There are many activities that bring us closer with nature. You can think of rafting, kayaking and mountain climbing as examples. However, two of these hobbies let us interact with animals in the same manner as our ancestors: fishing and hunting.
What if I told ya that these two activities can be combined for extra adrenaline and enjoyment? Let me introduce you to spearfishing. Here, the breathtaking landscapes of scuba diving combine with the thrill and pursuit of hunting.
You’ll learn everything you need to know about Hawaiian sling and pole spearfishing. These are two methods that are accessible to everyone and much cheaper than spearguns. Let’s dive right into it—literally!
What is Spearfishing exactly?
First, let’s go over the very basics. Spearfishing refers to the art of following fish to catch them with a spear. However, you will notice that the spears in question have had some technological upgrades.
This is mainly to increase throwing strength and improve aim capabilities.
Other than that, the technique has remained the same since spearfishing began a few thousand years ago. Yes, that’s right: spearfishing has been going on since Paleolithic times! It was the simplest and most effective way for humans to get their food from the oceans.
Although spearfishing may be a bit tricky at first, don’t let that get you down! With some practice and support from the right people, anyone can become a spearo.
There are three types to spearfishing: shallow, free, and scuba diver.
Shallow water spearfishing is the simplest —and, we can’t help but state it, the most boring— a variety of spearfishing. You don’t even need to dive underwater. You can, like Tom Hanks in Cast Away and stay at your waist or knees in the water to try and hit some fish.
It has two problems. First, there will be fewer fish available. Second, it might take you some time to adjust your aim because of something called refraction.
Dive spearfishing is considered an extreme sport, while free diving is considered free. It requires you to learn how to hold and regulate your breath underwater, as well as to learn how to use a Hawaiian sling or a pole spear —don’t worry, we will get to that in a minute!
Scuba diving spearfishing, on the other hand, allows spearos greater depths and a wider range of fish. It certainly requires less training that free dive spearfishing, although some places —like Mexico, for example— don’t let you spearfish with tanks.
With spearfishing you have the advantage of avoiding by-catches, that is, fish you didn’t intend to catch but caught all the same. That’s what usually happens when you fish with a net or a rod.
The greatest advantage is the rush to hunt your food and not just wait for it to fall into your lap.
What’s the Difference Between a Hawaiian Sling & a Pole Spear
The Hawaiian sling and the pole spear are very similar. They both consist of a 6-8 foot long pole with sharp ends that can be used for slashing fish. So far, so good. What’s the difference?
It is impossible to use a spear underwater in the same way as you would at ground-level. Of course, waterworks as a much thicker barrier than air, so there’s no point trying to throw your spear at fish. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, water will slow down your arm to the point any efforts will be in vain. You need a more powerful boost.
A speargun can be used to instantly and mechanically provide power to your shot. What’s the point, though? Weren’t you looking to put your skills to the test?
Spearguns are more user-friendly than Hawaiian slings or pole spears. However, they are more dangerous and more expensive than other methods and are less rewarding. An average speargun can cost you around 200 dollars, while a state-of-the-art Hawaiian sling won’t go beyond 50 bucks.
But let’s get back. The main difference between a Hawaiian pole spear and a Hawaiian-sling is the power they use.
A pole spear uses an elastic strap that you will need to learn how set. There are many YouTube videos that can help, and we will also go over it in a minute.
The same principle is used in Hawaiian sling spearfishing. The spear-ended pole looks identical, the only thing that changes is how it is set up and how it is released.
Hawaiian slings include a hole for the pole to rest on, and a rubber tube to make it easier to release. It functions as an arrow and bow above ground.
Let’s find out which one you like the better after our review!
5 Best Hawaiian Slings & Pole Spears for Spearfishing
You are still here which means you were serious about spearfishing. You are very welcome! Before you can become a master, there are still steps to take. Check They can be found here.
We don’t how much are you into Greek mythology, but… does Poseidon mean anything to you? Have you ever visited Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy? When you look at this trident-shaped spear tip, you will know what I’m talking about!
