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Frequently Asked Questions

Accuracy in a speargun is always more important than distance..

An increase in speargun band power gives more distance but at a sacrifice in accuracy.

 An increase in forward speed of the speargun shaft= an increase in recoil rearward.

Lighter shafts with less power require little or no ballasting.

Most  inaccuracy are due to power of the bands on the speargun.  That being said other influence include speartip weight and flopper,  shaft diameter, shaft length, hardness, straightness, muzzle, and even the barrel will all be variable to consider.

The only way to find your speargun “sweet” spot that is the maximum range, and most accurate is to experiment with various speargun band diameter and lengths taking careful notes for comparisons.

Many divers (especially SCUBA)  prefer to have the trigger placed forward  about 8”to 13" (Use the distance between your hand and your elbow as a reference) from the rear of the speargun. This creates a butt extension , which makes the spear gun much easier to load from the hip.  A plus when an inflated BC’s and other gear makes it difficult to chest load

A freediver generally prefers to have minimal “setback”, which gives a lot more speargun band pull in relation to the length of the speargun.

 If you need optimal range and optimal accuracy then an enclosed track speargun is your best choice

 An enclosed track speargun is beneficial if the shaft is subject to very high band tension (over powered).

 Aiming a mid-handle speargun uses the shaft tip as your aiming point.

 Aiming a Euro or rear handle speargun requires  looking down the shaft and tip. 

 Shooting line is the line attach to your spear shaft and speargun.

 Speargun Freeshafting = no line connecting your shaft to your speargun

 There are three popular choices for spearfishing shooting line: big-game monofilament fishing line (200-400 lb test), dyneema/spectra (200-600 lb test) a synthetic high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE) long wearing line and stainless steel cable (sometimes coated with a thin layer of vinyl to make it easier to handle) Steel cable generally requires only one crimp per attachment

A spearguns Mono must have two crimps per end to handle larger fish because a very large fish will pull hard enough to stretch the mono and it will get thinner when it stretches and can pull out of the crimp.

 Mono is durable and will last for many spearfishing trips. And nicks and tears show easily.  The fact it retaines its shape saves on loading time, as the actual wraps will fall in place.

 Dyneema for spearfishing slwears like iron, and knots superbly even when using thick line.  It is quite forgiving retaining a high amount of weight load even nicked.

 

Various spearfishing slip tip designs exist, generally all are the same basic concept- the  male part, adaptor (head) threaded to the shaft, a shaft collar(also known as a slide ring, smaller diameter than adaptor) securing the line(or cable), and the female part end-tip (point) that sets into the adaptor.

The two most popular points for slip tips are the tricot and pencil point tips, and recently the advanced rocket tips made by SSSG

A well made slip tip is ideal when shooting big pelagics, as they are very streamlined, and penetrate optimally.

If the spearfishing slip tip does not sit perfectly in line with the adaptor, it will cause inaccuracies.  The very tip has to be perfectly stable and straight to maintain the straight flight of the spear

Adjusting a spearfishing slip tip can be tricky- If you can get it to fit without play, it may be too tight to come off resulting in the head pulling back through the fish. Then again, if it’s too loose a slight movement can cause the end tip it to fall off, or move off center causing varying degrees of inaccuracy.

 If your slip tip is rigged with dyneema inspect it before and after you have shot a fish, if it’s nicked or chaffed replace it.

A flopper spear tip is ideal for reef hunting, as it will be easier to work the tip and fish out of holes, using the leverage of the shaft.
A heavier spear shaft will go farther, and retain more energy than a lighter one if properly powered.

The flopper on top (Tahitian style) is usually used on smaller size guns that are used for crevices, rocks, holes and reef hunting. The flopper on top closes by itself when you push the shaft forward so if it gets stuck in a hole it's easier to retrieve

The Flopper down (Hawaiian style) is used when spearfishing in open water because it opens by itself due to gravity when the shaft penetrates the fish.

A Hawaiian type spear point flopper has a tendency to shoot higher than a Tahitian type flopper

Some spearos prefer their flopper to flop freely, in this case put a small O-ring to secure the flopper to the shaft, when it enters the target the O-ring is left behind and the flopper pops opens.

Another term for tabs on a spearfishing shaft is sharkfins, fins, or pins and they come in various varieties and sizes

The retaining ring is the least hydrodynamic method to attach your shooting line to shaft, and can often cause inaccuracy in shaft flight

 The Euro spearguns often come with the hole in the very backend of the shaft as they are usually used to hunt fish in holes.  The backend attachment allows pulling the shaft out of holes and cracks much more efficiently, as the gun, line and shaft are all lined up.
The front hole, sharkfin or doghouse on a spear shaft generally load quicker than the backend hole, as the line does not need to be adjusted in the actual loading mechanism.

 Do not place the shooting line under the speargun shaft, as it will elevate the shaft within the trigger mechanism, making it difficult to load, influence accuracy and most importantly will reduce the pressure the sear needs to retain the shaft. The looped line needs to run along the sides of the shaft and ideally clear the trigger housing, resting behind the last notch.

A speargun trigger mechanism is simply a mechanism that holds and releases a shaft- micro components vary, but basically you have a trigger(used to release the shaft),a sear (to hold the shaft), and a line release, all housed together.

A Euro type trigger mechanism relies on “pinching” the shaft against the inside top of the cartridge. Euro mechanisms have round notches, thus are generally very smooth and quiet on the release. The flat spot on the top of Euro shaft increases the surface area as well as keeps it aligned within the cassette.

