Trying to figure out the best spearguns on the market to use for an outing is tough. Each style, shape, size, and material serve a purpose and can lead to you landing or missing larger fish.
After all, isn’t that the point of spearfishing… catching fish then getting it in the cooler?
After hours of research, here are the speargun reviews guide to help you pick the right speargun for your needs.
Listen to this post on the Cast & Spear Podcast
12 Best Speargun for 2022 Reviewed
- Best Speargun – Meandros
- Most Accurate – Pathos Laser
- Editor’s Choice – Hammerhead Evolution 2
- SALVIMAR Hero Speargun
- Most Powerful – Beuchat Revo-Concept Carbon Fiber Roller Speargun
- Best Custom Wooden Speargun – Hot Rod Spearguns
- BleuTec Ocean Born
- Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna Railgun
- Best Speargun for Beginners -- Cressi Apache with Stainless Steel Shaft & Sling
- Best Pneumatic Speargun – Mares Sten
- Best Speargun that’s Accurate & Lightweight – JBL D8 New Super Carbine Speargun
- Good Speargun for Heavier Shafts Setup – Riffe Mahogany Competitor Series Speargun
Below are some spearguns based on the assumption that you don’t have an easy access to a scuba diving shop nearby.
Some of these manufacturers are difficult to find outside of the US, but if you have Amazon, then buying it through them can open up your arsenal to some new brands and gun options.
This speargun from Meandros offers a performance of height with its open muzzle railed 28mm aluminum build. It features a universal handle versatile to different spearos.
This gears you up for action with its sideline release, 2 band muzzle, and long band stress. Spearfishing with power and better penetration on longer shots with Meandros.
2. Pathos Laser
- Low profile D’Angelo II handle
- Fully anodized aluminum barrel
- Open muzzle
My buddies always say that you can never go wrong with a Pathos.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes this Pathos a beast in the water.
First off this gun packs a punch. The power and accuracy of this gun are top-notch too.
You can never go wrong with a Pathos.
3. Hammerhead Evolution 2
- MOST ACCURATE SPEARGUN IN AMERICA as independently tested by…
- EVOLUTION^2 REVERSE Trigger Mechanism increases band stretch…
- Hawaiian Style Open Muzzle design for clean line of sight…
The Hammerhead Evolution 2 is my gun of choice. It’s lightweight, simple design, and accurate.
I have a 100cm with the double wrap, and it’s hard even to try to miss a game fish. It’s like a heat-seeking missile when you pull the trigger.
I changed out the old stainless steel shaft and put a new Pathos stainless steel shaft on there and now it’s a laser. The anti-corrosion properties have kept it looking good after many uses. On one of my recent trips down to Baja, I had some dive where whatever I shot I hit and landed even from a distance.
Check out our full Hammerhead Evolution 2 Speargun Review.
4. SALVIMAR Hero Speargun
This is a newer gun on the market and what stands out is the unique-looking handle. It comes with a metal trigger mechanism and sports solid anti-corrosion aluminum tubes.
Sometimes an aluminum gun can be noisy underwater, which can scare away fish. Thankfully, the designers at Salvimar coated the aluminum barrel with an anti-corrosion Teflon to provide some noise dampening and added protection.
This gun isn’t as popular in the States, but that’ll change soon.
5. Beuchat Revo-Concept Carbon Fiber Roller Speargun
Power is the name of the game for this speargun.
Rollers are legit because you can pack so much more power within a shorter barrel that it’s starting to become a standard for those who like to travel. Why not have the power required to land a bigger fish, without the pain of lugging around a long gun.
Couple that with carbon fiber, then you’re getting a light yet tough gun with insane power.
Best Custom Wooden Speargun
This speargun is the real deal. It’s evenly balanced and designed to support the power bands in a parallel plain for maximum power.
I had a chance to play around with this gun on a recent dive out to the island and it sure packs a punch. I like what Paul Rodriguez is doing over at Hot Rod Spearguns with their designs and the quality of the wood they’re using. If you’re looking for an upgrade, then get this gun now!
7. BleuTec Ocean Born
The carbon fiber mono block body and muzzle of Bleutec Ocean Born speargun makes it one of the ultimate speargun for blue water reef spearfishing.
Targeting large fish requires necessary power with no concession to hydrodynamics and allows counteraction to recoil of multiple bands. And Beutec got just that.
8. Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna Railgun
- Aircraft grade aluminum
- Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
- Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism
The speargun’s barrel is created using aircraft-grade aluminum with a wall thickness of 1.45mm. This speargun will be a go-to gun in your arsenal even after you get your feet wet.
For beginners, I recommend that you stick to a weapon around 75cm in length, so you don’t have to worry about the added strength needed for long arms.
This barrel has an integrated rail, which makes this gun deadly accurate. The reef fish won’t even know what hit them.
My buddy who uses this gun swears by it, so it’s at least worth a test drive. If you think that you’ll be getting more into spearfishing, then it could be worth jumping up a few centimeters, but it all comes down to how much you want to worry about it at the start.
9. Cressi Apache with Stainless Steel Shaft & Sling
Best Speargun for Beginners
- The Apache is a small and compact speargun for small to…
- Durable anodized heavy duty sealed aluminum barrel.
- Closed muzzle for improved accuracy and ease of loading.
The Apache is a small and compact speargun that’s perfect for shooting short to medium-sized fish in larger fish. It’s perfect for targeting reef fish.
The barrel is made of anodized aluminum for added durability. It’s a closed muzzle so that it won’t have as accurate of a shot as an open, but for a beginner, you won’t tell the difference.
The single barb flopper and double flopper is an advanced Tahitian style for added penetration. The wishbone is metal, and the spear is euro-style, so be careful with your fingers while loading. Don’t forget to wear gloves.
10. Mares Sten
Best Pneumatic Speargun
- Optimum Precision, Power, and Reliability
- Harmonic Steel Shaft (8mm Diameter / 7mm Male Thread)
- Techno-Polymer Shock-Absorber Bushing and Piston
The beautiful thing about pneumatic spearguns is their compact size and how many shots you can take with them before having to pump them back up.
If you are planning on reef fishing and tend to go for small to medium sized fish and don’t want to worry about bands and rollers, then a pneumatic is best for you.
The Sten is a great gun, especially for scuba divers. Scuba divers have so much gear that loading a single or double sling speargun can be a daunting task.
With a pneumatic gun, it’s as simple as point, suit, and quickly reload. This version comes with an 8mm diameter spear shaft with a threaded tip so you can swap out the advice for whatever the situation calls.
If I had to go with a pneumatic instead of a sling, this would be a reliable option.
11. JBL D8 New Super Carbine Speargun
Best Speargun that’s Accurate & Lightweight
JBL Carbine used aerospace-grade aluminum and high-strength stainless steel for its shafts and triggers. This speargun has two 1/2 inch bands with a low-profile, pistol grip handle for easy target acquisition.
Plus, it prioritizes your safety with its stainless steel spear trigger mechanism. For a powerful speargun, it’s surprisingly lightweight and accurate.
12. Riffe Mahogany Competitor Series Speargun
Good Speargun for Heavier Shafts Setup
- Desgiend to replace Riffe’s Padauk Competitor series
- Solid Mahogany wood stock
- Only available in Hawaiian setup
The Riffe Competitor series has solid Mahogany wood stuck in Hawaiian setup. It has 2 9/16 amber power bands which give you more hitting power and longer shots. This setup is recommended with heavier shafts.
Why Do You Need a Speargun?
If you are a beginner, you might be tempted to enter spearfishing with a metal pole spear, 5mm free diving wetsuit, and a low-volume freediving mask, but I recommend against it because it adds to the complexity of achieving your end goal…shooting large fish.
A pole spear is cheaper, which is positive, but they come with a number of downsides:
- Steeper learning curve
- Less distance to hit a large fish
- Another variable that prevents you from focusing on increasing your underwater breath time
- Can only be used for spearing smaller fish
- Game fish might get away wounded, which isn’t a humane kill
- The cheap poles tend to flex too much which leads to less accurate shots
- They tend to be hard to grip without DIY customizations
- The list goes on
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a Hawaiian Sling, but I use my speargun more. Now it’s my lender weapon when someone visits, and we can’t rent them a gun in time.
Now, let’s go over the various popular styles to help you pick the best one for your needs.
Understanding the Types of Spearguns
Traditional speargun design (also known as band powered spearguns) consists of an elastic band attached to the tip of the spearshaft to propel the spear through the water. These band powered spearguns have been used for decades across the globe and have a simple, robust design.
