Spearfishing: Everything You Need to Get Started

Spearfishing is an old method of fishing that’s practiced all around the globe. It’s today among the top preferred and eco-friendly methods of acquiring fresh and healthy seafood because it does not require weapons or dangerous instruments that can cause pollution of the water. And, the best part is that it can be a lot enjoyable!

Before you start the dive or go hunting to catch a hefty snapper or bass, make sure you have all the necessary equipment to catch your catch. It might be helpful to talk with other professionals for recommended equipment for a specific location and the gear you’ll need in the Caribbean may not work for spearfishing spots in New Zealand or San Diego.

However, to give you an idea of what’s required and how to get started, here are the main equipment and tools you’ll need for a safe and enjoyable spearfishing experience.

Basic Spearfishing Gear

Every professional spearfisher or “spearo” would know that getting the best gear for spearfishing is crucial to ensure your safety and your success. Below you will find the most basic equipment for spearfishing you may have to purchase to begin your first venture into spearfishing. You will also find recommended brands that are well known and highly recommended to other spearos.

Fishing License

While technically not part of your fishing equipment It is possible that you need to get a valid sports fishing license before you hit the water with your fishing equipment. In most states, you’ll be fined for fishing without a license, and you can even be sentenced to prison time to hunt (and kill) protected species.

It is a good idea to need to inquire with your local government agencies, lifeguards or fishermen’s supply shops, and any other experienced spearos to get information prior to doing anything.

Weapon of Choice

Let’s move to your primary method of spearfishing: Hawaiian slings, pole spears, or a speargun. Hawaiian pole spears and slings both require you to be closer to the fish, but their difference is that the sling’s band will typically remain in your hand while the pole spear leaves your hand completely when you apply it to spear the fish. Spearguns differ based on the model. Some are manually launched using a sling or a band, while others run on gas or air (pneumatic).

If you opt for a speargun, you’ll have to think about the visibility of the water and the size of the fish you’ll hunt before deciding on what kind to buy. Areas with low visibility will require you to be closer to the water, making shorter spearguns more appropriate. Also, unless you’re looking for a bigger fish, there’s no need for thick shafts or air-powered speargun. In the majority of cases, where you’ll need a mid-sized, multiple-band speargun with extra reach, you can get away with rolling guns.

You’ll find spearguns in pretty almost every store that sells equipment for spearfishing. JBL produces good entry-level spearguns, so check out this model Woody Sawed-Off Magnum Spear Gun ($309.95) from this brand if you’re looking for a gun that is simple to use, and packs a punch. If you prefer pole spears instead, you may opt for the 5-pronged Lionfish Pole Spear ($26.95) or the JBL 6 breakdown travel Pole Spear ($119.95).

Spearfishing Wetsuits and Rash Guards

One of the most vital pieces of equipment you’ll require prior to spearfishing – or diving, for that matter — is the wetsuit. There are a variety of kinds of freediving gear, you can pick according to the temperature of the water and the underwater activity.

For spearfishing, you’ll need to look at the suit’s thickness, especially when diving in warm temperatures. It’s generally recommended to go to a suit with a thickness of no more than 1.5mm unless you’re doing deep dives in colder water. If you’re not likely to perform deep dives or stay in the water for long periods of time, you can do fine wearing a rashguard.