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It isn’t just adults that take part in archery, many young people and children enjoy shooting a bow and arrow too. However, since they are much smaller, they do require special equipment that is designed to work with their shorter frame.

One piece of equipment that comes in extremely handy is the bow release, and there are several excellent youth bow release options out there. A bow release is a small piece of equipment that is used to help the archer accurately fire the arrow with a more significant deal of control and comfort.

However, choosing the right one is vital for comfort and effectiveness. In this article, we are going to be looking at how to select the proper youth bow release as well as showing you some of our favourite products.

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What To Look For In A Youth Bow Release

Shopping for a bow release for a child isn’t all that dissimilar to shopping for a bow release for yourself, although there are some things that you should think about since children are a lot smaller than we are. This is perfectly demonstrated when we look at the size of their hands compared to that of an adult.

  Length of hand (inches) Width of hand (inches)
Male adult 7.6 3.5
Female adult 6.8 3.1
Child, age 6 4.4 – 5.7 2.0 – 2.7
Child, age 11 5.5 – 7.0 2.0 – 3.1

It isn’t difficult to see from this information that a bow release that was made for adult hands would be far too large for the small hands of a child. For this reason, it is extremely important that you source a bow release that has been specifically designed with younger archers in mind.

Hand Or Wrist Release?

There are two main types of bow release; the wrist and the hand release and the kind that you choose will depend on several factors. Of course, you can speak to your child and determine which they would find more straightforward to use; you might also let your child try out each kind to see what they are most comfortable with.

A wrist release attaches to the wrist and is the most commonly used, especially among beginners. This type of release uses the arm strength to draw the bow and for this reason, is often a lot easier to use for younger archers who may not have a great deal of strength in their fingers.

In contrast, a hand release uses the finger strength to draw the bow and is released using a thumb trigger. These tend to be used by more experienced archers and can be a little more tricky to get the hang of. They are also perfect for those who are competing in archery tournaments.

Experience Level

Like many other things in archery, the type of bow release you purchase for a youth archer will depend on their level of experience. Of course, the most important thing is that they are comfortable using the release.

For children who have not used a bow release before, you may find that it takes a while for them to get used to it, particularly if they have been drawing their bow manually up until now. However, it is worth persevering since a bow release does have a lot of advantages.

In the main, a wrist release is going to be far easier to use for children who are new to this type of equipment. But it is worth keeping in mind that there is a potential for them to develop target panic when using a wrist release owing to the fact that their squeeze control may be lacking.

The alternative is using a less common hinge release which will allow them to get used to working with a bow release; however, these can be slightly more expensive.

If the young archer has had a little more practice and is at an advanced or intermediate level, then a wrist release might not be suitable for them. Fortunately, there are some other options.

Generally speaking, a hand release is better for those with more experience, but a lot of it comes down to what the individual archer feels more comfortable with. Alternatively, a hinge release can step up the child’s archery game, and despite popular belief, these are not just suited to those with target panic.

Once your child has gotten used to their bow release, you might want to upgrade them to a more sophisticated piece of equipment, and the good news is that there are many options to choose from.

Many of the more high-end releases have more adjustability options, and this can go a long way in giving your child the most accurate shot.

Why Is A Bow Release Important?

Unless you are familiar with archery, you may not have been aware that a bow release was necessary, and in truth, it isn’t. There is no reason why you cannot fire your bow in the traditional manner, just using your fingers. In fact, some people prefer this method of firing, and that is entirely acceptable.

However, a lot of archers prefer to use a bow release for its many benefits. Primarily, a bow release, sometimes called a release aid, is used to improve accuracy, which as we know, is essential in archery. For kids, especially those who are new to the sport, getting a good aim is not always easy, but using a bow release can help them to develop a greater level of accuracy. Not only this, but using a release will also ensure consistency. In competitive archery, there is nothing more important than remaining consistent.

The Best Youth Bow Release

Best Overall Choice – Scott Archery Youth Hero Bow Release

This is a great choice for a young archer since it boasts so many incredible features. For example, this bow release boasts a knurled trigger which means that the child will obtain a superior grip, making the entire experience far more comfortable.

Furthermore, this is a versatile release aid that is very easy to use. It features a velcro strap which is far easier for the child to take on and off themselves, but it is also super-easy to adjust. The nylon strap connector means that it can be infinitely adjusted and is specifically designed for smaller hands. What’s even more impressive is that both right and left-handed archers can use this release.

Scott Archery has been in the business for more than 30 years so you can feel confident that their products are a cut above the rest.

