Best Crossbow Bolts for Hunting & Archery in 2021

The arrows used when bow fishing will determine how many fish you shoot at and how many fish you land in the boat. When our readers asked us to detail the best bow fishing bows for them we asked the expert fishermen we spoke with to tell us about the arrows they liked the most.

The best bow fishing bolts according to the experts on our panel are the six they recommended below. We know that personal preference plays a big part in arrow choice, but we wanted to let you know which arrows our experts used when they fished.

The 7 Best Bolts for Crossbow Reviews

1. BARNETT 16075 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow Bolts

BARNETT 16075 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow Bolts

Check More Details on Amazon

These are twenty inch crossbow arrows that come in a package of five. They have half-moon nocks and have 13.78 grains per inch and have a 100 grain point. They weigh one ounce and their shafts are crafted from resilient carbon. Their walls are thick to increase durability and longevity.

They provide the best penetration and are excellent fliers. They are perfectly matched for the Ghost 350, the Penetrator, The Wildcat C-5 and the Jackal crossbows.

These arrows have a wide variety of capabilities. They make excellent target arrows and can also be used for hunting arrows. They do have fletching on them so they are not recommended for bow fishing with the fletching attached.

2. Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Fletched BuffTuff Crossbolt

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Fletched BuffTuff Crossbolt

Check More Details on Amazon

These are dual spine arrows that allow the arrow to recover faster and to start spinning 20% faster than the single spine arrows do. They have an increased amount of speed and accuracy.

These arrows are made from carbon weave so they have enormous amounts of strength and agility. They are not easily bent and they minimize wind drift. Each one is laser checked to make sure they are within 1/10,000ths of an inch in straightness.

They are fletched with fusion vanes of 3 inches. They are 22 inches in length and have a 0.343” diameter. They come six to a package.

3. Carbon Express Pile-Driver Fletched Cross-bolt

Carbon Express Pile-Driver Fletched Cross-bolt

Check More Details on Amazon

These arrows are heavy grained and that allows them to have increased kinetic energy which provides them with a greater amount of power for penetration of the target. They are crafted from a composite material that provides spine consistency and that means greater shot accuracy. They are durable and will provide reliable performance shot after shot.

The arrows are fletched and have four inch vanes. They are 20” in length, 442 grains, and have a diameter of 0.348”. The3y come six to a package and include six universal flat nocks in each package.

They can be used for target arrows but they are specifically designed as hunting arrows to help you capture more prey.

4. Blood-Sport Crossbow Bolts

Blood-Sport Crossbow Bolts

Check More Details on Amazon

These 20 inch arrows offer you great performance and reliability. They are engineered to work perfectly with the high speed crossbows that are used in bow fishing and sporting activities. They also perform well when used with the standard 150 pound crossbows that have been popular for a long period of time.

They have an overall weight of 325 grains per bolt. With that weight they are capable of retaining their energy and shooting farther with a higher level of penetration. They come in a six pack and they do have fletching.

5. Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Arrows

Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Arrows

Check More Details on Amazon

This arrow purchase will give you 6 of the finest shooting arrows you have ever purchased. They are remarkably straight, and each one is laser checked to make certain that it is as straight as an arrow can be. They are 250 size, with an 8.11 GPI, and a 0.417 spine. They are 31.5 inches in length and have a diameter of 0.295 with a weight tolerance of + 1.0 grain.

These arrows are made of carbon fiber so they are strong and durable. Their spine has been designed to make the broad heads more accurate in flying trajectory and penetration of target.

6. XX75 Magnum Aluminum Crossbow Arrows

XX75 Magnum Aluminum Crossbow Arrows

Check More Details on Amazon

These are 20 inch long arrows that are 435 grain and have a 100 grain practice tip included with them. They come in a three pack and they shoot accurately with a 7.6% loss of speed over a 50 yard length. They have a Kinetic energy loss of 15.9% over a 50 yard span and can maintain a 2.5 inch shot grouping over a 50 yard span.

They are accurate and designed to be consistent shot after shot. These aluminum arrows are inspected and guaranteed to be straight within .003 inch. They are fletched and have vanes that are slightly offset.

Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Crossbow Bolts

Before you rush out and stock up on arrows you need to consider different aspect of the arrow and choose the one that is designed for the type of bow you have and the type of shooting you are doing. Different arrows are used for target practice, and large game hunting than are used for shooting fish in the water.


Arrows can be made from composite materials, fiberglass, carbon, aluminum or a combination of all of these items. Each material has specific pros and cons.

Arrow Spine

The draw weight of your bow will play a big role in what rigidity your arrow spine needs to have. As the amount of draw weight increases the amount of rigidity also needs to increase.

