Best Bowfishing Arrow Rest: Make the Shot

Getting a high-quality bowfishing arrow rest is like getting an excellent reel. Sure, you could skip out, but having one makes it a lot more likely that you’ll hit that fish. Stability and ease of aim are no joke, especially if you’re bowfishing for survival. To keep your freezer stocked for emergencies, I strongly recommend picking up a top of the line arrow rest.

Bowfishing arrows tend to be on the heavy side. Resultantly, the ability to rest it before firing can save fatigue on your hands, over time, which leads to more bowfishing time and fewer chances that you’ll go home empty-handed or with less than you need. Moreover, it can be a challenge to stabilize without this small but vital bow accessory.

What Type of Arrow Rest is Best For Bowfishing

There are several general types of arrow rest, and you can use all of them for bow fishing. Each style has it’s pros and cons, and not every rest is right for every archer or bow. I’ll walk you through the differences and explain the way each one works.

Generally, I prefer containment and shoot through rests for bowfishing because they are simple to use. Although there’s some minor contact with the fletching, it’s not enough to be a concern, particularly when bow fishing, because you’re not aiming for something exceptionally far away. Minor interference is a bigger problem with long-range shots. However, shooting into water is a different skill and a shorter range.

Arrow Rest Styles

  • Containment- A containment rest encircles your arrow, making full contact or three-points of contact to hold it firmly in place. The style is easy to install and works well with any type of arrow. However, some shooters complain of fletching damage.
  • Pressure or Plunger- Also known as shoot around or finger shooter rests, these allow you to quickly and manually adjust the tension on your arrows. They work very well with finger-released bows. The downside is that the horizontal travel is limited, and older bows may not be able to make a center shot while using a pressure rest.
  • Shoot-Thru or Prong & Drop-Away- A shoot-thru rest has a pair of prongs for your arrow to rest between, thus the nickname. Usually, this style has springs that let them flex downward when you shoot to minimize interference. Additionally, the shoot-thru rest is straightforward and takes very little time to install. The downside to this type of rest is a lack of containment once the arrow is positioned. The Drop-Away style looks similar to this style, but rather than spring-mounted prongs, the prong setup drops downward as you release your arrow.
  • Specialty & 3D Rests- Generally, you want to skip over these styles as they are purpose-built for specific arrows and situations.

Tips for Setting Up Bowfishing Arrow Rests

The precise method for setting up bowfishing arrow rests will vary slightly by style. Generally, you will need to check the directions in the package to see the exact setup for your choice of rest. However, the overall process is usually as follows.

First, remove all the parts and directions from the packaging. Second, you will attach your rest to the bow’s riser, which often involves screwing the components into place firmly. Doing this cinches the part so it won’t move as you fire. Make sure to check whether you need additional tools before you pack for your bowfishing trip.

Fortunately, once your arrow rest is in place, all you need to do is adjust it. Set an arrow to your string, and place it within your rest. You want to make a visual inspection to see that the arrow is sitting straight and level.

An up or down angle is going to throw off your shot, which is a much bigger problem for bow fishers since sights aren’t as useful. Because water distorts the actual position of the fish, you cannot aim at what you see. Instead, you’re shooting approximately three inches lower for every foot of depth.

Alternately, some bow fishers prefer to adjust the angle to help arrows enter the water, either nock or tail end high. A slight variation can aid in making clean shots. To accomplish this, you raise or lower your rest very slightly.

Moving your riser closer or further out can help avoid fishtailing, no pun intended. Likewise, a shorter arrow and a lighter bow are often the best choices for bowfishing. The short-shaft gives you a stiffer arrow that will fly better over short distances.

Moreover, you don’t need the sort of draw weight that you would for hunting deer. Thus thirty to forty pounds is more than sufficient. You may even find that too much draw weight impedes your ability to catch those fish.

Top Five Best Bowfishing Arrow Rests

Stability and accuracy are essential to bowfishing, and an arrow rest will give you more of both. Anything that helps you make the shot increases your chances of having a bountiful fishing trip. However, there are so many different arrow rests; it can get confusing.

Wider and heavier tips make bowfishing arrows unique. You need a sturdy rest that can handle this particular style well. Thus I’ve put together a carefully curated list of rests that are better for bowfishing arrows.

1. Cajun Bowfishing Biscuit Arrow Rest

The well-known and often used Cajun Bowfishing Arrow Rest from Amazon is our top pick. This style is excellent for right or left-handed shooters, and it has become incredibly popular with beginners and pros alike. Moreover, it’s easy to install and use.

You will appreciate the accurate laser-engraved reference marks for aiming. The elevation and windage adjustment makes it easier to get a good shot regardless of the weather or the angle of fire. Better still, the aluminum encased biscuit is durable, rust-resistant, and lightweight.

Avoiding slide obstruction is vital to making your shot. Thus the ingenious v-notch at the top is outstanding. You can load and fire with ease using this model. Especially if you’re on a moving boat, this style is one of the best options for stable shooting.

The placement of the loading notch allows you to see the end of your arrow. Even when it’s fully drawn, you get a clear view of the end of your bowfishing tip so that you can gauge where you’re pointing. Moreover, the top-center opening is ideal for retainer screws on your arrows. Choose a Cajun Biscuit Arrow Rest by clicking here.

