How To Make A Fishing Spear – Beginner’s Guide


Fishing with a spear pole might be a great adventure and story to tell. Feeling excitement and adrenaline rush as you wait for the perfect moment to spear will give you an insight into ancient techniques. This is why it can be very useful to know how to make a fishing spear. On the other hand, you’re maybe just in fishing sports and you want to make your own homemade fishing spear from just a piece of rope and some wood.

Whatever might be the reason, you should know that making a fishing spear is not even hard. The process of making the spear takes very little time. The hard part is when you actually go to catch some fish. We will talk about making and using the fishing spear in this article – so keep reading!

Crafting Your Spear

As already mentioned above, making a homemade fishing spear is something that almost anyone can do.  All you need is some wood, a piece of rope, and a couple of minutes of your time. Hopefully, if you follow this 4 step guide, you should know how to make a fishing spear on your own.

1. Find the proper wood

Finding the right piece of wood when making a traditional fishing spear is essential. Without it, you will either have a weak spear that you can’t do anything with, or a spear that will break in half at first contact. A straight, skinny, and long piece of wood would be an ideal choice. Also, keep in mind that deadwood is going to crack very easily so it is more or less useless when it comes to spearfishing. Cut a live tree and you will be good to go.

Measuring the length of your spear is also pretty straightforward. Stand up and put the piece of wood next to you. Make a small cut just above your head, and then cut the piece of wood at the marked spot. Ideally, it should be a bit taller than you are, if you’re able to carry it. When it comes to diameter, just think of a broomstick – the size should be similar to it.

If you don’t know how to make a fishing spear, you might think that you need a lot of branches and knots. Actually, you need just a few of them and a sapling with the desired dimensions. More branches will lead to more knots, which will lead to more unnecessary work.  Survival experts recommend making your spear this way since it will make it sturdier.

When it comes to choosing the type of wood, focus on some type of hardwood. For example, teak, oak, and maple are pretty good choices, but others will do the job just right. You don’t have to be an expert about wood to know whether it is softwood or hardwood. You can do a simple fingernail test to find out. Simply, make a scratch on the wood with your fingernail. If it leaves a mark the wood is probably soft (deep marks indicate softer woods). If there’s no mark left, the wood is considered hard.

2. Straight or pronged?

Deciding the type of spear you want to make is the next step after finding your sapling. When making a homemade fishing spear, you need to think about how you are going to use it. Take into consideration the size of the fish you think you will hunt. A pronged spear works better if a fish is less than 10 inches in length. You will have less penetration, but a bigger margin of error.

If the fish at your location is larger than 10 inches, you probably won’t have much luck with a pronged spear. It just won’t be able to provide enough penetration to catch a fish. It will just slide off and you won’t have your food – which is necessary to survive in the wilderness.

Making a pronged spear

Making a straight spear is explained above, but making a pronged spear may not be as easy. However, it may be worth the extra work you put in if you’re going to catch smaller fish. Using a homemade fishing spear is difficult. It takes precision, patience, and strength. You won’t just be waiting with a fishing rod to catch fish. Keep in mind that you will lose a lot of calories while spearfishing.

It might be a good idea to carve a few prongs into your spear. This will increase the chances of actually hitting the fish. However, by doing this you sacrifice a bit of penetration, so think about it, what do you need more? Penetration or better hitting chances?

Secure the shaft of your spear with lashing before you even start making a pronged spear. Use a strong rope or a cord to do so. Even though your main goal is to split the wood, you still want to avoid ruining the rest of it. You don’t want to go back to searching for the right type of wood and cutting it to the right dimensions.

Think about the length of the prongs you want to make. Use a cord to tie a knot just an inch above where the prongs will start. The knot needs to be tied tightly so you don’t overcut the wood. If you’re unsure how to make a fishing spear with prongs, you can always refer to survival literature. Most experts recommend 6-inch prongs.

Use a knife to serve as a wedge once you know the length. If you don’t have a knife, use a rock instead. The wedge should be placed at the center of your spear, and you can do this lightly by hammering it. Secure the wedge with more cordage or rope once it is in place.

3. Sharpening

Using a knife would be the easiest way to sharpen a spear tip. However, you won’t always have a knife. So, if this happens, just find a big rock and rub the tip on it. On the other hand, if you do have a knife, just take the wood and sharpen it by using downward strokes. Just keep in mind to always make cuts away from yourself to avoid injuries.

4. Drying

The wood you use is going to be moist, considering you will be using a sapling. You need to dry out the tip of your spear since dry wood is lighter and stronger. However, you don’t need to dry the whole piece. It is good to have some bonus weight in the shaft – it provides more power when you’re hunting. The tip should be golden brown in color when it gets optimally dry.



Q: Is spearfishing illegal?


Spearfishing has its share of controversy, just like any other sport. The Caribbean and European nations have laws that prohibit spearfishing with scuba gear.  The same laws apply for the use of mechanically powered spearguns. But, when it comes to spearfishing in the United States – it is still legal and there are no laws that prohibit you from doing it.

Q: How do you use a Hawaiian sling spear?


Using a Hawaiian sling spear is very similar to using a traditional bow and arrow. The dull end of the spear should be placed into the holder on the rubber sling. The tip needs to be facing away from you, and the spear shaft fitter into the shooter.

Q: When was spearfishing invented?


Spearfishing as a method of fishing was used even in the earliest civilizations. When it comes to spearfishing as a hunting sport, it only became popular in the early 1930s. It was rapidly spread throughout the world after World War II.

Q: Do you aim above or below a fish?


When you are looking at a fish from above the water it will appear at a shallower depth than is actually the case. This happens due to the refraction of the light waves through the water and the air. So, you need to aim above the fish in order to spear it.

Q: Do you need a license for spearfishing?


Usually, you are going to need a regular fishing license in order to go spearfishing. Still, this will vary from state to state – in some states, you will need additional licensing, in some less. The equipment you plan to use plays a big part too, so be careful when choosing a speargun or a traditional spear.

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Making a fishing spear is not a hard thing to do. All you need is some rope and a good, live piece of hardwood. Test the wood for its hardness to know whether you’re making a good choice. Decide which type of fishing spear you need. The hard part is actually fishing using the spear. You need to be patient, yet quick and strong. Aim below the fish for the most accuracy.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!