Thursday, December 12, 2019
  • Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 40,000+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 496,000+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,300+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Which is the best speargun?

WhiteMamba

New Member
Aug 25, 2016
14
0
1
22
California
Hey, guys! I couldn't say that I'm really experienced since I haven't been spearfishing for that long (about half an year) so there are still thing that I need to figure out to understand what kind of equipment would fit me best.
I've been using a Mares sling gun Sniper Alpha but I don't really like the shot range I have with it and I like to take long shots. So I'm asking you guys to help me with some information about the characteristics of each type of gun and which ones you think are the best from your experience.
I know that to most of you this question could seem a little stupid but I really wish I could get more information about it. Thanks to anyone who is willing to spend some time to help a newbie!
 
Mar 22, 2009
569
161
98
USA
www.MakoSpearguns.com
There are many great spearguns made by reputable companies that put out quality products and who will stand behind their products with great customer service.

In order to pick the "best" speargun for your use, it is very important to define the intended use of the gun as precisely as possible. Things like visibility, type of fish hunted, size of the fish and habitat are all important, with visibility probably being the most important factor.

Trying to use a long gun which is way too big for the visibility will be frustrating and being able to shoot far longer than your visibility is not necessarily advantageous, nor safe. Selecting a gun that is too short and has limited range while trying to hunt large fish in clear blue water is also something to be avoided. Price may also be an important consideration.

I think that if you define your intended use, many of the very experienced spearos here will be happy to help you to narrow down your selection process. I sent you a pm as well.

Thanks
dano
 
  • Like
Reactions: WhiteMamba

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,234
992
218
80
San Clemente, CA
Yes as Dano says we need a little more info about you diving conditions and ambitions?
Exactly.

I see from your profile that you are from California, but that is just a start. For instance, if you are north of the Golden Gate, then the visibility will typically be poor and many of the fish will be in holes. The largest, ling cod, will just sit on a rock and wait to be shot. A short gun would be appropriate- maybe 70cm.

But if you are in Southern California, it still depends on what you hunt. If you want to shoot halibut and perch, then a 50" mid handled gun or a 80 or 90 cm Euro gun would probably work. But if you want to shoot yellowtail and white sea bass, then you would be better off with a 55 to 60" mid handle or a 110cm or longer Euro gun.

The fish in my avatar was shot with a 60" midhandle Wong with three 5/8" bands.

Mid handle vs. rear handle. Both have their advocates. If you dive in the kelp and the gun is very long, then a mid handled gun is easier to swing that a rear handled Euro gun of the same length. If the gun is shorter, it probably doesn't matter as much, but it isn't easy to swing a 150cm gun when its a rear handle. For many years I've exclusively used mid handled guns from 50 to 60", but a lot of people have good success with rear handled guns. I recently got a 110 cm rear handled gun as a personal experiment and I've had a difficult adjustment handling and aiming it, but people who switch from rear handles to mid handles have similar problems. It depends on what you're used to.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: WhiteMamba
OP
OP
WhiteMamba

WhiteMamba

New Member
Aug 25, 2016
14
0
1
22
California
Thanks for the replies guys I see that you are trying to be helpful and I appreciate it! I am from Southern California and for now I would like to hunt smaller fish because I've heard it's better to hunt the small ones while you're still a beginner. I would like to spend $200 tops for a speargun. What would you advice me?
 
OP
OP
WhiteMamba

WhiteMamba

New Member
Aug 25, 2016
14
0
1
22
California
Okay, people, so I have read your replies for many times and tried to decide but still can't figure it out on my own because I have almost no experience and I need more information. I hate to bother any of you with such a rookie question and I'm grateful that there were people who replied because I thought I wouldnt get any replies. I wouldn't bother you with it but I live in a small town that is far from the closest spear fishing shop so I want to know what exactly am I looking for before going there and the people who work in the shop are even more incompetent than I am otherwise I would ask them to give me some advice.