Scuba Choice designed it to be one of the most attractive on the market. It is also very useful. Its trident-shaped ends, aside from being a badass look, are designed to increase your chances at hitting a target. The tip also has two spikes that look like a harpoon. Once you catch a fish, it won’t be able to escape
This fiberglass item measures 3.5 feet and can be used as a pole spear. Due to its diameter, though, you can also fit it in a Hawaiian sling —which you would have to buy separately.
It is not as long as other spears. This means that you will need more distance to fish. Nevertheless, because of that it won’t encounter as much resistance from water and will travel faster to its prey.
It will do the job. You will feel like a God of the Sea!
- Works with both pole spears or Hawaiian slings
- Super cool trident shape
- Fish cannot escape from three harpoon-tip prongs
- They are shorter than most pole spears
Why should you buy this product?
With this product, you can be sure that, once you catch the fish, it won’t run away.
This beautiful shaft is for those who have been spearfishing for a while.
It has a 17-4 heat-treated stainless metal core. This is used more often in the aeronautical, chemical, and petroleum industries. This is what makes aircraft possible! You can be sure it won’t break even after prolonged use.
Its mini flopper is another important feature that locks fish in place when you strike them. Although it can be difficult for larger fish to escape from harpoon tipped spears, it is possible, especially if the prong is too long. However, it won’t happen with this Hammerhead shaft. Fish won’t be able to swim away from you.
It is advertised as a shaft to Hawaiian sling shooters but its length and diameter make it just as useful as a pole-sharp. However, you will need a spearfishing rod and sling. This sling can be thought of as an upgrade to your first spearfishing weapon.
- With its 6 feet, it can reach a great length
- High-quality stainless Steel
- It can be used on small to medium fish
- It doesn’t work on its own; needs Hawaiian sling or pole spear
Why should you purchase this product?
This item is great for those who want to catch bigger fish.
Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert! This means that Hawaiian slings have more power for shooting.
Evolve has created a mechanism to make up for the loss of power in their pole spears. AfterShock is the name of this new technology.
How does it work The spear’s tip contains a hidden weight which, when it hits the prey, causes it to impact on a spring. This spring causes the spear tip to penetrate deeper into the fish, if not completely.
You won’t ever again leave your prey just slightly wounded; you will make sure you take that fish home.
This pole also allows for the replacement of its tips with prongs and barbs, slip tips or floppers if you need to catch a wider variety of fish.
- Its AfterShock mechanism ensures that the impact is delivered
- High-quality materials such as anodized aluminium and carbon steel
- You can replace the tips to meet your needs.
- Three prongs are used to easily pierce fish
- The spears are substantially more expensive than the rest
- It won’t work with a Hawaiian sling shooter
Why should you buy this product?
If you have been spearfishing for some time and you love it, this item may be worth the extra money.
There are many things to worry about when you’re first getting into spearfishing. You will need to be able to dive, hold your breath underwater, and do some other things in addition to the fishing. A difficult to use spear is not what you want.
Scuba Choice’s wide range of products has resulted in a spear that is both simple and affordable. Ideal if spearfishing is something you have just started to do.
This item features a single rod made of 5 feet fiberglass. It is flexible enough to be used underwater and strong enough for hitting your target.
The tip of the knife is also simple, with a 12-inch prong and a mini flopper that can be used to stab the fish and grab it. You can make modifications to the tip if you want something a bit more complex. Simply unscrew the tip, and replace it by one with more barbs.
- It comes with a mini flopper to secure your catch
- It is as cheap and affordable as it gets
- Straightforward and simple to use
- It is made up of one piece, which makes it easier to use.
- It only contains one prong
Why should you buy this product?
This product is great for anyone who is just starting spearfishing.
Most people don’t live by the coast. Even so, those who do don’t always have a place where they can enjoy spearfishing.
This is my way of pointing out the fact that a lot of spears need to travel —by car or even by plane—to that perfect spot where they can give free rein to their hobby.
Spearfishers are concerned about how their equipment can be stored and transported. It is not something anyone wants to see their utensils disassembled at the airport and treated like dangerous weapons.
