Home / Guides / Beginners’ Guides / Spearfishing kit guide

Spearfishing kit guide

Our useful spearfishing kit guide aims to inform the beginner and novice spearo of what you’ll need for a safe and successful dive. It will also help you to understand kit specifications, styles and makes. Once you’re ready, head on over to our spearfishing shop.

Speargun

Speargun

Well, the first thing you need to go spearfishing is a reliable and accurate speargun. Unlike your fishing rod, you will never need bait or hooks and it will give you seasons of use as long as you give it a proper rinse with fresh water after every dive.

The key features to look out for are:

Grip – needs to be comfortable and steady as you will swim long distances with it.

Barrel – a good length for a beginner is 70-90cm. You can go for a tough aluminum barrel as seen on our Scopia range. For extra precision you may prefer a raligun with an integrated rail for accuracy. For those wanting the maximum in handling and accuracy we have carbon railed barrels, all of which are available in all lengths by the majority of the brands we stock.

Muzzle – holds the bands and shaft in place. A low profile muzzle is our default option and is excellent for aiming. Some divers prefer an open muzzle and others prefer a closed – one is no better than the other and the choice of either usually comes down to personal preference. Brands are currently shying away from the older style closed muzzle with many of the models we stock choosing the open design.

Bands – 14mm -20mm bands are available. 20mm are the most powerful but a single 16mm band will be fine for most UK spearfishing, twin 14mm bands are more popular for those seeking a little more range and power. A set of bands should last you a full dive season – Rob Allen rubber specifically has proven to last for nearly 3! For longer life do not store them exposed to sunlight. For maximum life they can be stored in the fridge if the gun is not to be used for a while.

View our range of spearguns  / Download our PDF speargun buyer’s guide

SpearShaft

For a single 16mm band a 6mm to 6.75mm spear will be sufficient.. but a thicker spear will be more accurate but will fire slower.

For a thicker single band 17mm up to 20mm a 6.3mm to 7mm will be sufficient.

A great middle ground for the UK is twin 14mm bands as they are quick and easy to load but give you more range and power than a single band without too much added weight and drag. An ideal spear for this setup is from 6.5mm to 7mm.

If you’re wanting ultimate power and range twin 16mm bands is the most popular, a spear from 6.75 to 7.5mm is ideal for this scenario.

Some guns such as the Pathos Laser Open Carbon use twin 17.5mm bands, for a setup this powerful you want a spear no thinner than 7mm.

For roller guns, typically a 16mm band roller gun will have a spear around 7mm but this varies depending on the model.

If you accidentally hit a rock, you can sharpen the spear easily with a rasp file. Make sure you wash the spear in fresh water after every dive and keep it out of the gun when being stored. This will reduce the chance of corrosion.

Spear material is also a big consideration when choosing a spear – Pathos Sandvik steel spears will blunt quicker than Rob Allen Carbon Steel (i.e. spring steel) Spears, but they are far more rust resistant than the heavier, harder counterparts. There are varying grades of Stainless Steel (sandvik being one of the best), most beginner to intermediate guns will come with very basic Stainless Steel spears which are easy and cheap to replace, but will be easily damaged/bent. It may be worth considering buying a better spear (Rob Allen or Pathos), if you want to take your gun to the next level!

Should your shaft get bent, for example by a conger eel, although it can be more or less straightened by bending it back across your knee, we would advise a replacement shaft to ensure your accuracy is not affected. It is very unusual for a shaft to get bent in the first place in the UK except with congers.

Floats

Spearfishing float
You need a float at all times when diving in the UK. The primary function is to warn boat users of your presence, and to show your position should you get into difficulties. The other function is that it will stop you ever losing your speargun. Your speargun connects to your float via the floatline, so if it every gets dropped, or gets stuck after you shoot a fish in a crack on the bottom, you can always find your gun again. We suggest 35l inflatable floats give the best visibility, and do not cause much drag to swim with. For those preferring a smaller float an 11l inflatable is suitable.

