Spearfishing has been around for thousands of years as a way of providing food. But in recent years spearfishing has become increasingly popular as a recreational activity and sport.
Unlike our ancestors who had to reply on sharpened sticks, we now have access to high powered spearfishing guns to help us out.
Catching your first fish truly is an exhilarating and satisfying experience.
And for this to happen, you’ll need a reliable speargun.
The best spearguns will provide you with the perfect amount of power, speed, and accuracy for each shot.
But how do you choose the best gun for spearfishing?
With an almost overwhelming number of options available, it can be a daunting task.
And that’s why we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the best spearguns to help you make the right choice. We’ll also be sharing the key factors you need to consider before buying.
- Type: Band-powered
- Made In: America
- Length: Five different lengths available from 30 to 50 inches (76 cm to 127 cm)
- Shaft Diameter: 0.31 inches (8 mm)
First up is this wooden band-powered speargun from one of the best-known brands in spearfishing. AB Billar has long been trusted by seasoned spearos for producing elegant, yet incredibly powerful spearguns. And this model is no exception.
Because it’s made from mahogany wood, this speargun is neutrally buoyant, making it feel almost effortless to use underwater. And the 3 coatings of polyurethane create a beautifully smooth finish with a subtle shine. It’s easy to use, accurate, and built to last a long time.
The only downside is that this speargun can feel a little slow. Because the shaft is quite bulky, it can lose power and speed on long-distance shots. To avoid this, opt for one of the longer length versions (above 40 inches).
If you’re looking for a robust and reliable speargun that’s easy to use and looks great, then this special edition mahogany speargun from AB Biller is a perfect choice.
What we love
- Easy to reload
- Lightweight and neutrally buoyant
- Beautiful design
- Accurate and powerful shot
- Reasonably priced
- Extra strong stainless steel tips
- Loses power over long distances
- Not the fastest shot
- Type: Band-powered
- Made In: America
- Length: Eight sizes from 21.7 to 51.2 inches (55 cm to 130 cm)
- Shaft Diameter: 0.69 inches (17.5 mm)
If you’re looking for the very best speargun on the market today, then look no further than the Hammerhead Evolution 2. While no speargun is perfect, this one is as close as you’ll get.
Every aspect of this speargun has been ergonomically designed and carefully constructed to provide you with the best possible spearfishing experience.
Considered the most accurate speargun in America, the Hammerhead Evolution 2 offers exceptional precision and power in every shot. Despite its strength, this speargun is still unbelievably comfortable and easy to use. Made from aerospace-grade aluminum it’s also incredibly lightweight and can certainly handle rough conditions.
Packed with a ton of Hammerhead’s innovative features, including a reverse trigger mechanism and ambidextrous thumb safety, this speargun will definitely not disappoint.
Although complete beginners may not be able to fully appreciate how awesome this speargun is.
What we love
- Extremely precise and powerful
- Advanced safety features
- Reverse trigger mechanism
- Ultra-lightweight and durable
- Silent firing mechanism
- Built to last a lifetime
- Range of sizes available
- Option to add a line or camera mount
- Fantastic value for money
- We seriously cannot find any!
- Type: Band-powered
- Made In: America
- Length: Eight sizes from 14 inches to 47.2 inches (35 cm to 120 cm)
- Shaft Diameter: 0.27 inches (7 mm)
Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate spearfisher, the Mares Bandit Slingspeargun is a fantastic value for money. Despite its low price, this speargun is very well built and delivers a fast and accurate shot. Although you may want to add a second band to increase the power.
The spring steel shaft is durable and ideal for regular use. It features a Dyneema wishbone for better safety, making this a great option for beginners. It also has a trigger lock mechanism to avoid accidentally launching the spear. Plus the rubber line bungee effectively minimizes recoil.
When you take into account performance, reliability, and price, this ergonomically designed speargun simply cannot be beaten.
