Bowfishing arrows weigh 1,000-1,800 grains on average, compared to 375-1,000 grains for a traditional hunting arrow. Fish move around a lot, which means so do bowfishers. Using a bowfishing rest adds stability that helps you make an accurate shot. This guide covers what to look for in a bowfishing arrow rest and some of our favorite products.
If you want to jump straight to shopping for the best bowfishing arrow rest, these are our recommendations for the top three models of 2022. Keep reading for more information on how to select the best model for your budget and shooting style.
3 Best Bowfishing Arrow Rests of 2022: Outdoor Empire Reviews
- Best Overall: Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Bowfishing Rest
- Best Budget Pick: Muzzy Fish Hook Bowfishing Arrow Rest
- Best Value for the Money: AMS Bowfishing Tidal Wave Arrow Rest
|Category||Best Overall||Best Budget Pick||Best Value for the Money|
|Product|| || ||
|Weight||4.8 oz||0.8 oz||2.4 oz|
|What We Like||- Impossible for the arrow to fall|
- No mechanical parts to fail
|- Fits all standard rest mounts|
- Loads quickly
- Easy to fine-tune
|- Reliably keeps the arrow in place
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
1. Best Overall: Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Bowfishing Rest
The latest model of these popular arrow rests for bowfishing features the accuracy and dependability archers have come to expect from the brand in a light, compact, aluminum-encased biscuit that the manufacturer claims are three-times stronger than older models and is specifically designed for bowfishing.
The accuracy and reliability of this model make it a product you can count on to perform well every time you go fishing. The Whisker Biscuit does an excellent job of keeping your arrow in place, freeing you up to search for fish without having to continuously hold on to your arrow.
The Whisker Biscuit is constructed from high-quality materials that should provide you with multiple years of use. Windage and elevation adjustments are easy to make, requiring only an allen wrench, making this a good choice for beginners.
- Aluminum-encased biscuit
- Windage adjustment
- Laser engraved reference marks
- Customized rubber guide boots for silent loading
- Impossible for the arrow to fall
- Dependable and accurate
- Easy to use
- No mechanical parts to fail
- Highly regarded in the industry
- Easy to set up and install
- Can be used by right or left-handed shooters
- Can damage fletchings
- May slow arrows
- Poor installation or shooting technique may negate benefits
2. Best Budget Pick: Muzzy Fish Hook Bowfishing Arrow Rest
This inexpensive bowfishing arrow rest provides a good fit for your arrows, keeping the line placed directly beneath the arrow and ensuring a problem-free pull. Its three-sided arrow capture makes sure your arrow remains stable through your stalk and draws for fast and straight-shooting. The single hex bolt threads through the stabilizer hole, making this best bowfishing arrow rest easy to mount and adjust.
- Adjustable windage
- 3-Sided arrow capture
- Single hex bolt
- Quick-Loading design
- Fits all standard rest mounts
- Easy to use
- No moving parts to fail
- Provides excellent side-to-side and front-to-back stability
- Loads quickly
- Easy to fine-tune
- Can be used left or right-handed
- Takes longer to line your arrow up than other top models
- Open design makes it more likely arrows may fall off
- Plastic materials are not as durable as metal
Muzzy Fish Hook Bowfishing Arrow Rest is also available at:
3. Best Value for the Money: AMS Bowfishing Tidal Wave Arrow Rest
The Tidal Wave is the latest version of AMS’s popular Wave model. Its closed-off capture holds your arrow tightly in place even when you are moving a lot or shooting into choppy water.
Arrows can be quickly and easily loaded by either snapping them into the top or through the side. The internal roller enhances your control and helps you achieve a quick, smooth, consistent shot. The product is easy to install and limits arrow wear.
- Fully enclosed capture
- Snap-in, Snap-out design
- Precision cut internal roller system
- Windage markers
- Reliably keeps the arrow in place
- Easy to load
- Can be used right or left-handed
- Requires occasional tightening
- Plastic construction
AMS Bowfishing Tidal Wave Arrow Rest is also available at:
How to Choose a Bowfishing Arrow Rest
The main job of a bowfishing arrow rest is to keep your arrow still while you line up your shot. Several factors affect how well arrow rests for bowfishing perform this task.
