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7 Best Spearguns: Useful Reviews and How-To Guides

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I have to confess…

I overspent on my first speargun.  By a lot.

I didn’t mean too. I just didn’t do any research before going to my local dive shop. Then I was taken advantage of.

Don’t let this to happen to you. After 45+ hours of research, here’s the speargun guide I wish I had prior to buying a speargun. 

Top Spearguns

Listen to this post on the Cast & Spear Podcast

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Best Speargun
Have no regrets. Pick the speargun you deserve.

Now that you know which guns to try, I want to humble you.

No matter which gun you pick, remember, it’s on you to hit the fish.

Watch this spearo from the Philippines slay with a homemade gun and no mask

At the end of the day, the best speargun is the one in your hand.

Now that you’re inspired knowing what the most basic speargun can do in the right hands, let’s find you your next one!

Why Do You Need a Speargun?

If you want an easier time to catch fish, you’ll need a speargun. If you are a beginner, you might be tempted to enter spearfishing with a metal pole spear (Hawaiian sling), 5mm freediving wetsuit, and low-volume freediving mask, but I recommend against it because it adds to the complexity of achieving your end goal…shooting fish.

A pole spear is cheaper which is a positive, but they come with a number of downsides:

  • Steeper learning curve
  • Less distance to hit a fish
  • Another variable that prevents you from focusing on increasing your underwater breath time.
  • Can only shoot smaller fish
  • 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 that you’re set on getting a speargun, let’s go over the various popular styles to help you pick the best one for your needs.

Sling Spearguns

Sling speargun
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Slings are the traditional speargun design consisting of an elastic band attached to the tip of the spearshaft to propel the spear through the water.  These 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 this style other than the need to maintain the rubber bands as they are prone to crack and break over time. The nice thing is that they tend to be fairly low cost.

Band guns are 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 Spearguns

Roller speargun
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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 gun 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.

Pneumatic Spearguns

Pneumatic speargun
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Pneumatic guns are great for shooting smaller fish, especially in low visibility water.  They usually have two chambers to hold compressed air. The main chamber uses a pump that comes with the gun and the second is compressed when you insert your spear.

Pneumatic guns are all or nothing and easier to load when shorter, but muzzle-loading becomes more awkward as the guns get longer.

The advantage of all the pneumatic guns is no bands to check or replace, if the gun 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 just 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 fish.

Lastly, they are pretty loud in the water, but that doesn’t seem to bother the fish.

Speargun Features

I’ll be honest, when I bought my first gun, I had no idea what all these features were. I simply trusted the sales guy I talked to and hoped for the best.

If you’re reading this, I’m getting the sense that you’d like to be knowledgeable about all the features to consider so you can pick the best speargun for your needs.

Let’s throw on our nerd glasses and dive deep into the various speargun features to help you pick the best speargun possible!

Speargun Slings

Sling Spearguns
You can’t go wrong with the standard double sling option. Source Source 2 Source 3

Straight or Parallel Slings

These use straight bungees that are attached to the muzzle via a screw which locks them in place. These two separate rubber pieces are then joined together to create the wishbone that hooks on to the spear.

Circular Slings

Circular slings are a single piece of rubber that wraps around the muzzle and join together to form your wishbone. These are preferred over the Parallel slings because they are a simpler design and can be changed out easily. Most spearos, especially the more advanced ones, choose this style due to the fewer failure points.

Double Slings

Double slings is just two circular slings, which gives you twice the power. There are guns that use even more bands, but you get the point. The more bands, the more power.

Some guns even give you the flexibility to only use one band in case you need a weaker shot, say you’re close to a reef or rock formation and don’t want to bend your spear. This flexibility makes the gun more general purpose, which comes in handy if you don’t have more than one.

Speargun Head Style

Open Head Speargun and Closed Head Speargun
Open heads tend to allow less steel spearshaft movement. Source 1 Source 2

Open Head

When you load your spear into your gun, you’ll need to keep the tip secure. Open head style uses a nylon cord to wrap around the muzzle and tightly secure the spear to the barrel. This style also allows you to see straight down the barrel of the gun for clear targeting of fish.

This style tends to be more accurate than closed heads as the closed head variant doesn’t tightly lock down the tip of the spearshaft.

Closed Head

This style has a hard plastic zone that traps your spearshaft to the barrel, rather than the nylon wrap. Since it’s not tightly securing the spearshaft to the barrel, it tends to rattle around a bit more. Some spearos also complain that it’s harder to load the gun in the water.