Could you help me with some more opinions because I want to compare more before making a decision? My intention is not to hunt only small or big fish in areas with high or low visibility. I want to try lots of different spots and fish so I thought that maybe I should buy two different guns but I still need more info to choose which ones would be the best for me and for my budget. You all gave me useful information but I need to know more about each type of gun - which one is better at what level of visibility, what range, what depth, even some type of a detail that you consider a design flaw would be helpful. It would also be great if we compare not only the types but different brands too (different brands from the same type).

I would be grateful if any of you would give me more detailed opinions or even tell some friend to share theirs, that would be awsome. Anybody who is willing to share his opinion would be appreciated!
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,234
992
218
80
San Clemente, CA
You really need two guns but I can't think of one that would fit your $200 budget, much less two. All those other things that you want us to discuss are moot if you can't afford a gun.

With that budget maybe you should start with a pole spear. Even then the high end pole spears can cost over $200. Google GATKU pole spears. That a well-regarded brand made in San Diego. A six footer costs $140 and a head for it costs $50 leaving you $10 to spare. Of course longer spears cost more.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: WhiteMamba
OP
OP
WhiteMamba

WhiteMamba

New Member
Aug 25, 2016
14
0
1
22
California
You really need two guns but I can't think of one that would fit your $200 budget, much less two. All those other things that you want us to discuss are moot if you can't afford a gun.

With that budget maybe you should start with a pole spear. Even then the high end pole spears can cost over $200. Google GATKU pole spears. That a well-regarded brand made in San Diego. A six footer costs $140 and a head for it costs $50 leaving you $10 to spare. Of course longer spears cost more.
I'm sorry I wasn't able to reply earlier. I said $200 tops because a friend of mine told me that $200 should be the most I would pay for a speargun but the more I read your replies and checked the online shops the more convinced I was that he was wrong and now I'm willing to pay much more than that, especially if I'm about to buy two guns. What should be the highest price acceptable in your opinion? (And I would still like to discuss the other stuff that I mentioned.)
 

Mark Paranto

Member
Sep 13, 2016
13
1
13
34
Delray Beach
I shoot c4 and bleutec guns, I have been spearfishing for a long time. They are solid guns quite expensive but you get what you pay for in the end also great warranty.
 
Mar 22, 2009
569
161
98
USA
www.MakoSpearguns.com
You've asked a whole lot of good (but open ended and broad) questions. Spearos spend days discussing these issues and there will never be agreement on the "best". My advice is to do your homework and purchase the smaller of the two guns. A smaller gun is generally less expensive, easier to load and quicker to aim and swing. If you find that you like the gun and the sport, then consider buying a SIMILAR, but larger gun.

Many people have expressed difficulty from going from say a rear handle (or euro) gun - like a MAKO to a mid-handle wood gun or even a hybrid -- or vice versa. If you learn on a shorter gun, moving to a similar larger gun is generally a smooth transition. I would suggest you avoid buying two drastically different styles of guns.. at least to start anyway.

I've been cautioned to avoid making posts which are too promotional (outside of the designated section) on this forum, so I won't say too much more. If you would like to discuss in more detail you can send me a pm or call us during normal business hours and we are happy to talk you through a whole host of questions/subjects.

Thanks
dano
 
  • Like
Reactions: WhiteMamba

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,234
992
218
80
San Clemente, CA
Now that we have lifted the $200 ceiling, I'll make some suggestions, but you'll see why I hesitate to get into recommending guns for beginners. They guys who dive on my boat are relatively experienced and don't generally use entry level guns. They have found out what quality is and are willing to pay for it. I'm afraid that I'm not even tuned into the cheaper Euro style guns so I can't really give you comparisons of brands.

So I'll start with what I've used for the last 20 years, Daryl Wong's guns.

http://www.wongspearguns.com

Click on spearguns, then hybrids.

Your small gun could be the 50" GR for $800. Its a dream to swing in limited visibility, but I've seen 65 pound white sea bass taken with it. You'll probably want a reel, so add that to the price.

