January 04, 2023 6 min read

If you’re thinking of hanging out or spending time with nature this coming weekend to relax and calm your body and mind, you might want to consider spearfishing. So, what is spearfishing, and why is it becoming increasingly popular these days? 

Spearfishing, as its name implies, is the process of catching fish using a spear. This isn’t actually a new way to catch fish. In fact, it’s the other way around—it’s the oldest fishing technique with a rich history dating back to early human civilizations.

Spearfishing is also a great way to combat destructive fishing methods (e.g., underwater detonation) that can severely damage the marine ecosystem. This is why it’s becoming increasingly popular in the sports fishing industry.  

Thanks to modern technology, spearfishing isn’t as difficult to practice as in ancient times. The continuous advancements in spearfishing gear and equipment have made it possible for anyone to learn and try spearfishing. Below is the list of all the gear and equipment you might need for your  first spearfishing experience


Spearguns come in many sizes and styles. As a beginner, you want to look for a durable one that’s easy to use. Your first time with it can be quite a learning curve, and a beginner-friendly speargun can help you ease into the hobby.

You should also consider your fishing location when choosing a speargun.

1. For close fishing quarters and caves, use a 65-70cm speargun.
2. For reef coasts and shores, use a 100-120cm speargun.
3. For open waters, use a 130cm and above speargun

    Important Rule: Never launch a speargun when on land—it’s not made for land. The spear might bounce back at you, causing severe and deadly injuries.

    If you’re looking for a reliable supplier of spearguns, take a look  at this site or other similar sources for more information.

    Pole Spears

    Not everyone wants to use a speargun every time they hunt for fish - a pole spear is a good alternative. This is a great hunting tool, especially when fishing around locations that don’t require powerful guns to catch fish, like coral reefs.

    Some people maximize their pole spears in the blue water. However, you need to be as close as possible to the fish to hit them properly without causing too much damage to the flesh. 

    That said, make sure to have a fishing spear in your collection for a more exciting and thrilling spearfishing experience. 

    Freediving Mask

    Freediving masks will help you breathe properly underwater. However, not all of them are created equal. Make sure to choose the right mask for a great spearfishing adventure. 

    For beginners, choosing a black, low-volume freediving mask is highly recommended. Using clear silicon can cause sunlight glares that may bother most beginners who are spearfishing on the surface most of the time. 

    Here are some steps to make sure your freediving mask fits your face:

    • Tilt your head backward and place the mask on your face without the strap.
    • Make sure the mask is properly positioned. 
    • Breathe with your nose and tilt your head forward to create a tight seal, preventing air leaks. Do this until you find the right mask suitable for the size of your face.
    • Once you find the right size, hold the mask with one hand and use the other to put the strap.
    • Now, you’re ready to jump into the water. 

    Following these steps will help you get into the water quickly and properly using a new freediving mask. 

    Freediving Snorkel

    When choosing a snorkel, simplicity is a virtue, especially for beginners. If your snorkels have a valve, there’s a high possibility that water may enter when you take a deep dive down. So, make sure to choose one without a valve instead. 

    Also, it’s best to buy a snorkel flexible enough so that it’ll be able to bend slightly and easily when hovering across the kelp. 

    Spearfishing Or Freediving Wetsuits

    Wetsuits are crucial in spearfishing because they can keep you warm and cozy. Otherwise, you’ll feel cold underwater, especially in colder regions, which means you won’t be able to enjoy your first-ever spearfishing experience completely. Also, wearing wetsuits can protect you from rocks as you enter and leave the water. 

    Most freedivers assume that diving deeper can be easy with a usual surfing wetsuit. However, only the opposite is true because its materials aren’t suitable for freediving. On the other hand, a freediving wetsuit is made from chloroprene, which makes it more flexible and comfortable. 

    A freediving wetsuit comes in different thicknesses: 1.5mm, 3.5mm, 5mm, and 7mm. 

    • A 1.5 mm wetsuit is ideal for warm waters, around 75F.
    • A 3.5 mm wetsuit is ideal for waters around 67-74F.
    • A 5 mm wetsuit is ideal for waters around 60-66F.
    • A 7 mm wetsuit is ideal for waters around 50-60F.

