Bowfishing has become a hugely popular sport in recent years – probably because it’s crazy fun.
And the fact that the primary target is trash fish – it’s good for the environment too.
But while you can convert most decent bows for bowfishing, you can’t just use any old arrow for sticking your next catch.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide to the best bowfishing arrows on the market – so you can make sure you’re going into battle with the right gear.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
Table of Contents
- TOP 10 Best Bowfishing Arrows for Your Set Up 2023
- AMS A203-FLO Fiberglass Arrow
- Muzzy Classic Chartreuse Bowfishing Arrow
- AMS Bowfishing Ankor QT Arrows
- Fin-Finder Raider Pro Arrow
- Cajun Bowfishing Piranha XT Point Arrow
- Muzzy 1320-C Lighted Carbon Composite Arrow
- Truglo TG140B1G Speed-Shot Bowfishing Arrow
- Cajun Bowfishing 4 Barb Stinger Point Arrow
- GPP GPPHunting Bowfishing Arrows
- AMS Bowfishing Ankor FX Complete Arrows
- How to Choose the Best Bowfishing Arrows for Your Set Up
- What is special about a bowfishing arrow?
- Can I use a regular arrow for bowfishing?
- What is the best bowfishing arrow?
- How long are bowfishing arrows?
- Can an arrow be too long?
- How do you set up a bowfishing arrow?
- How far will an arrow travel in water?
- Do you aim above or below a fish?
- What is the best draw weight for bowfishing?
- Who makes the best bowfishing bow?
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TOP 10 Best Bowfishing Arrows for Your Set Up 2023
How to Choose the Best Bowfishing Arrows for Your Set Up
Below, you’ll find a handy guide to selecting the right arrows for your rig.
Read on for plenty of top tips and advice to improve your bowfishing game.
The most common material you will find in the manufacture of bowfishing arrows is fiberglass. It’s the lightest of the arrows and very economical.
Aluminum-fiberglass arrows are more durable and slightly heavier.
Carbon-fiberglass composite arrows are also available, and the addition of the carbon further increases the arrow’s durability, making for a sturdy flight.
Arrows that feature a carbon core move up the scale of durability.
Tips and barb heads are commonly made from stainless steel.
But for the most part, you’ll likely find that many bowfishing arrows utilize a combination of materials for the best possible product, and in an attempt to keep the manufacturing costs down – so it’s more affordable for you.
Length and Weight
The main difference between regular archery arrows and those suitable for bowfishing will be the increase in weight.
A normal arrow isn’t going to be strong enough for bowfishing purposes.
So, keep a lookout for heavier arrows. The larger the fish, the more heavy-duty the arrow needs to be.
Likewise with the arrow length. Longer arrows are going to offer you more power when attempting to take down larger targets.
Having said that, for the most part, arrow length doesn’t really come into play here – as you’re not shooting great distances. Most bowfishing arrows will be between 20-32-inches in length.
Much like regular archery arrows down through the years (or centuries to be more exact), bowfishing arrows are available with different heads depending on what you’re using it for.
The most basic of arrows will have a simple, fixed barb head, which you will need to twist off completely after you’ve stuck and reeled a fish in.
That’s easier said than done when you’ve got a catch skewered on the arrow thrashing around and trying to get back in the water.
An easier way is to use a barb that moves, and you can flip it in the opposite direction so you’re able to pull the arrow back through the fish.
This method is faster and more convenient, and you have minimal contact with the fish itself. You do need to remember to reset the arrow before shooting again, otherwise, it will be ineffective.
Arrow heads can come with two or three barbs – and sometimes more. The more barbs, the better the arrow head is going to grip the fish once it’s penetrated.
Also, keep a look out for the arrow’s “holding area.” This will be an indication of the size of fish you can successfully go after with that particular arrow.
Regarding the tips – the “business end” of the arrow – they’re nearly always made of a durable stainless steel.
But look out for ones with crafted points, such as the Muzzy Trocar or AMS Cyclone tips. The extra cut there is designed to offer improved penetration with surgical precision.
It might be an afterthought when it comes to the efficacy of a bowfishing arrow – after all, so long as it does the job does it really matter what it looks like?
However, you should bear in mind that brighter, high-visibility arrows are going to be much easier to spot. This is particularly true if you’re fishing in muddy waters, or poor weather conditions.
Nobody likes losing their expensive ammunition, but arrows can and do try to jump ship from time to time. Having a shaft that blinds is a good idea to help keep track.
And with the right bow, they can look really cool.