What we love
- Great value for money
- Excellent safety features
- Good for beginners
- Very minimal recoil
- Ergonomic and ambidextrous handle
- Easy to add additional bands
- Fast, powerful, and accurate
- Need to add a second band for a powerful shot
- Safety can be tricky to reload
- Type: Band-powered
- Made In: Italy
- Length: Five different lengths available from 13 to 35.4 inches (35 cm to 90 cm)
- Shaft Diameter: 0.25 inches (6.5 mm)
For beginners, this entry-level speargun is a perfect choice. It’s loaded with a ton of ergonomic features such as the wishbone assembly for superior safety and specially molded handles for increased comfort and stability. You have significantly less chance of hand cramp or accidentally misfiring when using this speargun.
Compared to its competitors, it’s very lightweight so you’ll maneuver this speargun with ease. It is also an accurate shot with its closed muzzle function. The handles are even angled so that users can achieve the best accuracy. Plus its Tahitian-style flopper shaft makes it a great choice for bigger fish.
What we love
- Very comfortable to use
- Durable construction
- Highly accurate
- Easy to reload and pull
- Reliable safety
- Not very powerful over long distance
- Type: Band-powered
- Made In: America
- Length: 33 inches (84 cm) without shaft
- Shaft Diameter: 0.27 inches (7.11 mm)
If you’re after a reliable speargun on a tight budget, take a look at the Carbine series speargun from JBL. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and feels solid. Constructed from aerospace-grade aluminum and stainless steel, it’s very durable and will last a long time. This speargun can certainly handle a high level of abuse.
Although it’s not ideal for the big fish or long-distance shots, this gun has fantastic accuracy and power over short distances. With a quick and simple reload, it also has a shorter learning curve than other guns.
What we love
- Excellent for shallow water and reefs
- Robust and solid build
- High accuracy
- Quick and simply reload
- Moves easily through the water
- Not suitable for big fish and open ocean spearfishing
- Need to use a chestpad to avoid scratches
Types Of Spearguns
Before we dive any deeper into our recommendations, let’s take a look at the two main types of spearguns available; the pneumatic and the band-powered powered.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. But it’s mostly down to personal preference on what you feel most comfortable with.
Although Pneumatic spearguns are not as popular as they used to be, they’re still widely used by spearfishers around the world. Pneumatic spearguns require you to pump air into the gun.
This compressed-air then fires the spear through the water when the trigger is pulled.
With little recoil and excellent power and accuracy over long distances, pneumatic spearguns tend to be preferred by more experienced spearos.
Although they’re super easy to use, the power is determined by the strength of the diver. The more air you pump into a pneumatic speargun, the more powerful and accurate it becomes.
Because pneumatic spearguns have a more compact and thick design they’re hard to bend or break. This makes them ideal for catching larger fish.
They’re also much quicker to reload than band-powered spearguns. So if you miss that first shot, you usually can reload quick enough to give it a second try.
The main disadvantage of a pneumatic speargun is that they make a lot of noise when fired. This means if you miss your shot, it’s very likely all the fish will be scared away. Hence why this type of speargun isn’t as popular with beginners.
And, although they’re very accurate over long distances, pneumatic spearguns are actually less accurate over short distances than band-powered spearguns.
You need to have a very good aim to be successful with a pneumatic speargun. Plus they require more rigorous maintenance.
If you have some experience and are looking for a fast-loading speargun that’s powerful enough to catch larger fish, then a pneumatic speargun is the best choice.
In the last decade, band-powered spearguns have become the more popular choice. They’re highly accurate and powerful, without relying on a divers own physical strength.
Similar to a slingshot, band-powered spearguns use rubber-like bands that you pull back and then release using the trigger to fire the spear forward.
Unlike pneumatic spearguns, these operate completely silently. So you won’t scare the fish away if you make a bad shot. But what makes band-powered spearguns so popular is that you can increase the power simply by adding more bands.
This makes it very easy to use for beginners. Plus they require little to no maintenance compared to pneumatic spearguns.
However, band-powered spearguns take significantly more time to load than a pneumatic one. Especially if you’re using several bands for more power. This means you need to make that first shot count.
