Lionfish polespears


So what is a polespear? It’s an underwater tool for catching (spearing) fish. If you look at the picture of me above you will see the one I use.  A polespear is basically made up of a pole, a spear tip and a rubber loop. The pole is usually between 2.5-feet and 10-feet long and made of fiberglass, carbon fibre, aluminium or graphite. The longer versions often break down into several pieces that screw together. The tip is either fixed to the pole or threaded to accept different kinds of spear tips. The most popular spear tips are the three prong paralyzer and the single pivoting barb Tahitian shaft. The rubber loop is usually just a piece of surgical tubing.

So how do you actually fire a polespear?. You place the rubber loop in the crook of your thumb, and then you reach up the spear shaft to stretch the elastic band and then grab the polespear to “power it up”. And then to fire it you release your grip on the polespear and all that built up elastic energy projects the polespear forward where you were aiming.

Here in Grand Cayman, I am an expat which means I am not able to purchase polespears or spear guns to catch lionfish. So my only option to kill lionfish is to use the nets and short polespears that the Department Of Environment (DOE) generously provides us expats with. The DOE have given out a few 4-foot spears, but these are in short supply but huge demand.

I have found using the longer DOE 4-foot Lionfish polespears that we have at my work at Tortuga Divers makes my kill ratio much better than the 2.5-foot personal DOE spear I have. The main reason for this is when you “power up” each of the spears your hand is much further away from the lionfish when you use the 4-foot spear. When I use my 2.5-foot polespear some lionfish start to move before I can take my shot, which means I am then trying to shoot a moving fish, which is much more difficult. Or they move directly away from me making it is a waste of time taking a shot unless you have some great barbs on your spear tip.  With the 4-foot polespear, I can put the spear tip practically next to the head of the lionfish before I take my shot. When I use the 4-foot polespear my kill ratio is more than 90% but if I use the 2.5-foot spear it is less than 80%.


If you or your buddy use lionfish polespears then have a read of my post Lionfish hunting. My top 15 hunting tips. These 15 tips should help you to improve your skills and thereby help maximize your kill ratio.

So if you don’t live in The Cayman Islands like me, and you can buy your own polespear then Amazon is a good cheap site to use to purchase your first polespear. Click on Amazon here to get to the overall section on polespears. Or to get you started have a look at the links below of some of the polespears I like the looks of:

  1. By MAKO spearguns.
  2. By Scuba Choice.
  3. By Cressi.
  4. By JBL.
  5. By IST.

However, if you live in a country where you can purchase a polespear, then get down to your local shop, try them all out, and buy one there. Happy hunting.

And finally, having a quality polespear on a dive is very important. But if you can improve your air consumption on each dive then you’ll get better value for money AND have more time to catch more lionfish. So why not buy my pdf ebook Save Your Breath which highlights dozens of ways to improve your air consumption – click on the link here for Save Your Breath and read all about it.

Bookmark the permalink.

About Nigel Coles

Hi my name is Nigel Coles. I used to live in Bristol, England but after a change in direction we moved overseas to work in the scuba diving industry. After a time in Thailand, for the last 8 years I have been living with my wife Deby, in the East End of Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands. I’m a dive instructor, working for Tortuga Divers, part of the Red Sail group. I spend my day on dive boats, training students and taking our guests on dive trips. It’s a hard life but someone has to do it

Comments are closed.