Top 5 Best Bowfishing Bows for the Best Bowfishing Trip

Are you interested in bowfishing but you don’t know where to start? While learning the basics of bowfishing is an important task, choosing the right equipment and gear is essential, too.

Finding the right bowfishing bow may be difficult if you’re not acquainted with the different choices out there. To help you out, I’ve made a list of my Top 5 best bowfishing bows that you can choose from, depending on your style and needs.

More...

BEST BOWFISHING BOW

Product Name

Type

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Cajun Archery Fish Stick Ready-to-Fish Bowfishing Package

Recurve

A-

$

PSE Kingfisher Bowfishing Kit

Recurve

A+

$

AMS Bowfishing Water MOC Bowfishing Kit

Recurve

A++

$$

Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch Bow Package

Compound

A

$$

Parker Stingray Open Sight

Crossbow

A+

$$$

**Below, you find more detailed reviews but you can also click links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

Bowfishing Equipment

Before you start on your bowfishing adventure, you first need to know what equipment you need. These include your archery bow, a good set of bowfishing arrows, and a reel:

1. Archery Bow

Types of Bowfishing Bows

Types of Bowfishing Bows

There are three types of archery bows that most bowfishers usually choose from. The first one is the recurved bow, which is a traditional longbow with its limbs curved outward, making it smaller, more compact, and more able to fire quicker arrows.

The second one is the compound bow, which is a modern bow comprised of different cables and pulleys, designed to be more energy efficient and to release arrows faster. It is also small compared to a traditional longbow so it’s easier to make room for it in your boat.

The third one is the crossbow, which may be heavier and clunkier than a recurve or a compound bow, but may have the advantage of being easier to use, since you won’t need to draw the bow—you just aim and then press the trigger to shoot.

2. Bowfishing Arrows

Bowfishing Arrows

Bowfishing Arrow. Via bowhunting.com

In general, you can’t use your usual archery arrows for bowfishing because they won’t work as effectively in the water. Instead, you need to invest in a good set of bowfishing arrows that can penetrate the water and pierce your target with ease.

Bowfishing arrows do not have fletches because they don’t need air stabilization. Instead, they have barbed tips—similar to fishing hooks—that will pierce the targets and hook them into the arrows. Bowfishing arrows also have a mechanism that you can use to tie your fishing line in.

3. Reel

Types of Bowfishing Reels

Types of Bowfishing Reels

There are three basic reels for bowfishing that you can choose from. The first one is the hand wrap drum reel, which is the simplest type. Unfortunately, it is also the slowest, so there are fewer chances of successfully hitting a quick-swimming target if you use this.

The second type is the spincast reel, which is similar to the spincast reel of a traditional fishing rod. This is often quicker than a hand wrap drum reel, but may not be that durable because the constant spinning may easily wear it down.

The third type, and the one preferred by more bowfishers, is the retriever or bottle-type reel, where the line is stored in a bottle and then attached to the arrow. This makes the arrow shoot faster and avoids knots and tangles that may happen if you keep the line around a spool.

A bowfishing line should be light enough to let the arrow fly at maximum speed but still durable so that it won’t snap off even when your target struggles against it. Some strings even have an attached float to make it easier for you to spot your target once you hit it.

What to Look for in a Bowfishing Bow

  • Weight. When choosing a bowfishing bow, try to look for something that you can carry for long periods of time. A lighter bow is usually better because it won’t strain your arms as much. I find that this is important because you may need to hold your bow for long periods and aim it into the water while waiting for the optimal position of your target.
  • Length. I like a short bow better than a long one because it is usually easier to aim and there are fewer tendencies for it to hit my knee while I’m aiming. This is advantageous whether you’re in the boat and need to lean on the railing, or you’re in the lake or river and you need to keep the bow out of the water because otherwise, it will affect your aim negatively.
  • Fast draw. Timing is an important aspect of bowfishing, and you need a bow that will help you make accurate shots at the shortest time possible. A good bowfishing bow should allow for fast and easy drawing and snap-shots, or when you let go of the bow without having to do a full draw.
  • Durability. As you get more used to bowfishing, you will most likely encounter big fish that would put a fight when you try to reel it in. Your bow and reel should be strong enough to endure your catch’s pull, and the line should not snap, as this would mean that you’ve lost both your catch and your arrow.

