Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Pole Spears Reviewed

Find the best pole spear for underwater fishing with this complete review. Our guide offers 1 piece and 2 piece units for spearfishing.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Pole Spears Reviewed

Find the best pole spear for underwater fishing with this complete review. Our guide offers 1 piece and 2 piece units for spearfishing.

by Andrew

by Andrew

It can be very rewarding to catch and cook your own food. It's physically challenging, and can you a great sense of pride. One of the best ways to do this is to go spearfishing. It’s a great way to stay in shape since you swim underwater to spear the fish.

You use a 4 to 6-foot pole to project at the fish. If you’re looking to get into spearfishing, then I recommend this guide for finding the perfect pole spear.

Preview

Product

Collapsed Length

Material

Check Price

JBL Shaka Carbon Fiber 7' Travel Polespear

JBL Shaka

26 inches

Aluminum & carbon fiber weave

Scuba Choice 5' Travel Spearfishing Two-Piece...

Scuba Choice 5’

24 inches

Fiberglass & stainless steel tip

Spearfishing Traveler Pole Spear with 5 Prong...

Mako Spearfishing Traveler

27.5 inches

Aluminum

JBL Breakdown Travel Polespear, 6'

JBL Breakdown

26 inches

Aluminum & anodized hard gold coating

Scuba Choice 4.5' One Piece Spearfishing...

Scuba Choice 4.5’

-

Fiberglass

Scuba Choice 6' One Piece Spearfishing Fiber...

Scuba Choice 6’

-

Fiberglass

HeadHunter Predator Pole Spear

Headhunter Predator Pole Spear

62 inches

Carbon fiber


Benefits of Choosing the Right Pole Spear

All types of anglers need to have the best equipment to suit their needs. When choosing a new pole spear, you should determine the kind of environment in which you will be fishing. Are you a saltwater or freshwater fishermen? Do you plan to travel with your pole spear?

Answering these questions will help you decide what type of spearfishing pole you need from our buyer’s guide. If you’re a saltwater angler, then you should buy a pole that is resistant to salt corrosion. Some poles are also designed to catch larger saltwater fish. If you plan to travel with your pole, then you need a collapsible spear.


Buyer’s Guide: Choosing a Quality Pole Spear

Usage

Where and how do you plan to use your new pole spear? If you are planning to travel with your spear, then we recommend a collapsible spear. You should consider the type of fish that you intend to hunt. Smaller fish move at a quicker pace, so you need a lighter spear.

Larger fish move slowly but require a heavier spear to penetrate their tough skin. The water depth will play a role in the length of your spear. Shallow waters require a short and maneuverable pole, while deepwater requires a longer one.

Durability/Material Quality

Most pole spears on the market today are composed of carbon fiber, aluminum, or fiberglass. All of the materials are different weights, so they will affect the power of your throw. Carbon fiber spears are the fastest underwater.

They are designed to catch small quick fish. A heavier material, like aluminum, will be slower in the water but have greater stopping power. Fiberglass and hybrid materials fall somewhere in the middle of speed and stopping power. All of these pole spears are designed to be durable as long as you maintain them properly.

Quality/Design

Pole spears come in 1, 2, and 3-piece designs. Most poles that are made for transporting are either 2 or 3-pieces so that you can take them apart and store them easily. One-piece poles are sometimes said to be more sturdy, but with modern pole spears, that’s rarely the case. The grip should be comfortable and easy to hold while swimming.

Pole Spear Balance

This term refers to the center of gravity of a pole spear. Pole spears are normally balanced with more weight towards the front of the shaft so that it can glide through the water with the rear following smoothly. The front will glide the flight path. This makes pole spears more aquadynamic.

Length and Weight

The length of your pole spear will depend on the type of fish that you plan to hunt. A midrange size will be about seven feet long. It’ll give you a range of hunting scenarios to work with. If you plan to hunt in deep blue water, then a longer pole spear would be better. A spear of around 8 to 9 feet will give you more power to take down large ocean fish. The weight will be determined by the type of material. Carbon fiber is the lightest option.

