What is the best bowfishing reel 2021?

Best Bowfishing Reel – Fishing is a popular sport that is growing in popularity. It’s something to do with the whole family or group of pals.

Bow fishing adds a new level of inventiveness and excitement to the sport. But you’ll need the correct tools to execute it properly. You don’t want to be untangling lines or turning the rusted reel by hand. This will only waste your time and make the activity less enjoyable.

What is bowfishing?

We’re all familiar with the terms “hunting” and “fishing.” These are activities that have existed since the dawn of time. A bow and arrow come to mind when you think about ancient hunting. This is done in order to capture terrestrial animals. Imagine using a bow and arrow to catch fish. Bow fishing is essentially what it is.

You have an arrow instead of a rod to throw your line and a hook and bait to catch the fish. An arrow with a line attached is launched directly at the fish in order to reel it in. The reel and line are the only things that both traditional and bow fishing have in common.

Advantages of Purchasing a New Bowfishing Reel

If you’ve been using the same reel for a while, you’ll find that it’s become more difficult to use and doesn’t produce the same results. That makes sense because every product, no matter how amazing, has a limit. Here are a few reasons why you should buy a new bow fishing reel.

Effortless Performance

The salt in the water comes into touch with fishing equipment. This causes it to corrode, affecting the smooth operation of the reel in particular. The fishing reel is in charge of reeling in the line after it has been cast. It makes retrieving the line easier for the fisherman by simply spinning the handle. Fishing might become more effort than fun if it stops operating properly. Mechanical faults or rust on a newer reel will not obstruct smooth operation.

Longer Life Expectancy

A new bow fishing reel will last longer than one that has been used previously. You may go on more fishing trips and get more bang for your buck with the reel you bought.

Maintenance is reduced.

Older reels require greater care because they must be cleaned more frequently. They may also have elements that are no longer functional. This is a particular issue with reels with a lot of moving elements. A new reel is one that is clean, smooth, and in perfect working order. You only need to instal it and you’re ready to go.

What Characterizes a Good Bowfishing Reel?

When purchasing a bow fishing reel, there are a few features to keep an eye out for. It’s important to remember that they’re not all that different from regular reels. The fundamentals of their operation are the same.


It’s crucial to have a reel that can keep its quality and operation over time, especially if you fish frequently. If you’re going to spend money on something, the first thing you should do is inspect it for quality. Like any other piece of outdoor gear, the reel should be manufactured of durable materials that can tolerate changing conditions.

Strength of the Line

The majority of bow fishing reels come with fishing lines already wrapped on them. Bow fishing lines are just as crucial as regular fishing lines. They bring the fish to you by reeling it out of the water. They should be able to withstand the fight that the fish puts up. The tensile strength of their fibres is measured in pounds. The strength of thinner wires ranges from 4 to 6 pounds. Lines that are thicker or braided can even reach 150 pounds. Sharks and alligators can be caught with them.


If you’re new to the game, instead of diving right in with an intricate reel, you should start with something simpler. It’s similar to learning to walk before running. It takes some experience to get the hang of using the reel correctly, so start with an easy-to-use reel and work your way up. Even for seasoned anglers, ease of use is critical.

What Should I Know Before Purchasing?

You should be familiar with the language and common trade characteristics before purchasing any fishing equipment. Manufacturers can sometimes deceive you by printing fancy stuff on the package to entice the more inexperienced user. So before you buy the reel, there are a few things you should know.

The Reel Type

Bow fishing reels are divided into three categories. They operate on the same principles as standard reels but with a unique design and increased robustness. Below is a list of the three types.

Drum Reel

The first of the three reels is the most basic. It only serves as a place to spool your line. There are no moving pieces in it. You must physically spool the line on the ‘drum,’ as well as recover the line after casting it by hand. You must repeat the process if you want to shoot again. It takes a long time to complete, but it’s not complicated. This reel is ideal for beginners because it is simple to operate and takes little time to master. It is the cheapest and most durable due to the lack of moving parts.

Spincast Reel

The traditional spincast reel used with a rod is similar to a spincast reel used with a spincast reel. It’s the most popular bow fishing reel on the market. It comes with a pre-wound line, but you can change it whenever you want. It has a variable drag that you can adjust based on the type of fish you want to catch, and it is faster than a drum reel. It’s also easier to put together because there’s no manual labor involved. The handle can be used to reel the line back in. Unfortunately, because it contains more moving parts than a drum reel, it is more likely to be destroyed.

