Best Bows For Fishing Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Bow fishing is a method of fishing that replaces the traditional use of fishing poles with bows. A high amount of skill is required to successfully hunt, and because of that, it is equally important to have equipment that can match the skill set of the user. Previous experience with archery is helpful, but won’t necessarily translate into you being a better bow fisher. All new users start from the beginning, regardless of their background in fishing, archery or hunting. There is some complexity involved with the use of bows in the sport, so getting the right equipment can help with accuracy.
- PSE Kingfisher
- Super Light
- Parker STINGRAY
- High Visibility
- Cajun Archery
- Great Design
You can’t exactly depend on a regular bow and arrow to do the same job in bow fishing. That is why the top makers of archery bows are not as prominent on a top ten bow fishing list, leading to a mix of different companies to fill the void. There is a lot of giving here, yet the biggest name in the industry (at least for quality) seems to be Cajun Bowfishing. They do a good job of mixing design with power features that new and professional user’s desire. They tend to be on more list than other companies, and their price is good enough to interest entry-level users.
The same cleaning instructions that apply to regular bows also applies to bows for fishing. With regular maintenance, they should last for a long time and keep your current customizations. There is a slight difference in care, and it has to do with the line that comes with the bows made for fishing. They should never be left to tangle, and like any good fishing pole, everything should be wound uptight when it is not in use. Although it can easily be replaced cheaply, taking care of the line of your bow will keep it from snapping while hunting. Most of the higher end models have strong lines, so even if something happens they can be replaced without scrapping your entire set.
10 Best Bows For Fishing
1. PSE Kingfisher Right Hand Kit
This is the best variant of the Kingfisher, and it has a much lighter frame that users will find easy to use. This balance of weight and power pays off on long when it comes to short-range to midrange accuracy and users will appreciate the quality of it. Other than that, it is due to the material design and durability that users will find it the ideal starter bow.
The Color Quality
One aspect of this bow that users will tout and appreciate is the quality of the bows finish and design. In fact, the color is designed much like a camo color will have an enhanced finish look that users will like. It is perfect for outdoor bow fishing and users that want the bow to match with their clothing.
Cost and Value
When we take cost and value into consideration, for the price, we believe that this bow is priced as one of the best for starters and individuals looking for minimal and simplistic quality. With that said, it is priced to sell quickly and at times, it will be unavailable. We recommend that the moment an individual sees it online, they buy it for the starter archer.
Lightest of the Kingfisher series
Can use with multiple arrow rest brands and it very high quality.
High quality design that can withstand the test of time.
Durability and efficiency in one simple package.
Great for users that want a starter set.
Right hand draw is simple and easy to use.
Camo color finish is aesthetically pleasing.
Right hand only
2. Parker STINGRAY OPEN SIGHT
Using a crossbow is a lot different than a bow, even with the loss of power with the design. The Parker Stingray handles this loss of power well with its design and allows for comfortable bow fishing without sacrificing too much power. Other than that, the bow design is very easy to use and very easy to learn. With a pistol grip that makes it easy to hold and grip, users will appreciate the quality design of the crossbow.
One of the aspects of this particular crossbow is that it is designed with a camo look that looks both aesthetically pleasing and genuine. This style of looks allows individuals to easily use this crossbow out and nature and use it all day long. With that in mind, the camo look is the stock design and it does not come in other color choices.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration, we can say that this is one of the best-designed bows in the industry for the price. Now, the style alone makes it ideal for fishing and nature situations, making it a great bow for everyday use for the hunter, hiker, and nature lover. For the price, we can see why it is worth it.
No special tools required to assemble and design this bow.
High visibility design that allows for better accuracy.
Great quality bow that can withstand the test of time.
An easy grip pistol design for better hand placement.
A safety lock feature that allows users to use the bow efficiently and effortlessly.
Great quality bow that is easy to use.
Price is somewhat more expensive than most.