Best Alternative – TruBall Archery Youth Shooter Release

If you are unable to purchase the cream of the crop, then you needn’t look far to find an excellent alternative. The TruBall Archery bow release has been designed specifically for youths and has a range of features that make it superior.

Primarily, you will notice that this is a hook and loop system that is incredibly easy to use. Furthermore, the quick-lock connection system means that adjusting the strap is exceptionally straightforward and can be done by the child without assistance.

The rope-style connection means that torque is drastically reduced and this results in far greater accuracy with every shot.

The velcro strap is ideal for younger archers, and the release easily tucks into the sleeve when it is not being used so it will not get in the way.

Best Budget Youth Bow Release – Allen Compact Thumb Youth Release

Not all archery equipment has to cost the earth, and that is where this incredible budget-friendly bow release comes into play. At just $7.95, you would be hard-pushed to find anything quite as effective for such a competitive price.

The release is perfect for both children and adult archers who have smaller hands and can be used by both left and right-handed people.

It features a crisp thumb release that delivers much-improved accuracy and is easy to use. The grooved design makes this extremely comfortable to hold, not to mention that this is an exceptionally durable piece of equipment.

It will automatically lock onto the bowstring and can handle up to 75lbs of draw weight which is more than enough for a child.


A bow release is a common piece of equipment used in both target archery and in bowhunting but is far more common in target archery where precision and accuracy are imperative.

However, it isn’t only adults that take part in this exciting sport, and there are many children who love archery but using equipment that has been designed for adults simply isn’t a viable option. Using an adult bow release would make shooting very difficult for a child, but the good news is that there are plenty of bow releases that have been designed specifically for children.

It is important to take certain things into consideration when choosing a bow release for a youth, including their level of experience and what is most comfortable for them.

A compound bow is a delicate piece of equipment and if it is not correctly looked after, this can result in it not operating as well as it otherwise would. At worst, the bow could end up becoming completely unusable.

When you purchase a compound bow for the first time, one of the most important things to learn is how to maintain your bow. While there are a lot of things to do, each of these is important and should be taken seriously.

In this article, we are going to be looking at how to perform routine maintenance on your compound bow so that it always performs at its best.

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Why Compound Bow Maintenance Is Important

Compound bows are a mechanical type of bow and unlike their recurve counterparts, these bows have a lot of moving parts that can quickly become ineffective when they are not taken care of.

Your compound bow has an intricate system of strings and cams and if these are off, even slightly, this can affect the performance of the bow. A poorly maintained bow can result in your performance being reduced.

Many archers buy a bow and find their way around it, learning to shoot with accuracy and consistency. However, it isn’t long before that same bow has an extremely negative effect on your ability to shoot in a straight line all because it has not been properly taken care of.

Furthermore, if your bow is not in good working order, it could actually be dangerous. There is a significant chance of the bow causing injury to your or someone in the vicinity and you don’t need us to tell you that that could be devastating.

If you take good care of your compound bow, you will notice that it lasts much longer and retains that ‘like-new’ appearance for much longer.

Understanding The Parts Of A Compound Bow

If you have been used to working with more conventional archery equipment then using a compound bow might seem a little alien. But in order to be able to correctly maintain your bow, you must be aware of the different parts.

  • The bowstring is the part of the bow which is drawn back and then released in order to shoot the arrow.
  • The limbs are the parts of the compound bow that bend and flex as the bow is drawn, storing energy in them ready for release.
  • Compound bows have either one, two, or hybrid cams. These are wheels positioned at the ends of the limbs and their function is to reduce the weight of the draw and create what is known as let off; we will explain this in a little more detail shortly. *
  • The riser might be referred to as the ‘body’ of the bow and is where you would take a grip on the bow. Various accessories can be attached to the riser such as sights, arrow rests, and stabilizers.
  • Compound bows have cables that ensure the limbs and the cams remain tied together.

*You will often hear about let off when talking about compound bows and this term simply refers to the amount of reduced draw weight. Compound bows, by design, are used to make drawing the bow easier for the archer. If the bow has a let-off of 50%, this means that it will hold 50% of the draw weight, making it 50% easier for you to handle.

Tips For Maintaining Your Compound Bow

There could be endless things you could do to keep your compound bow in good working order but there are some that are considered to be essential.

How often each of these things needs to be performed will vary but we will detail this in each of the following sections.


One of the most important parts of your compound bow is the bowstring. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to release your arrows so it is vital that you pay close attention to the condition of the bowstring and regularly maintain it.

