For spearfishing, you need to choose the right quality equipment and good weapons. The safety and success of the hunter depends on this, and the very opportunity to engage in such an exciting and extraordinary hobby. Regular hunting and fishing does not require such harsh conditions. Therefore, everyone who decides to engage in spearfishing should thoroughly prepare, carefully choosing equipment for themselves and regularly take care of it.
The diving equipment includes: a mask; snorkel; wetsuit; weight belt; flippers; weapon.
Many hunters affectionately call this primary element an individual window into the underwater world. Now sports shops offer a fairly wide range of various masks. And here it is impossible to give the only correct recommendations to a specific person on the selection of this part of underwater equipment. To choose a mask, it is necessary to take into account the shape and structure of the face, the sensitivity of the skin to the material from which it is made (silicone, rubber), and the hunting conditions. The most important thing is to follow the basic requirements that apply to this element. The same principles should be followed when choosing the rest of the underwater equipment.
When choosing a mask for hunting underwater, the most basic requirement should be taken into account: it must fit snugly to the head, preventing water from seeping inside. To check the tightness before buying, it must be applied to the face and air is sucked in through the nose. If the mask sticks and does not fall, then the choice was made correctly.
In no case should the strap be tightly tightened in order to achieve a tighter fit of this part to the head, otherwise, after a few hours of being under water, a red “rim” may appear on the face, which will not disappear for a long time later, or a headache.
For spearfishing, you should choose a mask with the greatest visibility, but there are no special requirements for the size of the space under it, since hunting in most cases takes place at a shallow depth and a one-time supply of air is enough to prevent it from sticking.
Some hunters have acute allergic reactions to rubber masks; from prolonged contact with such a product, the skin on the face begins to redden and peel off. This means that you should purchase a silicone analogue.
Often, imported masks are very brightly colored and divers are afraid to buy them, fearing to scare away the fish, although practice shows that this is far from the case. Transparent silicone masks are of little use for spearfishing, and models equipped with windows located on the sides are completely unsuitable. The reflected glare of the sun will penetrate through them and blind the hunter.
In case of poor eyesight, when the diver cannot clearly see objects from a distance of 1-3m, the mask should be equipped with corrective lenses or glasses that will eliminate this defect. Otherwise, the hunter simply will not notice most of the fish hiding under trunks and branches or in dense underwater algae.
For masks of foreign production, glasses with diopters can be purchased in a store, but in domestic models they will have to be inserted by ourselves. The easiest way to equip a mask with corrective lenses is to insert regular glasses into it, after removing the temples from them.
Choosing a breathing tube
The requirements for breathing tubing for spearfishing are significantly higher than for models used for diving. This is due to the fact that hunters constantly and inseparably monitor the situation under water, control the behavior of the fish that have been harpooned, or they have to catch up with the one that fell off and left. That is, they are much more than divers, they perform actions and movements.
The most important thing for the breathing tube is that its upper part should be movable relative to the mouthpiece, this is achieved through a corrugated insert. Such mobility is necessary because, while swimming among the underwater thickets and bushes, a tube with a rigid attachment transmits its vibrations to the mouthpiece, which rests against the palate. And literally in a short time, it can be wounded to blood.
But, on the other hand, in the presence of a corrugated insert, breathing is slightly hampered, since it does not cause a complete dumping of water, the gurgling of which scares off underwater inhabitants. This drawback can be eliminated by using a special flexible tube with an inner smooth surface, or by installing a bottom valve that will constantly discharge the remaining water.
The mouthpiece is selected individually, which is called “by the teeth”. The best are considered to be silicone models that repeat the anatomical structure of the oral cavity. Most importantly, the mouthpiece must be chosen so that after five to six hours of swimming and hunting, the jaws do not hurt from constant squeezing.
The top valve is the final part of the breathing tube. There are no special requirements for its design, if only when surfacing and diving, it does not touch branches, algae or grass and does not cling to them. But the benefits, moreover, proven in practice, it brings not small, because thanks to it, during a dive, bubbles do not come out of the tube, frightening underwater inhabitants. The upper valve allows the hunter to float under the duckweed or water lily leaves, and also does not allow ice water to flow to the teeth when hunting in winter.
It can be very difficult to acquire a breathing tube for spearfishing that would satisfy all the requirements. Therefore, experienced divers make it from improvised and suitable parts, or they complete two or three models bought in a store.