3. Cajun Archery Fish Stick
When it comes to the elements of nature, the right gear is detrimental, and the right design only enhances the material design of the gear. With that in mind, users will appreciate the high-grade aluminum material that allows for this bow to take on a lot of abuse. With that said, we can say that users will appreciate the quality of the bow alongside the durability factor that makes it ideal for all-day wear and tear.
Full Out Package
This bow is ready to use from the moment an individual opens the package. With no other factors to take into consideration, users will appreciate that the package includes everything that an individual will need to succeed. The package includes everything from a drum reel with the line to an arrow with Piranha point and a roller rest. This is a package deal that only some other brands can match!
Cost And Value
When we take cost and value into consideration, we can say that the quality of this particular bow makes it ideal for everyday use for individuals that want quality and durability. With that said, we believe that the value is worth the price and users will appreciate the high-quality design. Now, it can be considered more expensive than many fishing bows out there, but it is designed for the professional fisher bower.
Great design that is durable and high quality.
High grade aluminum riser that can withstand the test of time and a lot of ware and tare.
No-slip rubber design that is high quality and has a consistent shot during every use.
Comes with everything an individual will need to succeed.
High quality brand with years of experience.
4. PSE Kingfisher Kit Camo
This one quality fishing bow has a unique element that is very different than the other one. This bow, in particular, is designed with a 40 LB draw design that allows individuals to feel the weight and power all in one. With that said, users will appreciate the drawcord quality that is designed to withstand the many natures elements an individual may encounter.
Camo Finish Design
One of the best design elements of this particular bow is the camo finish that makes it aesthetically very pleasing. In fact, this bow comes in a cool design that is authentic and pleasing to the eye. Users will appreciate that when in nature, the bow will match the natures elements and the potential camo clothing they will be wearing.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration, we can say that this bow is one of the best quality bows for the weight and the draw. Although the draw is not as powerful as other bows, it is still one of the best and simple design bow fishing bows in the industry. This bow, in particular, is designed to withstand the test of time and for the price, it is certainly worth it.
Extremely low price for a top tier bow that is high quality and easy to use.
High quality front mounting reel that is very durable.
Quality brand with years of experience.
Quality bow for the price.
Camo color that is very pleasing.
Right hand only
8. Scuba Choice
The bow isn’t too big or too small, striking a very familiar middle ground with its 38-inch length. It can be used by both children and adults and may be a great bow to use when teaching teenagers how to bow fish. With that in mind, it is also very durable, making it ideal for the starter fisherman or individual that may have an accident and drop the bow. With that said, we believe it is better for the beginner or intermediate fisherman.
This is the perfect starter package for individuals looking to have all of the needed essentials of a quality bow. This bow kit, in particular, comes with a bow, an arrow, and a reel that is about 55ft in length. With that said, users can easily learn how to bow fish with this set that is also inexpensive, in the case of an accident.
Cost And Value
When it comes to cost and value, we can say that this is one of the best-priced bows in the industry and we believe that users will appreciate the quality design alongside the inexpensive price. For the price, it is ideal for beginnings and users will love learning to bow fish with this particular set. With that in mind, it is valued well and users have mentioned that it does the job that it is intended for.
The perfect size for all buyers and people at the beginner or intermediate level.
Sharp torpedo tip that is very durable.
The bow length is perfectly design and good for right hand drawers.
This package includes everything an individual needs to start the process easily and effortlessly.
Nice color choice that users will like.
High quality and durable arrow and cord.
Construction quality is durable enough for everyday use.
The price is ideal for beginner bow fisherman.
Users have mentioned that the paint has chipped before.
9. Muzzy 7800 Addict
As a recurve bow, this is exactly what you’re looking for in a lightweight piece of equipment. At only 2.25 pounds, it is also suitable for young users that want to get into bow fishing. Other than that, this bow is perfect for beginners and ideal for compact storage or holding it for long periods at a time. Parents will enjoy teaching their kids how to bow fish with this particular bow due to the minimal design that removes any potential danger.