It might not seem like it when you are shooting but the bowstring goes through an incredible amount of trauma every time it is fired. This component stores a lot of energy and with each shot, it loses some of its elasticity.

That being said, your bowstring should serve you for quite some time but it is always a good idea to check the string after every shooting session; even if it has only recently been replaced.

You may notice small signs of wear on your bowstring. Most commonly, this will be fraying but in the worst cases, the string may snap entirely. It’s pretty obvious that at this point, the string will need replacing.

All too often, archers, especially new archers will see that there is a small amount of damage to the string and continue shooting with it. It is essential that you do not do this. While you may be lucky and have a bowstring that does well under pressure, it could just as easily snap, mid draw. If this happens, someone stands to get injured.

What’s more, if you continue using a bowstring when it is not fully functional, it could damage your bow, and the cost of repairing this will be far greater than merely restringing it. On average, you can expect to pay around $120 to have your compound bow restrung.

A good bowstring will typically last for around two years although this can vary dramatically depending on how much it is used and how well it is looked after. A bowstring should be replaced after this length of time, even if it appears to be in good working order.

You may find that in the early days, you need to replace your bowstring more often as you will typically take more shots as your practice and hone your archery skills.

To get the most out of your bowstring, you will need to make sure that it is waxed regularly. Bowstring waxes can be brought for a very reasonable price and are a great way to prevent premature fraying and give your bowstring the best life possible.

When you apply wax to your bowstring, it will cause it to feel slightly tacky, and this is good. If it loses this feel, you will want to reapply. As a general rule, you should wax the string every couple of weeks but if you are using it more than usual, you can up this to once a week.

Wear and Tear

A compound bow goes through a lot and as such, it is going to sustain lots of signs of wear and tear. Some of these will be purely aesthetic and won’t have an impact on the bow’s performance whereas others will need to be addressed.

Every time you use your bow, get into the habit of giving it a quick once over before storing it. You can check for any signs that the bow may be compromised or any components that have come loose.

If you do notice that there are any loose parts, then you should make adjustments to these immediately. It can be tempting to say ‘I’ll do it later’ but later often never comes and eventually, what was an insignificant, easily-fixed problem can become something much more damaging.

If you hear any strange noises or feel any sort of unusual vibration when firing your bow, this could be a sign that there is a problem. These problems are not always obvious, especially to the untrained eye so you may need to take the bow to your local archery shop to have it checked. But we will look at this in a little more detail later in the article.

Some of the things that you can check after each shooting session are:

  • The condition of the bowstring, as we have already discussed.
  • Look over the riser grip to make sure that there are no cracks or other visible damage. If your riser is fitted with a grip rather than having one carved into it, you should make sure that this is secure and not coming away from the main body of the bow.
  • Next, take a look at the limbs and how they are attached to the riser. In the case of a compound bow, these should be incredibly secure and should not wobble at all. If they do, this is a clear indication that something is wrong and you should have your bow inspected by a professional.
  • You will likely have several accessories attached to the riser and it is imperative that you check these are securely attached and not coming loose. If they are, make sure that you take the time to reattach them properly.
  • You may also notice that over time, parts of your bow ‘erode’ away. This is especially common on the arrow rest. In this instance, you would need to replace any parts that have begun to wear.

A compound bow will wear far more quickly if it is not stored correctly and this is one of the most common mistakes that new archers make. If you want to ensure a long life for your bow, it is important to get off on the right foot and take good care of the bow, even when it is not being used.

Compound bows do not do well when they are exposed to high temperatures. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t store your bow anywhere that the temperature will exceed 100ºF.

If a compound bow is left in extreme heat for long periods of time, this can have a devastating effect on the limbs, potentially causing them to fail entirely. Furthermore, this kind of excessive heat could impact the bowstring material, causing it to wear far more quickly than normal.

The cables may also be affected since the heat may cause them to stretch and ultimately, weaken.

Water should also be kept as far away from your bow as possible and we don’t just mean immersing your bow in water but storing it in humid conditions. When you store your bow, even in a bow case, it is vital to put it somewhere dry.

If the bow is exposed to any sort of moisture, this could result in the various components becoming damaged.

Cam Care

The number of cams that your compound bow has will depend on how you care for it but regardless of how many there are, you will want to regularly check that they are working as they should be.

Compound bows with two cams are very common but they can also present a problem when the cams become misaligned. If they are not synchronized, this will result in you not being able to fire your arrow accurately.

