The Salvimar Hero was released by the Italian spearfishing equipment manufacturer in 2016 and it quickly garnered a worldwide following. It is instantly recognizable thanks to its clever ergonomic design and unique acid green color .
In this review article we aim to find out whether Salvimar's Hero Speargun is popular only because of its looks or if there's more to it than just that.
Read on to find out...
About The Salvimar Hero
The Salvimar Hero is available in 3 different guises and multiple different lengths.
There is the:
The Hero Roller has the Salvimar Testata roller head where the other two models have the standard multi-elastic open sling gun muzzles.
The difference between the Storm and the Standard Hero is the color scheme and reel. The Hero Storm is available with a blue, black and white camo sublimation print and a vertical reel instead of the horizontal reels that you find on the other spearguns.
Our review focuses on the Standard Hero but many of the elements are applicable to all the different models and lengths.
Our test unit: A Hero 125 with 3x 14mm bands and an 8mm spear.
Since the Hero speargun was released by Salvimar back in 2016 it sold many units to spearos all over the world and especially in Europe, Australia and the United States.
The speargun's unique looks definitely set it apart from the competition.
The ergonomic grip and acid green color make the gun instantly recognizable by fans and opponents.
The ergonomic grip is comfortable in the hand and helps you to get more "meat" on the handle which results in better gun control. The speargun comes with a left and right-hand side version and swapping it out is as simple as loosening a couple of screws.
Loosening the grip screws also allows you to get to the stainless steel grip hook to attach a line or tuna clip to the gun.
A brightly colored branded high-density rubber insert on the loading pad makes loading the gun a lot more comfortable and rounds off the look of the handle.
The Hero has the same heavy metal trigger that features in the Salvimar Metal speargun and their Tomahawk inverted roller.
This tried and tested trigger can hold loads of up to 350kg/770lbs. A roller on the sear keeps this trigger buttery smooth even under very heavy loads.
The trigger itself and many of the components in the trigger mechanism is made through a process of metal injection molding. This allows Salvimar to create detailed and intricate designs and manufacture the parts in-house.
The whole trigger mechanism is made from 17-4ph stainless steel.
The line release is fitted on the right-hand side of the speargun but can be moved to the left-hand side if you'd prefer that. The same goes for the speargun's safety button.
The safety button's position, behind the trigger where your thumb and index fingers would naturally rest, ensures that you can easily activate and deactivate it.
For right-handed shooters a quick push with their thumbs will activate the safety and a push with the first knuckle of their index finger will deactivate it. Vice-versa for left-handers.
With a little practice you'll be able to feel whether the safety is engaged without taking your eyes off the target or changing your grip. Something that anyone that has ever lost an opportunity on a fish because of an engaged safety will appreciate.
With you being able to change the grip, line release and safety buttons from right to left-hand side you have a truly ambidextrous and customizable speargun design.
The Hero Speargun comes in 8 different lengths:
Spear Shaft Thickness
The length listed above is barrel length, so you can add an extra ±20cm(8in) to get the total length of this Salvimar Speargun which includes the muzzle and handle but excluding the spear.
The spear overhang is another ±16cm(6.3in)
The Hero speargun comes standard with a gun reel. The lengths up to 85cm with the Salvimar Mini Reel and the 95cm and longer spearguns with the Salvimar Max Reel which can hold 75meters(246feet) of 1.5mm shooting line. The mini and max reel are both horizontal gun reels made from glass-filled nylon. The reels have a drag screw and steel line guides.
The reel's shaft or central axis is made from co-molded steel and Delrin - a low friction high wear-resistant acetal plastic - that is also used in Salvimar's roller heads.
Unlike most of the competition and even other Salvimar spearguns like the Salvimar Metal, the barrel of the Hero speargun is not round. It is not even a pure oval or elliptical shape. It is actually an asymertical oval with the top half flatter than the rounder bottom half. The is barrel 45mm wide and 30mm high if you include the rails.
The elliptical shape is said to improve swinging the gun from side to side. Unfortunately, the trade-off is that the barrel is wider which results in it being less responsive with up and down movements.
Instead of the usual bung plugs this barrel is sealed with two O-rings on the muzzle end and two more on the grip's end. It doesn't matter whether a speargun's barrel is made from carbon steel or aircraft-grade aluminum like this one, if saltwater gets inside the barrel it will corrode. For this reason most manufacturers play it safe and use large rubber bung plugs on either end of the barrel to seal it off. The o-rings seem to serve their purpose very well. The spearguns overall design and tight-fitting parts probably contribute somewhat to that.
The benefit of using O-rings is that you don't loose as much volume as with the plugs. I believe that the extra volume makes a big difference to this speargun in the water. In the water the gun is well balanced and easy to handle for what is a big speargun on the land.
