When you fist consider taking up spearfishing it seems there is a bewildering amount of equipment you need. As you dig deeper you'll be further confused by all of the different types of each gear item, and the different makes. Then you'll realise that the advice from seasoned spearos will conflict, with some swearing by one type or brand, and the others swearing at the same types and brands.
So here we'll try to make it easier for you. Yes, spearfishing requires an investment in equipment. Whether you spend a little or a lot is up to you. Some people like to buy the best gear right away so they can learn with good gear. Others like to buy low cost gear initially, and upgrade later. In general, we find better quality gear makes spearfishing more enjoyable, and it will be easier to progress in skill and ability. Regardless of the approach you take, there are certain essential items if you're a beginner wanting to go spearfishing.
Here's a list of must-have spearfishing gear for the beginning spearo.
Your speargun is the most important part of gear for any spearo. Spearguns come in two main types, rubber powered or pneumatic. We recommend avoiding pneumatic spearguns.
If you're new to the sport, it's best to start with a smaller, less powerful gun than a more experienced spearo would use. We suggest a 45 cm to 75 cm stock/barrel length gun. Even if you progress in the sport, you'll still use your shorter speargun for close inshore work chasing smaller fish species.
Cressi Apache Speargun - 35cm to 75cm
Our Price: $139
This is a spear gun for quick fishing with excellent maneuverability. Those doing close inshore work chasing smaller fish species like the 75 cm, 60 cm, and 45 cm size Apache spearguns.
Eventually you'll progress to an 80 cm to 130 cm length speargun. If you're going after big fish in open waters, you'll want the larger, more powerful gun.
Cressi Mohawk Twin 16mm Speargun - 80cm to 130cm
RRP: $499, Our Price: $459, You Save $40 (8%).
A great all rounder gun that is top quality at an affordable price. The most popular spearguns in Victoria are those with a 80 cm to 120 cm stock/barrel length. This length gun will allow you to hunt and land quality reef and smaller pelagic species such as salmon, trevally and whiting and has an effective range of 3 to 4 metres maximum.
Hawaiian slings, or pole spears, are a great and affordable way to get introduced to the sport as well. Pole spears are also perfect for hunting in shallow-surf zones, where you'll most likely start.
The two piece design allows for a compact unit. It stows easily in your gear bag ready and is easy to make ready when you need to hunt.
A spearfishing mask is probably the first piece of gear you should buy. Try on a few to find the most comfortable model. The mask is meant to let you see, not to let you be seen. Choose a lightweight, small version in an inconspicuous colour like grey or black. Some masks have tinted or mirrored lenses, but that's not a requirement.
Cressi Calibro Mask
RRP: $139, Our Price: $119, You Save $20 (14%).
This mask is popular among spearfishers, freedivers and scuba divers for its ultra-low profile and extremely low volume. It has inclined and inverted tear-drop lenses for improving downward visibility. It features the new Cressi patented FOG STOP system.
Cressi Nano Black Mask
RRP: $139, Our Price: $125, You Save $14 (10%).
An ultra low volume mask for advanced spearfishing. The small outer dimensions mean minimal drag through the water and low internal volume for easy clearing and equalisation.
Your snorkel lets you breathe while you're underwater. For that reason, you want it to be as simple as possible. A simple, J-shaped snorkel without purge valves or splash flaps is all you need.
The mouthpiece should feel comfortable. Most snorkels are black. It should attach to your mask so that it is snug and can be removed easily. Your snorkel is a vital piece of gear, so take your time and pick one that feels right and works well. A good snorkel increases the odds of your success and will make your spearfishing safer and more fun.
Apollo SVS Pelagio 'J' Spearfishing Snorkel
RRP: $40, Our Price: $36, You Save $4 (10%).
This snorkel has a J-style tube that allows you to suck and blow easily, which is pretty much the whole purpose of a snorkel. It can also bend against objects and then spring back into its original position.
