10 Best Bowfishing Reels: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

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Is there something that’s more fun than bowfishing? This hybrid style of fishing gives you the opportunity to experience fishing as was done by our ancestors but using modern equipment.

To succeed, you need three important tools:

  • Bow
  • Arrow
  • Reels

The reels are the most complicated and probably important component here. So, if you want to enjoy this action-packed style of fishing, you’ve got to make sure that you invest in the best bowfishing reels available. That marks the subject of our conversation today.

Bowfishing Reel Comparison List

Before we get started on the in-depth buyer reviews, we’d like to share a comprehensive list for informed decision making. So, check out this comparison list to get a quick idea of the best place to invest your hard-earned bucks.

Ranking

Preview

Product

Dimensions

Weight

Check Price

1

AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel - RH

AMS 610 Retriever Pro 

15 x 11 x 4 inches

1.6 pounds

2

AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel,...

AMS Tournament Retriever Pro 

14.5 x 11.2 x 3.5 inches

1.4 pounds

3

SinoArt Bowfishing Reel Seat Spincast Reel With...

SinoArt 

13.1 x 12.2 x 8.7 cm

1.6 pounds

4

Zebco 808HBOW, 80, BX3 808 Series Reel, Bowfisher,...

Zebco/Quantum 808HBOW

6 x 6 x 4 inches

1.2 pounds

5

Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel with...

Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro 

14 x 10 x 8 inches

3.2 pounds

6

Muzzy 1097 XD Bow Fishing Reel with 150 line...

Carbon Express Muzzy XD Bowfishing Reel

6.2 x 5.5 x 9.5 inches

1.3 pounds

7

Cajun Spin Doctor Bowfishing Reel

Cajun Spin Doctor 

1 x 1 x 1 inches ; 1.35 pounds

1.4 pounds

8

Archenemy Nemesis HD Bowfishing Reel

Archenemy Nemesis HD

-

1.5 pounds

9

Tournament Series Retriever TNT with 350lb Spectra...

Tournament Series Retriever TNT 

9 x 8.5 x 3.8 inches

3 pounds

10

Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel

Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel

1 x 1 x 1 inches 

1.5 pounds


10 Best Bowfishing Reels Reviewed

1. AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro Bow 610 Fishing Reel

AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel - RH
61 Reviews
AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel - RH
  • 17 Inches of Line Retrieved Per Revolution of...
  • 25 Yards of 200 Pound Line
  • Easy Installation and Adjustment
  • Made in the USA over 35 Years!

The brand name AMS alone is typically enough to give you the assurance of good quality. Indeed, this particular fishing reel from them is quite well made.

The fishing line comes already stacked in a bottle and so you job is to just shoot the arrow and you’ll be sure to have it fly out of the reel just as fast as the arrow does.

As you can imagine, this is a simple and straightforward activity because the good guys at AMS have made it so. Other cheap bow fishing reels out there require you to push the button before you can shoot the arrow – a process that’s considered by many to be unfriendly to beginners.

Product Description

This bowfishing reel is made right here in the USA so you are assured that it is of high quality and you won’t incur much shipping cost either. Though quiteexpensive, it is worth every dime spent on it.

It measures 15 by 11 by 4 inches and weighs 3.2 ounces. What’s more? It comes with 25 yards of line which is supplied already pre-spooled. How cool is that? This is actually one of the longest test tournament lines found on the markets currently.

Other Features and Benefits

For every handle revolution, 17 inches of the line is retrieved. This reel is long-lasting as it is built with heavy duty pinion and brass gear, stainless steel fasteners and aluminum trigger. It is integrated with arrow quiver super and telescoping clamp that allows for easy adjustment.

You can either purchase the right or left hand retrieve as per your hand orientation. Finally, although this reel is quite expensive, it is of great quality and offers good value for money.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Simple to use
  • 25 yards of 200-pound line
  • Made of high-quality materials
Cons
  • Heavy duty
  • Does not come with arrows

2. AMS Tournament Pro Bowfishing Retriever Reel

AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel,...
33 Reviews
AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel,...
  • 4.3 to 1 gear ratio
  • Longer handle for increased leverage
  • Yellow Dacron line

This AMS tournament retriever reel has been enhanced to a retrieval ratio of 4.3:1 which helps you catch big fish efficiently. It features an extra-long handle to give you more leverage and speed.You can either buy the right hand or left-hand orientation versions of it.

