Whether you are new to hunting for your own sustainable seafood or you are an old salty sea dog, you will have probably considered ‘what is the best material for spearguns?’.
In this post i will not so much tell you what’s best but rather give you the reasons to consider the different materials.
Metal spearguns are normally constructed by using tubular aluminium, primarily for its light weight and rigidity.
You will probably have the widest choice of guns if you choose to take this route as I think that every speargun manufacturer (other one-man wood gun makers) will have at least one metal speargun in their catalogue.
Metal guns have a reasonable weight when out of the water, not to much though, dont forget that when they are in the water they should become neutrally buoyant so unless you are planning lots of foreign travel and weight its going to be a major issue, then don’t stress about it.
Metal guns transmit sound well, they clunk and clank with any movement of the bands, wishbones, spears etc. This may become a problem if you are a little clumsy when underwater. Personally i look for guns that either have a good matt coating or a composite rail guide as these will deaden sounds somewhat when underwater.
Metal gun are the toughest, or should i say, most capable of withstanding abuse and misuse. So if you feel you are the type of person who might not look after your kit all that well, then metal is probably the way to go.
Carbon Fibre spearguns
Carbon fibre spearguns, to many, are the best that money can buy. This doesn’t mean that they actually will be the best for you, especially if you have common ground in the reasoning in the above section on metal spearguns.
The main reason people go for carbon guns is probably the look and kudos. Thats right… i said it. But don’t let that dissuade you from going down the carbon route as there are actually some really good reasons to buy one too!
Firstly they are freakishly light, this means that they are easy to transport on land and will save you money on extra baggage costs when flying.
Secondly they are very stiff. Just as rigid or perhaps in some cases even more rigid than metal guns, they transmit power very effectively.
Thirdly they can be shaped in to some pretty ‘aquadynamic’ shapes, making lateral movement easier when underwater.
Finally they have a particularly effective trait that makes them very good for hunting, something that wooden guns also have, they deaden sound. The material doesn’t reverberate like metal does, ever heard of a carbon fibre bell? nope? thought not. Ths means that either whislt moving underwater or after/during a shot, they will transmit less intrusive soundwaves in to the water, and this is a good thing… a VERY good thing.
With a metal gun, if you miss you are likely to scare fish off, with a carbon gun, that likelihood is reduced considerably.
The downsides are they are very expensive compared to their metal counterparts and are somewhat more delicate (or at least you will treat them with kid gloves due to the price.)
Wooden spearguns represent a combination of nostalgia, quality and bespoke high performance to me. In some instances they are the most expensive guns on the market, but they also occupy the budget end too if you look in the right places.
Wooden spearguns are more popular outside europe, with the greatest usage probably being on the whole in and around the United States.
At one end there are manufacturers that produce cheap models that you can literally buy in Walmart, whilst at the other end of the spectrum there are craftsmen holed up in sheds across the globe making what should really be described as works of art.
So, down to the nitty gritty.
Are they any good?
Well, yes… they are but you should be aware of their pros and cons.
On the plus side, they are very strong, and because of this they are often the go to gun for large pelagic fish species, with the ability to mount many bands.
They deaden the sound of the shot extremely well, much like carbon.
When in the water they can be very well weighted (although this depends on the type of hardwood used).
They can be shaped in to almost any useful profile.
They can look beautiful and are probably the only gun that looks good on the wall!
On the downside they can be very expensive, but moreover than that they require very specific maintenance.
Anyone who has had any experience with wood combining with water will know that the two don’t mix all that well, whether its a boat or a kitchen counter. Add to this the inclusion of moving metal parts and if things start to warp or swell you can be in some real trouble.
Thanks for reading this post. If you have any questions that you feel i haven’t answered then go ahead and comment below. Remember, freediving and spearfishing are both potentially risky activities, especially without tuition. Check out our courses for spearfishing and freediving to get the low down on how to do it safely and effectivley .
I personally use Epsealon spearfishing and freediving equipment, simply as they provide some of the very best equipment on the market.