Fishing has been a human past time for centuries now. We have developed fishing into an art and have contrived to come up with numerous ways how we can catch these elusive fish and make delicious meals out of them. We have sprawled nets, sat with fishing rods in boats and back in the day, brave men have caught fish with even spears.
While there are many ways to fish, nothing comes close to the excitement and effectiveness of spearfishing. Imagine hunting for fish, choosing the one that you like and killing it with your spear. Much better than sitting idly for hours with a rod in your hand isn’t it. Spearfishing is awesome too!
The excitement of the process is just one aspect of spearfishing. If you take an educated look at different ways of fishing, you’d see how effective spearfishing is. When you fish with a rod or a net, your catch is dependent entirely upon your luck while with a speargun, you choose the fish that is to be your next meal and shoot! Yes, to spearfish, you need a speargun, unless you want to go full caveman and carve a spear out of a tree branch.
Different kinds of spearguns
Spearguns have evolved a lot from back in the day when they used to be made out of wood and rubber bands. Today spearguns are highly sophisticated and make the job of a spearo very easy. In general, there are two kinds of spearguns that are highly popular today- Band/Sling powered spearguns and Pneumatic spearguns.
Band or Sling powered spearguns
These are by far the most preferred choice of equipment for spearos the world over. The primary reasons for this is the fact that they are easy to handle and rather easy to aim. The fact that they are very accurate weapons that are pretty much silent, adds to their popular status. Even when not in use, these spearguns are very easy to maintain and do not require much caring for.
Since these guns run using bands, simply adding in more bands can increase their power. This also depends on the kind of speargun you own, however even adding a couple of extra bands can make a huge difference. These guns come in sizes ranging from 50 cm (length) to 130cm. Needless to say, the longer your speargun, the more powerful it will be. The only drawback of the band powered spearguns is that when used on bigger fish, their shafts can often bend.
These guns are widely categorized in two styles- the American style speargun and the European style speargun.
True to the American tradition, these spearguns are powerful and a very reliable underwater weapon. As compared to the European variety, these have a thicker shaft (8 to 9 mm as compared to 6 to 7.5mm wide European shafts) and are often known as ‘hip loaders’. They also provide the spearo the ability to install extra bands thereby increasing the overall power of the speargun. They are made with strong wood that provides superior balance and are compatible with double barbed spears and the slip tip mechanism.
These properties make them a very versatile weapon of choice and one that is ideal for hunting big fish. Their longer length also provides for a larger range of shooting.
The main advantage that these enjoy over their American counterparts is that they are very easy to maneuver and are much more silent than them. One of the reasons is the fact that they are smaller in length than the American spearguns. While those mostly come in sizes ranging from 81 to 152 cm, the European spearguns are usually 90 to 130 cm long. Since they are lighter, they are easy to aim with and are also a breeze to load.
The European speargun shaft has a hole at the back that is tied to the shooting line and this is very effective in reducing drag that you very often experience with the American type spearguns. As easy as these guns are to use, they are ideal only for small fish ranging up to 10 lbs. If you try to hunt bigger fish with it then you risk bending the shaft.
Contrary to band powers spearguns; the pneumatic speargun spear has no bands or slings and are powered by the air. You simply insert the shaft into the speargun barrel and as you push it in, it compresses the air in the shaft and as you pull the trigger, that compressed air pushes the shaft back out.
While you do require a loader to make the loading process easier, they are generally easier to work with than band powered spearguns, especially the ones that have multiple bands on them.
The pneumatic spearguns are have a recoil. The thicker shaft used in these kind of guns is rather powerful and produces a greater impact and penetration, even on larger fish with shorter length of the gun.
These guns come in a variety of lengths ranging from small ones that start at 55cm to big ones that can be as long as 135cm. In general, these guns are compact and powerful however for a beginner, it might take a little practice before they learn to get used to the shaft firing from the middle of the cylindrical barrel.
The only drawback these guns have is that they make noise when shot, which can very often scare off the other fish in the vicinity, making your task a bit harder in case you miss the aim. Apart from this, they require regular maintenance every couple of years and need to be cared for after each use.
Both these types of spearguns are effective at what they do and the kind you choose for solely depends on your level of expertise, your style of hunting and the kind of game that you want to hunt.