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spear fishing

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

i wanted to give spear fishing a try out i was wondering what kind of gun i should start with and what kind of gear i should look into getting . Anyone have any suggestions

post #2 of 9
Hawaiian sling
post #3 of 9
You can go with a Walmart hawaiin sling special you can invest your money in quality equipment.
Do you want to be a spearfisherman or a Spearos? These are question only you can answer. I have been kind enough to attach the below stated picture which is my current set up. You need to be careful as I have missed and sunk a few boats. But you can swim away underwater and no one can find you. I beleive alot of local B&T's have these in stock.

post #4 of 9
Omar get a single band, much easier to reload in the water, keep it about 36" to start. With the visibility and current where the fish are the sling just isn't effective.
JMHO
post #5 of 9
Bigt,

To start you should try some basic snorkeling in our local waters if you have not already. There are some great spots to explore in <10’ of water on both the north and south shore with a lot of things to see. Having both experience and comfort in our waters is very important if you want to be a successful spearfisherman. I’ve seen beginners invest ~$1000 in gear only to learn that aren’t that into it. Go during incoming tide on a calm sunny day for best visibility, try it out with whatever equipment you have laying around. Practice in areas with little or no boat traffic, look around rocks and structure, the same places you would cast a line. There’s a lot of cool stuff to see; similar to the pictures and video which Leatherface posted in the other thread. If you venture more than a few feet from shore then make sure you use a dive flag. There’s a lot of good information on the internet, do some research. There are also some good dive organizations as well online communities that can help you along the way. Once you know you like it then invest in some decent gear.

With experience you will get better at holding your breath and moving in the water. Eventually you will get the hang of it and start seeing some fish. At this point you may want to invest in a Pole Spear or your first spear gun.

FYI a “Hawaiian Sling” is common slang around here for a Pole Spear. A Hawaiian sling is actually a completely different underwater weapon which is used to shoot a free shaft at small reef fish in very good visibility. I use both a pole spear and a speargun; different equipment for different fish on different days at different depths/visibility.

Pole spears are very challenging, but they are a great tool for becoming a better diver; you will learn how to stalk and hunt in close proximity. There great for smaller fish in poor visibility and on shallower dives. I’ve taken bass with pole spears but it’s extremely difficult. Big bass are tough; they will break, bend, and ruin your gear. When you spearfish your goal is to land every fish you decide to shoot, wounding a big bass with a pole spear is not desirable. Essentially a pole spear is not the tool for the job when it comes to stripers but it can be great for whacking triggers and flatfish.

Spearguns are like fishing rods, there are different sizes and styles for different applications. Most fish are speared within 5’ or so. I’m not sure what that monstrosity Grimlock posted but I’m almost positive that nothing like that actually exists. Spearguns are powered by either latex bands or a pneaumatic piston. Band guns are probably more popular these days. Both use stored energy that comes from human muscle loading the gun, they are not driven by an explosive charge. Spearguns that you would use in our waters usually have an effective range of up to ~12 ft, the spear is attached to the gun via a mono tether of around the effective length. A spear traveling through the water slows quickly due to the friction from the water viscosity. Meaning that there isn’t much potential for “stray” shafts flying through the water/air at unsuspecting fisherman and swimmers. I mention this because quite frankly most people are completely clueless to what a speargun actually is, and have a misconception of the danger they impose. Nonetheless spearguns should always be handled in a safe mannor with the same respect of an actual gun.

A good all around speargun for the northeast has a length of around 70-90 cm or around 36”-44”. Think shorter on the NS and longer on the SS. As far as Euro style guns go; Mako, Rob Allen, Omer, Aimright, etc. American style guns; Riffe, Wong, Ulusub, JBL, Biller, etc. Euro guns are rear handle, most American style guns are more midhandle design. Personally I’m a huge fan of the Riffe guns, they are expensive but they hold their value, you can sometimes find a good used one on the internet. My favorite gun is a Riffe 44” Teak Midhandle; I would consider it the Van Staal of spearfishing. Every spearo has there own opinions and preferences.

Anyways for a beginner I would start with a decent pole spear. I’m a huge advocate of the Ray Odor Pole Spear, its 3 piece, around 7’ overall, and comes with a good flopper tip. It runs around $80 shipped to your door.

Once you get comfortable diving you can move up to a speargun, (keeping your pole spear for your growing arsenal). The Omer speargun that Shag recommended is a good starter. Other options are a 90 cm Mako ($200), or a cheaper model Riffe like the teak C-1 ($350). These fall within a good all-around size; long enough to take a bass but it is also maneuverable and good for using in and around the rocks. Look for a used gun, you can save some serious $$$. Once you re-rig it with new bands and shooting line it will be good as new.

Anyways I hope this helps. Sorry if the writing is a little jumbled, I essentially typed my thoughts as fast as possible. My advice is get in the water and enjoy some snorkeling with whatever you have, once you get proficient then get yourself some decent equipment and a speargun. Spearfishing is a great sport; the new perspective will also make you a well rounded fisherman, its also extremely addicting. Good luck!
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeeling View Post
Lots of good advice

 

 I did quite a bit of spear fishing in Florida before I moved to Long Island and Sandeeling is giving you some pretty solid advice.

 

The region specific stuff I can't verify but I'd assume it is good being that everything else is spot on.

 

On a personal note, I got to meet Ray Odor a bunch of times because we lived near one another. That guy is a lot of fun. I enjoyed listening to him tell stories about spearfishing for hours.