Speargun Wishbones

Speargun Wishbone
Dyneema is a solid option for most spearos. Source Source 2 Source 3

Wire Wishbones

Wishbones constitute the area of the gun where the rubber joins together and attach to the spear prior to shooting.  A simple design that uses a wire to join the two rubber ends is called a wire wishbone. 

One advantage of wire wishbones is that they tend to wear slowly. When they do begin to fray, you’ll know when it’s time to replace even though it’ll still function awhile longer.

Some spearos say that the release of a wire wishbone isn’t as clean as hinged or Dyneema.  Also, be careful when loading as your fingers could get wrecked if you don’t load the gun properly.

Hinged Wishbone

Hinged wishbones are similar to wire wishbones except have three separate pieces that are hinged together to give a more flexibility around the spear. These are also easy to load, but as I mentioned earlier, be careful to do it correctly as the steel isn’t nice on the fingers if caught.

Spearos tend to like this style more than the wire wishbone due to the cleaner release of the spear.

Dyneema Wishbone

Dyneema wishbones are preferred by most advanced divers as they are the simplest to install and replace.  They are made up of a tiny cord that joins the two bungee ends together. They are less risky for hurting your fingers if you mess up your gun loading too.

Spearos believe it’s the cleanest shot choice.

Speargun Barrel Styles

Speargun Shaft Styles
Source Source 2 Source 3 Souce 4

Round Barrel

The most basic design of them all. Think of a round tube barrel that is supporting your round spearshaft…it’s not going to help guide the shot much at all.  This means they are the least accurate of the spearguns and tend to only be used for in cheaper gun models.

Unless you need a super basic gun, I recommend skipping a pure round barrel for either integrated or trapped rale systems.

Integrated Rail

Integrated rails have a long groove from the trigger handle to the tip of the gun. This helps keep the spear from rattling around prior to the shot and gives it a nice long straight path to travel after you pull the trigger.  This allows for greater accuracy, which is a nice plus when shooting fish at greater distances.

The groove also gives the barrel added rigidity, which is a bonus when the gun is longer and needs to support more pressure from powerful bands.

Trapped Rail

Trapped rails are the most accurate of them all. There is a groove that wraps around nearly the entire circumference of the barrel preventing it from moving in any direction other than forwards and backward.  This means that the travel is tightly controlled until the spear is fully disengaged.

If it’s so good, then why isn’t every gun like this?

This style is great unless you bend your spearshaft.  Sometimes you’ll shoot with too much power and hit a rock that could bend the barrel making it impossible to reload the gun. Not to worry, just make sure you have extra shafts around and swap it out if necessary.

The groove also gives the barrel added rigidity for that benefit of strength for larger guns.

Cuttlefish Barrel

This is a barrel design that allows for the gun to move side to side easier while tracking a fish.  The shape also adds to the barrel’s rigidity so you don’t have to worry about it bending under the heavy band load or maybe the next time you drop it on the rocks…

Speargun Trigger Actions

Speargun Triggers
When in doubt, opt for metal. Source Source 2

Plastic Triggers

These are usually found on cheaper guns as they are easy and cheap to produce. The downsides to plastic triggers are that they are less precise in the trigger action, meaning that there could be more play when you pull it.  

This could be the difference between hitting a fish and missing.  The best bet if you have a plastic trigger is to get practice on where it actually shoots when you pull it.  If you have the extra cash, splurge for the metal trigger so you get a cleaner shot and more robust setup.

Metal Triggers

Metal triggers are much more precise when compared to the plastic triggers. Their tolerances are more refined which means you get a nice clean trigger action.  This all translates to a more accurate shot…something that’s worth its weight in gold.

They are also more robust due to the material used. If you have the money, do yourself a favor and get the metal trigger…unless you want the excuse that the reason you miss the fish is due to suboptimal equipment.

Speargun Aiming Sights

Basic Sight

If you’ve ever shot a rifle, this is similar. Think about having a little notch on the tip of the gun and a notch or two near the base where you line up while aiming.  These are nice to have but in all honesty, you’ll probably be doing what they call “intuitive shooting.” which means you sense where the fish is and aim outstretched.

Not many people hold a speargun like how you hold a rifle, close to your body, and staring down the barrel of the gun.  But, if that’s how you want to do it, the basic sight is right for you.

Open Sight

Open sights allow you to have an unhindered view of the full length of the barrel. This is where the “intuitive shooting” comes into play.  When you are aiming at the fish, you point your gun while you fully stretch out towards it and pull the trigger.  You should be able to see the fish from the tip of your spear all the way down the barrel, past the handle, aligned with your arm and ending at your eye.

