Spearfishing is one of the most ancient human practices, but things have changed for modern spearos. With different spearguns on the market, you have the chance to choose the right one based on the environment, the depths you dive to, the type of fish you’re after, and your level of experience.
Millions of people practice spearfishing worldwide, either to catch food or as a recreational activity, with different tools available to suit various fishing situations. So which one should you pick for your next spearfishing trip?
In this article, we reviewed some of the best spearguns on the market and explained their features and benefits to help you find the right one for you.
I know some of you like to get right to the reviews, so at the beginning of this article, we will get right to it and give you our top choices of the best spearguns on the market. As mentioned, keep reading to learn about the different types of spearguns out there and the things to look out for when buying the right speargun for your individual needs. You’ll also find answers to several questions that every spearo might ask about spearfishing gear.
This is an excellent lightweight starter speargun for someone who is targeting small and medium-sized fish, as it’s equipped with a 6.5 mm diameter shaft. It can also be used as a supplementary speargun if you’re targeting bigger fish.
Equipped with a Tahitian-style flopper, the shaft has remarkable penetration power. There’s a unique handle angle to make your shot more precise. Even if you’re a first-timer, you will be able to maneuver this speargun easily, thanks to the ergonomic molded handle.
The band is easy to mount, and there’s room to add more bands if you need more power. The 26 mm barrel is made of heavy-duty anodized aluminum to resist corrosion, and it features a closed-muzzle for easy loading and better accuracy.
If you’re fishing in shallow water, around rocks, or in holes, this should be the right one for you. There’s an option to choose between black and silver barrels for better camouflage or to attract the fish’s attention. However, as a beginner, the line might accidentally snap, so you need to be careful while using it.
What We Like
- Lightweight speargun for small and medium-sized fish.
- Tahitian-style flopper.
- Anodized corrosion-resistant aluminum barrel.
- Closed muzzle for easy loading.
- Handle angle to improve the penetration power.
- Ergonomic molded handle.
What We Don’t Like
- The line might snap.
This is a sturdy and reliable speargun for experienced spearos. It’s made of teak to add more strength for catching bigger fish without being bulky. The nice finish makes the speargun elegant while adding to its durability.
Compared to other spearguns, the accuracy of this model is remarkable. It features a corrosion-resistant 17-4 stainless steel shaft, and the whole gun weighs about 6 pounds. The sleek design and balanced weight guarantee better spearfishing in the most challenging situations. The handle is ergonomic, and the closed muzzle allows for fast and easy hip and chest loading.
It only needs one or two bands to give you the same power that you can achieve with multiple bands on another band speargun, as the bands don’t lose power. The speargun will produce maximum power with minimum recoil, especially if you’re shooting fish at a long-range.
Thanks to the space between the shaft fins and the driver, you will have a higher pivot point for better tracking. Once you load the bands, the setup elevates them for more accuracy. The design allows for precise shots in rough spearfishing conditions.
Since it’s a roller speargun, it’s shorter and easier to transfer than band spearguns. Nevertheless, due to its high price, a beginner spearo might be interested in buying another model.
What We Like
- Sturdy roller speargun for experienced spearos.
- Balanced weight with great penetration power without being too bulky.
- More powerful than other models.
- Minimum recoil.
- Easy reloading.
- Shorter and easier to transfer.
What We Don’t Like
- More expensive than other spearguns.
This speargun features a hand-straightened and heat-treated 9/32 stainless steel shaft and a fully chamfered barrel for better sweeping and tracking underwater. The 45° polymer handle allows for easy maneuvering, while the tuned flopper and Elite Nitro bands guarantee better penetration and more power. You can use this gun with one or two bands, based on your needs.
Compared to other spearguns, the reduced recoil makes this one easier to use. It also allows for fast target acquisition. It’s silent underwater, so it won’t startle fish, and the tip slips to secure bigger fish with no difficulty.