    When it comes to freediving, it’s better to stay too hot than too cold. If the water is too cold, you won’t be able to enjoy the diving experience.

    Weighted Belt

    If you’re planning to spend more time underwater, you should consider using a weighted freediving belt. With a weighted belt, it’ll be easy for you to dive deeper without exerting too much force.

    Weights don’t come cheap, but it’s a crucial addition to your spearfishing arsenal. Adding enough weights can counter the buoyancy, allowing you to dive deeper easily in the water. Make sure to buy weights from a reliable dive shop. 

    Dive shops can give you the ideal weights based on your height and strength level. If it’s too heavy, you’ll get dragged to the bottom of the ocean. The only way to survive is to have someone pull you up to the surface.

    spearfishing beginner

    Freediving Socks

    Freediving socks are another spearfishing gear you wouldn’t want to neglect. This can keep your feet protected while wearing freediving fins. They can also keep your feet warm underwater. 

    Make sure to replace your freediving socks regularly. They’ll easily wear out because they’ll be rubbing against your fins. 

    Many people also use them when walking across the terrain, from their car to the beach. This can shorten the lifespan of your socks, so wear waterproof sandals instead.

    Dive Gloves

    Dive gloves can protect your hands from rocks, fish fins, and other sharp objects underwater. They can also keep your hands warm while spearfishing and allow you to properly hold anything in the water. This includes lobsters, fish with sharp gills, spearguns, etc.

    Dive Knives

    Most spear fishers carry more than one knife to protect themselves underwater. Here are the reasons why:

    • You can free yourself in case you get entangled with your own line.
    • You can kill the fish you caught right away. This may sound harsh, but it’s actually an ethical thing to do to minimize its suffering.

    You can use a lanyard to keep your knife attached to your wrist while underwater—or a knife keeper, forearm straps, or leg straps. Also, don’t forget to use plastic sheathing to protect yourself from your  dive knife.

    spearfishing gear

    Spearfishing Reels

    If you don’t want to stone the fish you just hit, you’ll need a reel to bring it in. 

    Reels are a great tool because they’re easy to use. However, they might end up seizing if you fail to take care of them properly. So, make sure to rinse them whenever you’re done using them. 

    Also, choose a bright-colored one so you can easily notice it in the water.

    Freediving Fins

    Although many spearfishers prefer scuba, that doesn’t mean spearfishing is limited to scuba gear alone. For better spearfishing and freediving experience, you might want to add freediving fins to your spearfishing arsenal. This will give you the right propulsion to dive deeper without exerting too much energy. 

    Freediving fins come in different styles, including fiberglass, plastic, and carbon. For beginners, a plastic one might be doable—it can also help you save money, but it’s not the best option. If you want a better diving experience, you may invest in fiberglass fins instead.

    If you want the most expensive fins, choose the carbon ones. They provide superior comfort, durability, and energy efficiency.

    Spearfishing Bag

    Once you have all these spearfishing essentials, it’s time to look for the right bag to put them all in. Keep in mind that not all bags are created similarly.

    If you’re low on budget, you can throw all your tools and equipment into a duffel bag. However, they’ll come crashing against each other, cutting their lifespans in half. 

    Instead of a duffel bag, you may use a spearfishing bag with multiple pockets created for every piece of gear you need. With this, you’ll be able to walk back and forth from your car to the beach without putting too much pressure on your shoulders.

    Final Words

    Spearfishing is a traditional fishing method improved by modern technology. To be successful in this field, you’ll need a wide range of gear and equipment. This includes spearguns, fins, weighted belts, reels, knives, gloves, wetsuits, snorkels, masks, and more. The article above will help you choose the right equipment suitable for your needs.

    Author - Fred Felton
    Fred Felton          

    Content Creator / Editor

    Fred Felton is a copywriter, editor and social media specialist based in Durban, South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in creating high end content. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Currently Fred specialises in the adventure watersports space, focussing on surf, kayak and rafting. He is also a keynote speaker and has presented talks and workshops in South Africa.

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