Handle

Speargun Handle
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The handle is where you hold the gun so you can shoot. They tend to be angled so that you can fully outstretch your arm and fire. They tend to be coated with a material to provide better grip and most are a bright color so you can easily spot it in the water if you let go of it for some reason.

Mid-handle

Many larger guns have the handle and trigger located not at the end of the gun, but a few inches further forward. This allows the spearo to use the handle as a pivot point to rotate the head of the gun faster in the water.

Rear handle

This is more commonplace for the handle and trigger position because most guns aren’t heavy enough to need the mid-handle pivot point for easy rotation underwater.  Having the handle at the end of the gun gives you added reach when fully sprawled out just prior to firing at the fish.

Butt

The butt is important as it’s the place to anchor your gun to your chest, hip, or even foot while loading the bands.  Pneumatic guns don’t have a but since they are already preloaded with air, however if you have a sling or roller, you’ll but up close and personal with the butt of your gun after every shot.

Make sure it’s big enough to provide you enough surface area to disperse the pressure on your body…otherwise, you’ll be bruised on the regular.

Safeties

Speargun Safety
Safeties come in all forms, but many spearos turn them off when they are hunting. Source Source 2

Some spearos use a safety, but many don’t.  It’s not that they want to be unsafe it’s just that they can prevent a good shot if you have limited time to hit a fish.  In theory, safety comes from how you act in the water.

First of all, don’t hold the handle with the finger on the trigger while you are searching for fish…this could cause accidents.  Rather it’s better to hold the shaft while you’re searching for a fish then grab the handle just prior to shooting.

Secondly, you should always be aware of where your spearo buddies are while you’re swimming. Don’t ever point the gun towards them even in a joking manner.

But, if a safety will make you feel more comfortable, here’s the different styles.

Single side

These tend to be a flip switch on either side of the gun. When they are engaged, they prevent the trigger from dislodging the spear.

Ambidextrous

These are also called sidebar safety catches. They are a simple bar that is pushed from either side through the trigger preventing its trigger action. This style is good if you are either right or left handed…or if you like to switch off during a session.

Top Safety catch

These are also ambidextrous, however, they are less convenient than the sidebar safety.  Imagine you’re lined up for a dream fish and you pull the trigger but it doesn’t budge…instead of an easy method to unlock without taking your eye off the fish, you’re stuck looking at your gun trying to take off the safety…not good.

I recommend staying away from this type.

Speargun Multi Heads

Speargun Multi Head
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This is a fitting at the end of the shaft that holds your bungees and has grooves for the nylon line to wrap around to secure your spear to the shaft.  These are nice as they give flexibility on how you want to wrap your shaft depending on how you like to load the gun.

Speargun Bungee

Speargun Bungee
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This is used to help with the shock absorption after the spearshaft has reached the end of its full travel.  It is also used to give your line a little tension when you are loading it so that it stays nice and neat along the barrel prior to taking a shot.

Line Release

Speargun Line Release
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This is a little hook that is tied to the trigger that releases the line that’s between the spear and the gun. Depending on the length of your gun you’ll have either a single or double line wrap meaning there will either be one or two loops of line on your line release.

A single wrap is easier to load as it doesn’t get tangled in the water as easily, but its downside is the violent stoppage of the spear due to its shorter travel length.  If you have a powerful gun, opt for the double wrap.

Speargun Length

Speargun Short and Long
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The length of the gun is the most important feature to consider as it specializes your weapon for the day’s conditions.

Shorter

Shorter guns are better for close range along reefs where the fish tend to be smaller.  This size allows for ease of mobility and quick tracking of fish.  They won’t be as powerful, but a lot of times that important as you’ll be hitting the reef or rocks and you don’t want a lot of power to damage or bend your spear.

Shorter guns tend to be less accurate. Think about the accuracy of a handgun and a rifle on land…night and day different.

Longer

Longer guns are meant for open water hunting since they allow for a more powerful and accurate shot. Some guns are in a sweet spot that allows for more or less power to play near the reef and in the open ocean.  This sweet spot tends to be around 90 to 110 cm and the ability to use one or two bands depending on how it’s loaded.

Speargun Barrel Materials

Speargun Shaft Material
Source Source 2 Source 3

Different barrel materials affect the usage of your gun in the water as well as the price.  Here is a high-level overview of the pros and cons of each material.