It’s best used for fishing in wrecks and open water. The streamlined, integrated muzzle and the integrated dovetail accessory mount that allows for the easy installation of accessories. However, loading this speargun takes a little more time and effort because of the opened muzzle.
What We Like
- Sturdy speargun shaft.
- Great penetration power and better accuracy.
- Ability to use with one or two bands.
- Silent operation.
What We Don’t Like
- Takes more time to reload.
This low-profile speargun features a 6.75 mm Hawaiian flopper Euroshaft, measures 55 inches, and weighs 7 pounds. You can use it with one or two bands to gain more power when needed.
The gun is made with 5 layers of laminated teak for more strength without being bulky to track fish faster. The barrel has corners for maximum beam strength, and there will be no risk of your stock or barrel warping or bending under the load of the rubber bands.
No matter the depth you’re diving to, the speargun becomes neutrally buoyant to facilitate your mission. Compared to heavier models, this is a great choice for deepwater spearfishing, as you can easily get back to the surface for air. It’s quite steady and allows for accurate shots in shallow water as well.
If you’re spearfishing in clean water and need a long-range, this will be the right speargun for you. It features a soft-grip handle for more successful hunting. There’s a unique groove for the shaft, so it slides seamlessly once the trigger is pulled.
Although the muzzle is open and might be a little difficult to load, advanced spearos prefer it because there’s nothing that interferes with your view of fire with the rear loading pad. There’s a safety mechanism that locks the trigger, so it won’t go off accidentally.
What We Like
- Great penetration power without being bulky.
- Suitable for shallow and deep water spearfishing.
- Soft grip handle for better control.
- Shaft slides smoothly.
- Safety mechanism to prevent the shaft from accidentally going off.
What We Don’t Like
- More challenging to reload than other spearguns.
This speargun features the reverse trigger mechanism to increase band stretch and provide more accuracy. It’s a great speargun for beginners and features a Hawaiian-style open muzzle for a clean view of fire, although you need some time to get used to reloading it.
Thanks to the ergonomic plastic handle, your hand can wrap comfortably. The stainless steel trigger can withstand regular abuse and is corrosion-resistant. It’s also adjustable to accommodate a wide range of hand sizes. The twin Power X-change bands give you the needed power underwater.
The heat-treated stainless steel shaft doesn’t bend, even when you’re targeting a larger fish. The shaft comes with a mid flag and two rear flags that allow you to adjust power. The aluminum barrel requires less maintenance and is suitable for beginners.
You need to use a mono shooting line with this speargun, which might be a little inconvenient. Nevertheless, thanks to recoil minimization and sound dampening, this will improve your chances while you’re reef spearfishing.
What We Like
- Beginners speargun.
- Stainless steel adjustable and corrosion-resistant trigger.
- Twin Power X-change bands for more power.
- Heat-treated stainless steel shaft.
- Recoil minimization and sound dampening mechanism.
What We Don’t Like
- Open nozzle is difficult to reload.
- The mono shooting line is less convenient to use.
Different Types of Spearguns
People practiced spearfishing thousands of years ago using polespears. This is a stick with a sharp barb on the end that you can use to catch fish and is used primarily for close-range spearfishing.
However, modern-day polespears have strong rubber loops attached to the end. The rubber loop is used to launch the spear by hooking it around the thumb and drawing it back to build tension. Once released, the tension will propel the spear in the water to catch the fish you’re targeting.
Spearguns were invented as an upgrade from traditional polespears. The speargun shaft resembles the polespear and allows a spearo to target various fish with more accuracy since spearguns grant more power.
However, if you’re spearfishing for the first time, it might be difficult to choose between different types of spearguns. But don’t be overwhelmed because we’ll explain the differences between them in this section.
These are the most popular spearguns on the market because they’re easy to handle and aim. These spearguns are accurate and silent. They don’t require much maintenance and are considered to be basic compared to other models.