What is the purpose of a magnesium riser? Well, we will tell you that when it comes to this particular manufacturer, they took quality design and benefits in a new direction. For example, the bow, in particular, is designed with a magnesium riser that allows for added strength and vibration reduction. Other than that, users will appreciate the quality of the material which allows for better use.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration for this particular product, we believe that for the simplistic design, this may be one of the best bows available today. With that said, the value of the bow is well priced and users will appreciate the price considering that it offers minimal features. However, it is still touted as one of the best for beginners and individuals wanting to learn how to bow fish.
40 lbs. draw weight makes it ideal for beginners.
Non-slip soft grip design for better safety and reassurance.
Quality design that is ideal for every day.
Carry it or store it easily.
For individuals that want quality and minimal design.
Great bow for lightweight use.
Ideal for kids or teenagers wanting to bow fish.
Not a professional bow by any means.
AMS Bowfishing Water MOC
In addition to the look, the limbs are laminated wood and the riser is made with machine magnesium and is sealed. This means there is no need to worry about water soaking in. This also means that the bow is strong and durable.
Finding the best accuracy with this bow is easy due to its structure. This structure also makes it ideal for snap shooting with a brace height of 7.75 inches and a draw weight of 45 pounds at 28 inches, resulting in hard hits to the target.
Cost and Value
When considering the cost and value of this bow kit, if you are willing to let loose a little with your budget this may be the bow for you. It is designed to last years, good for everyday fishing, and comes with plenty of components.
Easy set up and disassemble
Sleek and Stylish
Water resistant seal
Gen-X Cuda Bowfishing Kit
Similar to Gen X, the Gen-X Cuda features the same progressive let-off technology. This allows for an improved draw cycle. Draw length is from 21 to 30 inches which is great for adjustability.
This bowfishing kit includes everything needed for a long day of fishing. Kit includes heavier grade reel, fiberglass arrow with safety slide, finger savers, and more.
Cost and Value
One of the higher priced bows on our list; but, when you consider the cost and value of Gen X Coda it is worth the couple extra dollars. As stated in the cons, one of the only things that could have made this bow better is having a bow stringer included in the kit.
Good for any level shooter
Made for snap shooters
Somewhat heavy to users
Bow stringer sold separately
Alpine Mako Bowfishing Right Hand Bow, Blue, 50-Pound
Boasting the latest technology, this bow features a great hand grip in the event your hand becomes wet; and to increase precision it is designed with an ergonomic grip.
This bow weighs a mere 3 pounds and has a 7” draw length adjustment. The draw weight is reduced by 65% with the cams, which increases the time that can be spent aiming your target without fatigue setting in.
Cost and Value
When we consider cost and value, the cost may be a little high, but the scientific features of the Alpine bow make it a great choice for all-day fishing that should last years. This bow is considered one of the best among bows for fishing.
Radial force technology
Difficult to adjust
10. AMS Bowfishing
The design of this bow may be considered the best design available today. It is extremely appealing, high quality, and have five stars. Other than that, the design is extremely durable and can withstand the test of time. However, it is the color choice that makes it stand out. With a bright orange design and a black frame, users will appreciate the quality design of this bow.
So what makes this bow one of the best is that it is properly designed with every feature needed for an individual to easily be able to use the bow. With that said, the bow has different features from an AMS Bowfishing Tidal Wave design, to the Nock Point feature and a Chaos Arrow. With that in mind, users will appreciate the quality of the bow alongside the durability.
Cost And Value
For the value, this bow is exceptional. However, the price is extremely shocking and users will be somewhat taken back by the expensive price. With that said, we believe that this is the ideal bow for the professional individual that wants quality and design in one awesome and easy to use quality package.
Right and left-handed models that includes a high quality design.
Kit includes patented line pullers and everything an individual needs to start off straight off the bat.
Great for professionals and individuals that want quality.
Very nice color design that will not chip.
15-50lb draw which offers flexibility.
The most expensive bow on this list.
