If you love bowfishing but are not right-handed like 90% of the global population, then you will likely find it difficult to get on with a regular bowfishing bow. However, much like scissors, guitars and even playing cards, there are left-handed bowfishing bows that can make your life so much more straightforward.
But it can be somewhat confusing to know what is essential in a bowfishing bow – are they the same as bow hunting bows? What’s the difference? And how can you tell whether an individual product is any good?
We will be answering all of these questions in this article, giving you the confidence to source and purchase a left-handed bowfishing bow that will serve you well, and you will be comfortable using.
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What Is Bowfishing?
Bowfishing is a sport in which you use a bow to target fish and underwater animals. In the main, most people would assume that bowfishing is precisely the same as bowhunting, and while there are many similarities, there are some apparent differences between the two.
Bowhunting is often done at long range, whereas bowfishing is usually done with relatively close targets and for this reason is ideal for those just starting with bow sports.
Furthermore, the arrows that are used in bowhunting are different since when they move through the water, physics will dictate that they behave differently; for this reason, bowfishing arrows do not have fletching.
Why Do You Need A Left-Handed Bowfishing Bow?
Since there are so many more right-handed people in the world, most things are designed for easy use when using a dominant right hand; however, for the small percentage of people whose left hand works better, there is a need for some items to be adapted.
The bowfishing bow is no exception, and while they may be more challenging to come across than a regular bowfishing bow, there are plenty of these products out there.
Using a left-handed bow will feel far more comfortable and make the entire experience much more enjoyable, so it is worth taking the time to search out one of these bows.
Fortunately, most bow manufacturers do make left-handed bows, but they may not be as well marketed as the right-handed versions, but if you look hard enough, you are sure to find one that you like.
What’s The Difference Between Left- And Right-Handed Bowfishing Bows?
A bow is just a bow, right? Some people may have this assumption, but if you have ever attempted bowfishing with a bow that was made for your non-dominant hand, you will know the pain of trying to shoot with it.
The main difference between a bowfishing bow that is designed for right-handed people and one made for those who use their left hand is the placement of the cut out for the arrow rest.
In bows that have been designed with lefties in mind, this cut out will be on the right, and for right-hand bows, it will be on the left.
To check to see which type of bow it is, you should hold the bow as if you were going to shoot and look at which side the arrow rest cut out appears.
However, some of the most experienced archers in the world will tell you that your dominant hand, whilst essential, is not as crucial as your dominant eye; but this is something that very few people are aware of.
In the same way that you prefer a hand, everyone has a preference over which eye functions better and in a sport like archery, this is imperative as sight is critical.
Therefore, it is also essential to look at the peep sight for your bow; in the main, most sights are easily adjustable regardless of your dominant eye. However, some are designed with either left or right eye dominance.
It is crucial to keep in mind that to set a right eye sight for those with a preference for their left eye, the sight will need to be installed upside down. In the main, this won’t affect your accuracy but may look a little strange, to begin with since the light and level will be back to front.
What To Look For In A Bowfishing Bow For Left-Handed People
Now that we are familiar with why we might need a left-handed bowfishing bow and how they are different from the mass-produced right-handed bow, we can begin thinking about the specific aspects of the bow. This will help us to determine the best piece of equipment for our needs.
Length Of The Bow
When you are choosing your bow, you will need to consider your height as well as the length of your arms, choosing something that is not the correct size may have an impact on your ability to use the bow effectively.
In the main, a bowfishing bow will be between 30 inches and 50 inches in length, and when you hold it, you should be able to hold it perfectly, not only for accurate shooting but also for your comfort.
For those just starting, it is widely accepted that a bow length, axle to axle, should be around 32 inches but you will also need to consider the type of fish that you will be shooting.
The brace height of the bow used for bowfishing may be different from that of one used for bowhunting and target archery, so it is vital to keep this in mind. Your brace height will alter the speed of the arrow with more extended brace heights slowing the arrow down and shorter ones having the opposite effect.
Is It Adjustable?
Depending on the speed and power that you want to achieve from each shot, you may need to adjust the bowfishing bow. This is one of the most important things to look out for when buying this type of equipment as having a bow that is adjustable will give you far more diversity in how you can use it.
Where a fully grown adult male might have a peak draw weight of up to 75lbs, a child would have something three times lighter, and this is usually determined not only by the size of the user but also the size of the fish that they will be aiming for.
If you try to use a bow that has a draw weight which is not compatible with you, you will find the bow far more challenging to use. The bigger the peak draw weight, the larger fish you will be able to catch.
Is It Durable?
If you are going to be using your bow frequently, you will need to be incredibly confident that it is well-made and will serve you for a long time. The best way to determine how durable your left-handed bowfishing bow will be is by looking at the materials from which it is made.
Naturally, the most hard-wearing material is metal, but there are wooden or plastic bows available too that can be very sturdy.
Furthermore, you should check the protective coating of the bow to ensure that it will be well protected, especially for sea-fishing, where the salty air could cause premature corrosion.
A bow may look like a relatively lightweight piece of equipment, but there are some that are very heavy and cumbersome to handle. It is vital that you are able to hold the bow steadily and if it is too heavy, this may not be possible.
Conversely, if you purchase a bow that is too light, you will find that you are not able to get the power you need for accurate or effective fishing. For this reason, you should find a left-handed bowfishing bow that meets your needs whilst having a balanced weight.
If you are totally new to bowfishing, you will likely need to invest in more than just a left-handed bow and the good news is that there are several bowfishing kits out there that provide you with everything you need to get started.
These kits include your bow as well as arrows, reels and rests as well as other additional components for a complete bowfishing experience.
Most archery equipment and any other type of equipment is made with right-handed people in mind, but ten per cent of the human population is made up of people whose left hand is their dominant one. This means that there is a significant call for left-handed items such as the bowfishing bow.
The main difference between these and those that are made for right-handed people is the location of the cut out for the arrow rest, and you can also get sights that are made specifically for those with left eye dominance.
There are fewer left-handed bowfishing bows on the market. Still, when shopping for one, you should take specific things into consideration to make sure that you are getting the right piece of equipment for your needs and that your bowfishing will always be accurate and comfortable.