If you ever notice that your aim is suddenly off and nothing has changed, it could be something as simple as realigning the cams.

But before anything goes wrong, it can pay to check the cams every time you finish shooting. Finding out whether the cams are in sync isn’t as difficult as you might first think. The best and easiest way to do this is to draw the bow and watch the cams as you draw. If they are in sync, they should both reach the let-off point at the same time.

If they do not, this will mean that you will need to adjust them. This is not overly complicated and can be quickly learned even by those who are new to archery.

Your aim here is to make sure that the top and bottom cams are moving in unison; their movements should reflect one’s another perfectly. To alter this, you need to tweak the cables and keep checking the movement of the cams. Once you are happy that they are synchronized, test out the bow and you will likely feel the difference.

Dry Firing

Dry firing a bow is one of the most potentially dangerous things that any archer can do. Would you believe that there are people out there that do this for fun? We can’t either, but it is sadly the case.

If these people want to damage their bows then dry firing is a good way to go about that but the biggest concern is that dry firing can cause serious injury to both the archer and anyone standing nearby.

In a nutshell, to dry fire a bow means to fire your bow without an arrow. A lot of people are tempted to allow their friends to take a turn with the bow without using an arrow. But we need to think about the physics of doing this.

When the bow is drawn, an incredible amount of energy is built up. Normally, when you release the bow, this energy is transferred into the arrow. However, if there is not an arrow present, this energy gets transferred back into the bow itself.

No archer is exempt from accidentally dry firing a bow, it happens to the best of us and if you have ever experienced this, you will know what a terrifying noise the event creates.

The problem is that the massive amount of energy going into the bow can cause permanent damage to the riser, limbs, or the string. This damage is often irreversible but not always immediately apparent. For this reason, you should always take your bow to an archery shop for inspection after a dry fire.

Transporting The Compound Bow

In the same way that storing your bow should always be done correctly, transporting your bow should be done with great care.

Many archers will take their bows to shooting ranges, tournaments, hunting areas, and even to another country. That’s great that you are able to explore the world and enjoy archery at the same time but this shouldn’t be done at the expense of your equipment.

It is always worth investing in a quality bow case, and one of the most important things to look for is a case that is incredibly tough on the outside. It should be built to protect the bow in all events.

The case should also be padded to protect the bow from the inside and seal easily so as to keep out moisture.

When transporting your bow, always lie the case flat rather than propping it up. If you are traveling by air, the airline should have policies in place on handling delicate equipment but it never hurts to talk to the staff about how you would like your property to be treated; you are paying them for a service, after all.

Know When To See A Professional

As we have mentioned, there are times when you will not be able to complete the relevant bow maintenance and there is no shame in admitting that you need the assistance of a professional.

There are archery shops dotted around the world but it is a good idea to make yourself familiar with one and get to know the staff. This allows you to build up a good degree of trust with them.

These shops have all the right equipment for handling and fixing bows and those who work in them are fully trained. It is especially important to see a pro when you have dry fired the bow or if it begins behaving in an unusual manner.

Furthermore, going to an archery shop will give you the opportunity to learn new skills and get advice on all aspects of archery. You might also meet like-minded people with whom you can share your archery journey.

Every year, you should take your bow to an archery shop to receive its annual tune-up. This will ensure that the bow is fully fitted to you and that any problems are addressed so that they do not cause further issues.


Compound bows are one of the most modern types of bow and work on a mechanical system of cams and strings. They are extremely effective and much easier to use than some conventional bows.

However, if you want your compound bow to serve you for a long time, it is vital that you take good care of it. Regular maintenance and annual tune-ups as well as quickly checking your bow every time you use it are all excellent ways to improve its performance and increase its lifespan.

Archery requires a great degree of skill and practice if you want consistent shots. However, one of the things that come as a surprise to many people that are just starting with the sport is that accuracy can be thrown off if there is even the smallest interference.

One such interference is the anchor point. If you do not anchor the bow correctly, this can make your draw much more complicated and will cause your arrow to veer off track.

Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your anchor point is always spot on and your shots are consistent and accurate.

In this article, we will be exploring the best anchor point for drawing a bow and how you will benefit from finding this.

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What Is An Anchor Point And Why Is it Important?

One of the first things you will hear about when taking archery lessons is your anchor point, and this can sound confusing if you have never heard of this before.

Before we get started on learning about where your anchor point should be, we must understand what an anchor point is.