Reel for Retrievers

This is a relatively new form of the reel, but it is rising in popularity. It stores the line in a bottle rather than a spool. This decreases the likelihood of the line becoming knotted. You can easily retrieve the line using the crank. It is designed to catch large fish and comes with heavy-duty braided lines. It is the most expensive of the three and is primarily utilized by professionals.

Ratio of gears

The gear ratio refers to the rate at which the reel picks up the line. This refers to the number of spool rotations every handle revolution. 4.3:1 is the most common ratio found on many reels. It’s the speed that’s advised. If you finish one revolution of the handle, the spool will rotate 4.3 times. The faster you go, the less work you’ll have to exert.


The lines are what pull the fish out of the water and towards you. Monofilament, Braided, and Fluorocarbon are the three varieties available. Braided lines have the most strength and the least stretch, whereas monofilaments have the most stretch. Fluorocarbons are a newer type of plastic that is designed to be both strong and transparent. They still have a slight stretch, but not as much as monofilament. Bow fishing reels are frequently pre-wound. However, the line can be upgraded if desired. It’s crucial to pick a sturdy line and won’t snap under strain.

The 8 Best Bowfishing Reels in Review

Here are reviews of the top bow fishing reels available right now, with the above criteria of a good bow fishing reel in mind. Sift through them and select the one that best matches your needs.

In any sport, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of gear options available. Bowfishing is no exception. Bowfishing reels are available in a wide range of designs and sizes.

There are many various points of view regarding choosing a bowfishing reel, but the truth is that any reel that gets you out on the lake is the best reel for you. Any enhancements you choose will only enhance your experience. You’ll be able to get out on the water with the bowfishing reel that’s suitable for you after watching this quick video.

As a consequence, we’ve compiled a list of the best bow fishing reels on the market.

AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro Reel - Made in The USA (Right)


  • Simple to use and set up
  • Construction that is both strong and long-lasting
  • Smooth and quick performance
  • A 200-pound line has been pre-installed.
  • A reputable company with a well-known name in the market.


  • It is comparatively very expensive

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

This is an excellent bow fishing reel for catching large fish. It’s easy to set up and utilize. The only drawback is the exorbitant price, which is to be expected given the superb quality. Nevertheless, it appears to be a popular choice among bow fishers.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

Retriever reels have the best lines and construction. The lines do not tangle, and they are also the most straightforward to attach to the bow. Because the line is stored in the bottle, there is no need to spool it. Because there is no button to press before shooting, it has no drag and is very light and quick. Because the clamp is telescoping, you may adjust it to the size that feels right for your hand. The aluminum, heavy-duty brass, and UV-rated unbreakable bottles are used in the construction. It also has an arrow holder built-in.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?

This reel is simple to operate and quick, making it ideal for both novice and experienced anglers. Because it has minimal drag, it allows for longer and deeper shots. It’s only a right-hand reel. Because the line’s breaking strength is 200 pounds, you can easily catch heavy and oversized fish with it.


Because of its ease of use and strength, this is our top option for a bow fishing reel. The materials used in its construction are extraordinarily long-lasting and reliable. The cost is justified by the outcome and operation provided. This reel comes highly recommended by everybody who use it, and it is a well-known brand.

Zebco 808HBOWHD BX3 808 Series

  • Strong and long-lasting design
  • a well-known and dependable brand
  • A low-cost bow fishing reel that may be used in saline water without causing harm
  • The use of stainless steel in the structure helps to prevent rust.


  • The low price comes with some operational trade-offs

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

This standard spincast reel is straightforward and quick to operate. Beginners utilize it, and there isn’t anything to complain about. It requires some upkeep, but this is the one to choose for those looking for a less expensive choice.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

We like this type because it includes a stainless steel cover that protects it from rust and corrosion, essential for saltwater. The line is already spooled, so it’s ready to use right away. In addition, it’s straightforward to use. A heavy-duty 80-pound braided line is also included. It has a dual pick-up pin system and an anti-reverse system.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?

