How to Make a Fish Spear Gun


Few things are more exciting for a diver than spearing a nice fish for dinner. Some fish cruise into range unaware, while others breeze past and disappear quickly. Manufactured spear guns are pricey, and usually reserved for open waters where fish tend to stay out of your immediate vicinity. Beach divers often spear tasty meals, such as halibut, crab and lobster, at close range in shallow water. You can apply your woodworking and mechanical expertise to make a trigger-type spear gun as a shop project, or fashion a Hawaiian sling that works as effectively in one afternoon.

Things You'll Need

  • 5/8-inch diameter hardwood dowel
  • Finish handsaw
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • 3-prong spear tip
  • Electric drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • 1/8-inch diameter stainless steel machine bolts with nylon lock nuts
  • Pliers
  • Hacksaw
  • 1/4-inch diameter surgical tubing
  • Scissors
  • 1/2-inch diameter stainless steel washers

Spear Stick

  • Cut a length of 5/8-inch diameter hardwood dowel 60 inches long using a finish handsaw. Wrap a piece of 80-grit sandpaper around the stick and sand it smooth to the touch.

  • Fit the base of a 3-prong spear tip on one end of the stick. Hold the base of the tip with one hand and tap the other end of the stick on the floor several times to seat the tip firmly on the stick.

  • Set up an electric drill with a 1/8-inch drill bit. Drill a hole through the side of the base and fully though the stick, continuing to drill until the bit exits the opposite side of the base.

  • Insert a 1/8-inch diameter stainless steel machine bolt fully through the drilled hole. Thread a nylon lock nut on the end of the bolt and tighten the nut with pliers. Cut the excess threads off the end of the bolt with a hacksaw.

Hand Sling

  • Drill another 1//8-inch hole, one inch from the opposite end of the stick.

  • Cut a piece of 1/4-inch diameter surgical tubing 30 inches long as the sling using scissors. Match up the ends of the sling and drill a 1/8-inch hole one inch from the cut ends.

  • Put a 1/2-inch diameter stainless steel washer on a 1/8-inch diameter stainless steel machine bolt. Insert the bolt through the hole at one end of the sling and push the bolt through the hole at the end of the stick.

  • Hold the head of the bolt in place against the stick with one hand. Fit the hole at the other end of the tubing onto the threaded end of the bolt to form the loop sling.

  • Put another 1/2-inch diameter stainless steel washer on the end of the bolt and thread a lock nut on the bolt. Tighten the nut against the washer with pliers.

Shooting the Hawaiian Sling

  • Wade into the ocean to chest height. Hold the Hawaiian sling in the middle of the stick with one hand. Insert the thumb of your other hand through the loop at the middle of the sling.

  • Continue to hold the stick firmly as you stretch the sling along the stick, grabbing the stick when the sling is stretched tightly. Maintain your grip on the stick and the sling with your sling hand and submerge underwater.

  • Aim the tip of the spear gun at an imaginary target. Release your grip on the stick to shoot the spear gun, making sure to keep your thumb in the loop of the sling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Taper the end of the stick with an electric sander or wood file, if necessary, to fit the 3-prong tip.
  • Practice shooting at underwater targets and improve your accuracy.
  • Do not shoot a spear gun out of the water.

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  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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