The rubber band is fitted through the speargun to propel the spear and push it forward. The longer the speargun, the more powerful it will be. However, when targeting bigger fish, a band speargun might accidentally bend.
Band spearguns are divided into two types; American and European spearguns.
American spearguns are made of wood to provide better balance. They’re powerful, robust, and reliable under the water. These spearguns are usually compatible with double-barbed spears. American spearguns are more balanced, with the potential to attach six rubber bands or even more to provide more force.
Due to their properties, these are the most versatile types of spearguns. They can work for a big range of shooting and excel at targeting bigger fish with no issues. American spearguns are easy to load, and spearos usually rest the butt against the hip for easy loading, which is why they’re called hip loaders.
The slide ring attaches to the shooting line, which adds more drag and noise as the gun is fired. These spearguns are also bulkier and more difficult to maneuver. Moreover, despite being easy to reload, they usually take more time to reload.
European spearguns are easy to maneuver and are almost silent under the water. Moreover, they’re smaller than their American counterparts. Since they’re lighter, they’re usually easier to aim and shoot. There’s a line at the end of the line to allow for easy retrieval.
European spearguns are made of different materials, including wood, aluminum, or carbon fiber, and all are easy to control underwater. The attachments are either made of plastic or stainless steel.
The speargun has a single barb to target small fish. The shaft has a hole that is tied to the shooting line, so it reduces the drag compared to American spearguns. European spearguns are usually used for hunting smaller fish because the shaft will bend if you’re trying to target a bigger fish.
Pneumatic spearguns have no bands or slings and are powered by the power of the air. You simply insert the shaft into the speargun and push the piston back to compress the air. Once you pull the trigger, the compressed air will push the spear out.
These spearguns need a loader to make the loading process easier. They’re easier to use than band-powered spearguns, especially if the band speargun has several bands. The loading process can be a little challenging.
Pneumatic spearguns have recoil, and the shaft is usually thick to produce a greater impact and better penetration. The shaft will be able to hunt a bigger fish, even if the speargun is short.
Pneumatic spearguns come in a variety of lengths, but they’re generally compact and powerful. However, these spearguns might not be that suitable for a beginner because they require more practice to use successfully.
Compared to band spearguns, pneumatic spearguns are not as silent. This is why they might scare other fish if you miss your shot. They require more maintenance and should be cared for after every use.
Pneumatic spearguns are suitable for serious spearos because you take time to learn how to aim them. TAt the beginning, you might feel that the speargun has no power. But you can see for yourself how this speargun performs, especially in reef hunting.
Some users struggle with loading a pneumatic speargun, as increasing the pressure can make them extremely difficult to load. However, you don’t need to do that, as the standard pressure is more than enough to help the speargun function the way it should.
Pneumatic spearguns are as noisy as shotguns. However, if you install a dry barrel, the noise will be almost eliminated. You can learn more about pneumatic spearguns by taking a look at his article – Pneumatic Spearguns.
The railgun has been first used in South Africa and Australia as an evolved version of the European speargun. It’s a heavy-duty spearfishing tool powered by a rubber band that can propel a thicker shaft to target bigger fish that can be found in the open water.
The railgun is more accurate than other spearfishing tools and can allow more than one rubber band to be attached based on the gun’s model.
As with the European spearfishing gun, you attach a shooting line to the end of the shaft for easy retrieval to the end of the shaft. Nevertheless, railguns are noisy compared to other types of spearguns. They’re also usually more expensive.
Roller spearguns are popular because they represent an upgrade to the traditional speargun. The muzzle on the roller speargun has two spinning roles on both ends of the rubber and is attached to the underside of the handle.
This setup allows for faster speed, better accuracy, simpler loading, reduced recoil, and more penetrating power. The roller speargun allows you to make use of the whole length of the barrel. It grants you more power from the long pull without having more bands on the speargun.
