Spearfishing FAQ’s 1. What is the difference between a Spearfishing and Scuba Diving Wetsuit? Although both Scuba Diving and Spearfishing suits are both made out of Neoprene, the similarities between the two pretty much stop there. The reason for this is because a Spearfishing suit warms our body in an entirely different way. When we are Spearfishing, our main focus is to slow our heart rate and minimise our movement so we can maximise our breath hold, and not scare away the fish. We are creating very little natural body heat by utilising these techniques, so an Open Cell Wetsuit is required. Open Cell Neoprene is basically bare neoprene that when worn, is designed to stick to your skin. Because there are no zips used on a Spearfishing suit either, the suit is basically watertight, and very little if any water gets inside the suit. You need to use some kind of lubricant to help get the suit on, but once this dries you will be able to spend hours in the water without getting cold. This is simply because water cannot enter the suit, and the neoprene retains and reflects body heat that is created by you. 2. What is the right length Speargun for me? The best length Speargun for you is the one that is best suited for the conditions you most often dive in, and the species you most regularly target. There is no point owning a Speargun if the visibility doesn’t allow you to see the tip of the shaft. One myth that needs to be dispelled is that a longer Speargun does not necessarily mean more power, you can just as easily have a smaller length gun such as a 750mm or 900mm that is just as powerful as an 1150mm or 1250mm Speargun. Even a small Speargun such as a 750mm has an accurate range from eyesight of 4.5mm, so if the visibility is only 5 or 6 metres then that is the type of length you should be using. Smaller length Spearguns (anything up to 1150mm) are great for using around the reef and in limited visibility. Reef fish such as Butterfish, Moki and Snapper tend to move around a lot quicker so you need a shorter length gun so you can track them in the water much more effectively. Longer Spearguns are used for much clearer Bluewater, and areas such as pinnacles and off-shore reefs. When targeting Kingfish or other Bluewater species such as Kahawai or Trevally, a longer gun will be much better because it will give you more range. The fish won’t come as close to you when the visibility is better! If you are looking for a good all round length Speargun to cover all of your bases, then anything from 1000mm to 1150mm will be your best fit… 3. How often should I Re-Rig my Speargun? Re-rigging your Speargun is something that Spearos often overlook, and it can have dire consequences if your rigging is not maintained. A lot of people have had that horrible feeling when a trophy Kingfish or Snapper gets away because the nylon snaps on a weak point!!! A good rule is to always check your rigging (nylon, crimps, bungee, and pigtail swivel) before and after every day’s diving. Always check the full length or the nylon by running your two fingers down it. If you can feel any small nicks or worn areas, re-rig your gun, a good sized fish will easily exploit these weak points. Take a little extra time and check around the areas in which the nylon loops through the shaft and the pigtail swivel, and also where the nylon is crimped. These are high wearing areas, and it is very easy to miss these at a glance. If the nylon has lost its clarity and has gone a “milky” colour, again re-rig your Speargun. Finally, check your bungee by pulling firmly on it and extending the bungee its full length. Check to see if there is any cracking or sun damage on the rubber. If the rubber does fail, chances are you won’t lose your fish, but it becomes very niggley reloading your gun as you will now have excess nylon and bungee cord floating around everywhere! 4. I don’t have a boat, can I still go Spearfishing? Yes most definitely!! Ask any Spearo, and they will tell you that some of their finest catches have been only metres from the shore! Shore Diving is a very cost effective and non-time consuming way to get out Spearfishing. Any area off the beach that has some kind of reef structure will hold fish. And you will be surprised at what kind of fish these small structures can hold… From the very top of the North Island through to the bottom of the South Island there is some fantastic Shore diving to be had. Areas such as Kaikoura, Wellington’s South Coast, The Coromandel and North Auckland’s Discovery Coast, are just some areas that you can walk straight in off the beach and go Spearfishing. A good tip to find out if the area is going to be good for Diving is to look at the coastal area above the water that surrounds it. The underwater topography generally follows that of what is above water. Look out for headlands running into the ocean, or broken rocks or boulders along the shoreline. The action under the water might well surprise you! 5. Why should I use a float and a floatline? In my opinion, a float and floatline are the most important pieces of safety equipment that you can have. In the height of summer with boats buzzing around everywhere, Spearos are very hard to be seen as you are either under the water, or very little of you is showing when you are on the surface. A bright orange float with a dive flag on it means that your chances of being seen by boaties are much greater. By Law, any boat that passes by a Float and Flag must stay at least 200m away from the float, or if they do have to pass through that 200m circumference, slow down to 5 knots or less. A coke bottle or something similar generally doesn’t cut it. Most skippers will often mistake this for some kind of recreational Cray pot or longline. Plus it is nearly impossible to be seen, especially in the fading light. A floatline with a fish stringer on one end is also a great idea. This allows you to store your fish on the floatline so you don’t have to swim back to the boat or the shore each time you shoot a fish to unload them. The fish will float at the end closest to the buoy, keeping them up off the bottom, and a safe distance away from you, just in case anything bigger than you should show up. Plus they create a pretty god berley trail!!! 6. Where are all of the fish? Good question, the only way to find the fish is to get out under the water, and start the hunt. So what are you waiting for? If the weather is no good, then check out our Species ID Videos. They might give you a few pointers.