Because of the interchangeable handle placements, this reel may be used by both left and right-handed people. The braided line has a length of 210 feet and a line test of 80 pounds. For capturing medium to heavy fish, this is an excellent strength. However, this product is more geared toward novices than advanced users.


Overall, this retriever reel is a less expensive alternative to the more expensive retriever reel. This reel is well-made and simple to operate. Every component, including the internal gears, is rust-resistant. This is a beautiful choice for beginners and those looking for convenience.

SinoArt Bowfishing ReelBest for the Money

  • Smooth and simple to use
  • External stainless steel rocker arm
  • Materials that are resistant to corrosion are employed.
  • It can also be used for slingshot fishing.
  • Both right and left-handed folks can use it.


  • Not as durable as some other models

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

According to current customer feedback, this is a very low-cost spincast reel. While it does not compare to the greatest overall quality, it is ideal for little fish. Furthermore, individuals who shoot with a thin line enjoy the way this reel works. The majority of users are pleased with it.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

This reel comes in two sizes: BL25 and BL40. The 40-yard line on the BL25 is replaced by a 70-yard line on the BL40. To set it up, it comes with a fishing reel seat. Stainless steel is used for the external rocker arm. Die-cast alloy is used for the inside construction, which provides it a smooth feel for effortless operation.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?


This reel is appropriate for both left and right-handed users because to the replaceable rocker. People who prefer to search for smaller fish that stay near to the surface utilise it.


Overall, this reel is ideal for those on a tight budget. The reel’s aluminium structure and design make it extremely sturdy and durable. It’s pretty simple to adjust to. This is an excellent starter reel that can also be utilized by more experienced anglers.

AMS Tournament Retriever ProBest AMS Bowfishing Reel

  • A nice gear ratio of 4.3:1
  • Build quality is strong and long-lasting.
  • The fastest bow fishing reel on the market
  • Increased leverage with a long handle
  • During operation, the lines stay tangle-free.


  • It is very expensive

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

According to recent customer feedback, this is a reliable reel that is simple to operate and delivers on its promises. It also has a nice appearance, according to buyers, and makes a terrific gift for loved ones who enjoy fishing.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

Most experienced anglers favor the 4.3:1 speed on this reel. It has a long handle that improves leverage while also increasing speed. In addition, it has a high-visibility yellow line. It adjusts to any hand, thanks to the telescoping clamp. A trigger guard, safety slide kit, quiver mount, and mounting hardware are all included in the bundle.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?

This unit comes with a 25-yard long and powerful line. This is an excellent reel for professionals. It is pretty long-lasting. This reel comes in two versions, one for right-handed individuals and one for left-handed persons. As a result, it can serve a large number of people.


AMS bow fishing has been in business since 1979, and it manufactures high-quality retriever reels that perform at a competitive level. This is one of their best reels. It’s simple to set up and utilize. Heavy-duty construction ensures long-term reliability and smooth operation.

Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing ReelBest Cajun Bowfishing Reel

  • Line tangling are avoided thanks to the anti-reverse mechanism.
  • Mechanism for one-handed operation
  • For a smooth operation, there is an adjustable string guide.
  • Adjustments can be made to accommodate any type of bow.
  • The use of stainless steel and aluminium in the construction increases the durability.


  • It might not fit all kinds of budgets

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

According to the user feedback, this is a fantastic reel with excellent performance. Many users have likened the performance to that of AMS reels, and it is clearly comparable. The metal construction is also sturdy and long-lasting.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

The anti-reverse feature on this Pro reel helps to eliminate the possibility of tangled lines. The reel’s string guide can be adjusted for smoother operation. You can customize it to your liking. Ceramic is used to make the guide. You can use the reel and break at the same time, and it can be operated with just one hand. The frame, on the other hand, is built of aluminium for long-term durability.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?

This reel may be used with any type of bow because it features vertical and horizontal adjustments. It may be used in bath, salt, and freshwater because of its aluminium construction and anti-rust properties. With this reel, you can use any line you choose.


To summaries, this Cajun reel performs at a professional level. It is simple to operate and provides a seamless experience. Its hefty cost is justified by its high quality construction and long-lasting materials. Retriever reels are designed for professional use, and this one is up to the task.

