Best Bowfishing Reel 2023: A Comprehensive Review

Bowfishing is one of the fastest-growing types of fishing. It is a type of fishing that involves using specialized archery piece of equipment to accurately shoot and retrieve fish. This practice of hunting for fish requires you to be keen and have the best bowfishing reel and other reliable pieces of fishing gear.

A quality bowfishing reel can cost you a lot of time to find if you are a beginner angler. Also, you need the tips and hacks to ensure the bow fishing reel that you land in the market is one that suits your style of fishing.In this elaborate review, we have provided detailed reviews that can help you get a quality fishing reel. Besides, we provided a comprehensive buying guide. Be sure to check it before making a choice.

Best Bowfishing Reel

Best 6 bowfishing reel in 2023: A comparison chart

Sometimes, it’s challenging to compare different products at a glance. This is the main reason we have prepared a comprehensive list of the top bowfishing reels. This chart will help you compare various features of the six most popular bowfishing reels out there.

1AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel14.5 x 11.2 x 4 inches1.6 pounds
2AMS Tournament Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel14.5 x 11.5 x 3 inches1.2 pounds
3Zebco 808HBOW 808 Series Reel6 x 6 x 4 inches1.2 pounds
4Tournament Series Retriever TNT9 x 8.5 x 3.8 inches3 pounds
5Cajun Spin Doctor Bowfishing Reel1 x 1 x 1 inches1.4 pounds
6Muzzy 1097 XD Bow Fishing Reel6.2 x 5.5 x 9.5 inches1.3 pounds

1. AMS Bowfishing Bow 610 Fishing Reel (Retriever Pro)

According to most experienced anglers, the brand name AMS is enough to offer you the assurance of outstanding quality associated with this bowfishing reel. Indeed, this fishing reel is quite a masterpiece as it is professionally designed to offer the highest possible level of user-experience. It comes with a fishing line stacked in a bottle, and so, the user’s job is to shoot the arrow. You can be sure to get it fly out of the fishing reel fast enough.

Well, this is a somewhat straightforward activity as the experts at AMS have worked tirelessly to ensure that’s the case. Other inefficient bowfishing reels out there require the user to push a button prior to shooting the arrow. This process is considered by many anglers as unfriendly to novice fishers.

AMS Bowfishing Bow 610 Fishing Reel is made in the United States by experts with many years of experience. Buyers can be assured that the product is of high-quality and will not incur high shipping expenses. While the reel is more expensive compared to most options in the market today, its functionality, durability, and overall user-experience are worth every buck you spent on it.

The reel measures 15 inches by 11 inches by four inches and weighs about 3.2 ounces. Besides, it comes with 25 yards of fishing line, which is already pre-spooled. Isn’t that cool? Indeed, this is among the longest test tournament fishing lines available in the markets today.

This bowfishing reel from AMS has other outstanding features and benefits. For instance, for a single handle revolution, you can retrieve about 17 inches of the fishing line. Additionally, the line is made of high-quality materials, equipped with a brass gear, fasteners made of stainless steel, and an aluminum trigger. The reel is integrated with an arrow quiver and a reliable telescoping clamp that lets you make adjustments easily.

Depending on your hand orientation, you can either buy the left or right hand retrieve option. While this fishing reel is more expensive, it is associated with excellent quality and outstanding performance.


  • It is easy to use
  • It is made of top quality materials
  • Comes with a 25-yard line (200 pounds)
  • Durable


  • Doesn’t come with arrows

2. AMS Tournament Bowfishing Reel – Retriever Pro

This AMS Tournament Bowfishing Reel is a user-friendly reel that is ideal for both beginners and experienced anglers as well. In recent years, traditional methods of fishing, such as those that use a bow and an arrow, have proven to be thrilling. However, there is a modern touch to traditional fishing by adding the reel.

The Tournament Retriever pro by AMS is made in the U.S.A and has a reputation as being a high-speed reel with an enhanced retrieval ratio of “4.3 to 1”. Also, the long handle design contributes to the leverage and fast speed of the reel. The AMS Tournament Retriever Pro is a reel on a whole new level, and the best reel money can buy – it is the very best.

