How to Use a Spear Gun Safely

There are a lot of hobbies people get into these days to keep from getting too bored and to have something to look forward to during the weekends aside from the latest DVDs or shopping trips to the mall. 

Among the many weekend activities that people engage in is fishing. However, those who want to up the ante a bit go for something decidedly more adventurous and quite dangerous especially if you are inexperienced in it – spearfishing. OK, so it’s really not something new as spearfishing has been around for millennia, having been done by ancient civilizations initially as a means of livelihood and providing sustenance for their families but as the years went by, it evolved into the extreme competitive sport it is today.

From merely using sharpened sticks with pointed metal ends, spear fishermen are now using elastic-powered spear guns and slings, or compressed gas pneumatic-powered 

spearguns and other specialized equipment designed to quickly hunt fish and adaptable to various aquatic environments. Spearfishing using spear guns is considered one of the most environment-friendly types of fishing since there are no lures or lines left in the water. 

However, those who are new to the realm of spearfishing and would like to learn how to use a spear gun need to be aware that first and foremost it is a weapon and as such, need to be handled with care and responsibility. Never point your gun at other people and never load your gun out of the water. With these safety precautions in mind, here are the steps on how to use a spear gun safely:

Make sure you use a spear gun that is the right size for you so you can have a better grip and control on it. Longer spear guns have more accuracy due to the fact that the water doesn’t slow down a heavy spear or alter its course easily. The downside of it is that they are harder to handle under water and harder to load. 


Always keep your safety triggers engaged. However, as they are also prone to failing, make sure you keep your fingers away from the trigger until it is time to shoot. 

Grip the end of your retrieval line then pull the line back toward the rear of the spear gun and secure it on the line release.

Place the butt of the gun against your hip, thigh or chest depending on what is the most comfortable position for you. Look past the fish before you shoot to make sure no one or nothing else is in the line of fire. Spear lanyards sometimes fail and will affect the spear’s target.

Remember to point the sling away from other people and to load and unload your gun underwater. Never go for fish that are too large for you to handle as you can get dragged around or further underwater. Only shoot enough fish that you can eat and make sure you take them out of the water immediately.

Another thing you need to remember when using spear guns is to quickly ascend to shallow water if the fish are fighting and when you dive underwater remain as still as possible to avoid scaring the fish away. And lastly, fire the spear underwater when you are done, retract the spear but don’t reload the gun.


Lincoln Davis knows all about spear fishing and gears. He's now blogging for a spear fishing products company and would like to share his tips, advice and suggestions about what he has learned about spearfishing.