What gear do I need to go abalone diving?

Heading out to go abalone diving in the Pacific Ocean is always an exercise of gathering up all your gear and double checking you’re not missing anything.

Your first purchase should be a big mesh gear bag that can hold all of your abalone diving gear when you are heading to the coast AND when you want to store it. Your mesh bag needs to be sturdy and big enough to hold almost everything. I’m able to put everything but my tube into my bag, but it’s heavy as hell with my weight belt inside.

Then you’re going to need a waterproof bag to hold your smaller items. This is where you’ll stash your fishing license, abalone report card, identification, pen, scissors and zip ties. And anything else you want to bring along that should stay dry.

To protect your body in the NorCal ocean you’ll need a nice layer of 7 millimeter neoprene covering you from head to toe. That includes a 7mm wetsuit, hood, gloves and booties.

To actually swim around and dive deep into the water you’ll need a dive mask, snorkelfins and a weight belt.

Getting abalone requires an abalone pry bar and gauge. You’ll also need a flotation device to store your catch and to give you something to rest on. A kelp clamp will keep your tube anchored in one spot.


This post will be continually updated with links to the various pieces of gear as I write descriptions of their use and suggest specific products to check out.