The Best Bowfishing Reel You Need To Use For An Exciting Experience

Best Bowfishing Reel

Have you ever heard about bowfishing? Well, if you have already tried it before, then I'm sure you have a good grasp on how fascinating and exciting this fishing method is.

Well, bowfishing is totally different from any traditional fishing methods that most of us do. Here, you don't have to rely on rods but instead, you will need a bow to shoot an arrow to your target and bring it back to you by using a line that is being tied to a reel.


Hence, it only makes sense that you invest in the best bowfishing reel or else you will never be able to do it successfully; the right bowfishing reel will make or break your experience. So to help you find a good bowfishing reel, I've listed down below five of the top choices you will find in the market. Please keep on reading below.

AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel

On top of our list is a bowfishing reel from AMS Bowfishing which is said to be the key, so you will be able to finally kiss line tangling goodbye. This reel is best known for its speed; it actually has a gear ratio of 4.3:1. This guarantees you will get to enjoy the fastest and smoothest performance every time you shoot the arrow and reel it back in.

This bowfishing reel is the best pick for both beginners and pro anglers. Its entire process is quite simple, all you have to do is fire the arrow and it will do things on its own. There is no button you have to push, and it doesn't require you to hand-wind its spool.

It is a pretty durable reel too since it is built using nothing but high-quality materials. For instance, its gear and pinion are made of heavy brass. Its fasteners are made of stainless steel while its trigger is of aluminum.

Another thing I like about this bowfishing reel is that comes with a yellow Dacron line, making it even more visible. It boasts 25 yards of line that allows you get yourself ready to start fishing right after the moment you mount this reel. I also like its long handle that significantly increases your leverage and at the same time makes it easy to use. Another handy feature of this reel is the bottle that enables you to maintain the accurate position of the line.

Though this bowfishing reel is a bit expensive, it's a high-quality gear that's totally worth your money and is absolutely a great choice.


  • It is among the fastest reels on the market today with a ratio of 4.3:1
  • It has yellow Dacron line that provides great visibility
  • It's suitable for both beginners and expert anglers
  • It comes with a longer handle that increases the leverage and makes it easy to use.


  • It's a bit heavy and even thicker which will likely affect your speed
  • Some users find its bottle to a little short to hold its 25 yards line.
Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel with Integrated Reel Mounting system and 150# Line Installed - Reversible Left or Right Hand

Next on our list is a bowfishing reel that has been designed to catch those big beasts. This reel comes with an improved spin-style design and has been durably built to drag huge fish without any difficulties at all.

But what makes this bowfishing reel stand out is its reversible retrieve feature that allows both right-handed and left-handed users to enjoy this reel. It's also great to know that this reel comes with a system of switch activation that will provide you with a free spool option, and it does an excellent job in doing so.

Another handy feature of this reel is the shooting mode which is helpful a lot whenever you're shooting big fish and want it to get tired before you engage the line. You will have any problem retrieving the line too as it comes with spool mode system to easily retrieve the long line of 125-feet.

Though this reel may not be the most modern option in this list, but it's definitely among the best reels you will ever find in the market. It will give you the feel of a classic fishing reel, and it really performs just like one. It's a durable and reliable reel. Installing this reel is also a little tricky, so make sure to be patient.


  • It comes in a sleek design and has been durably built
  • It features a system of switch activation that makes free spooling possible
  • It has a well-made brass drive system
  • It features reversible retrieval, so it's easy to switch from right to left
  • It features visual confirmation to let you know whenever the reel is ready for shooting.


  • Its mounting bracket space is a little narrow, so it can be a bit tricky to mount.
Zebco 808HBOWHD, 200, BX3 808 Series Reel, Bowfisherhd, Spincast, Boxed

If you're just new to bowfishing game and you're on a hunt for a reel that is simple yet fast and lightweight, then this is your best bet. This reel only weighs about 1.25 pounds, so rest assured that winding would be a walk in the park.

It also comes with an impressive gear ratio at 2.6:1; though you might find this to be a little lower compared to other models, it still works great for basic shooting and fishing. It also has precision metal gears that are popular in delivering smooth line retrieval even if your load is quite heavy. I also like the classic design of this fishing reel that will perfectly match whatever type of crossbow you are using.

A pres-spooled Dacron weighing 80 pounds is also included in the package; though I find the string to be a little thin.


  • It's a good bowfishing reel to get started
  • It comes with pre-spooled bowfishing line that weighs 80-pound
  • It is lightweight yet compact than other models
  • It comes in a simple classic design.


