There are two types of spearos that decide that gravitate towards the pole spear. The first is the new spearo. Cost of entry and ease of use are two of the big reasons people start with the pole spear. The other type of spearo that gravitates towards the pole spear is one who has some time under his or her belt, and knows how fun these things are. I like to classify myself as such, but tend to use my speargun when I want to fill my freezer with fish. Whether you’re new or old, the pole spear is a viable tool that has the potential to stick a lifetime of fish. Without further adieu, here’s how to use a pole spear.
Anatomy of a Pole Spear
A modern pole spear is usually made of one of three materials: fiberglass, carbon fiber, or aluminum. They can be one giant section or packaged as several connecting pieces for portability. In any case, one end will connect to a spear point and the other will connect to a band that propels the spear. The band is generally a combination of surgical tubing and line.
There are quite a few designs and variations of spear tips:
Each has their benefits based on the type of quarry being pursued and beginners generally start off with a three prong spear tip when hunting close-to-shore reef fish. For spearos that fully commit to pole spearfishing, the slip tip is a must have.
How to Use a Pole Spear
The real reason you’re here is to figure out how to use a pole spear.
First, always point the spear tip in a safe direction. It should never be pointed towards you or another person. Legal fish only.
In the most basic of examples, the band is placed between your dominant hand’s thumb and index finger. In this same hand, grip the spear shaft like you would a club or bat.
At the same time, your off-hand will grab the shaft towards the spear tip end, and pull the spear shaft down towards your gripping hand. Once this motion is complete, grip the pole spear again with your dominant hand. The goal is to grip about a foot away from the spear tip. At this point, you are loaded and ready to shoot.
To fire, release all 5-fingers and allow the spear to fire like a dart through the water, towards a fish. You will want to “catch” the band as the pole flies through the water. Generally, you want to fire within a pole spear’s length of your quarry.
When to Load
There are two schools of thoughts on when to load. Many spearos swear by loading at the surface, as this is the most stealthy way to readily fire your pole spear towards a skittish fish. Some will also claim that this helps conserve energy by reducing the amount of motions while in hunting territory, or at bottom.
Others will say the most efficient time to load a is while swimming towards the bottom, ready to shoot when presented with an opportunity.
The last group will suggest loading the spear when you are presented with an opportunity. The argument is that this is the most air-efficient way to hunt.
In my opinion, it all depends on the type of pole spearfishing you’ll be doing and the area in which you’re at.