Have you ever felt like you’re out of touch or the bow misbehaving to your liking? Well, this doesn’t always mean that you are doing something wrong here. This is something that can happen over time though you are doing everything right. If this were ever to happen, you need to understand that your favorite bow needs some tweaks to get back in full form.
Bow tuning was something archers did on their own until one day someone felt it convenient to take their bows to a pro shop tune-ups. Over time taking the bow to shops for tuning became the new normal. Times have changed from going through the spec sheet, understanding the guidelines, and getting the best life out of the bow, to finding a nearby workshop for tuning your bow.
If you were to ask the veterans, they’d probably say the moment you decide to take your bow to a shop for tuning, you lose that connection with the bow you develop while tuning it.
Tuning a bow isn’t as difficult as it is often portrayed to be. Here are nine well-made and easy to follow concrete steps to tune your bow
1. String and cable check
If you didn’t know, the string in your bow incurs serious wear and tear over time. This is why you should check the string and cable of your bow every time you take the bow after a break. In most cases, this damage to the bowstring won’t be visible to the naked eye as it degrades from the inside rather than from the outside making it even more dangerous.
Imagine the bow accidentally blowing up releasing all the tension it was put on. Ideally, you should change your bow every 3 years or at the first sight of damage.
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2. Pressing and twisting
Check for the tension of the string because over time the string tension deteriorates causing the string to stretch and rotate the cams. This can cause timing issues while you shoot. If you were to feel a decrease in tension, you can try twisting the string. Twisting is done to bring back the required tension on the string at the limbs and cams.
While twisting can help you regain that tension of the string, we don’t recommend you do it. A string losing its tension is a warning indicating an imminent string change.
3. Check your draw length
Proper draw length is crucial in archery. Over time the tension on the string loosens increasing your draw length which often causes a lack of push for that extra speed. To check your ideal draw length, stand with stretched arms with your back facing a wall. Now measure the distance from one end of your middle finger to the other and subtract 15 from this value. Divide the final answer by two and that will give you your ideal draw length.
\With an extra inch tweak on the draw length, the arrow will fire at a greater speed and distance. The whole point is to have that adequate thrust at your draw length.
Make sure that your draw length is correct and check with a local professional just in case you have doubts.
4. Setting up your nocking point and arrow rest
Adjusting the nocking point and arrow rest is another important check that you have to do on your bow. The arrow rest has to be adjusted in a way that the center of the arrow shaft passes through the center to the upper one-third portion of the hole where the rest of the arrow is in touch with the bow.
Crimp the nocking point on the string and sight down the back of the arrow. Make sure that you can see between the Fletching and arrow rest, else it can get difficult to tune the bow later. A proper orientation should be maintained between fletching and the rest by adjusting the nock.
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5. Finding the center shot
The placement of the center shot will vary from one bow to another. You should go through the manual to find that proper venter shot. Using a bow square was once the standard, but with the advent of the laser center shot tool, it is being used widely considering the accuracy it maintains.
6. Aligning the peep
The peep shouldn’t be too low as it will make you bend your neck to look through the peep sight. Once you set it higher to your eyesight level you will immediately feel the difference. It's more like a trial and error method to set the peep right. But here is a hack. You can close your eyes, then draw the bow and settle it to your anchor point. Now open the eyes and you should be in line with the peep.
7. Arrow spine
A lower spine arrow indicates a stiffer one. To know your best fit, it’s recommended that you visit your arrow manufacturer's website and make use of their free spine calculator.
8. Choose the fletching and front of the center
This is something that most enthusiasts omit due to the complications involved. In the case of fletching, blazers are chosen over feathers for better flight and accuracy. To make the arrow flight stable the front of the center of the arrow should be between 7 to 11 percent.
Though this adjustment requires some mathematical calculations, it is worth taking the effort. If you aren’t confident enough, it is advised to seek the help of a professional.
9. Walk back tune
This is an alignment adjustment. The arrows you shoot from different distances on a straight line perpendicular to the face of the target should fall in a line. If any point shifts to the left or the right, a fractional rest adjustment has to be done.
To Sum Up
Once you have done all these checks in order and good, you can mark your bow safe for the season ahead. If you still face issues, you should probably take a trial with a mate's bow and find if your skills are still intact. If you find anything odd, before making any major alterations to the settings of your bow, you should take it to a professional bow shop.
Know that these tips won’t make you a pro overnight. But at some point, these tips can come in handy.
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