Not all arrows come with a built-in safety line system as standard. If it doesn’t, it’s highly recommended you look into installing one yourself.
While you don’t strictly need one to shoot on the water, for your safety, and the safety of others around you, it’s definitely something you need to consider.
You don’t want to risk the line getting tangled up through your draw cycle, and you certainly don’t want to risk the arrow pinging back towards the shooter.
Note that different arrows come with different safety systems – depending on the brand. Look for the bowfishing arrow that has the best safety line tech for you and your shooting needs.
The price of bowfishing arrows will depend on what it’s actually made from, with fiberglass being the cheapest, through to carbon-fiber arrows.
You’ll also notice an increase in price when it comes to the quality and construction of the arrow head itself.
Always buy the best you can afford – but if you suit the arrow to the type of fishing you’ll be doing, you won’t ever need to overspend.
What is special about a bowfishing arrow?
Bowfishing arrows are more durable than regular archery arrows. As they’re designed to land fish – often particularly heavy catches, they need to have a super-strong shaft that isn’t going to break.
You’ll notice they don’t have feathers or flights near the nock. They’re not needed in bowfishing as they can misdirect the flight when hitting the water.
Bowfishing arrows are designed to be attached to fishing line, as this is how you retrieve your strike.
Finally, a bowfishing arrow will have a barbed head, specially crafted to pierce the skin of the fish, and impale it on the arrow so you can reel it in.
Can I use a regular arrow for bowfishing?
No. Regular archery arrows are too light for bowfishing purposes. Even if you fixed one with a barbed point, the chances of it breaking when you’re reeling in a monster is high.
Aside from that, they just won’t have the power that a reinforced, stronger bowfishing arrow can offer, and the feathers or flights will disrupt the arrow trajectory when striking the water, ensuring an almost certain miss.
What is the best bowfishing arrow?
It depends on what you want to fish and how much you can afford. All the arrows in this review are quality flights, but choosing one that stands above is subjective.
Having said that, I’d probably choose one of the AMS arrows, with the Ankor QT the likely candidate.
How long are bowfishing arrows?
The length of the arrow isn’t that important when shooting for fish – it’s the weight that you should be more concerned with.
Bowfishing arrows tend to be anywhere from 20 to 32 inches in length.
Can an arrow be too long?
For hunting and target shooting, yes. While there’s no rigid law against using super-long flights, the fact is that it will affect its movement in the air and you’ll likely have a much less accurate shot.
However, this doesn’t apply at all to bowfishing, as you’re only shooting relatively short distances and a long arrow flight isn’t required.
How do you set up a bowfishing arrow?
Great question. There are multiple ways in which you can set up a bowfishing arrow and the bowfishing bow itself – and how you do this will depend on personal preference.
I would suggest that the internet is your friend here – as there are plenty of how-to videos and guides available for the rookie bowfisher.
Start by checking out this guy’s personal set up in the clip below – but remember that’s just one way of doing it.
How far will an arrow travel in water?
It depends on the arrow, the bow it’s fired from (specifically the weight of the draw) and the conditions.
Typically, a bowfishing arrow will travel around 12-15 feet in water. For the most part, you’ll be shooting at targets no more than six feet deep.
Do you aim above or below a fish?
Ahhh, now this is the real trick. Your eyes will lead you to believe that the fish is in one spot, but because of the light refracting through the water, it’s actually somewhere else.
This is why you never aim directly at the fish, you aim just below it.
Watch this excellent bowfishing tips for beginners video for more information on aiming when bowfishing.
What is the best draw weight for bowfishing?
Generally speaking, an ideal draw weight for bowfishing is somewhere between 30-40 pounds. This is another reason it makes the sport so accessible, as you don’t have to be particularly strong to make the kill.
But to be honest, it’s whatever you’re comfortable drawing. You’re shooting at targets that aren’t as far away as standard archery butts, or a deer is likely to be – for example.
And remember, you’re also going to want to retrieve your arrow when you miss – so plowing an arrow hard and deep into a muddy river bed at a 70 lbs pull will have you back out shopping for a new one in no time.
Who makes the best bowfishing bow?
However, there is one particular manufacturer that stands head and shoulders above all others, and that is Oneida.
You might want to think about selling a kidney to afford one of their set-ups, though.
Hit your mark every single time with the best bowfishing arrows on the market. Well, maybe not every time, but you get the idea.
Let me know which flight you’ve gone for and why, or tell me your good and bad experiences with the set up you’re currently rocking.
Alternatively, you could always go spearfishing instead.
Take it easy!