Product Description

Comes as a complete kit with a telescoping clamp, Retriever Pro Reel, a trigger guard and 25 yards of hi-vis yellow Dacron line that can be seen easily.  In addition, it features mounting hardware and a manual for operation guidelines.

This bowfishing reel weighs 1 pound and measures 14.5 by 11.2 by 3.5 inches and made in the USA. Therefore there are no added shipping costs.

Other Features and Benefits

Provides zero drag for the longer and deeper shots. Features a telescoping clamp for quick reel adjustment to suit different sized hands. Besides, it is stronger and corrosion resistant, unlike the earlier reels.

Suits even beginners as it is easy to install. There are no buttons to push, you just need to shoot the arrow. The reel is designed to reel-in faster after any missed shot and there will be no more arrows that will fly back to you. This makes the reel one of the safest and can even be used by beginners or kids.

Pros
  • Long handle for increased leverage
  • Easy to setup
  • Comes with a user manual
  • It’s durable
  • Features a yellow Dacron line to enhance visibility
  • A great, easy-to-control gear ratio of 4.3:1
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • No sight included

3. SinoArtSpincast Reel Right and Left hand

On Sale
SinoArt Bowfishing Reel Seat Spincast Reel With...
4 Reviews
SinoArt Bowfishing Reel Seat Spincast Reel With...
  • Wheel rocker can easily swap left and right...
  • External rocker arm uses a stainless steel...
  • Reel can be used in slingshot fishing and bow...
  • The internal gears are made of die-cast alloy...

Are you looking for a bow fishing reel that has a button that is used to shoot the arrow? The SinoArtSpincast reel might just be what you need.

It’s quite easy to use. All you need is to check the button that is located at the far end of the wheel and press it, this will then shoot the arrow. This pops up the column to finish the winding process.

Product Description

The reel weighs 1.65 pounds and measures 5.4 by 4.7 by 3.8 inches meaning it’s light enough and also compact in design.

In addition, it comes with 1 fishing reel seat, fishing line, and 1 fishing spin castreel. The fishing line can either be a nylon 70 yard BL40 fishing line or BL25 fishing line that is made of PE material.

Other Features and Benefits

The die-cast alloy internal gears are durable and have a smooth touch. Alternately, the exterior covering is made by materials that are resistant to corrosion. This makes your reel remain as good as new throughout.

The advantage is that this reel can be attached to a recurve compound bow. The external rocker has both left and right hand oriented arms that are made of stainless steel. These arms are also counterbalanced so that you don’t have to apply a lot of force when using them.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Has both right and left-hand orientation
  • Housing is corrosion resistant
  • Durable internal gears
Cons
  • Has button operation
  • It does not include the bow and stabilizer

4. Zebco/Quantum 2.6:1 Gear Ratio, Boxed Bowfisher, 808 Series Reel

Zebco 808HBOW, 80, BX3 808 Series Reel, Bowfisher,...
10 Reviews
Zebco 808HBOW, 80, BX3 808 Series Reel, Bowfisher,...
  • Zebco 808HBOW 808 bowfish reel
  • 2.6:1 80lb Dacron box
  • 808HBOW # 808HBOW

The Zebco 808 Reel has been tried, tested and proven to be efficient over the years. It has a gear retrieval ratio of 2:6:1 that is good enough for excellent freshwater fishing. Has a reel seat with an aluminum construction that is capable of fitting most of the available bushing holes.

Product Description

The reel measures 6 by 6 by 4 inches and weighs 1.25 pounds. It is ergonomically designed with both left hand and right-hand retrieval system that can be easily interchanged to suit any hand orientation.

Boasts a fast retrieval rate of 19 inches for every revolution made for effective performance. It also has an adjustable dial drag.

Other Features and Benefits

It has a mono capacity of 30 yards per 80 lbs. The spool is chrome plated and the body is made of tough ABS material to enhance durability. Features precision metal gears that allow easy line retrieval even under heavy loads. Finally, the reel comes equipped with a ball bearing drive and a hook keeper that is inbuilt.

