The Ultimate Guide to Spearfishing Equipment

Spearfishing equipment on Kayak

Spearfishing is one of the oldest methods to catch fish and even though spearfishing equipment has changed a lot over the years it is still as popular as ever. It’s an eco-friendly and affordable way of fishing that anyone can learn using the right technique and spearfishing gear.

There are different product categories that you need to take into account while making your spearfishing toolkit. This article will discuss what equipment you need to start your spearfishing journey.

Spearfishing Equipment You Need

The history of spearfishing goes back to ancient times when people used to capture fish using barbed poles. Thanks to technological advancements, we have sophisticated tools that allow you to catch fish easily.

Here’s a list of everything you need to have an enjoyable and safe spearfishing experience.

Spearfishing Weapon

There are different types of spearfishing weapons that you can use, including the following.


Spearguns are powerful and accurate tools - if they are well made and maintained. They’re normally made of either carbon fiber, metal or wood and are either powered by elastic rubber slings or compressed air in the case of pneumatic guns. Guns vary greatly and allow you to capture smaller or larger fish. If you are after bigger fish then you’ll want to go with a longer speargun.

A smaller model will suit you best if you need to go fishing in shallow reefs. Keep in mind that spearguns can be a bit tricky to use for beginners. So, it might not be the best weapon to include in your spearfishing gear if you’re a novice spearo.

Hero Speargun by Salvimar

Pole Spear

Most beginners use pole spears as they make for the best option to target small and medium size fish in shallow waters. All you need is a rubber sling, spear tip, and a pole spear to make a lightweight and streamlined weapon to start hunting underwater.

The longer the spear, the larger the fish it will kill. However, if you need maneuverability, you’ll need to opt for a short and lightweight pole spear, which will also be easy to carry around.

Hawaiian Sling

If you want something that can fill the gap between a speargun and a pole spear, you can go with a Hawaiian sling. It offers more range and power than a pole spear but isn’t quite equal to a speargun. 

Hawaiian slings are highly recommended for catching bottom medium-size fish, and both professional and novice spearos can use them


Whether you’re an experienced spearo or a beginner freediver, you’ll need a high-quality wetsuit for swimming and hunting underwater. There are different types of spearfishing wetsuits available in the market that you can use.

To choose the right product, you’ll first need to determine the water temperature where you want to go spearfishing. For example, if you’re planning to dive in warm water, you want to make sure that you choose a wetsuit with a thickness of 1.5mm or less.

To keep your body warm, you’ll need a thicker wetsuit for colder water dives. It is also important to buy a product that features a camouflage print. Wearing such a wetsuit "could" allow you to avoid getting detected by fish easily - and it looks cool.

Epsealon Tactical Stealth Spearfishing wetsuit

Mask and Snorkel

A low-volume mask and basic snorkel are must-have items for divers who want to explore the ocean's depths on a breath hold.

You need to keep several factors in mind while buying masks for spearfishing. Going with a low-profile mask is the most important factor. It’ll reduce the pressure by allowing much less air in, making the equalization easy while freediving or scuba diving.

Another benefit of using a low-profile mask while diving is that it mitigates the mask squeeze and offers a wide field of view. Additionally, you can also find masks that come with mirrored lenses to shield your eyes, and they can also attract fish because of the reflection.

If opting for snorkels, consider using a flexible, J-shaped one. You can also opt for snorkels with splash flaps and purge valves but in our opinion that is unnecessary for competent spearos.


Most experienced spearos prefer freediving fins for spearfishing as they help you conserve energy and get the right propulsion underwater. You can find fins with blades of different materials, such as carbon, fiberglass, and plastic.

If you’re a novice diver and budget is your biggest concern, you can use plastic fins. However, as you become more experienced you will probably want to add carbon fiber or fiberglass fins to your spearfishing gear list.

Hydronaut Freediving Fins on rock

Spearfishing Gloves

High-quality gloves are extremely helpful underwater as they provide protection and warmth for your hands. They also help you to reload your spearfishing weapon easily while swimming.

While a thicker pair of spearfishing gloves (used for surfing) or thin gardening ones can work, you want to buy something specially designed for spearfishing, like the ones made of Kevlar.

Not only are they sturdy and lightweight enough for the sport, but they’re also ergonomically designed to keep your hands comfortable and warm.


Booties are designed to add a soft and comfortable barrier between the fins and your feet. Make sure you opt for thick and fully padded booties for added comfort and warmth, especially if you need to dive deeper.

You can find booties on the market with up to 2mm thickness for optimal performance and comfort. We also recommend you purchase booties that offer an anti-slip sole grip and abrasion-resistant toe guards.

Weight Belt

Many free divers and spearos ignore the importance of a weight belt, but you don’t want to do the same. A weight belt around your waist prevents you from floating on the water's surface while in your naturally buoyant wetsuit.

It’s an invaluable piece of spearfishing equipment that’s specially designed to hold lead weights. It allows you to wear just the right weight around your waist. As a result, you can easily achieve neutral buoyancy once you have exhaled on the water's surface.

After all, you should not have to worry about your buoyancy while spearfishing so that you can focus on capturing fish. Ideally, you should wear a high-quality weight belt that can expand and compress along with your wetsuit. You won’t need to worry about adjusting the belt while hunting underwater.


Just like any other type of functional knife, it’s important to buy a spearfishing knife that’s rust-resistant, sharp, and durable. Remember that spearfishing knives serve multiple purposes and that you should choose a blade that suits those purposes..

A typical spearfishing knife is designed to cut seaweeds, spearfishing lines, ropes, and any other object in which a spearo may get entangled while swimming. However, you can use a knife to kill a fish to spare it from its suffering quickly if your weapon didn’t kill it in the first place.

Choose a knife with a sharp tip, a serrated edge on the other side, and a line cutter.

Float Lines or Reels

The game might not be over after catching a fish, as a fish can decide to swim away. Plus, you can run out of energy as well. A float line or reel comes in handy in such a situation.

You can attach a floating line to your speargun to pull your weapon and fish instead of struggling. Or you can use a reel to bring in the fish after reaching the surface.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend you use a reel, and it’ll eliminate the risk of losing the grip on your weapon, especially after catching a big fish. You can easily find float lines or reels on the market with a line capacity of up to 50 meters.

Freediving Computer

Freediving computers help divers and spearos to keep track of their dive times and depth. Some products available in the market can even help you measure the underwater temperature.

Readability is the biggest factor when buying a freediving watch or computer. It’ll allow you to read and understand all the stats easily while swimming so that you can concentrate on catching your prey.

Additionally, it’s also important to choose a freediving watch with a big battery, as you don’t want it to run out of power underwater.

While modern freediving computers come with advanced features such as a heart rate monitoring system and dive data export option, you don’t necessarily need to buy them.

Not only can these advanced features become overwhelming, but such a watch can also cost you a lot of money. Therefore, consider buying the one with basic functions like dive time and depth recording.

Best Freediving watch - Garmin Descent Mk2

Final Words

Learning and mastering spearfishing skills requires time, patience, and practice. However, the best thing about this sport is that anyone can learn it using the right techniques and tools.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what spearfishing equipment you need to start your spearfishing journey effectively.

About the Author Gerrie van Niekerk - Apnealogy

Gerrie is a passionate Freediver, Spearfisher, Digital Marketer, and author for the Apnealogy website. Gerrie is an SSI Level 1 certified Freediver who loves geeking out about freediving and spearfishing gear and lives for his family and adventure.

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