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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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August 02, 2017

BOWFISHING ON A BUDGET: For Beginners & Beyond ~ Part II of IV: Bowfishing Reels & Other Essentials

by Bob Banfelder

We'll continue from yesterday by closely examining a pair of Muzzy bowfishing reels specifically designed for the Muzzy Addict recurve 40-pound draw-weight takedown bow. They are the type of reel of which I'm sure you are familiar; that is, a spin-cast style fishing reel as opposed to the bottle-type container retriever reels found on other bowfishing setups.

The Muzzy model #1077-XD [Extreme Duty] Bowfishing Reel is thumb-button operated and requires a Muzzy Anchor Bow Reel Seat Mount. The Muzzy model #1063 is simply a combination #1077-XD Bowfishing Reel that comes packaged with a Muzzy Anchor Bow Reel Seat Mount. So don't be befuddled thinking that the #1063 is a different model than the #1077-XD; it is not. The second reel we'll be examining closely is the Muzzy model #1069 XD Pro.

The Muzzy model #1069 XD Pro is new for 2017 and features an exclusive stainless steel mounting bracket affixed to the reel that screws into a bow's standard stabilizer insert and eliminates employing an anchor bow reel-seat mount. The #1069-XD Pro comes with the mounting hardware for bracket-to-bow assembly, which is packaged up and underneath the easy-to-miss small cutout located at the bottom of the protective Styrofoam block: 5/16 x 25 machine screw, star-toothed lock washer, and common washer—all stainless steel, too. In lieu of the rear button on the #1077-XD, the #1069 XD Pro has a lever at the rear of the reel. Importantly, this modification prevents the angler from inadvertently bumping the button and activating the free-spool or reel-in mode. Also, the integrated model #1069-XD Pro model reduces the overall weight of the reel when compared to the #1077-XD. Additionally, the new Muzzy #1069-XD Pro has been modified to form a more streamlined reel hood for smoother line flow. The reels come pre-spooled with 150 feet of 150-pound test Muzzy Braided Spectra Tournament Bowfishing Line, or in some cases, Muzzy Brownell Load Fast Flight Line. The Braided Spectra fiber line is supposedly seven feet per second faster. The company strongly advises never to use braided Dacron line.


From left to right: Muzzy #1077-XD button-style type model, Muzzy #1069-XD Pro bracketed lever-style model.

Center: hardware for the Muzzy #1069-XD Pro bracketed lever-style model.

Shop around for theses reels as some retailers charge considerably more for the same item(s). As with most spinning reels, both Muzzy XD bowfishing reels come set up with right-hand retrieve. Converting over to left-hand retrieve is standard procedure. Instructions come with the reels, covering conversion, drag settings, tips for bow shooting, and the reels' operation.

Both reels provide quality and value, incorporating an automotive-style disc drag system, stainless steel and brass drive system, and a stainless steel roller pick-up pin. Importantly, the two reels are saltwater rated. I strongly suggest going with the Muzzy #1069-XD Pro for the advantages it has over the Muzzy #1077-XD as stated above. Of course, you could select either Muzzy XD reel and mount it to one of your vintage bows as covered in Part I. If and when upgrading, I also suggest purchasing a recurve bow specifically designed for bowfishing. I highly recommend the Muzzy Addict recurve bow coupled to the Muzzy #1069-XD Pro reel.


Muzzy Addict recurve bow coupled to Muzzy model #1069-XD Pro bracketed bowfishing reel, Muzzy finger guards, Muzzy Mantis arrow rest.

You can either snap shoot the Muzzy Addict recurve bow or come to full draw. Keep in mind, though, that unlike some compound bows boasting 80–85 % let-off, a traditional recurve bow has zero % let-off. But with only a 40-pound draw weight, this poses little or no problem—even for youngsters. You will likely be snap-shooting fish most of the time as opposed to coming to a full-draw controlled release. Agility is the name of the game. The Muzzy Addict recurve is a light bow, weighing in at approximately 3½ pounds with the Muzzy #1069-XD Pro bracketed reel attached. You can shoot this bow for hours on end without concern of fatigue. The bow features a magnesium riser and a non-slip soft-grip handle. You can shoot an arrow off of its shelf, utilize a Fish-Hook style rest, or select a Muzzy Mantis bowfishing rest. I opted for the latter.


