Spearfishing is in fact one of the most primitive methods of hunting fish.
That indicates that it could be done with very little equipment which on itself could be fairly simple.
Knowing this, you can’t be surprised that one of the most commonly used tools for spearfishing remain relatively simple to this day. Still, getting one is and investment and it requires a fair amount of research.
That’s why this article will walk you through on how to choose the best pole spear for you.
What is a pole spear?
In case you are just picking up on spearfishing or still considering it, we’ll also explain what a pole spear is and how it works.
The pole spear is one of the most simple, affordable and easy to use tool in spearfishing. It mainly consists of three separate parts: a pole, a rubber loop and a spear tip.
The pole comes in different sizes and it can be made from different materials.
The spear tip can be constructed from various materials as well; it can also be in different shapes.
The rubber loop is the actual propelling device that shoots the spear. It’s also attached to the spear for convenience of the hunter. Usually made of surgical tubing/a band of rubber.
It’s often confused with a Hawaiian sling because they are very similar to each other. The main difference is that the spear and propelling device of a Hawaiian sling come as separate parts while the sling and spear of a pole spear are attached to one another. Also, in some areas (like the Bahamas) these two are the only devices that are allowed to use for spearfishing. Which dictates that learning how to use them might be crucial.
How to use a pole spear properly?
As stated above, this tool is quite use to use. To launch the spear place rubber loop in the crook of your thumb, pull it up to the spear tip as far as you can then hold on the pole. This will keep the rubber stretched which provides the momentum to propel the spear.
If you’re using a flimsy spear, you might want to twist the pole while stretching the bend. The twisting would prevent it from bending.
To shoot you must simply release the pole. Before releasing you should of course aim first. You can use whatever aiming technique feels comfortable for you, but one very efficient way of aiming, used by experienced spearfishermen, is bringing it forward and aligning it with your arm and your sight of vision. After releasing the spear you should still guide it with your hand (just like a gun barrel) for a more accurate shot.
The distance of your shot
The firing distance is commonly divide in two ranges: ‘travel range’ and ‘penetrating range’.
The travel range is the distance your spear can travel to when the sling is pulled to its maximum. Naturally, that distance would vary depending on the length of your spear – the longer the pole, the you can stretch its sling. Longer poles also allow for a more powerful shot. That makes it very tempting to choose a longer spear when buying your first one. However, keep in mind that while you’re still perfecting your skills, you would find it difficult to maneuver a longer spear and shooting accurately at longer distances.
As expected, the travel range will often result in weaker penetrating force. That’s why most hunters prefer the penetrating range – the firing distance that provides a shot that would surely punch through the fish.
To calculate that distance, you must take a fair amount of factors in consideration. The first things you should always keep in mind are the attributes of your spear.
Its mass, length, band strength and stretch, drag, the materials it’s made of, even the shape of the tip will affect the perfect distance for your perfect shot. Once you know the capabilities of your pole spear, your desired catch comes in the picture. Depending on the fish’s density, orientation and skin composition, your penetrating range could differ a lot.
One must take all the factors into account before firing at a target. Unfortunately, you can’t know the perfect range of a shot until you start practicing.
It may seem frustrating at the beginning, but as you get more and more experienced, it’ll begin to get way easier to calculate the distance of your shot. In time it will start to come to you naturally and you will start to think less and less about it, so don’t lose hope!
Obviously, the closer you get to a fish, the more penetrating force and accuracy your shot has. Which is why you would want to get as close and personal to your prey, as possible. In order to achieve this, you’ll have to learn to be stealthy, so the fish won’t notice you.
You might want to start with observing the swimming patterns of your prey and guessing its next direction. You should also learn how to hide behind rocks and plants or use camouflage.
How to choose the best pole spear
There are different types of pole spears. To determine which one would be most suitable for you, you must take in account what fish you plan to hunt and where.
Depending on your desired catch, the tip of your spear could be a single tip, a paralyzer or a slip-tip.
The single tip/flopper has always been the most commonly used type of pole spear. And it’s very easy to why that is the case. It’s the easiest one to use, most compact, and most versatile. Most commonly used for small or medium sized fish, but once you learn how to use it, it can also bring down big game fish. It could be a bit hard to use on smaller fish in the beginning but it’s still an excellent choice.
