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A Complete Guide to Gear for Spearfishing

Nov 16, 2022

Margaret Adams

Gear for Spearfishing: A Guide

Spearfishing is exhilarating, rewarding, and extremely fun! If you've never been spearfishing before, it's time to hit the water! But before getting out there, you need to make sure you have the right gear. If you're not prepared with everything you need, spearfishing may not be that enjoyable.

In this post, we'll discuss everything there is to know about spearfishing gear - what to bring, how the gear works, and where you can find top-notch spearfishing products!

What is Spearfishing? 

In simple terms, spearfishing involves using a spear to catch fish. This sport requires the use of various types of spearfishing equipment, including a speargun, pole spears, wetsuit, fins, snorkel, and mask. Also, while some people utilize scuba diving equipment for this activity, others choose free diving. Whatever method you choose, spearfishing is an amazing sport! Many people are blown away after their first spearfishing experience.

History of Spearfishing 

Spearfishing is one of the oldest techniques for catching fish. However, instead of spearguns, it all started with a pole spear. Early civilizations would create these spears by sharpening the point of a long stick. Today, we still use similar spears that our ancestors made thousands of years ago.

Dangers of Spearfishing

While spearfishing is a fantastic sport, it involves a few safety risks. One of which is getting in and out of the water. While this sounds easy, it can be a huge issue in high surf. You could crash into rocks, be pummeled by waves, or even injure yourself with your speargun.

Another danger is rip currents, which can pull you out to sea very quickly. To prevent this from happening, go on a guided excursion or talk to experts before heading out.

Drowning, of course, is another risk to think about. While this is rare when wearing scuba gear, it's more common when free diving. Drowning can happen by hitting rocks, getting tangled in kelp, or being hit by a boat.

Accidental spearing is something else to consider. As both spearguns and pole spears have extremely sharp tips, you must be careful when using this equipment. To learn the right way to use your gear, including some safety tips, take a safety course or hire a professional guide.

Types of Spearfishing 

There are three different types of spearfishing. Learn more about these options below:

Boat Spearfishing 

Spearfishing from a boat is very popular. First off, you don't have to worry about crashing waves or hitting rocks along the shore. Secondly, you have the open water to explore! Also, boat spearfishing gives you the ability to fish in a variety of locations. To reduce the chance of an accident, never keep your speargun loaded while on the boat.

Shore Spearfishing

Shore diving is the most popular way to go spearfishing. These areas provide an abundance of different marine life, allowing you to catch various types of fish. Those who spearfish from the shore usually dive in waters 15 to 75 feet deep. Keep in mind shore spearfishing can be dangerous, as there may be rocks, large waves, and other obstacles in your path.

Blue Water Hunting 

This is the most advanced type of spearfishing, which is why it isn't recommended for beginners. Blue water hunting simply involves diving in open, deeper water. These divers are usually after bigger fish, such as marlin, tuna, and wahoo. While this type of spearfishing is exhilarating, it can also be risky. You have to worry about strong currents, sharks, and floating in the open ocean. Also, boat drivers will typically drop you off to drift in the current for a few hours, which can cause anxiety for some. This is why blue water hunting is only recommended for experienced divers.

Gear for Spearfishing: What You’ll Need 

After learning about the dangers of spearfishing, including the different types, let's now discuss the right spearfishing gear to bring on your next adventure:


Gear for Spearfishing



A speargun is intended to shoot a spear directly at fish. As this is an easy, effective way to go fishing, it's preferred by many divers. There are two types of spearguns on the market today: an air gun and a banded gun. Air guns, also called pneumatic spearguns, use compressed air to fire the spear. Using a piston, the spear shaft shoots out of the barrel once you pull the trigger. A banded speargun, on the other hand, works with the help of powerful rubber bands. When the gun loads, these rubber bands stretch from the end of the barrel to the back of the spear.

Pole Spear

When people think of spearfishing, they picture a long pole spear for catching fish. While these spears can be effective, they aren't as powerful as spearguns. However, a pole spear is a great tool if you're a beginner to the sport, as they're effective at catching smaller fish. A pole spear works with the help of strong rubber bands that shoot the spear forward. However, unlike a speargun, a pole spear leaves your hand completely once you fire. Also, you must be very close to the fish to make the catch.

Hawaiian Sling

A Hawaiian sling works similarly to a pole spear but has one small difference. Instead of firing a spear that completely leaves your hand, the sling's band still remains. While this device is simple, many people consider a Hawaiian sling the best spearfishing invention to date. However, using this device isn't easy, and it does take some practice to master.


A spearfishing wetsuit is essential when spearfishing in a location with cold water temperature. As you may be floating in the ocean for hours, a wetsuit helps to keep you comfortable. Also, even if you're in warmer waters, you'll still want a wetsuit to protect you from the sun and other hazards you may encounter.


Freediving fins are another important piece of equipment, whether you're in the open ocean or shallow water. The fins you choose will determine how far down you'll be able to dive, including how much energy you'll use when swimming. When shopping around for the best option, you'll have to choose between fiberglass, carbon, or plastic fins.

Snorkel & Mask

A few other pieces of gear you'll absolutely need are a snorkel and diving mask. As these products are considered some of the most vital freediving gear, you'll need to ensure a perfect fit. Also, when searching for good options, choose a low profile mask. These allow less air to get trapped between the spearfishing mask and your face, reducing the pressure you feel when diving underwater.

Spearfishing Knife

It's also a great idea to bring along a dive knife. These are used for cutting away rope, seaweed, or anything else you can get tangled with. While you don't need a huge knife, a small, sharp blade should do the trick.

Weighted Belts

Divers can sometimes have trouble staying underwater when wearing a wetsuit. If you're tired of floating back to the surface, invest in a rubber weight belt. As the name suggests, this is a weighted belt that helps you stay underwater.

Freediving Watch

Another piece of equipment you should consider is a dive watch. These help track the depth of your dive, including how long you've been underwater. Although these watches can be expensive, many divers say they're well worth the money.

Dive Flag

As a safety precaution, consider using a dive flag when spearfishing from a boat. These flags are intended to let other boaters know there are divers in the area. These flags are either white and red or white and blue. This simple, affordable product can save you from a life-threatening situation!

A Dive Buddy

Although a dive buddy is technically not ‘gear’, I’A Hawaiian Sling recommends always taking a pal with you when you go spearfishing, as its dangerous to go alone! A dive buddy should be someone you can rely on if an emergency were to occur.


I’A Hawaiian Sling

If you're about to embark on a spearfishing trip, having the right gear is essential. Before you head out on your journey, pick up the trusted and reliable I'A Hawaiian Sling. Developed in Maui, our high-quality sling is a much better value compared to marked-up dive shop alternatives. It's lightweight, durable, and stronger than other slings on the market today. The I'A Hawaiian Sling is also perfect for traveling and adventuring on the go.

If you're interested in the I'A Hawaiian Sling for your next spearfishing excursion, we're here to help. By purchasing today, you'll receive FAST and FREE shipping directly to your doorstep!

Check out our product page today to get started or fill out our contact form if you have any questions!