a reel, allowing you to push out into deeper water and target bigger fish. In the water it shoots great, but I’d worry about shooting anything too large.

The downside for me is the European design, and the fact it’s only got a 6mm shaft with twin 14mm bands. It’s powerful, but I’d like something that’s got a little more punch at these prices.

Cressi Spearguns for Spearfishing - Robust, Easy Shooting, Ergonomic Handle - Cherokee Fast: designed and made in Italy
  • The Cherokee Fast features an anticorodal black barrel with an integrated spear guide, handle made of engineering plastic reinforced with fiberglass, long or short soft sternal support. The ergonomic handle is adjustable, two screws allow you to set a larger or smaller handle. The release mechanism is made combining elements in stainless steel in a body made of long-lasting composite material. The sideline release is integrated into the body of the gun. The open muzzle has a cobra design featuri
  • The magnets are very helpful, keeping in place the shaft in position and aligned with the speargun. This characteristic allows to load it faster without the disadvantages of conventional mechanical restraint systems. The shock absorber makes silent the release of the shaft. The speargun comes with the reel included which has a quick-release bracket to be mounted under the barrel. The reel is made of robust and light composite material and features a steel pin buckle. The speargun is supplied ass
  • Anticorodal black barrel with integrated spear guide. Handle made of engineering plastic reinforced with fiberglass. Adjustable ergonomic handle, two screws allow you to set a larger or smaller handle.
  • Sideline release integrated into the body of the gun. Cobra design open-muzzle featuring softer angles for reducing friction with the bands. Muzzle with the spear-lock system: two magnets keep the shaft in position. Shock absorber for silencing the release of the shaft.
  • Reel included featuring a quick-release mounting bracket. Choice between two sternal supports, one long and one short. Supplied assembled, ready for use, with two elastic bands with nylon cord (� 14mm) and a stainless steel shaft (� 6 mm).


Rabitech Stealth X Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Another South African brand like Rob Allen, Rabitech spearguns have been constantly evolving in quality and the Rabitech Stealth X speargun is no exception.

Designed rugged, with a 29mm barrel, this speargun comes equipped with double 16mm bands, and a double notch 7mm spear. The HDPE rail fitting along the top of the barrel aids a quiet shaft release, and you’re able to customize the muzzle as an open or fully closed design. There’s also the option to change to a roller.

For the money, it’s pretty good value, however I think (considering they’re a very similar price) you’d get slightly better quality with a Rob Allen speargun.

RABITECH SPEARGUNS Stealth-X, Aluminum, Made in South Africa (100)
  • 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


Salvimar V Pro Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Somewhat similar to the Salvimar Hero, the V Pro speargun has a number of key differences which are worth considering, especially if price is a concern.

Despite being a step-down in their line up of spearguns, Salvimar’s V Pro is worthwhile considering if you’re a beginner learning to spearfish. Instead of an elliptical barrel, it’s a shaped stock with an integrated shaft guide. The trigger mech is solid, but not the heavy metal 350 trigger mech you get on the Hero. It comes with twin 14mm bands, and Dyneema wishbones, and an included reel.

I like the removable butt pad, and the adjustment screws you can use to adjust the trigger sensitivity. All up, not a bad option from Salvimar that’s a little more cost effective.

SALVIMAR V-Pro Speargun with Reel, 105 cm
  • Aluminum alloy barrel
  • Integrated shaft guide
  • Open muzzle

JBL Carbine Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

When it comes to beginner spearfishing gear, JBL is a brand you’ll come across time and time again. The JBL Carbine speargun we tested for this review is the 105cm (Super Carbine) model, but the only real difference between each model is the length of the barrel.

The plus, is the 6mm stainless steel shaft and trigger, though the double-flapper arrowhead style tip is geared towards smaller reef fish than I’d like. What you will want to upgrade are the bands, the 1/2 inch ones it comes with are not sufficient to give you any sort of range when you’re spearfishing. Oh, and the lack of a loading pad might put some people off.

For the price, it’s a halfway decent beginner’s speargun, once you’ve got a 16mm band on it.