In archery, an anchor point is a spot on the face where you draw the bow. This allows you to anchor the bowstring to a specific place, and this will help to keep each shot consistent and accurate. Without anchoring, you would have far less control over the bow and would notice that the arrows did not go where you intended.

The location of the anchor point may vary from person to person, and this may be down to their level of experience or how they prefer to do it. Furthermore, the type of bow that you are using will have an impact on the best location for your anchor point.

How To Find Your Anchor Point

There are common anchor points which are used by archers all over the world, but it is vital to keep certain things in mind when locating your anchor point.

When finding your anchor point, you must be easily able to identify every time you take a shot. If you are hunting animals, then this needs to be done quickly to avoid missing your target. You should aim to find an anchor point that you can commit to memory.

Many skilled archers will tell you that after some time, the movements and intricacies of archery begin to come naturally and where at the beginning, you would have to think about everything when getting ready to draw the bow, after some practice, it would become second nature. Having an anchor point that allows for this is essential.

Furthermore, you should make sure that your anchor point is comfortable to reach. There have been many people who have had to contort themselves just to attain their anchor point, and this will not allow for an accurate shot, nor would it appear as if you were using the bow correctly.

Finally, you must be able to repeat the action over and over. As we have already discussed, doing this will come as second nature after a while, but when you are learning, you should be able to repeat the action easily.

Developing A Consistent Anchor Point

It is no use merely putting the bow up to your face and hoping for the best; one of the most important things about finding your anchor point is to follow a commonly used three-step process. This includes release to hand, hand to face and string to face. Let’s take a look at what each of these means.

Release To Hand

Before you do anything else, you must concentrate on the location of the release in the hand. It is also essential that you always have the release in the same place on the hand as not doing so can vastly affect your accuracy and your consistency. Many archers complain that one moment their aim is excellent and the arrow goes precisely where they had planned, and the next moment, arrows are flying off in all directions. This is usually because they have not remained consistent in their stance, and this includes the anchor point.

When finding the right place for the release in the hand, you must think about two things; being comfortable and being able to repeat the action.

You must be comfortable when shooting your bow; if you are not, likely, you won’t be able to remain still and calm when taking your aim. For this reason, be sure to find a place to hold the release that feels good.

Secondly, you will need to be able to remember this location every time you shoot; consistency is everything where archery is concerned and even minor details like where you hold the release must remain consistent. If you are struggling to remember where you should have the release in your hand, it is entirely acceptable to mark it with some tape or a marker.

Hand To Face

Now that you are holding the release comfortably, you are ready to bring the bow up to the face, and it is necessary, once again to remain consistent with this. It pays to spend some time practising this movement. It might feel like a minor detail, but it certainly is a crucial one if you want to avoid being inaccurate.

Different people will find that they prefer different anchor points, and we will look at these in a little more detail later on, but right now, it is essential to focus on making contact with the face.

Your hand should lightly touch the face, but it should not press too hard. If it does, this can massively interfere with the shot and can contribute to a lack of precision. Conversely, you should be mindful of not making enough contact as this can make you much more unsteady. Finding the right balance is key, and again, this may take a little practice.

String To Face

The final motion that you will need to think about when finding your anchor point is bringing the bowstring to your face. In most cases, the string will make contact with the nose, but where on the nose is another consideration entirely.

This very much depends on your personal preference, and usually, archers will go for either the side of the nose or the tip of the nose.

You will need to focus on consistency again, and this means finding a point where you can bring the string to the nose time after time. To remain consistent, most people find that using the tip of the nose makes things easier. However, if you are going for comfort, you might prefer to use the side – just be sure that you can locate the same spot every time you draw the bow.

Common Anchor Points

Now that you are aware of how to find the perfect anchor point, you may like to decide which is most comfortable for you. Whilst anchoring the string on the nose is considered an anchor point, your actual anchor point will be where the index or middle finger that is holding the release, touches the face.

In the main, there are two common anchor points and which you use will depend on several factors; the type of bow you are using, your level of experience and what you find most comfortable.

The Corner Of The Mouth

When you are first starting on your archery journey, you will probably find that anchoring the bow feels most comfortable when done at the corner of the mouth. This is one of the main reasons that it is the most common anchor point.

Furthermore, unlike other areas, the corner of the mouth is very easy to commit to memory, and you can’t go wrong with it. Moreover, it will likely feel more natural and less forced.

To achieve this, you simply need to draw the bow and rest the index finger of the hand that is drawing at the corner of the mouth. A lot of people say that it feels a little odd, to begin with, but over time it will start to feel much more comfortable.

