I do a lot of speargun fishing
. The best advice I can give is to spend the money
to get a good gun. It doesn't have to be a high end one, but a cheap
gun will make you hate the sport, you will wound a lot of fish
without bringing them home and you will spend a lot of time working on the gun. Expect to spend $250-300 for a decent gun and extra spear.
As for brands, AB Biller, Riffe, Sportasub make good guns
, although there are many others too. Stay away from the low end JBL's and Buechats and any gun that looks cheaply made (they are obvious and numerous). I have an AB Biller and find it to be the best price/performance. Riffes cost more and are worth it.
You won't be happy with a short gun. I find 48" to be a good all-round reef gun and for open water
. If you plan to fish
predominately for pelagic and larger fish, get a larger gun.
A good gun will have a good, smooth trigger mechanism (Riffes are the best), stainless spring steel shafts and long barbs. Get a shaft or spear tip with a 3" barb. I prefer shafts without separate tips for higher performance, but exchangeable tips do give you a few options.
As for laws and regulations
, they differ widely from complete bans to specific seasons to completely open depending where you are. You will just need to do some research
on that. One thing I can't stress enough is NEVER break the law or go against regulations
. Everyone takes these laws very seriously - you would have a better chance escaping harsh fines and jail if you had a firearm outside the law instead of a speargun.
Good luck, spearfishing is a lot of fun and provides excellent dinners!
BTW, what does Tom Neale say about spearguns?