Pros
  • Has an adjustable dial drag
  • Features an auto bait alert system
  • Has changeable right hand and left hand retrieve
  • Features all metal gearsdrive train
  • Simple operation
  • A powerful gear ratio of 2.6:1
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • Does not come with the bow

5. Muzzy Bowfishing Pro Spin Reel 1069 XD, Reversible Right or Left hand

On Sale
Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel with...
9 Reviews
Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel with...
  • Bowfishing Spin cast style reel with...
  • Switch activation system allows you to lock...
  • Pre-spooled with 150 ft of 150 lb. test...
  • Reversible left or right handed retrieve

Unlike the traditional spin cast style reel, the Muzzy Pro spin Bowfishing reel has been upgraded with a steel mounting bracket that reduces weight and gives room for mounting one bolt at a time.

Product Description

Equipped with a spool switch which when put on, opens the spool and keeps it on until when you turn it off. This then enables you to change to shooting mode which will show that your reel is now ready to shoot the arrow.

By flipping off the switch, the drag system then fights the fish paving way for quick arrow retrieval. This reduces the number of lost chances.

Other Features and Benefits

This muzzy bowfishing pro spin reel is made within the USA and you don’t need to worry about shipping costs. Weighs 1.97 pounds and measures 14 by 10 by 8 inches. Features both right and left hand oriented retrieve that is reversible.

It includes a 0.5 inches long bolt that is used for mounting up the reel. Lastly, it features a stabilizer hole that can mount a bow. Comes with 150 ft. of 150 lb. pre-spooled test tournament line to enable you to start your fishing adventure. Lastly, this reel is tough built and ergonomically designed to handle even the extra-large fish.

Pros
  • Great drag system
  • Easy to use
  • Missed shots retrieval is fast
  • Both left and right-hand retrieve
  • Features a stabilizer hole
Cons
  • It is quite expensive

6. Muzzy XD Extended Hood Bowfishing Reel

On Sale
Muzzy 1097 XD Bow Fishing Reel with 150 line...
1 Reviews
Muzzy 1097 XD Bow Fishing Reel with 150 line...
  • Heavy-duty reel built for demanding bow...
  • Heavy duty stainless steel and brass drive...
  • Strong stainless steel foot - solid anchor,...

This is the best choice for bowfishing lovers who are interested in catching the big fish.This muzzy XD extended hood bowfishing reel is heavy duty and its good enough to be used even in extreme saltwater areas. Its hood is elongated to allow the line flow smoothly and enables consistent accurate shooting.

Product Description

This reel has dimensions of 6.2 by 5.5 by 9.5 inches and weighs 11.2 ounces. It comes pre-spooled with 150 ft. of 150-lb of fishing tournament line which will give you a nice start. It is made in the USA and thus high quality is guaranteed.

It has a changeable left-hand or right-hand retrieve,unlike other reels who only have one hand orientation.

Other Features and Benefits

The new elongated hood, the brass made internal drive system and the roller pick up pins made of stainless steel are durable. They are also corrosion resistant. These three features combine together for enhanced accuracy and easy arrow retrieval.

The best features of this reel are the automated style discdrag and the dual spool shaft bearings that provide better power to fight monsters. The roller pick up pins are used to catch the line effortlessly while the stainless steel foot provides stability to the reel. Lastly, it has a reel button activation system that is smooth and simple to operate.

Pros
  • Features dual spool shaft bearings
  • Simple operation
  • Elongated hood for more accuracy
  • Adjustable right and left hand retrieve
  • Good drag system
Cons
  • Quite expensive

7. CajunBowfishing Spin Doctor Reel

On Sale
Cajun Spin Doctor Bowfishing Reel
6 Reviews
Cajun Spin Doctor Bowfishing Reel
  • Cajun Bowfishing spinning reel with...
  • Longer Hood design and larger Hole for better...
  • Dual pickup pins with full metal Assembly
  • Faster pickup for faster reeling

This ultra-modern Cajun spin bow fishing reel is a new entrance and one of the most long-lasting bowfishing reel available in the market. The reel is ergonomically designed with an elongated hood and equipped with large holes for good line feeding. In addition, it comes pre-spooled with 150lb of fishing line.