Because bowfishing involves heavier arrows and frequent shots, the best bowfishing arrow rest must be made from durable materials. In addition to the wear-and-tear from the actual shooting, bowfishers often maneuver through rough terrain and challenging weather conditions. A product that won’t smash into pieces if you wipe out is a plus.
Our recommended arrow rests for bowfishing range from just under $15 to right around $55. You can get a high-quality model for not a lot of money. However, we recommend you try out different types to determine the one that works the best for you, rather than going with the cheapest one you can find.
Lower quality models may leave you with a broken product that puts you out of commission for the remainder of your fishing trip.
Ease of Use
The most important feature of a bowfishing arrow rest is that it should not change the flight path of your arrow. To achieve this, you must perfectly align your arrow rest, nock, and string throughout your shot. You need to adjust your rest to achieve this level of alignment. Look for a model that is easily adjustable.
Different shooters have different shooting styles. The best bowfishing arrow rest for someone else may not work at all for you. Try a few models out in the store before you make a purchase.
Recommended Types of Bowfishing Rests
Arrow rests for bowfishing are designed specifically for bowfishing. They feature an open design that makes it less likely that your line will get tangled in your rest when you shoot. This is an important safety feature because if your line tangles while you are shooting, your arrow could snap back and injure you or someone else or damage your bow.
There are several types of bowfishing rests, but we only recommend three of them.
Containment Style Rests
Bowfishing is a fast sport that involves a lot of movement and quick shooting. You do not have time to perfectly place your arrow on the rest. This is why we prefer containment style rests. These models completely surround your arrow, making either full or three-point contact to keep the arrow in place.
Using a containment rest helps ensure you always have an arrow ready when it is time to shoot your shot. They also make it possible for you to maneuver through rough terrain without having to keep your fingers on your arrow. The Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Bowfishing Rest that is our top recommendation is a containment style rest.
Roller Style Rests
The main draw of the roller style bowfishing arrow rest is that it increases arrow speed by reducing the amount of friction between the arrow and the rest. Some roller style rests include a containment system that helps prevent the arrow from slipping off, making these products a good option for bowfishers who want to increase the speed of their arrows.
Our best value for the money pick, the AMS M152 Tidal Wave Rest, is a roller style rest with a containment system.
Shelf Style Rests
Most bows come with a built-in shelf, making this an inexpensive option. However, because these arrow rests for bowfishing do not have a containment system, it is more challenging to keep your arrow in place when using them. Placing a small piece of leather or a wear pad on the shelf may help.
This rest style probably won’t work if you use a lever or compound bow because the deep-cut sights on these bows make it hard to keep your arrow in alignment when using a shelf style rest. Our top budget pick, the Muzzy Fish Hook Bowfishing Arrow Rest, is an example of the shelf-style rest.
Other Types of Bowfishing Arrow Rests
There are two other types of bowfishing arrow rests that we do not recommend for various reasons. However, just because we don’t prefer these rests doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them at all.
Plunger-style rests reduce the side-to-side movement that may occur when the arrow travels through the rest. Finger shooters often prefer this style because when the string rolls off the fingers during release, the motion causes the string to lose alignment with the nock and the rest, creating a left to right movement of the arrow.
This type of rest may not work well for bowfishing because the plunger-style rest does not hold the arrow securely. Because most bowfishing shots are short-range shots, you probably will not see enough improvement in accuracy to justify the downside of your arrow potentially slipping off the rest.
Drop Away Rests
Drop away rests are popular with bow hunters but do not usually work well for bowfishing. They can be challenging to set up for heavier and slower bowfishing arrows and may not be durable enough to stand up to the number of shots bowfishing requires.
Additionally, they have the most moving parts of any of the rest types, which means more potential points of failure.
These recommendations are a great place to start. However, as you gain more experience with the sport, you will develop your likes, dislikes, and style. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a different bowfishing arrow rest to find out what works the best for you.
Recommended: Best Bowfishing Bows