INTRO TO SPEARFISHING: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SPEARGUN FOR YOU
It’s time to start learning how to catch our own fish, but for that we’re going to need a speargun.
Spearfishing is an awesome way to enjoy the ocean, to live off the land, to further enhance our freediving experience, and to ensure that we’re sustainably consuming the fish we eat. But for this we’re going to need a speargun and a few bits of gear.
If your just starting out and learning the sport, there’s no need to go all in and buy the most expensive gear, and there’s a lot of simple and affordable options available. The gear that is right for you is really a question of what are you looking to catch. As you’re starting out the answer to this question is most likely small to medium good eating fish, and the gear you need is accordingly quite simple.
The two most common types of spearguns on the market are Open Heads, and inverted rollers. And keeping things really simple, if you’re starting out and you’re not looking to really challenge yourself and catch some larger game fish, an open head is likely going to be the right gun for you.
The main advantage of starting out with an open head for beginner to intermediate divers, is their price, they’re far more affordable. They’re design is also far simpler and they’re easier to use making them perfect for those looking to learn the sport.
The Invert Roller on the other hand is designed for those spearos who are looking to level up, catch those bigger game fish, and take the sport to the next level. They do cost more, but they have the advantage of greater power, greater accuracy, and zero to no recoil at the handle.
The next question we need to ask is how long do want our speargun to be, and how does the length affect how we hunt. Typically Spearguns come in lengths from around 55cm up to 130cm. Those smaller spearguns around the 55 to 80cm mark are really designed for hunting smaller fish that live around the rocks, headlands, under cracks or in small caves as the smaller guns allow you greater manoeuvrability in these tighter spaces. What we sacrifice for this manoeuvrability however is power, purely as there’s less room along the barrel for the rubber to stretch.
If you’re looking for a bit of an all rounder to target medium sized fish such as kingfish, and still want some of that manoeuvrability, you’ll want to look at a barrel size around the 90 to 110cm mark. This is the most common balance beginner to intermediate spearos opt for between power and manoeuvrability.
If you’re looking to hunt those larger species, and you need that extra power you’re going to need to look for a speargun in the 120 to 130cm mark. These lengths are used in those deep blue environments, where you don’t need as much manoeuvrability, and you can kit yourself out for as much power as you can.
Starting out however, a safe bet for that all rounder speargun to get you going is a barrel length around 90 to 110cm.
Now, we’re not going to go into too much detail right now on speargun bands, and the optimal rubber length and stretch as this is a bit of a rabbit hole for those more experienced spearos. But very simply, the thicker your diameter, and the shorter and less elastic your speargun rubber is, and the more rubbers you have – the harder it is to load, but the more power you will get out of your shaft. Starting out, its best not to make things too difficult for yourself.
The final thing we need to touch on is the shaft. Shafts come in a range of sizes from around 6mm thick to 8.5mm and increase in price accordingly. Again keeping things simple as we are starting out, generally the larger the shaft - the larger the fish you’re looking to target is. A shaft around 6mm to start out is more than sufficient.
Now we’ve built our perfect beginner to intermediate level all rounder – We’re going to learn how to use it.