Summer 2017 is almost over and it's time to determine the best bowfishing bows during this past season. What is the best choice for the money for the next fishing season? Which bow stood out from the others during the season? Many questions that you are probably asking yourself if you are looking to purchase one for next season.
However, the first thing that comes up into my mind is what is a good bowfishing bow? Let's have an overview of the main features of bowfishing kits to really understand how to determine a good bowfishing bow from a more basic one.
To practice this spring-summer activity, the bow needs specific features to tolerate the hard life a bow gets when bowfishing as it can be very tough on the bows.
- The coating: Bowfishing can get tough on the bow and a specific coating is necessary to support especially salty water for instance.
- Limbs and cams stress capacity: instinctive and snap shooting need specific features to sustain bigger stress. Deeper grooves into the cams to avoid easy derailments. Specific limbs to sustain possible dry-firing when no time to aim properly and strong hardwearing materials to take shocks from falling on the bottom of the boat or on the rocks.
- Mass weight: The lighter the bow is the better your chances to quickly aim are. The overall weight will have a crucial impact on its maneuverability.
- Adhesive grip: The fact that your hands can be wet during bowfishing become a factor to consider when you are looking for a bow. The grip must counter-balanced the risk of dropping the bow from a wet hand.
Arguably the most important item for Bowfishing, either you choose a compound bow, a recurve bow, a longbow or even a crossbow to practice bowfishing, each of these have their pros and cons but should encompass these specific features to claim to be the best bowfishing bows.
Recurve bows and longbows are more a traditional approach to this sport. They are more affordable and very lightweight which is pretty important if you intend to have it in your hand all day or night.
Tip: Bowhunters can convert their bows with bowfishing kits available on the market. It is not recommended because a hunting bow is usually not specialized for bowfishing but it is possible to do so.
You can also take advantage of most modern designs with compound bows or crossbows. Manufacturers are developing them having bowfishermen in mind. Many compound bows have the advantage of a constant draw weight throughout its draw cycle allowing for snap shooting for when a perfect target appears before the full draw. The Let off of some compound bows is perfect to aim for several minutes to wait for the perfect moment. The Let off is a great advantage since it allows you to hold the bow almost forever before shooting.
That being said, either you choose a recurve or a compound bow, you should pay attention to these details no matter your choice.
- Draw Weight: This is the amount of energy necessary to draw the string back and hold it. It also tells you how fast the arrow would fly when released. Your draw weight needs to fit your physical ability. Different water surfaces need specific velocities. For instance, shallow water versus fast rivers or deeper water would need different bowfishing setups so you should identify where you will bowfish to help you make your mind about your bowfishing bow.
- Draw Hand: Make sure that the one you desired is offered for your draw hand. Unfortunately, left-handed are often forgotten in bowfishing bow or made only on demand.
- Dimensions: Make sure that you will select a bow that will fit your draw length. The draw length will help you determine your bow size is you are looking for a recurve or a longbow. Greater adjustability means a more forgiving shooting while using the bow.
- Mass Weight: You might spend a lot of time carrying the bow as you hunt for fish. This means that even a few extra pounds might cause you arm fatigue while bowfishing. You can spare some pounds by choosing wisely the gears on your bow.
- Warranty: The sport itself is hard on the bow and most bowfishing bows come with a warranty for manufacturing defects. However, the coverage period varies from just a few months to a lifetime. As you invest a lot of money on new bowfishing packages, you should pay attention to this little detail.
- Regulations: Please consult your local laws and restrictions before ordering and using any bowfishing equipment. You must be 18 or older to purchase this item.
The Bowfishing Gears
Choosing wisely bowfishing equipment is not necessarily the easiest thing to do because there are many different options on the market.
The bowfishing reels are the most difficult to select. There are three main types of reels all made to bring the arrow and its catch back in. The place you choose and the species to angle for will help you to determine which of the following reels you should choose.