Muzzy Mantis Bowfishing Rest.

Also, you would absolutely want to utilize Muzzy's rubber glove-free finger guards (2), which is a string-release aid for those messy, slippery, wet conditions. Believe me, as mentioned in Part I, bowfishing can get quite messy. Staying with Muzzy components from the onset will ensure that all accoutrements will fit properly from the get-go and save you frustration in the long run. A hairpin-style tool is included in the packaging to assist in sliding the two rubber guards (shorter and longer) onto the bowstring.


Muzzy Finger Guards (2) and hairpin-shaped string tool.

Admittedly, this can be a bit of a chore because the instructions are not thorough. What you want to do is wax the bowstring, particularly its lower end. Next, insert the hairpin-type tool (provided) onto the lower loop of the bowstring, right up to the head of the pin. Why the lower loop? The answer is because the lower loop of the bowstring is a bit shorter than the upper loop and will, therefore, pass through the rubber guards easier when sliding and pulling the open end of the hairpin through them with pliers; first the shorter of the two finger-saver guards (top guard) then the longer one (bottom guard), working them up the bowstring and onto the server (middle green 7½-inch mid-section of the bowstring). You will really have to pull with the pliers and push with your fingers to work the finger guards past the loop. You can thank me later in that I saved you half the struggle by having you start on the shorter, smaller loop. After that point, it's pretty much a walk in the park.


Shorter looped end of the Muzzy bowstring, plus tool for threading Muzzy Finger Guards.

Do not concern yourself with adjusting the finger guards just yet. Simply get them onto the server somewhere around mid-point.


Muzzy bowstring, Muzzy glove-free finger guards installed, and tools.

Next month, August 1st, we'll continue with BOWFISHING ON A BUDGET: FOR BEGINNERS & BEYOND ~ Part III of IV. Stay tuned.


Bob Banfelder
https://www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning
Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer

Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Cablevision TV Host: Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo

Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater ~ presented on the 1st & 2nd of every month.



Several of My Crime-Thriller Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top Row ~ Left to Right:

The Richard Geist Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate


The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series
The Author
The Teacher
Knots
The Good Samaritans


Middle Row:
Trace Evidence – inspired by the Robert Shulman serial killer trial in Riverhead, N.Y.

Battered – based on the true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband; also, her subsequent trial and experiences in prison

Bottom Row: Nonfiction
The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Small & Big Game Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Must-Have Guide for Writers



Now available on Amazon

August 01, 2017

BOWFISHING ON A BUDGET: For Beginners & Beyond ~ Part I of IV: Bows & Draw Weights

by Bob Banfelder

After many years as a fisherman and hunter, I had bowfishing on the brain and on my bucket list. I thought why not combine my two beloved sports, fishing and hunting? I have maintained the tradition of hunting white-tailed deer with a slug gun while growing up in New Jersey, later on Long Island as well as in Central New York. I have also hunted whitetails with a compound bow for many a moon, most recently with a handgun. Of late, I have my sights lined up for hunting both small and big game with a crossbow come fall. During this spring/summer interim, I've delved into bowfishing, which can prove rather frustrating for folks new to the game, not only in terms of the hunt, but in selecting gear as well. Referencing equipment, it was an easy and inexpensive transition for me because I had a couple of vintage Stemmler 45–60 draw-weight compound bows collecting dust from days of old. Realizing that compound bows, both old and new, are predrilled to accept virtually any type of bowfishing reel, it seemed the natural way to proceed, and indeed it was.



Vintage Stemmler compound bow initially used for deer hunting, converted to a bowfishing setup ~ Muzzy Mantis arrow rest ~ Muzzy (new for 2017) bracketed model #1069 XD Pro bowfishing spin-style reel ~ simple tools for conversion ~ Muzzy Classic Bowfishing Arrow with AMS safety slide.