If you use a compound bow, you can use this method, but when using a mechanical release, you may not find it suitable and may be better relying on other reference points. Those using a recurve bow would benefit from using this method.

Underneath Your Jaw

Those who are very experienced archers or who compete at a professional level may prefer to anchor the bow underneath the jaw. However, it is not advisable for beginners since this can be a little more tricky to achieve, and if you do not get it right, this will affect your accuracy.

This method involves drawing the bow and placing your bowstring underneath the jaw. One of the most notable benefits of using this anchor point is that you will have many more points of reference. This includes the bowstring on the mouth as well as the hand at the chin. You do not get this when using the corner of the mouth. What’s more, it is widely accepted that this method will improve your accuracy far better. But it will require a lot more practice, and as ever, consistency is critical, so spending some time getting it right will pay off in the end.


Finding the right anchor point when drawing your bow is one of the most essential aspects of archery. The accuracy of your aim relies on several factors, and this includes how you anchor the bow. Not doing it correctly can cause your aim to be off.

There are two common anchor points, these are below the jaw and at the corner of the mouth and which you use will largely depend on your level of experience, the type of bow you are using and which you like best.

There is also a necessary process to follow to find your anchor point, and this should be practised so that it becomes automatic.

Having your sight in the right position will allow for improved accuracy, yet there are still many archers out there who are not familiar with how to do this.

Fortunately, adjusting bow sights is an easy task to learn, and once you get the hang of it, you will understand how important it really is.

In this article, we will be looking at the importance of adjusting your sight and giving you some handy tips on how to do this.

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Why Do I Need To Adjust My Bow Sight?

When you purchase your bow, you will likely have an in-depth conversation with the expert about maintaining your bow and how to adjust the various components. They will probably talk you through how to adjust the sight, but when you are in such an excited hurry to get the bow home and play with it, this information might slide by the wayside.

Of course, you could return to the archery shop every time you need to adjust your sight, but this is hugely inconvenient. It is essential to learn how to do this yourself.

When we talk about archery, we often refer to precision and accuracy. It is common to understand that these two terms mean the same thing, but there is a crucial difference.

  • Accuracy refers to where you aim the arrow, i.e., its intended landing place.
  • Precision is where the arrow actually lands.

You may have noticed that your arrow consistently lands in another location despite aiming at a specific spot on the target. It may always land in this location regardless of the place you are aiming for. There could be a number of issues at play, but most likely, your sight needs adjusting.

With your sight correctly adjusted, you will notice that your accuracy and your precision go hand in hand rather than being passing acquaintances.

How To Adjust Your Bow Sight

There are two main types of bow sight that you will commonly see on modern bows, so we are going to take a look at both to give you a good idea of adjusting both.

These types of bow sight are known as the single pin sight and the multi-pin sight. Before we begin, it is essential to look at the basics and some top tips for getting your adjustments right every time.

  • You will need an Allen wrench to adjust your bow sight. These tools are commonly used for maintenance on various parts of the bow, so it is always a good idea to keep a set on hand.
  • Before you attempt to adjust your bow sight, you must consider your sight-in distance. In the main, with a multi-pin sight, this will be 20 yards, but in order to correctly determine this, you will need to start close to your target and gradually move back.
  • You should also fire a group of at least three arrows. This will allow you to determine whether the sight is the problem or whether it is your form. Shoot the arrows and see how consistent the shots are. If they all land in the same spot but it is not where you aimed, it is likely the sight.
  • When you are sighting your bow, it is vital that your anchor point remains consistent; if it does not, then your shots likely won’t be consistent either, and this can make sighting almost impossible.
  • To get the best results from sighting, you may wish to do it over several sessions.
  • If once you reach the bottom of the sight, you still want to shoot further distances, you can do this by lowering the entire bracket. This will likely improve the issue, but you should keep in mind that you will need to make sure that there is enough clearance for the arrow or face interference.
  • You may have spent a lot of time sighting your bow only to realize that the arrows are still not landing where you aimed. This might mean that there is an issue with your form, and you can check this by filming yourself shooting and looking at where you can improve. 

Multi-Pin Bow Sights

A multi-pin sight allows you to move the sight in all directions; up, down, right, and left. You will also notice that you can move the pins up and down too.

The pin at the bottom will be used to sight the distance that is furthest away, while in contrast, the top pin will be for the point closest to you. It is always advisable to sight the top pin first, and as we mentioned earlier, in most cases, this will be 20 yards, but you should start at 10 yards.