Anglers can easily draw, aim, and shoot as there are no buttons to push before shooting. This is a great feature, especially when aiming at fast-moving fish. Additionally, the reel incorporates a zero-drag system that allows for faster sport fishing, especially on longer shots.

The AMS tournament retriever reel can be bought for either the right-hand drive or the left-hand drive. The reel features a 25-yard, yellow Dracon line, which helps on the visibility during bowfishing. The line is held in a bottle instead of the traditional spool for an outstanding line control while shooting or hauling a catch.

The sturdy construction of the AMS tournament retriever reel features stainless steel and solid brass gears to ensure the durability of the gear. The composite housing is designed to resist corrosion of the reel. Still, on design, the reel is equipped with a quick adjusting telescoping clamp.


  • Extra-long handle for leverage and grip
  • Comes with a user manual for beginners
  • Sturdy construction for durability
  • Trigger guard and safety kit
  • Yellow Dracon line for visibility
  • Easy to install and use
  • Very fast


  • The bottle is not big enough for a longer fishing line
  • Doesn’t come with a sight

3. Zebco BX3 808 Series Bowfishing Reel

This Zebco/Quantum 808 series fishing reel is quite a masterpiece. The 80 BX3 reel is one of the top bowfishing reels with the quickest anti-reverse system preinstalled to make it perform excellently. The 808 series are popular, having been tried and tested for excellent freshwater fishing.

With a gear retrieval ratio of 2:6:1, the Zebco/Quantum BX3 boasts of a fast retrieval rate of 19 inches for every revolution made while bowfishing. The reel comes with an 80lb Dacron braid with a diameter of 0. 78 in inches and 1.985 in mm. The line reaches 200 yards and can haul capacity of 35 pounds. The reel has a mono capacity of 30 yards per 80 lbs.

The body is not made from metal but from a sturdy ABS material with hardcovers, which makes it durable. The 80 BX3 reel measures six by six by 4 inches and is light weighing about 1.25 pounds. Also, the reel’s design allows for the adjustment of the drive orientation to either right or left- very convenient.

Further, the 80 BX3 reel has a precision metal gears for easy fishing line retrieval even for a bigger or heavier fish load. To make the reel even better among the 808 series, the reel comes equipped with an inbuilt ball bearing drive as well as a hook keeper.

Anglers don’t have to worry about the price as it is relatively affordable. You don’t have empty your piggy bank to acquire the Zebco BX3 808 Series Bowfishing Reel. If you intend to mount it to a crossbow, get a reel seat, and ensure there is no interference with the crossbow function. Also, the reel can be used on a fishing pole.


  • Smooth adjustable dial drags
  • Auto bait alert system
  • changeable right hand to hand left hand retrieve and vice versa
  • The gear drive train are all metals
  • Easy to operate
  • Decent gear retrieval ratio of 2:6:1
  • Quite affordable


  • Breaking of the reel in some scenarios
  • Doesn’t come with a bow

4. Cajun Bowfishing Reel

This is an ultra-modern spin bowfishing reel that made its way into the markets recently. It is one of the most lasting reels out there, and that means acquiring it isn’t a waste of resources. The product is ergonomically designed and has an elongated hood with large holes for effective line feeding. What’s more, this reel comes with a 150lb of the line – pre-spooled.

This bowfishing reel from Cajun weighs about 1.35 pounds and measures one by one by one inch. It has dual-full metallic pins that catch the line effectively to ensure fast reeling. Both the external body and the internal system are made of metal to boost durability and the reel’s ability to withstand the endless rigors of fishing.

The fishing reel itself is strong and made of top quality materials, making it the ultimate choice for anglers planning to catch even the toughest fish. Its spool is fixed in such a way it is loose enough and can spin easily. Thus, the user can be assured of smooth fishing line reeling. Though you must fix the reel before you begin operating it, the entire process is quite simple, even for novice fishers.

This Cajun Bowfishing Reel is also associated with other outstanding features and benefits. For instance, it is equipped with a single-sided handle that effectively prevents the line from forming knots or tangling. Otherwise, you will have to battle with some form of the mess associated with a tangling fishing line. And depending on your hand orientation, you can choose the right-handed or left-handed reel. No matter your fishing needs, this Cajun Bowfishing Reel is designed to offer the highest possible level of user experience.


