Best Bowfishing Reel, The top 5 Bowfishing Reels 2019 has to offer

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The Top 5 Best Bowfishing reels

Having the Best Bowfishing Reel can make all the difference between a fishing trip you will tell your kids about for years to come, and a trip you will want to forget.

You’ve taken the perfect shot. After an afternoon of frustration and missed opportunities, this is it. You finally hit the fish that you have been stalking for days with an arrow that drives in deep and You got him. Now all you have to do is bring it in.

But before you can get it in the boat, your reel snags and he wriggles away. (Bummer Dude) Hours of effort, only to be let down by your equipment.

There’s a reel that’s right for everyone. And the FAQ below can help out those that are looking to get started with bowfishing.

Quick Answer:

This is a quick look at the Bowfishing Reels featured here. Although some are better than others, they are all great options. These are the bowfishing reel setups that my team and I recommend after weeks of research.

  1. AMS Bowfishing Tournament Series Reel
  2. Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel
  3. 610 Retriver Pro Bowfishing Reel
  4. Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel
  5. Zebco 5001539 808 Bowfishing Reel

Best for the price:

Zebco Bowfishing reel

Zebco 5001539 808 Bowfishing Reel

The Zebco Bowfishing Reel isn’t the most elegant option for your bowfishing reel needs. But sometimes you don’t want to worry about elegance, and just want something that will get the job done.

You don’t always need top of the line performance to have a good time out on the water and get plenty of fish in your boat. The Zebco reel will do just about everything most bowfishers will need it to. It probably won’t be winning you any tournaments, but it’s great for beginners and casual bowfishers.

That’s where this reel comes in. With a light, compact design, it travels well, and is cheap enough that you can have a few backups lying around. If you’re organizing a trip and need some extra gear for friends, then this reel is a great option.

Although it is one of the cheaper options out there, the performance won’t let you down, at least most of the time. You won’t get a lot of friction, so reeling in is smooth. And the reel feels comfortable in your hand, and you won’t feel your fingers cramping as you try to bring in a fish.

The line does snag more than you may want it to, which can be frustrating for more experienced bowfishers. If you need reliable, tournament-level performance, this may not be the reel for you, and you should maybe consider the Cajun Winch reel.

These reels are great for new bowfishers, who need something cheap but functional, and who won’t benefit from added performance quite as much. They are also great reels to have as backups, in case your fancier option doesn’t make it through the whole fishing trip.

Quick Look at the Zebco Bowfishing Reel

  • Solid construction won’t break on you
  • Will last you plenty of fishing trips
  • Simple design that just plain works
zebco bowfishing reel

Best Overall Performance:

AMS tournament series bowfishing reel

AMS Bowfishing Tournament Series

Sometimes you just need the best performance, regardless of how much you’ll have to pay. In that case, The AMS Bowfishing Tournament Series will give you more features than just about any other reel. It can’t guarantee you’ll be winning any prizes, but it’ll help you make the most out of every shot.

If you’re in a tournament, or just looking to show off, this is one of the best reels out there. It’s important that you be able to get off shots quickly to maximize your chances of a hit. With some of the fastest retrieval of any reel, you can take shot after shot, and get more fish in your boat.

Quick Look at the AMS Tournament Series

  1. Easy to operate, with no buttons you need to push before the shot
  2. 35 yards of 350 lb Dacron line that can haul in just about anything
  3. Retrieves 27 inches of line per revolution of the handle, making it one of the fastest reels out there
  4. The extended handle gives you extra torque


The line comes out just as fast as your arrow is moving. That means this reel rarely ever snags during your shot.

And you won’t have many issues reeling in. The reel is about as frictionless as they come, so you’ll be able to focus on the fish, not on your reel.

It has an integrated quiver so that you always have arrows ready to go.

The reel mounts easily to just about any bow, so you won’t have to worry about whether or not it is compatible with your gear.

Although this reel may be more than what you’ll need for casual bowfishing, anytime you need to be at your best, the AMS Tournament Series reel is just about the best option out there

AMS Tournament Series

Best All-Around Reel

Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel

Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel

When you want a Bowfishing Reel that is dependable and seriously reliable, Choose this Cajun Winch. This reel was desigend for hauling in those monsters that you have been stalking since you were a kid.

Catfish are one of the most fun fish to catch no matter how you catch them. They fight long and hard. Anyone who has ever tangled with one bigger than 25 to 30 inches long and up, knows exactly what I mean. This Cajun Winch was designed and built for just that kind of fishing.

Some of the people I have spoken with are telling me that this reel is the best one they have ever used.

Here is a Quick Look at the Cajun Winch

  • A fighting brake allows you to winch fish directly to the boat
  • Designed so that it can be operated with one hand
  • 25 yards of 250 lb line that is high visibility
  • Easily adjustable so that you can fit it on any bow


This is one of the best reels for those bowfishers who need something that will give them high-end performance without some of the bells and whistles of more expensive reels. It’s designed to be durable, easy to use, and reliable so that you can bring in just about any fish you might come across.

And most importantly, the reel barely ever jams. There’s no point in buying a reel that can handle the biggest fish out there , only to snag as you try to reel it in. The mechanism here is pretty much seamless, so you won’t have to worry about unexpected performance issues. That means you can keep your eye on the fish, and focus on reeling it in.

