After you have spent countless hours perfecting your bowfishing marksmanship skills, and ample time on the water to put yourself in position for the shot that you seek, you have finally connected and have the fish of a lifetime at the end of your line. Now is when a quality reel pays dividends towards your overall success.
Moments like these lead a countless number of archers every year to seek out the best bowfishing reel. If you find yourself with this same thought, be sure to check out the best bowfishing reel: The AMS Bowfishing Tournament Series Retriever, as well as the other quality market offerings on this list (read… the best bow fishing kits)
Product Quick Comparison
Next Level Bowfishing Reels
While you can indeed bring fish to the boat or bank with nearly any bowfishing reel that can be fixed to your bow, there are several reels that are much more efficient in completing this task in a way that promotes success at every turn.
AMS Bowfishing Tournament Series Retriever
If you want to get your hard-earned fish to the boat (read.. top-notch bowfishing crossbows) or bank in record time, with little worry of breaking your line, then the AMS Bowfishing Tournament Series Retriever is the reel for you.
This reel features a 4.3:1 gear ratio that takes up 27 inches of line with every revolution of the handle, 350 pound-test line, and stainless steel hardware.
Weight- 3.0 pounds
- 4.3:1 gear ratio for blistering fast line uptake
- 350 pound-test line for unrivaled breakage resistance
- Brass gears and stainless-steel hardware for enhanced durability
- Corrosion-resistant housing for long service life
- Can potentially be more than what the casual bowfisherman would require
When using this reel you will feel as if you are harnessing the power of a winch.
Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel
The Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel is perfect for those that demand a reel that works as hard as they do.
Featuring a fighting wheel brake that slows a fish’s run while simultaneously reeling, ceramic string guides for smoother string feed, and a rugged aluminum frame.
Weight- 1.5 pounds
- Fighting wheel brake to stop a fish’s forward progress
- Ceramic line guides for smoother string feed
- Rugged aluminum frame for enhanced durability
- Vertical and horizontal adjustments for easy bow fitment
- Some arches express concerns over claims made by Cajun that this reel can be used by both right and left-handed shooters.
This reel not only allows you to fight fish but to do so in the most efficient manner possible.
AMS Retriever Pro
The AMS Retriever Pro is an excellent reel that can easily meet the needs of most any bowfisherman.
This reel is built for outright performance with its 17 inches of line per revolution retrieval rate, 200 pound-test line, and rugged construction.
Weight- 1.6 pounds
- Buttonless operation for simplicity
- 17 inch of line per revolution retrieval rate for efficient reeling
- 200-pound test line for breakage resistance
- Must be ordered based upon a shooters dominant hand orientation
The AMS Retriever Pro also makes operation a breeze by allowing a shot to be taken without pressing a button for the reel’s bail mechanism prior to operation.
Muzzy 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel
Muzzy is a name that is synonymous with all things archery and has been since the 1980s. The company maintains its heritage of producing quality products with their 1096 XD Pro Spin Style Reel.
Weight- 1.97 pounds
- Spool Switch Technology that allows for similar operation to dragless reels
- Integrated steel mounting bracket to aid in secure placement
- Reversible left or right hand retrieve for increased durability
- Must manually lock into shooting mode before an arrow is to be fired
This reel features an integrated steel mounting bracket for ease of placement, Spool Switch Technology to manually engage free spool mode, and a reversible left or right hand retrieve.
Zebco 808HBOW BX3 808 Series Reel
The Zebco BX3 808 Series Bowfishing Reel is a wonderful option for those that are looking to maximize their bowfishing enjoyment while minimizing the expenditure associated with the sport.
However, just because the Zebco 808 is an economy offer does not mean that it won’t get the job done.
Weight- 1.2 pounds
- Dial adjustable magnum drag for enhanced control
- Interchangeable right or left-handed retrieve for versatility
- Quick Set Anti-Reverse Technology for pronounced fighting capabilities
- Manual bail set functions
- Far fewer features than many market offerings
With its dial-adjustable magnum drag, Quickset Anti-Reverse Technology, and interchangeable right or left-handed retrieve, this reel is up to whatever most casual bow fishermen can throw at it.
What Makes A Quality Bowfishing Reel?
When choosing which bowfishing reel to purchase, there are a multitude of factors to consider. If any of these factors are lacking, retrieval of even moderate sized fish can become overly complicated and inefficient.
So what exactly should you be looking for?
A Reel That Fights The Fight
No one wants to arrow a fish only to lose it upon a lengthy and futile retrieve. This makes selecting an efficiently geared and adequately lined reel invaluable.
By selecting a reel with a high gear ratio, that is spooled with high test line, you stand a better than not chance of getting even the largest of fish to your boat without a problem, and with minimal chance of line breakage.
This is one of the many reasons that I love the AMS Bowfishing Tournament Series Retriever. With a 4.3:1 gear ratio that uptakes 27 inches of line with every revolution of the reel, you can retrieve your fish in mere moments.
When you combine this with the reel’s 350-pound test line, even a fish of epic proportions stands little chance.
A Reel For Everyone
Ideally, every bowfisherman would like nothing more than to purchase their reel with confidence, knowing full well that when it arrives, it will fit well to their bow and be easy to operate, no matter the circumstance.
This comes down to a reels level of versatility. When a reel is able to be effortlessly fixed to an archer’s bow, and adjusted to be reeled with either hand, a happy medium is found for every individual.
If this is what you are looking for, the Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel is the reel for you. With its stainless-steel mounting system and interchangeable handle functions, this reel by Muzzy is truly a reel for anyone lucky enough to own it.
A Reel As Rugged As You Are
It is no secret that bowfishing equipment can take a beating. Between unpredictable weather, ever-changing water conditions, and being placed within a boat with flopping fish, your bowfishing reel better be capable of taking a certain level of punishment, or it will not be long before you will be seeking a replacement.
In order to stand up to the rigors of bowfishing, a reel must be constructed in a solid manner and be equipped with weather-resistant hardware.
The Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing Reel fits this bill to perfection with its rugged aluminum frame, steel hardware, and ceramic line guides. This reel will take everything you can throw at it and more, year after year, and come back for more.
So What Is The Best Bowfishing Reel?
When comparing the reels that are presented on this list, I feel that without a doubt the AMS Bowfishing Tournament Retriever is the best bowfishing reel, with the Cajun Winch Pro Bowfishing reel finishing as a not so distant runner-up.
The AMS Bowfishing Retriever it built to last with its brass gears and steel hardware, made to drag even the heftiest of fish to the boat with its 4.3:1 gear ratio and 350-pound test line, and is capable of being fixed to any bow, in a versatile manner, in mere minutes.
This all equates to a reel that even the most demanding of bowfisherman would be proud to call their own.
Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API