 

He couldn't be a nicer guy.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimlock11 View Post

You can go with a Walmart hawaiin sling special you can invest your money in quality equipment.
Do you want to be a spearfisherman or a Spearos? These are question only you can answer. I have been kind enough to attach the below stated picture which is my current set up. You need to be careful as I have missed and sunk a few boats. But you can swim away underwater and no one can find you. I beleive alot of local B&T's have these in stock.


w00t!
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimlock11 View Post

You can go with a Walmart hawaiin sling special you can invest your money in quality equipment.
Do you want to be a spearfisherman or a Spearos? These are question only you can answer. I have been kind enough to attach the below stated picture which is my current set up. You need to be careful as I have missed and sunk a few boats. But you can swim away underwater and no one can find you. I beleive alot of local B&T's have these in stock.

HILARIOUS!!!
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeeling View Post

Bigt,
To start you should try some basic snorkeling in our local waters if you have not already. There are some great spots to explore in <10’ of water on both the north and south shore with a lot of things to see. Having both experience and comfort in our waters is very important if you want to be a successful spearfisherman. I’ve seen beginners invest ~$1000 in gear only to learn that aren’t that into it. Go during incoming tide on a calm sunny day for best visibility, try it out with whatever equipment you have laying around. Practice in areas with little or no boat traffic, look around rocks and structure, the same places you would cast a line. There’s a lot of cool stuff to see; similar to the pictures and video which Leatherface posted in the other thread. If you venture more than a few feet from shore then make sure you use a dive flag. There’s a lot of good information on the internet, do some research. There are also some good dive organizations as well online communities that can help you along the way. Once you know you like it then invest in some decent gear.
With experience you will get better at holding your breath and moving in the water. Eventually you will get the hang of it and start seeing some fish. At this point you may want to invest in a Pole Spear or your first spear gun.
FYI a “Hawaiian Sling” is common slang around here for a Pole Spear. A Hawaiian sling is actually a completely different underwater weapon which is used to shoot a free shaft at small reef fish in very good visibility. I use both a pole spear and a speargun; different equipment for different fish on different days at different depths/visibility.
Pole spears are very challenging, but they are a great tool for becoming a better diver; you will learn how to stalk and hunt in close proximity. There great for smaller fish in poor visibility and on shallower dives. I’ve taken bass with pole spears but it’s extremely difficult. Big bass are tough; they will break, bend, and ruin your gear. When you spearfish your goal is to land every fish you decide to shoot, wounding a big bass with a pole spear is not desirable. Essentially a pole spear is not the tool for the job when it comes to stripers but it can be great for whacking triggers and flatfish.
Spearguns are like fishing rods, there are different sizes and styles for different applications. Most fish are speared within 5’ or so. I’m not sure what that monstrosity Grimlock posted but I’m almost positive that nothing like that actually exists. Spearguns are powered by either latex bands or a pneaumatic piston. Band guns are probably more popular these days. Both use stored energy that comes from human muscle loading the gun, they are not driven by an explosive charge. Spearguns that you would use in our waters usually have an effective range of up to ~12 ft, the spear is attached to the gun via a mono tether of around the effective length. A spear traveling through the water slows quickly due to the friction from the water viscosity. Meaning that there isn’t much potential for “stray” shafts flying through the water/air at unsuspecting fisherman and swimmers. I mention this because quite frankly most people are completely clueless to what a speargun actually is, and have a misconception of the danger they impose. Nonetheless spearguns should always be handled in a safe mannor with the same respect of an actual gun.
A good all around speargun for the northeast has a length of around 70-90 cm or around 36”-44”. Think shorter on the NS and longer on the SS. As far as Euro style guns go; Mako, Rob Allen, Omer, Aimright, etc. American style guns; Riffe, Wong, Ulusub, JBL, Biller, etc. Euro guns are rear handle, most American style guns are more midhandle design. Personally I’m a huge fan of the Riffe guns, they are expensive but they hold their value, you can sometimes find a good used one on the internet. My favorite gun is a Riffe 44” Teak Midhandle; I would consider it the Van Staal of spearfishing. Every spearo has there own opinions and preferences.
Anyways for a beginner I would start with a decent pole spear. I’m a huge advocate of the Ray Odor Pole Spear, its 3 piece, around 7’ overall, and comes with a good flopper tip. It runs around $80 shipped to your door.
Once you get comfortable diving you can move up to a speargun, (keeping your pole spear for your growing arsenal). The Omer speargun that Shag recommended is a good starter. Other options are a 90 cm Mako ($200), or a cheaper model Riffe like the teak C-1 ($350). These fall within a good all-around size; long enough to take a bass but it is also maneuverable and good for using in and around the rocks. Look for a used gun, you can save some serious $$$. Once you re-rig it with new bands and shooting line it will be good as new.
Anyways I hope this helps. Sorry if the writing is a little jumbled, I essentially typed my thoughts as fast as possible. My advice is get in the water and enjoy some snorkeling with whatever you have, once you get proficient then get yourself some decent equipment and a speargun. Spearfishing is a great sport; the new perspective will also make you a well rounded fisherman, its also extremely addicting. Good luck!

Great Advice !

Some of my most memorable dives have been just watching and not hunting, although food is always on my mind. One in particular was off the Northside of Montauk. In 10 feet of water I watched a wall of striped bass and bluefish just cruise by. I'd come up for a breath go back down and they kept coming and got bigger and bigger. This was the middle of the day , no boats or swimmers around. My wife and I were hiding from the wind and I needed to amuse myself. The largest were probably teen size fish and I watched for a good 20 minutes. Sandeeling is giving you some good advice, and by all means don't think a flag will protect you. A lot of morons own boats and don't have a clue.
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