Best Bow Fishing Reel

Best-Bowfishing-reel-2019Have you ever tried bow fishing? Thinking about giving it a shot? Well, then you’re going to need the right gear. Most of all, you’ll need the best bowfishing reel.

With so many options that are available, which one should you pick? Don’t worry! Keep on reading the rest of this review and we’ll let you know some of the best products to choose from!

How do you install bowfishing reels?

A bow fishing reel allows you to reel in your catch with a traditional or compound bow. It is attached to the riser of the bow and can be adjusted to your reeling and dimension requirements.

In most bows, you have to loosen the thumbscrew connecting the base mount and clamp to detach the mount. Once that’s done, the base mount is positioned over specific site holes on a bow’s riser and then screwed in with nails. You then reattach the clamp but avoid tightening it.

The position you reel on the bow according to your requirement by sliding it between the clamp and quiver. When it’s in the right spot, tighten the thumb screw and fix it in place.

What are the different types of bow fishing reels?

There are many kinds of bow fishing reels available for use. However, the one you need is chose based on its material, weight, feel and speed. Not all bow fishing reels perform in the same way.

You can read ahead to find out about the different types of bow fishing reels to see which ones are suited for you:

  1. Hand Wrap Drum

This is the simplest type of reel. Drum reels are very easy to set up – all you have to do is manually attach them to your bow using tape, or thread them into the stabilizer holes. They are also made of durable materials, and last a lot longer and cost a lot less than other reel types.

 

  1. Spincast

A spincast reel spins as you take a shot with your bow. The speed of a bow fishingspincast reel is greater than that the reel of a traditional fishing rod. The reel preferred over a hand wrap drum reel since it’s much faster to shoot and reel back in. You get a better shot at hitting your target with a first shot while getting another chance even if you miss.

  1. Retriever:

Retriever bowfishing reels are very light, which is great for long hunting and fishing adventures where you hold bows for hours. It has a thicker line, making it ideal in case you have to wrestle with a fish once you catch it. You have to use a crank to retrieve the line instead of having the line spin back, which reduces the wear of the line so that it lasts longer.     

 

How to choose the best bow fishing reels:

With so many bowfishing reels available in the marketplace, how do you pick the right one for yourself? Experienced hunters may have an idea of the best bow fishing reels. However, for beginners, finding one can be quite tricky. To make it easier, we have provided you with a detailed guide:

Durability

If you want to get a good bowfishing reel that’s worth the price, keep an eye out for a reel made of strong materials that can hold out over time. You’ll want to buy a reel that easily cuts. It should be adequately thick, specifically for hunting bigger fish.

Ease of Use

Choose a reel that you can control using only one hand. It also helps to pick a reel that is made to be used by both left and right-handed people. Having multiple bearings is also great if you’re looking for a smoother reel.

Gear Ratio

This is one of the most crucial aspects to consider. It essentially tells you how fast your reel will pick up a line. For example, if a reel has a gear ratio of 4.3:1, it shows that it can rotate 4.3 times per handle turn. Pro archers mostly prefer a high gear ratio.

Now without further ado, let’s review the types of the best bow fishing reels:

Type 1 –Multiple features

  • AMSBow fishing 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel:

While the Retriever 610 from AMS is perfect for bow fishing, it can also be a great addition in your crossbow fishing gear by just picking the right mount with it. The pro bow fishing reel has a cool telescopic clamp which allows simple adjustment, as well as an inbuilt crossbow fishing arrow holder.

The Retriever 610 is easy to use. It’s a quick reel that offers zero drag so that you can enjoy deeper shots. You get a great lineup controller along with the retriever’s amazing speed so that you don’t ever have to publish the bond or rely on pressing any button before shooting.

The retriever comes with an extended grip which gives you more torque and also offers 27 inches of on-line recovery with each rotation. The reel bottle is unbreakable and UV-rated, allowing you to store 25 yards of the best quality of orange Dacron line amounting to 90 kilos. It also comes with the amazing AMS trigger shield which prevents the line from grabbing the cause.

This brilliant retriever may be a bit tricky to handle initially, but you’ll be able to enjoy this reel thoroughly after getting it and mastering it. The AMSBow fishing 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel is one we consider to be great for beginners.

Pros:

  1. Affordable
  2. Easy to mount and use
  3. The brand has a reputation going back 35 years
  4. A large amount of high-quality line
  5. 27-inch line recovery per revolution
  6. Zero drag
  7. Versatile
  8. Strong and regulated reel bottle

Cons:

  1. Not suited for professionals
  2. Takes a while to get used to

 

  • Zebco 888 Spincast Reel:

When it comes to bow fishing, your environment is very important. In cases where seawater is concerned, you should remember that the water has a tendency to affect the durability of any fishing material, which can weaken them and reduce the efficiency of your bow. That’s where the Zebco 888 Spincast Reel comes in.

