Best Bowfishing Reel

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Because Bowfishing Is All About Confidence 

Bowfishing can easily be called the wildest fishing technique still enjoyed by Americans. Although nothing can beat American bears hogging fish with their paws, bowfishing is still more rugged and free than all traditional fishing techniques. There is no end to using a reel and a line for fishing, but you’d also require arrows and a bow. Sounds cool? 

Wake up the burly hunter within you and head out with a soul thirsty for adventure because we have brought you the best bow fishing reels in America. These reels promise to hit the fish hard and keep them locked in barbs while never dissipating even an inch of your effort. 

However, bow fishing is unlawful in all the major lakes unless it is aimed at the fish they want to eradicate themselves. It is better to try bowfishing at a nearby stream and land fish like sheepshead and carp which are relatively less frenzied. 

Best Bowfishing Reels for the Year 2022

AMS Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel 

This excellent retriever bowfishing reel is regarded as the best by many experienced anglers. This reel is super-efficient, reliable, sturdy in design, and unstoppable for best use by a high spirited angler. The gear is made of brass, the retrieval bottle is very solid, and the fasteners for this reel are made of stainless steel. The reel is housed in a composite material that affords ample resistance to damage. 

This reel can shoot arrows very fast with a little extra maneuver on your part. There is a line retainer which serves to keep the line fixed in one place between subsequent shots. A trigger guard prevents the snagging of lines while you put in the work. This supreme ability to prevent the bowfishing line from tangling is well received by anglers who perceive it as a very important function. 

The gear ratio for this retriever reel is 2.8:1 which ensures high power and adequate retrieval speed. The retrieval rate for this reel is 17” which ensures that new arrows can be readily put in place to continue fishing without interruption. 

Trust me, a lot of time gets wasted in bowfishing when the angler dedicatedly puts arrows in place again and again. It is worthwhile to have them secured once and keep them functioning thereafter. You can comfortably fire at a fish without having to press a button and there is no aluminium trigger required to be pulled before reeling the fish in. 

As is typical of retriever reels, there is an unbreakable bottle which speedily retrieves the line for pulling in the fish. Overall, the reel is quite durable. The only flaw is the absence of a proper gear system. You may have to pull in the line with the raw force of your bare hands. 


  • This reel is sturdily built with composite material, stainless steel fasteners, and brass gear. Overall, the reel is quite durable and strong. 
  • This reel can shoot arrows very fast and without delay in setting new arrows for new shots
  • This reel has an excellent line retainer system that prevents the line from tangling 
  • A trigger guard further prevents the occurrence of snags in the line 
  • The bottle for collecting the retrieved line is quite unbreakable 
  • One excellent feature of this reel is that there is no need to push a button while firing like other reels which makes the task all the easier


  • The biggest drawback of this rel is the absence of any drag system 
  • This rel requires you to pull the line with your bare hands if you need to stop the fish you have shot

Zebco 808HBOWHD Bowfishing Reel 

This spin cast reel is very efficient in bowfishing with superb comfort and unimaginable power. Built out of durable and hard metal, this reel is effectively resistant to corrosion and can well tolerate the harsh saltwater environments as well. Overall, this reel is light in weight and very well meant for its function.

This reel comes prepared with a 30 lb braided line test to ensure you have a strong and resilient line for a successful bowfishing experience. There is a built-in anti-reverse system in this reel which prevents the occurrence of frequent backlash and also keeps the line relatively untangled. 

Like most spin casting reels, the drag system for this reel is also not very effective and works in anime only. The angler has to depend on his muscle power to stop the fish at the right time. Although, there is a power handle of a size larger than normal which serves to reduce your effort by some capacity. 


  • This reel is relatively comfortable in operation which is mainly owed to the large-sized handle
  • The construction of this reel is solid and resilient and quite tolerant of harsh environments or rough handling
  • This reel comes with a heavy braid test which is pre-wound to ensure sufficient power for large fish 
  • This reel manages to function well without the occurrence of any knots in the line
  • The gear ratio of 2.6:1 is very appropriate for high power retrieval for the shot fish 
  • The reel is very lightweight and easy to handle 


  • Some anglers consider it a hassle to remove the pins before shooting for the fish 
  • The drag system is not very efficient 

AMS Tournament Series Retriever TNT 

This retriever reel is considered super fast in operation. This is the major quality that ranks it above many other bowfishing reels in America. Both beginners and experienced anglers prefer this reel for its ability to function relatively well while offering maximum comfort. 

This reel is capable of pulling the line back into the bottle very fast. This allows you to retrieve your fish fast enough for your spirit. Besides, there is no button in this reel that needs to be handled before an arrow is shot. Moreover, a line holder is responsible for keeping the line in place while a quiver holds the unused arrows. 