Product Description

This reel weighs 1.35 pounds and measures 1 by 1 by 1inches. The dualfull metal pick-up pins catch the fishing line tirelessly to allow fast reeling. The internal system and the external body is full metal assembled to enhance durability and helps it endure the rigors of fishing.

The reel itself is sturdy and tough which makes it the best choice for catching even the toughest fish.The reel spool is loose enough and spins easily thus ensuring that you have smooth line reeling. Fixing and operation of the reel is simple.

Other Features and Benefits

Features a one-sided handle that helps prevent the fishing line from tangling which can be a total mess your fishing. You can either buy the left handed or right handed reel that will suit your hand orientation. However, it does not come with a real mount.

Pros
  • Full metal assembly dual pick up pins for fast reeling
  • It has a one-sided handle that prevents the line from tangling
  • Features large holes and longer hood for best fishing line feeding
  • Comes pre-spooled with 150lb fast flight fishing line
  • Easy to use
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a reel mount

8. Archenemy HD Nemesis Bowfishing Reel

Archenemy Nemesis HD Bowfishing Reel
  • 4 stainless steel bearings for smooth long...
  • Pre-Spooled with 200-lb. test line
  • 4X super-sized components and extra large...
  • Free flow nose cone design for increased...

If strength and durability are what you are looking in a bowfishing reel, then look no further. This Archenemy HD Nemesis Bowfishing reel has been re-enhanced to fight against rigors of fishing and to help you reel the big fish to the boat. It features a powerful gear retrieval ratio of 3 to 3 to 1 and comes pre-spooled 200lb. test fishing line for more power.

Product Description

It has a 33lb drag and a reel foot that has been reinforced. For every revolution made, 21 inches of the line is retrieved. The reel has a uni-body design that is made of die-cast aluminum that makes it tough and more durable. To add on that, it is equipped with dual pickup pins made of stainless steel for easy line feeding.

Other Features and Benefits

This reel features an ergonomically designed strong handle to reduce hand fatigue and reel foot to provide a stronger base. It also has 4 stainless steel bearings for a longer excellent performance. The main shaft is extra-large with four super-sized components for increased strength.

The nose cone design is free-flowing for exemplary performance. Although quite expensive, this reel is of top quality and very reliable.This reel measures 10.6 by 9.6 by 3.5 inches and weighs 1.51pounds. Lastly, value for money is guaranteed as the reel super performs and can be used for a long period of time.

Pros
  • Has a powerful gear ratio of 3.3:1
  • Comes pre-spooled with 200lb. test fishing line
  • One-sided handle to avoid line tangling
  • Features 4 stainless steel bearings
Cons
  • It is expensive

9. AMSBowfishing TNT Retriever Tournament series

Tournament Series Retriever TNT with 350lb Spectra...
3 Reviews
Tournament Series Retriever TNT with 350lb Spectra...
  • Simple operation - no buttons to push before...
  • 35 Yards of 350 lb Dacron Line
  • 27 Inches of Line Retrieved Per Revolution of...
  • Extended Handle for More Torque

This reel comes as a perfect choice for fishermen whose main concern is speed. It’s no doubt one of the fastest reels the market has to offer. The fish turnout in your boat will solely depend on how many shots you make and how fast you are at retrieving. Features an elongated arrow handlelength for increased fish hauling torque.

Product Description

This reel weighs 3 pounds and measures 9 by 8.5 by 3.8 inches. It is made in the USA hence be assured it’s of top quality and you won’t have to incur any shipping costs. Comes pre-spooled with 35 yards of 350lb spectra braided Dacron line. For every revolution made, 28 inches of fishing line is retrieved.

Other Features and Benefits

The gears are made of heavy duty solid brass and the hardware is of stainless steel that makes the reel long lasting. The composite housing is corrosion resistant and prone to wear and tear due to weather changes. It boasts of a high gear ratio of 4.3:1 for increased performance.

The AMS Retriever Tournament Reel has no buttons and it is easy to operate. Features an integratedand quiver to store the arrows. The bow has a four adjustment whereas the quiver is attached to the sight holes on it.

