5 Best Bowfishing Reel Reviews (2021 Ultimate Guide)

In this ultimate guide, I’ll show you 5 best bowfishing reel reviews that save your time and effort to reel faster on missed shots.

The best part? You’re going to know how to choose a good bowfishing reel in the second part. Here’s the deal:

Best Bowfishing Reels on the Market:

Top Brands



Editor's Rating

610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel - 2
  • Fast, simple operation
  • Quiver included
  • Easy to adjust
Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel with Integrated Reel Mounting system and 150# Line Installed - Reversible Left or Right Hand - 2
  • Free Spool and Shooting modes
  • Reel Seat included
  • Catch big fishes
Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel - 2
  • Fighting Brake
  • Support left and right hand orientation
  • Anti-reverse
Zebco / Quantum BOWDM, 200, BX3, Bowfisher 808 Direct Mount, 2.6: 1 Gear Ratio, 19 - 2
  • Solid stainless steel
  • Big reels for big fishes
  • Safe shot thump button
Archenemy Nemesis HD Bowfishing Reel - 2
  • Strong and durable
  • Extra large main shaft

Best Bowfishing Reel Reviews:

1. AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel

AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel

Via Amazon.com

Simple Operation and Safe

When I picked up the AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bow, popped out the reel and started setting it up on a crossbow, it hit me: this Bowfishing Reel is more fun to set up.

When I’m using it, I don't need to worry about bounce back arrows--thanks to its tangle reel which makes it safe and easy to set up.

You can use the reel with any type of bows, such as a compound bow or recurve, as long as there are standard sight holes.

Easy to Adjust

The Pro Bowfishing Reel is no mere toy.

It's easy to adjust, thanks to the brilliant adjustable mounting system that allows the telescoping clamp to make swift adjustments for different sized hands, which paves the way for quick and easy adaption to most bows.

Effortlessly Hold Arrows with Back Quiver

AMS Retriever Pro - Quiver

Via 3riversarchery.com

And while the AMS 610 Retriever Pro is made in the USA for over 35 Years, can you trust the reel to hold your arrow effortlessly? Yes, you can.

The reel comes with an arrow quiver on the back that holds arrows effortlessly in between fishing spots.

This provides more resistance to corrosion as opposed to the original retriever. Meaning, the quiver makes it lighter, stronger and made to last as long as you fish with your bow.

Yet the Fizzing Question at the Center of it all is this.

Will the 610 Retriever Work with A Crossbow?

AMS Retriever work with crossbow

Via Youtube.com

For avid hunters who want the best, the answer is “yes,” but you need an additional mount/plate to make it work, even for a crossbow.

Of course, the kits are top-notch and will convert your crossbow into a powerful bowfishing machine.

Worry Free of Lost Arrows

For this fact alone, the 610 Retriever Pro has more advantage to spin cast reel.

With spin cast reel, if you forget to click the 'push' button before shooting, then you lost your arrow.

But with this retriever, no worry about that anymore as this will help you to save your money for lost arrows.

How Do You Know If It Works For Both Right And Left-Handed Users?

As for whether the reel is great for right and left-handed users, we noticed in real-world testing that the reel would mount on the same side as the sights.

So if you're left-handed, it will fit on the left side, and install on the right side if you're right-handed.


So, is there any reason to not get the Pro Bowfishing Reel? Well, yes.

  • For starters, it lacks a certain "wow" factor. Apart from the fact that it has no arrows included, it also comes with a short range.
  • And the shooting performance is excellent and smooth, but it is loud.
  • We didn't get a rumored accurate reel like what some other bowfishing spin cast reels have, or did we get a manually retrieve arrows like other high-end bowfishing reels.
  • And, the Pro Bowfishing Reel does not support dragging, so you can't use it for big catfish or carp up.

In all, this is a fantastic Bowfishing reel; while it may appear a bit expensive, it is definitely worth the price.


  • Saves money for lost arrows
  • Fast and simple
  • Improved Technology
  • Easy to just draw, aim, and shoot
  • Longer and quicker shots
  • Clearance in the mounting plate
  • 25 yards of high visibility
  • Adjusts to different sized hands


  • No arrows included
  • Short range
  • Loud to shoot
  • Not accurate as spin cast reel
  • A little bit expensive
  • Need to manually retrieve arrows
  • Does not support dragging

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

Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro Spin Style Reel with Integrated Reel Mounting system and 150# Line Installed - Reversible Left or Right Hand

Via Amazon.com

Designed to aim big fish, the Muzzy® XD Pro Spin Style Bowfishing Reel lets you trap down big fish. This reel is made in the USA and has an improved spin-style design.