AMSBowfishing Water MocBest Recurve Bowfishing Reel:

  • Simple to set up and install
  • It has an arrow rest and a bow.
  • Laminated limbs with a water-resistant seal
  • Spectra line is extremely strong, weighing 350 pounds.
  • Magnesium riser that is light and easy to use.


  • Only right-handed use is available

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

This bow is said to be highly lightweight and simple to use by customers. The cost of purchasing the complete kit in one go is fair and convenient. Both the bowstring and the reel operate admirably. The set-up is also straightforward.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

Why buy a reel and a bow and arrow separately when you can get everything you need in one package? Another advantage is that the bow was designed exclusively for fishing. This implies that it will be simple to set up. The bow’s draw weight is 45 pounds. It’s constructed of magnesium, and it’s pretty light. A seal has been added to the limbs to extend their life and protect them from water damage.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?

Any enthusiast wishing to buy a specific bow and arrow kit for fishing rather than using old hunting gear can utilize this AMS bow fishing kit. Furthermore, the cost is reasonable given the contents of the equipment.


Overall, this bow fishing equipment is quite convenient and straightforward to use. The reel is already attached to the bow, and it has water protection, which most projections lack. Using the 350-pound spectrum line, capturing large fish is a breeze.

HBG Powerful Pro Fishing SlingshotBest Crossbow Bowfishing Reel


  • Camo and red colors are both available.
  • You won’t need to purchase a bow separately.
  • Its aluminium construction makes it long-lasting.
  • A flashlight, slingshot, and arrow brush are included.


  • A little complicated to use and setup

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

This set is excellent bow fishing equipment for individuals who know what they’re doing. You must construct it yourself, but once done, it operates quickly and smoothly. It also works well and is easy to transport, according to users.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

This multi-purpose reel and bow setup is designed for the seasoned angler. It has a cool design, and the arrow is launched with a slingshot rather than a bowstring. It’s made of a lightweight and long-lasting material. Everything you’ll need to put it together and utilise it is included in the package.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?

We believe that this reel is not suitable for beginners in archery and bow fishing. There is no instruction booklet on how to use or set it up. You’ll have to look at the pictures to figure out which part goes where. This approach works quite well for individuals who have some knowledge of these topics and can set it up without instructions.


We added reels that cater to everyone, keeping in mind that not every reader has the same level of experience. This package is intended for serious professional users only. Not to mention, the pricing is fair given the product’s quality and construction.

Diamond Archery Infinite EdgeBest Left-Handed Bowfishing Reel

  • Draw weight that can be adjusted
  • Ability to sketch with ease
  • It can be used by both left and right-handed people.
  • Integral stabilizer for a well balanced shot. Accelerates arrow up to 310 feet per second.


  • The bow does not come with a reel

Recent Buyers’ Experiences

Recent buyer feedback indicates that this is a good, robust bow that can be used by anyone. The changeable settings make it easier to get acclimated to. Users love the bow since it comes with so many excellent accessories.

What Makes It Stand Out to Us

The draw length of this bow ranges from 13 to 31 inches. Its draw weight can be adjusted to your liking. You always obtain a stable shot thanks to the stabilizer. This bow has synchronized cams and is quite precise. By rotating the limb bolt, which features prominent indicators to help you view the weight, you can alter the poundage.

Who Will Make the Most Use of It?

This bow is obviously not just for fishing. It can also be used for regular hunting. It has a design that may be adjusted. It can be used with either the right or left hand, and the draw weight can be adjusted to meet your demands and the target requirements.


The final truth is that this is a powerful bow that may be used with your fishing gear. Of course, you’ll have to buy and instal them separately, but the bow is a decent start. The bow dictates how much force you can use to it in order to hit the target, as well as how precise your shot will be.

Drum reels, sometimes known as hand wrap reels (for obvious reasons), are the most basic of all reels. Draw back your bow, release your arrow, then manually wrap the line around the drum’s outer circle when you’re ready to retrieve it.

The cost savings and simplicity of these bowfishing reels compensate for their lack of intricacy. Drum reels may frequently be found for under $20. Furthermore, because these reels have no moving parts, they will last for many years. Many vintage Fred Bear bowfishing reels from the 1980s can still be found in good condition on the used market.