Slings come in various sizes, from the smallest guns to the largest. They tend to be used by all skill levels and seem to be the gold standard design.
There aren’t many downsides to owning band powered guns other than the need to maintain the rubber bands as they are prone to crack and break over time. The beautiful thing is that band powered spearguns tend to be reasonably low cost.
A band powered gun is pretty foolproof and can be abused, up to a point, and still work, which suits a lot of spearfishermen who don’t spend much time on their guns.
Roller guns are similar to sling guns but tend to give you more power in a shorter size gun due to the wrap-around nature of the rubber bands.
Most of these guns allow you to adjust the power of the arm by having different anchor points for the band to attach under the gun, which could be helpful depending on the day’s conditions.
Spearos like this style because the band pulls the spear the entire length of the spearshaft, which tends to give a straighter shot.
The downside of this style is its difficulty to load unless there are multiple bottom anchors to help give you a better grip on the band.
Some people love them, and some people hate them, but if you need more power and want a shorter gun for maneuverability, this is the style for you.
As for inverted roller spearguns, here’s what you should know:
Listen to Everything You Need to Know About Inverted Roller Spearguns on the Cast & Spear Podcast
Pneumatic spearguns are great for shooting smaller fish, especially in low visibility water. They usually have two chambers to hold compressed air. It uses compressed air to fire the shaft.
The main chamber uses a pump that comes with the gun, and the second is compressed when you insert your spear.
Pneumatic spearguns are all or nothing and more comfortable to load when the shorter, but muzzle-loading becomes more awkward as the arms get longer.
The advantage of all the pneumatic spearguns is no bands to check or replace, and if the weapon still has its pressure, then you are good to go. They are generally reliable, but when you get a leak, it is not necessarily a quick fix, whereas, with a band gun, you change the band, assuming that you have a spare to hand.
They also are negatively buoyant, so don’t drop the gun in deep water as you might lose it.
You get about 20 to 30 shots before you need to pump up the gun again, which is more than enough for a day of spearing. Most even have two power settings in case you need to switch up your attack based on the available small to larger fish.
Lastly, they are pretty loud in the water, but that doesn’t seem to bother the large fish.
How to Care For Your Speargun?
Although the top spearguns are a relatively simple device, they still have certain materials and moving parts that need to be taken care of. Although each gun is different and it’ll probably be best that you look at what the manufacturer recommends, here are some general-purpose tips that might help you keep your gun working for longer.
Speargun Buyer’s Checklist
- Rinse it with fresh water after use to remove salt and sand and let it dry.
- Keep it out of the sun to keep the rubber for your bands from deteriorating under the UV light.
- When using wooden spearguns, don’t keep it in a hot car as the wood can warp.
- If your trigger action has sand or rust, find the instructions manual to open up the ergonomic handle and try spraying some lubricant in there like WD-40.
- Not spearfishing? Then take your bands off and keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge to help them live longer.
- If you want, you can use a rubber lubricant to keep the rubber moist, but since rubber is pretty cheap, it’s probably easier to replace them as needed.
- The speargun out of the sun, whenever it’s not being used, is the bare minimum care you should do.
- If you’re using a high capacity air pneumatic gun, realize that there are a lot more rubber components than a sling gun, so rinse it extra and keep the weapon in a cool dark place when not being used.
- Having an easy safety catch is great. If you know how to use it you’ll keep your dive mates happy and everyone in good spirits.
What’s the Best Speargun Size?
From everything I’ve read on forums and the people I know who’ve been in the game for decades, this is their recommendation for the best speargun size (remember there is no right or wrong, these are just suggestions):
Absolute Beginners: Get a gun around 75cm.
This gives you the ability to shoot any fish in the shallow water and potentially even some midsize fish in deeper water.
This site is easy to load and maneuver underwater so you can focus on finding fish and having fun.
Opt for the stainless steel trigger action, and this gun will be in your arsenal for a while.
All Around Gun: 100cm with two bands.
Rollers can be shorter, of course, or can be the same size if you want more power.
For the sling, having two bands is excellent as you can use one or both depending on the specific area you’re hunting.
This size gives you the ability to hunt any size fish (even for hunting big game), but will likely be too small fish for the massive fish like tuna.
Bluewater Guns: Likely made of wood and extremely large.
They need to be heavy to hold all of the full bands and give you the most accurate shot at long ranges.