Vintage Stemmler compound/recurve bow also initially used for deer hunting, converted to a bowfishing setup ~ Muzzy Mantis arrow rest ~ Muzzy (new for 2017) bracketed model #1069 XD Pro bowfishing spin-style reel ~ simple tools for conversion ~ Muzzy Classic Bowfishing Arrow with AMS safety slide.

First, a bit of background information in addition to savvy advice regarding draw weights as they pertain to bowfishing in general. You do not need a 60–70 pound draw-weight bow to impale a scale for carp, which is the species that we are limited to legally shoot in our local New York State waters. A 40-pound draw weight would be perfect. Back in the day, I could easily handle a 70-pound draw weight compound bow for deer hunting, so I ultimately upgraded from those 45–60 Stemmlers to a more modern Mathews 70-pound draw weight SoloCam compound bow before eventually downsizing to a much lighter Mathews 50-pound draw-weight Z7 Magnum SoloCam compound because age was creeping up on me.

Regarding those dated yet venerable Stemmler compound bows, they would prove sufficient for bowfishing because I could back them down 10 to 15 pounds if desired. They worked well. But compound bows, with their cams and wheels, become messy as they tend to collect mud, blood, fish guts, vegetation and such. I thought about and thoroughly researched traditional recurve bows designed specifically for bowfishing. No cams and/or wheels to act like a magnet for attracting a virtual mess. Keep in mind that a good many traditional recurve bows do not have predrilled inserts (bushings) installed to accommodate bow-reel seats or integrated bow-reel brackets. Hence, a specifically designed bow for bowfishing would be the answer. But what bow and what reel would serve my needs? I wanted to keep things simple, so simple is the route I took. Simple as well as inexpensive. I had done my homework.

Unless you are going after gators or game with scales referencing the size of arapaima (world's largest freshwater fish), the Muzzy Addict takedown recurve bowfishing setup is the best bet for a beginner. As a matter of fact, it will serve admirably as your mainstay weapon for local waters, both fresh or salty, as I target practice on a partially submerged plastic container in the suds. I leave my takedown bow permanently set up, meaning its limbs and reel remain attached to the riser. This way, I can string the bow and be ready at a moment's notice.

While we're at this juncture, I'd like to point out that stringing a recurve bow without the aid of a bow stringer is not wise, especially when you get up into the 40-pound-plus draw-weight category. Why? The answer is because you will be putting undue stress on the limbs in the wrong direction, and they will eventually warp over time from twisting when using the step-through method of stringing a bow, particularly those limbs and tips comprised of a laminated wood material. Also, employing the push-pull method with a bow of a heavier draw weight requires a good deal of strength to put the limbs under tension. Too, the position of the limb's tip against your foot, near or on the ground, invites trouble. Slip and you've at the very least marred the tip. In a hurry to string their bows, I have witnessed folks smack themselves in the head or damage a limb tip. A bow stringer is easy to use and the safest way to string and unstring your bow. One of the best stringers I found is the new adjustable limb-saver recurve bow stringer from Selway Archery, Inc. Easy to use and comes with simple instructions. Cheap insurance for around $12.



Selway Archery, Inc. Limb-Saver Recurve Bow Stringer

Tomorrow we'll take a close look at two Muzzy bowfishing reels designed for the Muzzy Addict takedown bow. Stay tuned.

Bob Banfelder
https://www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning
Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer

Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Cablevision TV Host: Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo

Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater ~ presented on the 1st & 2nd of every month.



Several of My Crime-Thrillers Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top Row ~ Left to Right:

The Richard Geist Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate


The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series
The Author
The Teacher
Knots
The Good Samaritans


Middle Row:
Trace Evidence – inspired by the Robert Shulman serial killer trial in Riverhead, N.Y.

Battered – based on the true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband; also, her subsequent trial and experiences in prison

Bottom Row: Nonfiction
The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Small & Big Game Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Must-Have Guide for Writers



Now available on Amazon



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