The gear ratio for this reel is 4.3:1 which along with a single pinion bearing can provide enough force for a power-laden and smooth bowfishing trip. Like all bowfishing reels, the drag is more or less non-existent. 

This reel is also more comfortable to use than many other bowfishing reels. And reduced line friction further eases your bowfishing experience. 


  • This reel is best known for its ability to retrieve line very fast
  • One added feature is the lack of buttons required to be pressed before releasing the arrow 
  • This reel will ease up your bowfishing experience
  • A line holder keeps the line in place and a quiver keeps the unused arrows in place 
  • This reel is very light in weight to render maximum comfort 
  • A pinion ball bearing ensures some smoothness absent in most other such reels 
  • This reel has effectively reduced the line friction 


  • This reel could have a more effective drag system 
  • Beginners may encounter many difficulties in operating this reel

Only the Right Bowfishing Reel Can Give You the Confidence You Need 

Nothing is forbidden if you are smart enough to do it right. We’d recommend you to go bowfishing in less crowded waters and make the best of your caveman abilities. You’d have already learned the right way to fire a bow while keeping in mind the refraction of light on the surface of the water. We are here to let you know the factors in your bowfishing reel that will greatly influence your performance in the water. 

You must decide upon the type of reel that will best suit your technique and experience. Bowfishing reels come in the drum, spin-cast, and retriever types and all of them work differently. The drag system for bowfishing reels tends to be heavier than the one used in reels of other types. The same attention needs to be paid to the power the reel is capable of supplying and the amount of time it is capable of serving effectively. One needs a good quality and durable reel with an adequate gear ratio, the required speed of retrieval, and smoothness that allows its full capacity operation. 

Make Sure You Use the Right Type of Reel 

Bowfishing reels come in the drum, spin-cast, and retriever varieties. The drum reels are also known as hand wrap reels and are built specifically for bowfishing. These reels are very direct in use. After the arrow is shot, the angler has to haul the line with his hands and wind it around an instrument that can hold the line. Although hand wrap reels cannot be used for any other fishing technique, they work very well for bowfishing. 

The spin cast reels work a little differently than drum fishing reels. In these, you are required to rely more on the reel’s gear ratio and drag capacity. The durability of these reels is much more adequate and they are even more comfortable to use for anglers who also want to rely on the reel’s capacity rather than their shear strength. 

Retriever reels are more popular than both other varieties even though they have no bail capacity. The line is instead gathered into a bottle. Appropriate for the rough and tough anglers, retriever reels are very commonly used in bowfishing tournaments. 

Look for a Good Drag and a Solid Built

The spin casting reels used for bowfishing will have efficient and powerful drag systems. Although it is a little difficult to get used to the working of a spin casting reel’s drag, it is but worth the effort because you develop incomparable power in stopping the fish. 

One must also take note of the power their bowfishing reel is capable of executing. Bowfishing reels need to shoot bowfishing reels need to shoot arrows with vigor and reel in fish with as much power. Spincast reels are faster in reeling in and retriever reels shoot arrows faster. Also, pay attention to the material of construction of the reels. Stainless steel or hardened aluminium will be adequately capable of handling the stress a bowfishing reel must sustain. Moreover, always check for the corrosion-resistance of your reel. 

Select a Smooth Reel With an Adequate Gear Ratio 

It is essential for a high power delivering reel to have good quality ball bearings. A good gear ratio will ensure that you preserve your beast mode for the tough grinds. The reel must decrease your effort and provide you ample comfort lest you are fishing with bare hands. 

Also, ensure that your reel fits tightly on your selected bow or fishing rod. 

Select a Reel With the Right Line Capacity 

You might require a heavy line for catching large fish. It is easy for big fish to break a thin line by exerting a sharp pull. You must know that lines for bowfishing need not be of extra length, so you’ll only have to worry about the appropriate weight and thickness of your fishing line. 

Even the Wild Fishing Techniques Demand Comfort 

Bows can be carried more easily with the help of holders and quivers added into them. However adventurous you are, you do need basic ease of handling to perform well at any sport. You might as well select specially built power handles in place of normal handles to add more ease to your effort. 

Fit Extreme Sports Within Your Budget 

Bowfishing reels need not be very expensive. It is easy to come across good quality bowfishing reels for a far lesser price than you would have imagined. It is rare to find a good warranty with most reels but it is best if you do find one. 


AMS Retriever Pro, Zebco 808HBOWHD, and AMS Tournament are all extremely capable reels when it comes to the extremely wild sport of bowfishing. One may require a drag system for added ease, but most manufacturers of bowfishing reels think otherwise. Go challenge the bears and bag yourself fish laden with ambitious arrows. 

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