When I was a kid, I bought a Bear Bowfishing Kit equipped just the way you describe. After every shot, I had to hand wrap the string back onto the spool.
The string was tied to the point, and then threaded through a hole in the back of the arrow. Not sure why. It made for a stringy mess. I never had any scary moments with it. And I took a bunch of carp and catfish.
That said, now I use an ams reel and the safety slide setup. It is more convenient and faster. I guess it is safer. I don’t know. But I can sure get ready and shoot faster than I could before. More shooting means more fun 😀