Maybe you have wondered to yourself about the best glue for your bowfishing arrowheads. Glue the arrowheads and pin them. One day you will wish you had. Understanding glue usage and what kind of glue to use ensures that your arrows hit their mark without the heads coming off.
What Glue Do I Recommend for Bowfishing Arrows?
I would recommend Gorilla Super Glue Gel XL. This glue can handle tough impact, and it dries at between 10 to 30 seconds. I use Gorilla Glue, but you could use epoxy on your arrowheads too. Epoxy holds better than Gorilla Glue when hardened. It works the same. You could also mix Gorilla Glue and epoxy. Epoxy has the advantage of less mess. With epoxy, I might feel confident that nothing will remove my arrowhead, but I’ve never had a problem with Gorilla Glue.
Should You Pin the Arrow?
You have a contentious debate with this. Some bowfishermen don’t like to pin the arrowhead because it splinters and weakens the arrow. Watch out for anything that might damage your arrow. Never shoot a damaged arrow because you could get hurt. Inspect the arrows after each bowfishing session.
To pin an arrow, drill a tiny hole in it and put a pin in it to guarantee the arrowhead sticks. For larger and tougher fish like the 150-pound gar and alligator gar, you might be glad you did, especially with Gorilla Glue. Pins weaken the bowfishing arrow, and you can glue the arrow without adding a pin to it.
How to Use the Glue
You will use the glue on the arrow for two different points. First, you use it on the notch of the arrow. Glue the notch with fletching glue, rather than Gorilla Glue, so that it aligns with the safety slide. Bohning Platinum Fletch Tite works great for the notch of the arrow, but don’t use this for the arrowhead.
The safety slide ensures the maximum level of safety. I never recommend that you shoot without a safety slide because bowfishermen have died when the fishing line tangled with the bowstring and shot it back at them. You can buy the AMS Bowfishing 5/16″ EverGlide Safety Slide Kit and eliminate the risk.
After you have glued the notch, you will add the arrowhead. I use six drops of Gorilla Glue for the arrowhead. To begin, sand the rough end of the arrow. Doing this, the Gorilla Glue will grab hold of the arrow with more strength. While Gorilla Glue sets within 10 to 30 seconds, I’d recommend that you allow more time to ensure a stronger bond on the arrowhead.
Here’s where Gorilla Glue holds the advantage over epoxy. When you glue the arrowhead with epoxy, you have to allot up to 24 hours for it to set hold. Once set, it holds like iron, but you need more time than Gorilla Glue. That is why I prefer Gorilla Glue to epoxy even though it is stronger. I don’t usually target gar, so I don’t need the extra strength.
You don’t have to align the arrowhead with anything because this doesn’t impact how it shoots.
Best Glue: Should You Use Gorilla Glue or Epoxy?
You can use either Gorilla Glue or epoxy for bowfishing arrows. I belong to the Gorilla Glue camp. This is the superior option because of its simplicity and faster setting than epoxy. You can trust that Gorilla Glue won’t lose its integrity on impact as much as epoxy. A 100-percent waterproof solution, Gorilla Glue doesn’t hold as strongly as epoxy after fully dried. That doesn’t matter when it comes to using because if the arrowhead breaks, it will most likely be because of the poor structural integrity of the arrow before it is the glue.
I enjoy all the benefits of faster setting of the arrow without any of the slower effects of epoxy. Epoxy weighs more, which may not make much difference on an arrowhead, but it could mean you can’t shoot as far.
If you feel more peace of mind because of the strength, you can use epoxy, but I see it as overkill unless you target gar or alligator gar.
General Rules to Keep in Mind with Gluing Arrows
Especially if you plan to use carbon arrows, exercise caution with heated glues because it can damage your shaft beyond repair. You want to use an adhesive with a low melting point but high enough to keep the glue of the arrowhead on the arrow.
The Adhesive Notch Test
With the notches of the arrow, you have a useful way to test the glue. First, you should check to see that the notch material works with the adhesive. You might use a test notch to begin. Apply a small amount of adhesive spread over the notch of the arrow. You wait 10 minutes for the glue to set on the notch.
As you press the notch shank on a flat surface and try to bend it at 45 degrees, if the notch shank bends without breaking, you have a good adhesive. Should the notch shank break, it means that you have to test the notch with a different glue. Once finished, wipe away excess glue to ensure the arrow flies properly.
Why Sanding the Arrows Matters
Previously, I had mentioned how you have to sand the arrows. I’d like to further elaborate on its importance. The strength of the glue doesn’t matter if you don’t sand the arrows first. Gorilla Glue or even epoxy won’t hold without sanding, which means you donated a couple of arrowheads to the lake or river.
Sanding the arrows cleans away the dirt and debris on the arrow to ensure you get a stronger bond. You want to have arrows that can stand the impact of both the water and the fish.
What to Understand with Gorilla Glue and Epoxy
You have one downside of using either Gorilla Glue or epoxy on arrowheads. After you have put the glue on it, the arrowhead will never come off. At least, it won’t come off when you want. That means you can’t replace the arrowhead with a broadhead if you suddenly want to bowfish for bigger species like the gar. You will have to use the arrowhead already on it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you use super glue for inserts? Yes, you can use super glue for inserts. Some people have also used Goat Tuff glues. Gorilla Glue works better here because you have to work even faster with Goat Tuff. It dries fast. While super glue works well with inserts, the inserts might loosen over time because of impact, vibration and dirt.
What is the best insert glue? For this, Bohning Insert Iron works great! You have a lot of people who swear by it as the best insert glue around. This adhesive does take up to 72 hours to dry but once you have it set, it doesn’t go anywhere.
Should you use Gorilla Glue for arrow inserts? Gorilla Glue works fine with arrow inserts, and you have other advantages like how it doesn’t crack like epoxy. Some people argue that Gorilla Glue expands, which epoxy doesn’t. I’ve used Gorilla Glue plenty of times and never had a problem. The key to the expansion problem is that you don’t use too much. You can add water to it as well. I also like it for inserts because of how it is much simpler than epoxy.
This is the best glue for bowfishing arrows. I recommend that you start with one of these glues and go from there. Some people don’t like Gorilla Glue and prefer epoxy, but I like the ease of use with Gorilla Glue. No matter what you choose, you should remember to sand down the arrow a bit to smoothen it out for the strongest hold. Whether Epoxy or Gorilla Glue, it won’t hold if you don’t sand it.
If you want to use an epoxy, the Loctite 495 Super Bonder 442-49550 works great.