Pole Spear Tips

There are many different types of spearfishing tips available. A common one is called a paralyzer tip. It has 3-prongs and is designed to catch small fish that won’t dislodge the barb once it's set. A flopper tip consists of a barb that opens after it pierces the fish. It will also hold the fish on the spear. Slip tips are designed to break off the spear after you pierce the fish. The tip stays attached to your spear with a cable. It helps you reel in a fish quickly.

pole spear tips

image source: linghunt.com

Ease of Use

Learning how to spearfish can be a challenging endeavor. You need your pole spear to be easy to use for a beginner. Pole spears that have built-in comfort grips and are easier on the hands when underwater. The rubber band on our spear is used as a spring to store energy to power the spear when you shoot. You should get a pole spear that has easy to hold rubber bands.

Price and Warranty

The products that we have reviewed below all come in different price ranges. Set a budget and stick to it, but remember to keep in mind that some products may have more value than others. That means they might be worth the extra money. All of the products below include a warranty, so make sure you activate it.


7 Best Pole Spears Reviewed

1. JBL Shaka

Our Top Pick!

Material

Aluminum with carbon fiber weave

Pieces/Prongs

3/1

Collapsed Length

26 inches

Key Feature

Carbon fiber hybrid composition

Length

7 feet

Warranty

1 year

Sometimes it’s nice to just have the best of the best product on the market, especially when it comes to catching your dinner. The JBL Shaka is our top pick for pole spears. It is a fan favorite on the market with its lightweight yet powerful design.

The JBL Shaka is composed of aluminum with unidirectional carbon fiber weaving to give it strength. The aircraft-grade aluminum makes this pole super lightweight. The carbon fiber gives it an added strength element without increasing the weight. With these combined materials, this pole spear is perfect for use in rocks and reefs. It features a breakaway rock point tip for hunting larger fish. You'll be able to reel your catch in right after shooting it.

 I took this spear out to a small reef spot, and I thought it handled amazingly well. I liked that it was lightweight enough for me to hold it for most of the day without getting hand cramps. The length was ideal for reef fishing as I could maneuver it easily. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast this pole left my hand. 

As Brian noted on JBL’s website, “... this pole spear delivered blistering speed and crushing power.”

Pros
  • 3-piece travel design
  • Carbon fiber and aluminum material
  • Breakaway tip
Cons
  • May not be heavy enough to spear large fish

2. Scuba Choice 5’

Best Portable Pole Spear

Material

Fiberglass with a stainless steel tip

Pieces/Prongs

2/3

Collapsed Length

24 x 24 x 12 inches

Key Feature

Superb portability

Length

5 feet

Warranty

30 days

One of the many joys of spearfishing is jumping from reef to reef to find your next catch. You need the best portable pole spear, which is the Scuba Choice model. They’ve designed this pole to be short and lightweight. It also breaks into two pieces so that you can easily carry it in a sling.

This Scuba Choice model is just five feet long, so it’s perfect for catching small fish. If you’re looking to hunt bigger game, then you may need a longer pole spear. It is made of a fiberglass composite with a stainless steel paralyzer tip. The paralyzer tip is 3-pronged, which is perfect for spearing small fish. It provides a lot of stopping power, but it’s still light and aquadynamic. It comes with a carrying bag so that you can sling it over your shoulder.

I enjoyed using this pole spear when I went for some blue shallow water fishing. I thought that the length was sufficient for smaller areas, such as reefs and bays, but it’s not long enough for deepwater spearfishing. It offers fantastic maneuverability, which is good for beginners.

According to Christopher from Scuba Choice, “I have used it about 30 times already and it is perfect.”

