The Best Choice by Apneapassion indicates the product that, from the tests of the Apneapassion International Test Team, represents the product that, in its category, has the best technical qualities in relation with its price. The Award by Apneapassion is the best product among the new ones available for testing by mid 2023 and launched on the market within the year.
Well, a product among all has managed to win both prizes, the Salvimar Ares! Winner of the Best Choice in the key category of the traditional sling spearguns between 100 and 200€, against excellent opponents such as the new Pathos Saragos EVO Pro and the successful Sigalsub Nemesis, the Masterpiece by the Italian company has also been selected as the Best New Product of the Year, winning also the Award 2023! And this is why.
Ares, the Masterpiece by Salvimar
We have indeed already presented and tested the Salvimar Ares talking about a real masterpiece, something that we have never done before for any other. Indeed, even among the many great new 2023 products participating to the Award, the Salvimar Ares has been selected as the natural winner: technology, quality, ideas and performance all in one single product have convinced the Apneapassion International Test Team to vote it as the n1! The use of MIM (Metal Injection Moulding) for most of the metal parts of the Heavy Metal 350 release mechanism, the unbeatable quality and perfection of the moulds of the glass loaded Nylon components, such as the handle and the muzzle, and the magnificent design of the polygonal section barrel with outstanding anodization have positioned the Salvimar Ares well ahead of competition on the perceived, and not only, quality front.
The special clever details such as the shaft barb resting on the muzzle to avoid the use of uncomfortable rubber O-Rings, or the well dimensioned lateral wings on the handle to easily position the monofilament away from the line of aim, are also key aspects of the Salvimar Ares.
The unbeatable precision of this new jewel by Salvimar is given by the perfectly designed integrated shaft guide, the very clean line of aim and the advanced self centering shaft-release mechanism system.
Balance and swing
The balance of the Salvimar Ares is very good with a tendency to be a little heavier on the handle side, as the Heavy Metal 350 release mechanism is somehow oversized to last longer and to work with very heavy loads. The lateral swing is amazing thanks to the fact that the barrel in vertically smaller than equivalent 28 mm diameter circular section solutions. The availability of a symmetrical and a right hander anatomical grip is a plus.
The power expressed by the Salvimar Ares is very good, but evidently can be increased. Salvimar has though wanted to keep a setup with two Salvimar Eptagum S600 14 mm diameter circular bands and a 6.5 mm diameter Bolt shaft, which to them is perfectly adequate and guarantees the best precision of the shot. Still, the new muzzle with two holes for the passage of the circular bands, which we definitely prefer compared to the single passage, permits the use also of two double 16 mm circular bands. This can be a good solution for those who want even more power, maybe losing some precision.
The Award winner
The Salvimar Ares is the winner of the 2023 Award by Apneapassion, as this speargun brings to the market all possible clever solutions, high end technical manufacturing processes and the highest possible quality in the key segment of spearguns. This is the one with prices between 100 and 200 euros. Here all the important and large companies are present with at least one product, and the capacity to offer the best solutions in such category deserves the Award 2023!
The two competitors
What a challenge in the toughest category of the standard sling spearguns with price between 100 and 200 €. There are so many models and brands present in this segment and the quality is exceptional. Even choosing the 3 finalists, leaving out a number of very good spearguns, has been complex.
Pathos Saragos EVO Pro
One of the two final contenders, the Pathos Saragos EVO Pro, has definitely very strong characteristics, but some aspects have limited the final complessive score. In fact, the power of the Pathos Saragos EVO Pro is impressive and still, thanks to its balance, the speargun maintains an extremely good precision. In fact, the new speargun by the Greek company is perfectly balanced in the water and sinks horizontally when loaded with the shaft. The two circular elastic bands are Pathos TNT red 14 mm diameter, while the shaft is a Sandvik material with 6.5 mm diameter, with a single barb & a tri-cut point.
The new extremely compact muzzle with two holes, the integrated shaft guide with 4 rails to reduce friction and the more traditional lateral line release lever really give the Pathos Saragos EVO Pro a boost. In addition, this is the speargun used by the World Spearfishing Champion Giacomo De Mola. Still, the weak point of this speargun are the finishes. The barrel has the logos and names applied with a sticker, non a modern and effective solution, as the sticker does also come off after some time. The same applies to the reel, absolutely not with good finishes. So, in the end, the Pathos Saragos EVO Pro is an excellent speargun with a lot of substance, light, balanced, powerful and easy to handle, but with finishings which are not were they should be.
The Sigalsub Nemesis, winner of the Best Choice with the Carbon fiber barrel version, and with the new Invert-Roller solution, with the Nemesis HT, maintains all the characteristics that have made this speargun so successful internationally. Light, compact and powerful, the Nemesis is a strong player. The muzzle is very compact, with a reduced section for the best swing of the speargun, but not too easy to load with the monofilament. The muzzle is a simple double hole solution for the passage of the circular bands, without a preformation that gives the latter the best possible orientation parallel to the shaft.
The barrel has a reinforced inferior part with thicker wall, which improves stiffness, and a well designed integrated shaft guide which makes the shaft rest on two rails, reducing friction. The handle is well designed with an orange anti-slip grip and a 100% stainless steel release mechanism. All these aspects and the great power generated by the double circular 14.5 mm Sigalsub Reactive bands, the precision and the recoil control make the Nemesis a very good and high quality speargun. The Edy reel is a good value for money solution, compact and functional. So an excellent speargun but with some updates possible.
The Best Choice by Apneapassion evaluation
“Apneapassion underlines that the Best Choice is a fully independent prize, assigned after deep testing by the 9 athletes of the Apneapassion International Official team. The result of the Best Choice does not want to be an indisputable opinion, as personal preferences and adaptations to each product can determine different opinions and likes. Still, the use of a large number of independent athletes (who’s sponsor is only Apneapassion) permits to give spearfishing and freediving enthusiasts our best possible evaluation of each winner. We are open to any company who would want to participate with its most competitive products to the Best Choice by Apneapassion yearly prize. For any additional information contact email@example.com.“