From Mask to Spear: A Guide to Spearfishing Gear

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Spearfishing-Gear

Anyone who has ever dived in deep or shallow waters knows that the aquatic world. is one of wonder and mystery. Schools of diverse fish swimming on the seafloor, with sun rays shimmering while they refract from the water surface, makes for a fishing experience beyond one’s imagination.

However, for one to be able to participate in spearfishing, one needs the right pieces of equipment. No need for fancy submarines or Nautiluses, just a mask, a speargun, an oxygen tank and a couple of side pieces of aquatic gear can take you on this adventure.

First off, you need to figure out if you prefer deep-sea diving and snorkelling. Water depth plays a huge role in the equipment one needs. Divers require oxygen tanks, pressure suits and more advanced pieces of tech, while those who explore the shallower coasts need lighter snorkelling gear. Regardless, we’ll go over the most important pieces for this type of sport.

Speargun

speargun
Source: nypost.com

Though most scuba divers prefer to simply explore the deep blues of the earth, others prefer the sport of underwater spearfishing, for which you’ll need to find a quality speargun. Spear guns are available in three main types. Pneumatic spear guns were popular during the 1960s and 1970s, but are rarely used today. The minimal recoil allowed divers to make longer-range shots with more accuracy, making them the preferred choice, however, the power of this model is limited to the diver’s strength. These diving guns also require regular maintenance in order to maintain maximum performance.

The traditional band powered models offer the advantage of being fired in nearly complete silence. They are easy to both maintain and, making them the underwater hunter’s scuba spear gun of choice. Roller spear guns have been around since the beginning of spearfishing. Even though they’re also powered by large rubber bands, roller spearguns pull the rubber and shaft over two rollers mounted on the front of the gun. This allows for steady and consistent energy transfer to the shaft, making for a longer stroke than traditional spearguns. These guns have relatively no recoil, as the rubber band and shaft’s energy cancel each other out.

With the types of spear guns covered, now, let’s dive into some of their components. The length of your gun will rely on a few factors, such as type and size of the fish you’re hunting. For cramped spaces such as caves or where there is poor visibility, you’ll want one in the 50cm to 75cm range. However, for hunting for big game in open water, you’ll prefer a 150cm to 165cm scuba speargun.

It’s obvious to say that the spear itself is the most imported part of the gun. The two most commonly found spear tips are the Flopper and the Slip Tip. Floppers use a hinged barb that deploys after the shaft passes through the fish, whereas slip-tips detach from the shaft after penetrating the fish, while remains attached to the shaft with either spectra or wire leader. Floppers are predominately preferred for reef fish, whereas for slip-tips are preferred for blue water and more delicate fish.

When it comes to the spear gun bands, the two most important factors to consider are diameter and stretch. Shorter bands require a lot more strength to equip, but they also provide more shooting power.

Mask

diving-mask
Source: leisurepro.com

A well-fitting diving mask is your window into the waters below. It is key to determining how much you will enjoy the whole snorkelling and spearfishing experience. Face structures can vary a lot, which means finding a good fit depends on a few important factors. That being said, here are some mask features you need to consider.

High Volume vs. Low Volume

Low volume masks fit closer to the face, which means there is a lot less air in the mask. When it comes to high volume masks, on the other hand, the lens is further from your face. High volume masks can sometimes feature view lenses apart from the standard front lens.

Purge Valve

A mask can but doesn’t have to include a purge valve. This addition serves to clear any excess water from the mask and does so by exhaling through the user’s nose. What’s important to know is the purge valve is a one-way valve, which means that water cannot enter through it.

Clear Skirt vs. Black Skirt

This feature is entirely up to the uses preference and conformability when it comes to tightly enclosed spaces. Black skirts are recommended for taking pictures, because, with them, photographers find it easier to see.

Wetsuit

Wetsuit
Source: adventure-journal.com

There are a few different types of wetsuit cuts. The main consideration regarding your choice should depend on the water temperature. Generally speaking, warmer waters don’t require too much coverage in which case you can opt for a shorty-styled wetsuit. Cold waters, on the other hand, do require full-body coverage in order to provide a higher level of comfort.

The material used for the making of wetsuits is neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber-polymer material, the thickness of which can vary a lot. Here are the main types.

Shorty

These end just above the elbows and knees and typically feature thinner neoprene. They are made to keep the user’s core warm while not impeding the free and comfortable movement of arms and legs. Due to the fact that they do not provide the full-body warmth, these wetsuits should only be used for warm water snorkelling.

Two-Piece Suits

The two-piece consists of full pant legs connected to a sleeveless top and a jacket. This design is great for cold waters due to its double layer of insulation that does not sacrifice mobility. When it comes to the choice of colour, it has been found that the bland of blue and green can turn this piece of useful snorkelling gear into a great camouflage item that might help the user blend in different types of surroundings

Full-Body Wetsuit

The most common option is always the full-body wetsuits that cover the diver from neck to wrist to ankle. There are different levels of thickness however the additional coverage provides extra warmth after water enters within. The layer of water gets heated up by the skin while the suit keeps you insulated from the water outside. Full wetsuits also offer protection from corals, jellyfish, and other sea life swimming about you.

Fins

Diving-Fins
Source: aquazealots.com

The main two categories are foot fins and strap fins with the latter being the more commonly used type. Strap fins are to be used along with boots the purpose of which is to render the fins more comfortable and eliminate chaffing. They also provide feet protection for when you enter the water. Fins can also be divided into split and paddle ones. Split fins are known to provide more efficiency while requiring less energy and that translates into fewer leg cramps.

Scuba Training

Before going into the water with breathing equipment and fully loaded water-arm, it is important to first be prepped by a professional. Find a class that offers basic diving training and tips to help beginners master the art of scuba diving and only after you’re done, can you go full Captain Ahab on the fish.