Additionally, they have slimmer shafts that tend to bend if you’re going after large fish. It’s also recommended you use a chest plate and gloves when reloading to protect your hands and torso.
If you’re relatively new to spearfishing or planning on only catching smaller species, then we recommend choosing a band-powered speargun.
Besides the type of speargun, there are other important factors to consider before making your final choice. We’ll cover these in more detail in our buying guide below. But for now, let’s take a closer look at some actual spearguns.
Best Spearguns Reviewed
Now which of these products has the features perfect for your needs?
We really couldn’t find anything negative to say about the Hammerhead Evolution. With unrivaled accuracy, power and comfort, it’s our top recommendation.
Best Speargun For Beginners: Cressi Apache
We recommend this for newbies. It is a starter gun with basic features but good construction that will not fail you. If you’re new to spearfishing and you want a gun that isn’t too difficult to reload or maintain, get this on.
Best Budget Speargun: JBL Carbine Series #
This might be a cheaper option, but it functions like a more expensive speargun. It’s also one It’s surprisingly fast and accurate. This also makes the Carbine series one of the best spearguns for small to medium fish.
SAFEST Speargun: Mares Bandit
This speargun has a lot of safety features that will come in handy if you’re a newbie still struggling to use your speargun. And it’ll still deliver excellent power and accuracy.
Best SPEARGUN For Experienced Spearos: AB Biller Redesigned
The range and power of this speargun make this the best choice for professionals. You won’t struggle to take down big fish with this fast-loading and reliable speargun.
What Kind Of Speargun Should You Buy?
The best spearfishing gun is comfortable to hold, easy to use, and, most importantly, fits your needs and experience level.
If you’ve got your eyes on the big game, then there’s no point choosing a European band-powered gun with a slim shaft.
But if you’re still working on your aim, then a large pneumatic speargun is going to make too much noise and scare off all the fish.
So how do you choose the best speargun for you?
These are the key factors you should consider when buying a speargun.
European Vs American Spearguns
Where a speargun is made has a big influence on its design and therefore overall performance.
European spearguns are compact which makes them easier to load and more streamlined when moving through the water. They also boast quieter mechanisms and slimmer shafts.
This makes them ideal for catching smaller fish at close range. But they’re often not strong enough to handle the larger fish species.
American spearguns are larger and built with a thicker shaft. Although this makes them more cumbersome, it also makes them more powerful and rugged enough to handle the big fish.
Sometimes they’re a little noisier than their European counterparts. But if you’ve got a reasonably good aim this won’t be a problem.
When it comes to the right length for a speargun there is no one-size-fits-all. This is mostly dependent on the environment and prey, but also a little on your experience and personal preference.
Shorter spearguns, between 19 and 30 inches (50 to 75cm), are best for tight environments such as caves, kelp forests, or under boulders. The more compact design makes it much easier for you to maneuver and aim.
If you’re hunting in shallow water or on a reef, a mid-length speargun is your best option. Anything between 31 and 45 inches (80 to 115cm) works well for both short and long-range shots, making this the most versatile speargun length.
Longer spearguns, ranging from 47 to 63 inches (120 to 160cm), are made for the deep open ocean. Here you need the length in order to get enough power and strength to catch the big game fish.
However, longer spearguns are more tricky to use so are better left to the more experienced hunters. Beginners will benefit from starting with a short or mid-length speargun.
Don’t forget to look at the thickness of the shaft! Speargun shafts range from 5 to 9mm in diameter and usually correlate with the length of the speargun. The longer the speargun, the thicker the shaft. But this is not always.
A slim shaft moves faster through the water so it’s great for small fish. But it doesn’t have as much power. So you’ll need to choose a thick shaft to penetrate the skin of the big fish.
Type Of Muzzle
The muzzle is the end part of the speargun. Spearguns can have either an open or closed muzzle.
The open-muzzled spearguns provide a better line of sight and work more quietly than their closed counterparts.
However, it can be more difficult to get an accurate shot with an open-ended speargun, especially as a beginner. Additionally, they tend to be more difficult to load.
