When you go bowfishing, you don’t use the same type of fletching as what you’d use for hunting or archery. That may leave you wondering how bowfishing arrows will differ from other types of other arrows. In this article, we’re going to have a look at how bowfishing arrows are unique.
What is special about bowfishing arrows? Bowfishing arrows don’t have feathers because of how it misdirects the arrow as it hits the water. In addition, the arrowheads were made barbed to pierce and catch the target fish. With these arrows, they are also tied to a line to reel in the fish.
For those who want to go bowfishing, they will first need to make sure that they have chosen the right arrows for the sport. That’s one of the most important aspects of bowfishing next to the reel on the bow.
Bowfishing Arrow Materials
Unlike with regular arrows, manufacturers make bowfishing arrows with a heavier weighted fiberglass or carbon. For this reason and because of how they lack the fletching, bowfishing arrows can only travel between 10 to 15 feet before it gets harder to hit the fish. You can’t shoot these arrows for 150 feet like you could with a regular arrow.
The Depth of the Water for Bowfishing
In addition, the areas that you bowfish will normally only be between three to four feet deep. The shallower depth of the water happens for a couple of different reasons. First, the fish that you’re permitted to shoot tend to hang out in the shallower areas. Second, water has a higher density and because of this, it will slow down the arrow as it makes contact with the water. For that reason, you don’t want to bowfish in deeper water because of how it will give the fish a greater chance to escape from your arrow. The fish can swim fast in water, and this means that you may not have a lot of time to react.
The Advantage of Bowfishing Arrows
When you go bowfishing, you have a couple of different advantages. First, bowfishing arrows don’t cost a lot to get started. You will pay between $20 to $30 for 12 of them, and you normally only need one or two because once you have hit the fish, you simply use the reel on your bow to crank it into the boat.
The Safety Feature on Bowfishing Arrows
Another thing with a bowfishing arrow is how you will have a slide device on it. This has been designed to attach to the line. Manufacturers made the slide device for the protection of the bowfisherman. For example, let’s say that you have just shot a common carp in the water. You start reeling back on the line and the line gets snagged. As you pull on it, however, the arrow comes loose and comes shooting back at you. This could be an exceptionally dangerous situation without the slide device that prevents it from happening.
The Difference between Bowfishing Arrows and Regular Arrows
Bowfishing arrows were made with the purpose of retrieving the fish from the water. Otherwise, you could spear the fish with an arrow, but it could swim away wounded where it would eventually die and get eaten by the other fish. The line prevents that from happening. With regular arrows for hunting, you can’t shoot a whitetail deer and crank it back to you. Not only would it weigh too much, but that could even be a dangerous situation if you failed to kill the deer first. Instead, regular arrows have the intention of killing the deer so that you can track its blood trail, while bowfishing arrows shoot the fish to reel them in from the bow.
Bowfishing Arrows: The Shaft
As you will notice with a bowfishing arrow, the shaft has been designed to be heavier than a traditional arrow. This is for a variety of reasons. First, the arrow has to be impact-resistant when it hits the water. Second, you need an arrow that will have more force to puncture through a fish. The heaviness gives it a greater force of penetration. Fiberglass shafts simply weren’t designed as much with this intention. However, you can use fiberglass or carbon bowfishing arrows. You can also use a combination of the two, known as a hybrid. Fiberglass has the advantage being less expensive, but carbon arrows have a stiffer straightness to them that makes them more preferred. You can also choose the hybrid option, and this will have inlaid strips of carbon on the fiberglass, and this gives you the advantages of carbon without the expense of a carbon arrow.
Bowfishing arrowheads are unique and special to the realm of bowfishing. In the bowfishing arrow setup, the most important aspect of an arrow will be the arrowhead. You want to choose the bowfishing arrow point with the type of fish that you plan to catch. Hunting carp will differ vastly from going after gar in terms of the arrowhead. For carp, you will need a hard-hitting arrow that penetrates the fish and retains its power. Having a point where you can reverse the barbs also becomes another advantage because as the fish get bigger, you will have a harder time pushing the arrow through.
Another thing to consider with arrowheads comes down to location. Let’s say that you will be fishing in a rocky riverbed. Under those circumstances, you want a replaceable arrow tip because the damage sustained to the arrow point from a single shot can dull your arrowhead and make it less likely to puncture the fish on your next shot.
If you look at many bowfishing arrows, one of the things that you will notice on them is a small hole near the ferrule. The ferrule is the cone-shaped part of the arrow that will fit over the shaft. This has been designed in this way so that you can install a nail or steel pin through the shaft. That will keep you from losing the arrowhead on a rocky riverbed.
How to Know Which Arrow Point Will Work Best?
In most cases, choosing a bowfishing arrow point will be fairly straightforward. Most bowfishermen won’t have a problem with a basic low-budget point for shooting carp in shallow and muddy waters. If you plan on low-volume bowfishing, it won’t be a big deal if you have an arrow where you need to unscrew the barbs after catching each carp. However, if you plan to be doing this all day, it can get to be more of a hassle, and in some cases, you may be better off paying a little extra.
Some circumstances will require that you have a more sophisticated arrow point. For example, punishing waters where you have a lot of rocky river bottoms and stumps will require an arrowhead more equipped to deal with these circumstances. You will want instantly reversible barbs and a quick release bowfishing point. This especially becomes valuable in those waters where the action is everywhere and if you take too long, you will miss your shot on another one.
You have some fish that have infamously given bowfisherman a run for their money. For example, paddlefish and bighead carp have a reputation for pulling free when you hit them them on the edge. That can leave you frustrated. To combat the problem, you might choose a quick-release bowfishing point that has extra grabbing surface.
Bowfishing arrows aren’t exactly like their archery or bowhunting counterpart. You have a few different things that make these arrows unique to the sport of bowfishing. They were designed in this way because that was what was proven to be the most effective when it comes to bowfishing.