Not only bowfishing will bestow your skills and talents to hit a big fish, but it also lets you have a seafood feast as well if you get a tasty target. Well, it’s not only the bow and arrow that play a giant part in such a fish-catching game, but there is also another gear that has a major role. Do you know what it is? It’s the reel.
Although a bow fishing reel is pretty similar to a traditional fishing reel, yet the only exception here is that, it is mounted to the bow and arrow. So, if you want to have the best experience to fish a fish, it is high time to get the best bow fishing reel. And for this, we have compiled 7 of the best reels so you can grab the one that is dominating the market.
Best Bowfishing Reel We Will Cover Today
- Best choice-AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro Reel
- Best Strong-Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel
- Premium-AMS Bowfishing Retriever TNT Reel
- Best Overall-Fin Finder Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel
- Best Pre-Spooled-Muzzy 1097 XD Bow Fishing Reel
- Best Right Handed-Zebco 808 Bowfisher Spincast Fishing Reel
7 Bowfishing Reel Reviews!
1. AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro Reel
Let your bow do all the talking with this best bowfishing bow and reel by AMS. With a pro like this, you don’t have to worry about your line tangling anymore.
Retriever Pro bowfishing reel is famous for its speed with a gear ratio of 4.3:1. It can be one of the reasons why you should go for it. You will get to experience the smoothest and fastest performance whenever you shoot the arrow and reel it back in.
It has a yellow Dacron line that is another plus point for its visibility. With its 25 yards line, you can get yourself ready to kickoff fishing just after you mount the reel. However, the heavier and thicker bowline can increase a little concern as they can affect the speed.
Nonetheless, Retriever Pro can make an ideal choice for beginners as well as pro anglers. Because you neither have to push a button nor you need to hand-wind the spool. The whole process is just that simple, fire the arrow and it will do stuff on its own.
The pinion and gear have been made up of heavy brass. And the fasteners are of stainless steel while the trigger has been made up of aluminum. So its durability is also another great trait that might impress you.
Moreover, it has a long handle that helps upturns your leverage while being easy to use. And it also features a bottle so it can keep your line in an accurate position. There can be a minor gripe on the size of the bottle since many people found it a bit small to hold all 25 yards.
The Retriever Pro Reel boasts an exceptional retrieval system. Its simplicity is a highlight, with no buttons, levers, or gears. Instead, it utilizes a unique bottle design that allows you to effortlessly reel in your line with the flick of your finger. This system is incredibly smooth and reliable, making it ideal for quick and accurate shots at fast-moving fish.
Other than that, if you think you can spend some extra bucks over a high-quality weapon, this is a great option.
- Easy to use.
- Durable and solid.
- Ideal for beginners and pro anglers.
- Longer handle for increased leverage.
- One of the fastest for its gear ratio of 4.3:1.
- The Yellow Dacron line offers great visibility.
- Limited arrow capacity
- Can be noisy
- Can be difficult to repair
2. Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel
Are you planning to pull a stubborn monster from the depth? Then this Winch Bowfishing Reel by Cajun deserves to be taken into consideration.
One of the striking traits it has is its fighting brake that lets you winch the water monster back to your boat with ease. It will just take one of your hands to make it happen.
Furthermore, it has a 25-yard white line that has got much high visibility weighing just 250 pounds.
The reel also possesses stainless steel hardware with aluminum brackets. They are able to take the stresses of extreme bow fishing. However, some users did complain about the aluminum housing that snapped and rendered the trigger leading it to make it useless. So, there can be a little doubt on the quality of the construction.
However, when it comes to the performance, the winch reel stands up.
It has an option of vertical and horizontal adjustments that offer an ideal fit to any bow. And it also promotes anti-tangling as it has an anti-reverse element.
So, if you think you can forgive the material and focus more on its performance, then it can be a great buy.
- Shows great performance.
- Able to pull fish from the depths.
- 25 yards of white line promotes high visibility.
- The line weighs just 250 pounds which is light.
- Can bear the stresses of extreme bow fishing.
- Offers a perfect fit for its vertical and horizontal adjustments.
- Promotes anti-tangling for an anti-reverse factor.
- Limited line capacity: The reel’s 25-yard.
- Possible tangling: Some users have reported issues with the line tangling during retrieval, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.
3. AMS Bowfishing Retriever TNT Reel
Here comes AMS yet again! Being a retriever pro, Retriever TNT also holds a lot of features that certainly deserve a big thumbs up.
If you think the previous one is stopping you somehow to get it for its high price, you can try this cheaper version.
However, you already know the process to use a retriever: just pull the trigger guard and turn the handle so you can set off reeling. This is how it works.
As for its construction, Retriever TNT has been made up of solid brass while the trigger is of aluminum. So, it’s convinced that the reel will last longer than many of its competitors.
The line has a length of 35 yards while you can retrieve 27 inches of a line in every revolution of the handle. And since its high visibility line has been stored in a clear bottle, so it is likely to be much visible and will fly right out of the reel as quickly as the arrow can take it after the shot.
You will also find an arrow quiver and a telescoping clamp that make the assembling a breeze. Adjustment is also a big plus.
However, there are some drawbacks that also need to be highlighted. Firstly, the reel has been stated to shoot loudly that resulted in scaring the other fishes off in shallow water.
Secondly, you might not find the line length as much long as you expect it to be.
You will also need to be careful when the arrow will get stuck into a heavier fish because you will need to pull it out of the water manually.
However, the reel has a decent pinch pressure drag system that helps bring in fish. So, if you wish to have the best bowfishing reel, this one is for you.
- Zero drag.
- Easy to install.
- Great pinch pressure drag system.
- Solid construction and performance.
- Easy to use since it just needs pulling the trigger.
- A high visibility line in a clear bottle makes it easy to see.
- Comes with an arrow quiver and a telescoping clamp.
- Limited line capacity
- Heavier than other reels
4.Fin Finder Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel
The Fin Finder Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel is a high-quality and durable bowfishing reel that is ideal for both novice and experienced bowfishers. As an AI language model, I don’t have hands-on experience with this product, but I can provide a review based on the features and feedback from other customers.
One of the standout features of the Fin Finder Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel is its smooth and consistent operation. The reel is equipped with a 5.4:1 gear ratio and a stainless steel gear and pinion, which ensure that the line is retrieved smoothly and quickly. This is particularly useful when bowfishing for fast-moving fish.
The reel also comes with a solid aluminum frame and spool, which provide excellent durability and strength. The frame is resistant to corrosion, which is particularly important when using the reel in saltwater environments. Additionally, the reel features an adjustable drag system, which allows the user to adjust the tension of the line to match the size and strength of the fish they are targeting.
The Fin Finder Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel is also designed with usability in mind. The reel features an oversized power knob, which makes it easy to operate, even with wet or slimy hands. The reel also comes with a comfortable and easy-to-grip handle, which provides excellent control over the reel and the line.
Overall, the Fin Finder Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality and reliable bowfishing reel. Its smooth operation, durable construction, and ease of use make it a top choice for bowfishers of all skill levels.
- Smooth and consistent operation due to its 5.4:1 gear ratio and stainless steel gear and pinion.
- Durable aluminum frame and spool that are resistant to corrosion.
- Adjustable drag system allows for customization of line tension to match the size and strength of the targeted fish.
- Oversized power knob and comfortable handle make the reel easy to operate even with wet or slimy hands.
- Ideal for both novice and experienced bowfishers.
- Some users may find the price of the Fin Finder Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel to be relatively high compared to other bowfishing reels on the market.
- While the reel is designed to be used in saltwater environments, some users have reported that the reel’s corrosion resistance is not as effective as they would like.
5. Muzzy 1097 XD Bow Fishing Reel with 150 lines Installed
Meet Muzzy XD, another one of the best reels to make your day. You know why? Well here are the reasons.
This particular reel comes with an elongated hood so it can give you a better line flow with a smoother and more precise shot
Since its drive system has been made up of stainless steel with all brass parts, there is no doubt on the durability of the reel. It is surely expected to last long.
The great thing about the unit is that you can adjust it according to your style of use. As it is convertible to the left and right hand.
Muzzy boasts it to be a rugged reel that has been designed for those bow fishermen who love to target bigger fish. Looking at the remarks that have been found so far, it can be said that it does help you get them right in your boat.
Moreover, while the reel casts pretty well, its stainless steel roller pickup pins catch the line effortlessly.
Not just that, its stainless steel foot also manages to offer a solid anchor.
To add more, the reel possesses all the power so it can wear out the monsters since it has an automotive-style disc and dual-spool shaft bearings which are the best features.
Features & More
- Durable reel made up for heavy bow fishing.
- Comes with an extended hood better line flow and a smoother shot.
- Stainless steel roller picks up pin is durable.
- Strong stainless steel foot provide a firm anchor
- Comes with dual spool shaft bearings for offering more power.
- Features automotive-style disc drag to provide better power.
- Convertible to left hand and right hand.
- Strong stainless steel and brass drive system.
- Comes with 150 pounds line installed.
- Limited arrow capacity
- May require more maintenance
6.Zebco 808 Bowfisher Spincast Fishing Reel, Pre-Spooled with Braided Fishing Line
The Zebco 808 Bowfisher Spincast Fishing Reel is a solid choice for those looking for a reliable and durable fishing reel. This reel is specifically designed for bowfishing, making it an ideal choice for those who enjoy this type of fishing.
One of the standout features of the Zebco 808 Bowfisher is its construction. The reel is made with a rugged, corrosion-resistant housing that can withstand the harsh conditions that come with bowfishing. It also has a durable all-metal gears and a stainless steel handle for added strength and longevity.
In terms of performance, the Zebco 808 Bowfisher delivers a smooth and consistent drag that allows for accurate casting and reeling. The reel also has a powerful retrieve that can easily handle heavy fish, making it a great option for those looking to catch larger species.
Another key feature of this reel is its ease of use. The push-button design makes casting and reeling simple and straightforward, even for beginners. It also has a convenient built-in bite alert system that provides an audible signal when a fish is hooked, making it easier to stay alert and responsive to potential catches.
Overall, the Zebco 808 Bowfisher Spincast Fishing Reel is a reliable and durable option for those looking to take their bowfishing game to the next level. With its rugged construction, smooth performance, and user-friendly design, it’s a reel that can help anglers of all skill levels to successfully catch fish in a variety of conditions.
- Durable construction: The reel is made with a rugged, corrosion-resistant housing and all-metal gears that can withstand the harsh conditions of bowfishing.
- Smooth performance: The reel has a smooth and consistent drag that allows for accurate casting and reeling, and it has a powerful retrieve that can handle heavy fish.
- Easy to use: The push-button design and built-in bite alert system make casting, reeling, and catching fish simple and straightforward, even for beginners.
- Designed for bowfishing: The reel is specifically designed for bowfishing, making it an ideal choice for those who enjoy this type of fishing.
- Spincast design: Some anglers may prefer a different type of reel, such as a spinning reel or baitcasting reel, which could make this reel less appealing.
- Line capacity: The Zebco 808 Bowfisher has a relatively low line capacity, which may not be suitable for all types of fishing or for catching larger fish.
- Weight: The reel is slightly heavier than some other reels on the market, which could be a concern for anglers who prefer lightweight gear.
Bowfishing Reel Buyer’s Guide
You will basically get to see three styles of bowfishing reels. If you get to know both of their upsides and downsides, it will be easier for you to pick the one that will be best for you.
Hand Wrap Bottle Reel
Just like the name says, you will have to wrap the line around the spool manually that is by your hand and hold it in place by putting it into a line holder. As you fire the arrow, the line will fly from the holder. And as you retrieve by rewinding your reel manually, it will get ready for the next shot using the same process. This type of reel makes a great choice for its pocket-friendly price. You can also use it in combination with a float system for shooting bigger fishes.
Bottle Reel possesses a lot of perks. Not only they are reasonable, but also easier to set up. They also come with a longer lifespan than other types.
As for its disadvantages, the reel takes extra time and effort when it comes to winding. Besides, its line also does not shoot as quick as the other types.
Spincast Bowfishing Reels
One of the most basic kinds of reels is Spincast Reel. Whether you are utilizing a compound or recurve bow, Spincast will work superbly. It is also said to be one of the most commonly used reels in the world of bowfishing just for its simplicity. For people who are new to such sports, spincast reel can make an ideal choice.
Moreover, although it is attached to the bow, yet you will also find it akin to the traditional style of fishing. However, Spincast Reel comes pre-round basically. Apart from offering easier shooting and reeling, it provides a lighter line that lets it fly faster.
One of the big perks of Spincast Reel is that it is extremely easy to use. you will be able to set the drag up with such a reel easily allowing you to shoot your fish effortlessly. Also, as for the speed, this reel happens to be faster than those of drum reel type. It’s faster to fire, easier to reel back in, and faster to fire again. So, even if you miss your aim, it will not require much of your effort.
Best Bowfishing Spincast Reel has been stated to be the least resilient types of reels in the market. It’s because, once you let loose the line prior to shooting, you will be left with it flying from the spool which will make it useless.
Retriever Bowfishing Reels.
Retriever reels feature a ‘bottle’ that holds the line in place allowing it to fly through the air without getting it tangled. This is a kind of reel that is great for catching bigger fish as well as alligators. It is also stated to be used mostly by the bow fishermen who are pro in such a sport. Retriever incorporates a thick braided line weighing 200 pounds and has been built to endure the pressure of the battle.
As for the perks of such a reel, it happens to weigh very light. Besides, it also comes with a thicker and more long-lasting line that has made the type more popular among the pros. The line uses a crank method to retrieve your line that increases the durability of the reel causing it to wear out less.
The problem with Retrieval Reel is that it does not offer great speed because of its thicker and heavier bowline. Besides, most of the retriever models hold a costlier price tag for the use of high-quality materials.
Gear ratio refers to the speed at which the reel will pick up a line. It is one of the most essential technical specs that need to be taken into consideration. The most common gear ratio that you will find in the bow fishing reel is 4.3:1.
It means that the spool will rotate 4.3 times in every one revolution of the handle. However, it also has a direct relation with the amount of effort that is needed for reeling in your catch. Basically, experienced bow fishermen are seen to prefer a higher gear ratio.
It’s very vital to look for a reel that is made up of long-lasting materials. Such reels will be able to withstand the test of time. Since it’s the durability that will help the reel last long, you would need a tough line that can hold up strong. Because, if the line or the reel snaps, your fishing day will get ruined. So, go for the one that will be strong enough to handle heavy use. Better to look for one that will be thick so it can catch bigger fish.
Make sure you decide the type of reel that you will be using in your bowfishing. Each type is preferred by users of different skill levels. While Hand wrap drum reel and Spincast reel are great for beginners, Retriever Reel happens to be preferred mostly by experienced users.
Some Bowfishing Tips:
- It’s better that you ensure aiming low. if you want to get it right, always aim around 10 inches beneath the bottom of the fish.
- It’s better to not try to reel It in too hard as you shoot the arrow. Let the barb on the arrow do its work and slowly reel the fish in.
- Always remember wearing sunglasses if you are bowfishing during the day. Go for polarized lenses as they help in dealing with glare and let you see deep into the water so you can spot more fishes.
- Make sure you aim where your target is moving or going, not where it is as you release.
Bowfishing Reel FAQs
Q: How do you install a bowfishing reel?
A: it simply depends on the type of reel you will be having. The best thing to do is to have a look at the manual instruction provided by the manufacturer. While you will be reading, your top priority should be the mounting position.
You will be needing to select a position that will be comfortable with you while you will hold the trigger. The majority of the reel types will have screws that you will be using to install into your bow. The only exception is the Spincast reel as you will need an extra reel seat so it can complement the gear and then mount to the bow.
Q: What type of reel is ideal for beginners?
A: If you are new to the world of bowfishing, then the most ideal type of reel would be either a Hand wrap drum reel or spin cast Reel. Not only they are easy to use but also they offer fast performance.
Now that you already know the best bowfishing reel available out there, it will be easier for you to pick one depending on your preference. And since we have added some extra guidelines, you can use them as well to make a wise choice. Hopefully, you will have a happy experience using any one of the reels that have been listed here.
Read More: Best Spincast Reels