Metal Spearguns

Metal guns are typically made out of aluminum which is a strong and lightweight material that can stand to take abuse. They tend to be light out of the water, which makes it easy to carry but can prove to be a challenge as they can tend to float underwater due to positive buoyancy.

The downsides come from their noisiness underwater if they are bumped or hit, which could scare skittish fish.  Since they have less weight, they tend to have more recoil than wooden guns when firing with a heavy set of bands…affecting your overall accuracy especially at long distances.

Overall they are the most cost-effective and robust guns, which make for the ideal choice for newbies and all those in between.

Carbon Fiber Spearguns

Have you ever seen a cyclist on a carbon fiber bike? This is the same material that bike is made of but in the shape of a speargun.  These are the coolest to look at, but they tend to be the priciest.

Carbon fiber is extremely light which make it advantageous if you need to travel with the gun, but if you’re using it at your everyday spot, it might be a bit overkill.  They are going to be extremely stiff, which is good for power transfer from the rubber bands to the spear, which is a good thing.

Carbon fiber is easily molded into some unique hydrodynamic shapes that can help you move the gun through the water and aim quicker.  Lastly, they are extremely quiet as the sound is dampened especially when compared to metal barrels.

The downsides to owning a carbon fiber gun are that they are more delicate than either wood or metal…and for the price…that might make them overall not worth it unless you’re advanced or have money to spend.

Wooden Spearguns

Wooden guns are the crème de la crème of the speargun world.  They are sexy to look at and if you carry it around people get googly eyed.

They come in various sizes but tend to be used more for long range hunting of large fish.  If you watch any open water spearfishing videos you’ll see a massive wood gun fitted with many bands to give the spear plenty of penetrating power.  Spearos like the weight of the wood material to help lessen the recoil of the many bands.

Wood is also quiet underwater much like carbon fiber and can also be shaped in countless formations.

The only downsides are the high price and the added care due to the wood material interacting with water and the embedded metal components.  If you take care of it, it’ll be your best friend…but you’ll need to pay a hefty upfront cost for said friend.

Camouflage

Some guns come with camouflage to help hide it from view from the fish.  Many other models are simply black or a solid dark color.  If you like the camo pattern then get one, otherwise, any other color will do the job just fine.

Speargun Loss Prevention

Speargun Floatline and Speargun Reel
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Reel

When you are going for bigger fish you’ll need to have some protection for keeping your gun safe.  Your choices are either to use a reel, float line or both.  A reel for a speargun isn’t used the same as the type you used for regular fishing.  

When you hit the fish, the line will be pulled out and your job is to hold onto the line with your hands and eventually pull the fish into you. Reels can cause a problem for divers when they get jammed or wrapped around the diver holding them under the water with a massive fish preventing them from surfacing.

If your reel jams you’ll lose your gun to the abyss…that’s why many spearos like float lines.

Float Line

A float line is a long tube that connects to the handle of your gun and usually connects to a float on the surface.  If you hit a big fish you let the gun go and the fish runs the length of the line and fights against the buoy until it’s tired.

If you’re going for big fish, opt for a longer line, say 100 feet.  If you’re doing more shallow hunting you can get away with 50 feet, but longer is usually better.

I’ve seen people use cheap yellow polypropylene rope as their float line. Some don’t even hook the line to a float but rather just let it do its thing in the water.  This is riskier as you’ll need to make sure to keep a handle on the line before it runs out. 

As long as you’re able to get your gun back and get your fish, the details don’t matter much. I recommend also getting a bright colored float line…I opted for black and it’s hard to see in the water.

Spears and Tips

Spearshaft sand Floppers
Euro and American refer to the notch on the back of the spearshaft not the flags on the top. Source Source 2 Source 3 Source 4 Source 5

At some point, you’re going to fire a spear from your gun and into a fish. The spears themselves are pretty simple in construction, most are made of steel, have a place for you to load your propulsion mechanism to, and a tip that will keep the fish from getting away after penetration.

 Let’s dive into the different styles of spearshaft trigger mechanism locations.

  • Euro = Rounded Notch
  • American = Square Notch

American Spearshaft Notch

American spears have a notch at the base of the spearshaft that is square shaped for the trigger mechanism to attach to.  When you buy a new or replacement spearshaft, if you buy the wrong model, you won’t be able to lock your spearshaft into the gun to load the bands and fire.

Euro Spearshaft Notch

Euro spearshafts have a notch that is rounded. Make sure you know what style your speargun takes so you don’t find yourself stuck in the water with a non-functional speargun.

Euro vs. American: Which is Better?