If you’re going for saltwater fishing, this reel is ideal since it rebuffs the saltwater deposits and damages left on your line while providing the same power and speed with each shot. One of the amazing features the reel provides is its metal components.

The reel comes with stainless steel covers, complete metal body, ceramic pickup pins and metal gearing. You will be given an anti-corrosive and durable protection through the whole reel with these materials.

The reel is also great for freshwater fishing since it provides great speed with better accuracy chances. Not only that, buts its inbuilt bite alert, anti-reverse clutch and Magnum drag with dial adjustment both allow better control of the bow and line with each shot, making it great for bait fishing.

The Zebco 888 Spincast Reel comes with 3 bearings and 25 pounds of the good quality line so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.

Pros:

  1. Can hold a large amount of line
  2. Great durability with metal design and covering
  3. Long lasting
  4. Can handle large weights and pressures
  5. High speed
  6. Good control
  7. Precise and accurate

Cons:

  1. Heavyweight makes it unsuitable for long travels
  2. Hardline casting because of the heavy reel
  3. Higher chances of misfires

 

  • AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel:

The AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bow fishing Reel is pretty popular in the bow fishing community. Most experienced archers and pro-bow-fisher will enjoy using this reel since it is so exceptionally fast for a retriever reel, both while shooting the arrow and reeling it back in.

Other than its fresh design which makes use of a longer handle, most people can get to enjoy the 25 yards of high-quality yellow Dacron line, which provides a better color backdrop to see the line when you have to wind it back to your bow.

Some users may find the reel bottle to be a bit smaller than other models, which increases the chance that your line will get stuck if you don’t keep it in properly before your fishing trip.

The pro bowfishing reel is popular for being fast, which is one of the features that makes it a preferred fishing essential for seasoned fishing experts. One of the reasons for this high speed is its 4.3:1 gear ratio.

The AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bow fishing Reel is ideal for beginners since there is no need to push a button the spool doesn’t have to be winded by hand. You just have to shoot and let the reel handle the rest. The gear and pinion are all made of heavy brass, the trigger of aluminum and the fasteners of stainless steel, which promises durability.

While this retriever reel is a slightly more expensive than other reels, it manages to still be a nice investment that both amateurs and experienced bow-fishers can try out.

Pros:

  1. Fresh and stylish design
  2. Durable metal components
  3. Longer handle for better grip and leverage
  4. Easy line retrieval
  5. Fast shooting
  6. Easy mounting
  7. Yellow Dracon line with great visibility
  8. Come with a safety slide kit and trigger guard

Cons:

  1. The bottle is too small for 75 feet of line
  2. Slightly more expensive than other reels

 

 

  • Zebco 808 Bowfisher Spin-Cast Reel

If bow fishing is a new experience for you and you want to start with something that is quick, lightweight, and doesn’t involve a great deal of winding, then you might want to consider this Zebco product.

This reel is an ideal entry-level reel since it is comparatively lighter than other reel models which makes it easier for you to plan long fishing adventures without worrying about heavy traveling.

People enjoy how the reel has a reversible reel-back which makes it versatile in terms of use by both left and right-handed individuals. The traditional black design also goes well with most kinds of compound bows, allowing not only style but also the convenience of compatibility with your fishing bow.

The model comes pre-spooled with 36 kilos of thin Dacron line which is great in amount but poor in terms of durability and strength. The line is a bit thinner, which makes it more liable to wear and tear after a few trips’ worth of use.

This Zebco product is a perfect choice for beginners who are looking for simplicity as well as ease of use. It only weighs 1.25 pounds, and it makes winding a simple task for entry-level users.

The reel has a gear ratio of 2.6:1, which isn’t as high as other models but it still makes it ideal for basic fishing and shooting. It also comes with precision metal gears that give smooth line retrieve even if the catch is heavy.

All in all, the reel is promises speed, lightweight,and style and is ideally suited for the beginner user. Even with its thin line, most users still find that the spincast reel is a great investment overall.

Pros:

  1. Ideal entry-level reel for beginners
  2. Includes pre-spooled 80-pound bowfishing line
  3. Lightweight and compact compared to other reel models
  4. Reversible retrieve for right- and left-handed users
  5. Simple classic black design

Cons:

  1. The string is thinner than most lines
  2. The gear ratio is slightly low

 

  • Muzzy Bow fishing Pro Spin Style Reel – 1069 XD

The Muzzy Bow fishing- Pro Spin Style Reel is a fishing favorite with regards to its design. It has a stylish steel metallic casing and reversible retrieve that right-handed and left-handed users can enjoy.

