How To Use A Pole Spear

Going back to the spearfishing’s most ancient roots, using a pole spear is a great way to get started in the spearfishing world! Using a pole spear has many benefits and can be more rewarding than using a full on gun. Let’s first take a look at times when it would make the most sense to be using a pole spear!

Why Use A Pole Spear?pole spear fishing

While basic, a pole spear (or Hawaiian Sling) is a very powerful tool when used correctly. There is technically not a fish that if hit correctly, can not be taken down with a pole spear! I have personally shot plenty of sheepshead, flounder, taug, lionfish, and even a grouper this season. That being said, there are times when it makes the most sense such as:

  • Shallow water
  • Close quarters
  • Need for quick reload
  • Upping the challenge level
  • Backup if gun breaks

The most common use of a pole spear is around jetties and in shallow water where space is limited and a quick reload is necessary. For instance, if you are hunting sheepshead…many times they swim in schools. So if you shoot one, there are usually 3-5 more close by! With a pole spear you have an instant reload and can bag 2-3 at time with some practice. This is simply not possibly with a gun.

Pole spears are also very maneuverable and can make otherwise impossible shots a reality. In the jetties, it is crucial to be able to shoot up into cracks and nab those taug! With a shorter model spear, it can make hunting quick work and you will be eating well.

How To Use a Pole Spear

To understand how to use a pole spear, you must understand the parts and the basic physics behind them. The main parts are the shaft, tip, and band. The band is elastic and provides the power behind the shot. Otherwise, you would just be trying to stab fish! By utilizing the force created by the band, your spear is able to rapidly release through the water and add a lot of stopping power.

how to use a polespear

The band create power and rapidly pushes the spear through the water.

To use the pole spear, you place the band between your thumb and forefinger and grab a spot far up on the spear, usually a foot or so from the end. As seen in the photo, you simply aim by pointing the spear where you want it to go. Just be sure to hold onto to the band after shooting or your spear could be lost! This sounds like it may happen often, but I have yet to lose a spear this way and holding on is easy.

Aiming

Now unless you have some beginner’s luck, aiming a pole spear usually takes a few attempts to get right. What I would recommend is finding a neutrally buoyant object, or build one, and test out shooting it in a pool or in clear shallow water. This will make it easier for you when it comes time for the real thing. The last thing you would want is to miss a big fish!

Pro Tip: “Try rotating your shooting hand so the back of your hand is face down, this give you a better siteline when aiming dead ahead!”

Choosing a Spear Tip

best paralyzer tip for spearfishing

The paralyzer tip stuns the fish.

At first glance, you will find quite a few different spear tips including the paralyzer, the single barb, and the double barb. It generally comes down to the size fish you will be hunting and the environment. For smaller fish that you can pin against rocks in shallower environments, the paralyzer tip will do the trick. This “stuns” the fish and you will need to be sure to get a quick stringer on the fish.

For bigger fish such as cobia, grouper, etc. it is beneficial to use a single or double barb tip. The barbs keep the fish from coming off and for those trophy bluewater fish, using a double barbed spear tip is recommended.

So Which Pole Spear Should You Buy?

The main three lengths of pole spears are 5 feet, 6 feet, and 7 feet. For a beginner, any of these will work but the 6 footer is a great starting place. A paralyzer tip is also a great starter tip and will do the trick on pretty much any smaller fish. Just be sure to be quick about grabbing your catch!

My Top Choice best pole spear for beginner

  1. Scuba Choice 5′ Travel Pole Spear with Paralyzer Tip

This is a perfect starter pole spear and includes a paralyzer tip and bag. It can also be broken down and taken with you on a spear trip! Scuba Choice is a very well known brand and you will find this pole spear is very well reviewed.

If you are a beginner or just need a great travel pole spear, this is your best bet. Yes the following link is an affiliate link, but I would not recommend anything I knew was not the best! If you are interested, simply click the photo to the right or the button below!best hawaiin sling

Best Beginner Speargun 2017 Review

Snorkel Gear Review #1 Pick

Want to get into spearfishing but don’t know where to start? 