Optional Tools and Gear for a Good Bowfishing Trip

To make your bowfishing trip easier and better, you may want to consider these additional tools and gear, too:

  • Wooden stick. I find that a thick branch or piece of wood comes in handy when I need to quickly whack a big fish that is thrashing my boat. You can simply pick a sturdy branch from your backyard or buy one from your local hardware.
  • Gloves. A good pair of gloves may help protect your hands when you’re reeling in your fish, especially if you’ve been out in the water for a long time.
  • Sunglasses. I always bring my trusty pair of sunglasses when I go bowfishing in the daytime because they protect my eyes from harmful UV rays that reflect in the water. Just make sure you don’t get sunglasses that are too dark, which may affect your vision and make it difficult to spot your targets.
  • Fishing bucket. Do you relish the thought of having fish guts all over your boat? I don’t, which is why I’ve invested on a durable bucket where I can toss my catch’s blood, slime, and entrails, instead of letting them mess up my boat.

Bowfishing Bow Reviews

1. Cajun Archery Fish Stick Ready-to-Fish Bowfishing Package Review

I have mixed feelings about the Cajun Archery Fish Stick Ready-to-Fish Bowfishing Bow. On the one hand, I love that it’s so inexpensive and comes with many additional accessories, like the roller arrow rest and an arrow with a Piranha point.

On the other hand, I’ve experienced quite a few issues with the model, particularly when setting it up. The package does not come with an instruction manual so you may have to find an online instructional video if you’re not familiar with assembling a recurve bow.

I do love Cajun Archery’s red Kryptek camo design, and the fact that the bow is easy to use once you’ve managed to set it up. If you want something cheap and don’t mind sweating a bit on the setup, then you may want to check this model out.

PROS

  • Made of high-grade materials—an aluminum riser plus tough composite limbs
  • Simple and easy to use, with easy maneuverability options
  • Comes in a beautiful red Kryptek camo design
  • Inclusive of 50 feet of tough 80# fishing line
  • Bow length is 56 inches from tip to tip
  • Package comes with additional accessories such as the roller arrow rest, a Piranha-point arrow, and Blister Buster finger savers
  • Cheap compared to other bowfishing bows

CONS

  • May not work well with beginner bowfishers
  • Needs to manually reel the line back in
  • Fishing line is wound around a spool so you need to buy a separate bottle-type reel
  • Fit and finish may not be quality checked
  • No assembly manual included in the package so it’s a bit hard to set up
  • Designed for right-hand bowfishers only

2. PSE Kingfisher Bowfishing Kit Review

I’ve always held the PSE brand in high regard because of its good quality products and service. Its Kingfisher Bowfishing Kit is no exception. I just love how durable the bow is, and I’ve personally experienced reeling in a 20-pound carp with it.

My only issue is that the string that comes with the kit isn’t as durable as I’d like, so I recommend that you purchase a separate bottle-type reel with a strong fishing line when you get the chance. Otherwise, I find that this model is good value for your money and is something worth checking out.

PROS

  • Made of durable aluminum and stainless steel alloy for a strong and solid finish
  • Bow can handle big catches of up to 20 pounds
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Comes with a snap-shot arrow rest
  • Features 50 feet of 80# test line
  • A little lighter than other recurve bowfish bows
  • Comes in a classic all season camo finish
  • Allows customization and installation of additional accessories
  • Cheap compared to other bowfishing bows

CONS

  • May be a bit heavy for some bowfish hunters
  • Default fishing line is not as tough as other brands
  • Needs to manually reel the line back in
  • Fishing line is wound around a spool so you need to buy a separate bottle-type reel
  • Not designed as an all-purpose bow so it may not be effective as a hunting or practice bow
  • Designed for right-hand bowfishers only

3. AMS Bowfishing Water MOC Bowfishing Kit Review

AMS Bowfishing Water MOC Bowfishing Kit Review

If you’re not skimping on your budget and are willing to shell out a bit more money, then the AMS Bowfishing MOC Bowfishing Kit may be a good investment for you. This model is a delight to have, and I’ve used it to catch some heavyweights in my usual bowfishing spot.

What I love most about this AMS model is that the limbs are sealed and laminated, so I don’t have to worry about water seeping into the material and making it fragile and breakable. The riser is also made of lightweight magnesium, making the bow strong and durable.

While this product may be heavier than the other two recurve bows in this list, I feel that its add-ons more than makes up for it. For one, each kit comes with 105 feet of high-grade 305# braided Spectra fishing line, more than double of what other brands may offer. It also comes in an adorable green color with koi accents, making it a beauty to look at, whether you’re in your boat or wading in the water.