 American speargun trigger mechanisms have square notches and use 90 degree angles (on both the shaft and sear) to lock the shaft and sear together.  This 90 degree lock is very secure, allowing for very heavy loads to be applied.  American mechanisms do not change much in smoothness as you increase the load, so the pull remains quite consistent

Always inspect your speargun bands the day before the dive- deterioration, nicks, overly stretched bands are all indications to replace them.

One speargun band is fast to load.  One band with 3 tabs gives you 3 power options

Two speargun bands give you aside from twice the power, more options on powering up…but they are slower and can tangle easier than 1 band.


Amber is the natural color of latex. It is translucent; hence UV rays can reach the inner layers and cause damage from the inside out, which means that these bands will wear faster.  In general, amber speargun bands are softer, smoother, and springier, thus have less of recoil.

Black latex is formed by the addition of carbon. It is a proven method to prevent the aging of rubber (think tires), the addition of carbon has no effect on the speargun bands performance.  Commonly (with some variations) black latex has formulas which result in bands that are harder to pull, have more snap, and recoil.

 The loading effort of a spearguns band is not a good indicator of power and of how good the band is. For example a ¾ band is thick and hard to pull, compared to a 5/8 band, yet the pounds of pull one gets from a ¾” band calculated with the efficiency of same band the 5/8” wins hands down

A typical high-quality speargun power band at 300% stretch provides :

9/16"diameter rubber about 80 pounds of force

 5/8"diameter band about 100 pounds

 3/4"(20mm) diameter about 140 pounds of force.  

The power in bands is linearly cumulative, so if you load three 100 pound speargun bands, you will get 300 pounds of force.

Spearfishing Wishbones can be made of dyneema, cable, or metal

Solid metal bridles, common in Euro guns, are noisier than stainless steel cable and much noisier than dyneema , but retain there shape, and can be easier to load with thick gloves

Spectra/dyneema for spearfishing bridles (wishbones) is quiet, strong, and wear well.

A Pneumatic, Farter, Air gun, Burp gun, Tube gun are all different names for the same speargun

A pneumatic speargun, is more efficient because the entire length of the barrel is the length of the propulsion area, as a band gun, 1/3 of total barrel length is already wasted that is the length of rubber in the "rested" state.

With Pneumatic spearguns the shaft sits inside a tube chamber, similar to a riffle chamber, making them very accurate similar to an enclosed track gun but much unlike a railgun.

A downside with pneumatic speargunis that very few people can load a long one because a 100 cm gun needs 200 cm loading length, thus a “knee loader is needed.

Another downside to pneumatics is that they can be noisier than a band gun, although the newer pneumatics are extremely quiet- and do not spook fish around the reef

 When referring to fish “jumping the shaft” from the fart sound produced by a pneumatic as compared to the silent bands- This has been shown to be false, as the vibrations of the bands will travel faster through the water column compared to sound from a pneumatic

Ideally with spearfishing pole spear you want a 300% band pull/draw length

Spearfishing band stretch of 300% stretch from a 1/2"od x 1/4" id is 60lbs of pull. This is the size band most commonly used, this will also vary on the quality your band is in.

A spearfishing pole spear should have a nonslip grip as close as possible end is to get as much usable forward propulsion out of the band.

 If you have a two or three-piece spear use a few wraps of Teflon tape ( air compressor and/or plumbing section of most hardware stores) on the threads.  This keeps the spearfishing pole spear together, but more importantly prevent it from oxidizing if kept attached for an extended amount of time. 

Some spearguns come rigged with a shock cord (where the shooting line is attached to the muzzle of the gun).

Shock cords principle use is to make your spearfishing shooting line lie taught to the barrel

The spearfishing reel is simply a line storage device. It is there for you should the fish make a strong run, allowing you to surface and still be tethered

A spearfishing reel is also more convenient when fast drop diving- small reefs, kelp paddies, or competition,  because you jump in and out of the water fequently and you don't have to deal with the float line each time.

 As a safety measure 25-75 ft piece of spearfishing floatline with a balserofloat attached to a reel/gun combo provides a safety buffer, in case the reel happens to lock up or gets spooled, in which case you grab the floatline muscle the fish up.

When using a speargun with a reel tighten it to 90% of the breaking strength of your shock cord, this prevents the fish from immediately running off an excess amount of line.

Reels can make a speargun negative bouyancy

A spearfishing reel has many pros, but most agree a float line/float combo is more effective and safer for use with larger bluewater pelagics

Polypropelene floatlines are cheaper but tend to tangle and knot up quite easily

A disadvantages of the tube style float line is that it's bulky, taking up valuable space in the divebag and boat.  Thus we developed the LowPro floatline the only one of its kind- a very low profile narrow floatline

 Tube type floatline should never be knotted or kinked, best to spool them on a designated spool.

 Core material for Floatline vary.  A Dacron or spectra core is more supple and less likely to kink, it is the preferred choice over mono.

 Contradictory to popular belief a high strength dyneema core is not necessary as the Floatline is as strong as your weakest link, in most cases your 200#-400# shooting line

 The simplest and quickest method of attaching a floatline to your speargun is to simply  attach it directly to the gun on the butt or handle, leaving the gun in-line with the spear and float.

A spearfishing bungie (we call it a Balsero Bungie) is often used with the float and floatline as a buffer, some use it in the front others attach to the rear, followed by another smaller float (BalseroFloat)

 If faced with the question- Spearfishing Reel or Floatline? Try them both out and see which one you like better....both have advantages but it still comes down to personal preference

Floats, also known as Kill floats, come in all shapes and sizes- main purpose of a Kill float is to tire the fish, ultimately drowning him, as well as let others on the surface know your whereabouts.

 Some floats double as a kill float, and small platform to carry spearfishing gear.

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