Another feature that most people can benefit from is the switch activation system which that provides a free spool option. It feels as if you have a dragless reel but with the flip of a switch you can also manage to hand-wrestle your catch and improve your chances of catching something.

A drawback you can face with this reel, however, is that it is actually harder to mount,unlike other models. This is because the space between the mounting brackets is slightly smaller which makes the reel harder to maneuver with an Allen wrench. The mounting and installing end up using up your time, which could have been better spent on catching more fish instead.

The Muzzy Bow fishing Reel is a spincast type that comes with a nice design unlike other products in its niche. Its inclusion of the switch system isn’t the only great design attribute. You will also get a visual alert that lets you know when it is okay to shoot.

Overall, the reel is great for bow-fishers looking to get easy use and smart design as the whole package. The installation is a bit tricky,however, so make sure to take your time with this reel to really make the most of it!

Pros:

  1. Smart design
  2. Includes a switch activation system
  3. Offers a free spool option
  4. Comes with a visual alert for when your reel is ready for shooting
  5. Fast line retrieval if you miss any shots
  6. Reversible retrieve for use by both left and right-handed people
  7. Includes 150 feet of pre-spooled bowfishing line

Cons:

  1. Installation is harder
  2. Heavier than other spincast reels
  3. More expensive than other reels

Type 2- Robust and Premium Quality Construction

  • Fin-Finder Heavy Duty Drum Reel

If you want a simple reel that is both heavy duty and cheap, then the Fin-Finder Reel might be an ideal pick for you. As the name implies, the drum reel is designed with heavy-duty aluminum which gives it strength and durability that allows it to last for a great deal of time.

The Fin-Finder reel is packed with 80 feet of abundant bowfishing line, which gives you the benefit of reaching your targets from a great distance. That said, we recommend you change the line with one that is a more heavy duty to match the reel’s longevity and durability.

This drum reel includes a bolt screw for easy and strong mounting to your compound bow. You have to make sure to be careful while installing the reel and try filing down the edges since it can grab the line and break it off.

Like any other drum reel, the Fin-Finder models promises ease-of-use and simple installation to the bow stabilizer. This also shows that it is a great entry-level spinning reel with its simplicity. We think this reel is a great option for people who have to take a low budget under consideration.

Pros:

  1. Simple design
  2. Easy to use
  3. Strong bolt screw for easy attachment
  4. Affordable
  5. Heavy-duty aluminum design promises durability
  6. An abundant amount of bow fishing line
  7. Great for beginners
  8. Simple mounting and installation

 

Cons:

  1. Reel might be bigger for certain bows
  2. The line has a higher chance of snapping off
  3. Need to manually wind the line after each shot
  4. The line tends to slip off the reel

2-    Cajun Bow Fishing Screw-On Drum Reel

This screw-on drum reel is designed to carry out the basics with great performance and functionality. Cajun promises its users great quality with its products, and the drum reel is one of its many accomplishments.

The reel has a full metal design and casing with aluminum covering for strength and durability. It can be mounted onto any bow stabilizer bushing with a simple center bolt and comes with 50 feet of test line of up to 80 pounds. Its 5-inch diameter makes it ideally compact and lightweight for easy reeling, rewinding and traveling,

The drum reel is mainly a life-saver for people on a tight budget. It does everything it is designed to do which allows beginners to go after tougher fish with more confidence. It offers simplicity with no portable or moveable parts to break or damage.

Even with its low price, the reel comes with a light and durable metal covering rather than plastic which is worth the money. The one aspect that some users may not appreciate is the limited length and amount of line provided, but that can also be ideally overlooked by getting a new line.

Another great thing about this drum reel is the customer service that comes along with it. If the reel doesn’t work well for you or breaks unexpectedly, all you have to do is call the manufacturers and you can have a new replacement!

All in all, the Cajun Bow fishing Screw-On Drum Reel is a smart choice for beginner bow fishers who are looking to get their money’s worth. You can’t do better than this reel in the same price.

Pros:

  1. Comes with bow fishing line
  2. Easy to mount and install
  3. Fits and goes well with any compound bow
  4. Compact and lightweight
  5. Affordable
  6. Metal design and casing for durability

Cons:

  1. Not suitable for professionals
  2. The line is not durable
  3. Line amount and length is limited
  4. Requires manual winding with each shot

 

  • Cajun Winch Bow Fishing Reel

As mentioned above, Cajun is a great brand that many fishermen turn to when they’re looking for basic quality function and performance in a limited budget. Its drum reels are great for beginners and practice runs, and the Cajun Winch Bow fishing Reel is just one such reel.