The reduced recoil allows for more comfortable handling because the speargun won’t bounce back. As a result, the roller speargun is more silent when used underwater. The roller speargun is steadier when used and allows for easier maneuver in rough conditions and strong currents.
Although both band spearguns and roller spearguns function by pulling the rubber, in the rubber speargun, the band is usually short and needs to be stretched. This can be a little difficult, especially for beginners. Roller spearguns are easier to load because the rollers act as a pulley, thus reducing the force needed to load the speargun.
The Hawaiian sling is a hybrid of the speargun and the polespear. It works just like the bow and arrow or slingshot to catch fish.
It has a strong elastic loop fixed to the blunt end, but it’s connected to a block that moves along the shaft. You need to hold the block and pull it back to create tension to launch the spear. Hawaiian slings work best for close-range fishing. They can also be used where spearguns are not allowed.
How to Choose the Best Speargun
Spearfishing has gone through years of trial and error to help spearos find the best tools to catch fish efficiently. Today, modern technology has provided spearfishing enthusiasts with the right spearguns to help them catch fish at any depth successfully.
There’s no speargun that works for all situations and fish. Although some models are extremely versatile, you still have to decide on the right speargun to pick. Here are some features that can help you choose the right speargun.
The length of the speargun determines the size of the spear you can load and, accordingly, the type of fish you can target. A longer speargun will help you target bigger and more powerful fish. However, a bigger speargun is trickier to maneuver and is suitable for more experienced users because it requires precise aim.
Shorter spearguns can be used with shorter shafts. Beginners find shorter spearguns easier to maneuver. They work for shallow waters, narrow caves, wrecks, and reefs.
The more you spearfish out in the open water, the longer reach you will need using the range of the band. The band should be about 3 times the length of the speargun. It should be strong enough to help you reach the target fish.
The spear is made of a shaft and a tip, and both are usually made of stainless steel. A thinner shaft travels fast in the water but has less penetrating power, so it’s suitable for hunting small fish. A thicker shaft will be a little slower but has enough power to penetrate the body of a bigger fish.
The tip can be fixed, so you can’t change it. However, a threaded tip is more versatile because you can change the tip based on your hunting conditions, the current, and the size of the fish you’re targeting.
A single flopper or barb tip is a light tip that can help you catch small and medium-sized fish successfully. This is also called Tahitian-style barb and will work for reef fishing.
A double flopper features two barbs on the side to secure the fish. There are some models where the tip detaches from the shaft to catch the biggest fish. Here’s a more focused look at the best spearfishing shafts to consider – Best Spearfishing Shafts.
Open Muzzle vs. Closed Muzzle
The muzzle where the shaft is launched is located at the front of the speargun. Having a covered or opened muzzle is a matter of personal preference, but spearos agree that open-muzzle spearguns are usually easier to aim. They’re also more silent than closed-muzzle spearguns.
However, experienced spearos prefer closed-muzzle spearguns because they’re easier to load and are also more accurate.
Should I Use A Reel or Float Line?
To learn the pros and cons of using a reel or float line click here.
What is the Best Speargun Size for a Beginner?
The best size would be between 100 and 120 cm or 40 and 50 inches. This spear length is so versatile and allows beginners to fish in caves and reefs where small to medium-sized fish can be found.
Is Spearfishing Legal While Scuba Diving?
Although it’s widespread among recreation divers, spearfishing is governed by several laws and regulations. You need to check out the rules to make sure that you’re not spearfishing in a prohibited area or targeting a conserved species.
What Happens if you Fire a Speargun Out of the Water?
There’s no resistance when you fire the speargun out of the water. This means that the recoil will make the shaft bounce back, and it will cause severe and even fatal injuries.
After reading our comprehensive spearguns about the best models on the market, you now have a good idea of what to look for and which type should work for you. We recommend the Cressi Apache Aluminum Speargun as an excellent choice for beginners, but if you’re an experienced spearo, the Koah Euro Roller Series Speargun will help you catch bigger fish with more accuracy and precision.