Scuba Choice’s two-piece pole spear is easy to disassemble and carry with you in its complementary bag. Each piece is made from fiberglass 24 inches long, which is extremely light. This package is easily transportable when combined with the 12-inch tip.
It is made to catch big fish, which could feed a large family. It comes with three prongs and paralyzer barbs to ensure your dinner.
- Paralyzer tip for extra security that fish won’t getaway
- It’s easy to store and transport because it has two pieces.
- It is very light and easy to carry on your travels
- It won’t work on a Hawaiian sling
Why should you purchase this product?
This item is perfect for you if you don’t live near a spearfishing spot and have to travel long distances with your equipment.
How to Use a Hawaiian Sling
Before we get into the Hawaiian sling vs. Pole spear debate, let’s discuss them in detail.
The Hawaiian sling, as its name suggests, is popular in Hawaii’s archipelago. But it isn’t the only place. Although the use of this device is now common worldwide, the name has remained.
Spearfishing has one of the biggest problems. The spear needs to be strong enough to travel through water and hit the target. Because water is substantially denser than air, the sole strength of your arm just won’t do the trick.
It doesn’t matter how ripped you are, your movements dissipate underwater. What can you do then about propulsion. Here’s the Hawaiian sling!
The tip, the pole and the sling are the three main components of Hawaiian slings.
Like the first item, Hawaiian sling tip are usually shaped like an a trident. They can also take any sharp shape, such as a prong or barb. What’s important is that it helps the spear move swiftly through the water.
Next, the pole. This is a 4-6 foot long, approximately 1 inch diameter rod made of fiberglass, metal or any other strong material.
Some spearfishing artists even make them out of wood. Carbon fiber, which combines lightness, flexibility and strength, has been proven to be extremely efficient.
The sling. This is where the magic lies. Hawaiian slings can be used to propel you underwater, as we have already mentioned. A sling is any type of elastic material. Most often, it includes a tube with which to rest the spear before you release it. You get more strength and precision.
Now, let’s talk about how to use it. Once you’ve screwed the tip of your choice on one end, you will have a Hawaiian-style sling spear. You can insert the other end through the plastic tube and tighten it like you would tighten your bow.
If your spear is not too short, you may be able to use your arms to carry the sling. If the pole is too long you can use the sling with your arms.
How to use a pole spear?
It is now the turn of the pole-spear. There are a few differences in Hawaiian sling spearfishing. These are mostly about the names of the parts and not their function.
The tip, shaft, or band are the three parts of a pole spear. As you can see the tip is the only part that is consistent. But is it?
A shaft, which we call it, works in the same way as a plastic tube would in a Hawaiian sling. It contains the pole which travels through it in the direction of prey.
There are three main lengths for pole spears: 5, 6 and 7 feet. The distance and speed that you need the pole spear to travel will dictate which one you choose.
A pole spear also features a band instead of a strap. This is the same thing as a sling. A pole spear band looks similar to a long elastic string that you wrap around your finger. We’ll get to that in a moment.
So how does a pole-spear work? Let us begin by saying it can be a little bit trickier than a Hawaiian sling because you don’t get the plastic tube shooter to use for aim and strength. It all comes down to how you position your fingers and use them.
First, use your skillful hand to hold the pole spear. Next, place the band between your thumb, index finger, and hold the spear at a point close to the top. You are now ready to use the pole spear!
Aiming with a Hawaiian Sling is more difficult than it sounds. It is much more difficult if you don’t have a plastic tube shooter. Simply swim while pointing your spear in the direction you want.
When you’ve got a lock on the fish you would like, simply let go of the band that is wrapped around your thumb. It’s a movement that is opposite to a trigger.
Above all, don’t forget to hold the band after shooting! This is a common mistake that has resulted in spears losing their poles.
Hawaiian Sling vs. Which Pole Spear Should You Use?
As you can see, pole spearfishing and Hawaiian sling spearfishing share a lot. Now it’s time to distinguish them depending on your skill level and the type of spearfishing you want.
A Hawaiian sling is a good choice for beginners. It is usually more expensive than a pole-sharp, but it is not much more. On On the other hand, you have a better goal and a wider reach.