Your big gun for clear water and larger fish (white sea bass, yellowtail, dorado) could be the $60 GR Plus for $990. Some people use a reel, but I would recommend a breakaway float line. Check out the Neptonics site for that.

Getting pretty expensive, isn't it?

So here is something that might be a happy medium all in one gun.

http://abellansub.com/denton-110/ for 725 Euros or $814 at today's exchange rates.

I bought one a few months ago and have been amazed at its performance. In spite of having just two skinny bands it demonstrated great accuracy and penetration in a pool with the target 20 feet from the tip. Maybe its because of the high handle placement and the perfect alignment of the bands with the shaft. Or maybe the Denton 100 would be better for smaller fish and poor visibility. (700 Euros)

There are other good brands I could suggest, but they are all in a similar price range. You could pay around $2000 for an Oceanborn Blutec or even $3000 for a big Sea Sniper.

But you'd be nuts to buy guns like this before you found out that you were committed to the sport. You should probably start with a small Mako or something similar and then you'll figure it out when and if you need something more. File away my advice for the distant future. Hell, I'm 77 so maybe my wife will give you a good deal at the estate sale when I'm gone.

And I'll remind myself again not to get into recommending guns for beginners. :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: WhiteMamba
Mar 20, 2011
699
144
83
Los Angeles
For a first gun on a budget, I'd just get an aluminum barrel pipegun (this will be a rear handle, described as a 'euro'). For somebody doing a lot shorediving and just starting out an 85cm to 90cm is a good length; not too heavy, easy to aim, reels are cheap, can still take bigger fish and pelagics once you get good.

You will pay a big markup for carbon fiber in a pipegun and for a longer gun it is very nice, the gun will balance better. Downside to aluminum guns is they do not float so if you drop them they are easier to lose, although for some types of hunting a gun that sits on the bottom is preferred.

Wood guns are great, but going to cost double. I just sold a Riffs E75, perfect starter gun. If you are on a budget, look for used a Riffe, the E75 or E85 are really easy to aim and use. I would not spend any money on a wood JBL (I have owned one), even though they compare in price to a decent pipe gun... I would just get a pipe gun.

As far as the spear, it needs to be stainless; some budget small entry level guns have an anodized aluminun spear, those are complete garbage. A thinner spear is faster but more likely to get bent in a rock or big fish, a lot of experienced guys or tournament veterans like thinner than stock on their guns but for a starter gun I wouldn't do that.

Definitely stick with a flopper shaft for now.

Good luck! I will probably have some affordable guns up on my site soon but they will be fitted with the Twilight Muzzle, which is overkill for a socal guy just starting out.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,234
992
218
80
San Clemente, CA
You will pay a big markup for carbon fiber in a pipegun and for a longer gun it is very nice, the gun will balance better. Downside to aluminum guns is they do not float so if you drop them they are easier to lose, although for some types of hunting a gun that sits on the bottom is preferred.
.
I didn't realize that aluminum guns didn't float. Is that true for all of them?

In any case, I would strongly recommend against using a gun that didn't float after the shaft was released, particularly in SoCal kelp. The OP says that he has been diving about 6 months, so he may think current conditions are typical. Many of the kelp beds were killed off by the El Nino conditions the last couple of years, but they will come back.

When you shoot a fish, it usually gets down into the kelp and wraps the shooting line around a few strands (or a hell of a lot of strands). This isn't just big fish- even a 5 pound calico can wrap in the kelp. You can't break the kelp by pulling on the shooting line. You have to go down and cut kelp, or possibly detach the shooting line from the reel line or float line and bring the fish up. When you turn loose of the gun to dive, you want it to wait on the surface for you. If it sinks, then after you bring the fish up, then you have to go dive to get the gun up, etc. Its a mess.

Scuba divers may prefer guns that sink. If they place it on the bottom, they don't want it leaving for the surface. But freedivers need guns that float.
 