The Drum Reel: The drum reel is very hard wearing and also very inexpensive. They are made for larger fish when you are not having many shots in succession since you are wrapping by hand the line around the drum reel.
- The Spincast: Often used by more advanced bowfisher as it is much faster retrieval speed and it’s more precise. These reels are for smaller fish and when you have to shoot in quick succession.
- The Retriever: They have a higher price point but are suitable for all skill levels with automatic line feeds and has a bottle to keep the line in place with the automatic features taking a lot of the hassle out of the equation. It facilitates the manipulation of bowfishing bows so you can focus on aiming your target. Easy to use and has added safety while using it.
As we continue to describe all the items from bowfishing kits, the arrows are as important as the bow is to the bowfisherman.
Arrows: As they have to travel through the denseness of water bowfishing arrows are designed to be much stronger and heavier with many materials available. You will find fiberglass, even solid aluminum, fiberglass reinforced with carbon fiber, or pure carbon fiber. Fiberglass arrows are the most common as they are cheaper and very effective. However, they are longer than normal arrows, plus they are not fletched so even the slightest mistake is magnified. Keep that in mind when you are starting bowfishing, finding the sweet spot for great accuracy might take longer with bowfishing arrows.
Arrowhead: This arrow without fletching has barbs on the arrowhead. Barbs are really useful for capturing the fish and keeping it stuck to the arrow. The line from the reel is attached to the arrow with a sliding mechanism that can prevent snapback while shooting.
Line: Line weight ratings range between 80 and 600-pound line. The 600-pound line weights are more used for alligators. Standard size fish use between 80 to 400 pounds test line weights. Braided Dacron, Spectra or Nylon lines are for more serious bowfishing. Often overlooked, the line is really important to consider before buying any bowfishing bows.
Laser sights: This feature is really optional on bowfishing packages, the laser sights are made to increase your precision during day or night.Tip: Since the fish that you see on the surface is just a refracted image of the actual fish in the water, it to aim low and then aim even lower.
All in all, many little details have to be considered before choosing the proper bowfishing bow for yourself.
Best Bowfishing Bows
AMS E rad Bowfishing Bow
AMS partner up with G5 to offer you one of the best compound bowfishing bows with the AMS E-rad bowfishing bow package. This parallel limb design combines a solidly machined aluminum riser with a smooth draw.
The structure itself weighs only 3.6 pounds bare bow for right or left-handed shooters. Having a draw weight range between 30# to 60# with a possible snapshot from 15 to 31 inches. The dual Phaze cams are made for a smooth draw cycle. It's seven and a half of brace height is more forgiving for the shooter.
The package comes under $600 and includes the AMS Retriever TNT tournament series reel with Blue accents and 35 yards of 350-lb. Spectra line for hauling those big fish back in. The strong Lava Crux carbon cored arrow comes topped with an AMS AnKor FX Point with cyclone tip for smooth penetration. The E-rad package also includes the AMS Tidal wave arrow rest, Installed String Things, Set Nock Point on String with Tuned arrow rest, and a DVD.
No doubt, you might hesitate to select the AMS E-rad because of its price, however, be reassured that your money will be well spent for years to come.
- Super Tough Riser
- Molded Textured Grip
- Smooth Draw and Release
Cajun Sucker Punch Bowfishing Bow
The Sucker Punch gained in popularity but what exactly is under the hood here? Bear Archery participated in improving the quality, especially with its hybrid reel. The previous version was not really recommended but the new hybrid as a brighter future ahead of him.
This compound bowfishing bow comes with two possible adjustments. Two different sets of cams which are easy to switch; The constant cam module, made for snap shooting when no time for aiming and the let-off cams (adjustable module) to allow up to 60 % off the 50 lbs. draw weight when pulling, to increase your aiming time.
If properly aimed, no target will resist the efficiency of the Cajun Sucker Punch. It delivers the right amount of kinetic energy to strike hard all kind of fishes. The deep cam design on this model prevents derailment, while the safety reel system protects you from snapbacks.