Begin by shooting three arrows, as we have already discussed, to check your form against the sight. If it is the sight that is off, you will need to loosen the screw to allow you to move the housing from side to side. Now move the housing towards the group.

You will now need to shoot another group of three, as this will allow you to check if the adjustment is sufficient. If you need to, adjust the housing once again until you have it just right. It is important to take your time.

The next step is to maneuver the pin either up or down, depending on where the group landed. If the group landed high, then move the pin up. Conversely, if it landed lower than where you have aimed, you will need to move the pin down. It is crucial to remember that the top pin must stay in the upper third of the housing.

You may find that you run out of room to move the pin, and that’s fine; all you need to do is to release the screw that allows you to move the housing up and down. Loosen this, and you will be able to continue adjusting. Make sure to fine-tune your adjustment as necessary.

Now you will need to move to 25 yards and take aim using your 20-yard pin. Try shooting another group of three arrows and check to see what the aim is like. If you don’t notice a significant drop, you can move on to 30 yards and continue with your other pins.

Single-Pin Bow Sight

You will find that the process of adjusting your single pin bow sight is very similar to the previous method. However, most of these types of sight will have some sort of lever or wheel used for adjusting the yardage.

The windage on these sights is used for adjusting the pin from left to right, whereas the elevation is used to move the pin up and down. You may find that you come to a point where you cannot use the windage anymore, but if this happens, simply loosen the screw to move the pin.

Once again, you will need to begin at 10 yards. Move the sight towards the group until such a time that the arrows land where you had aimed.

When adjusting your single-pin bow sight, you might approach the job differently, depending on how you shoot. Let’s assume that you always shoot from a set distance. In this case, you will work your way up to this while making adjustments to the pin as you go.

A lot of people think that they need to get their adjustments perfect every step of the way, but this is not necessarily the case. You do have some wiggle room, but once you reach your distance, you can then fine-tune the sight for the best results.

Alternatively, you may want to shoot from various distances, in which case, you will need to make use of a sight tape.

This is a piece of equipment that will attach to the side of the sight. It features distance markers, and these can be brought from a pro-archery shop, or you can simply print one out. Some archers go one step further and make a sight tape themselves using a piece of blank tape and a marker.

It is important to make sure that you have the correct sight tape when using a pre-printed one. Sight your pin at both 20 and 40 yards before measuring that against various tapes. This will allow you to figure out which one will work for your equipment.

Once you have attached the tape to the bow sight, be sure to check that it is accurate.

Peep Sights

As well as your bow sight, you might want to install a peep sight. This is a small bow accessory that fits into the bowstring and allows you to see through to your bow sight.

As you look through the peep sight, you should see a sort of tunnel with the bow sight at the end.

This will allow you to line up the correct pin to the center of the target, further improving your aim and precision.

A lot of archers like using a peep sight, and they can be very effective pieces of equipment. However, there is no denying that using one does take some practice, so you must be willing to put this in. Give it some time, and you will likely see the benefits.


There are two different types of bow sight that are normally used in modern archery, and each of these should be adjusted in its own way. This is not a difficult job and is an important part of owning a bow. Many people don’t bother to tend to this intricate detail, but they soon find that their accuracy and precision do not line up.

If you find that you are aiming for a certain point on the target, but your arrows consistently end up elsewhere, the problem may be that your sight needs adjusting.

If, however, once you have adjusted your sight, the arrows still do not land where you want them to, it is worth looking at your form as well.

Recurve bows are preferred by those who like to do a more traditional type of archery thanks to their conventional design. However, restringing them does take some practice but if you want to be the best archer you can, it is important to learn how to do this properly.

In this article, we will be looking at how to string a recurve bow by hand as well as using a bow stringer.

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Stringing A Recurve Bow

Knowing how to string your recurve bow is an important part of archery, yet many people do not learn how to do this and instead take their bow to an archery shop.

This is, of course, a viable option but just think how convenient it would be to do this yourself and not have to make a special trip or fork out any extra cash just to restring your bow.

Another important thing to think about is that restringing does not only need to be done when the string wears out or breaks. There are a lot of recurve bows that can be taken apart for storage and the string must be removed in order to do it.

Using A Bow Stringer

One of the easiest methods for restringing your bow is to use a bow stringer. This is a piece of equipment that not only makes restringing the bow easier but also makes it much safer. A lot of people prefer to use this method for these reasons.

Furthermore, if you speak to any archery shop technician, they will tell you that this is the recommended way to do the job. What’s more, they will be able to help you select a bow stringer that is right for you.

