Choosing the Best Bow String for Your Bow

When you own a bow it features three basic parts that are considered fundamental to its operation. Your bow is made of a riser, limbs, and a bowstring. If the bowstring is absent or it breaks, the bow is no longer operational until the bowstring is replaced and restrung. The bowstring you choose for your equipment is significant as it influences the fine-tuning of your bow, the amount of noise a released arrow produces, the amount of vibration generated from a released arrow, and the size of the groupings that are the end result of several shots striking a selected target. Contemporary bowstrings are made of different materials depending on the manufacturers of the bowstrings you choose.

Bow String Materials

Dracon: For hundreds of years, bowstrings were primarily made of waxed linen material and this was the basic structure of the bowstring right up to about 66 years ago. The other materials used for making bowstrings include Chinese grass fiber, silk, catgut, cotton, and horsehair. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, synthetic materials were preferred over the waxed linen so often used for bowstrings. Of all the synthetics used for making bowstrings, the very first to be introduced to the industry is the Dacron polyester material. Dacron is a highly stretchable material, gives a 2.6 percent stretch and it has a 50-pound strength per included strand. Dacron is still the ideal material for bowstrings fitted to older bows, wooden bows, and archery equipment for the neophyte.

Kevlar & Vectran: The Dacron strings were considered the best string on the market for about ten years when the 1970s and 1980s brought the novelty of the Kevlar non-stretch bowstring: This ended up replacing the coveted Dacron in terms of popularity. Kevlar, and another synthetic material, Vectran, both of which are liquid crystal polymers, offered archers faster shooting speeds due to the thinner threading. The advantages of Kevlar and Dacron included longer durability, the ability to remain long lasting even in extreme temperature changes, and moisture-proof attributes. The downside to Kevlar, which only has a 0.8 percent stretch and offers 70 pounds of strength per strand, is that the string will last about 1000 shots before it breaks and requires replacement. Kevlar intensifies bow limb stress, and because of its bending at the nocking point, it will often fatigue to the point of sudden and abrupt breakage.

Dyneema & Spectra: In the early to mid-1980s, the introduction of Dyneema and Spectra bowstrings served to remedy the issues that were are common with Dacron and Kevlar strings. The Hoyt Archery Company brought the Allied Signal Spectra bowstring material to the forefront of the industry and it proved wildly popular: more so than any other material in the prior three decades before its introduction. Both Dyneema and Spectra are made of a special fiber material called Ultra High Modulus Polyethylene or UHMPE for short. There are a few differences between Dyneema and Spectra, but, for the most part, they are similar. The strings are durable, resistant to moisture, environmental conditions, and solvents. Only seriously elevations in temperature weaken the string, which presents as stretch and creep issues following the introduction of high tension and heat, often times during a competitive event.

Blends: In the mid-1990s, manufacturers were yet again looking for a means to improve the quality of bow strings on the market. This is the time when blending of existing synthetics came into play and the first blended material was a combination of UHMPE and Vectran. The latter mix ended up remedying issues related to creep, but eventually the string would wear out. However, the issue was manageable if the bow owner took good care of the string and waxed it regularly with some string wax.

Bow String Construction

If a bowstring is constructed with care, it can contribute to the bow’s performance and the archer’s accuracy. First, when a bowstring is manufactured, the strand tension needs to remain consistent throughout the string. If there is no symmetry and evenness in the tension of the string strands, it will make the string unpredictable in terms of the way it will behave. The lack of consistent tension can contribute to irregularity in shot consistency and it can make getting tight groupings on a target next to impossible to achieve.

In order to make sure your string has the appropriate amount of tension per strand and that there is a decent distribution of the tension required, you can remove the bowstring from the packaging and remove any twists in the bowstring. Take the string and using your stringer you can string your bow. Then, take three to four shots just for practice: doing so helps to stretch out the material in the bowstring. Allow your bow to set aside for at least eight hours. Then restring the bow after you have retwisted it so that it fits to the brace height you need. You should have about 20 to 60 twists in the string when you have got the right brace height. If you want less noise and a slower shot, put more twists in the string. If you want some speed and fewer twists, brace yourself for a little bit more noise when an arrow is released.

Tips for Buying a Bow String

When buying your bowstring you will need to get one of the appropriate length. If you fail to get the correct length it will be impossible to achieve the brace height and the overall bow mechanics will be negatively affected s well. If you have a string on your bow already, your problem is half solved: All you need to do is to take its measurement from one end of the bowstring to the other. However, if you have no string to measure, there are several steps you can take to try to figure out what the right size bowstring is for your needs.

First, check out the factory numbers on your bow. Bear in mind the numbers on all bows are not always accurate and the numbers you do see may not be all inclusive in terms of measurement. For example, Hoyt bow factory numbers reflects the length of the cable but not the yoke. The next best thing you can do is call the manufacturer of the bow to find out what size bowstring you require: You can often get this information for the company’s tech support.

In the event the company that made your bow is out of business, you can sometimes still find owner’s manuals online. You might do well to contact a professional at a sporting goods shop who can advise on figuring out the correct string length. Otherwise, you can put the bow in a press and use some fishing line to make mock thread for gauging in order to get a sense of the size string you require.

The B-50 Dacron Recurve Bowstring

Cir-Cut Archery Products is the maker of the B-50 Dacron Recurve Bowstring. The string is available in several sizes and strands. The 12-strand string is recommended for bows up to 40 pounds. The 14-strand bowstring is recommended for bows with a draw weight up to 50 pounds. The 16 strand strings are ideal for bows with a draw weight of 65 pounds. When you buy the string it ends up being four inches shorter than the actual measurement you order as the string’s measurement is different when the bowstring is under tension. The bow is available in 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, and 66 AMO lengths. You will find the string more than reasonable in terms of pricing as well.

The Samick Sage & Polaris Replacement String

Another excellent bowstring you can buy for restringing your equipment is the Samick Sage & Polaris bowstring. The bow is available in a 14-strand version suitable for bows with 24 to 40 pound weights. Alternatively, for bows weighing 45 pounds or more for draw weight, you can get the 16 strand bowstring as well. Each string is pre-twisted and the string is adjusted for brace height. The Samick Sage & Polaris is a bit more costly than Cir-Cut Archery Products’ B-50 Dacron Recurve Bowstring.

The Flemish Fast Flight Plus Bowstring

Trad Gear Archery sells the Flemish Fast Plus Bowstring that is suitable for bows that can easily handle high performance, low stretch bowstring material. The string is twisted in such a way it allows for a quieter shot, and the bowstring’s tuning will adjust naturally as the string is stretching. The strings contain 18 strands in all in a construction presenting as three bundles of string. The nock fit is perfect and the string is a good thickness to ensure its longevity. The string color is primarily black while the strands are bronze and black in color. String sizes vary from 44 inches up to 62 inches. The sleek and durable design makes this bowstring a coveted option among archers.

In Conclusion

Since your bowstring is one of the most basic components of the bow and the equipment will not work without it, it is a good idea to spend some time shopping around for the best bowstring on the market. You do not want a bowstring that will not allow for shot consistency, and you do not want a string that is too weak and ends up breaking at a critical moment during a hunt. Locating the perfect string has all the advantages an archer requires: noise reduction, greater control, a better shoot, and bow longevity.