Criteria Used to Evaluate Bows for Fishing
Bow fishing was a unique area to categorize, with a lot of the choices coming down to how adjustable the equipment was. Since most of the great choices were highly customizable, it showed that bow fishing was 100% a sport for the consumer that likes to experiment with their setup. A good portion of the choices on the list were kits, important for both beginners and longtime users of bows. Since there weren’t a set of dominant brands on the list, Cajun Bowfishing was an easy choice to make. Think of the top two spots as 1a and 1b, while the others still remain solid choices in their own right.
The first things we looked at when judging the spots were brand or more specifically marketing. None of the choices on the list really stood out in the area, with only a few providing brand-specific features that made them worthy of a purchase. The few that made an effort in this area gained favor on the list, and through the rest of the tests never dropped out of the top ten. This is an important thing to mention, and it shows that some companies are pushing their bow fishing division harder for innovation.
In a way, the next criterion is tied to branding, and that would be the warranty. A good portion of the companies in the industry provided a good warranty, but our focus was on the impact of the warranty with included accessories. So the focus was off of the bow itself, and went to the line, included arrows, the point and any other included materials with the package. Brands that had a clear warranty path for their accessories made it into the top ten, which is where a lot of this list was formed. When bow fishing, a lot more stress is put on the accessories rather than the bow itself. Thankfully those same accessories are priced lower than the bow when you need to make an emergency purchase.
The strength of the line
We had to allow a lot of giving when we rated the strength of the included line and didn’t rate based on length or type. Our rating in this category was strictly related to whether the line was cheap or made of quality material. Our top five was shaped because of this criteria, although the remaining bows on the list still had good line included. Any of the bows that had weak line didn’t belong on the list and were removed. Losing an arrow while shooting due to the line breaking is infuriating, and is one of the main reasons why people switch out their line from the base ones provided. With quality lines from the start, that is one less thing to worry about when bow fishing.
Power was something that we had to take careful considerations on since it favored the compound bow type. In this category we combined power as a pro with weight as a con, leading to a more balanced category. So while compound bows gained several spots for their power, they were also knocked down for excess weight and bulkiness. Lighter bows moved up the list if they didn’t sacrifice too much power, and were also rewarded if they didn’t leave out too many of the innovative features of the bulkier bows. Some great brands thrived in this category and made a big splash in the middle of the top ten. They proved to be comparable bows, even to the upper tier choices on the list. With the right mix of power and weight, consumers could get the most accurate shot possible from a finely tuned bow in the top ten.
The biggest criterion of them all was customization, and it was something we spent a lot of time on. Getting your bow fishing setup just right is the best thing about the sport. It personalizes your equipment in a way that no other sport can. And since a major part of it comes down to accuracy, not being comfortable with your equipment can lead to a disastrous shot. Bows were ranked according to their levels of customization, leading to a higher rank for some of the lower costing choices on the top ten. There were some unbelievable jumps from some brands like Cajun Bowfishing, and it was the main reason why there were a lot of low and high priced items mixed in together. This, of course, led to our next criterion, price.
There was only a penalty when ranking the bows by price, and it was given to any product that had the exact same features as a lower priced product. This was also the last time we dropped some products off the list, and at this point had a good idea of what everything would look like. A good portion of the high priced bows was dropped off since they didn’t bring anything new to the table. The remaining high priced bows that were on the list can be considered great choices in their approach to bow fishing, and for the number of new features, they bring to the industry.
Our last criteria were based on professional use and gave points to bows that were the most used in competitions. Only three bows were affected by this ranking, as they gained positive traction for their use. This was a much easier category to test since bow fishing competitions are less populated than regular fishing competitions. It also gave some good insight into the features that competitors valued the most and helped to clean up the list a bit on some undecided choices.
Bow Fishing Terminology
Draw Weight: The amount of energy required to draw back the string and hold it. This also tells you the speed of your arrow when released. Draw weight and the physical ability of the user must fit. Specific velocities are required for different water surfaces. This means that a different setup is needed for deep water and shallow water.
Draw Hand: For many bows, left-handed individuals are often overlooked. However, there are some left-handed bows out there or they can be made on demand. Be sure to choose a bow right for your draw hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can You Hunt Any Fish With A Bow?