Pros
  • Five feet long so it’s easy to transport
  • 3-pronged paralyzer tip
  • Includes a carrying bag
Cons
  • The connecting threads are not as secure as other models

3. Mako Spearfishing Traveler

Value for Money

Material

Aluminum

Pieces/Prongs

3/5

Collapsed Length

7/27.5 inches

Key Feature

5-prong paralyzer tip

Length

6 feet

Warranty

3 years

Sometimes spending more money can be worth it when it comes to your fishing gear. In this case, the Mako Spearfishing Traveler is the best value for money option on the market. It is portable, lightweight, and super quick in the water.

Mako created this pole spear to be a 3 in 1 all-around package, which makes it a great value. The full length of the spear with all three pieces is 6 feet and 7 inches. This is a great length for spearing medium to large fish. You can also remove one of the pole sections to create a smaller pole that is ideal for small fish and reefs. It comes with a 5-prong paralyzer tip with barbs for a “sure grip” every time. The 5-prong tip is perfect for medium to large fish, but not for small fish. The 5-prong tip may damage the meat.

I have always liked using Mako products when I’m out in the water. They have proven durable and high-quality over the years. This pole spear is a fantastic value. I used it in deep blue water when hunting lionfish. I also shortened it and took it out to the shallow reef water.

As Richard Cook stated, “The travel spear is well made and accurate. I have enjoyed using it.”

Pros
  • 3-pieces with varying pole length
  • 5-prong paralyzer tip
  • Comes with the Mako nitro rubber band
Cons
  • The threads are custom to Mako so you may not be able to add other tips

4. JBL Breakdown

Best Break Down Pole Spear

Material

Aluminum with anodized hard gold coating

Pieces/Prongs

3/1

Collapsed Length

26 inches

Key Feature

Breaks down into 3 easy to carry pieces

Length

6 feet

Warranty

1 year

When you’re on the hunt for your next catch, you need to go to where the fish are. The more fish, the more you’ll catch. You need a pole spear that can break down easily on the boat. This JBL model is the best break down pole spear on the market.

JBL has come out with another fantastic pole spear that is sure to please all of us spearos. It is composed of aluminum, which is a bit heavier than carbon fiber. It will have the stopping power to take out big fish but will be a bit slower in the water.

Aluminum is durable, so it will be able to withstand misfires into the reef. It is a combined length of 6 feet. It's maneuverable but long enough to maintain a flight path underwater. It comes with a single barbed paralyzer tip, so that’s less surface area than its 3-pronged counterparts. JBL pole spears rarely disappoint me, and this one was no different. I thought it broke down nicely into a manageable size. I could easily take it apart, even with my gloves still on.

According to Mike S. on his recent Caribbean trips, “It is light and maneuverable, very good for nailing fish hanging out on coral heads or wrecks.”

Pros
  • Aluminum construction for durability
  • Breaks down into 3 easy pieces
  • Lightweight single barb paralyzer tip
Cons
  • May not have enough prongs to spear larger fish

5. Scuba Choice 4.5’

Best Lionfish Spear

Material

Fiberglass

Pieces/Prongs

1/3

Collapsed Length

-

Key Feature

Perfect length for catching lionfish near reefs

Length

4.5 feet

Warranty

30 days

Whether you’re new to spearfishing or an old veteran, you’ve probably had experiences with hunting for lionfish. It’s one of the most popular fish to tag and bag all over the world. One pole spear that can keep up is the Scuba Choice 4.5’. It is the best lionfish spear on the market.

Here we have another Scuba Choice spear that takes the lead in this category. This model is made of a fiberglass material that is the cheapest option on the market. It is heavier than carbon fiber and offers more flex, which can be useful in tight quarters.

Some anglers claim that fiberglass doesn't hold up well against reefs, but depending on where you're hunting, it might be fine. This pole spear is the perfect length for catching lionfish since they tend to lay low near the ocean floor. You need a quick action spear to tag them.

One feature that I liked about this spear was the 3-prong lionfish barb. I never had to worry about the barb coming loose once I tagged a fish. I thought the length was perfect for spearing lionfish. Once released from my grip, the pole was lightning fast.