According to Monkey_painter,

Which style trigger mech is better? I read that the euro notch is stronger for thinner shafts as it’s less likely to break at the notch. While American mechs can hold more poundage (more/stronger rubbers). The notch weakness is cancelled out by an overall thicker shaft used in American style guns.

Single Flopper

The flopper is the piece of metal that flares out when you shoot the fish and it pulls away from you. This keeps the fish on your spear so it doesn’t get away.

A single flopper is good for most small to medium size fish. Some find it fine for larger fish, but it’s not as ideal as a double flopper or a breakaway tip.

Double Flopper

Double floppers are the same as single floppers except they have an extra flopper on the opposite side of the first one. This will help keep the fish on your spear more effectively.

Breakaway Tip

For 99% of spearfishers, a breakaway is probably not needed. It’s usually meant for shooting big fish like tuna. It’s an added component that allows your gun to disengage entirely from the fish after it’s been hit.  The fish will they have a connection directly to your float line and you don’t have to worry about losing your gun.

Just don’t forget to keep holding on to your gun after you hit a fish…many spearos forget it’s not attached like per usual.

Spearshaft Wishbone Hooks

Notches

Notches are cut out grooves in the spearshaft that you attach your wishbone too. Since the notches can be sharp, many spearos tend to use this style with a metal wishbone.

Pins

Pin are a less common style where a pin is press-fit or welded into the spearshaft for a wishbone connection location.

Sharkfins

Sharkfins are typically welded pieces of metal that look like a shark fin attached to the spearshaft. Many spearos like the mini sharkfins as they have less drag in the water when shooting and provide a good amount of material to hook their Dyneema line too.

Flags

Flags are the bulkiest welded tabs you can use. They can hold a large amount of load, but their size can affect the flight of the spearshaft if they are too big.

Best Speargun Brands

Best Speargun Brands

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.

I’ve reached out to a bunch of my friends in the community to see who they consider the best speargun manufacturers and here’s their top five.

Rob Allen

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 reigns of distribution, but the guns remain high quality.

Mako Spearguns

Mako is another fine brand who influences in 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 gear.

We here at Cast and Spear resonate with that whole-heartedly. Our goal is to provide you the best information possible that can help you not just buy the right gear, but use it in an ethical manner and give back to the community and Earth as a whole.

If you resonate with Dano’s philosophy, know you’re not just getting a great speargun, but helping the community as well.

Hammerhead Spearguns

I have a Hammerhead Evolution 2 in my arsenal right now. I find the 110cm size great for all the different conditions I have around me in Los Angeles. But enough about me, let’s check out Hammerhead.

They are also heavily into the community and seek to give back. Here’s what stood out to me 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 Spearguns

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

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.

Pathos

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.

How to Care For Your Speargun?

Although spearguns are a fairly 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 a wood gun, 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 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 just replace them as needed.
  • Basically, 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 pneumatic gun, realize that there are a lot more rubber components than a sling gun, so rinse it extra and keep the gun in a cool dark place when not being used.

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 (just 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 shallows and potentially even some midsize fish in deeper water.

This size 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 nice 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, but will likely be too small for the huge fish like tuna.

Bluewater Guns: Likely made of wood and extremely large.

They need to be heavy to hold all of the loaded 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.


Best Speargun Reviews

Below are some options for quality spearguns based on the assumption that you don’t have an easy access dive 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.

Best Beginner Spearfishing Gun

Cressi Starter Compact

Cressi Spearfishing Apache Speargun (60-cm)
  • Perfect speargun for beginners
  • Pioneer In Water Sports Since 1946
  • Designed And Created Using Innovative and Patented...

Pretty much everyone’s starter speargun. The Apache is a small and compact speargun that’s perfect for shooting small to medium sized fish.

The barrel is made of anodized aluminum for added durability. It’s a closed muzzle so it won’t have as accurate of a shot as an open, but for a beginner, you won’t tell the difference.

The flopper is an Advanced Tahitian-style for added penetration. The wishbone is metal and the spear is a euro style, so just be careful with your fingers while loading. Don’t forget to wear gloves.

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Best Pneumatic Spear Gun 

Mares Sten

Mares Sten Pneumatic Speargun, 84cm
  • Optimum Precision, Power, and Reliability
  • Harmonic Steel Shaft (8mm Diameter / 7mm Male...
  • Techno-Polymer Shock-Absorber Bushing and Piston

The nice 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 spearfishing around reefs and tend to go for small to medium size 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 easily reload. This version comes with an 8mm diameter spearshaft with a threaded tip so you can swap out the tip for whatever the situation calls for.