Choosing a wetsuit
This type of equipment should create and provide the hunter with comfortable conditions during spearfishing in any body of water. As a rule, in the sea and in a stagnant lake, the water on the surface is much warmer than at a depth of 5-10 meters. Many beginners think that when swimming in a pond with warm water, which is located in an area with a hot climate, you cannot freeze even without a wetsuit, and they are very mistaken. Indeed, during spearfishing, you have to move very slowly, helping yourself not with your hands, but only with fins, so even at a water temperature of 25 degrees you can freeze literally in an hour.
The wetsuit also serves to protect the hunter from external mechanical damage: in the seas, you can injure yourself against corals, touch a burning plant or animal, prick on the sharp fins of fish, and in a fresh water body you can bump into a sunken tree with sticking branches and twigs or fittings.
Depending on the warming effect, all wetsuits are divided into two types:
- Wet. In these models, water can be poured under them in a small amount, but it heats up quickly from the body, and thanks to the special structure of the rubber from which the suit is made (neoprene), this heat is perfectly preserved.
- Dry. They do not let a drop of water pass under them. For their manufacture, sheet rubber or rubberized fabric is used, which does not have the heat-insulating properties of neoprene, therefore, warm clothes must be worn under a dry-type suit.
Each type of wetsuit has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, wet models are much more comfortable when swimming, they feel less tired, and they allow you to dive to the maximum depth. Plus they are more durable, so you don’t have to worry about external damage, punctures or tears.
The main advantage of a dry-type wetsuit is the ability to swim in it for as long as you like in cold water, even during severe frosts.
Wet suits, mostly imported, are presented in a wide variety of models in sports stores. But for hunting underwater, it is advisable to choose one in which there is no inner fabric base. A wet-type wetsuit must fit snugly against the human body so that water that gets under it cannot roll freely, carrying away precious heat.
The most optimal thickness of neoprene used in the manufacture of underwater equipment is 7 mm. Moreover, the more elastic this material, the more comfortable it will be for the hunter to hold on and swim under water. In the absence of external protection from nylon on the suit, its service life is significantly reduced: fish spines and fins, sharp leaves and driftwood are able to cut it so that it loses its thermal insulation properties. Many experienced hunters often wear an old tracksuit on wet models, which serves as good protection.
It is almost impossible to buy dry wetsuits today, since many manufacturers have stopped producing them. Some craftsmen prefer to make them themselves from 0.7-1mm thick rubber sheet, taking into account the following requirements:
- For the face of the helmet and the cuffs of the sleeves, softer rubber is used, and they are made without seams and should fit the body tightly. For a helmet, the absence of seams is especially important, since a mask is put on over it;
- The size of the product should be larger by 8-10 units. If the hunter, for example, wears size 50 clothes, then it is advisable to make a wetsuit of size 58-60;
- There should be no seams on the top and bottom skirts, which ensure tightness.
The need for a gigantic dry suit is that several sets of woolen clothing are usually worn under it. In addition, after several hours of underwater winter hunting, the limbs largely lose mobility and flexibility, so only a large suit can be removed without help.
What should be the weight belt
The use of a wetsuit gives the underwater hunter a certain buoyancy, which should be close to zero. It is then that there is an easy dive to depth, return to the surface and hovering, if necessary, in the water column.
To achieve zero buoyancy, hunters use a weight belt, which is usually made of a thick and wide nylon belt, hung with lead weights of different shapes and weights.
For hunting in summer, a belt weighing more than 5 kg is used, and in winter – up to 16-17 kg. His buckle should have a fastener that can be quickly and easily fastened / unfastened, but must be protected from accidental disclosure.
In some weight belts, bags are used instead of lead weights, where bags with shot are placed. Although it lies softer on the waist, the pockets become clogged with silt and dirt under water, and their wet fasteners freeze in the cold and do not open. But the main disadvantage of these belts is that the free ends of the kukans cannot be wound on the front weights.
During spearfishing, a person has a gun in one hand, and the other is pressed to the body, therefore, movement is carried out with the help of his legs. And to ensure a smooth and quiet swim, but when powerful and fast thrusts are needed, fins are needed.
When choosing them, it is worth considering where and in what conditions the submariner will hunt. If it will be in summer or autumn in fresh water, then the fins should not have protruding protrusions clinging to driftwood and branches. For hunting at sea or in winter, this requirement can be disregarded.
Fins galoshes should be exactly the size of the legs, otherwise the tight ones will squeeze the feet, and the loose ones will fly off when swimming. If you have to hunt with deep dives and movement against a strong current, or the hunter himself is of considerable height and weight, then it is better to choose stiffer and larger fins.