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  • How to choose the best speargun for your needs.

How to choose the best speargun for your needs.

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When choosing a speargun, as any other piece of equipment, some divers prefer a certain brand or product though others would say that the same product/brand are not as good as others. But, the bottom line is that the diver abilities are those who will get the results, not the speargun.

Spearguns for underwater fishing are generally divided into two main categories, Pneomatic guns and Sling Guns. Each type have its advantages and disadvantages. In this article we will discuss the differences between the two types, accessories and how to choose the speargun that will fit you most.

Pneumatic Spearguns
Often fishermen who use Pneumatic spearguns are considered “novice” or “less-professional” by other fishermen. Allegedly these guns need more maintenance and the fact that they lose power as you go deeper, affect those who plan to fish at depth. The main advantage of the pneumatic guns is their related added to power to the length. For example, 100 cm sling gun, would be 30% longer than Mares Cyrano 97 cm (a reminder the length is set by the arrow length, not the gun itself). A gun such as the Mares Cyrano 97 cm will provide high speed and accuracy of up to 3m/10ft. Another major advantage is its maneuverability, the gun allows to pan it quickly, hence suitable to use for open water or ambush technics.

Keeping the pneumatic speargun clean, avoiding hurried loading or loading bended spears, will keep the speargun from the inside and outside and will guarantee enjoyment and satisfaction from the speargun for many years. Pneumatic spearguns can be preferable for various types of divers that avoided them until now. In shallow dives (up to 30m/100ft considered shallow dives for freediving) these spearguns will work excellent and guns such as the Mares Cyrano family will be perfect for those who use ambush technics while fishing.

Another advantage for pneumatic spearguns is while traveling, flying and etc.

Pneumatic spearguns are sized b the spear length. (Usually in Cm).

Sling spearguns

Sling guns are divided into few sub categories:

Euro Sling guns

Designed especially for the European fishermen that usually hunts “smaller” and quicker fish. Their need is for very fast gun, also while panning and accurate. Most Euro Sling guns are equipped with spears of 6-6.5 mm diameter and a single sling of 16-19 mm and sometimes even 20 mm. Good example for Euro sling gun is the Mares Phantom spear gun, which is made in Italy.

In the past, these guns were equipped with plastic handle, steel mechanism and aluminum barrel with different diameters, though the common is 28 mm diameter and 2 mm thick. Today, they are various materials and the aluminum barrel is no longer the dominant in the market. For example the Mares Phantom has unique barrel shapes some similar to calamari shape, which gives faster panning than roll shape.

Rail Sling guns

The Railgun is a sling gun version originally from South Africa. Fishermen from that area needed a more powerful sling gun and thicker spears for the bigger fish they hunt, so they use 7-8 mm spears with 2 sets of 16 mm slings or more. To avoid vibration from the spear in order for it to hit the target a rail was added to the gun. This supplement not only enforce the barrel it is also improves the accuracy of the gun. Rob Allen is known as a leading South African Rail sling gun brand.

In sling guns it is possible to find different types and materials, such as carbon barrel to enforce the barrel and lower the weight, materials such as nylon for the whole gun body, full carbon guns such as the elite brand C4 and standard handles with wooden barrels (for a stronger barrel in order to add more slings) and more.


A cut of aluminum barrel with rail

Popular settings:

  • 16-18 mm sling with 6.3-6.6 mm diameter arrow for fish up to 7kg/15lbs~
  • 20 mm sling with 7 mm diameter arrow for All around fishing
  • Pair of 16 mm slings with 7-8 mm diameter arrow for big fish.

The advantage of using a pair of 16 mm slings rather than one sling of 20 mm is easier loading as well as producing more power. Though 1 sling would be more accurate than 2 slings. In some guns using a pair of 14 mm slings would

Often fishermen ignore the fact that that the effective range of the Euro spearguns is roughly 3 times the length of the arrow from the edge of the gun. It is most likely that we can penetrate most fish from this range with a 20 mm sling on a Euro gun, additional slings won’t give us more power, and it will increase the arrow speed, but could also cause arrow vibration or a bend in the barrel which will reduce the accuracy dramatically. Consider a pair of 16 mm slings or even 14 mm as the max those guns are intended to.

The sling guns (Euro & rail) are measured by the barrel length (from the muzzle to the trigger) and not the total length of the gun.

Wooden sling guns

Wooden sling guns with multiple are used when fishing for big game. Most fishermen that hunts in a very clear water need the additional distance that these guns will provide. It is very difficult to bend the wooden barrel, therefor it allows the diver to add as many slings as desired, even up to 8 sets (or more…) without worrying that the barrel will bend. The added slings allows using thicker spears that provides better penetration. Though, due to the additional strength there is higher recoil effect. In order to reduce the recoil effect the wooden guns are heavier and have added features in order to keep them neutral/positively buoyant.

Wooden sling guns usually have back handle or middle handle. Middle handle will allow better panning, while back handle will have better aiming abilities.

Wooden sling guns are measured in Inch of the whole length (while Euro guns are measured by the barrel)


Wooden gun with 4 slings set

So what is the recommended length of speargun should I buy?

Recommended speargun length is mostly based on the visibility and fishing area. They are spearfishing guns for more specific use, such as the 60-75 cm (or shorter) for spearfishing in caves, crevices, rocks and etc’, where shorter guns would be more useful due to their high maneuvering ability. The bellow tables are an average index for spearguns length based on uses and visibility.

We hope this article helped you to choose the type and length of speargun recommended for you for your fishing adventures.

If you still have any questions or need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Enjoy your fishing!



Cave/crevices fishing – short guns

Wooden spearguns length:

Visibility Open waterReefCaves/crevices
 +15m63 Inch60-63 Inch44-50 Inch
 10-15m60-63 Inch60-63 Inch44-50 Inch
 5-10m55-60 Inch55-60 Inch44-50 Inch
 0-5m55 Inch55 Inch44-50 Inch


Ambush fishing – mid/long guns

Euro/rail spearguns length:

Visibility Open waterReefCaves/crevices
 +15m130 cm120-130 cm60-70 cm
 10-15m120-130 cm120-130 cm60-70 cm
 5-10m110-130 cm110-130 cm60-70 cm
 0-5m110 cm90-110 cm60-70 cm


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