The price puts this in the middle of the pack, but the performance is more like tournament-level reels. And you certainly could use this reel in just about any tournament.

This reel is one of the best options for bowfishers of all experience levels. It will give experts the performance they demand. And for beginners, the reliability and ease of use means they can build confidence, rather than getting frustrated by jams.

Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel

Best Classic Spin Style Reel

Muzzy Bowfishing Reel

Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel

Sometimes, you may just want the reel that feels most comfortable in your hand. That’s where the Muzzy comes in. They are known for some of the best reels out there, and this is no exception. You’ll be able to hold this one all day without discomfort.

The Muzzy reel isn’t the most modern option out there, but it’s still one of the best reels you can find. It feels like a classic fishing reel, and it performs like one. It’s reliable and durable.

A Quick Look at the Muzzy 1069 pro

  • Spin cast style reel that gives you a classic feel
  • Reversible so you can adjust it to your dominant hand
  • Easily switch to free spool mode that will let your arrow fly without snagging

You can easily switch the reel into free spool mode. This lets the line release without resistance, and gives the fish extra line. Once you’re ready to reel it in, lock the line again. When you begin reeling in, the line collects with little friction, meaning the only thing you have to fight is the fish.

The handle on this reel is excellent, giving you great grip and comfort. It moves smoothly, and won’t get caught as you rotate it.

This reel is a great option for any experienced bowfisher who appreciates a classic feel and doesn’t need the highest level of performance.

Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel with Integrated Reel Mounting system

Best Reel For The Experienced Amateur

AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bowfishing reel

AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel

If you’re an experienced amateur, you may think that you’re ready to take the next step up. That’s where the 610 Retriever can help. It’s a perfect option for those that need more performance but aren’t quite yet at tournament level.

The 610 Pro is one of the better reels out there for bowfishing enthusiasts looking to take a step toward something a little bit more professional.

Quick Look at the AMS Retriever 610 Pro

  • Retrieves 17 inches of line per revolution so that you can reel in quickly
  • 25 yards of 200 lb line
  • Easy to operate with one hand
  • Really quick retrieves if you should miss


Despite its pro design, this reel is easy to use. You don’t have to press a button before you shoot to release the line, so you can focus on your target. Once you do shoot, the line flies out easily and rarely ever gets snagged, due to the bottle design.

Retrieving is as fast as you’ll get with pretty much any reel, except for the AMS Tournament Pro Series. That means you’ll be able to take more shots, and increase your chances of getting a fish.

There’s essentially no friction, whether going out or coming in, making this one of the better performing reels. You’ll want to focus on your shot and on bringing the fish in without being afraid of a jam. That’s what this reel helps you do.

This is an excellent reel for advanced amateurs who want a reliable, high-end reel. It’s also not a bad option for beginners if they are willing to pay a bit more. It’s a bit more reliable and easier to use than the Muzzy, although a bit more expensive than the Cajun

How To Choose

There are a lot of different options out there when you’re looking for a reel. So what should you look for when you buy one? Here are some things you should consider.

Length of Line

Reels will often have different lengths of line. What length you will need depends on many different factors, such as where you’re fishing, your experience, and the type of bow you’re using. If you’re a beginner, you may not need as much length, as you will likely be taking shots from much closer. If you’re a tournament-level bowfisher, you’ll likely need much more line.

With most reels, this line can be exchanged for different lengths, but the housing may not always fit much more than what comes with the reel. Always check what the reel comes pre-spooled with before you buy extra line.

Whether You Want A Spool Or Not

Some reels, like their fishing equivalents, come with a spool that the line wraps around. Other designs, however, have a bottle design, where all of the line is housed inside a bottle shaped case. Bottle designs are a little safer, and they can be easier to set back up. Many of the high-end tournament reels feature this design. They are a little more reliable, and less likely to snag as the line goes out.

This however, can come down to personal preference, so pick the type you feel most comfortable with. There are great reels out there of both types.

Level of Performance

Although reels are fairly simple, they can vary greatly in how they perform. When you are choosing your reel, you should consider how much performance and reliability you need. If you are a beginner, you might consider a more basic reel that is slower, although still reliable. If you are a pro, you’ll need something that won’t snag, and that can bring in your arrow as quickly as possible.


What else will I need besides a reel?

You’ll need a bow, plenty of arrows, and bowfishing points. You may also need extra line, and a reel mount, or a seat as they are sometimes called for your reel to attach it to the bow. Some reels, however, include a mount.

Can I use a regular bow for bowfishing?

Yes! Most bows that you would use for other forms of bowhunting can also be used for bowfishing. You just need to make sure that the reel you buy can be mounted to your bow.


There are a lot of good reels out there, and they keep getting better all the time. But you should still be careful before you buy, and choose a reel that is right for your skill level, as well as your budget.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the right reel can help you make the most of any fishing trip. Check out our article on The Different Types of Fishing Reels

I sincerely hope you found all of this helpful. If you did please feel free to leave us a comment and let us know what your thoughts are.

1 thought on “Best Bowfishing Reel, The top 5 Bowfishing Reels 2019 has to offer”

  1. Nothing like starting off my day reading and learning about something cool. Your blog post accentuated my breakfast perfectly! Thank you 🙂


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