There are many different styles of tips that are used on spearguns, such as twin barb tips and detachable tips. Twin barb tips are designed for larger fish because they have more holding power. The barbs open once the spear goes through the fish keeping the fish on the shaft. Some tips spin so that the fish cannot unscrew the tip off the end of the shaft. To close the barbs so that the shaft can be removed from the fish, a small ring around the tip holds the ends of the barbs down. You don’t want to store a tip with the barbs being held down because it can quickly wear out the rubber pieces under the barbs.
Detachable spear tips have a steel stainless leader between the section that mounts on the shaft and the sharpened tip and barbs. The tip is equipped with an o-ring to prevent the tip from falling off the end of the shaft.
Some tips are designed as rock tips that are good for use when hunting around rocks. Tips are generally made of high quality stainless steel and must be sharpened to maintain their spearing ability.
Price: $10 to $40
Polespear spear tips
Some polespears come with fixed spear tips that can’t be removed, while others come with threaded ends that allow you to use any spear tip you choose. The most popular spear tip used with a polespear is the paralyzer tip, which is a three-pronged head that’s job is to immobilize the fish. When the tip hits the fish, it spreads open, helping to keep the fish from swimming away.
Another tip that is used is the single barb head. It is easy to use but is designed for use with smaller fish. It has a limited holding power.
The “gig” style or multiple barb tip is also used a lot on polespears. It’s typically a three or four barb tip that creates multiple wounds when it strikes the fish, but they don’t penetrate very deep into the fish.
Price: $10 to $25
Power heads are not recreational spearfishing equipment. Power heads are typically used in waters where sharks are a problem and a defense mechanism is required. A power head is device that is attached to a polespear where ammunition that is used in standard guns is loaded for underwater use. Power heads are usually spring loaded with a fire pin that detonates the ammunition. When the power head strikes something, the pin detonates the ammunition, which is then shot into the object. Power heads are very dangerous and only should be used by trained individuals.
Price: $120 to $150
Spear shafts are used on spearguns and are sized according to the length of the speargun. Larger diameter shafts are used when hunting larger fish. Smaller shafts are lighter and move through the water faster. The typical sizes of the shafts are 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, and 9/32 inch.
Spear shafts are made of a high quality stainless steel. One end of the spear is threaded to accommodate a spear tip, and the other end of the shaft is notched so that is fits in the trigger mechanism of your gun. The top of the shaft is also notched near the trigger end to allow for the hook-up of the bands.
Price: $25 to $65
Bands provide the power of the gun. They are responsible for “slingshoting” the shaft down the barrel of the gun and into the target.
Bands are made of surgical tubing rubber. Bands are measured by their outside diameter and come in a variety of thicknesses. The thicker the band, the more power it has. Black tubing is typically made of synthetic rubber and clear bands are made of a natural rubber is usually has more snap in its performance. If you are looking for more power from your gun, you can switch to a thicker band.
The bands attach to the notches on the shaft with either stainless “wishbones,” stainless cable, or nylon line, which are attached by either using a ring or by tying then tightly with nylon cord.
Price: $6 to $12
Lines and shock cards
Lines and shock cords are used to tether the spear shaft to the speargun. Even with a good shot, fish don’t always die right away, meaning that they can swim away. By using a line, the fish can only swim away as long as the line is. Lines must be rugged and durable to withstand repeated contact with fish, rocks, and structure.
Most lines are made of 1/8 inch or 3/16 inch nylon line or heavy-duty monofilament line. The line must be strung from the front of the speargun down the shaft of the gun and around the release mechanism on the trigger and then to a slider on the spear shaft. If you’re using a reel, the line is typically attached from the slider directly to the reel.
A shock cord is built into the line to make it easier to fasten the line to the gun by allowing it to stretch.
Price: $5 to $30
Reels are attached to spearguns and allow fish to run after they are speared. Reels reduce the risk of the fish pulling the speargun out of your hand. The line creates drag and allows the fish to tire before retrieving your catch. Generally a reel is not used to reel the fish back to you, it’s used to follow to where the fish is. Some divers tow the speared fish behind them at some distance so as not to attract sharks or barracudas near them.
Reels are made of plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel. The reel should have a drag system to keep the line from accidentally unraveling.
Price: $80 to $150+
Gun bags are used to store and protect your speargun. Bags are usually padded and can protect your gun from unnecessary damage. Most gun bags are made of nylon or neoprene. Some bags have pockets to store spare tips or other items and a separate gun compartment.
Price: $50 to $75
Stringers are used to carry your speared fish while still underwater. Stringers are usually made of stainless steel and come in a variety of sizes. They work like large safety pins and have a pointy end that feeds through the fish’s eyes or gills and out of the mouth. Stringers can be attached to your waist belt by a clip or carried. They are negatively buoyant.
Price: $20 to $40
Torpedo buoys/float system
Many free diving spearfishermen use a long line attached to a buoy system that floats on the surface. The torpedo buoy is shaped like a torpedo and comes in solid plastic or inflatable models. The line is attached to the buoy and floats on the surface behind the diver. The float prevents a fish from diving deep and getting away with your gun. Sometimes, divers attached dive flags to the buoy, which provide indication of you location.
Price: $100 to $180