  • The fishing reel associated with a full metal assembly dual pick-up pins that facilitate fast reeling
  • The reel comes with a 150lb pre-spooled fishing line
  • It is equipped with a single-sided handle that keeps the fishing line from tangling
  • This bowfishing is easy to easy even for beginners
  • Given its functionality and reliability, the product is affordable
  • Has larger holes and a long hood for effective line feeding


  • The reel lacks a reel mount

Also read: 10 Best Rod for Jig Fishing & How to Choose Right One

5. Tournament Series Retriever TNT with Spectra Line – 350lb

Are you looking for a speedy bowfishing reel? Well, this Tournament Series Retriever TNT with Spectra 350lb Line by AMS is the perfect fit for any angler. With an excellent high gear ratio of 4.3:1, It is one of the fastest reels made by AMS, and it could be one of the fastest as well in the market.

With no push buttons before making shots, the product can be considered a user-friendly reel that beginners, as well as experienced anglers, will find comfortable to use. The Tournament Series Retriever TNT, which weighs 3 pounds and measures nine by 8.5 by 3.8 inches, is a U.S made product, and therefore quality standards are assured.

The reel’s gear is made of heavy-duty solid brass while the gear’s hardware is made of stainless steel metal to ensure a long-lasting reel. AMS has made the housing of the reel corrosive-resistance. However, like any other product, the same is prone to wear and tear in the face of weather changes.

The reel has a high-torque handle and can do 28 Inches of line retrieval per revolution with zero drag. The designers chose to extend the handle length to improve on the reel’s hauling efficiency. The reel comes with 350 yards of braided spectra line that can hold up to 35 pounds. There is an integrated quiver attached to the site hole meant for arrow storage when not in use. Also, the reel comes with an adjustable bow.

The reel’s opening is oversized to eliminate friction, which, in effect, contributes to a faster arrow. The faster you retrieve, the more shots you take, the more fish you accumulate, making the Tournament Series Retriever TNT a fun bowfishing reel.


  • The excellent speed with a gear ratio of 4.3 to 1 bearing
  • Super-fast with 28 inches of lines per revolution
  • Comes with an arrow test
  • Easy to operate
  • Corrosive resistant


  • Expensive compared to other bowfishing reels
  • Has a heavy bowline

6. Muzzy 1097 XD Bowfishing Reel

Muzzy 1097 XD Bowfishing Reel is yet another top-rated reel that could make your fishing trip a success. It is the ultimate choice for anglers and fishing enthusiasts who prefer bowfishing over other types of fishing. The reel features an extended hood and is tough enough to withstand the impact of extreme saltwater fishing environment. The hood is elongated to enable the fishing line to flow seamlessly and facilitate consistent and more accurate shooting.

The reel’s drive system is made of stainless steel and has brass parts. So, there is no doubt this bowfishing reel is a durable product. Once you acquire it, you can rest assured of many years of seamless and exciting fishing adventures. Another great thing about this reel is that it can be adjusted to fit a fisher’s style of use. Indeed, you can convert it to fit either right or left-hand orientation.

The reel measures 6.2 inches by 5.5 inches by 9.5 inches, and its weight is about 11.2 ounces. Therefore, it can easily fit in your hand while the fact that it is lightweight means that you can use it all day long, and you don’t have to worry about fatigue. Besides, the reel comes with a 150lb (pre-spooled) fishing line. This is an excellent start for anglers.

This Muzzy 1097 XD Bowfishing Reel is designed and manufactured in the United States by experts with decades of experience in the fishing industry. Therefore, excellent performance, quality, and durability are guaranteed.

The reel’s new elongated, the roller pick up pins, and brass internal drive system are made to last long. They are also rust-resistant, and that means it can be used even in harsh weather conditions. All these features work in unison for better accuracy and somewhat arrow retrieval.

One of the outstanding features of this Muzzy 1097 XD Bowfishing Reel is the automated style disc drag, as well as the dual spool shaft bearing that offers enough power to fight big catches. The pins help hold the fishing line in place while the stainless steel foot offers stability to the fishing reel. Finally, the reel button activation system is simple to operate.