Closed muzzles can help improve the accuracy of your shot, are easier to load, and improve the overall streamlining of the gun underwater.
Another thing to consider is rigging. If you like hunting for smaller fish, you should look for a shooting line shock cord that connects directly to the speargun. If you are catching bigger fishes, you are better off with a shock cord arrangement.
Since you will be using it underwater, make sure it is made from materials that can withstand corrosion. Look for a material that doesn’t rust easily.
Equally, the construction and mechanism should feel strong and sturdy. A good spearfishing gun should be able to withstand a reasonable level of wear and tear without getting damaged.
And lastly, make sure you consider your budget so you can eliminate any options that are out of your price range. But remember, don’t be too stingy!
As with most underwater gear, you really do get what you pay for. If you go for a super cheap speargun, it won’t last long and you’ll just end up having to replace it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Spearguns are an effective and efficient way to hunt underwater.
They are made from durable materials like carbon fibre or hardwoods. These are non-rusting material and are effective at depth and in the constantly changing atmospheric pressures experienced when diving down.
There are many types of speargun available. From multi band to pneumatic.
So, you’ve just spent a lot of money on your new speargun. The last thing you want to do is drop it and watch it sink down into the Abyss.
Your eye to hand coordination underwater will be lowered when out diving. This is particularly true if you are wearing gloves and there is a real risk of releasing the gun.
The best way to secure your spearguns is to attach it to a float line using a shark clip. So even if you shoot a large fish and are unable to hold on and the speargun has been dragged to the ocean floor, you will be able to recover it with ease.
This will especially come in handy in strong currents or low visibility environments where you can use the float to relocate the gun when lost.
Spear guns are designed specifically to be used when diving and submerged in water.
We really don’t recommend that you try to hunt by firing the weapon into the water from outside. For example form the beach, a boat or even a pier.
This will present added dangers and on top of that it is nearly impossible to accurately aim at an object under water from above the surface due to refraction.
Never load a speargun when outside the water.
Wait until you are safely in the water at the surface and present no danger to other divers around.
There are many different loading mechanisms out there so you will then need to follow the official manuals and guides to load the weapon safely.
There are plenty of wetsuits out there which can be used for spearfishing but most spearfishers will be looking for something more flexible. This will make it easier to manoeuvre underwater whilst hunting your prey.
Also having a camouflaged wetsuit is an ideal choice as it will help you to blend into the natural environment and the fish will feel more comfortable in your presence making it easier to approach.
Many dedicated spearfishing wetsuits are made of open cell neoprene which is highly flexible and are then covered by camouflage material such as nylon to protect the neoprene. They will often have elbow, knee and chest plates as well to add further protection.
To go with your wetsuit it is usually a good idea to get some special gloves. This will protect you hands when loading the gun and against dangers such as abrasive topography or even poisonous fish.
When spearfishing you will always need to check the local rules, regulation and laws before entering the water.
For example in most countries you will be prohibited to spearfish in Marine parks, conservation areas and even areas such as harbours where there is a lot of boat traffic.
In some places you will be limited on the amount that you catch and could be penalised for overfishing.
Equipment is also something you need to think about. For example spearfishing on scuba is prohibited in many areas of the world due to the unfair advantage it provides.
If you are are found spearfishing in a prohibited area or using the wrong equipment you may find yourself in trouble with the local authorities and you may even find yourself presented with a large fine.
Although spearguns are fairly simple in construction, there’s still a lot to think about when choosing which one to buy. The main factors to focus on are your experience level and the type of spearfishing you want to do. Once you’ve got these clear in your mind, it’ll be simple to choose.
And if you go with one of our recommendations above, you know you’re buying one of the best spearguns available.
Spearfishing isn’t just about catching fish. It’s also great exercise and has a wonderfully meditative quality. When you’re out in the water, you become totally focused and it’s much easier to tune out everything else.
So even if you’re not a natural-born hunter, spearfishing offers a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
It’s certainly much more exciting and satisfying than line fishing!
Have you tried any of these spearguns?
Or do you have a favorite that we’ve missed off our list?
Let us know your experience in the comments!