Can I Turn A Hunting Recurve Into A Bowfishing Bow

Growing up as an avid outdoorsman, I have always been drawn to the thrill of both hunting and fishing. So when I discovered the world of bowfishing, it sparked my curiosity. The idea of combining my love for archery with my passion for fishing seemed like a match made in heaven. As I dug deeper into the subject, I wondered if it was possible to turn my trusty hunting recurve bow into a bowfishing bow. In this article, I will share my experience and explore whether this is a feasible option.

Understanding the Differences

Before delving into the specifics of converting a hunting recurve into a bowfishing bow, it is crucial to understand the key differences between the two.

A hunting recurve bow is designed for accuracy, power, and precision. It typically features a heavier draw weight, longer length, and a more durable construction. On the other hand, a bowfishing bow is specifically designed for shooting fish and is equipped with specialized accessories to enhance accuracy in water conditions.

Draw Weight

One of the primary differences between a hunting recurve and a bowfishing bow is the draw weight. Hunting recurve bows typically have a higher draw weight to ensure a lethal shot on game animals. Conversely, bowfishing bows generally have a lower draw weight to allow for faster shots and increased maneuverability in the water.

Arrow Rest

Another critical difference is the arrow rest. Hunting recurve bows typically feature a rest designed for shooting arrows into the air, while bowfishing bows have a specialized arrow rest that allows shooting arrows parallel to the water’s surface.

Reel and Line

In bowfishing, the reel and line play a vital role in retrieving the arrow and the fish. Bowfishing bows are equipped with a specialized reel system that allows for quick and easy retrieval. Hunting recurve bows do not have this feature, as the focus is on shooting game animals rather than fishing.

Can You Convert a Hunting Recurve into a Bowfishing Bow?

Now that we understand the key differences between the two types of bows, let’s explore the possibility of converting a hunting recurve into a bowfishing bow. While it is technically possible to make modifications to adapt a hunting recurve for bowfishing, it is not recommended for several reasons.

Firstly, the higher draw weight of a hunting recurve bow could make it challenging to shoot accurately in the water. Bowfishing requires quick shots and maneuverability, which may be compromised with a heavier bow.

Additionally, the arrow rest on a hunting recurve bow is not designed for shooting arrows parallel to the water’s surface. This can lead to arrow interference with the water, affecting accuracy and potentially causing damage to the bow.

Furthermore, the absence of a specialized reel system on a hunting recurve bow would make it difficult to retrieve the arrow and the fish efficiently. The lack of this feature could result in lost arrows and missed opportunities during bowfishing expeditions.


In conclusion, while it is technically possible to convert a hunting recurve into a bowfishing bow, it is not recommended due to the differences in design and functionality. Bowfishing requires specialized equipment to ensure accuracy, maneuverability, and efficient retrieval. Investing in a purpose-built bowfishing bow will provide a more enjoyable and successful experience on the water. So, if you’re considering delving into the exciting world of bowfishing, I highly recommend investing in a bow specifically designed for this purpose.