PROS

  • Limbs are laminated wood and made water resistant, promising a long life even after long exposures to moist environments
  • Sleek and stylish riser is made of lightweight magnesium
  • Comes in a beautiful green color with koi fish accents
  • Easy to set up and disassemble
  • Lightweight bow at only 2.5 pounds
  • Kit includes an AMS Retriever TNT reel, 205 feet of tough 350# braided Spectra fishing line, and a fiberglass arrow with Chaos point and Cyclone tip
  • Comes with additional accessories such as a Tidal Wave arm rest

CONS

  • Needs to manually reel the line back in
  • Designed for right-hand bowfishers only
  • More expensive than other recurve bowfishing bows

4. Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch Bow Package Review

If you’re more comfortable using a compound bow, then the Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch Bowfishing Bow may be a good choice for you. Made of durable materials and weighing only 3.2 pounds, this heavy-duty bow is easy to use and adjust, depending on your draw weight and specific needs.

The Sucker Punch Bowfishing Bow also features a hybrid reel, combining the good points of a spincast and a bottle-style reel—the spincast feature makes it easy to reel the line back in while the bottle feature prevents snags and tangles.

You may want to check out the cam wheels before taking this model for a test run, as there may be burs in the grooves. If you find some, make sure to file them down first so they don’t end up snapping your string prematurely.

PROS

  • Made of heavy-duty aluminum and other durable materials
  • Features a hybrid reel that combines the best features of the traditional spincast reel and the modern bottle-style reel
  • Comes with a safety feature that prevents arrow snap-backs
  • Accurate and well-balanced bow that is easy to use and adjust
  • Additional features include a fishing biscuit arrow rest, blister buster finger pads, and two fiberglass arrows with Piranha tips
  • Features a lightweight bow at only 3.2 pounds

CONS

  • Cam wheels may have bur in its grooves that may cause string to snap after only a few uses
  • Hybrid reel may feel a bit shaky and rickety
  • Designed for right-hand bowfishers only
  • Slightly more expensive than other compound bowfishing sets

5. Parker Stingray Open Sight Review

Crossbows may not get a lot of love when it comes to bowfishing, but I think the Parke Stingray Open Sight is still worth checking out. For one thing, I find that it is easier to use than a recurve or compound bow because you don’t have to draw the bowstring before making a shot.

Another advantage of this model is its many interesting and useful features, like the EZ Pull System that may reduce your cocking effort by at least 50 percent, and the AMS Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel that prevents drags and improves line control.

This model is the most expensive one on this list and is the heaviest, too. If you decide to purchase this product, be mindful of rust accumulating on the cocking bar and other parts if you do not take the time to dry it off and oil properly after every use.

PROS

  • Features an open sight that improves your accuracy when shooting your target
  • Comes with a convenient AMS retriever system that makes it easier to reel in your catch
  • Easier to use—just aim at your target and pull the trigger
  • EZ pull system cuts down the cocking effort in half
  • A G2 Bull-Pup trigger mechanism is connected directly to the trigger, making it easier to fire off a shot even while wearing gloves
  • Comes with an arrow with Muzzy Gator Getter point
  • Works for both right-handed and left-handed bowfish hunters

CONS

  • Easily rusts when not dried thoroughly after every use
  • Covers less distance than most recurve and compound bows
  • Heavier than recurve or compound bowfishing bows
  • More expensive than other types of bowfishing bows

Conclusion

If you’re willing to spend a bit for a high-grade and well-performing bowfishing bow, then the AMS Bowfishing Water MOC Bowfishing Kit may be a good investment for you. Its laminated wooden limbs and magnesium riser promise strength and durability, and I think its additional features make it a cut above the rest.

Coming to a close second is the PSE Kingfisher Bowfishing Kit, which is also a good choice if you’re on a tighter budget. This heavy-duty bow can handle catches of up to 20 pounds (or even more!) and is also very easy to set up and use.

Jennifer Walls
 

Hey there, I’m Jennifer, a mother of two sons, and I really enjoy the outdoor world. I take advantage of my spare time to hunt the deer with a bow. I founded BuckWithBow blog so that I can share my hunting experiences in the woods and thus help you discover a couple of tricks, tips and essential skills that will make you a successful bow hunter.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: