Since the beginning, people have always come up with a variety of techniques to fish. And bowfishing is one of them. The conventional use of home-made bows and arrows have served many generations as their prime source of fishing. Exclude the sophistication modern fishing bows, and arrows offer, and you won’t find a difference between the traditional and the new modern factory-made fishing bows and arrows.
We are pretty lucky that we can pull the line with a mechanized reel. Back in the day, it was all about manual line pulling.
Anglers use several types of bow and arrows to enjoy the sport of bowfishing. But apart from that significant gear, there exists another gear that is a most in the bowfishing sport. YES, you guessed that right, it’s the REEL.
If you are here with a question, “What is the Best Bowfishing Reel,” worry not pal, you are at the right place.
Depending on preference and type of fish you want to catch, there are 3 types of reels to choose from which are hand-wrap, spin cast, and retriever.
But don’t get confused with the categories of the reel because I have prepared a list of Best Bowfishing Reels for you to choose.
Best Bowfishing Reels in 2019 – Top 10 Bowfishing Reels
AMSbowfishing is a significant name in the bowfishing industry. With varieties of the product including bow, arrow, reels and other gears, this brand has offered an array of fishing gears for the anglers. Among them is the bowfishing reel.
At Number One, I have selected the 610L-TNT model from AMS tournament retriever pro series. With less than a pound in weight, this is one of the lightweight reels out there.
Designers must have spent some extra hours to model their design. Because this reel is super easy to operate and extremely practical. From a beginner to a professional angler, it is a perfect match for all.
With 27-inch retrieval line capacity per revolution, it is for sure among the fastest retrieving bowfishing reel.
It has a gear ratio of 4.3:1 that gives you the extra advantage while fishing. The extended handle length attached with it proves significantly useful for more fish-hauling torque. Similarly, the tremendous retrieving capacity allows you to go for more shots, eventually leading to catching more fish.
Moreover, its yellow dacron line allows clear visibility of your line in the water. The reel is made from heavy-duty machined solid brass and stainless steel components. Consequently, it gives a big relief to the problem of corrosion and rust.
Furthermore, with the oversized opening, it allows less friction resulting in fast arrow shot.
Although some have concerns over its heavier bowline, it works perfectly every time you take your shot.
On the bright side, it comes with 350 yards of braided spectra line that can hold up to 35 pounds. Subsequently, with the 35 yards capacity, it surely is the best bowfishing reel for distance shooting.
Summing this reel in a sentence, it’s a lightweight, tangle free, and an ultrafast bowfishing reel.
- Easy operation
- Smooth and ultra-fast performance
- Extended handle
- Anti-corrosion and anti-rusting
- Heavy bowline
AMS also takes up the second spot with yet another bowfishing reel. The 610R-12 is a comparably a cheaper option from AMS. Although the price gap between 610R-12 and
610L-TNT does not match; most of its features do. Despite its price not being the most minimal I have seen, it is reasonably priced.
You get a 25 pound holding braided Dacron line of 200 yards in the package. The reel has made from anodized-aluminium handle and trigger that comes with an adjustable mounting system for better customization.
Likewise with a 3:1 gear ratio and pinion, this reel gives the smoothest and efficient fishing experience. It can retrieve up to 17 inches per revolution of the handle. That’s pretty good if you want to take another shot with the arrow quickly.
The line that comes with the package is stored in a bottle for a quick flight of the arrow. All Thanks to its Zero-Drag design.
610R-12 is truly made considering its use by non-specialists or a beginner angler. Due to which it is so easy for instalment and adjustment.
With a lightweight of 1.4 ounces, it is incredibly lightweight. The corrosion-free manufacturing materials are used, which provides a long life to the reel itself.
Made for simple and easy operation, there are no buttons to push before shooting the arrow. To be precise about its explanation, considering features and the money, it is among the best bowfishing reels for money.
- 1-year warranty
- Convenient operation
- Excellent features in cheap price option
- Comes with the mounting hardware
- Zero drag system
- Not the best choice for big fish
- Short range
Third, on the list comes from the Cajun which offers some exceedingly good premium fishing gears. But here on the list, I am talking about the Winch reel which is a retriever bowfishing reel (model no. AFR1400).
Cajun provides a white line of 250 yards with 25-pound capacity. The white lines that come along with the package is pretty visible in the water.
Additionally, the company also offers solid aluminium mounting brackets with the package to mount with your bow. This bowfishing reel is made from stainless steel material. Consequently, you get an anti-corrosion lightweight product.
Its design makes sure that one can use it using even with a single hand. So, one-handed operation is possible.
Adjustments are available for horizontal and vertical customization so that it fits perfectly on any bow. Furthermore, the salient feature of this bowfishing reel is the fighting wheel brake. Such a braking mechanism allows you to tackle the resistance of the fish and bring it onboard.
