What’s the Best Bowfishing Arrow for 2021?

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Even if you have the best bowfishing bow and reel out there, you still need a quality arrow to actually make your shot and, just as importantly, keep the fish on the line as you reel it in. What makes a quality arrow, though?

In this guide, we dive into all the various factors that make a good arrow. Then we go through all the arrows on the market that have these features. This way you can find the best one for your needs and reel in your catches with confidence.

The Best Bowfishing Arrow – Our Top 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

Checkout our other bowfishing roundup articles:

Bowfishing Arrow Reviews

AMS Bowfishing Chaos Point

The AMS bowfishing arrow earned a spot on our list specifically because of the Chaos point. Made of 400 series stainless steel, it’s tough and resistant to oxidation, meaning you can use it for multiple seasons and outings.

AMS Bowfishing Chaos Point
AMS Bowfishing Chaos Point

Keep in mind that being stainless steel, the tip is a little heavier. This can actually help the arrow fly straight and hit more accurately. You just may have to adjust a little.

Additionally, the arrowhead is spiraled, which improves penetration. The barbs improve penetration as well because they’re designed to create a smaller entry hole. With this in mind, this AMS bowfishing arrow set is great for large, powerful fish.

This arrow and Chaos point are made in the USA and come with an included safety slide.

What we liked:

  • 400 series stainless steel Chaos point
  • Accurate spiraled tip
  • Barbs designed for smaller entry hole
  • Included safety slide

What we didn’t:

  • Tip can be heavy

Innerloc Glass Max Arrow

As you can guess from the name, Innerloc Glass Max Arrows are made from a glass/resin compound that’s lightweight but super tough. As a result, they can be a good choice for small- or medium-size fish, especially those that are agile and fast moving. That said, they can also work for large fish.

Innerloc Glass Max Arrow
Innerloc Glass Max Arrow

The glass construction also increases the stiffness of the arrow, making it fly straighter and penetrate more deeply. Again, the increased accuracy will help you with agile fish.

Finally, the Innerloc barb system is a unique feature that can take your bowfishing to the next level. It functions like a mechanical broadhead with three barbs that fold down against the arrow shaft and then snap up when they hit a target. This provides for more penetration while still giving three points of security when reeling in your quarry.

What we liked:

  • Glass and resin construction
  • High shaft stiffness
  • Retractable Innerloc barb system

What we didn’t:

  • Higher price range

Cajun Archery Wasp

The Cajun Archery Wasp has one of the most durable and well-constructed arrows on our list. That’s because it’s made of carbon fiber and fiberglass. This means that on top of being tough, the Wasps are also lightweight and travel far while still entering the water straight.

Cajun Archery Wasp
Cajun Archery Wasp

The point is also well designed and sharp enough to pierce deep into a fish’s body. Plus, it comes with four barbs meaning ultimate security when you’re reeling in your catch. Combined with the durability, that makes the Wasps a solid option for powerful fish, especially catfish.

Cajun Archery includes a safety slide on the Wasps to avoid accidents and make your outing as successful as possible.

What we liked:

  • Durable carbon-fiber construction
  • Lightweight
  • Piercing point
  • Four barbs
  • Included safety slide

What we didn’t:

  • Higher price range

Muzzy Fish Arrow

If you’re new to bowfishing, you may be more prone to losing your arrows. Plus, you don’t need to spend a lot on arrows that you can’t fully take advantage of. In that case, a Muzzy arrow makes a good budget option. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced archer but need an extra arrow or two just in case, the low price range makes this arrow a smart way to go.

Don’t let the low price range fool you, though. Muzzy fits this arrow with a stainless steel Trocar point that’s both penetrative and durable. It also has dual barbs that hook your fish for reeling it back in.

One feature we like is the pink nock. This isn’t as important for bowfishing as normal bowhunting, but it can still help with instinctive aiming because the nock catches your eye.

What we liked:

  • Great value
  • Stainless steel Trocar point
  • Dual barbs
  • Pink nock

What we didn’t:

  • Less durable shaft
  • Shaft bend can affect accuracy

Truglo TG140B1G Speed Shot

You can tell the Truglo TG140B1G is unique just by looking at it. That’s because it has a fluorescent green finish. That makes it extremely visible and therefore a good choice for night fishing. It makes instinctive aiming easier as well as retrieving your arrow if you lose it somehow.

Perhaps the best part of this arrow, though, is the versatility. Specifically, you can choose from five different points. These include dual fixed barbed points and points with retractable barbs as well as points with a spring system that helps the arrow penetrate straight.

The shaft itself is made of a strong fiberglass while the tips are stainless steel. This makes the arrow lightweight but accurate. Additionally, Truglo designed a unique ultra-slim nock that increases accuracy even more.

The TG140B1G comes with a slide safety system to prevent accidents when shooting.

What we liked:

  • Fluorescent green finish
  • Versatile point options
  • Durable fiberglass construction
  • Stainless steel points
  • Ultra-slim nock

What we didn’t:

  • Nothing!