Pros
  • Perfect length for lionfish at 4.5’
  • 3-prong barb
  • Affordable fiberglass material
Cons
  • Fiberglass construction may not hold up as well as other materials

6. Scuba Choice 6’

Best 6 Ft Pole Spear

Material

Fiberglass

Pieces/Prongs

1/3

Collapsed Length

-

Key Feature

Versatile length for spearing multiple different types of fish

Length

6 feet

Warranty

30 days

Here we have another product from Scuba Choice. This product is similar to the previous model that we reviewed, but it is longer. We chose this one as the best 6 ft pole spear available. The length is a perfect midrange pole for spearing both big and small game.

Scuba Choice has released multiple similar poles in different lengths, and they all perform well. This model is made of the same fiberglass as the previous product mentioned above. Fiberglass is the most affordable on the market, but it may not withstand heavy abuse, so keep that in mind. If you're new to spearfishing, you're bound to hit the reef a few times. It features a 3-prong paralyzer tip with barbs. The length is perfect for hunting all types of fish, including lionfish and wahoo.

I enjoyed using this pole spear for similar reasons that I enjoyed using the previous Scuba Choice model. I liked that this one was a bit longer so that I could have the stopping power for larger fish. The included rubber sling performed well, and it didn’t bend the pole too much. I would recommend this pole spear for people who are looking to hunt fish in open water.

Pros
  • Ideal length for big and small fish
  • Great for deep open water spearing
  • Includes a 3-prong paralyzer tip
Cons
  • Doesn't break down, so it's not ideal for traveling

7. Headhunter Predator

Top of the Range

Material

Carbon fiber

Pieces/Prongs

2/1

Collapsed Length

62 inches

Key Feature

Includes a slip tip to keep your fish in place so you can pull them in

Length

9 feet

Warranty

limited lifetime

If you’re an avid pole spear angler or a beginner looking for the best of the best, then this is the pole spear for you. We chose the Headhunter Predator as the top of the range pole spear. It packs loads of features into a beautifully designed spear that will surely impress spearos.

The Headhunter Predator comes with a slip tip, which is different than the other products that we have reviewed. Once you spear a fish, the slip tip will remain in the fish with a cable attached to your spear. It ensures that the fish doesn’t dislodge the barb.

The cable can be drawn into you like a reel. It is made of a composite carbon fiber material that is light and fast underwater. The 2-piece design allows for some flex when you are pulling back the sling. I loved testing out this spear on a recent freediving trip. I was mainly hunting grouper and kingfish. I was pleasantly surprised at the stopping power of the slip tip. It also has great length, which increases your chances with big fish.

As Frank stated, “Its really easy to use with the slip tip setup and works great in blue water.”

Pros
  • 9 feet long for hunting large game
  • Includes a slip tip
  • Carbon fiber composite that is light and fast
Cons
  • The slip tip cable can become frayed over time

Pole Spears vs. Spear Guns

In this article, we have been focused on pole spears for fishing. Many of you may be wondering about spearguns as well. While these two products are used to accomplish the same goal, there are some key differences.

Spearguns are either pneumatic or band-powered. The pneumatic ones expel the shaft by using air. They are powerful are accurate. Band-powered spearguns use rubber bands to propel the spear through the water, much like a pole spear. Both types have a pistol grip and trigger.

Spearguns are normally more powerful and more expensive than pole spears. They often have a greater learning curve since the machinery is more complicated. Depending on your fishing environment, you will have better luck with one or the other.

For huge fish that require a lot of power to take down, then you should use a spear gun. For most medium and small fish, then a pole spear is sufficient. Always check with your local laws to ensure you are in compliance with spearfishing rules.


How to Use a Pole Spear - Spearing Tips

Now that you’ve found the best product for your needs let's discuss how to use it. First, you should review the safety tips below to make sure you don’t injure yourself.

Tip #1:

You should never go spearfishing alone. Make sure you always have a dive buddy that knows where you are.

Tip #2:

Practice pole spear safety. Never point your spear at anything that isn’t your intended target. Never hold your pole spear in the ready position on the boat.