Considering its usage and pragmatic ability, this reel is among the best bowfishing reel for recurve bow.
But on the dark side, this reel will dry your budget with a hefty price tag. Nonetheless, the features and performance it offers will maintain that equilibrium.
- Smooth performance
- Fighting wheel brake system
- One handed operation is possible
- Excellent quality
Next up is an affordable bowfishing reel from Muzzy. The 1069 XD pro spin style reel is a spin cast reel that is extremely lightweight. It is totally up to the preference of an angler to choose between retriever, a hand wrap or a spin cast reel for bowfishing.
One of the many reasons to use this reel is because it is easy to learn and convenient to operate. This model comes with an integrated mounting system to quickly gear it up with the bow.
Likewise, the company provides a pre-spooled test tournament line of 150 feet of 150-pound capacity. Muzzy’s 1069 XD is pretty different from a retriever reel. It has a switch to activate the shooting system. Despite some people not pleasing the idea of such a mechanic, others see it as a safety measure.
It does not matter whether you are right or left handed; the reel handle is reversible for easy use. Considering the affordable and cheap cost, I can assure you it is a pretty fantastic deal.
The drag works incredibly useful and retrieving and is fast enough to compensate for your missed shots.
If not the best, I am sure it is among the best bowfishing reel for recurve bow in the spin casting reel category.
- Easy to use
- Sturdy reels can handle big fishes
- Breaking of a line in some cases
At number 5, I have another spincast bowfishing reel for you people. This reel is made entirely to make the anglers’ bowfishing experience a fun and thrilling one. Designed for a recurve bow, Sinoart’s bowfishing reel deserves to be in the list of best bowfishing reel for recurve compound bow.
The reel itself is engineered to give smooth fishing experience and convenience in its application. With the wheel rocker, one can easily swap between your hands.
All of the outside areas of the reel is covered up by corrosion free materials to avoid rusting and corrosion. Moreover, the price is affordable too.
It has a gear ratio of 3.3:1, which gives a robust line retrieval capacity.
In addition to it, the rocker arm is made up of solid materials alongside a stainless steel double-handed counterbalanced rocker arm. This mechanic is mainly used to make a smooth application of force used while fishing.
On a good note, this reel not only serves the bowfishing fishermen, but it can also be used for a slingshot fishing. Furthermore, this spincast reel from SinoArt offers a smooth feel which is backed up by the use of die-cast alloy materials for making the internal parts of the reel.
You can choose between the BL25 (40 yards) and BL40 (70 yards) models which only distinguishes itself from others by a length of the line. Both can hold up to 10 pounds.
- A smooth and convenient experience
- Can also be used for slingshot fishing
- Affordable price
- Internal parts made of die-cast alloy materials
- Some complain it of not being tough enough for monster fishes
RPM might not be a big name in the bowfishing industry. But I am pretty sure its products are so incredibly pragmatic and useful. Among them is the M1-x, which is engineered to give serve you the pure thrill of bowfishing.
RPM M1-x has a 3.5:1 gear ratio. Because of that, the line recovery is pretty fast and efficient. Similarly, the retrieval, drag and the tackle against the fish works well.
The price is not the lowest I’ve seen but it is pretty reasonable considering what it offers. With the package, you get a pre-spooled 150 feet of monkey wire line so that you are ready to go fishing out of the box.
Additionally, it has trigger-handle line pick up alongside the option to swap between both of your hands. Most users agree that it has fast retrieving capacity and it is nothing but an extra cherry on top.
All in all, RPM’s M1-x is an exceedingly good bowfishing reel that lets you enjoy a thrilling bowfishing adventure.
Although some complaints of the trigger system failing or reel knob popping off, the right side of this product wins over the bad parts.
- Easy to swap between hands
- Fast line retrieval
- Convenient to use and operate
- Comes with pre-spooled wire
- Failing of the trigger system in some cases
- Reel knob falling off in rare case
Under Zebco/Quantum, there are varieties of products to choose from. Even if you consider the 808 series from Zebco/Quantum, there is a vast array of bowfishing reel to choose from. And 200 BX3 is one of the many.
Zebco/ Quantum predominantly produces a spincast reel. The BX3 200 has a preinstalled quickest anti-reverse system. Such system plays a crucial role while fishing.
Similarly, the reel features an adjustable drag system which can be customized by the dial. Voila, now you can easily use your preferred setting according to the fish you want to catch.
Stronger and sturdy components are used to produce this bowfishing reel. Consequently, this allows the reel to have a sturdy and quality built.
On the contrary, some customer has a complaint about it breaking after around 20-30 shots. But many others are delighted with the product.
It has a gear ratio of 2.6:1 with fast retrieving capacity. Also, it comes with a line of 200 yards with 35 pounds capacity.
Price should not be a problem as it is pretty affordable. As a whole, Zebco/Quantum with the best bowfishing reel seat falls in the list of best bowfishing reel for the money.
