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Bowfishing Equipment for Beginners

Do you love archery? Do you enjoy fishing? The good news is you can enjoy both in one hobby. Bowfishing, specially crossbow fishing, offers the excitement of both hobbies.

In summary, bowfishing is the perfect way of keeping your archery skill sharpened while keeping your stomach full and not to mention all the fun. Along with your bowfishing crossbows, you will be needing more equipment for a better experience.



bowfishing for beginners

Bowfishing Equipment needed:


Of course, arrows are the most important bowfishing equipment and it is very important to use bowfishing arrows. Bowfishing arrows, with other bowfishing supplies, are available in many different designs, with points geared toward different species such as carp and gar.

There are various designs currently available on the market. You can find inexpensive, basic, ready to attach arrows excellent for beginners under 15 dollars.

You will be needing a safety slide to avoid the risk of your arrow snapping back. A snap-back is, unfortunately, a not so rare situation that hunters encounter. If your line gets blocked by even the smallest thing during the shot, the possibility of your arrow to boomerang to you is pretty high.

The most common things that get entangles with your string rearward of your bow grip are cables, arrow rest, your wristwatch, weeds, brush, and so forth. This is definitely a bowfishing equipment essential.

Safety first is a must in any hobby or sports. For additional caution, do not simply tie off your string to a belt loop, a part of the bow, or anything other than a proper reel set up. It is guaranteed that if you shoot a fish that easily weigh in at 30-50 pounds and your arrow is not attached to a reel, you will be in the water with the fish.

To sum up, if you want to avoid future injury and getting into the same water with your dinner, you better get a proper reel.

There are three basic types of reel

  • drum reels for hand retrieving

Drum reels

If you are looking for a basic inexpensive reel, drum reel is what you need. They are user-friendly, almost foolproof, and consist of line wrapped around a spool. It can easily be screw on the stabilizer of being taped if your bow doesn’t accept one.

However, it requires you to hand wrap the line to reel in and this could be time-consuming and could be harder if your caught heavier fish.

In addition, if you are the type of bow fisher that tries to shoot hundreds of times in one outing it would be tiring and soon you won’t find it very charming.

In contrast, it would be a perfect reel for beginners who are just starting to learn bowfishing without breaking the bank.

  • heavy-duty spin casting reels

•	Casting Reel

Next to our list is the spin casting reel. If you have been gone fishing, it would remind you of a regular button fishing reels that are spooled with fishing line.

One of its best features is having the fastest retrieval among other types of reels. However, if you are not confident with your memory like me, you would definitely forget to press the button before casting and the arrow will break the string causing damage to the reel.

If you are like me you would definitely retire from using this reel pretty soon for missing a lot of shots because of having a terrible memory.

Otherwise, you will be one of those lucky bow fishers that could enjoy the high-speed retrieval offered by this reel.

  • bottle style reels

The other option and the personal favorite of many bowfishers is the bottle reel. These reels are the most expensive option, but they are very durable and very effective. The bottle where the line reels up is usually attached where sights would normally be on a bow.

Bottle reel has been considered the most popular reels used by bowfishermen in the tournament.


Polarized lenses are absolutely essential during daylight hours to decrease glare, along with a hat with a brim or bill to again help with lighting issues.

Lastly, do not forget to review all regulations and licensing requirements before you go to your first ever bowfishing journey. Remember that bowfishing regulations and the species you can legally allow to bowfish vary widely.

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