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What is a spearfishing float used for?
The most import practical application for a spearfishing float is to attach your gun to it via a length of line (called float line). Depending how deep you dive this can range anywhere between 10 and 30 odd meters. Its importance is twofold.
Firstly at any given time, be it on the surface or bottom side, you need to be able to drop your gun and not worry about losing it. You may get into a sticky situation that requires both hands and you don’t want to be sacrificing your safety because you’re fearful of losing your gun, especially in low vis situations or over kelp beds.
The second reason is that after you shoot your fish, fining it up to the surface will likely result in you tearing the spear out of the fish and thus losing it. It’s far better to fight the fish from the surface with your fingertips, especially if it’s a low belly shot.
If you targeting larger fish then then this is multiplied 100 fold. In this situation like with wahoo, tuna etc, you want the floats to be doing all the hard work. The fish fight against the floats and tire themselves out while you hang on to the back and enjoy the ride.
They also give you something to rest on if you are tired or have calf cramps, and you can also clip things to them, like extra guns, water and your fish.
Last but not least, they make you highly visible to others in the water. Either dive buddies or watercraft users. The last thing you want is to be run over by someone who has no idea you are there.
Many floats also come with a dive flag that shows the international sign of ‘diver in the water’.
Entry level inflatable spearfishing floats:
Cheap and cheerful! As low as £10 and will get the immediate job done, especially with our UK fish. Their down side is their durability, it won’t be long before you are buying a new one. The problem is normally with the valve used to inflate them. It’s the same style as you see on children’s arm bands and they simply just don’t last the tests of time.
The material is often the typical plastic you see at seaside shops selling inflatable balls etc, again they are not built to last season after season but its a great way to get started safely.
Heavy duty inflatable spearfishing floats:
These are built like tanks and often have inner bladder which is inflated via a car tire style valve or something similar. Make no mistake these will last season after season so while the initial investment may seem high, you save seasons down the line.
They are inflatable to between 1.5 and 3 atmospheres which mean they are incredibly buoyant and can be dragged underwater to various depths without imploding. The benefit of this within the UK is that you can rest on them to take a break, something you may struggle to do within the budget range.
They are designed to create minimal drag and are generally incredibly robust. The Rob Allen 11l is more than suitable for smaller fish while all versions can also be taken abroad to use to target bigger game, as part of a progressive multi float system.
Overall inflatables are a great traveler’s choice because of their low weight and low storage value.
Hard spearfishing floats:
These are our personal favourites. While they are not so suitable for international travelling because of their size and weight, they are by far the most durable. A good hard float should pretty much last you a life time and have the bonus of being able to attach a stable dive flag for heightened water visibility. They are extremely buoyant and the foam blown versions like the red 12l Rob Allen above can also be used on big game as a leader float. These can go as deep as you need without fear of imploding.
Big game float systems:
Targeting wahoo, tuna, marlin etc? Then your choice of float system is probably more important than your choice of gun. Different species have different behaviours when shot. Some crash dive, some fire away at over 60 mph while others bomb into the reef.
Each one of these situations require a very different float system, some need to be progressive, some ridged and others need to be able to hold a heap of weight. In many ways shooting the fish is the easy part and most ‘fish of a life time’ are lost through not considering these different situations.
If you wanted to discuss the various methods for targeting your fish then please get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to offer advice and tips.