Do I need to upgrade my gear to go Blue Water spearfishing or can I use what I already have?

Monday, November 30, 2015

This is the #1 most common question I am asked, so I decided to write out my answer in hopes that it will help. The answer to the above questions is both yes, and no. First I will address the reasons why, yes, it’s perfectly fine to use whatever equipment you already have to go blue water spearfishing. After I answer the reasons it’s ok, I will than address the reasons it’s not ok. Here we go…

Many people are unsure of what lurks in the deep unknown, how big and powerful the pelagic fish really are, how aggressive and how plentiful the sharks really are, so on and so on… So, my take on it is this, for a “little while” it’s ok to use whatever equipment you already have just so you know what you are getting yourself into. That way you don’t spend a bunch of money and than realize you don’t ever want to do it again.

What you may also realize after using your regular equipment to try and shoot blue water fish is how different and difficult it may be compared to what you are use to and what your equipment was intended for at the time you originally purchased it and for what geographic area of the world it was intended for. For example: a diver comes from California and he likes to Abalone dive and spearfish on scuba and occasionally freedive spearfish. The water in Cali is roughly 50 degrees with 5-20 foot visibility. In Hawaii the water temperature is 70-83 degrees with 100-200 foot visibility. That right there is enough reason you should understand that a different wet suit will be necessary for the different waters. Typically a 7mm suit for California and a 3mm suit for Hawaii. Again, you can use the 7mm in Hawaii if you want to. Because of the visibility, a speargun used for California is typically going to be “small,” 50cm-75cm, while a typical speargun to be used for blue water spearfishing in Hawaii is 120cm-160cm.

The typical set-up for blue water is a minimum of a speargun 110cm (55 inches) or longer with two (2) 5/8 diameter bands, a good quality float line and a very good quality float. A life guard float is NOT a good float for blue water nor is a $20 float from Walmart. Long blade fins are strongly recommended but not “required.” A wetsuit is also strongly recommended but not required. A dive knife is recommended as it works better than harsh language against a shark, but a knife is also helpful for numerous other uses. Gloves are another important item to have.

So, here’s the reality of using what you already have; you save money. The reality of saving money, you will not get the full experience. A 7mm suit is going to be extremely hot, like wearing a wool sweater in a warm climate. A 50cm-75cm gun is for rock fish that don’t move, not large open water fish with a necessary shooting distance of 15-25 feet. Again, you can do it, but you will likely not be able to shoot anything. Really.

Come for the experience with the gear that you have. Or upgrade your equipment and that way you are ready for anything. Fishing is fishing so nothing is guaranteed, like any kind of hunting, but sooner than later it WILL pay off.

Also, don’t forget that our charters include all necessary equipment for spearfishing in Hawaii! So if you’re thinking about lugging your equipment on the plane with you, save yourself the hassle. We’ve got you covered.

Dive safe,
Rob White


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