If I had to go with a pneumatic instead of a sling, this would be a solid option.

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Best All-Around Speargun

Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna Railgun with Open Muzzle

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ROB ALLEN ALUMINUM TUNA RAILGUN SPEARGUN WITH OPEN MUZZLE - ALL LENGTHS (100CM)
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Wall thickness of 1.45 millimeters
  • Latest Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism

The 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 gun around 75cm in length so you don’t have to worry about the added strength needed for long guns.

This barrel has an integrated rail which makes this gun deadly accurate. The 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.

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Best Roller Speargun

Pathos Sniper

My buddies always say that you can never go wrong with a Pathos. Rollers are becoming more and more popular based on the added power in a shorter amount of space.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes this Pathos a beast in the water.

First off this gun packs a punch. Being a roller, the smaller frame still gives you the power of a larger sling. This one even gives you the option to adjust your power with 3 different settings for hunting. The spearshaft even has a fourth tap placed closer to the muzzle to make this roller easier than the competition to load.

If you’ve had problems with rollers being hard to clean, this one will blow you away. You can easily disassemble the wheels for cleanup.

The power and accuracy of this gun are top-notch too.

You can never go wrong with a Pathos.

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Best Carbon Fiber Speargun

Omer Cayman Carbon Roller

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Omer Cayman Carbon Roller Speargun (110CM)
  • Easy to handle and very powerful
  • 16mm Performer 2 Bands
  • Omer America Shaft

What’s better than a light, yet rigid and powerful speargun?

That’s what you’ll get with this Omer Cayman Carbon Roller.

Just imagine the ease of moving the spear through the water and know that when you pull the trigger, the power of a gun much bigger will be transported through your spear and into your prize.

This speargun is both easy to handle and powerful. It is equipped with 16mm Performer2 bands, 6.75 mm America spearshaft for 75 and 90 cm spearguns and 7 mm America spearshaft for 100, 110 and 130 cm spearguns.

If you want a powerful carbon fiber roller, this is your gun.

Best Hammerhead Speargun

Evolution2

Hammerhead E2 Speargun (100 cm)
  • MOST ACCURATE SPEARGUN IN AMERICA as independently...
  • EVOLUTION^2 REVERSE Trigger Mechanism increases...
  • Hawaiian Style Open Muzzle design for clean line...

This is my gun of choice. It’s lightweight, simple design, and accurate.

I have a 100cm with the double wrap and it’s actually hard to even try to miss a fish. It’s like a heat-seeking missile when you pull the trigger.

Stoned shot!

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Best Bluewater Speargun

Riffe Bluewater Elite

Riffe Bluewater Elite Speargun
  • Full body weighted Padauk wings
  • 11/32 (8.7mm) x 65 (165cm) threaded shaft w/ rest...
  • Ice pick slip tip

This speargun has been modified to be the ultimate blue water gun for landing world record pelagic fish. Evenly balanced and designed to support the power bands in a parallel plain for maximum power.

This design was inspired by RIFFE team member Brandon Wahlers and proven by his limitless massive dogtooth tuna captured using this gun. This model is the latest blue water speargun design and has become the #1 choice for those sought after world record catches.

Real spearos only. This is too much gun for the wussies.

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Final Thoughts

It’s important to know there IS NO BEST SPEARGUN. There are a number of 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
  • Good in the shallows 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 what other options are out there to level up your hunting options.  Many spearos have multiple guns for whatever the conditions call for.  We’ll get into the various options that’ll help you pick the best speargun for your upcoming situations.

Just remember…

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 only had a one band gun…HE WAS DEADLY with it and almost never missed.  He knew it wasn’t the gun that got the fish, it was knowing their behavior and you only get that with time under water.  

I hope you found this guide helpful. Let me know which gun you got in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “7 Best Spearguns: Useful Reviews and How-To Guides”

  1. Incorrect about pneumatics. 1 chamber. No loss of power after one year. I have gauge / manometer. 20 bar 9 months after I last checked. Just need to have oil added in the chamber every year or 2. Spare parts are inexpensive if ordered from Europe. More compact with same power as longer band guns

    • Hey Stefano – Thanks for the note about pneumatic spearguns. I re-read what I wrote about pneumatics and just mentioned that they have more rubber parts than standard sling spearguns. Taking care of a pneumatic gun should allow it to hold compressed air without issues over time. I agree they are more compact and have the same power as longer band guns. I appreciate you reaching out!

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