There are a few different kinds of drum reels to consider. The two main categories are screw on and strap/tape on. Screw-on reels are normally threaded into the front stabilizer hole and are affixed to the front of your bow (above picture). Here are a few more images of bow parts.

Bowfishing reels with a strap/tape are designed to be used with one-piece bows that do not have a mounting hole. This type of drum reel is beneficial to traditional bows. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the reel should be mounted as far away as possible from the limb’s working part (riser). Metal tabs will be included, which you may bend to fit your bow perfectly. To secure the reel to your bow, use tape or straps (typically, elastic or velcro is used). Any tape will do, but seek for waterproof tape if you want it to last longer. To protect your bow from the metal tabs, wrap one course of tape first.

Finally, if you want to try bowfishing for free, you may make your own drum reel by attaching a recycled soda bottle to your bow. This is how many archer-anglers began their careers.

Spin Cast Reel

A spin-cast bowfishing reel has all of the features of a traditional fishing reel, such as a spool for holding the line and a crank handle for fast recovering the line. The reel seat on these bowfishing reels fits into a threaded accessory hole on the front of your bow. The line is retrieved by a drag mechanism on spin-cast reels. If there is no drag, the line will run smoothly off the spool. Spin-cast reels built specifically for bowfishing allow the line to flow freely off the spool once the arrow is shot. The drag is only activated when a trigger is pulled.

Before the shot is discharged, some spin-cast reels, like standard fishing reels, require a button press. If you don’t press the button on a button-style bowfishing reel, the line will be taught, and you’ll likely shatter the line or, worse, the arrow will snap back and hit you. Because the user does not have to remember to click the button before each shot, trigger spincast reels are preferable over button spincast reels. RPM and Megamouth both make bowfishing reels in this form.

The retriever style of bowfishing reel.

Retriever reels are best for catching small to medium-sized fish and are developed specifically for bowfishing. These reels are made to fit into the holes where a sight would normally go. Bowfishing normally does not necessitate the assistance of a company because the majority of the shots are taken quickly and spontaneously.

The retriever bails the line into a bottle rather than spooling it. To apply drag to the line, a manual lever is pressed. When no pressure is applied to the lever, the line is free spooling. As a result, there’s no need to remember to press a button. If the fish are particularly large, the manual lever may not be sufficient to pull the line in. These are the recommended bowfishing reel for experienced bow fishermen because to its ease of use and low maintenance. AMS, Cajun, and a few more businesses produce these reels.


When bowfishing, where should you aim?

As with any other type of hunting, you must aim where the fish will be caught. To ensure that it sticks, aim for the thickest section. You can’t see the exact location of fish underwater due to light refraction in the water. Because the fish is deeper than it looks to you, you must aim lower.

Is it possible to fish with a bow and arrow?

Yes, a bow and arrow can be used to catch fish. This notion underpins the entire sport of bow fishing.

What kind of fish can you catch with a bow?

Because you can’t see very far down due to the nature of the sport, you can only fish for species that live around the surface. This activity is likewise limited to bodies of water with pure water. Carp, paddlefish, and alligators are some of the most commonly pursued fish in bow fishing.

What is the best bowfishing draw weight?

The amount of force required to pull the bow in order to get a decent shot is known as draw weight. For bow fishing, a draw weight of 40 to 50 pounds is ideal. You select the one that best suits your needs based on your prior experience. However, you should not lose more than 40 pounds.

How far can a bowfish dive?

You usually fish at a depth of 3 to 4 feet. You can’t go too deep for obvious reasons. You won’t be able to see the fish, which means you won’t be able to aim at it. Stick to the traditional fishing rod and line for deep-water fishing.

How to Assemble a Bowfishing Reel

Of course, putting together a bow fishing reel differs from putting together a regular reel. To accomplish it properly, follow the procedures outlined below:

  1. A bow presser is used to press the bowstring.
  2. Take the string from the bow and remove it.
  3. On one end of the string, loop a bobby pin and slide the smaller bit of finger savour over it.
  4. Pull until you reach the center of the string.
  5. From the opposite end of the thread, repeat the process with the long finger savour.
  6. Reattach the string to the bow.
  7. On the bow, apply full containment rust.
  8. There will be two spacers on the retriever reel. Attach them to the bow where a sight can be mounted.
  9. Not the other way around, the bottle should be towards you.

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