The aim of the design is to help strengthen the hood for fluid line feed, brass drive system, as well as sturdy stainless steel.

It also ensures that the stainless steel roller pick up pin is sturdy and durable. This is my best bowfishing spincast reel in this list.

Integrated Steel

It has an integrated steel mounting bracket that reduces the weight and lets one bolt mounting.

Reversible Left or Right-Handed Retrieve

Just like the most bowfishing reel gang, the Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 offers a Reversible left or right handed retrieve for easy use.

Reel's Switch Activation System

Reel's Switch Activation System

Via basspro.com

While the reel switch activation system of most bowfishing reels already looked great, the Muzzy Bowfishing 1069 XD Pro does it a bit better.

Free Spool Mode

I noticed that the Reel's switch activation system does a great job in locking the reel into a free spooling mode.

This, of course, provides a richer visual indication when the reel is ready to shoot over most conventional reels.

Shooting Mode

The included shooting mode cannot retrieve the line, and this is extremely helpful if you shoot big fish and want to get tired before you engage the line, instead of losing it.

It also has a Long line of 125 FTE, as well as a Spool mode system that lets you retrieve the line.

Long line Spin Cast Reel

You will be able to retrieve missed shots and pre-spooled with 150 ft line rapidly. The best part is that the reel is sturdily built to drag big fish without any issue easily.

Included reel seat

Muzzy XD Pro Spin Style Bowfishing Reel - bold included

Via basspro.com

Does it come with the bolt to mount it? Yes, it does. A 1/4 inch Allen wrench will work perfectly for this.

There's no need for additional gear with this reel, which enables you to save some bucks.

Just snug the seat up alongside the reel at 90 degrees, with the reel and wrench together for the last quarter turn.


The sad truth about this reel is that you will have to push the button to the shooting mode before releasing the arrows, or you'll lose your arrows.

But for the vast majority of people, this isn't a deal breaker.


  • Heavy-duty reel built
  • For extreme low dishing
  • Multiple stainless steel components
  • Improved hood design for smoother line feed
  • Strong stainless steel
  • The sturdy brass drive system
  • Convertible to either left or right
  • Visual confirmation
  • Drag works well
  • Fast retrieving missed shots.


  • You will have to push the button to the shooting mode to release the arrows

3. Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel

Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel

Via Amazon.com

Of all the things I liked about the Cajun Winch Bowfishing Reel, I was most impressed by the vibrant Fighting Brake that lets you winch the fish back to the boat in one-handed operation.

The Winch comes with a solid aluminum mounting brackets, 25 yards of 250 lbs and stainless steel hardware, and all the necessary tools you desire to haul in any monster.

Vertical and Horizontal Adjustments for Most Bows

The included Vertical and horizontal adjustments end up being the better value since it allows you to create the perfect fit on any bow.

Reversible for both Left and Right-Handed

Reversible for both Left and Right-Handed

Via archerybusiness.com

Keep in mind, too, that this bowfishing reel is reversible for both left and right-handed user.

Cajun improved the reel with perfect orientation, so no worry about choosing the wrong orientation.


The reel is Anti-reverse, which prevents tangling. It also boasts a sturdy design that can withstand any weather condition for years to come.


The only downside we could put our finger on is that Cajun doesn't have responsive customer service.


  • Fighting Brake to winch fish back
  • One-handed operation
  • Solid aluminum mounting brackets
  • Durable stainless steel hardware
  • High visibility white line vertical
  • Horizontal adjustments


  • No responsive customer care

4. Zebco / Quantum BOWDM

Zebco / Quantum BOWDM, 200, BX3, Bowfisher 808 Direct Mount, 2.6: 1 Gear Ratio, 19

Via Amazon.com

One compelling feature about the Zebco / Quantum BOWDM is the long and strong 30 yards line and 200 lbs for big carp.

The fact that the reel can be used for both hand orientations makes it snappy and responsive as I would expect.

Solid Stainless Steel

During my day-to-day observation, the solid steel design of the Zebco / Quantum BOWDM, Bowfisher was satisfactory.

With a well-built design, this reel will last you for 2 or 3 years. The reel is made to mount directly to your bow, removing clunky and intermediate mounts.

Big Spool Handle

One compelling feature is the big spool handle that paves the way for safe and accurate shooting.

Big Heavy Push Button

The included big push button is exceptionally safe and helps to remove the guesswork of pre-durable and all-metal construction.

Direct Mount

This reel allows you to mount it quickly to the bow without needing an extra reel seat.

And just like other high-end reels, the Zebco / Quantum BOWDM is changeable to either the right or to the left hand retrieve.

