As an avid bow hunter, I have recently become interested in the sport of bowfishing during the off-season. However, I soon realized that purchasing a separate bowfishing bow can be expensive. That’s when I came across the commonly discussed topic of converting a hunting bow into a bowfishing bow.
While it may not be the most efficient or cost-effective option for those who plan to stick with bowfishing long-term, learning how to convert a hunting bow can be a great way for beginners to get started in the sport without breaking the bank. In this article, I will share some background information on this topic and answer some frequently asked questions to help you decide if converting your hunting bow is the right choice for you.
How to Convert Any Hunting Bow to a Bowfishing Bow: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Bowfishing has become a popular off-season sport for bow hunters, and learning how to convert a hunting bow into a bowfishing bow can be a cost-effective way for beginners to get started.
- While it may not be the most efficient or effective option for long-term bowfishing, converting a hunting bow can still be a great way to try out the sport without investing in a separate bowfishing bow.
- In this article, we will provide some background information on converting your hunting bow to a bowfishing bow and answer some frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.
Converting Your Hunting Bow to a Bowfishing Bow
Step 1: Strip Down Your Hunting Bow
To begin converting your hunting bow into a bowfishing bow, you will need to remove all of the accessories, leaving a bare bow. This includes removing the arrow rest, stabilizer, arrow quiver, and sight. Additionally, you can set aside your hand release as it is not used in bowfishing. Once you have stripped down your bow, it should resemble a bare hunting bow.
Step 2: Add Your Bowfishing Reel
There are three types of bowfishing reels: hand reel, bottle reel, and spinning reel. The most commonly used bowfishing reel is the bottle retriever reel or the spincast bowfishing reel.
The spincast bowfishing reels and hand reels are both stabilizer mounted bowfishing reels. They come with a mounting bracket that threads into the stabilizer hole on your bow. On the other hand, the most fail-safe reel available for bowfishing is the bottle retriever reel. It is mounted to the side of the bowfishing bow rather than to the stabilizer hole on the bow itself.
Step 3: Add an Arrow Rest Made for Bowfishing Arrows
Your hunting bow arrow rest may not be the best option for bowfishing. Instead, you can use common arrow rests used for bowfishing such as whisker biscuits and various forms of rolling arrow rests.
Step 4: Mount a Light to Your Bow
Bowfishing at night is an entirely different experience than during the day. Bowfishing lights tend to attract most fish, making for much closer shots. When choosing a bow mounted bowfishing light, look for one that can be used for both bowfishing and hunting. Key features to consider include quick turn on and off, the ability to change between warm white and cool white color tones for seeing through clear or muddy water, and compatibility with all bows and reels.
Step 5: Add Finger Savers
Finger savers are crucial for bowfishing as you do not use a release like you do for bow hunting. They are soft pieces of rubber that slide over your bowstring and mount in place where you pull back on your bow. Finger savers roll on the string as you draw back and help reduce blistering from a long night of bowfishing. However, installing finger savers requires proper experience, and most archery shops can help with this.
Step 6: Start Practicing!
Now that you have converted your hunting bow into a bowfishing bow, it’s time to start practicing. Unlike hunting, it’s best to aim low when bowfishing. A good strategy for practicing your aim is to pick out a spot on the bottom in 2-3 ft of water and try to hit it consistently. It will take some time on the water to get your reactions down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can any bow be used for bowfishing?
Not all bows are suitable for bowfishing. Bows with lower draw weights, such as recurve bows or compound bows, are preferred for bowfishing. They allow for quicker and more precise shots, which is essential when trying to hit fast-moving fish.
What pound bow do you need for bowfishing?
The poundage of the bow you need for bowfishing depends on the type of fish you are targeting. Generally, a bow with a draw weight of 30-40 pounds is suitable for most types of fish. However, if you are targeting larger fish, you may need a bow with a higher draw weight.
How do you turn a bow into a bowfishing bow?
To turn a hunting bow into a bowfishing bow, you will need to add a few accessories. First, you will need a bowfishing reel, which attaches to the bowstring and allows you to reel in your catch. You will also need a bowfishing arrow, which is typically heavier and has a barbed tip to prevent the fish from swimming away. Finally, you may want to add a bowfishing rest, which helps to stabilize the arrow and improve accuracy.
What poundage is best for bowfishing?
The best poundage for bowfishing depends on the type of fish you are targeting. As mentioned earlier, a bow with a draw weight of 30-40 pounds is suitable for most types of fish. However, if you are targeting larger fish, you may need a bow with a higher draw weight.
Bowfishing bow vs hunting bow?
As this article proves, a hunting bow can be converted to a bowfishing bow, however, bows specifically designed for bowfishing are lighter. Bowfishing bows and hunting bows are designed for different purposes. Hunting bows are typically heavier and have a higher draw weight, which is necessary for taking down large game. Bowfishing bows, on the other hand, are lighter and have a lower draw weight, which allows for quicker and more precise shots on fast-moving fish. Some popular bowfishing bow options include the AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro Combo Kit, the Cajun Bowfishing Shore Runner Kit, and the Muzzy Bowfishing Kit.
Best bow mounted bowfishing light?
There are several bow mounted bowfishing lights available on the market, each with their own pros and cons. Some popular options include the Fin-Finder Splashlight Bowfishing Light, the Cajun Bowfishing ABF109BL Bow Mounted Light, and the Flashlight Mount Stabilizer. It is important to choose a light that is bright enough to illuminate the water and help you see your target, but not so bright that it scares away the fish.
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