  • Its string is a little thinner compared to most lines
  • Its gear ration is a little low.
Fin-Finder Heavy Duty Drum Reel, Blue

If you're budget-conscious, then look no further, this bowfishing reel is your best option as it comes at a cheap price. It's also a great entry-level reel since it comes in a simple design that is easy to use. All you have to do is attach it into a stabilizer bushing and you're good to go. It's pretty heavy-duty too, it comes with sturdy aluminum that will last you for a good deal of time.

Moreover, it comes with a fishing line that has 80 feet in length. This makes it possible to reach the target without any difficulty at all, no matter how far you the target is from where you are standing. However, the line feels a little flimsy compared to other expensive reels.

Another thing I like about this reel is that installing into the bow is very easy, thanks to the bolt screw it comes with. Just be extra careful when you're setting this up as I’m afraid it will snag along the line then will snap off, so I suggest you file down the edges.


  • It comes with durable aluminum construction
  • It has plenty of line of about 80 feet
  • Using and installing this reel is a breeze
  • It comes at an affordable price.


  • Retrieval is not as fast as other models
  • It has slow release too.
Cajun Hybrid Bowfishing Reel AFR1300

What makes this bowfishing reel stands out is that it is easy to use. Its handle has been designed to give you with just enough leverage to help you efficiently release the line. It has 25 yards of 250 pound test line that enables you to begin fishing the moment you mount the reel on the bow.

This reel guarantees a smooth performance too, thanks to the four stainless steel ball bearings it comes with which are all resistant to corrosion and rust, so you will be able to use the reel safely in both freshwater and saltwater.

This reel is also pretty convenient to use. It has been designed to be used with just one hand and keep your other hand free to do other important things. It's also suitable for both left-handed and right-handed anglers.


  • It's very easy to use
  • It provides quick release as well as impressive retrieval time
  • It comes at an affordable price.


  • Its bottle has the tendency to jam.

Best Bowfishing Reel: Buyer's Guide

With the thousands of bowfishing reels available in today's market, how do you choose the best one for yourself? Well, allow me to walk you through some of the features you need to consider before you go shopping.

Reel Style

In the game of bowfishing, you will likely encounter three main styles of a reel and each one of these styles comes with advantages and disadvantages, depending on the type of fish you are after for.

Drum Reel

Drum Reel is the most common bowfishing reel being used by beginners who are just starting out this sport. It comes in an extremely simple design that makes setting up a breeze and is also budget-friendly. But despite its cheap price, this reel is quite durable that you’ll know it will last you long. The biggest downside of this type of reel is that it takes too much time to wrap the reel. The line will likely not shoot quickly too which can be a bit frustrating when you're on an attempt to hit those fast swimmers.

Spincast Bowfishing Reel

There's also Spincast Bowfishing Reel which I'm sure you are all familiar with. This is also a great little reel that is very user-friendly. It comes with a drag that functions like one of your best spinning reels, except that it is being attached into a bow.

Retriever Reel

The Retriever Reel, on the other hand, is so far the most modern and most sturdy bowfishing reel you will find in the market. It's popular for its capacity to land huge game fish. It uses 200 pounds of thick braided line which is being stored in a bottle rather than being wound up around a reel. In this way, the line can smoothly fly into the air with no tangles at all until you stop the devices or when the line finally run out. The only downside of this reel is that it comes with a costly price tag.


If you want to invest in a great bowfishing reel that's worth your money, you have to make sure that the reel is made of sturdy and high-quality materials that will last through time. You will want to pick a reel which easily cuts. It should also be sufficiently thick, especially if you're after bigger fish.

Gear Ratio

This is another important aspect you need to consider. It will essentially tell you how quick the reel will pick up the line. For instance, if the reel comes with a gear ratio of 2.6:1, it means to say that it can rotate up to 2.6 times per handle turn. Most bowfishing experts prefer reels with a high gear ratio.

Ease of Use

It's important that you choose a reel that you can easily operate or can be operated with just your one hand and leaving your other hand free. It would also be great if you pick a reel that is made to be compatible with both the right and left-handed users.

Bowfishing reel with multiple bearings is also highly recommended for much smoother operation.


Bowfishing is definitely a thrilling and incredible sport every angler should try. But it requires a great set of equipment, like how you need to use the best crankbait reel for crankbait fishing. The best bowfishing reel guarantees you with a successful catch. A good reel makes sure you will be able to retrieve the line along with the fish without any difficulties at all.

Anyway, if you still have any more questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Nothing beats the feeling of having a great fishing reel. Every turn you make, you are assured with a smooth and powerful performance. It allows you to haul large games and trophies without breaking a sweat! There are a lot of fishing reels out there and you ought to know each of them. In this blog, I made specific highlights for the ​best ​baitcaster combos, and fishing rod and reel combos. They should be able to introduce to the appropriate reels for your intended applications. As a bonus, I even made a separate review for the top Shimano spinning reels--if in case some of you are huge fans of this brand.

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