A good arrow rest can make a world of difference for the performance of your compound bow. Regardless of whether you prefer to go hunting with, or spent time on the target range, an arrow rest is an integral component to the optimal functioning of a compound bow set up. There are different types of arrow rests oriented towards beginners and pros, and hunters and target shooters. For those archers who are not rank amateurs or total nubs, a drop away arrow rest offers the best balance between top notch performance and mobility. And these arrow rests can function equally well on the target shooting range as well as in the wild as part of a hunt. So if you are a pro, a drop away arrow rest is the best addition to your compound bow.
What is a Drop Away Arrow Rest
there are different kinds of arrow rest designs out there, ranging from the shoot through or prong arrow rests, to the full capture or containment arrow rests and the drop away or fall away arrow rests. The latter combines the best features of the former in an advanced package ideal for the more experienced bowmen.
The other two designs face some problems when it comes to the arrow fletching clearing the arrow rest. If parts of the arrow rest comes in contact with the fletching, it can seriously affect the accuracy of the shot and even cause damage to the arrow. In a drop away arrow rest, this problem is completely taken out of the equation due to its innovative design. In the other arrow rests, the parts that touch the arrow shaft and anchor it in place are what usually comes in contact with the fletches as the arrow leaves the bow. But in a drop away arrow rest, a trigger mechanism pulls down these parts as the arrow is released, creating ample space for the fletching to pass through unimpeded.
In most drop away arrow rests, the arrow is usually placed in a “Y” shaped cradle that has to be pushed up into place. There are different trigger mechanisms available at present. The installation and calibration of these mechanism can be a little tricky, which is why a drop away rest is considered more appropriate for archery pros rather than beginners.
Things to Consider While Picking A Drop Away Arrow Rest
Unlike other arrow rests, a drop away arrow rest has no compatibility issues with different arrow sizes or fletching designs. As long as you are talking about a modern compound bow, the primary considerations when buying an arrow rest of this kind falls into the following main categories:
Cost: drop away rests tend to be the most expensive arrow rests in the market, due to their complicated designs and advanced trigger systems. The top of the line products from some high-end brands could set you back by a few hundred dollars even. So if you are on a tight budget, you might find your options somewhat limited when compared to the cheaper arrow rest designs.
Bow condition: drop away rests are not simple plug and play attachments. Their performance will have to be tuned to match the speed and power of individual bows. And in order to get this done, you have to ensure that your bow is properly tuned, especially if it a brand new one. Once that is done, the arrow rest trigger mechanism has to be fine tuned to match the release speed of your bow, to ensure that the cradle falls away at the optimal time. Unless you fully know what you are doing, these operations are best left in the hands of seasoned pros.
Trigger Mechanism: Buss operated systems are easier to install and calibrate for the average archer. Limb driven designs, on the other hand, offer better performance, though they can be a bit of a pain to properly install. Improper setup can result in fletching contact and damage, while a perfectly installed system will give you more accuracy and forgiveness than the average buss operated rest. Another newer variant of the buss system, called the inertia trigger release can be found in some higher end variants. They offer total containment, which is of vital use to hunters in the field, while providing full clearance even for bigger arrows and fletchings. Each of these designs have their pros and cons, and the choice is entirely dependent on the requirements of the individual bowman.
Top Drop Away Arrow Rests Reviewed
Vapor Trail LimbDriver Pro V Rest
A smooth functioning and efficient drop away arrow rest from Vapor Trail, the LimbDriver Pro V is a limb driven system with not too complicated set up. Once you manage to install it properly, the drop away function performs flawlessly. Since this is a limb drive system, you don’t have to get yourself tangled up in any kind of buss cable or slide trigger mechanisms. The V shaped rest will hold position longer than average, ensuring a stable arrow flight, will still finding time to duck out of the way of the oncoming fletching. You will have to pay anywhere between a $100-$150 for this baby, but the performance and hassle free use is well worth that price.
- Extremely easy to install and set up, compared to the average drop away arrow rest.
- Ideal for target shooters looking for tighter groupings.
- Lightweight, improves stability and accuracy.
- Doesn’t have full containment, might not suit some hunters.
- The plastic build doesn’t guarantee the most durable arrow rest in the field, again a con more for hunters than target shooters.
NAP Apache Drop-Away Arrow Rest
New Archery Products are well known for their evocatively branded Apache series of rests. This is purely a hunting oriented arrow rest, or at least, that is how the manufacturer has branded it. With an all metal durable frame, wilderness camo, sound dampeners and full capture, it is not hard to spot where its ambitions lie. At sub $100 retail prices that drift closer to the $50 mark with discounts, this is an affordable drop away rest for hunting enthusiasts. At the offered price, the Apache has a nice array of features that should make this a worthwhile purchase for almost any hunter.
- Easy to install and tune.
- Sound dampeners are effective in the field.
- The rugged all weather build quality with camo is great for hunting.
- The large mounting bracket may not fit all bows.
- The all metal construction means that this is definitely a heavy rest.
QAD Ultra W-QURH Rest Quad Hunter
This innovative drop away design from Quality Archery Design uses a proprietary velocity drop away technology. It has to be attached to the downward buss cable to trigger the mechanism. With little contact to the arrow, this is a great option for both hunters and target shooters. Hunters especially will appreciate the full containment design and noise dampening rubber parts during stalking. The trigger mechanism works superbly, dropping away only at actual release. You can come to full draw and it will stay up even during slow letdowns. At around $40, this is a great piece of equipment that could keep a lot of bowmen very happy.
- Innovative VDT technology
- Full containment and noise dampening for hunting.
- The rest stay up solidly and will only drop away if the arrow is launched.
- Has a very quiet thumb switch to engage and disengage the trigger mechanism.
- Excellent pricing.
- Not the most durable options out there.
- The fasteners and screws can give some problems.
- Some users have reported regular fletching contact.
Ripcord Technologies Ace Micro Rest
This is a really good fall away rest with ultra slimline clearance for excellent vane clearance. And it also offers full containment for the bow-hunters. If you use some of the newer vane designs, this Ace Micro Rest is one of the options that have managed to keep up with the evolving arrow design technologies. Though they don’t exactly come cheap at beyond the $100 mark, you get what you pay for, with advanced micro adjustment options. Pro target archers and tinkerers alike should find its feature list to their liking.
- Works well even with the shorter thicker vanes.
- Advanced tinkering options are great for pros.
- Doesn’t fall away if you come to full draw and let down.
- A ThumbCock allows for speedy and efficient reloading with one hand.
- More oriented towards pros and target archers rather than beginners and hunters.
- The price might be a deterrent for some.
As far as the question of choice is concerned, there seems to be a great diversity within the drop away or fall away arrow rest models available in the market. From the amateur-hunter oriented $40 rests to top of the line models for pro target archers at $150, there is something for every kind of archer out there. And most drop-away rests are advanced enough to handle both hunting as well as target shooting. If you are an archer who likes to dip into both jars, this category offers a lot of choices.