AB Biller Wood Speargun Kit  beginner speargun (Full Review Below)
The perfect starter gun for anyone looking to dive into spearfishing. From the respected AB Biller, this gun features:

  • 7 Gun Lengths to choose from

  • Full kit including Gun, Shaft, Tip, and Bands

  • Beautiful wood finish

  • Easily Customizable

  • Easy to reload, change speartips, and shoot!

first speargun

A Closer Look at the AB Biller Spearfishing Kit

If you are just getting into spearfishing, first off congrats! It is one of the most rewarding sports and will quickly turn from a hobby into a lifetime passion. Choosing the right first gun can seem like a daunting task, but trust me on this recommendation as the AB Biller will not disappoint.

The first thing to consider when buying your gun is deciding what type of fish and diving you will be doing. Luckily the AB Biller comes in 24, 32,36,42,48, 54, and 60 inch models so you are covered regardless of what you are hunting! For freediving near rocks, piers, or jetties…anything in the 24-36″ range will work perfectly. Once you are looking at scuba or advanced freediving, 42 and above will be what you need and consider upgrading to a reel such as this one.

Why Wood?

AB Biller is famous for their wood finishes and they truly do look amazing. They also make for a nice light gun that is neutrally buoyant once shot so you do not have to worry about your line getting tangled in your fins. Also if taken care of properly, these guns last way longer than their metal counterparts. I’ve seen 10-15 year old guns function and look practically new.

I own the 36″ version and can attest that they are built to last and I have speared many a dinner off the jetties. Just be sure to address any chips or dings early and you will keep the wood looking great!

Choosing the Right Beginner Speargun : My Recommendation

Unless you will be freediving 80-100 feet down and need a big gun, which I will assume if you are new you will not need….I would highly recommend the 36″ model. This model is:

  • Affordable
  • Easily maneuverable around rocks and small areas
  • Still packs enough power shoot big fish
  • Perfect for learning
  • Personally owned and love it

AB Biller makes a great gun and as you can see, is loaded with features and will get you on your first fish. If you have any particular questions about the gun, shoot me an email and I can get it answered.

Click here or the big button below to head over to Amazon and buy. Yes this is an affiliate link, but I love this gun and would not recommend a product I do not belive is the best!

best beginner speargun review

Best Air Integrated Dive Computer Review 2017

An air integrated dive computer is one of the most convenient pieces of equipment in the diving industry. Having all of your information on one easy to read display, a dive tracker, and managing your air intake is amazing. I have tried close to 15 different dive computers during my diving career and have only come across a few that really shine.

The model I review below is the best wristwatch version,  I am just a fan of wrist watch computers and will review the best hose version in the future.

Snorkel Gear Review #1 Pick

Want the best Air Integrated Dive Computer? 

Oceanic ATOM 3.1 Wristwatch Dive Computer
best air integrated dive computerOceanic is known for well built, not to mention stylish, dive computers. Main features include:

  • Easy to read display with depth, time, PSI, and more!

  • Calculates Air Time Remaining and Dive Time Remaining

  • 24 Dive Log Capacity with easy data  USB offload

  • Audible Alarms and backlighting

  • 3 Colors and stylish design for dive or everyday wear

Buy now

 

 

 

What all does this Dive Computer Do?

If you are looking for a TON of features in a little package, this is the perfect air integrated dive computer for you. While some divers are skeptical about wireless transmittance of your PSI, this one will not give you any issues and technology has come a very long way. I personally have used this computer in Vietnam and experienced no issues.

best watch dive computer

White model

Here is a list of just a few things the ATOM 3.1 can do:

  • Displays depth
  • Tank Pressure
  • Air Time Remaining
  • Elapsed Dive time
  • No-Decompression time remaining
  • Wireless Air Integration
  • 24 Dive On-Board Log Capacity (99 Free Dives)
  • Multiple audible alarm functionality
  • Temperature reading
  • USB capable for offloading dives
  • Altitude Adjustment
  • Low Battery Indicator

 


The Good and the Bad

So now that we have seen what it can do, what exactly are we looking at and what in the heck is a ” Dual Algorithm Buhlmann ZHL-16c based PZ+?

This is a great watch for anyone looking for an all-in-one dive watch that could potentially be worn every day. It has multiple display features and most every statistic (feature) can be shown in oversized digits with the press of a button. The ATOM 3.1 has 4 operating modes which allow users to shift between normal watch functions and well as more specific dive related gauges.

