After you have bought the bow, reel, line, and arrow for your bowfishing outings, there’s one thing you still need—the arrow tip. Whether you are new to the sport or need to buy replacement tips, you want to buy the best.
So, which tips are the best? That’s a great question.
The best arrow tips for bowfishing are made by AMS, Cajun Archery, and Muzzy. However, a beginner bowfisher might want to buy less expensive arrow tips. Features to look for include the type of point, whether you want quick release barbs, and the entry hole and holding area sizes.
If you are looking for arrow tips for bowfishing, you have come to the right place. We will highlight the big players and provide you with an extensive list of arrow tips. Our guide will also answer some questions you might have about bowfishing and the various arrow tips that are out there.
What to Look for in a Bowfishing Arrow Tip
Your bowfishing goals determine what to look for in an arrow point.
- A basic point will be fine if you plan to shoot in shallow water. Unless you plan to catch a lot of fish, unscrewing the barbs after you get a fish won’t seem like a big deal.
- However, you might want to spend a little more on a tip with a spring release, such as the Tru-Glo.
- A longer quick-release bowfishing point might be needed if you will be aiming for large fish, such as paddlefish and carp.
- You should also buy replacement tips if you plan on bowfishing in rocky river beds or lake beds.
20 Bowfishing Arrow Tips
Finding bowfishing arrow tips is not easy. First, although bowfishing is gaining in popularity, it is nowhere near as popular as archery or fishing as stand-alone sports.
Also, online searches can quickly lead you astray both on Google and popular shopping sites such as Amazon. Searches are just as likely to lead you to archery arrows, hunting tips, or bowfishing arrows.
So, we did the searching for you. What follows is a complete list of arrow tips designed for bowfishing. These include major brands such as AMS, Cajun Archery, and Muzzy, as well as lesser-known arrow tips. You might decide to stick with the big names or decide to start with less expensive tips.
Let’s get started…
One of the top brands in the bowfishing world is AMS Bowfishing. Unlike other manufacturers that sell a variety of hunting products, AMS focuses on bowfishing. AMS values innovation and high-quality products are essential to their business model.
These 400 series stainless-steel quick turn arrowheads have heat-treated cyclone tips and barbs for added strength. The two inches of holding power are great for “softer” fish.
Because these are quick turn arrowheads, they are easy to remove from a fish. Two or three counter-clock turns usually does the trick. The arrowhead is crimped to the ferrule, so you are less likely to lose it while you fish.
Another excellent feature of AMS Bowfishing arrow tips is an O-ring between the tip and the rest of the arrowhead. The O-ring helps stabilize the tip, improving your accuracy.
The AMS Ankor FX point uses three collapsed barbs to provide a small entry hole—3/4 inch. The barbs have a 2.5” holding area, ensuring a firmer grip. The release is simple—two turns will release the barb.
As with other Ankor products, the cyclone tip can be replaced. This is an excellent, expensive tip (around $30) that is more suitable for someone who plans to make bowfishing a serious hobby.
All-steel construction guarantees extreme durability.
If you want an AMS point at a lower price point, then the Chaos FX is for you. The Chaos FX points have the same vibration dampening Cyclone tips. The barbs are 1/8” longer than the Ankor, but the Chaos only has two.
The holding area of 1” with a 7/8” pivot is also smaller than the Ankor. The entry hole is also larger—1 3/8”.
The Chaos FX is excellent for all types of fishing and can handle all types of shooters. Releasing the fish requires loosening the tip. Still, for under $20, you can have an AMS Arrow point.
If you are going after the big game like alligators and sharks, then you’ll want the AMS Breakaway points. A special collar lets you pull the shaft free from the point when you hit the target, giving you some extra slack on the line. This extra slack lets you pull the arrow out, reducing the likelihood of damage as your catch thrashes and rolls.
AMS refined replacement tips, including making sure they can handle rock hits. These are some of the sharpest tips around and have the power to penetrate even hard-scaled fish.
They fit all standard ¼”-28 threaded points. The stainless-steel tips are heat treated for additional durability, and the unique design helps with arrow penetration.
If you are looking for target practice tips, these inexpensive (around $2 apiece) are worth a look. These stainless steel, 100-grain broadhead tips are 4.5 cm long. These are not suitable for anything except light fishing.
Cajun Archery was started in 1963 as a manufacturer of arrow shafts. The purchase of the original Sting-A-Ree in 1976 propelled Cajun Archery into a leader in the bowfishing world. In 2012 Bear Archery purchased Cajun Archery.
The Sting-A-Ree is the original reversible point, patented back in 1963, so it deserves some props just for that. At 3” in length, you will need a full draw for successful penetration. If you are used to a lightweight arrow tip, you will need to adjust your shot.
On the plus side, the entrance and exit points are small, releasing the fish involves a simple twisting of the shaft instead of loosening the tip, and they are less expensive than the AMS tips.
The Piranha is lighter and shorter than the Sting-A-Ree, better suited for beginners than serious bow fishers. The barbs are reversible, so you can quickly remove the fish. It’s a reliable tip for around $10.
These are possibly the cheapest bowfishing tips you’ll find. The black 150-grain tips are approximately 1 ¾” long and have a cut diameter of just under 1 inch. You would need to screw the tip from the bow to remove the fish.
At under $20 for 12, they are affordable and would be good for beginners who will be practicing in rocky riverbeds.
These lightweight 150-grain stainless steel arrowheads have spring-loaded barbs to hold the fish as you pull it in firmly. Very affordable, at around $2 apiece, they can handle smaller fish, but otherwise, we would pass on these.
The stainless-steel Innerloc 3-Barb has a 5/16” diameter closed and 2 ¾” open. The solidly built tip is on the heavy side, so you will need to make some adjustments when shooting. If you have been having problems reeling heavier and softer fish, the Sullivan Innerloc is worth a look.