Cressi Corsica Snorkel
Our Price: $44
A classic J-style snorkel design that has been tried and proven true, over many years. It's designed specifically for deeper spear fishing. Made from special polymers that have excellent shape memory, allowing the snorkel to be bent against objects such as rocks, wrecks and overhangs and then spring back to the original shape without damage. The serious spearo appreciates this feature when on the hunt.
You get cold quickly while spearfishing, so a good wetsuit is key to your success. While the water could be reasonably warm on the surface, it's much cooler as you descend in search of prey. To stay in the water longer, and protect yourself from abrasive reef, jellyfish, spiny fish and sunburn, you're going to need a suitable thickness, well-fitting wetsuit.
Wetsuits made for surfing will work, but a wetsuit specifically made for spearfishing is ideal. Not only are they warmer than wetsuits made for surfing, but they generally have a built-in pad that makes loading your speargun against your chest much more comfortable. The spear fishing wetsuit thickness you need will depend on the water temperature where you are diving.
You want your wetsuit to fit snugly, but it has to be loose enough so that you can move freely. Wetsuits come in many colours, but camouflage suits will let you blend in to the surroundings, so you can more easily ambush the fish you want to spear.
As a beginner, you'll be better off with a one-piece, lined wetsuit. They are easier to get on and off and more durable.
Ocean Hunter Chameleon Core-3 Spearfishing Wetsuit - 3mm
RRP: $159, Our Price: $151, You Save $8 (5%).
This 3 mm spearfishing wetsuit is just what you want. The unique dual camouflage pattern and colouring have been designed specifically for Australian waters.
Different from a scuba or surfing wetsuit, the better spearfishing wetsuits are 2-part suits with a sticky, open cell neoprene to trap water and keep you warmer in the water, but are much harder to get into.
A 2-piece suit, which includes high top pants and a jacket with built-in hood. The all black design allows its use in all spearfishing water conditions.
Your fins power you through the water. There are two basic types of fins. One type features a longer blade that adds more power to your kick. These fins slip right onto your feet, but it's best to wear a pair of socks or booties to prevent blistering. Open back fins require a pair of reef boots that you slide into the fins. The fins are then are strapped onto the boots. Open back fins don't generate as much power, so you'll be kicking a little harder if you wear them.
Spearfishing fins are longer and narrower than ones you'd use to body surf, snorkel or scuba dive in. The most important aspect to picking out fins is to make sure they fit well. If they're too tight, you'll get blisters; too loose, and you're bound to lose them.
Fins that are rigid add more power to your kick stroke. The type and stiffness is really just a matter of personal preference depending on your style of hunting, where you hunt, how much you weigh and the way you swim.
Cressi Reaction Pro Full Foot Fins
RRP: $109, Our Price: $99, You Save $10 (9%).
These fins have been designed not just for and spearfishing and freediving, but also for snorkelling, swimming and scuba diving. If you're not sure spearfishing is going to be your thing, you'll still get to use these fins for other water sport activities.
Cressi Gara Modular Full Foot Fins
RRP: $199, Our Price: $179, You Save $20 (10%).
The modular design of these long blade spearfishing fins lets you replace/interchange blades for specific diving purposes, which make them a perfect fin to grow with, as you can change blades as your skills increase.
Spearfishing socks are a must for all spearfishers in cooler waters. They serve a range of purposes such as preventing blisters, keeping your feet warm and ensuring that you get a perfect fit from your spearfishing fins.
Ocean Hunter Fin Socks - 3mm
RRP: $33, Our Price: $31, You Save $2 (6%).
The printed rubber strong soles of these socks have an anti-slip layer to avoid skidding or slipping on wet rocks as you get to he water's edge, or the boat's deck.
You'll need a pair of spearfishing gloves. Gloves are an important, very effective part of your gear. Good spearfishing gloves will protect your fingers while you load your speargun, as well as keep you warm. You have to replace them regularly, but they don't cost much.
Some gloves are made from cotton with a reinforced grip that helps hang onto slippery fish. You could also get diving gloves that are made from neoprene wetsuit material with an imprinted grip pattern. They keep your hands warm and are much more durable than cotton gloves. The best spearfishing gloves use dyneema thread on the palms. Thin 1.5 mm dyneema gloves maintain dexterity while keeping your hands warm in the water. But if you're hands are getting too cold, you'll need thicker gloves for more thermal protection.