That means you won’t need to get as close to fish as you would otherwise. This also means that your hits will have all the power they need to penetrate the fish you desire.
Hawaiian slings are also more effective at higher depths, as the pole can travel farther.
Pole spears, on the other hand, are best for shallow water and fish that you can reach closer to. They also have a faster reload which allows you to shoot more fish and catch more.
The pole spear’s system for spear propulsion is more complicated than the Hawaiian sling. This makes it more difficult. We recommend that you practice with Hawaiian slings before you attempt the pole spear.
Spearfishing Tips & Techniques for Beginners
You will need to learn a few lessons in order to get started in the complicated art of spearfishing.
For that you will need an instructor —unfortunately, there is not much we can teach you here, apart from this advice on ear barotrauma.
But what we can do is share some musts and don’ts from our own experience with spearfishing.
First of all, don’t waste your time with small fish. Because they are so common, it is easier to spot them. They are however difficult to spot because of their size.
If you’re willing to swim an extra mile, you can win bigger prizes. We’re kidding —it doesn’t take a whole mile; diving up to 10-20 feet deep will do.
If you are scuba diving, that won’t be an issue. Be aware that you will need to have some breath-holding skills if you go free diving.
Once you have reached the area where the meaty fish are, take some time to look at the ocean floor from the surface. Don’t swim near the bottom —you don’t want to scare the fish! It all boils down to stealthy and patience.
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If you spot something you want to catch, jump straight on top of it. This is the best way to sneak up on fish because they can’t see you coming before it is too late and they are at the mercy of your spear.
Sometimes big fish hide in caves, under rocks, or under ledges. These hidden places are worth exploring. You may find what you’re looking for, and even better surprises!
When treating fish, there is a certain finesse required. Have you ever gone hunting for deer? These animals can pick up your footsteps from a great distance.
Well, it doesn’t work like that underwater. It’s worse! Because of the water they move, fish can sense a predator approaching. Learn to be extra discrete, so fish don’t swim away from you.
Last but not the least, be aware of regulations. Every country and every location on Earth has its rules regarding spearfishing. Don’t ever try to do it alone, without the help of some locals that point out what you can and cannot do.
Do you aim for a fish above or below the surface?
We have been discussing how the Hawaiian pole spear and Hawaiian sling mimic bow and arrow. But there is a key difference.
On The ground pulls the arrow towards it. The arrow is heavier than air so it falls. Archers must aim slightly higher than the target to avoid this.
That doesn’t happen underwater. Gravity still exists, of course, but the spears are lighter than water, which means they won’t fall as an arrow would.
Get a hold of the fish you want and go straight to it.
How deep do spearfishers go?
This question requires us to consider several variables.
First, what kind of fish are you looking to find? As a general rule, the deeper you go, the more fish you’ll find. Although there are exceptions, it is a general rule. Another question is: What’s your driving style? There are two types of depths that free divers and scuba divers may reach.
The ideal range for free diving, especially for beginners, is between 10 and 20 feet. You will find great prizes, and you will be close enough to the surface that you can catch your breath.
Is spearfishing a good way to attract sharks?
Sharks are excellent hunters and have the ability to quickly sniff out blood. If you spearfish in waters known to be home to sharks, this is something that you need to keep in mind.
On the other hand, they are rather shy animals, and they won’t attack you unless hungry or upset.
After a while of spearfishing, sharks may be attracted to the dead fish hanging from you waist. If this happens, you can always let it go. They will distract the shark, and you can swim to safety.
Is spearfishing difficult?
We wouldn’t call it difficult. After all, there is nothing a person can’t do when his or her mind is put into it.
It can be difficult at first as you learn to dive with a new tool or in a completely new environment. It is important to practice, practice and practice! With training and guidance —including of course what we have talked about in this article—, you will get there!
This article will tell you everything you need about Hawaiian sling spearfishing. We hope we have answered all your questions!
There are many options to join this beautiful practice, which connects us to our paleolithic ancestral ancestors. It is far more enjoyable than sitting on a fishing boat waiting for the fish to come. Instead, humans have pursued and hunted food since the beginning of time.