JBL Spearguns Carbine Series Speargun for Spearfishing, Mini Speargun for Freediving, Scuba Diving, Fishing, Diving, Aluminum Barrel, Stainless Steel Shaft
  • CARBINE SERIES SPEARGUN: Hardened spring stainless steel shaft, point, trigger & sear. Handles made of aircraft quality aluminum, anodized, and finished with an epoxy system for integrated double protection.
  • AIRCRAFT GRADE ALUMINUM BARREL: Just like its bigger brothers, Carbine fishing spears are constructed of aerospace-grade aluminum and feature high-strength stainless steel shafts and triggers.
  • ONE HAND SAFETY: This small spearfishing speargun features a one-hand safety & trigger operation and a shock absorber shock line.
  • LOW PROFILE GRIP: They’re powered by 1⁄2” Nitro Bands and feature a low-profile pistol grip handle that makes for easy target acquisition. If you want a speargun that will bring home plenty of fish without breaking the bank, the Carbine is the perfect choice.
  • JBL INTERNATIONAL: Manufacturing spearfishing gear for over 40 years. The combination of our timeless designs and premium materials with legendary accuracy and bullet-proof durability has helped hunters like you stone game fish shot after shot.


AB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

The rugged durability of this speargun from AB Biller is what makes it 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 if you’re looking for an American styled speargun.

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

AB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun, 42"
  • Including hardened stainless spring steel shaft
  • Hardened stainless spring steel double barb


JBL Woody Elite Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Another entry level speargun that I’ve grown to love, is JBL’s Woody Elite series. It’s one of the cheapest wooden spearguns you can buy, with a range of different models.

For this review, I was running their Woody Elite Sawed off Magnum through the works. Initial impression is that it’s just a nice speargun. Shoots straight, easy to use, and feels virtually indestructible. The stainless steel trigger uses JBL’s M10 system, giving you a smooth trigger press while withstanding over 2200lbs of force. The Magnum is the best of their offer, and at 44 inches long (112cm), you get a good-sized speargun perfect for the reefs and deeper water.

The ergonomic Magnum grip fits easily in your hand, and shoots 17-4 stainless steel shafts with shark fin style tabs, tuned flopper, and point with 5/16” threads. For the price, it’s a reliable wooden speargun that most beginners will be very happy with. 

JBL Spearguns Woody Elite Series Sawed-Off Magnum Speargun for Spearfishing, Speargun for Freediving, Scuba Diving, Fishing, Diving, Mahogany Barrel, Stainless Steel Shaft
  • WOODY ELITE SERIES: Designed to be accurate, powerful, and silent. At the heart of each Elite speargun lies the revolutionary M10 trigger system. An industry first. Its proprietary 3 piece design utilizes compound leverage and 1⁄4” stainless components.
  • ERGONOMIC HANDLE: The M10 can withstand over 2200lbs of force and indulge shooters with a smooth, effortless trigger pull of less than 8lbs. The ergonomic handle and hexagon pattern increase grip control and accuracy. Two qualities that are a must when the water current is strong and the stakes high.
  • STAINLESS STEEL: Elite models (Custom excluded) have a fully inlaid muzzle, stainless steel line anchor with reel eyelet, universal accessory rail mount, and side grooves for increased traction. All models feature hand straightened 17-4 stainless steel shafts with shark fin style tabs, tuned flopper, and point with 5/16” threads.
  • PRECISION ACCURACY: Elites can be shot Tahitian-style or with a break-away tip for large game fish. All models come standard with 5/8″ Elite Nitro Bands for silent operation. Elites deliver precision accuracy in all conditions. Great for travel.
  • JBL INTERNATIONAL: Manufacturing spearfishing gear for over 40 years. The combination of our timeless designs and premium materials with legendary accuracy and bullet-proof durability has helped hunters like you stone game fish shot after shot.


AB Biller Special Series Wood Mahogany Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

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

They used to have a full range in teak and padauk as well, but there’s just something magic about wooden spearguns. Internally, the mechanics are the same as what you’ll find on AB Biller’s Stainless Steel Professional speargun, but I get that many people prefer the look, feel and performance of wooden spearguns (myself included).

In the water it shoots quietly, while staying nice and level. 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 wooden speargun.

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

AB Biller Special Series Wood Mahogany Speargun for Spearfishing (42")
  • The stainless steel trigger mechanism is unsurpassed in reliability and smooth action.
  • The high grade grooved mahogany, teak or padauk barrel provides pinpoint accuracy, easy underwater maneuverability due to its neutral buoyancy and absorbs 80% of the firing noise the gun will create.
  • Wood guns are preferred by many experienced spearos and spearing champions.
  • Double Barb Rockpoint tip: hardened stainless steel 5/16 inch stainless steel shaft two 9/16" rubber slings
  • Great gun for any condition of spearfishing for freedivers, and scuba divers. Easy loading with the extended butt for scuba divers.


Rob Allen Vecta Snapper Aluminum Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Now despite the different lineup of spearguns from Rob Allen, another to consider is the Rob Allen Vecta Snapper.