AMS Bowfishing Safety Slide System

AMS Bowfishing Safety Slide System
AMS Bowfishing Safety Slide System

Safety slide systems are a simple but helpful tool that can prevent accidents when you’re bowfishing caused by a tangle of the fishing line and bowstring. At the very least, these accidents are inconvenient, but they can also be dangerous. 

While many arrows come with a safety slide system, plenty don’t. In this case, getting a quality one like the AMS model is a smart choice. It’s made of impact-resistant material, which is good because safety systems take a lot of punishment. The AMS system has the potential to serve your safety needs season after season.

This material makes the system strong as well, rated for reeling in fish over 300 lbs and handling arrow speeds up to 145 FPS. 

Finally, AMS made their safety slide easy to install and self cleaning. This means you can bowfish with safety and convenience at the same time.

What we liked:

  • Prevents fishing line tangling with bowstring
  • Impact-resistant material
  • Rated for fish over 300 lbs
  • Rated for arrow speeds up to 145 FPS
  • Easy to install
  • Self-cleaning spines

What we didn’t:

  • Nothing!

Why do you need special bowfishing arrow points?

You need different bowfishing arrow points depending on the type of fish you’re trying to catch. Specifically, you need to know if you’re going for hard-skinned or soft-skinned fish. 

Fishes with tough body armor like gar are best caught with arrow points that include multiple barbs that point in the opposite direction of the arrow. These can catch on the fish’s flesh and adequately hold it as you real it in. You may see these called “gar points” since that’s one of their most common uses.

The gar-point barbs don’t work as well on soft-bodied fish like carp, though. What works better is a point with retractable barbs that spring out horizontally when the point strikes the fish. These can more easily grip the soft flesh. You may see these referred to as “grapple points” or “carp points.”

Generally speaking, you can use carp points on hard-skinned fish, but you can’t use gar points on soft-skinned fish. The narrow barbs can slip out, causing you to lose your fish.

Besides the barbs, you also want to pay attention to the material the point is made of. Stainless steel is usually ideal because it’s strong and weights the arrow towards the front. 

Most importantly, stainless steel is resistant to oxidation. Since you’re shooting into the water, rust is a major problem for your arrow points. Getting an oxidation-resistant arrow point will save you money in the long run because you don’t have to replace it as often.

Do you need safety slides?

You can bowfish without a safety slide, but it’s not a very good idea. The problem is that the arrow is, of course, attached to the fishing line, but also nocked on the bowstring. With these two strings running perpendicular to each other, a lot of accidents can happen if they get tangled. 

At the very least, you may misfire the arrow and miss your shot. It could be worse, though. A tangle could cause the arrow to snap back, and if it hits you, it could cause serious injury. Best to prevent this with a simple safety slide.

Safety slides attach to the shaft of the arrow ahead of the arrow rest. You can then tie the fishing line onto the safety slide instead of the back of the arrow, keeping it separate from the bowstring. 

When you shoot the arrow, the safety slide then slides back along the shaft until it catches on the fletching. This way the fishing line ends up at the back of the arrow where it’s anchored for reeling in.

Things to Look For in the Best Bowfishing Arrow

Shaft Material

  • Carbon fiber: Top shelf arrows will usually be made of a material that’s both tough but lightweight. This usually means carbon fiber. You’ll normally find them in the higher price range for arrows, but they’re sturdy and can hold up over numerous seasons.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is usually the most affordable material, but it’s also the least durable. As a result, they may not last for as many seasons or shots. This makes it a good choice for beginner archers who are more likely to lose their arrows anyway, as well as more experienced archers who just need an extra back-up arrow or two.
  • Carbon composite: These are usually mid-range arrows that are great values. Added carbon fiber adds stiffness and decreases weight without driving the price up to the levels of full carbon fiber arrows. 

One important factor to consider when choosing a shaft is the stiffness. Bowhunters often want flexible arrows because the bending of the shaft in flight can compensate for archer’s paradox. 

When bowfishing, however, you take shots much closer to your target, and archer’s paradox isn’t a serious consideration. As a result, stiffer arrows are almost always better since they’ll penetrate the water more accurately. Carbon fiber is usually the stiffest shaft material.

Arrow Nock

Your arrow nock is what hooks onto your bowstring. Most bowfishing arrow nocks are simple plastic clips. Unlike with bowhunting, you definitely want a nock that hooks onto the bowstring. This is because you’re more likely to make sudden, jerking motions while following a fish, and you don’t want your arrow coming loose.

The other important feature to pay attention to is visibility. A good nock is usually a bright fluorescent color that’s easy to see. This helps in two ways.

First, it helps with instinctive aiming because your eye catches the rear of the arrow and gives you a better impression of the arrow’s flight and trajectory. Additionally, it can help you find the arrow if the fishing line accidentally breaks causing you to lose it.

For the best visibility, you may even be able to find lighted nocks. These have a small, battery-powered LED bulb inside that produces a visible color like green or red. These make finding lost arrows especially easy.

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