Welcome to Spearfishing School Part 8 of our 80+ part series written for people new to spearfishing. This blog is free for my readers and so is access to Spearfishing School during the beta stage. If you learn something here, sign up for our email list and share this page with someone that is looking to learn about spearfishing. It is a free way to say thanks.
Here is a list of 12 items you should have before going spearfishing. Some you can make a case for not having but most are crucial to staying safe and comfortable.
1. Fishing License
Respect the laws and regulations of the waters you intend to hunt in. Ignorance is not an excuse for taking the wrong fish, size, or amount. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and buy your fishing license and any other permits you may need.
2. Dive Buddy
Not a piece of gear but don’t even think about going spearfishing without a dive buddy. Keep an eye on each other and practice the “One up One down” method. Here are some ideas to help you find a spearfishing dive buddy
3. Low Volume Mask
What the heck is a low volume mask? Well, it is a diving mask that has been designed to have less space between your face and the lenses in order to reduce the volume of air. Why do I care? As you dive down the air in the mask is compressed by the pressure of the water and at about 33 feet will be half the volume it was on the surface. It’s the pressure that feels like it could suck your eye balls out of your face. In order to ease the pressure you have to put a little air from your lungs in to the mask to equalize the pressure. Air is precious, so the lower the volume of the mask, the less air you have to spend. This is the mask I use. Aqua Lung Micro Dive Mask
Breathing on the surface floating face down is where you will spend most of your time. Keeping your face out of the water to breath would be hard work and it will drain your energy. I like the snorkel with a purge valve and some flexibility so when I spit out the mouth piece it falls away from my mouth. I have friends that love the simple “J” snorkel. Here is the one I use. Riffe – Stable Snorkel
5. Open Cell Suit
An open cell suit is a two piece suite that does not have a lining on the inside. That’s where “Open Cell” comes from. This suit is crucial for staying warm and protecting the skin against rocks, reef, and even jellyfish. With that warm suit you will be very buoyant and it will be almost impossible to dive down. This is the suite I use. The top OMER 3D Camu Freedive Suit 5mm Top AND bottom OMER 3D Camu Freedive Suit 5mm Bottom
6. Weight Belt and Weight
The weight belt should be worn on the hips so it doesn’t restrict your breathing. I prefer a rubber belt so I can wear it a little tight. At depth when the pressure compresses your suit, the rubber belt will stay put since it will adjust for the compression. The nylon belts work too but at depth when the suit compresses the belt will stay the same size and it will feel loose. The worst part of a loose belt is lead weight clicking against each other. I’ll go over how much weight in another post. I use the Rob Allen – Rubber Weight Belt and plastic coated weights. They help keep the boat deck from getting lead marks and captains appreciate that. You can also buy Lead Weight on line but I would try to find some locally on CraigsList. You’ll probably bet a better price and won’t get destroyed with shipping cost.
7. Diving Gloves
Gloves protect your hands and keep you warm. Human skin is not very tough and wet skin is even more vulnerable. I really like the Body Glove Exo 3mm Dive Gloves.
Same idea as the gloves plus they protect your feet from the edge of the fin pockets. I use these Argos 4mm Dive Socks
9. Freediving Fins
These fins are especially long and are made from materials ranging from plastic to carbon fiber. Freediving fins are long so they have a longer “memory”. In freediving conserving oxygen is the key. Long fins will continue your kick longer than standard fins. I started with these Mares Razor Pro Plastic Fins
10. Dive Knife
The dive knife is used to kill a fish after it is shot. It also serves as a safety tool in case of entanglement with old fishing line or kelp. There are cheaper options but I started with this Riffe Terminator Stubby Dive Knife
11. Speargun or Polespear
This is why you are reading this no? You need a speargun or polespear to shoot all the fat fish. I recommend that beginners get a polespear. Not only are polespears cheaper, spearfishing with a polespear forces you to get good at all the other skills you need to be a good spearo. Here are some Polespear Spearfishing Tips and a video post of my personal best Calico on a Polespear
The stringer is basically a cord with a spike on one that is used to tie the fish you have slayed. They also come as metal rings that look like large safety pins, Hoop Stringer. I prefer the Loop, String, and Spike Stringer.
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