Cressi Defender Anti-Cut Dive Gloves - 2mm
RRP: $40, Our Price: $29, You Save $11 (28%).
This glove is ideal for those hunting for crays, abalone and scallops. The Cressi Defender Gloves are European Certified in accordance with EN 388 and EN 420 regulations as a LEVEL 5 cut resistant glove.
After you spear a fish, you need to kill it humanely and quickly with a pointed spearfishing dive knife. Once you learn the right spot to stab the fish, you can dispatch them quickly with little blood. It's also a good idea to have a knife strapped onto your body should you become tangled up in rope or seaweed.
You carry your knife in a sheath on your arm or leg. It's best to find a dive knife that has a handle with a grip so that it's easy to hang onto when you're underwater.
Ocean Design Apollo SQR 420 SS GB Dive Knife - Point Tip
Our Price: $79
A great spear fishing kill knife. Made from super strong 420 Stainless Steel with a very effective locking mechanism. Features a neoprene leg harness for comfort and automatic compensation for wetsuit compression.
You don't need a big knife, as they tend to get snagged on kelp. Something small with a nice, sharp edge, and point tip is best.
Tusa X-Pert II Titanium Dive Knife - Pointed Tip
RRP: $224, Our Price: $202, You Save $22 (10%).
When only the best will do, this is the spearfishing kill knife you want. It's made from high quality, corrosion resistant Titanium.
Outfitted in a thick wetsuit, you're going to bob on the surface like a buoy. To compensate for the buoyancy of a wetsuit, you need to wear a weight belt.
The most popular belts for spearfishing are rubber and have a quick-release buckle should things go wrong. While everyone is different, you should wear the amount of weight it takes to make your body have neutral buoyancy after you exhale on the surface. You can also tie a line around the belt to use as a fish stringer.
Cressi Elastic Marseilles Rubber Weight Belt - 140cm
RRP: $69, Our Price: $65.50, You Save $3.50 (5%).
This freediving/spearfishing weightbelt is comfortable and streamlined. The high elastic properties of the belt will contract and compress with your body and wetsuit during your descent and expand and stretch as your body and wetsuit expand during ascent. This keeps your weight belt properly positioned around your hips. The heavy-duty 300 series stainless buckle is easy to use and lasts a lifetime.
As any spearo knows, it's the initial duck dive from the surface that is crucial to success. Moving some weight up onto your back makes it much easier to get a better transition from the surface to depth.
Cressi Weight Vest
RRP: $90, Our Price: $81, You Save $9 (10%).
Move some of your weight up onto your back using this weight vest for improved trim and an easier to manage weight belt.
A surface marker buoy to let others know where you are in the water and to attach your equipment to prevent loss.
Ocean Hunter Inflatable Torpedo Float w Line & Alpha Flag (Ylw)
RRP: $49, Our Price: $46.50, You Save $2.50 (5%).
Specifically designed with the spearo in mind by incorporating a stream lined torpedo styled float which will glide effortlessly through the water and allow you to easily tow it behind you without feeling like you're pulling a truck.
Okay, so a good spearfishing buddy isn't a bit of gear. But it would be remiss of us not to emphasise how important it is to have a buddy along, especially for safety. Ideally your buddy will be more experienced than you and thus able to help you learn how to judge dive sites and the conditions, plus help you to learn and improve your hunting skills.
You need a current fishing licence from your local authorities. Here in Victoria, Australia, this can be obtained from Fisheries Victoria either online now (cheapest way), or from many DEDJTR offices and selected recreational fishing licence outlets throughout Victoria, including most retail fishing tackle stores.
Pay attention to any local regulations on fish you're allowed to take and their sizes. Ignorance of the law is not an accepted defense in a court of law.
Most of the choices you make will be based on personal preference. As you gain more experience, you'll see which type of gear you prefer. Then you can tailor your spearfishing rig to your tastes.