For me, Rob Allen’s Tuna Railgun is the speargun I’d recommend to any beginners, but if you’re targeting slightly smaller fish in your area. You might want to consider the Snapper.

Essentially, these are the same speargun, just in different colors. The difference is that the Snapper is kitted out to hunt smaller reef fish, with 14mm bands and a slightly thinner shaft. Perfect if you’re needing to shoot fast and accurately while reef hunting for smaller fish.

Rob Allen Vecta Snapper Aluminum Railgun Open Muzzle - 110cm
  • Includes 6.6mm shaft and 2- 14mm bands
  • Low profile open muzzle, easy to maneuver
  • Aircraft grade aluminum barrel 1.45mm wall thickness
  • Integral rail is part of the barrel reducing flex
  • Trigger mechanism is glass reinforced with stainless steel sear


Salvimar Metal Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Getting the 105cm Salvimar Metal Speargun in the water was a pleasant surprise.

Upgrading one of their older models to an entire metal trigger mechanism, this Euro-styled speargun is sleek and streamlined in the water, which makes it easy to track and shoot your target fish. Coming with only twin 14mm powerbands, I didn’t think I’d get as much range and power as you do. Plus, the addition of a reel is a nice touch, a nice feature of many of Salvimar’s spearguns. Because the reel gives you more range, and the ability to target bigger and bigger fish.

The 6.5mm triple shark fin shaft shoots well, and this speargun is another one to consider as a beginner just starting out.

SALVIMAR unisex adult Euro Salvimar Metal Spear Gun, Black, 95cm US
  • Anodized aluminum body
  • Removable butt pad
  • Heavy metal trigger
  • Open track, shark fin tab shaft
  • Comes with delrin maxi reel

Mako Titan Elite Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Mako have been making great mid-range spearfishing gear for a long time, and I was happy to test out their new Titan Elite Speargun during this review. The 110cm speargun.

Using a new roller trigger mechanism, I like that everything is completely stainless steel. Plus, it was smooth and accurate to fire in the water.

You get a comfortable butt pad to make it easy to load, and there’s plenty of room for customizations. Converting from an open muzzle to roller, even built-in reel mounts. That way, you’re able to setup this speargun exactly how you like to shoot it. Plus the open track barrel is a nice touch, the higher side rails makes it easier to load.

MAKO Titan Elite Speargun with Open Muzzle & Modified Open Track (110cm, Blue Camo)
  • The MAKO “Double Roller Trigger Mechanism” is the strongest and most accurate trigger mechanism ever made for a euro speargun.
  • Stainless Steel Side Line Release easily holds double wrap of 300lb mono
  • Custom Ergonomic handle with COMFORTABLE LOADING BUTT makes loading fast, easy and NO PAIN!
  • Built in “Reel Mount” Switch from “NO REEL” to “WITH REEL” in seconds
  • Modified open track barrel with “Elevated Side Rails” dramatically improves accuracy and speeds up loading


Pathos Laser Carbon Roller Speargun

Shortlist: Best Speargun for Beginners

Perhaps designed for a more advanced beginner, the Pathos Laser Carbon Roller Speargun is incredibly powerful across all types of spearfishing.

You benefit from more range and power in a shorter speargun, but they can be tricky to learn the proper loading techniques. Some rollers require a load assist device. The 7mm shark fin shaft shoots incredibly straight in the water, and you get a nice line of sight straight down the open muzzle.

Using a 16mm band and a 14mm booster, I found this to be one of the most powerful pound for pound spearguns we tested, only losing out by a fraction to the Rob Allen Tuna Roller speargun. It’s still a wicked speargun though, and I’d recommend this to anyone wanting a euro-style roller speargun.

Pathos Laser Carbon Roller Speargun (110cm)
  • 7mm Sandvik shark-fin shaft with a single barb and a tri-cut point.
  • Open roller muzzle for circular bands with socket for a booster band.
  • Anatomic handle D'Angelo II low profile with new stainless steelreverse trigger mechanism adds extra 7cm of loading length
  • Ergonomic design, standard loading pad, reel base, 1x16mm red TNT circular band & 1x14mm booster with dyneema wishbones
  • 30mm pure Carbon barrel 2mm thick with roller-floater provides stiffness, low profile carbon rail minimizes friction


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).

Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna RAILGUN Speargun with Open Muzzle - All Lengths (110CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
  • 2X POWER BANDS: 5/8" (16 millimeters)
  • 7mm Spring Steel Shaft


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 your speargun 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. So do your due diligence before you jump in the water. On what’s allowed, where.