A: There are laws in place that are based on the country, state, and even species. Certain fish can’t be hunted with a bow even if it is allowed with a regular fishing pole. Local regulations will determine what restrictions are in place. There are big fines associated with breaking these rules, so having an updated set is important. When unsure of the rules, it never hurts to bring a fishing pole and a bow on a trip so that you’re always equipped. Some of the most commonly hunted species with bows are carp, gar, and buffalo. Technically non-game fish are usually legal to hunt with a bow, but once again it doesn’t hurt to check.
Q: How Important Are Bow Fishing Points?
A: Everyone has a preference for their bow fishing points, and for good reason. The right point can make a difference between a successful hunt and a bad one. Draw weight might come into play when making a decision on a point, but it mostly comes down to what species is being hunted. Holding power can help reel in the more aggressive fish that tend to get away, and in some cases, these points are specific to specific makers of bows. So buyers that go with a brand will sometimes make that choice based on what points are compatible with the arrows in that model.
Q: What Are The Different Bow Types?
A: The main types of bows to use for fishing are compound, traditional and recurve bows. Compound bows tend to have more power when fine-tuned, and can really travel farther and faster than other bow types. Traditional and recurve bows are the preferred type for buyers that want to keep the weight of their equipment low, and it is also the type used for a lot of minimalist designs. Just like the fishing points, bow types will come down to user preference. There might be a slight push to go for compound bows since it offers a lot of customization options, but only hardcore users will fully utilize the finer points of that type of bow.
Q: When Is It A Great Time To Go Bow Fishing?
A: It will vary based on where you hunt and is specific to the region. Opportunities around the world will always be available for any hunter that wants to travel, and there is great interest in it when there is no hunting season open. When not restricted by local laws, hunters can bow fish any time of the year. This is a great idea if you want to take note of the patterns of the prey when they’re in and out of season. All of the information gathered from multiple hunting locations could help to build habits that influence your buying decision with bows and possibly compatible arrows.
Q: Why Do Hunters Aim Low When Bow Fishing?
A: Bow fishing is unlike any other type of fishing, so there are some habits that need to be broken if you’re used to fishing with a pole. One of those habits is the way you aim, which if done wrong is a quick way to scare off the fish. Aiming below the fish is done due to the light diffraction when factoring in water. So what you see on the surface isn’t exactly a 100% depiction of where you should be aiming at. Lowering your point a few inches is all that is needed to get a good shot, although other things like wind and depth of the water will make a difference. It doesn’t take long to get used to the differences, and once done a couple of times it will become part of your normal bow fishing routine.
Q: Does It Matter What Bow Fishing Reel Is Used?
A: Type doesn’t matter, but the comfort level of the user does. Currently, the most popular bow fishing reel types available are the bottle, spin cast, and drum. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but the bottle reel is the most used by consumers and even professionals. It holds a tremendous amount of line and is familiar enough that a regular fisherman can get used to it within a couple of minutes. Familiarity with the design is one of the things that makes it popular among first-time bow fishers. The other choices in the fishing reel category are still relevant, with a lot of fans showing favoritism for each type.
Q: What Methods Are Used To Locate Fish?
A: You can use the same methods to locate fish as you would if you were fishing regularly. For bow fishing, visibility is favored more than anything, so not all bodies of water will do the job. It’s also heavily dependent on the current season, so you may have a better shot of getting fish based on the time of the year. Loud areas tend to not have active fish in them unless it is natural sounds from the environment. So bodies of water located close to the city may be great for visibility, yet still, lack the active amount of fish you’d want to hunt.
Q: How Does Sound Affect Bow Fishing?
A: Sounds during regular fishing plays a role in scaring fish away, but not to the point where you can’t catch fish. Even in the noisiest environments, patience can win out for most people that fish. Bow fishing takes on a different role, and loud noises can really change the way you catch fish. Scared fish go deeper underwater, making it harder to get a clear shot at them. This is why clear waters are favored by bow fishers. Even when the fish go deep, a slight adjustment in aiming can still be in your favor. Besides sound, other things that can make bow fishing a chore are lights, windy days and predators.