Arrow Weight

You should be using an arrow that has five grains of weight for each pound of draw weight. If you have 40 pounds of draw weight then your arrow needs to be at least 200 grains.

Kinetic energy

To determine the kinetic energy the arrow has you multiply the mass of the arrow times the speed of the arrow in feet per seconds squared. MV2

Length & Diameter

Typically the draw length you use will decide the length of the arrow you should use. If you have a 28 inch draw then you should have a 27 inch arrow.

Your arrow diameter s going to depend on the strength you need and the penetration ability you need. Smaller diameters are not as strong, and are less likely to be able to penetrate as deeply.


You do not want fletching on an arrow that you plan to shoot into the water. The fletching will be problematic and cause you to miss more fish.


The arrow shaft can be crafted from several differe3nt materials. Some of the most popular arrow shafts are fiberglass, aluminum, carbon fiber, and combinations of aluminum and carbon fiber.

Fiberglass arrows offer longevity in a material that does not rust or corrode, and will not crack from water and light exposure. The fiberglass arrows are especially a great choice for beginning shooters.


You need to have a reversible barb that will hold that fish on the arrow and keep it from simply slipping the arrow out and swimming away. The reversible barb does not make it stay6 better in the fish it makes it easier when you are trying to get the arrow out of the fish.

The Point

This is the portion of the arrow that pierces the flesh of the fish and penetrates to capture your shot. The majority of anglers will tell you that you want a point that is replaceable. As your point begins to dull and becomes less effective the ability to replace it saves you money and time.

Being able to change the point also means that one arrow can be used to fish for more than one kind of fish. You choose the point and you get increased penetration or better speed accordingly.

You want points that are extremely sharp. The exact type of point depends on the fish you are aiming at. A larger fish will require an arrow with greater power of penetration but smaller fish can be secured with smaller arrows.


This is simply the portion of the arrow that is notched so it locks onto the string of your bow and stays in place while you set up your shot.

The rail

You can think of the rail as a safety device on the arrow. The rail is there to secure the line and prevent the arrow from flipping back and causing injury.

Aluminum bolts vs Carbon bolts

You will hear a lot of discussion and even heated debates about whether an aluminum bolt is the best for bow fishing purposes or if you should be using a carbon bolt for this purpose. Both aluminum and carbon bolts have many good points, and they are both excellent for bow fishing, but personal preference plays a large role in the final decision. Well, you know that when personal opinion plays a role that heated discussions can ensue.

Aluminum arrows are lightweight, but the strength of the arrow is affected by the weight reduction. The lighter arrow will not be as strong.

Aluminum arrows are quiet as they fly through the air, and if they get bent they can sometimes be straightened back to a usable shape. You do get more spine choices with the aluminum arrows but they are not as flat as some other shooting arrows and finding accessories can sometimes be hard to do.

Carbon arrows have increased penetration abilities and they are very durable. They do not bend like aluminum arrows do and they can often overcome shooting errors because of their increased velocity.

Carbon arrows generally cost more than aluminum arrows cost. Their velocity accelerates very quickly but it also drops off just as fast.

Carbon arrows suffer from less wind drift and they have more precise weight and spine specifications than aluminum arrows do. They are harder to bend but if they get bent they can sometimes be straightened back out.

FAQ About Crossbow Bolts

How Many Should I Buy?

Typically one half dozen arrows will be perfect when you are target practicing. When you are hunting you may want to have a dozen or more arrows with you. The number of arrows that you need will depend on what you are hunting, how you are shooting and how easily the arrows will be to retrieve.

Can you shoot longer bolts in a crossbow?

The length of the arrow is commonly determined by the draw weight of the bow you are shooting. If you have a 28 pound draw then you will want an arrow this about 27 inches long. You can shoot longer bolts but the exact length to weight ratio that is perfect for you will ultimately be determined with the accuracy you can achieve with different lengths.

Which is better aluminum or carbon crossbow bolts?

Aluminum arrows are lighter than carbon arrows. Carbon arrows are less likely to bend and they are often stronger and more forceful than the aluminum. The carbon arrow may shoot a straighter trajectory because they are heavier and they do not get influenced as much by wind drift. The decision on which is better will depend on your preferences, your bow, and your shooting style.

Final Word

The success you have with your bow will largely depend on the arrow you choose to shoot. Beginners often find all of the information on arrows and the choices difficult to understand, and sometimes confusing.

To make sure that the arrow you have chosen is best for you it is suggested that you try different arrow makes and lengths until you find the ones that you can shoot most accurately. Remember that changeable tips make the arrow more useful because you can change the fish size you are shooting for.

Leave a Comment