Mar 22, 2009
569
161
98
USA
www.MakoSpearguns.com
For clarification, aluminum barrel guns generally float (with the shaft out) in salt water. As you get down to the very short guns, the buoyant barrel is less able to offset the heavier handle and muzzle - and some may sink or approach neutral.

If you add a reel, this will often increase the sinking potential, however longer "pipe" guns are able to float with a reel. Not using a large long line clip on the handle will help as well.

Carbon fiber barrels are typically more buoyant than equivalent aluminum barrels, but they do cost considerably more.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,234
992
218
80
San Clemente, CA
I'm not trying to change anyone's mind on what is appropriate for a first good gun, but just thought I'd mention the advantages of wood guns, maybe for the future.

They float. They can even float with the shaft in if properly ballasted. My Abbelan is the first gun I've ever had that floats with the shaft in, and I like it. You can just turn loose and adjust your mask or other gear with both hands. If it falls off the boat, it floats. I'm wondering now why all wood guns don't flat with the shaft in.

They never spring a leak and let water into the tube.

You can drill holes in them to customize. If you want to switch from one reel to another with a different hole pattern, no problem. Some of my Wongs have stainless inserts in the side for side-mounted reels and inserts in the bottom for bottom mounted reels. It may not be pretty, but it doesn't sink the gun.

These photos show two things I've done to customize my new Abellan. I put that stainless loop on the right side to hold the line away from the bands and route the breakaway bungee. On the left side I installed a loading tab as an alternative to have a cheater tab on every shaft. It sure helps when those bands are stretched to 370%. I couldn't have done those things to an aluminum gun.
abbelanloop.JPG
loadingtab.JPG
 
Last edited:
Mar 20, 2011
699
144
83
Los Angeles
One thing, though...

A sinking gun is nice for hole hunting, bottom hunting, and lobster diving (if it has a light on it) because you can put a floatline on it and use it to mark holes on the bottom, and if you want to pick a scallop, bug, etc, you can lay the gun on the reef and it won't float away. In surgey conditions, the heavier the better. Most newer guys in socal aren't doing that sort of hunting though.

Agree with Bill, for most other conditions a floating or neutrally bouyant gun is nice, and a well made wooden gun is practically a family heirloom. I have never owned a wood gun that would float with the shaft in it, and never owned an aluminum gun of any length that would float.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,234
992
218
80
San Clemente, CA
I had seen a couple of guys on my boat with home made guns that floated with the shaft , but I'd never seen one that came that way from the manufacturer. Maybe I'll finally figure out some reason not to like it, but so far I think its pretty nice. I even took it down to 40 feet and turned loose, and it just drifted up.

Its funny, but the last time I was out a guy brought along a beautiful custom gun by Phil Herranen, and I noticed that it floated when he threw it in the water. I asked the guy if Phil made all his guns that way, or had he made a special request. He said that it was supposed to sink, but Phil's ballast tank had the salinity screwed up so he got the ballast wrong. The guy mentioned it to Phil and Phil invited him to return it to be fixed, but the guy had decided that he liked it that way.

I agree with you about hole hunting and lobster diving though. I don't do that any more so I didn't think about it.
 

spearoprelsey

New Member
Aug 7, 2016
13
2
3
26
LA
Maybe I'm little late and WhiteMamba has already found the best speargun for his/her needs but I'd like to add my opinion for the other spearos reading this topic.

As stated above every spearo may need a different speargun depending on where they dive, their skill level and the fish they are targetting.

Of course, the budget plays a huge role too.

So if you are just starting out (I suppose most of the people reading this are newbies) I reccomend you to go with a cheaper option and target small fish.

I reccomend JBL D6 Scuba Diving Spear Fishing Gun for anyone that's just starting out. It performs amazing on short distance and is highly durable.

It is made in the United States which is a guarantee for a great quality.


A quick google search pointed me to this guide which I believe is very informative : Best Speargun Guide and Reviews


Just my two cents....
 
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing

ABOUT US

ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2019 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.

ADVERT