2. AMS M152 Tidal Wave Rest

An AMS M152 Tidal Wave Rest is a superb place to rest your arrows. Everything we loved about the original AMS Bowfishing Wave Rest, also on this list, has been upgraded and perfected in this newer model. This well-trusted brand is the only one to make the list twice for a good reason.

The internal spinning roller is one of the most unique features on an AMS arrow rest. The arrow control offered is genuinely outstanding, and you’ll find it’s much easier to control where your arrow is headed. Moreover, the roller also reduces wear on the shaft, leading to longer-lasting arrows over time.

You can choose between two load styles. Either you can load through from behind or snap your arrows in from the side. Better still, it doesn’t matter which hand you shoot with since this excellent arrow rest works for right or left-handed draws.

Known for its incredibly durable design, you can fire rapidly, or take your time. Either way, the M152 will keep up with every shot you make, and even the fastest fish are no problem for an AMS arrow rest. Find out more on Amazon by clicking right here.

3. Quick Draw Bowfishing Rest

The Quick Draw Bowfishing Rest from Amazon lives up to its name. If you’re looking for a rest that lets you fire fast and repeated shots from your bow, then this is a superb option. Ready for right or left-handed archers, you don’t need to worry about having multiple arrow rests for either hand.

Everything you need to mount your Quick Draw Rest comes included. Moreover, you can choose from a sleek silvery rest or go with the highly visible red finish depending on your preference. Plus, you’ll appreciate the quick slick tape.

The rubber gate design is incredibly durable and easy to use and appropriately sized at three sixteenth to a quarter of an inch diameter. The gate springs back into place smoothly once your arrow is inside the rest, so you don’t need to worry about any extra steps to secure your shaft.

With a durable and rust-resistant 6061 aircraft aluminum body, this rest will last. Additionally, it’s lightweight so that it won’t weigh you down. No one needs added mass when you’re going for speed or endurance. See the excellent reviews on Amazon when you click here.

4. AMS Bowfishing Wave Rest

The Original AMS Bowfishing Wave Rest is the one that started it all. Although we ranked the newly upgraded Tidal Wave above it on this list, this model is still fantastic. Like the rest of our list, this is a universal, left or right-handed arrow rest. Moreover, it’s simple to install this cinch-on and tighten-down style in moments.

Adjusting height and distance are always simple. With the turn of a screw, you can adapt the settings to your preference or firing conditions. Additionally, you can use this rest for standard bowhunting as well as bowfishing without any need to change your arrow rest, which is a nice bonus.

You’ll love how easily this style allows your reel to pass through. Unlike some types that tend to catch your line, AMS doesn’t have any complicated parts for it to catch on, just a simple, highly-effective wheel.

With fast shipping times and suitable packaging, you’ll have your AMS Wave Rest in no time. You’ll find arrows move smoothly right off the rest. The Chelcon wheel rolls with the arrow, providing stability and support. Best of all, the style helps prevent excessive wear on your arrows so you can keep on fishing.

AMS is always made in the USA. When you choose this arrow rest, you are supporting the local economy and jobs for Americans. Get the tried and true original AMS Wave Rest by clicking here.

5. TRUGLO Storm Capture Rest

TRUGLO Storm Capture Rests are known for their capture style arrow rest. The rugged, all-weather design is a smart option for bowfishing in varied conditions. A little rain won’t stop you from getting dinner or stocking that survival freezer with a high-quality TRUGLO rest.

The fast and incredibly straightforward installation means you don’t need to waste time getting set up. Moreover, the adjustable brushes can hold an arrow at any angle, for better fishing anywhere. Plus, there are five color inserts to choose from for a more customized appeal.

With reduced arrow contact, you can rest your shaft securely, yet avoid interfering with the accuracy and speed of your shots. Because of the drop-in style, not only will the Storm Capture have no trouble with your larger bowfishing heads, but the style keeps your arrows in place even if you are in motion or getting jostled around. Whether you are dock or boat fishing, this rest can keep your arrows where you need them.

The horizontal and vertical adjustments are both simple to perform and quick. Best of all, the dual-coil launcher is removable, and you can replace it easily. Have Amazon deliver a TRUGLO Storm Capture Arrow Rest to your doorstep by clicking right here.

Final Thoughts

When you bowfish for food, an excellent arrow rest for your bow can be a significant asset. By stabilizing those heavy arrows, your arms will fatigue more slowly, leading to increased fishing times. Hopefully, that will also mean you have more opportunities to land those fish and stock up your survival pantry.

When it comes to essential upgrades, your bowfishing rig needs lights, a great reel, and an arrow rest. The weighted tips of those arrows may seem like nothing at first, but even a small increase can make a massive difference over time. Don’t waste energy being a minimalist. Your arrow rest can mean the difference between success and failure.

Before you ever draw that bow, take the time to adjust your arrow rest properly. Choosing and installing an outstanding arrow rest from the selections above will improve your stability and accuracy, so treat it like any essential gear and find the one that suits your bow and firing style the best.

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