A Speargun is that much of a key piece of equipment in your dive set that we should all put some attention to it every year for many reasons.
First one is of course we want to get that fishy fishy and prevent the frustration of losing one you’ve just speared because the flopper doesn't work as it should.
You may also find out that small repairs are due and will prevent a more serious breakdown while in the water. And at least for your own safety and those around you, a speargun looked after is less likely to have any issue with its mechanism and you can lend your speargun to a friend that is new to the sport with peace of mind that you’re not giving away a lemon that is potentially going to kill one of your crew or even backfire at you...
Here is our full list of what to look for and after annually on your speargun:
If in doubt, always seek professional advice from your favourite local dive shop.
- Every dive: Rinse with fresh water and store your speargun away from direct sunlight.
- Strip it apart completely (or any part you feel confident putting back together) your speargun to check carefully that all components are in good shape , it is a good time to carry any preventive repair/replacement parts or upgrade, a common example is the line release, if one is getting a little tired, we often change it for a stainless steel one.
This is particularly a good idea if your gun has been sitting in your shed for a bit of time (years) and you are planning to get it back in the water. That is usually the gun that you lend to your friend that wants to have a go for the first time, be the best friend you've always been and save him some hassle in the water ;)
- Sharpening the tip of your spear: depending on what you have on your speargun, you may have to do a slight variation of it but basically what we would like to achieve here is to have a super sharp pointy spear that you know will go through the fish like a hot knife through butter.
It is easy to do if you have a file/angle grinder/belt sander, a vice and a spear. Lock the tip of spear on the vice, take your file then you are ready to start. If the spear has a pattern that can be followed, go to town! And refurbish it as it was before!
If your spear do not have anything on it, a triangular tip is the easiest, low tech way to do it.
- Flopper: Check that it can move freely until a lock position, that will prevent a fish that fights a little more than other from escaping by having the flopper to fold back onto the spear and the whole spear going out through the same hole it came in by... a very frustrating experience :(
You can fix that by making sure that the flopper shape has not extend on the side but nothing you cannot fix with a little bit of hammering TLC.
- Rubbers: They shouldn't have any tears or cracks, if they do, you should prepare yourself to have to change them very soon. If you would like to use your rubbers until the end of the end then carrying a spare set of rubber ready to go on your gun in your dive bag is a good idea
Ideally when not in use store your rubber in a cool/dry location away from the sunlight.
I know some spearos that store their most expensive rubbers vaccum sealed in the fridge or freezer during winter.
- Gun bungee: same as for the rubbers, change any rubbers if there is any visible damage on it, check the shark clip and swivel for weaknesses and act accordingly :)
- Shooting Line, Mono/Dyneema: After taking care of the platform and the projectile, it is a good idea to inspect what connects these two parts together.
Often forgotten, I personally found that this is the most frustrating of all the potential breakages, it will make you lose your spear in the water if it snaps or best case scenario ... if you retrieve it, to spend some time back in the boat trying to find a last minute DIY solution.
On the all length of the line check thoroughly, look for tears, dents and unusual marks on your line.
If you have some mono on your speargun a common weak point is at the crimp, if installed improperly the side of the crimp will chew the line little by little and make it snap. If in doubt, seek professional advice.
- Dyneema & metal wishbone: They rub against the notch of your spear and they hold the stress from the tension of your rubbers. Without them you cannot transfer the power to from your rubber to your spear ... they can wear quickly but they have to have a perfect integrity.
A visual check before you go will at least give you a chance to replace or grab another speargun for the day.
- Shark clip & metal connections: look for an wear and tear or even rust that could justify a replacement for a brand new one. If in doubt change it, it won't be the right time on the boat after driving all the way there to realise that may be you should have grabbed a new one ...
- Our tip: keeping a box with little bits and pieces, like dyneema, mono, few crimps and a pair of pliers in the boat can go a long way in case you really need to do a little DIY but hopefully doing all the carrying explained before to your speargun will avoid the hassle to ever have to use it!
Now that you have done all of it, enjoy the most reliable gun you ever had :)
And you? What do you do to care for your speargun? do you have any tips to add to this list?