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Several basic questions concerning bow fishing?

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Hi!
I have no clue how bow fishing works exactly (of course, I understand the general premise of how it's supposed to work, but not the specifics). I have a possible use for the fishing equipment for a non-bowfishing use.

  • I saw online that you can have 200lbs test line. It doesn't say however how many yards of line you have in a reel. I understand this will vary from one reel to another. But, I was wondering how many yards I should expect as a mimimum?
  • Can one downgrade the lbs test rating of the line in order to get more line into your reel? What lb test rating are available for bow fishers?
  • Could you go to normal fishing line?
  • Can you bow fish with any bow? I have a 60lbs Bowtech Assassin.
  • Is there a maximum distance one can bow fish at for reasons other than seeing the fishes in the water.

Thanks!

Fish
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You will be lucky to get 100 feet in a Muzzy reel. Pound test is what it is, 200 and 400 lb test. No go on normal fishing line. Any bow works if you want to draw it all day. As far as you want to shoot until you are stopped by the line. I don't use bottle type reels, but things are different with them as far a line used.
 

· Corripe Cervisiam
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You will be lucky to get 100 feet in a Muzzy reel. Pound test is what it is, 200 and 400 lb test. No go on normal fishing line. Any bow works if you want to draw it all day. As far as you want to shoot until you are stopped by the line. I don't use bottle type reels, but things are different with them as far a line used.
Agreed. You won't be shooting more than 30-40 feet and usually its 10 feet...so extra line is not necessary.

You can use any bow....though the dedicated bowfishing bows are pretty sweet with the advantage of a smoother draw without the hard cam rolling over. I used a mathews MQ1 for years as my primary fish bow- works fine. A cheap Recurve works good too.

One warning....its addicting and about as much fun as a guy can have with a bow...a couple pics to fire you up
Fishing Fish Recreational fishing Fish Recreation

Fish Fishing Bass Recreation Fish

Fish Fishing Fish Bass Recreation
 

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Hi!
I have no clue how bow fishing works exactly (of course, I understand the general premise of how it's supposed to work, but not the specifics). I have a possible use for the fishing equipment for a non-bowfishing use.

  • I saw online that you can have 200lbs test line. It doesn't say however how many yards of line you have in a reel. I understand this will vary from one reel to another. But, I was wondering how many yards I should expect as a mimimum?
  • Can one downgrade the lbs test rating of the line in order to get more line into your reel? What lb test rating are available for bow fishers?
  • Could you go to normal fishing line?
  • Can you bow fish with any bow? I have a 60lbs Bowtech Assassin.
  • Is there a maximum distance one can bow fish at for reasons other than seeing the fishes in the water.

Thanks!

Fish
I use both the AMS and Muzzy retriever type reels and they hold about 25-30 yards of 200 pound line. No need for more, most shots are far less.
Don't downgrade the line test or use mono fishing line; the line takes a beating and needs to be good Dacron based line. No necessarily for the pound test but handle the abrasiveness of bowfishing.
60 pound draw is going to wear you out; it isn't unusual to shoot 300+ times in a night, or day for that matter, of bowfishing. I like about 40 pounds of draw with a low, or no, letoff cam. A recurve is great for quick shots in a sporty area. I use a couple of older bows, a bear, a PSE Nova and a CSS for my bowfishing rigs; all set at 40 pounds or so.
Distance will be dictated by your ability, water clarity and how deep the fish are swimming. On gar popping the top probably a max of 15 yards or so for me personally.

What are your plans for using this gear if not bowfishing?

Catch and release? :)
 

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Hi!
I have no clue how bow fishing works exactly (of course, I understand the general premise of how it's supposed to work, but not the specifics). I have a possible use for the fishing equipment for a non-bowfishing use.