To strengthen the barrel and make it more rigid Salvimar inserted a perfectly fitted nylon "I-beam" on the inside of the barrel. The barrel is also slightly thicker at the bottom and has a ridge on the top to help provide extra strength and rigidity to the barrel.
Another unique feature of the barrel is a teflon rail to guide the spear. The Teflon rail doesn't only offer less resistance and friction to the propelled spear but it is also much quieter than the steel rails of other guns.
The muzzle of the Hero is made from 30% glass filled Nylon. The open muzzle design has enough space for 3x 14mm Rubber Bands which the 125 and 135 versions come with. Shorter versions come supplied with 2x 16mm rubber bands.
The 14mm bands are easy to tension and the rest tab halfway down the spear makes the task even easier. So, easy that I'm pretty sure that I can load the 3x 14mm bands just as fast as 2x 16mm bands.
The rest tab will definitely also help smaller spearo's to load the thicker 16mm bands.
The muzzle is supplied with a bridge to convert it from an open to closed muzzle. This is a unique feature not available on any other speargun that we are aware of.
The muzzle shape allows the bands to lie side by side and out of the line of sight down the spear to your target. There is little to no vibration from the bands when swinging the speargun fast in the water.
On the bottom part of the muzzle is a stainless steel pin that acts as a guide for your reel line or as an anchor point for your muzzle bungee/shock cord if you're not using a reel.
The spear that comes with the Hero is Salvimar's Pacific Shaft and is made from 17-4ph stainless steel. The spear has a Rockpoint tip and thicknesses vary from 7mm on the shorter guns to 8mm on the longer ones.
The 7.5mm and 8mm spear has 4 shark fins in total. 3 at the back of the shaft and one rest fin 2/3rds of the way to the end. The shark fins are Metal injection molded and then laser welded by a computer to the shaft. Extremely neat and impressive work.
The shaft has a single bottom flopper and unlike the flopper on their Capture shafts, this one is quick and easy to tune.
The most remarkable features of the Salvimar Hero include:
What Others Are Saying
It seems that everyone else is just as impressed with their Salvimar Hero's as we are. Most of the reviews that we found online are very positive and rate the speargun 8 to 9 out of 10.
Looks are an obvious positive point for most spearo's.
Everyone was also happy about the inclusion of the gun reel in the set, says the gun is very accurate and feel that the speargun is worth the money they paid for it.
Spearo's in the southern hemisphere that are used to guns with longer spear overhangs did complain about the shorter overhang on this gun, but from others and our experience it does not affect accuracy. It might just be more of a personal preference thing and something to get used to.
The biggest complaint that we found for the Salvimar Metal was that it did not come assembled.
No such complaints with the Salvimar Hero even though it also needs you to attach your shooting line to your spear, to tie the Dyneema wishbones onto the rubbers and fit the reel yourself.
This probably shows that the Hero is being purchased by more experienced spearo's that are very comfortable completing these tasks.
One thing that bugged us and a couple of other users are the fin tabs on the spear.
The fin tabs have some sharp edges that chafe the dyneema wishbones. Luckily the way that the rubbers are tied makes it easy to replace them.
Still to avoid doing that after every couple of dives you need to grab some sanding paper and smoothen the edges of the shark fin tabs a little bit. A quick and easy once-off task.
Not only is the Salvimar Hero speargun one of, if not, the best-looking aluminum speargun on the market it is also accurate and powerful.
Performance and reliability wise it competes very well with and even exceeds the standards of the South African, other European and American made spearguns.
But, when it comes to finish and features you know why the Salvimar Hero is so popular.
The trigger on the gun is superb. Strong, well-designed, buttery smooth, reliable and with the added option of adjusting the sensitivity thereof.
The ergonomic handle is not just something to look at but also comfortable in the hand and really does help with gun control.
Everything is very customizable on the speargun.
Left-handed? No problem, just swap the grip out with the left-handed mold.
Prefer the line release on the other side..? No problem.
Want a closed muzzle? Easy!! Just quickly convert the muzzle from open to closed with a simple fitting.
These are just some of the features that set it apart from the competition.
At the Hero's price point there are many other spearguns that it compete with but few of them come with a speargun reel included which can cost you anything from $30 to $80+ extra. Even after taking into consideration the cost of a reel it is still slightly more expensive than some similar guns especially in the US where import costs push the price even higher.
Still, when you think about what you get for the money it is a good value. This is not a cheap pipe gun. It is a premium speargun made with quality materials by an established company that put a lot of time and thought into the design and performance of it.
In our opinion it is one of the best spearguns on the market for intermediate and experienced spearo's.
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