The bow itself weighs almost nothing with its 3.2 pounds and about 5 pounds with everything on it. Since almost all the bows are lightweight nowadays, the adjustability of a bow makes a huge difference.
The adjustable draw length of the Sucker Punch allows more people to tune it at their convenience. That simple adjustment has a huge impact on possible draw weights that you can obtain by simply changing the length of the bow.
A complete package ready for bowfishing out of the box. The Cajun Sucker Punch package includes:
- A Fishing Biscuit arrow rest,
- A Cajun Hybrid bowfishing reel,
- A Cajun Blister Buster finger pads
- Two white fiberglass arrows with Piranha points
- Necessary Hardware to Change Cam Modules
- Made for Snap Shooting
- Great Adjustability to reach many shooters
- Excellent "growth with" bowfishing bow
- Compact and easy to use
- Complete package
AMS Fish Hawk Bowfishing Bow
The Fish Hawk is a really versatile bow making it one of the most user-friendly on the market.
The AMS Fish Hawk Bow Kit bowfishing bow was specially designed to have bowfishing success. The custom Whiplash Cam allows snap-shooting which generates maximum arrow speed at minimum draw lengths. The single cam also simplifies bow tuning and gives the shooter a smooth draw and release. The Fish Hawk comes with the draw weight of 30 to 40 lbs and has 20% let-off. The draw length of the Fish Hawk is 15 to 30 inches so virtually anyone can shoot the bow.
This bowfishing bow is made from machined aluminum that is comparable to most high-end bows on the market and has a large sight window with plenty of clearance for the arrow to pass.
The quad limbs are made from carbon composite materials that store the energy from the bow well. The grip is made of standard plastic but fits just perfect in your hand for long hours in the field.
AMS Fish Hawk Bow Kit is a complete package and includes:
- Fish Hawk Bow,
- AMS Retriever Pro Reel,
- Fiberglass arrow with Chaos point,
- Tidal Wave rest, and Between the Banks DVD.
- It packs a serious punch
- Great overall quality
- Less expensive than E-rad
- Family friendly
- Great Draw length adjustability
- Excellent for snap shooting
- None except the standard plastic grip
AMS The Juice Bowfishing Kit
AMS did bring us again an awesome new bowfisfing bow. Probably the best on the market. This blazing bright orange accents with super tough powder coated aluminum riser leaves really a nice look on the bow.
AMS partnered with Quest Archery on this one to bring a stout bow in a smaller package. The bow features a 15-50 pound draw weight, 17 1/2-30″ draw length, 29 1/4″ axle-to-axle, and brace height of 7 1/2″. This means that all size shooters are now targeted by this new bowfishing bow from youth to full adult size. its adjustability will be a great "grow with" bow for many years and on the top of that, you don't need a bow press to modify the length or the draw weight of the bow.
The bow weighs just over 3 1/4 pounds and has 60% to 80% let-off which will be perfect while you hold that bow for several minutes aiming at your target. To snap shoot, it is recommended to keep the bow at 30 inches for better efficiency.
The AMS the Juice Bowfishing Kit includes:
- AMS Retriever TNT with Orange Accents and 35 Yards of 350 Pound Spectra Line
- Orange Infused Fiberglass Arrow with Chaos Point
- AMS Tidal Wave Arrow Rest
- Orange String Things
- Great for all size shooters
- No bow press is necessary
- Awesome look
- Many adjustable features
- Strong coating
- None for the moment
If you are starting bowfishing, do not ignore the advice of experienced bowfishermen who suggest using a bow dedicated for that purpose. Your bow will be subject to very wet conditions, several hard clashes with the bottom of the boat or the rocks under you. Bowfishing bows are subject to hard conditions but are built to tolerate such abuse.
This article is a wrap-up of the best on today's market but there are much more on the market. Stay tuned for the best bowfishing bows - part 2 that is coming soon.
Thank you for reading us and do not hesitate to leave any questions or comments below about this article.
Have a nice Hunt!
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