  • I saw online that you can have 200lbs test line. It doesn't say however how many yards of line you have in a reel. I understand this will vary from one reel to another. But, I was wondering how many yards I should expect as a mimimum? 25-35 yards is sufficient...you're not shooting very far at all.
  • Can one downgrade the lbs test rating of the line in order to get more line into your reel? yes, but you don't really gain anything by it...very short distance with Bowfishing What lb test rating are available for bow fishers? 88#, 200#, 300#, 400#...most are 200#. You really don't want thin light line for this sport...you'll often grab the line with your hands--thin is not good here...the heavy braided line is abrasion resistant too.
  • Could you go to normal fishing line? Technically yes, but you really want the heavy braided stuff
  • Can you bow fish with any bow? I have a 60lbs Bowtech Assassin.yes...but you really want something lower weight and easier/smoother to draw (very low let-off)- Regular compounds while the can be used are simply more difficult to use due to the "hump" in the draw...An old Oneida is good, 35-50# bows are good, recurve is excellent. Additionally, you're shooting very close to you (sub 10 yards) and in shallow water...arrows from heavy bows get easily stuck.
  • Is there a maximum distance one can bow fish at for reasons other than seeing the fishes in the water.
realistically you're not going to be shooting more than about 10 yards. While shots up to 30 may be available, it's doubtful you'd make contact at that distance. Typically your shot is only a few yards away from the dock/boat.
Thanks!

Fish
You can have a lot of fun bowfishing...by far more fun than regular hunting. One of the best aspects is that you don't need expensive gear...we used to make reels from old coffee cans- bows were old recurves.
 

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Hi!
I have no clue how bow fishing works exactly (of course, I understand the general premise of how it's supposed to work, but not the specifics). I have a possible use for the fishing equipment for a non-bowfishing use.

  • I saw online that you can have 200lbs test line. It doesn't say however how many yards of line you have in a reel. I understand this will vary from one reel to another. But, I was wondering how many yards I should expect as a mimimum?
    -The Muzzy XD Pro comes prespooled with 150ft of line, and the AMS Retriever Pro comes with I believe 25 yards of line, so 75 feet. You typically won't be shooting much farther than about 10-15 feet, but you'll want to have more line than that so the fish can run a little bit after you shoot them. .
  • Can one downgrade the lbs test rating of the line in order to get more line into your reel? What lb test rating are available for bow fishers?
    You can get different lb test lines, yes...but I think the gain in additional line on your reel would be fairly minimal and frankly, not necessary. FWIW, I've only had one fish take all the line out of my AMS reel, and no fish have taken out all the line from my Muzzy reel
  • Could you go to normal fishing line?
    As the others have said, it's not recommended. I've seen it done on spincast-style reels, but I wouldn't do it on my own.
  • Can you bow fish with any bow? I have a 60lbs Bowtech Assassin.
    Yes, any bow that's strong enough will work. I wouldn't go any lower than 30lbs, depending on what your fishing for. Even that may be too light for most fish. Your 60lb Assassin will be more than enough, and you might even want to back it down a little bit if you can. It's nice to have the power, but if you miss your arrow will be sunk deep into the muck/weeds/cattails/etc. It's not a ton of fun to try pull an arrow out if it's stuck tight!
  • Is there a maximum distance one can bow fish at for reasons other than seeing the fishes in the water.
    Bowfishing is sight-fishing, so theoretically as long as you can see the fish, you can shoot at it. That doesn't mean it's always a good idea to shoot, though :) . Most shots are going to be 15ft or less.

Thanks!

Fish
My answers are in bold, above. Bowfishing is awesome, you will have fun doing it. I personally think it's more fun than bowhunting, because you're shooting way more and pulling in more game.
 

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One of the best aspects is that you don't need expensive gear...we used to make reels from old coffee cans- bows were old recurves.
This is 100% accurate. The first bow I got started with was an old, fiberglass recurve with a spool. It didn't take me long to upgrade, but the initial investment to get started was basically the cost of a fishing license and an arrow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, I may not be able to pull this off then.

I had an idea where I was hoping to be able to spray moose cow urine on the fishing line and send a couple of arrows in 2-3 directions in a cutline ( I have a good view and know for a fact that no one is standing near where my arrows will land, for those concerned with safety), which would lead to my stand...After 2-3 days, I'd go and recouperate my arrows and start over...

I have a good 400-600 yards on each side of my stand and they left the terrain in such a bad shape, it's a pain to walk through. Sending arrows would of been a guick way of creating scent lines without adding my own.

Anyways, doesn`t seem like I could have 600 yards of fishing line inside a bow fishing reel, so...the plan isn't viable.

Oh well! I thought it was a good idea ;-)

Fish
 
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