One draw back you will find in reviews  is that it almost does too much! However, there are plenty of videos and manuals which will have you up and running in no time. Another nice feature of the ATOM 3.1 is its 24 month limited warranty if anything was to happen.

Air Integrated Dive Computer Component

With a single button sync, being able to wirelessly see your PSI is an awesome feature and probably why you are here! After testing myself and reading over countless reviews, there are very few times where your connection may be weakened and only when adjusting a fin strap or similar. These instances are far and few between so you should not have any issues with your air integrated watch!

Should I Buy?

If you are ready to step up your diving and have a slick, feature rich, air integrated dive watch…..the Atom 3.0 is the one for you. I would recommend familiarizing yourself with as many features as possible before hitting the water.

Click here to purchase on Amazon, yes it is an affiliate link but I have to fund this website some how! I hope you have enjoyed my review and feel free to leave a comment with any  questions!

Best Wetsuits for Diving and Snorkeling 2017

Growing up a surfer, I have been through every size, shape, and thickness of wetsuit on the market. Whether you are looking for a 4/3 hooded suit to beat the cold, or a simple 1mm top to lengthen your tropical vacation, it is always better to be warm!

Why You NEED a Wetsuit

Even water as warm as 80 degrees (think Caribbean) can result in hypothermia over a long enough time period. Now, this is an extreme, but most snorkel or dive sessions last longer than a quick dip in the water and your body can start to lose heat very quickly. It comes down to any water temperature below your resting body temp (98.6) can result in hypothermia.

I have started shivering in 75-degree water and full sun within 15 minutes. Add in any depth to your snorkel or dive session and you are quickly in need of a wetsuit. Scuba divers can attest to hitting a thermocline which is a rapid decrease in water  temperature. A 100 degree day and 80 degree water up top quickly requires a wetsuit ~30 feet under. Trust me, nothing will ruin a dive or snorkel session quicker than becoming cold.

A wetsuit or rash top also keeps any jellyfish or floating matter from direct contact with the skin. Kids will also benefit as most wetsuits and tops add buoyancy and will keep your child warm and using less effort to continue snorkeling!

Mobile viewers…tilt your phone to the side! 🙂

Product ImageBrand/TypePros / ConsBest For:PriceRating
best diving wetsuitU.S. Divers Full Adult Wetsuit-Multiple sizes
-Multiple colors
-Great basic suit
-Check sizes!
Scuba Diving and snorkeling relatively warm water$$5/5
best skinsuit for divingLycra Full Body Diving Suit -Full body coverage
-Flexible
-Front zipper for easy on/off
-Not for super cold water
Light protection. Basically a cover up but good for warmer dives$4.5/5
warmest scuba suitO'Neill Wetsuit Mens 3/2mm Reactor Full Suit-Best brand on the market
-Very warm and still flexible
-Amazing reviews
-Little more pricey
Best suit for staying warm and protected. 3/2 thickness will cover most dives.$$$5/5
best womans wetsuitO'Neill Dive Wetsuits Womens 3 mm Explore Full SuitWomen's version of the above suit
-"Firewall" chest for warmth
-Great for all activities
-3m for warmth
Great for scuba, snorkel, swimming, surfing.$$$5/5
ripcurl wetsuit for divingRip Curl Dawn Patrol Back Zip 3/2 GB Wetsuit-Great brand I own 3 of
-3/2 for extra warmth
-Hydro lock collar to keep water out
-Back zip style may bother some users
-Three colors
Diving, snorkeling, surfing in chilly water or destinations with a decent thermocline$$4.7/5
best springsuit for divingRip Curl Women's Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Spring Suit-Great for warm water and basic protection
-Small key pocket
-Leg length a bit longer than photo
-check sizes
Protection for diving in warm water or simply staying warm. Highly recommend for tropical diving$$4.5/5
best mens springsuitO'Neill Wetsuits Mens 2mm Reactor Spring Suit-O'neil makes great suits
-Good thickness for warm water diving
-Check sizing
-Awesome bang for you buck
-Hidden key pocket
Any water activity where you could get chilly. $5/5