Usually, you are taking off from a boat, so size doesn’t matter as long as you can get it in the water.
Speargun reels come in two main flavors: free spool and drag. If you’re looking to dive deeper spots then it’s advised to get a free spool reel. If you’re planning on diving in shallow water and would like the chance to fight the fish a bit, then either the free spool or drag reel will work.
Remember the best spear gun reel isn’t meant to bring in the fish like a traditional fishing line release reel. It’s meant to keep a line to the fish so you can either bring it up with your hands pulling the Dyneema or for locating the fish after you’ve surfaced. Having a proper line release will prevent jams and keep the fish on your shaft.
A brand is essentially trust. That’s why brands tend to tell you how long they’ve been around to infer that many people over the years have kept them in business because they liked their product or service.
The same holds true with spearguns. Not all brands are created equal and not all have the best spearguns for everyone.
I’ve reached out to a bunch of my friends in the community to see who they consider great manufacturers and here’s their top five.
My dive partner who frequents the Malibu area often swears by his Rob Allen to the point where he has multiple guns of various lengths.
Rob Allen began in the USA with Mike Damms who moved from South Africa to Florida back in the day. Since his retirement, Triton X has taken over the reins of distribution, but the guns remain high quality.
Mako is another fine brand who influences the spearfishing community is as powerful as their spearguns. Dano mentions on his site that they strive to
Focus our attention on the spearfishing community, instead of the business of selling fishing gear.
Their speargun comes directly from the manufacturer in China. If you’re looking for higher quality spearfishing gear, it’s best to check elsewhere.
I have a Hammerhead Evolution 2 in my arsenal right now. I find the 100cm size great for all the different conditions I have around me in Los Angeles. The speargun comes ready to play!
They are also heavily into the community and seek to give back. Here’s what stood out to be the most however
HammerHead Spearguns exists to promote a lifestyle of sustainable harvest and consumption of aquatic life.
And if you know us, we are all about the Sea to Table lifestyle, granted to you catch the bounty yourself!
If this resonates with you, definitely check out the guns over at Hammerhead and say hi to the founder Kevin while you’re at it.
Mares is an Italian brand and they have a huge presence in not just spearfishing but scuba diving and freediving. If you check out their website you can see they have a product for all of your aquatic hobbies.
I’ve noticed that they venture out of the typical sling speargun game and have some pneumatic guns that people swear by. Definitely worth checking out more!
Riffe is simply amazing. If was started by Jay Riffe in my hometown area of Southern California. Riffe started spearfishing with a hand spear at 15 and by the age of 22 became the Pacific Coast Champion.
Fast forward today, they are ambassadors for resource conservation and are one of the only companies that tout Spearfishing Ethics and Conservation. This is something we must all be aware of if we want to continue to do this form of gathering food for ourselves.
Despite what some may think, Spearfishing is the most sustainable and ethical form or fishing when done correctly. It is up to you, the Spearfisher, to make sure you are doing your part to adhere to guidelines and certain spearfishing ethics.
Here’s a link to the Spearfishing Ethics and Conservation they have on their site. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU MEMORIZE IT.
An honorary mention goes to Pathos because one of my spearo buddies swears by them. If he ever saw this post he’d be pissed that we didn’t mention them.
It was started back in 1996 by Angelos Michalopoulos who wanted to create an innovative speargun. He succeeded and the Pathos 110cm is a staple for quality and innovation.
It’s important to know there IS NO BEST SPEARGUN. There are several factors that come into play:
- Your skill level
- Where you’re going to be hunting
- Personal preference in setups
If you are a beginner, the main criteria to give you the best shot of shooting fish and having a good time in the water is:
- Easy of load and reload
- Cost and replacement
- Right in the shallow water since you’ll probably still be learning to hold your breath
If this is not your first gun, then you’ve probably used to shooting a specific style and are curious about what other options are out there to level up your hunting options. Many spearos have multiple guns for whatever the conditions call. We’ll get into the various options that’ll help you pick the right speargun for your upcoming situations.
You can have too many guns, and if they are different, it’ll affect the consistency of your shot. It’s better to be a great shot with one gun than to be lousy with multiple. Plus, it costs less.
I’ve heard a story of a guy who only had one band spearguns… HE WAS DEADLY with it and rarely missed it. He knew it wasn’t the gun that got the fish, it was knowing their behavior, and you only get that with time underwater.