Spearfishing has become a popular sport for those residing near coastal waters and tourists alike. The tools used for this sport have come a long way from the traditional handheld wooden spears, and a variety of spear gun types exist on the market now for the tech savvy fisherman.
There's so many options on the market, making a choice can be tough. We created this guide to help de-mystify spearguns.
Here's the deal:
Choosing the best speargun takes research, so we did that part for you! However, you still have to have an idea of what you're looking for.
In this guide you'll learn what best spearfishing guns are good for what applications.
So lets get into it!
If you are looking for a quick pick, here is a summary of our picks for the top spear guns currently on the market.
AB Biller Wood Mahogany Speargun
Exceptional craftsmanship. Much more durable than plastic alternatives. It is very versitile and comes in different sizes for different styles of spearfishing. Best for those who want top quality.
Cressi Geronimo Elite
A high end speargun with that's as versatile as it is beautiful. Ergonomic adjustable grip to fit the user perfectly. Comes with a spear, reel and line included. Very accurate. Best for experienced spear fishermen looking for an upgrade.
Hammerhead Proteus Speargun
A more price concious band powered gun, the Hammerhead Proteus is a great starter spear gun. It is accurate and effective, but is missing some features you'll find on pricier models. Best for beginners.
Cressi SL Star
Lightweight, penumatic spear fishing gun. Suited for all skill levels, and comes in 3 sizes. Ideal for fishermen who do not prefer band powered guns but still want something lightweight and effective.
Comes in an assortment of sizes, where smaller ones come in at a very afforable price point. It offers excellent performance and is suitable for small - medium size fish. Good for beginners or intermediate spear fishers.
Choosing The Best Speargun
Things to put into consideration when purchasing the best spear gun on the market, is the kind of fish being hunted. Big or small? River fish or oceanic dwelling ones? Experience of the fisherman. Are you a beginner or a well weathered spear fisher? And the type of spear gun that best suits the fishing environment and skill level.
Types Of Spearguns
There are two main different types of spear guns available. The first one is the pneumatic system gun. These spear guns are powered by air pressure and are great for long distance shots and hunting bigger fish. This style of spear gun was very popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s but recently, its popularity has decreased because they can be difficult to aim, can make noise when shot and scare surrounding fish, and certain models may be difficult and time consuming to load.
The second variety of spear gun is the rubber powered or the band powered gun. They are powered with a band, (like a rubber band, hence the name) and are very popular among fisherman throughout the world. They are very easy to maintain, easy to load and add power, and they are easy to aim and have high accuracy.
The rubber powered spear gun comes in a variety of three different models, which are, the European Style, the Rail, and the American Style.
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Styles Of Spearguns
The European style spear gun was obviously widely popular in European countries, but it has made its debut in America and is quickly gaining popularity. This style of gun is perfect for smaller fishes no bigger than ten pounds, and is easy to load, maintain, and use. The only downside of the European Model is that its smaller shaft size may be damaged if a larger fish is hit.
The Rails style of spear gun is a more recent innovation in the world of spear fishing and is very popular in South Africa and Australia. The Rail was developed from the European model, but was updated to have a stronger shaft, and more power to target larger fishes at a greater distance. The one downside with Rail model spear guns, is that since it has more power and a better chance at accuracy, its mechanisms can be noisy when used.
The American style was developed to ‘hunt larger game’ and is a reliable weapon of choice for the aquatic sportsman. Described as “All American, all around” this spear gun is said to have more power, better accuracy, and a more durable body and shaft.it has a wooden body and can hold more bands for a more intense shot compared to the European model. It is also larger and is ideal for hunting larger fish. Downsides to this model is that the size can cause some drag when aiming, and since it is able to hold more bands and put out a powerful shot, that doesn’t come without some noise.
In 2018 these five spear gun models received the best reviews and proved to have the best performance, and are quickly becoming favorites among beginner and advanced fisherman a like.
The AB Wood Mahogany Special Spear Gun is renowned in the fishing community for its exceptional craftmanship, and its durability. Its wooden body is said to be built like a tank, and since it is solid wood, not plastic like many other models, the AB Wood Mahogany is extremely durable and needs little maintenance. Though mahogany is in this model of spear gun’s name, it is available in three wood body varieties. These include, mahogany, Teak, and Padauk.
Mahogany gives the spear gun a pleasant brown appearance, and is the original wood of this model. But for those who would like a lighter wood grain, the teak option is the best choice. Padauk is a deep cherry color showcasing its interlocking grain patterns. The mahogany wood body is accented by three coats of polyurethane to bring out the shine and provide a classy finish, while the teak and Padauk models are hand rubber with boiled linseed oil to enhance their color and unique grain textures.
This AB Biller Wood Mahogany comes with a doubled barbed tip in stainless steel and two rubber slings. This rubber mechanized spear gun also allows for interchangeable tips. It has a stainless steel shaft, and is available in sizes from twenty four inches, up to the larger sixty inch version. The range of the gun correlates from it’s size, so for longer range spear fishing, it is best to get a larger size. For leisurely spear fishing, the smaller sizes are ideal.
Many sizes of fish have been able to be caught using the AB Wood Mahogany Spear Gun, from smaller fish ranging from ten inches, to larger fish ranging from eighteen inches and beyond. Reviews of this spear gun rave about its ability to accurately nab a variety of fish easily, and have very few complaints about its performance. This model is also perfect for beginners and expert spear fishers, with its simple design and mechanics, and high quality crafting.
