How to Set Up for A Shore Dive
In the last Article, we went over the Dangers of Shore Diving. Here is a continuation of that article. Here we are going to show you basic equipment set up, to do a Shore dive right away.
Obviously, you need a mask that fits well and doesn’t leak. Always a good idea to go to a shop and get fitted. You will want a low volume mask and prep it by either burning the film off the lens or washing it off. With that mask, you will want a snorkel, and a basic one will do. No need for the fancy ones with the water valve at the top.
Pole Spear or Speargun
A speargun or pole spear will be the next thing to have. If you are starting out then its best to use a pole spear or three prongs. Why a pole spear or three prongs it will help you hone your skills in hunting and aiming ability.
Float and Tagline
You need a floatline and a float(buoy)and there is a big variety of these. Clips on and off your speargun or pole spear very easy through a long line clip. The other end of that attaches to your buoy or float that can be 5 liters to 7 liters or a 12 liter some come with flags with weights. A Buoy or Float should be visible from far away, a flag attachment, and big enough for you to hang on to.
You'll need to have a fish stringer. Again, there are many types of stringers. Some people like to attach the stringer to them self's but the safest is to attach it to the buoy. There are many different types of stringers, some are made with string, Mono-filament, or stainless steel. It's a good idea to set a small rubber bungee piece on the clip to push the point in and swim along like that so nothing will foul your stringer when you need it to grab it with one hand pull and it releases.
Some guys like to disconnect their gun from their float line or stringer and put a small reef anchor weight to it. They now can swim around and mark the reef with their buoy. Note, usually they will have a reel on their speargun.
On returning the best way to wind up a buoy line is to set it up in figure eight. The reason for the figure eight is to stop all twists and twisting one way and then the other. If you wind it up like you would a ball of string, you're setting a twist into it. It's always best to set it in figure eight, no twists and it comes out much easier.
Where you may be diving shallow and you don't want too much line set out do a figure 8 throw half hitches around it on both sides, you've now shortened your float line quite considerably and can continue diving in the shallows with your buoy much closer to you. If you need more line simply grab the middle, pop one loop off. That's all you need to do and if you've shot a large fish, the remaining line will pull out and deploy, no twists, no entanglement, pulls apart very easily.
Most have is a dive knife that will clip into a sheath. Great to dispatch a catch, cut tangled lines, defend against predator's, and can be used as a flasher.
Fins are also a must and not any old fin. Spearfishing fin blades are 70 to 95 cm outside of the foot pocket. Freediving fins and Spearfishing fins are longer because it takes less energy to fin. This equates to a longer breathe hold.
There are different types of fins and stiffness, again this depends on the person. Let's say you are a 100-pound person and very slim. You would want a flexible fin and if you are a large heavy person a stiffer fin would work better for you.
A good pair of gloves will prevent your hands from sharp coral, fish spikes, and a lot more. It will give you a better grip on wet items too.
A wetsuit is a good thing too, some people do not wear one. If you live in the tropics and the water is too warm that's understandable. Even in warm water, if you're swimming for long periods of time your body core temperature can lower and you will start to feel cold. Having a wetsuit on keeps you warmer longer, therefore, spearfishing longer. Plus it protects you from the reef, jellyfish, and sun.
Don't forget that you need a buddy too. Not only for safety but it good to have company in the water enjoying what you love to do too.
There you have it, the basic setup for shore diving. Everything else that you add on is extra and the more you dive the more you are going to get better at what works for you.