A bowfishing arrow is quite different than a bowhunting or target shooting arrow. Bowhunting and target shooting arrows have fletchings on the nock end, while bowfishing arrows are unfletched. While most bowhunting arrows are hollow and made of carbon or aluminum (or in some cases both,) most bowfishing arrows are solid and generally made of fiberglass. There are some newer composite bowfishing arrows on the market as well, but they’re not used as widely as the solid-shaft arrows.
Obviously, a solid fiberglass arrow is going to weigh far more than a hollow carbon or aluminum arrow. In fact, while most hunting arrows come in at a total finished weight of 300-600 grains, the shaft of a solid bowfishing arrow might weigh over a thousand grains alone. Add in a bowfishing point, nock, and safety slide and the finished weight of a bowfishing arrow can easily reach 1200 grains or more.
A heavy fiberglass bowfishing arrow travels much slower than a lightweight bowhunting arrow, but the weight of a bowfishing arrow helps it slip through the water and penetrate the tough scales of a rough fish with relative ease. Most bowfishermen use a5/16″ arrow shaft, which is usually 32″ long. However, the total length of a finished bowfishing arrow (including nock and bowfishing point) often comes in around 34”.
If you’re looking for a basic, all-purpose arrow, something like the AMS Chaos Fiberglass arrow (Amazon.com, $15.99) may be a good starting point. If you’re looking for a little higher-end arrow, the Cajun Bowfishing Yellow Jacket may be a good option. Slightly more expensive, but also a very durable, long-lasting arrow. I’ve used both of these arrows for several seasons with great success and minimal required maintenance.