Best Bowfishing Reels in 2020 to Upskill Your Bowfishing

Bowfishing is one of the top trends in the fishing zone right now, and boy you don’t wanna miss it! It can even be said to be a good sport activity as you catch fish with a bow! What’s a more fun way than this to learn archery even? Just kidding.

So, apart from the bow and arrow, the whole mechanism would obviously have a bow reel. Whether you’re looking to try your hand to this type of athletic fishing or want to upgrade your gear, you’re at the right place. We have scoured tons of bow reels available in the market to find just what you would need. Scroll down to see our top 6 picks!

Best Bowfishing Reels in 2020: Reviews

AMS Tournament Retriever Pro

best bowfishing reels

This amazing product from AMS is an ultimate win to get your catch ‘bow’ to you. With its superior technology, there’s minimum chances of your line getting tangled up to a big mess. This Tournament Retriever Pro bow reel has a great gear ratio of 4:3:1. Its Dracon line is highly visible as it is yellow colored. However, its line is thicker and heavier, hence might influence the reel’s speed. 

The whole system is made of parts made of stainless steel, brass, and aluminum. These materials greatly enhance this bow set’s durability and strength. This also comes with a bottle that comes in handy in storing excess fishing line and keeping the balance. 

Pros

  • Gear ratio is 4:3:1, one of the fastest
  • Highly visible line
  • Suitable for novices and experts both
  • Easy to handle
  • Durable
  • Handle length is good

Cons

  • The thickness and weight of the bowline affect the line speed
  • Bottle’s capacity is not enough to keep 25 yards of line
  • Costly

Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel

One of the key features of this bowfishing reel is the fighting brake it’s equipped with. This feature comes in handy when you’ve caught a big fish and it has kept everything on the line (pun intended) to break free. 

This has got a lightweight white line that is also highly visible that weighs not more than 250 pounds. The materials it’s made of are stainless steel and aluminum. However, some people have complained about the aluminum housing getting broken, which ultimately led to the whole bow reel getting out of use. 

The reel has the options of vertical and horizontal tweaks that work amazing to all kinds of bow. This system also comes with an anti-reverse mechanism and thus prevents tangling too. You can go ahead and buy this if you’re concerned with a high performance bow reel.

Pros

  • Handles big and fighting fish
  • Efficient in performance
  • Highly visible white line
  • 250-pound lightweight line
  • Vertical and horizontal adjustments are supported
  • Anti-reverse
  • Non-tangling

Cons

  • Material quality is not standard
  • The aluminum housing is not durable

AMS Bowfishing Reel

This Retriever Pro 610 comes with a lot of benefits. What’s more, this is even cheaper than the model we showed before. This is made of brass and the trigger is made of aluminum, making it highly durable. This bow reel has the capacity of 25 yards of line and it also reels in 17 inches of line with every turn. 

This reel is equipped with an arrow quiver which keeps everything in place. It also has a telescoping clamp that makes assembling everything easy. However, when the arrow is shot to catch the fish, the reel makes some noise that tends to scare the fish away. This doesn’t have an automatic reverse system, so you’ll have to pull the line out manually after catching a fish. This doesn’t become a big drawback as there’s a pinch pressure drag system.

Pros

  • Easy to handle
  • High performance reel
  • Highly visible line in a clear bottle
  • Arrow quiver
  • Telescoping clamp
  • Easy to assemble
  • Commendable pinch pressure drag system

Cons

  • Line length is not good
  • Noisy and might scare game away

RPM Bowfishing M1-x Trigger Reel

This reel from RPM is the first trigger-style reel to be ever made. This reel is amazingly easy to install and set up. This reel is ‘ambidextrous’ as you can set it up in any style you want, either for the right or the left hand. This reel also comes with free spool mode. This means that you don’t have to swing the levers or press the tension bars. You also don’t need to push the buttons.

Since this is free spool, you don’t have to waste time preparing the line for the next round of shooting for the fish after a catch. This reel has a monkey line of 150 feet, that too pre-spooled in the reel. It comes with a great gear ratio of 3:5:1, making the line faster and more efficient.

