Spearfishing Equipment for South Africa


Kwazulu Natal enjoys a sub-tropical climate with mild winters and hot steamy summers. Summer water temperatures are around 24°C and the use of a 3mm wetsuit is more than adequate. For the winter months May-August you need a 5mm wetsuit with sea temperatures as low as 18°C. The water only warms up enough for a change to the summer suits by November. The standard size gun is a 1.2m barrel length and is used for both game and reef fish. Reel guns are starting to become more and more popular, with the float and line system still the most widely used. As most divers do a fair amount of both shore and boat diving, stiff bladed long fins are preferred. They are cheaper and more suited to the rough treatment that shore diving hands out than the carbonfibre type used by some of the deep diving fraternity. The surf-ski modified for diving or fishing is also becoming quite popular as a diving tool. This is a cheaper way to get out to the deeper spots and still have the safety of a boat to get onto should the need arise. It is also a lot friendlier to the ocean than the outboard motors used on boats.

This is the type of gear needed for local conditions.


3mm top and bottom for summer(november-may)
5mm top and bottom for winter(june-october)

Goggles/ Masks

low volume silicone


silicone snorkel


long bladed with removable blades

Weight belt

rubber or elasticized with quick release

Float/ line

moulded foam of bright colour with 30m line for shore dive and 40m line for boat dive

Spear Gun

1.3m barrel rail gun with 1.7m spear or standard 1.2m barrel with 1.7m spear. Spears made mostly from 7mm spring steel with stainless steel favoured by some. Most guns are fitted with one rubber which is adequate for all occasions. Gut is the most popular spear line


neoprene booties or socks


Knitted gloves with tough flexible coating


small with good cutting edge


20cm stainless spike with length of cable attached to float by swivel


net with draw string opening attached to float for rock lobster or abalone

A licence is needed to spearfish or for rock lobster and abalone. These licences are available at any post office or conservation office. They cost R50 per licence. The diver needs to acquaint himself with the relevant regulations regarding the licence purchased.