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    What Gear do you Need to Hunt Bluefin Tuna?

    July 21, 2022 3 min read

    Bluefin tuna is a large, fast-swimming pelagic fish that can get up to a whopping 100kgs.

    Having the correct gear to take on this mammoth species is essential! Check out our in-depth gear list here. We recommend the following gear for hunting Bluefin Tuna:



    An Inverted Roller or Double Roller Speargun - 110cm to 130cm 


    1. Short and manoeuvrable for the amount of power. 

    Bluefin tuna are fast swimming pelagic fish, the approach angle is often from directly below the diver as the fish swims vertically up to take the burley. They may only hang at the level of the burley for a few seconds. 

    When the fish are behaving like this a short inverted roller or double roller gun is in a league of its own. As the fish can be tracked and shot on the move.


    2. This style of speargun also takes less practice to get used to. 


    3. Most spearguns can be converted to a roller or invert roller, so often this can be a cheaper option. 



    1. Limited by shaft thickness and length

    Typically the heaviest spear you would use in a roller would be 170cm with an 8.5mm shaft. Because of this, your ability to take on a bigger tuna (50kg+) might be limited.

    2. Inverted Roller or Double Roller Spearguns are often more prone to rigging issues and can also be more complicated to rig.


    Bluewater Timber Gun - 8.5mm shaft and 4 x 16mm Power bands 


    1. Bluewater Timber Spearguns are very reliable

    2. Capable of taking on bigger tuna (50kgs+) thanks to using a heavier shaft with multiple power bands. 

    3. The best option for getting through a 50kg+ fish 



    1. Bluewater Timber Spearguns are not suitable for tracking fast-moving pelagics due to their buoyancy and weight.

    The best approach for spearing tuna with this speargun is to sit on an aimed piece of burley, waiting for the fish to swim into the path of the gun. 

    2. Bluewater Timber guns feel and shoot a lot different from a conventional rail gun.We strongly recommend getting some practice in before taking out spearfishing.

    3. Can still be prone to rigging issues 


    Selecting a Speargun Shaft

    When selecting a shaft to spear Bluefin Tuna, we recommend a minimum of 8mm shaft. 

    We also recommend going to a double flopper or slip tip shaft over standard single flopper shafts for the increased holding ability. 

    The shaft should be rigged in a breakaway configuration directly to the float line to reduce the number of weak points/connections in the setup. Mono, Dyneema, and stainless cable are all suitable options for rigging the shaft if done correctly. 

    Bluefin tuna will typically fight cleanly and are often shot in deep water so the potential for cut-offs on the reef is low.


    Double Flopper Shaft


    1. Super easy to rig

    2. Excellent Accuracy

    3. Simple and easy to maintain

    4. Less expensive than slip tip and shaft combo



    1. Less holding power

    2. Will often bend shaft on big fish

    3. Limited availability


    Slip Tip/Drop Barb


    1. Excellent holding power

    2. Often saves the shaft getting bent

    3. Less leverage for the fish to tear the shaft out,which is excellent if the shot placement is poor - something than can be common with a fast-moving fish. 



    1. Longer time to reset and load

    2. If not properly maintained, the cable can fail 

    3. More expensive than the double flopper option


    Selecting a float

    When targeting bluefin tuna, one or two high-pressure floats connected in series with a PVC or spectra float and bungee is the best option. 

     A bungee line should be used between the floats to reduce the pressure on the shaft and rigging, a Riffe bungee will help significantly in fighting large Tuna. We recommend: 



    When it comes to a wetsuit, a good two-piece 5mm open cell wetsuit is a must for long days on the water, especially from June to September when the Bluefin Tuna are here. However a closed cell suit like the Adreno or Salt two-piece 5mm wetsuits are another alternative. These suits both provide an internal smooth-skin lining on your extremities, which stops the cold water from flushing in. 

    Be sure to throw a jacket on between drifts to minimise wind chill.