The features of this product are tried and tested by the company to ensure full performance. Its metal design also offers true durability which makes sure you make the most of your fishing adventure even in the harshest conditions and areas.

The Winch provides you with all the tools you need to catch even the toughest of fish. The Fighting Brake of this reel let you to winch fish using just the one hand so your finishing can be easier.

The Winch embraces with stainless steel parts, solid aluminum mounting brackets, and 25 yards of white line weighing up to 250 pounds with its white color offering great visibility. Both its horizontal and verticaladjustments allow the reel to be fit with any bow.

Pros:

  1. Nice design
  2. 1-handed operationfighting brake
  3. Solid aluminum mounting brackets and stainless-steel hardware
  4. Comes with bow fishing line
  5. Great visibility with line
  6. Affordable
  7. Vertical and horizontal adjustments compatible with any bow
  8. Good customer service
  9. Durable

Cons:

  1. Manual winding required
  2. The line is not durable
  3. Line amount and length is limited
  4. Not long lasting like other reels

Type 3 – Great Return Speed

  • Cajun Spin Doctor Bow Fishing Reel

The Cajun Spin Doctor Bow fishing Reel has some eye-catching features. Its oversized button and extended end cap are useful, along with the single reel handle which allows for one-handed operations, no line tangling and ambidextrous use.

The reel comes pre-spooled with 150 pounds of fast-flight line. While that sounds pretty great, the line itself isn’t all that amazing in terms of quality, design,and durability. The reel also doesn’t allow for a large amount of line to be spooled at one time. That said, you can replace the line no problem.

Another slight drawback to the reel is the slipping tendency of the line, which can take out valuable time during your fishing adventures. However, you can make up for the lost time with the reel’s dual pickup pins which allow faster reeling

The reel also comes with a long handle for easy maneuvering as well as a larger hole for better line feeding. It also comes with the Cajun classic full-metal assembly with metal coverings and components giving durability in a small price range.

If you are looking for a cheap alternative, this can compete with Muzzy and AMS products in terms of basic functionality. That said, it does have limited features and quality issues compared to higher priced reels. But as a substitute, it is a great option.

So, for a beginner looking for an affordable reel to use, the Cajun Spin Doctor Bow Fishing Reel is a good choice.

Pros:

  1. Simple design
  2. Solid aluminum mounting brackets and stainless-steel hardware
  3. Comes with bow fishing line
  4. Affordable
  5. Good customer service
  6. Durable
  7. Great for beginners
  8. Longer hood and a larger hole for feeding the line
  9. No tangling
  10. Faster reeling with dual pickup pins

Cons:

  1. Not suitable for professionals
  2. The line is not durable
  3. Line amount and length is limited
  4. Not a better option than AMS or Muzzy products

 

  • e5e10 Bow Fishing Reel

The e5e10 Bow Fishing Reel is a specially designed reel for left-handed fishermen. Most reels available on the market are majorly catered to right-handed individuals, but the e5e10 brand strives to provide any and all clients it can with this product.

The reel promises great return speed with its lightweight and compact design in just under 1.2 pounds. It has a brilliant 4:3:1 gear ratio to allow fast speed both while shooting and reeling back in. Although, manual reeling can be a bit more time-consuming in cases of missed shots with this reel. Even so, the gear ratio makes up for it with fast return speed than most other reels out there.

You get to enjoy the one-handed handling of the bow so as to maximize your time and efficiency. The reel also promises ease of use with simple shooting and reeling. The reel is also easy to install and mount and can be compatible with any bow.

The e5e10 bowfishing reel does not come with any excess features to add to its bulk weight or make operations more difficult. It provides 25 inches of line retrieval per revolution which is amazing!

The reel comes with 20 yards of line weighing 200 pounds that are tested and tried. The line isn’t as durable as others available, but it can make do for simple fishing. The reel bottle is also durable and tested.

For tournament fishing, the e5e10 Bow Fishing Reel is a great option in terms of quality, performance,and budget.

Pros

  1. Perfect for tournament fishing
  2. 4:3:1 gear ratio allows for faster return speed and reeling
  3. Simple to operate
  4. Lightweight and compact
  5. Compatible with any bow

Cons

  1. The brand is not well-known
  2. The line is not durable

Conclusion:

We reviewed some of the best bow fishing reels available. However, only one can be considered the best! And our winner is the AMSBow fishing 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel!

This reel offers precision and accuracy with each shot because of its fast speed and line recovery, and its simple but durable design promises easy attachment and versatile usage. With the Grayling Fletching, you’re guaranteed to have the best fishing experience!