Q: Can Kids And Teenagers Go Bow Fishing?
A: Yes, and unlike other hobbies which offer non-adult equipment, kids and teens can easily use adult bows. It all comes down to the size of the bow, but a good starter set is a preferred way to get kids and teens into bow fishing. There are a few kid-themed bows available in the industry, but they aren’t necessary and can really take away from the experience. Kids and teenagers will catch on quickly using normal equipment, and if it is customized to their liking, they will stick with it longer than a kid-themed bow. As an added bonus, there is no price incentive to get kid-themed bows since they idle around the same price as mid-tier adult bows.
Q: Do You Need A License To Bow Fish?
A: A sports fishing license is required for bow fishing and is easy enough to obtain if you’ve been licensed for hunting already. This will vary by country, but the process is the same and requires basic identification and a small fee. Because of the deadly weapon laws in several areas, even if you have a license bow fishing can still be prohibited. It is a good idea to find a spot where you want to bow fish and then check to see if your license is valid for that area. Having a local spot to go along with one out of state is the best way to guarantee that you can bow fish at a moment’s notice.
Q: Can You Use Any Bow For Bow Fishing?
A: Yes, although it isn’t recommended for most of the accessories you need will be separate. Bow fishing equipment has everything you need right out of the box and is fine-tuned for that specific sport. Even if you choose a brand that only includes a bow only, it will still be better suited for bow fishing than any other bow you have. Besides key customization options, accuracy can also benefit by having arrow points ready-made for bow fishing. If you’re really good at modding, you can create your own bow that resembles the qualities of the product you desire the most. But after spending money on materials, it’s easier to just purchase a bow made for the sport.
Q: How Do You Fine-Tune A Bow Fishing Setup?
A: The easiest way to do it would be to purchase a starter kit, but for a more hands-on approach, a manual setup is a good idea. Start by choosing a reel based on size and weight, so that holding it feels like an extension of your body. Decide whether you want to invest in speed or power, with the power option leading to purchasing a compound bow. From there it is all about finding out which accessories you want to be included with your purchase, and which ones would benefit you as being optional. In many cases, a lot of those accessories can be attached to the bow-so factor in weight before you add the accessories. By following this simple setup guide, you can get the most compatible setup for your bow.
Q: When Does Your Point Matter?
A: Fish come in all different sizes and varieties, so knowing what type of fish you’ll be going after will help tremendously. You can always take different points with you and swap them out as needed, but this isn’t always the most optimal route. Softer fish will do fine with carp point and will be penetrated with no trouble from a long or short distance. For fish with tougher flesh like alligator gar, the gar point is needed to keep you from missing out on a catch. Going for the sharpest option available like a gar point is not always optimal, as it can leave a larger entry point in softer fish. So knowing what you’re after and coming prepared with the right points is essential in bow fishing.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Joining A Bow Fishing Organization?
A: Like any group based on sport, there is strength in numbers. This is especially true for bow fishing, which is one of the most underappreciated sports in the world. With a membership, you’ll come in contact with a lot of hunters that can help you fine-tune your equipment. They can also clue you in on the best spots to go, along with any of the required licenses for that area. A huge benefit of joining a bow fishing organization is possible entry onto private land, which can be less crowded during the season. It’s all about who you know and how you network, but the benefits of joining an organization are all pros with no cons.
Price is going to be a primary concern when purchasing a bow for fishing. Middle and higher tiers fluctuate with their prices, offering new features that aren’t available in the lower tiers. This is a big thing for buyers that want to get into bow fishing for the first time, as the lower tier models offer a comfortable price, but none of the advanced tools necessary for a great experience. So by default, staying away from the lower tier is recommended for all levels. It’s also a good idea to look at starter kits before packages that have the bow only. And on the list of things to consider, line length and bow size should be looked at closely.