- Adjustable drag system
- Quick anti-reverse system
- Solid build made with stronger components
- Affordable price
- Breaking of the reel in some cases
Similar to the 200 BX3 mentioned above, 80 BX3 from Zebro/Quantum does not distinct that much from the 200 BX3.
This reel can retrieve line up to 19 inches per revolution. Consequently, that gives you a fast retrieval capacity. The ball bearing drive helps to retrieve the line with excellent efficiency smoothly. Although the body is not made from metal, it has a sturdy ABS body with hard covers.
It comes with an 80-pound braid line. Whether you want to surprise your son or your loved ones, this is a perfect gift to make their day.
With such a cheap price, it might not have the mightiest of features, but it just has enough to perform well.
Conclusively, all I can suggest is it functions tremendously useful as it falls among the best bowfishing reel for recurve bow.
- Can retrieve 19 inches per revolution
- Affordable price
- Faster retrieving
- Easy to use
- Body not made from metal
This one is from Muzzy again with 150-pound braid line preinstalled. Made with quality material, the heavy duty stainless steel used enforces a sturdy and robust construction of the reel. Similarly, the corrosion and factor are also eliminated with stainless steel construction.
For the smoothest of the line feeding, the design facilitates the extended hood. Likewise, other features like a solid anchor and dual spool shaft bearings add nothing but improvement in performance.
In addition to that, the automotive style disc drag mechanic helps to have a drag less fishing experience. Convertible to either right or left hand, you can swap hands anytime you want.
Furthermore, the reel is saltwater tested and works fine even in the saltwater. Voila, now you can also enjoy deep sea fishing without a second thought.
In the end, what Muzzy Xd 1097 offers is an excellent and smooth performance so that you enjoy the best of thrill while fishing.
- Swap between hands is easy
- Stainless steel construction
- Sturdy build
- Comes with a preinstalled line
- Automotive-style disc drag
- Saltwater tested
- Some complaints of line breaking but that’s rare
Right at last is another bowfishing reel that has made it in the top ten of this list. With a similar purpose of serving the bowfishing anglers, Cajun has made another bowfishing reel which is branded as Doctor bowfishing reel. This reel is
Unlike the Winch reel which takes our number 3 spot, this Doctor reel is not a retriever reel. Instead, it is a spin casting reel. Comparably, this reel is of lightweight.
As bowfishing anglers do the engineering of this product, it is apparent that it always serves the need of a bowfishing enthusiast.
In the world of expensive and heavily featured reels, this reel serves its niche customers with efficient use in real life. Subsequently, this reel is among the best bowfishing reel for recurve bow that comes with an affordable price.
Moreover, it has two pick up pins with full metal assembly. In addition to that, the larger hole design helps in faster and effective line feeding. Likewise, the internal parts are made of, which ensures a quality built.
If you are not pleased by its feature yet, worry not, there is more to cheer for. Cajun made sure the customer gets to adjust their drag. Consequently, it has a customizable drag system.
The handle is made one-sided to avoid any line tangling. But you can quickly reverse the grip so no matter whether your right or left hand is dominant.
- Internal parts built of aluminium
- Convenient to operate
- Line feeding is effective
- Comparably inferior to other products
Guidelines for Buying Best Bowfishing Reels
Budget is among the topmost factor to consider among the rest. With a good quality built, comes a premium price. The extension of features extends the cost of the reel. So it is totally up to you to decide the number of features you want which affects your budget. A highly expensive reel might not always be the best option for you. So, it is wise to set aside the budget and choose the best reel in the price range accordingly.
Types of Reel
Among the hand-wrap, spincast and retriever reel, most favour the retriever reel because of its ability to catch big fish like shark and even alligators.
Hand -wrap reel ( also known as drum reel) is least favourite because of its less effectiveness to fight an arrowed fish. Spincast, on the other hand, is the most common because it is easy to use. Retriever reels are most active and are the most expensive, whereas spincast is most common and easy to learn.
Most of the retriever reels also cover a farther distance, which contributes to consider them among the best bowfishing reel for distance.
The lesser the gear ratio, the more effective is the reel. Let me help you with how the gear ratio works.
When gear ratio is 2.6:1, it means the spool rotates 2.6 times with every rotation of the handle. So, if you are looking for the best bowfishing reel for recurve compound bow, the most preferable would be the one with the least gear ratio.
I think you should focus more on the usability of the reel in practical life. If you are warming up in the fishing game, the ideal choice for you would be to buy a bowfishing reel that is easy to learn and use.
My Outlook on Best Bowfishing Reels
Now that I have given you information about the most common and useful reels, it should be easy for you to choose among the products mentioned above. So when someone asks you “what is the best bowfishing reel,” tell them what you think the best bowfishing reel for a recurve bow is.
But if you want to know my opinion, I would personally go for the AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel (610L-TNT).