Choosing a Speargun

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Choosing a Speargun

What is a Speargun?

 

A speargun is a piece of equipment that is used to shoot fish whilst diving down underwater or snorkelling. Spearfishing is a hunting sport where you get to choose your fish that you want to eat for dinner unlike line fishing where you do not get to choose what you catch. Spearguns come in different brands, lengths and styles which you can choose from to suit your needs. The way a speagun works is by pulling the rubber down the barrel and hooking the bridle in to one of the notches on the spear. When this is done, the gun is loaded and can be shot. Once you pull the trigger the spear will release from the mechanism and the rubber will propel the spear forward with force to penetrate the fish you were aiming at. A rubber gun is the most popular style of gun however there is also the pneumatic guns that work using high pressure air. Rather than pulling rubber back to load, you push the spear in to the barrel against the air pressure until it is locked in to the mechanism. Once this is locked in place, when the trigger is pulled the air pressure will propel the spear forward.

 

Choosing a speargun

 

So you want to start spearfishing and the gun is the next item on your list yet you have no idea which one is good or which one to get! Well, don’t you worry yourself as we are here to help and this blog is going to give you some great information of the different brands and styles with features so you get a good understanding of what you are looking for.

 

Length:

The length of a speargun is the first question we get asked about and it is generally “which length is best for me”. This question is a good one and going to be answered right here, right now! The best length of a speargun depends on where you are diving with regards to the depth. You may be wanting to hang around the rock walls and jetty’s in the rivers where the depth may be 5-10 meters or you might have access to a boat and be doing most of your diving out on the reefs in open ocean at 10-30 meters. Depending on where you spend most of your time will determine the length as if you are generally in shallow waters, you don’t want a long gun where the full range is going to hit the ocean floor or rocks. A speargun’s shooting range is approximately 4 times the length of the gun. For example a 1m gun will have a range on 4m which included the gun barrel, shooting line and the spear. A long gun will be harder to maneuver in shallow waters so perhaps a 90cm – 110cm would be suitable as the smaller fish tend to come in closer so you don’t need the range. In open ocean, you are hunting larger fish and they don’t come in as close so you would need a longer range for these and a 110cm – 140cm would be perfect. If you are diving in a bit of both then a 110cm would be best suited however every good spearfisherman would have two guns. A short reef gun and a longer open water gun.

 

Style:

 

    

There are three different styles of spearguns including a rail gun, roller gun and a pneumatic gun. Three very different styles, however the most commonly used is the rail gun. This particular gun is loaded with rubbers which gives it the power when fired. The spear sits on the top of the barrel in a rail that guides it out smoothly and accurately. It is the most popular gun as there are many different price points within the range and is perfect for beginners to professionals.

The roller gun is the newest on the market and although is very similar with the rail, the rubbers are much longer giving more power and shooting range on shorter gun length. This style is more so used for the advanced divers who want to spend a little more on their gun and are hunting large pelagic fish in open waters.

The pneumatic gun is air powered and does not get its power by rubbers. There is an air canister within the barrel which is pumped up, when the spear is loaded it pushes a piston against the pressurized air so when it is fired, the high pressure air is what propels the spear. This particular gun would be the least popular as the gun needs to be serviced each year which occurs a charge. Many boat owners use these guns to jump over board, shoot their dinner and head back.


 

Features

Trigger Mechanism:

The Trigger mechanism is what holds the spear in place and releases it when the trigger is pulled. It is generally a casette that can be removed from the handle to be cleaned or replaced. All spearguns have a trigger mech's however they come in different styles and materials. some of the entry level guns are made from a cheaper plastic and made in china where when you start to spend more of the gun, the plastics will be better qualiy and made in Italy or South Africa etc. The best quality trigger mechanism's are the all metal ones and these are extremely durable and robust. 

 

Muzzle:

 

 

 Closed Muzzle                                  Semi Closed Muzzle                                      Open Muzzle

The muzzle is situated on the tip of the barrel and is where the spear is held in place to prevent it from coming off the barrel. There are 3 different types of muzzles including an open muzzle, a semi closed and a closed muzzle. The open muzzle means that the spear is held in place by the monofilament line, this is secure and prevets the shaft from rattling underwater. The semi closed muzzles have a small plastic piece on the top to hold the spear in, however the rest of the muzzle is open so it does not restrict the rubbers movement. The closed muzzles have a fully enclosed top and hold the rubber securly in place. The closed muzzle can encourage the rubber to perish quicker due to the restriction that it puts on it. 

 

Spear:

 

The Spear is what penetrates through the fish that you have just shot. They are generally made from a spring steel or a stainless steel and can vary in length and thickness. Depending on what size gun you have will determin the length of spear that you will use. The spears are designed to have a hang over of approx 20cm from the muzzle and this will allow you to aim using the tip of the spear as a guide. The spears that we carry at Dive Warehouse have notches in them which is where the bridle is hooked it, however some spears comes with fins instead of notches. They come in a variety of thickness from 6mm to 7.5mm going up in .5mm increments. The thicker the spear, the better quality and stronger they will be so if you are shooting thick pelagic fish, we would recommend at least a 7mm or 7.5mm.

 

The Line:

     

 

The line is is what keeps the spear attached to the speargun to prevent it from being lost or taken by a fish. It is generally made of a monofilament but can be made from a constrictor cord. The mono is more common and definately more durable as it does not kink in to knots. The mono is attached to the gun and spear by metal crimps that hold it in place and prevent it from slipping out. To best use the crimps, a crimping tool is recommended.

 

Rubbers:

 

 

The rubber on a speargun is what gives you the power when shooting. Speargun rubber comes in many different thicknesses and depending on how much power you want will determin what thickness rubber to get. Majority of guns come standard with 16mm thickness as this is generally enough power to pierce thorugh small to mid sized fish which is what most speros go for. Twin 14mm rubbers is starting to become more popular as these are easier to load and with them doubled up, you get just as much power as a single 16mm, even a little more. When hunting larger pelajic fish, twin 16mm rubbers are popular or swap them out for a single 18mm or even a 20mm thickness rubber. These are of course much harder to load yet give you the ultimate in power to penetrate through thick fish. 

 

There is not rule to rubbers, its totally up to you and they can be swapped around so don't feel that you are limited to the one that comes standard on your gun. Here at Dive Warehouse we make up new rubbers in all of the above thicknesses to suit your needs.  

 

 


 

 


 

Quality:

The quality of each gun will vary and depending on how much you are paying for it will determine the quality. For example if you purchase a gun for $99 (which are one of our popular price points) you will receive a great gun at a $99 price point quality. There will be less metal components with more plastic which will be a cheaper quality. If you look after this gun, it will last but will need some good TLC. Don’t look after it and it will not last. Purchase a gun around $500, you will receive a much better quality piece of equipment that will have more durable plastics and metal parts that will last many years. You get what you pay for which is a general rule for most things in life.

 

The Brands:

We stock some awesome well known brands here at Dive Warehouse including Rob Allen, Cressi, Mares, Sal Vimar and Ocean Hunter. These have been around for many years and are all reputable brands that make great products.

 

Happy Hunting!

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