Pros
  • A powerful gear ratio of 4.3:1
  • Corrosion resistant housing
  • Heavy duty gears
  • Pre-spooled with 35 yards of 350lb Dacron line
  • Equipped with an arrow rest
  • Extended arrow handle length
  • No buttons
Cons
  • It is expensive

10. Cajun Pro Bowfishing Winch Reel

On Sale
Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel
3 Reviews
Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel
  • Fighting wheel brake allows you to brake and...
  • Adjustable durable ceramic string guide for...
  • Revolutionary design allows for one-handed...
  • Rugged aluminum frame for superior durability

This all-new Cajun Pro Bowfishing Winch Reel is uniquely designed with a fighting wheel brake that enables you to reel and break continuously unlike other bowfishing reels. This winch is equipped with all the tools that are required to bring in monsters either during the day or night.

Product Description

It measures 1 by 1 by 1 inch and has a weight of 1.5 pounds. Features a durable ceramic string that can be easily adjusted to give a smoother feed. This reel is ergonomically designed for one hand operation which can be reversed to the left hand or right hand.

Other Features and Benefits

Has both horizontal and vertical adjustments that allow it to fit perfectly on any given bow. You will mount the bow on the given sight holes. The reel comes with 25 yards of 250lb white test line that is highly visible.  It is built with stainless steel hardware and the mounting breaks are made of solid aluminum to withstand any weather condition.

Pros
  • Reversible single hand operation
  • Features fighting wheel brake
  • Easy to use
  • It is corrosion resistant
  • Has both vertical and horizontal adjustments
Cons
  • Does not come with arrows
  • Quite expensive

Getting Started With Bowfishing

As we have already mentioned, this style of fishing is action-packed. And, therefore, if you want to enjoy the outdoor thrill like a boss, it’s important you’re first of all familiar with the basics.

You’ll need three components when embarking on bowfishing i.e. the bow, reel, and accessories among them the arrow.

  • Bow: Get a strong and sturdy bow ideally a bow that can provide up to 30 lb of draw weight is great when paired with a well-made arrow.
  • Reel: We’ll share a detailed buyer’s guide for reels in a few. But all you need to note for now is that the retriever reel option is deemed the safest one for beginners.
  • Accessories: A complete setup of bowfishing comprises arrows, line, lights, and points. So make sure you’re always armed with the right accessories for the job.

Detailed Buying Guide for Bowfishing Reels

What are the key features to look for when shopping for bowfishing reels? You might be wondering. Well, in our view, you can hardly go wrong if you take the following into account.

Different Types of Reels

There are three common types of reels. Each one of them has its fair share of upside and downsides. We are going to discuss the specifics in the next few paragraphs.

  • Hand Wrap Drum Reel
    This is the easiest to set up of all the three types of reels. With it, you’ll simply need to wrap the line around the spool (manually) and then hold it into the position of the line holder. After firing the arrow, the line flies from the holder and then you have to retrieve by simply rewinding the reel.
  • Spincast Reel
    These kinds of reels are awesome to have whether you’re using a compound or recurve bow. One major benefit of these kinds of reels is that they come pre-round and, therefore, they’re easier to shoot and reel.
  • Retriever Reel
    This is the most common type and probably easiest to use one for beginners. It typically comes with a bottle used to hold the line in place. It’s ideal for catching large fish and even alligators. The major downside with these reels is that they’re quite costly to obtain.

​What’s The Ideal Gear Ratio?

The ideal gear ratio is the 4.3:1 one because it gives you a combination of good speed and control. With it, when you make a single revolution of the handle the spool rotates 4.3 times.

​Build Quality

Since these reels are used quite often, it’s important to insist on durability. Indeed, you want a reel that lasts long and one that can accommodate a line strong enough to capture huge fish. You don’t want to end up with a reel that easily snaps as that would probably ruin your entire fishing trip.


Which One Is The Best?

The AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro Bow 610 Fishing is our absolute favorite because of its build-quality. It’s made in the US and comes with 25 yards of line (200 pound line). That’s why we like it a lot.


Final Thoughts

Now that you have a clue what the best bowfishing reel is, it’s our hope that it’ll be much easier for you to make a choice. And most importantly, we hope that you will have some more rewarding fishing days when you go out to hunt for fish with one of these.