Looking for the perfect gear for your next spearfishing trip? We’ve got the perfect list of spearfishing gear for the ultimate trip.
When we think back to our ancestors, diving and swimming through the water throwing spears at fish, we don’t think about complex gear.
We think about Tarzan-looking dudes in loincloths with rudimentary spears attached to sticks.
To Spearfish today, you don’t need to don a loincloth, but you’ll want some high-quality spearfishing gear. It’s not that you couldn’t go bare-butt like your ancestors, but why be cold and mostly naked?
There’s no reason anymore, especially with all the great gear on the market.
Want to know what to fill up your online/real-life shopping cart with? Read our guide below.
Spearfishing Gear Guide
Before we get started, we have to be pragmatic. You can’t wake up one morning and decide to go spearfishing alone. Even if you’ve bought all the gear and watched a Youtube video.
The ocean is a scary place and bad things can happen when you’re out by yourself.
Always go fishing with a buddy and have a safety plan in place. Make sure you go on a few guided spearfishing trips before you set out on your own too.
You don’t want to accidentally shoot your buddy in the butt because you didn’t know how to work your spear gun.
That said, we can start recommending gear to you below.
1. A Spear Gun
You’re not going to get much spearfishing done if you don’t have the weapon. It’s like going to a shooting range empty-handed.
Sure, you could chuck your knife at the target, but how are you going to retrieve it?
You need a spear gun, but don’t get too crazy at first. Start with a small, low-range, and low-power gun. We recommend something no longer than 3 feet from tip to tip.
With a three-foot speargun, you can start out easily but won’t have to buy a new rig right away to transition. You can bring down a good-sized fish with a three-foot rig.
Here’s a good list of options to start with.
2. A Watch
Having a dive watch gives you more than just the time of day. It keeps you from losing track of time out on the water. You don’t want to come in with a natural high from catching a great fish and realize you fished through work.
Or you stood your significant other up for dinner.
Watches are also good to keep an eye on underwater since they can give you an inkling of when its time to take a break.
You can track your training with your watch, like how long you can dive and your spot to spear time.
3. A Working Knowledge of Fish and Regulations
If you’re going out in the water to big fish territory, there’s almost always a fish you’re not supposed to catch. But what if you don’t know and you spear it anyways?
Spearfishing isn’t like hooking a fish with a simple fish hook. You’re shooting that sucker right through the belly, it doesn’t really swim away from that.
To make sure you don’t have to pay a hefty fine for spearing the wrong fish, you need to make sure you know who not to kill.
If you’re going out with a guide, they’ll have this information for you.
But if you’re diving by yourself or especially in a new location, that knowledge is up to you. When you get your fishing license for that location, make sure to read the guide carefully.
If there are fish on the no-catch list, look them up and figure out what they look like.
4. A Wetsuit
When you’re floating around in the water or swimming down semi-deep to find fish, you’re going to get cold.
Especially if you’re fishing out of season or it’s an overcast day. However, you don’t want to throw on the semi-too-tight suit you pull out of the closet for surfing with your buddies twice a year.
If you’re under the water with a literal speargun and a fish the size of you, the last thing you want is restricted motion.
Find a wetsuit that fits you and that you’re comfortable in. It should have a good temperature protection rating and a chest pad.
The chest pads help keep you from bruising yourself and your sternum when you’re loading the gun in the water.
Start by looking at the classic brand Body Glove – but make sure you specify spear fishing use in your product search.
Do you know how people say you lose most of your heat out of your extremities? Apparently, they’re now questioning if it’s true.
But warmth or not, having spearfishing gloves is a lot more comfortable than not. Not only do they make you *feel* warmer, but they protect your hand from any slips with your equipment.
Loading your weapon while wet can be scary and the right kind of gloves give you traction.
The other kind of traction you need when you’re swimming through the water? The kind that pushes the water around so you can actually move.
For that, you need to invest in some good water fins. We’re not talking about the kind you buy your kid for the pool, with the adjustable strap on the end.
We’re talking about the kind with a silicone casing that covers almost all of your feet. You can buy fins made specifically for diving or snorkeling, the function and shape don’t change much between underwater activities.
7. A Knife
When you’re catching fish underwater, you may get tangled up in the same things fishes face. Ropes, seaweed, and even pollution. Cutting yourself out is the best bet.
Make sure the knife you pick has a good handle that’s easy to hold on to underwater. You also want one that folds or comes with a safety feature.
If you can find one that fits in a pocket of your wetsuit or that you can attach to your weight belt, that’s even better.
What’s a weight belt? It’s the next must-have item on our list.
8. A Weight Belt
When you’re floating around underwater or trying to stay grounded in the tide, you’ll need some extra help.
Having a belt with a hefty weight – even 10 to 15 pounds can really help. Why? It increases the pull of gravity under the water.
Plus, having a belt gives you the ability to store all sorts of things. Some specialized weighted spearfishing belts can hold knives, extra string – anything you need.
9. A Mask
Let’s set the scene. You’re underwater and you see the perfect fish. You exhale a little in excitement and your mask fogs up. Now you have to either go back up to the surface or try to wait for the fog to clear.
During all that commotion, the fish you sited and got excited about swam away. Bummer dude.
Sometimes you can’t control the right fish swimming away, but you can control the quality of your mask. Buy a high-quality mask that doesn’t fog or leak – so you can always catch the fish you’re meant to catch.
Or you can at least … see them.
10. A Great Cooler
Do you know the obsession with Yeti Coolers? Yeah, we didn’t get it either until we took one out on the boat.
There’s no better device that will keep your beers cold or your catch – whichever fits. Sure, they’re expensive, but they hold up to the tropical mid-ocean sun.
If you’re boat shopping or renting, see if the boat you pick has one built in. They have a partnership with some boat manufacturers.
If you can’t afford a yeti (but really, think of it as an investment) there are some copy-cat brands that aren’t bad. When shopping, look for the hour rating of the cooler.
How long can it supposedly keep ice cold? You need at least four to six hours for a good trip out fishing.
The Final List
Before we send you off into the ocean of online shopping, let’s go back to what we learned.
Your spearfishing gear to-get list has the following items on it. A spearfishing gun, a dive watch, the proper license, and a wetsuit.
Gloves, fins, a weighted belt, a cooler, a knife, and a great mask are all on the list as well. Yes, it’s a lot to get, but it’ll make sure you have the best and most successful trip out on/in the water.
Finally, make sure you wear good high-SPF sunscreen and leave the Tarzan loincloth at home. Everyone (even the fish) will thank you!
For more gear tips, check out this page.