Bowfishing is a sport that is great for all ages. From beginners to seasoned bowhunters, you can enjoy the sport by looking for a challenge aside from targets to shoot. Regardless of whether you are shooting targets, bowhunting, or bowfishing, you can use the very same bow.
For bowfishing, all you need are a few different accessories and a fishing license. Essentially, you need a bowfishing arrow and reel. First, we will focus on the arrow. Carp is one of the best species of fish for bowfishing because they don't bite on lures. Plus, they are large in size, which makes them easy to see in the water. Building an arrow for this type of fish is generally pretty easy, even for the newbie, and this same arrow can be used for other game.
The Arrow Shaft
The key part of the arrow is the shaft. What you will notice about the arrow first is its weight. The arrows are heavy because they need to be durable enough to penetrate through the scales on fish. Usually, the material used to make these arrows are either carbon or fiberglass and sometimes a combination of these two. Fiberglass is the more economical of the two and tough, but carbon is much tougher. The hybrid model offers the benefits (straightness, stiffness, and strength) of carbon without the straight cost of it. Usually, archers will keep a bowfishing arrow at its full standard length and don't cut its length so that it matches the draw length like you would with others. The additional length actually helps to weaken the overall spine, which improves the tuning. It also increases the weight of the finished arrow and improves the hitting power in the end.
This is probably the most integral part of your entire arrow set-up. You need to be able to successfully match your point to the species of fish that you are seeking for the day. Otherwise, it could make for a terrible day out on the water. Seeking carp in a creek or a river means that you need to hit them hard and be able to hold them. You need a point that has automatic reverse barbs, which is especially important for bigger fish. On most bowfishing points, you will find a small hole at the ferrule's base. This is there to help reinforce the bowfishing point by inserting a steel nail or pin through the shaft. This isn't required, but it can be helpful if you're dealing with rocky surfaces so that you don't lose your point. For safety and accuracy, make sure to drill the shaft using a drill press. If you are uncertain which point is best for you to use, check out Full Draw Archery's website or give us a call for more information to ensure that you have the most appropriate fit for your bowfishing adventure.
Creating the Perfect Bowfishing Arrow
For the most part, a bowfishing arrow consists of the same makeup as a hunting or target arrow: shaft, point, and nock. A safety slide system can be added to a fishing arrow to improve the safety, although it is not mandatory. This safety system helps to ensure that the bowfishing line is in front of the bow, which works to prevent the bowfishing line from getting tangled around the bow string because if this happens the arrow can snap back and possibly injure or kill yourself and anyone near you.
To get started, you need to select a shaft for your arrow. You will then glue the nock in its place using a fletching glue (or you own preferable glue) so that the safety slide is properly aligned. Make sure to glue the nock so that the hole in the back of the shaft is lined up evenly with the notch in the nock. This allows for the safety slide to remain at the top of the shaft. Next, the safety slide needs to be installed since this needs to be installed prior to the bowfishing point.
Finally, when it comes to the bowfishing point, some people choose to use a piece of sandpaper to roughen up the end of the bowfishing arrow. This simply increases the gripping and holding power. The point's alignment doesn't impact how the bowfishing arrow shoots, but many archers prefer horizontal so that the barbs are not in their view. However, this is up to you.
If you know exactly what you need and feel comfortable creating your own bowfishing arrow, browse Full Draw Archery's website. If you need any assistance choosing the items that you need to create your bowfishing arrow, don't hesitate to reach out to us as we are happy to help in any way that we can.