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. Pneumatic spearguns are compact, and incredibly powerful in close quarters.

beginner spearguns 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).

beginner spearguns this is a speargun with a powerband

The bands are stretched and hooked into notches in the shaft to load it. Kind of like a giant slingshot. A safety switch stops your speargun from firing accidentally. When you see a target, you simply deactivate the safety switch and you’re free to fire.

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


Why are spearguns with power bands more popular?

These types of spearguns are are far more popular because they’re a more straightforward device with less moving parts. As a result, much less can go wrong in the mechanics inside a banded speargun compared to a pneumatic speargun. Plus, they’re also easier to use. Pull the bands into place, and you’re loaded and ready to do.

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 plays 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.


Understand the parts of your new speargun

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.


How to load a speargun for beginners

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 or three loops), and then you’re ready to load.

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.

how to load a speargun

What length speargun should a beginner choose?

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 from the rocks

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

For this type of spearfishing, you’ll be 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). If you shoot a large tuna that doesn’t die on impact, it’ll take off swimming incredibly fast. Without a way to retrive your speargun, you better hang on to it for dear life!

Spearfishing in blue water

It’s this level where spearfishing starts 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. 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 140 to 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 100 to 110cm in length, that’ll give you a pretty versatile weapon to learn the sport.

You can always upgrade your speargun later.

spearfishing for tuna in the open ocean

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 6mm to 6.5mm.

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.

Choosing the right size of shaft is important, because your speargun’s range will be affected by the shaft you’re using.


Understanding the different sizes of speargun shaft

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 6.5mm to 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 for my speargun?

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. You can even screw a powerhead on there.

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 110cm 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 Riffe Euro series. It’s one of my favorite spearguns, because you get all the great qualities of the wooden barrel, yet it’s designed to be sleek and streamlined in the water. It shoots accurately, and packs an incredible punch. But that also comes at a cost.

Riffe Euro X Speargun Series (110X)
  • Low-Profile, 3 vertical laminate teak stock. RIFFE's Stainless 2-Piece Steel Trigger Mechanism with added silencer. Side rotating spring loaded safety. All models come stock with 9/32” (7.1mm) Hawaiian flopper Euroshaft with large tabs
  • (2) 5/8” (16mm) black coated amber RIFFE Gorilla Rubber power bands with 1000 lb. Spectra wishbone line (accepts (3) 9/16” (14mm), (2) 5/8” (16mm) power bands). Rigged with 300 lb. abrasion resistant Nylon monofilament shooting line for faster shots. 5″ Bungee Shock Chord with 500lb. test Pigtail Swivel (400lb. Snap Swivel optional)
  • Automatic side mounted line release. Reinforced bolted muzzle. Heavy duty reinforced glass filled Nylon handle with over molded cushion grip
  • Rear loading pad with full vision when aiming down the shaft. Automatic side mounted line release. Built in stainless steel threaded reel inserts, designed to fit the RIFFE Horizontal Reel - Flat mount
  • X Models feature a 5” (12.5cm) rear stock extension for ease of hip loading and aids in a faster swing

And as I see it, a beginner will probably do just fine with a metal barrel. They’ll perform about the same at these 100cm to 110cm sizes, and if you get a quality speargun like the Rob Allen Tuna Railgun, it’ll last you for years.

Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna RAILGUN Speargun with Open Muzzle - All Lengths (110CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
  • 2X POWER BANDS: 5/8" (16 millimeters)
  • 7mm Spring Steel Shaft

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. For me personally, I like an angled pistol grip.

adding a reel to your entry level speargun

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 slingshot from the powerbands is what 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. Because your entire trigger mechanism will need to withstand the force from the bands.


But overloading powerbands can hurt your accuracy

The other challenge with an overloaded speargun is affecting your shooting accuracy.

Putting too much force into a shaft as you fire 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. A warped shaft will not fly straight.

If you are adding thicker powerbands or shortening them, my advice is to test the changes once you get back in the water. It should still be possible to load your speargun, and there shouldn’t be any noticeable warp once it’s loaded.

I’d also recommend taking 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 in most open muzzle spearguns there’s nothing holding the shaft in place. Some these days use magnets, like the Riffe Euro or the JBL Magnum, but that’s about it.

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.


What about a detachable line speargun setup?

For blue water spearfishing, the setup you want on your speargun 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. The shaft is connected to your floatline, and you won’t risk losing your gun if you lose your fish.

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. That are 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.

Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna RAILGUN Speargun with Open Muzzle - All Lengths (110CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
  • 2X POWER BANDS: 5/8" (16 millimeters)
  • 7mm Spring Steel Shaft

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!

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