The reel also has trigger handle line pickup with two pickup pins. However, some anglers have pointed out that the pins are loose and the reel knob doesn’t remain in place. In this scenario, you can just replace the parts as those are also available individually in the market.

Pros

  • Gear ratio of 3:5:1
  • Easy usability
  • Trigger handle line pickup that has 2 pins
  • Can be used by both left and right hands
  •  Pre-spooled 150 feet monkey wire
  • Installation is easy
  • Individual parts are available
  • Heavy duty

Cons

  • Reel knob not stable
  • Pins might be loose

Muzzy Bowfishing Reel

This reel features an extended hood that comes with a smoother and more focused shot. This reel is highly durable since it’s made with brass and stainless steel. This reel can be used with either the right or the left hand. This reel is heavy duty and easily targets bigger, heavier fish. 

The roller pickup pins catch the line well and the steel casts it well too. This reel also features two spool shaft bearings and an automotive-style disc.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Supports heavy bow fishing
  • Elongated hood
  • Smooth line flow
  • Focused shot
  • Roller pick up pins are durable
  • Stainless steel foot serves as a steady anchor
  • Powerful dual spool shaft bearings 
  • Automotive-style disc drag
  • Right hand to left hand convertible
  • Drive system is made up of stainless steel and brass, providing strength
  • Installed with 150 pound line

Cons

  • There weren’t any cons found

Zebco 808HBOWHD BX3 808 Series

One of the biggest advantages of this reel from Zebco is that even the beginners can use it easily and enjoy their fishing experience. Though it needs more maintenance, it is a tradeoff for the lower price end in the category. The stainless steel housing keeps it corrosion resistant, which means this reel can be used in harsh environments too.

The fishing line is already spooled in with it, so it’s one less headache for you. Also, it is equipped with anti reverse technology that comes in handy while reeling in a struggling fish and preventing backlash. Moreover, it comes with an 80 pound braided line.

The Zebco 808HBOWHD BX3 808 Series can be used by both left-handed and right-handed anglers with ease because the handle is detachable. The reel has the line capacity of 210 feet and 80 pounds for a braided line, which is enough to carry heavy fish as well. 

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Trusted brand
  • Budget friendly
  • Suited for saltwater too
  • Rust resistant

Cons

  • Not all the functionalities are available

Best Bowfishing Reels: Buyer’s Guide

What are the factors that you should keep in mind when you venture into the arena of bowfishing? Here are some listed.

Types of Reel

You need to know three types of bowfishing reels out there, and in order to find what would work best for you, you need to know about all three of them first.

  • Hand Wrap Drum Reel

Just like the name suggests, you will need to wrap the line around the spool with your hand manually and then put in the line folder so that it is in place. This kind of reel is easier on the pocket but increases manual work. You can club it with a float system as well for catching bigger and heavier fish.

This reel tends to last longer but demands more human effort.

  • Spincast Reel

This is the simplest of the reel used for both bowfishing and traditional fishing as well. This reel helps in shooting the line faster and farther.

This reel is also easy to reverse and bring the line back in. Hence, even if you miss a shot, it’s not difficult to give it a go again!

  • Retriever Reel

The unique feature of retriever reels is that it has a bottle that stores the line and also lets it fly without getting messed up. Not only is it able to catch and handle bigger fish, it also catches alligators! It has a thick braided line of 200 pounds and bears the resistance of a huge fighting catch.

Despite being heavy duty and durable, this reel is lightweight. It equips with a thick and durable fishing line. Because of this heavy line, faster speed is more difficult to attain. Also, since this type of reel is made of more expensive materials, it tends to be costlier.

Gear Ratio

The most common gear ratio is 4:3:1. This is nothing but the rate of the spool spin. The spool will turn 4.3 times for one rotation of the handle. It is recommended that higher the gear ratio, the better.

Durability

We would suggest that you always go for strong, long-lasting reels. If a higher price tag implies a reel lasting years, it is always a good decision to make that choice.

Parting Words

We hope that the reviews, pros, and cons listed for the handpicked products here will help you in your buying journey for the best bowfishing reel suited to you. You can also refer to the buyer’s guide that we have laid out to make a more informed decision about the product of your choice. Happy bowfishing!

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