  • Has a dual spool shaft bearings
  • The drag system is excellent
  • It is simple to operate
  • Equipped with an elongated hood for better accuracy
  • Ideal for both right-handed and left-handed users


  • The reel is very expensive

Bowfishing Reels – Buying Guide

A bowfishing reel is not like any other ordinary types of reels that fishers use in the long-distance casing. Ideally, before you can land the right bowfishing reel, you must get to know the equipment you intend to buy.

Establish the difference between reels, lines, arrows, and bow, because all these are crucial to finding the right reel. Here are some of the important considerations you must make before choosing a particular bow fishing reel.

Type of reel

There are different types of fishing reels ideal for different styles of fishing

Spincast reel

Spincast reel is one of the most popular reels in the market. It has a regular fishing line tied around its spool. It is lighter than a baitcasting or retriever reel. Spincast reels may look outdated to most professional anglers, but the good news is that you can always upgrade them depending on your specifications.

They come with a conventional gear system that makes it less hectic to retrieve the fish. Once you’ve made a shot and you manage to kill the fish or not, you can retrieve the line back by turning the arm.

Spincast reels have the most straightforward setup. Any beginner can set up the fishing reel and enjoy using it without seeking assistance. Compared to other types of fishing reels, such as drum reel, spin-cast reels are fast, straightforward, smooth, and easy to use.

Note that most anglers advise against going for spin cast reels because they are less durable. They are more prone to breakages, tear, and wear compared to other quality reels in the market. Bow fishing is very challenging, and having a bow fishing reel with more moving parts, as seen in spin-cast reels, may not be a good idea.

Retriever reel

Retriever reel is a big game bow fishing tool useful for most professional anglers. In this type of fishing reel, you store the fishing line using a bottleneck handle. The drag force system is absent, which makes it slow compared to a spin-cast reel.

One advantage of using this type of reel is that it can counter a heavy fishing line hence convenient for casting on large fish species. It is also suitable for beginners who want to fill their baskets with small fish species.

Note that your level of skill and the type of fishing you look forward to doing will determine the choice of reel to use. Most bow fishing reels are made of the conventional spin-cast reel. Don’t be surprised because bow fishing is indeed a historic sport in most coastal places.

A bow fishing reel requires speed and efficiency, and using the spin-cast reel design for its production gives it the quality it needs. Most manufacturers are aware of this and thereby insist on coming with quality designs of bow fishing reels in the market. With a wide variety of fishing reels in the market, you always have the chance to choose your favorite.

Bow fishing line and strength 

A high-quality bow fishing reel is as good as the quality of the bow fishing line the manufacturer advises you to use on it. A bow fishing line is essential in any bow fishing reel, and that means you must have the right type installed on your reel.

Without a stable fishing line, it is challenging to retrieve your catch out of water even if you succeed in killing it. You must choose the bow fishing line keenly because it can affect how fast you can fire at the fish.

Some bow fishing reels may not have the retriever reel design. In this case, the fishing line must be flexible and fast to stop you from wrenching your bow just in case a large fish wrenches away from your way.

It is a common trend by most manufacturers to coil the fishing line in a bottle. They do this to make the fishing line more efficient and fast because when there is no drag that is left on the line whenever you take a shot on the fish.

Gear ratio

Gear ratio seems to be a significant determinant when choosing most of your fishing tools. It may sound like a hard concept to chew, but it means how fast your reel can pick the fishing line per single turn you make using the reel handle.

A fishing reel with a gear ration of 6:5: 1 is faster and efficient than that with a gear ratio of 4:3:1. While the latter will spin 4:3 times for every single turn you make, the other reel will spin 6:5 time per single turning on the spool.

Therefore, when choosing your bow fishing reel, you must ensure it has the most efficient gear ration that will boost its speed.

Wrap up

When doing rounds to pick the best bowfishing reel in the market, you want to ensure it is suitable for your fishing style. Regardless of your budget, you can always land a suitable bow fishing reel if only you search widely.

Look out for some of the features we have outlined here to help you make the right decision. Remember, you always need the best reel, bow, and arrow in this game to fill your basket.

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