Tip #3:

Be aware of ocean predators such as sharks. Sometimes sharks will go after your catch before you get a chance to bring it in, so be on the lookout.

  • Prowling
    Most fish that you hunt with a pole spear are slow-moving and stick close to the reef. You need to get as close as possible to your target without scaring it off.Monitor the movement of the fish, and use camouflage such as rocks, to avoid detection.
  • Shooting
    Now for the fun part! To ready your pole spear, loop the band through your hand using your forefinger and thumb. Move your hand up the shaft as much as necessary to gain more power.
  • Securing
    After you nail your first fish, quickly go over to your pole spear and hold it upright. This will keep the fish on the end so that you can bring it to the surface.

Spear Cleaning and Maintenance

All of the spears that we have reviewed above are durable and long-lasting. To ensure that they stay that way, you should take care of it after every diving trip. The first part of a pole spear to give out is usually the rubber band. These are easy to replace, but to ensure it lasts as long as possible, clean it with fresh water after every use. Make sure it is completely dry.

You should also clean the spear and tip after every use. Once everything is cleaned and dry, store it in a cool place away from the sun. If your pole spear if a multi-piece one, then take it apart and store it in the carrying bag.


Other Essential Spearfishing Gear

While a pole spear is an essential part of your spearfishing gear, other items will definitely come in handy while free diving. Check out the list below for details.

  • Mask
    A top quality mask is essential. You need to be able to see your targets and surroundings clearly. We recommend a full face mask.
  • Freediving Fins
    If you’ve never used fins while freediving, then we highly recommend it. They immensely help you conserve oxygen. They also help you remain stealthy.
  • Weight Belt
    After you nail your first fish, quickly go over to your pole spe

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What size pole spear should I get?

This will largely depend on where and what you plan to fish. If you are planning to fish for large game, such as tuna or grouper, then you'll need a long pole spear. They offer greater stopping power, and you won't need to be as close to your target. If you plan to hunt for small fish, such as lionfish, then a small spear will be ideal. Small spears are also ideal for reef fishing.

How do I decide between a 2-pronged, 3-pronged, and 4-pronged pole spear?

Larger fish will require more prongs than smaller fish. For example, a small lionfish can be stoned with a 2 or 3-prong tip; any more would damage the meat. Large fish should be speared with 4-prongs or a slip tip. This will ensure that they go down and stay down.

Is it possible to make a spearfishing pole on my own?

Yes. People have been using DIY pole spears for centuries. They’re usually made of bamboo with small metal barbs on the tip. You can easily learn how to make a homemade pole spear with some simple materials.

What’s the function of a pole spear paralyzer tip?

These types of tips are used to “stun” small fish. It can be found on lionfish pole spear with paralyzer tip. The general idea is that the larger surface area of the prongs will only penetrate the fish a little bit, so there's no damage. It will paralyze the fish so that you can move in and bag it.

What are the best pole spear brands?

From our reviews above, the best brands include JBL, Mako, and Headhunter. Some other top-notch brands are Scuba Choice and Riffe.

Can you use a pole spear in the Bahamas?

The short answer is yes, but there are some restrictions. Spearfishing with SCUBA gear is prohibited. Pole spearfishing is legal while freediving. Within one mile out from the Grand Bahama Island, spearfishing is prohibited. Check all of the local laws before heading out for a spearfishing adventure.

Where is the best place to buy these pole spears, pole spear parts, and replacement pole spearheads?

We recommend shopping for all of your pole spearfishing needs on Amazon.


Conclusion

In this article, we have reviewed seven of the most high-quality pole spears on the market. We’ve given you an inside look at how well these products performed under strict conditions. There are also many tips and guidelines to help you get started in spearfishing.

You may be wondering what our absolute favorite pole spear is. In this roundup, we’d have to recommend the JBL Shaka. It features a lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum design with a breakaway tip that is sure to bring home your biggest catch yet.

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