Safe Shoot Thumb Button

The reel also comes with a "safe shot" thumb-button and a combined Picatinny rail to add laser sights or light for precise shots on target.


We noticed after 200 shots, the bowfishing reel is susceptible to several scary incidents, especially the spool locking up during firing.

This will result in a possible yank-back of the arrow.


  • All-metal gears
  • Exclusive shoot thumb button
  • A ready-to-fire visual indication
  • Quickly mounts to bow
  • Picatinny rail attached lasers or lights
  • Durable all-metal construction
  • Great drag and shoots well
  • Very compact


  • The spool is susceptible to Lock

5. Archenemy Nemesis HD Bowfishing Reel

 Archenemy Nemesis HD Bowfishing Reel

Via Amazon.com

If you're looking for a durable and stronger reel with a rugged and reliable design, then the Archenemy Nemesis HD Bowfishing Reel is for you.

With a die cast aluminum unibody design, the Archenemy Nemesis HD offers robust strength.

Ultra Performance

Its dual oversized stainless steel line and 4 stainless steel bearings pickup pin holders’ offers long-lasting and smooth performance.

It also has an extra-large main shaft and super-sized components that deliver a solid performance you can rely on even when torquing.

It also comes with a reinforced reel foot that delivers a stronger handle and base. The Reel also flaunts a pre-spooled with 200-lb weight while the test line is 33-lbs.


The handle is made of cheap plastic, and it is susceptible to break.


  • Stronger and more durable design
  • One handed fishing reel
  • An extra-large main shaft
  • Rugged and reliable
  • Smooth stainless steel bearings
  • Stout built
  • Smooth cranking
  • Big face reel


  • Plastic Handle
  • Not compatible with an f&d reel seat
bes bowfising reel reviews and ultimate guide

How to Choose a Great Bowfishing Reel:

Bowfishing Reel Vs Bottle

Depending on the type of shooting you’re into and the type of fish you want to catch.

Bottle Style

Bottle style

Via Amazon.com

The bowfishing bottle reel style requires you to set up your bow down and pull the line by hand if you want to shoot a bigger fish.

But if you are going for a retriever reel, keep in mind that you need to wrap your hand around the handle.

Spincast Style

Spincast reel

Via Amazon.com

If you want to choose a modern reel, then the Spincast reel style will be a better option since they are among the best bowfishing reel style that works well for advanced fishing.

They come with a reduced backlash experienced and offer all-round versatility among anglers.

They also work well for small to medium-sized fish like redfish, crappie and bass.

You can also use them for different types of tackle, which includes artificial lures and live bait. All that is required of you is to pull the fishing line weight.



Most of my shots are under 10 yards, and part of the reasons is that the reel's large diameter will cause a lot of friction on the line, which will slow down the arrow of a bow.

This will then reduce the distance of the arrow and how much depth it can be shot to reach under the water.

Also, large diameter reels are harder to wind the line onto and cost you more time, which makes it difficult to miss second shots on fish.


You want to make sure the bowfishing reel you're buying is durable and will last you for up to a season or so.

Fish Size

fish size

The size of a bowfishing reel goes a long way to giving you the best catch. For instance, a reel with a large diameter line will make hand fighting a fish a lot easier.

If you want to hunt for a normal fish, then a size less than < 20#, will be ideal.

While hunting small fish will thrive well on bottle type fishing reel, and using a spin cast reel will work best for big fish.

The Bottom Line:

These top bowfishing reel are budget-friendly, convenient and great for your bowfishing hunt. They can trap down big fish and give you the best hunting experience.

But if you want to choose the best among the rest, then the AMS 610 Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel is our overall winner of the best bowfishing reel for the money.

Editor's choice:

610 Retriever Pro Bow Fishing Reel - 3

Via Amazon.com

The reasons why it stands tall among others are:

  • It has a simple and safe operation
  • Its spin cast reel or tangle makes it safe and easy to set up.
  • You can use the reel with any type of bows, such as a compound bow or recurve, as long as there are standard sight holes.
  • Easy to adjust
  • Arrow quiver on the back holds the arrow in between fishing spots.
  • It has more resistance to corrosion as opposed to the original Retriever.
  • The reel would mount on the same side as the sights. So if you're left-handed, it will fit on the left side, and install on the right side if you're right-handed.

Do you have any question you would like to ask us concerning this guide, please let us know in the comment below?

Robert Gate

Hi, I’m Robert Gate – an avid hunter and founder of ArcheryTopic.com. I grew up in Texas, USA and learned archery from my dad when I was a child. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift when I got 12 years old. Read my story!

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