Compound Bow Strings
Compound Bow Overview
Compound bows are a marked improvement to recurve and longbow designs. The body itself remains fixed, while the use of the pulley to handle the motion and tension of the bow string gives the archer greater power and accuracy by storing power in the bow frame itself. Because of the nature of this pulley system, there are particular strings that work best with compound bows.
Categories of Bow Strings
Bow strings can be classified into a few categories, including continuous loops and the Flemish Twist. The Flemish Twist is usually reserved for the traditionally constructed longbows, while the continuous loop style is primarily used in compound bows.
Draw Length and Anchor Points
The preferred bow string length will vary by individual, although there are a few general guidelines to follow when attempting to create the ideal length. In general, a longer draw length will create a more powerful stroke, allowing for a much faster shooting speed. Draw length tends to correlate to the height of the archer. A taller archer will usually have a longer draw length than a diminutive archer.
The draw length should also take into account proper technique in relation to anchor points. All archers must develop recurrent anchor points, whereby the string, when in the full draw position, is always within a certain distance of the nose and mouth. There is no set distance, but the string should be within 1/4” to 3/4” away from the nose and mouth, to allow the archer a clear sight line down the bow, also known as the ‘peep point.’ The key anchor point is the position of the archer’s hand in relation to his or her face. The hand should generally be positioned below the archer’s ear, next to the cheek. Developing a good set of anchor points will result in a higher percentage of landed shots. Wildly varying anchor points will result in poor performance.
Therefore, to properly estimate draw length, the archer should first measure the length of his or her extended arm, and the length of string needed to create a continuous loop to the critical anchor points. For a beginning archer who has not yet developed anchor points, experimenting with cheaper string is advised.
Types of Compound Bow String
The type of string used in a compound bow should reflect the level of expertise of the user. Dacron string, due to its relatively inexpensive nature, is recommended for beginners, and for compound bows that feature steel cabling.
Fast flight strings have a low tolerance for stretching, which makes them excellent for more experienced archers who know their preferred bow string length. This low stretch factor makes them especially suited for use in the cabling and string systems of compound bows, which improves the overall performance of t