As one could tell by the name, these trident spear tips are designed to stun or paralyze. They have way less penetrating power and can’t kill a fish unless you shoot from a very close distance. Paralyzers require a lot more force but less precision. Their purpose is to stun the fish for long enough so you can catch it. However, they can also be used to enjoy spearfishing without actually causing significant harm to the fish. So if you want to experience the thrill of underwater hunting but love these creatures too much to hurt them, this is definitely the best pole spear for you. Don’t expect it to work on large sized fish though.
The type of pole spear that’s used almost exclusively used for large fish. It’s called a slip-tip because it actually detaches from the spear when it reaches its target. They are of course secured to the spear with elastic thread so they don’t get lost.
Although, they have a slightly less penetrating power than a single tip, they usually have extra sharp tips for maximum impact. Their only disadvantage is that they have to be rigged before every shot which can slow you down.
Length of the spear.
Once you know what type of spear you want, you must choose how long it would be. Pole spears usually are from four to ten feet long. There are longer ones that break into multiple pieces that are screw together. A spear longer that ten feet would be very hard to maneuver underwater for beginners. They are also best for extremely large fish. You shouldn’t consider using a spear that long until you become experienced enough.
If you’re still a beginner, you would want to use a spear that’s between five and seven feet long. Surely, a shorter spear would have a shorter range. That shouldn’t stop you from choosing a shorter one since you’ll be primarily using it for smaller fish in the beginning.
The material which your spear is made of will determine its mass and weight. How heavy the spear you use is will of course depend on what fish you desire to catch.
Not surprisingly, a lighter spear would have a faster propelling speed and should be used for smaller fish. On the other hand, a heavier one would require a lot more band strength which results in a more powerful shot.
A pole spear can be made of carbon fiber, aluminum, graphite, fiberglass or wood. The high quality ones are usually made of fiberglass (heavy) or carbon fiber (light).
Reviews for best pole spear
Now that we’ve covered how to choose and use a pole spear, we can look at some reviews.
Scuba Choice 7′
This is easily one of the best pole spears on the market. It has a single tip that’s barbed for additional penetration. If you successfully hit a fish, you would never have to worry about it sliding off. That’s due the flap on the tip which secures the catch once it goes through it. It’s fairly affordable, made of fiberglass and seven feet long. That makes it a very good choice for beginners.
Scuba Choice 5′
A very high quality pole spear, perfect for reefs and shallow waters. It’s 5 feet long and it breaks down in three pieces. That makes it very convenient to carry around. It’s made of fiberglass and comes with a paralyzer tip. It also comes with a high quality rubber band and a bag that makes it even more convenient to transport. Also the tip is detachable so you can replace it with a flopper or a slip-tip. Perfect for beginners and comes at a surprisingly low price, considering its features.
CARBON FIBER 7′ One Piece Spearfishing Pole Spear
This one is made of carbon fiber which is approximately 40% lighter than fiberglass. Despite its lightness, it has a lot of penetrating power which allows it to be used on bigger fish as well. It comes with a single tip, made of stainless steel, that is also barbed for maximum impact. The tip is removable too and it has a flap that prevents fish from sliding off. Its length is seven feet and is quite inexpensive.
Headhunter Predator Pole Spear
A very high quality pole spear with an unique, innovative design. It breaks down in two halves that are made of different materials. The front part is made of carbon fiber. And the back part is constructed with a composite material that’s both lighter and stronger than aluminum. The two parts connect with stainless steel to prevent malfunctions. Its length is 9 feet and comes with a slip-tip. It weighs about 1.6lbs. This may be the best pole spear for hunting big game fish.
Spearfishing Traveler Pole Spear
A very high quality pole spear that breaks down into three pieces. That allows it to be stored easily while traveling to your diving spot. It’s 6 feet and 7 inches long. Made of corrosion resistant, high strength, anodized aluminum that’s used in aircraft construction. It comes with a 5 prong paralyzer tip that requires very little precision while aiming. This makes it a perfect choice for beginners. Ideal for small or medium sized fish. The manufacturer (Mako Spearguns) recommends it to be used for fish that weighs 10-15lbs when fully assembled.
The pole spear is one of the best spearfishing tools for beginners. That’s thanks to it being very inexpensive and easy to operate. To make the right choice when buying a pole spear, that suits you best, you need to take multiple things in consideration. Being aware of what species of fish you’ll be hunting and where you’ll be diving will let you know which would be the best pole spear for you. Shorter spears that are used for small or medium sized fish are ideal for beginners.
Feel free to express your opinions in the comment section as your feedback is always well appreciated.
If you found this article interesting and helpful, you might also like our work on how to choose the best speargun.