What are the Best Bowfishing Arrow Rests? (+Reviews)

Christian | |

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Too many bowfishermen learn the hard way that they need to a get a different rest for bowfishing than bowhunting. They move suddenly to follow a jerking fish, and their arrow flies right out of place.

To solve this problem, we looked at some of the best bowfishing arrow rest models on the market, taking into consideration quality and value as well as speed and accuracy. These were our favorites.

The Best Bowfishing Arrow Rests – Our Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

Interested in bowfishing? Checkout our other bowfishing roundup articles:

Bowfishing Arrow Rest Reviews

SAS Brush Capture

The SAS Brush Capture is a great budget option. Its main perk is that it doesn’t obstruct your view of the arrow, essential for bowfishing, which is mostly instinctive. The brush capture design also helps maximize arrow speed and accuracy, a pretty big advantage when you’re shooting into the water.

This rest is easy to mount on either a right- or left-handed bow. It’s most easily compatible with other SAS bows but can be fitted to most compound or recurve bows if they have bushings for accessories.

What we liked:

  • Great value
  • Unobstructed view of arrow
  • Minimal friction
  • Works for right- and left-handed bows

What we didn’t:

  • Geared towards other SAS bows
  • Wears down quickly

AMS M152 Tidal Wave

AMS made the Tidal Wave with bowfishers in mind. The finely adjustable bracket in addition to the roller design minimizes friction and can keep the arrow straight even as it enters the water.

The biggest draw of the Tidal Wave is its durability. Made in the USA, it’s tough and designed to stand up to wear and water exposure. Plus, it reduces wear on your arrows, helping them last longer as well.

Despite the durable construction, mounting is a breeze. You just snap this best bowfishing rest in place.

What we liked:

  • Adjustable axis
  • Roller design
  • Durable construction
  • Snap on mounting
  • Right- or left-handed

What we didn’t:

  • Higher price range

Muzzy Fish Hook

The Muzzy Fish Hook is a basic rest that’s easy to use. As the name implies, the rest is little more than a hook with a groove where you can set the arrow. This allows for quick nocking in case you miss your first shot.

Muzzy Fish Hook Bowfishing Arrow Rest
Muzzy Fish Hook Bowfishing Arrow Rest

Mounting and adjustment are simple as well with one hex bolt for threading into a riser bushing and another for lengthening or shortening the rest’s axis. While this barebones design makes it more likely for the arrow to slip out, it’s great for experienced bowfishermen with great arrow control.

What we liked:

  • Single groove for quick nocking
  • Simple mounting and adjusting
  • Great value

What we didn’t:

  • Arrow can slip out if bow is at an angle

Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Bow Fishing Arrow Rest

The Trophy Ridge whisker biscuit rest takes all the benefits of a traditional whisker biscuit rest and modifies them for bowfishing. For instance, the stiffer bristles can hold the heavier arrows used for bowfishing, holding the arrow steady while still minimizing friction and interference. 

Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Bowfishing Arrow Rest
Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit

This rest is an all-around top-shelf model as evident in its quality aluminum design. Not only is aluminum lightweight, making it easier to shoot accurately, but it’s resistant to wear and oxidation, improving the life of the rest.

Finally, though great for experts, Trophy Ridge’s rest is easy to use. Rubber boots guide the arrow into the rest quietly, mounting is simple, and engraved lines provide for accurate adjustments.

What we liked:

  • Stiff bristles for both stability and low interference
  • Lightweight aluminum design
  • Rubber guide boots
  • Simple left- or right-handed mounting
  • Engravings for adjustments

What we didn’t:

  • High price range

AMS Channel Cat

If you’re a fan of roller style rests, the Channel Cat is definitely a great option. The machined aluminum construction is lightweight and more resistant to wear and tear, but the mountings itself is stainless steel to ensure stability. The roller is actually machined brass for maximum friction reduction.

AMS made this rest for hardcore bowfishermen. On top of the tough build, the circular housing constantly directs arrows back to the roller, even if they slide off due to quick movements. If you enjoy fishing for big or fast fish, this can be a game changer.

As expected for a top-shelf model, mounting is easy, and there are visible, numbered marks for adjustment.

What we liked:

  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Machined brass roller
  • Small circular housing
  • Easy right- or left-handed mounting
  • Visible adjustment marks

What we didn’t:

  • Higher price range

Cajun Bowfishing Brush Fire

We added the Brush Fire to our list thanks to its tough, red bristles. These guide the arrow with minimal friction. Uniquely, they catch the eye, helping you aim.

The Teflon-coated arrow shelf is a great feature as well. This not only decreases friction for top speed and accuracy, but saves your arrow. 

Mounting isn’t difficult but requires two bolts and therefore may not be compatible with all risers. Adjustment is easy, though, thanks to engraved reference marks.

What we liked:

  • Red bristles
  • Teflon-coated shelf
  • Engraved adjustment marks

What we didn’t:

  • Mounting not compatible with all risers

Can you use a drop away rest for bowfishing?

Drop away rests, while great for bowhunting, are less than ideal for bowfishing. This is because they may not support bowfishing arrows, which tend to be much heavier.

Can you use a plunger rest for bowfishing?

Plunger style rests are not great for bowfishing, though you can use them. Plunger rests are designed to minimize lateral inaccuracy due to Archer’s Paradox. This isn’t really necessary when bowfishing because the distances are usually short. Plus, plunger rests don’t hold arrows very steadily, a problem for bowfishermen who tend to move around a lot more than hunters.

Can you use a whisker biscuit rest for bowfishing?

Whisker biscuit rests are one of the best types of rest for bowfishing. They make instinctive aiming easier because they give you a better view of the arrow. They also reduce friction and maximize speed, important since your arrows are penetrating the water, and fish can move quickly.

Just remember that a bowfishing arrow is heavier, so you need a rest with strong whisker biscuit bristles to hold it steady.

How do you set up a bowfishing arrow rest?

Most compound bows and modern recurve bows have threadings or “bushings” for arrow rests. You thread a bolt, usually a hex bolt, through the provided hole in the rest’s mounting and into the bushing. Some may use two bolts, which provides more stability.

Types of bowfishing rest

  • Rollers: On these kinds of rests, the arrow sits on a spinning roller. Since it rolls as the arrow leaves the rest, there’s little friction.
  • Containment or Capture Style Rests: These rests trap your arrow in them, sometimes with whisker biscuits or similar bristles, but sometimes just with a ring of metal. This keeps you from jostling your arrow out of place when you’re moving around.
  • Shelf Rests: Shelf rests are little more than a flat surface to rest your arrow on until it leaves the bow. They’re simple and easy to use but have no other special features.

I'm an avid hunter, archer and outdoorsman. I was born and raised in the Ozarks, my aunt taught me to hunt and I've been shooting bows since I was a kid.

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