What is the Best Bow Mounted Light for a Bowfishing Bow?
Whether you are new to the sport or a seasoned expert, the portability of a bowfishing light mounted to your bow is second to none. Let's take a deeper look at what to look for in buying the best bow mounted light for a bowfishing bow. A good one may even work for hunting in the off-season as well.
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Features of the Best Bow Mounted Bowfishing Light
There's a lot to consider when looking for a quality bow mounted bowfishing light. A quality light doesn't just mean quality construction either, it means it has to be thoughtfully and thoroughly designed for bowfishermen. Let's take a deeper look at what features make the best bow mounted bowfishing light.
Increasing Visibility in Clear and Muddy WaterWhether you are running bowfishing lights on your boat, powered by a generator or walking the river bank with a light mounted on your bow, the ability to penetrate water in a variety of water conditions is second to none.
A warm white color tone will penetrate muddy water better while a cool white color tone will penetrate clear water better.
When considering a bow-mounted light, you must consider this diverse range of water conditions you are going to experience and select a color tone which will perform best in each situation.
We’ve found the most universal color tone for any water condition is approximately 2000K warm white. This light will penetrate through muddy water well while also not causing too much of a contrast for clear water. Bowfishing lights that mount to your boat such as the Swamp Eye Light Bar and Swamp Eye Submersible Light, have the capability to adjust color tone for any water condition on the fly.
This same concept is used in the Outrigger Outdoors Bow Mounted Bowfishing Light, which comes standard with warm white and cool white interchangeable LEDs for increasing visibility in clear or muddy water.
Universal Mounting Mechanism
Bowfishing bows have a variety of reel styles: spinning reels such as Muzzy and Mega Mouth or bottle reels such as the AMS Retriever Pro. Spinning reels mount to the stabilizer whereas bottle reels mount on the side of the bow.
That said, the location of where you mount your light is critical to the flight path of your arrow and the additional accessories you run. The arrow is going to shoot straight and then drop over time. Thus, it’s important to mount the light lower than the arrow so the target and arrow are both illuminated during flight. The most optimal method of mounting the light in this case is to tie it to the stabilizer, where the spinning reel would mount.
When purchasing a bow-mounted bowfishing light, make sure you consider the mounting location of the light and be sure the light has an adapter to connect a spinning reel if it ties into your stabilizer hole.
Momentary Brightness for Light Sensitive Fish
A feature that is often overlooked by guys new to bowfishing is that carp, especially Big Head Carp, are light sensitive fish. If you continuously blast them with a concentrated beam of light, they’ll take off before you ever have the chance to sling an arrow.
The same goes for big buffalo. In Missouri, you can come up on thousands of "floating buffalo" at the water surface and the instance you turn your bowfishing boat lights, they will all drop and disappear.
In bowfishing tournaments, anglers utilize the Outrigger Outdoors Bow Mounted Bowfishing Light's BigHead Switch to jump up on the floating buffalo, quickly turn the light on to pull off a shot, and then release the button so the light turns back off. This is one of the most effective strategies bowfishing tournament winners have used in the past.
Adjustable Spot and Flood Beam
Most people looking for a bow mounted light are looking for a way to get into bowfishing without spending a big budget...or so we thought. We found that bowfishing guides will use bow mounted lights to point fish out to customers and tournament fishermen will use them to reach fish that are further out, outside of the reach of their boat mounted lights.
One individual told us he would wrap paper with reflective tin foil on the inside over his flashlight to form a scope to focus the light beam in one direction and shine further out. This brings us to an important feature: the light needs to have an adjustable beam that can broadcast a wide flood for fish up close or concentrate spot beam for fish further out or in deeper waters.
Compatible with All Bows
In a recent survey, we found that most people who enjoy bowfishing also enjoy bow hunting. Our last key feature is looking for a light that is universal to the archery outdoor sport. While warm white and cool white LEDs are good for bowfishing, red and green LEDs have been known to be leaders in the night hunting world. If you’re able to change LED colors depending on what your targeting, you’re guaranteed to get the most value out of one single light all season long.
Recap & Recommendation of Best Bow Mounted Light
As most of you may know, we are known for our innovation in the outdoor space and we’ve walked you through a few of the key design points we received from a variety of polls of the best in bowfishing. The Outrigger Outdoors Bow Mounted Bowfishing Light has tackled these features to make for a great, well-rounded light for bowfishermen. In the event you're a bow hunter in the off-season, there are hunting packages available for year-round use.
The Bow Mounted Bowfishing Light is capable of penetrating both muddy and clear water with its true warm white color from the source. There is no tint which degrades the brightness. Due to LED optimization, it is capable of pushing over 2,000 lumens in brightness from this small compact light.
The brightness isn't everything, though. It has a well designed lens for reaching out to long ranges, but keep reading and we'll touch on that.
Universal Bow Mounting Mechanism
When you mount your light, you don’t want to hinder the amount of other accessories you can add to it. Instead of hindering this, we’ve enhanced it.The Bow Mounted Bowfishing Light comes standard with a universal mounting bracket that ties into the stabilizer hole on a bow and has an adapter to mount to spinning reels. It even includes a picatinny rail for extra accessories. You can mount any spinning or bottle reel without effecting the performance of your bow.
Adjustable Brightness for Light Sensitive Fish
One of the most valuable features is the momentary BigHead Switch to prevent from spooking light sensitive fish such as carp. The BigHead Switch touch pad mounts to your bow handle, making it easy to control the bowfishing light while aiming.
This is an important feature when targeting light sensitive fish because you have to be ready to shoot as soon as you illuminate them. Some bowfishermen may opt for the dimmable switch that comes on the hunting package for helping reduce light output, but we've found the momentary BigHead Switch works very well for our needs.
Adjustable Spot and Flood Beam
The adjustable spot and flood beam is a critical feature in terms of usability. Whether you're a tournament fishermen or even a professional guide, quality optics that are adjustable are must-have. The quality of the lens is comparable to a quality glass in long range scope. The better it is, the further the light will shine.
The bow mounted bowfishing light has the ability to adjust focus from a 130 degree wide flood beam to a 400 yard long spot beam which will penetrate deep into muddy water and light up fish that are well outside the range of standard boat mounted bowfishing lights.
Added Feature: Universal to Other Applications (Bow Hunting)
As we previously mentioned, many bowfishermen enjoy bow hunting in the off-season. So to maximize what is already a great quality bow mounted light, there are added options for red, green, and infrared interchangeable LEDs.
These are red, green, and infrared from the source. No tint or filters, for maximum brightness. These lights have the same features including brightness adjustability to prevent from spooking animals and spot/flood beam adjustability for hogs and varmints that are close up or far out.