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Design & Function
Cressi is another brand that has a massive following for it’s spear gun models, and one of their most popular is the Cressi Geronimo Elite Spear Gun. With a higher price point, the Geronimo Elite is a considered a high end spear gun, but even with it’s elite status among spear gun models, the Cressi Geronimo doesn’t skip on function.
Composed of Swedish steel, the Cressi Geronimo Elite Spear Gun is extremely adjustable to work for all kinds of spear fisherman. The most popular adjustment option of the Cressi Geronimo Elite includes an ergonomic adjustable grip, that can be changed to suit varying gloves sizes thicknesses and hand sizes. The spear gun is also suited with left and right handed capabilities.
Another aspect that has multiple positive reviews is the fact that once shot, and a hit is made, the fish can be reeled in. The Spear gun comes equipped with a 6.25mm shaft, made from heat treated Swedish steel, but can be switched out for a larger size if needed, if you plan on bringing in larger fish. Like many rubber powered spear guns, it does come with two bands, but for added power, more bands can be added. The Cressi Geronimo Elite is even able to work with just one band for smaller fish spearing.
The Cressi Geronimo Elite Spear Gun is a larger investment than most, but this model is still believed to be a great deal among spear fishers. It is the most expensive speargun on this list, but it is also made with premium quality materials and packs a punch. The spear gun also arrives with a spear, reel, and line already included, which saves some money as most of those must be bought separately with competing models.
The spear guns steel body is highly durable, and this provides precise accuracy when in use. It is designed to decrease kickback, which helps limit any noise, to make a fishing trip successful and easy. It is one of the most popular spear guns on the market currently.
Another poplar model from Cressi is their SL Star Spearfishing Spear Gun. Unlike the Geronimo Elite model from Cressi, the SL Star Spearfishing Spear Gun is pneumatic, rather than band powered, and though it has a more complicated firing mechanism, the Cressi SL Star Spearfishing Gun is still very lightweight, weighing around three pounds. In its price and weight class, it could be considered one of the best pneumatic speargun options you have.
When this model was being designed, Cressi wanted to make sure it could help increase the safety of the diver, especially in murky conditions, and to execute that, the designers opted to have the handle of the gun to be a bright neon yellow. That color shows up well in murky conditions and can be seen easily from the surface if the fisherman and their boat become separated during a dive. The yellow coloring also allows for easy retrieval of the gun after shooting if it happens to fall out of the grip. But it also comes with a lanyard to attach to the handle to prevent such incidents from occurring too frequently.
Sizing and Availability
The Cressi SL Star Spearfishing Spear Gun is available in three sizes. The smallest size is 40mm, with a mid range size of 55mm and the largest size is 70mm. Size decisions depend on the kind of fish being speared, and the SL Star can successfully reel in fish of varying sizes with little damage to the spear gun.
This spearfishing gun is a popular choice for those who don't like band powered guns. If this is your style, it is suited for just about any skill level.
The Hammerhead Proteus Spear Gun is another popular model on the market right now. It is arguably the most powerful speargun on this list. Hammerhead makes durable spear guns at an affordable price. It is a rubber powered gun, constructed from stainless steel and available in tow size options, 55mm and 75mm. And while the Hammerhead Proteus Spear Gun doesn’t have as many size options as it’s competitors, which some view as a downside, it does have many other positive features.
The Proteus arrives with a fully railed bail, and includes a mono shooting line. It also includes power X-change bands, and its shaft is suited to a variety of spear points. For those who prefer to reel their catch in, a reel and line does need to be purchased separately. A very versatile weapon, the description states, “Designed for fluid situations with a dynamic arsenal of spearheads the versatile, adaptable, and capable Proteus is ready for any piscine situation.”
The Hammerhead Proteus Speargun is a great option if you are cautious about price but still want a good deal for the money you're willing to spend. If you are willing to sacrifice a few features and versatility, this gun has a solid reputation and will definitely get the job done.
This model from Mares is said to be a great spear gun for beginners. It is one of the best inexpensive speargun options you can buy. The Mares bandit Spear Gun is made of aluminum for a lightweight and easy to use machine. Weighing in at around three pounds, this spear gun was specifically designed for use by beginner and intermediate spear fishers. suitable for hunting small to medium size fish, it is equipped with Australasian rigging for its band system and includes a safely mechanism to prevent any dangerous accidents to the novice spear fisher.
The Mares Bandit Spear Gun offers excellent performance, while not breaking the bank, and comes in a large assortment of sizes. It can be purchased in 35cm, 45cm, 55cm, 55mm, 75mm, 95cm, 95mm, 110mm, and finally 120mm. Obviously the smaller sizes are lower in price and suited for smaller fish, whereas the larger, pricier sizes can spear more variety.
For an affordable, lightweight and versatile spear gun, the Mares Bandit is a great value for what you pay. If you are most interested in small fish, this is a great option because of its lower price point.
Choosing The Best Speargun
Choosing the best speargun requires a lot of research, and personal preference as well. There are various models available on the market today to appeal to numerous types of spear-fishermen.
Some guns are even less expensive and are a great option for beginners while they perfect their skills and move up to more advance equipment. Not everyone has the means to splurge on an expensive speargun, so it is important to consider the qualities that are important to you.
As always, if you liked our review or think we missed something, let us know in the comments section below! Happy Diving!