This tip fits a 5/16″ shaft, so make sure that is what you use. Bowfishers who use these find them sturdy and reliable. Usually, around $15, they are more affordable than the AMS. The only downside is that you have to screw off the tip to release your catch.
These are also inexpensive bowfishing arrowheads. At 18.8 grams, these 290-grain broadheads are heavier than the E5e10 and Ellen Archery. However, they are not sturdy and will break easily.
Use these arrowheads for smaller fish—nothing over 2 feet and on the light side of 40 pounds. These black stainless-steel tips are lightweight 150 grain and have two blades. They look similar to the Balance World tips but are 50 grain heavier. A set of 6 is under $15.
The Loxley replacement tips are manufactured with black oxide steel, are 21.5 mm long, and will fit a ¼-28 thread. Before you order, be sure to check your arrow’s thread and make sure it isn’t a ¼-20.
Loxley also sells other gear on their website. If you are looking for a charter that specializes in bowfishing, you can utilize their bowfishing charter locator. Enter your location and see what is close by.
Muzzy Bowfishing products are manufactured by FeraDyne Outdoors, one of the leading brands of archery products. They have been selling bowfishing products for 40 years. The company provides a complete range of bowfishing products, from bows, reels, and arrow tips.
The annual Muzzy classic is now in its 21st year. Last year over 90 boats competed for $27,000 in prize money. For more details, check out the FeraDyne Muzzy Classic page.
This stainless-steel Muzzy provides good penetration on soft-fleshed fish. The sharp tip is replaceable if it becomes dull. The Muzzy Quick Release uses the 2-turn tip that folds the barbs forward so your catch can be easily removed.
Available for around $10, the Muzzy is less expensive than the Innerloc but of similar quality.
The Muzzy 1010 Quick Release has a harder tip for better penetration through tough fish like gar. Otherwise, it is remarkably similar to the Carp point, with the same quick-release barbs.
Many people swear by Muzzy bowfishing arrow tips as being sturdy and reliable.
Personally, I have been using a variety of Muzzy tips for over 20 years.
The Spring-Fisher Bowfishing arrowhead from Tru-Glo is made with 320-grain hardened stainless steel. The 5-sided tip is constructed out of stainless steel. If you buy the head and arrow together, make sure you secure the arrowheads since they come unsecured.
The action on the Spring Fisher lets you take off the fish is to pull down, twist up, and your fish is off. You will pay around $20 for one arrowhead. For under $50, you can buy the arrowhead, the speed-shot arrow, and 2 replacement tips.
These tips are manufactured with hardened, rust-resistant steel to ensure they stay sharp. The tips are elongated for improved penetration. The TRUGLO tips weigh 0.35 ounces and fit on the Tru-Glo bowfishing arrowheads, as well as others, like the AMS.
At less than $5 a tip, they are less expensive than other models, such as the AMS Ripz Cutting Tips.
These 260-grain broadhead arrowheads with iron tips weigh about 17 grams, are 6.65 cm long, with an 8 mm diameter with rotating barbs.
These are inexpensive arrowheads that would be ideal for practice, a beginner, or if you know that you will need to replace them frequently. The 12-piece kit includes a case for storing them. Expect to pay around $25, which is just a little over $2 an arrowhead.
Replacing a Tip
To replace a tip, you will want a hammer, some fast-drying glue such as super glue, and a strong pair of pliers. Have a knife or blade handy to scrape off the old glue.
- Use the pliers to work the old point off.
- Clean the shaft by scraping the old glue off.
- Take your new point and make sure it will fit over the shaft.
- Use strong glue, like superglue, and spread it across the tip. Work quickly to avoid it drying out.
- Put a dab of superglue inside the point as well.
- Work the point onto the arrow shaft.
- For extra security, put a pin through the shaft. Depending on the age of your shaft, you may need to drill a small hole.
Pro Tip: A crimped tip, such as a Muzzy, will require heat, such as a heat gun or even a torch, to loosen the metal enough for you to pull the tip off.
Why You Should Not Use Archery Arrows for Bowfishing
If you are new to bowfishing, you might think that archery and bowfishing arrows can be used interchangeably.
Bowfishing arrows have specific features that let you retrieve fish from the water, including the specialized arrow tips, the ability to tie them to the fishing line, and the lack of fletching, or feathers.
Bowfishing arrows are also heavier because they need to travel through water. Also, if you tie the line to the back of the arrow, you are likely to get snap back and have the arrow fly back to you when you release the string. The line on bowfishing arrows is tied to the side to prevent this.
For the contrarian reading this, if you just have to use an old archery arrow, check out the YouTube video on Making a Homemade Bowfishing Arrow.
Hint: you will need a large safety pin.
Some Additional Equipment to Buy
Should you be buying bowfishing equipment as a gift, here are a few items that you might also want to consider:
- Polarized Sunglasses. The sun’s glare on the water can make it difficult to see clearly, but polarized lenses can reduce the glare.
- Rubber hip waders. A pair of waders would be a nice gift for someone who plans to fish from shore.
- Light. For those who like to fish at night, a strong light is essential, both to see and to attract the fish.
Bowfishing is a fascinating sport. Humans have been spearing fish for thousands of years. Bowfishing is similar to spearing, except you get to reel your fish in. Also, bowfishing combines two different sports—archery and fishing—in a unique way.
To get started, you won’t need a lot of equipment—a bow, reel, and arrow are the basics. If you already engage in archery, you will not need to buy a new bow. But you will need arrows made for bowfishing.
You will also need the specialized bowfishing arrow tips. If you are just starting out, you might want to consider some of the less expensive tips for practice. As you become more experienced, you will want to graduate to one of the more expensive brands.