View our range of spearfishing floats

Float Line

Our olive floatline is easily wound up so that the length can be set without a bulky line winder see the instructions on how to coil a floatline.

For UK conditions we suggest 10m extra over your usual diving depth. For most intermediate divers a 20m floatline is ideal.

Our lines are very strong and resist abrasion.

View our lines & bungees

Wetsuit

Spearfishing wetsuit
For the UK you will need a 5mm wetsuit to dive through most of the year.

Camouflage is a matter of preference, but it is important not to wear anything too brightly coloured. Most spearos in the UK use camo suits now, but some still prefer the traditional black.

Make sure you put hot water mixed with soap or even Slippy wetsuit lube down the suit before putting it on; spearfishing suits need to be wet to put on, but are more comfortable and warmer because of this sticky ‘open cell’ lining.

View our spearfishing wetsuits  / Download our PDF Wetsuit buyer’s guide

Gloves

You need gloves which will not impair your dexterity. 3mm neoprene are ideal. Gloves will need replacing more often than most items of kit due to the effects of grabbing barnacled rocks and spiny fish!

View our spearfishing gloves

Boots & Socks

5mm socks are the warmest, but 3mm are fine for summer. Check the fit with your fins, It is best to order your fins a size bigger than usual if you want to use 5mm socks.

View our spearfishing boots

Freedive Fins

Carbon freediving fins

The best and most powerful fins are those which are made of composite materials – Carbon and inngera being the most efficient. These materials are exceptionally good for deep diving and swimming long distances. Most divers begin the sport with plastic fins which are very durable, and fine for surface swimming and diving to medium depths (10-15m). When divers start to look for game deeper they will usually move onto a more advanced Fiberglass, Carbon or Inngera fins like those offered by Dive R, Pathos, or XT for example.

View our spearfishing fins

Spearfishing Masks

A mask with low volume is the best for spearfishing, making equalizations quick, and reducing hydrodynamic drag when diving deeper for extra efficiency. You will notice that the size of spearfishing/freediving masks differ massively from those worn by scuba divers for this reason. The best mask however is always the one that fits the best – we would always recommend coming to the shop and trying our range so that you can be sure the mask you end up buying won’t leak and ruin your sessions!

View our range of spearfishing masks

Weights belt

The weights belt needs to be either rubber or webbing with a release mechanism you find easy to activate in case you need to drop it in an emergency. Silicone and Rubber come highly recommended from the team as these are the most comfortable, and will allow for a far better breathe-up before taking a dive!

Experiment with the right amount of lead for yourself, to get the balance perfect. To get the right amount of lead we would suggest starting 1kg per mm of suit, -1 (i.e. 4kg for a 5mm suit). Add lead in 1kg increments until you have the correct amount. If you start sinking or have to tread water when bottling – you’ve added too much. The waterline on your mask when penciling should be below your eyeline. Selecting the right amount of lead is really tricky, as there are so many factors that come into play i.e. bone density, % body fat, height, weight…

See all our dive weights

stringers2Stringer

You need your stringer on your float to put your catch on. A heavy duty stringer will not break and is the easiest way to carry your catch when back on land. Do not attach to your belt; it can catch in the seabed or attract the attention of seals and other predators who may want to share your catch! If you are really weary of Seals or want somewhere to keep Shellfish, consider a catch bag that can attach to your float.

View our range of stringers

Knife

A small, sharp pointed knife with a reliable sheath is needed. Tying a bungee to the knife is a good way to avoid losing it should it come out of its sheath in breakers etc. You will use the knife to kill the catch, stabbing into the top of the head just behind the eyes. Be careful not to cut yourself in the process. The knife is also fundamentally an essential piece of safety equipment. If you find yourself caught in fishing line for example a serrated knife can save your life! Alternatively, consider buying a line cutter.

View our range of spearfishing knives