Step 1 – Buy A Bow Stringer

As we have mentioned, you can speak to your local archery shop where you will be able to source the right type of bow stringer for you. They do come in several varieties but essentially, they all have the same purpose; to help you restring your bow.

The most common types for a recurve bow are the double pocket bow stringer and the pocket and saddle bow stringer.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Bow

When you are doing any maintenance on your bow, it is vital that you take your time and make sure that everything is prepared. You don’t want to rush the process and risk damaging any part of your equipment.

To get the bow ready to be restrung, you must first install the limbs, if it is a new bow. If you are restringing an old bow, you must first remove the old string.

You will now need to put the string loops onto the limbs. You must begin with the top string loop which can be easily recognized because of its larger size. Simply slide this loop down the limb and then take the bottom string loop and put this onto the bottom limb.

These loops must sit on the string grooves which are very distinct grooves at the tip of both limbs; you can’t miss them.

Step 3 – Putting The Bow Stringer On

You will need to put the bow stringer on in a similar way to the string loops, beginning with the top limb.

The saddle end of the stringer, which is the part that lies flat on the bow should be installed slightly behind the string loop that you have just installed.

Now you can move on to the pouch end of the bow stringer which will be put onto the lower limb. You can place this over the tip of the bottom limb, you will notice that the design allows this to be put on securely and enclose the entire end of the limb.

You are now ready to string your bow.

Step 4 – Stringing Your Bow

With the bow stringer on the floor, step onto this with both feet; keep your feet shoulder-width apart to make this process as easy as possible. Now take the bow by the grip and lift it straight up towards you so that the limbs become flexed.

The job of the bow stringer is to hold the draw weight of the bow while you get on with installing the string so don’t worry about whether you can hold the weight yourself. All you need to do is to slide the string loop into the string grooves on the top of the bow.

For the first few times doing this, you may feel a little intimidated and may also have a lot of questions about whether you are flexing the limbs enough, or perhaps too little.

However, following these instructions should give you the results you want. But if you do feel nervous, you can take your bow to an archery shop and have an expert talk you through the process and give you tips on the best methods.

Step 5 – Check Your Bow

Even if you are the most adept bowperson in the world, it is still essential that you check your bow once you have finished installing the new string, failing to do so could result in damage to the bow, or worse, injury to you.

Start by removing the bow stringer and turning the bow around so that the limbs are facing away from you. It is important to hold the bow this way while you are checking it because if the strings were to come loose, the limbs would move back towards you.

Take a look at the string and double check that it is fitted into both string grooves on the bow correctly and securely. If everything looks good, your bow is ready to be used.

What If I Don’t Have A Bow Stringer?

While we would always advocate the use of a bow stringer, there may be times when you simply do not have access to one. Other people prefer to do things the old- fashioned way, so rather than struggling with what could be a dangerous process, we will give you a run-down of how to do it.

This method is known as the step-through method and is one of the more traditional ways of stringing a recurve or longbow.

If it is not executed correctly, it can be dangerous. Therefore, it is vital that you follow these steps to the letter.

  • Ensure that the string is the right way up and hook the bottom loop around the bottom limb of the bow.
  • Hold the bow in front of you, using one hand to hold the bow and the other to hold the string. Now step through the two.
  • Place the bow at the back of your front thigh and in front of your back shin and use your two legs to hold it securely in place.
  • Now bend the bow towards the string. You can use your torso to turn if you need help to get the two to meet.
  • If you are using a Dacron string; twist the end of the string between ten and twelve times before attaching it to the limb.
  • Step out of the bow and check each end of the string to make sure that it is in place.

Tips For Maintaining Your Bow

Of course, one of the best ways to make your bow go the distance is to look after it well. Any archer worth their salt will tell you that regularly waxing your bowstring is one of the most effective ways of prolonging its life.

That being said, we do recommend changing your bow string every two to three years to make sure that it is always functioning as it should.

But looking after your string is not the only thing that you should do to make sure your bow keeps going shot after shot. Take a look at these handy tips;

  • Never dry fire your bow; this can cause serious injury to you and others around you and will also damage your bow.
  • Remove the string from the bow if you will not use it for a significant period of time.
  • Do not store the bow at extreme temperatures.
  • Regularly inspect the string for signs of wear or damage.
  • Before shooting the bow, make sure that you adjust the finger guard.


There you have it, restringing a recurve bow is quite simple once you know how to do it. Many archers prefer to use a bow stringer and this is the way that most experts would suggest you do this.

However, it is possible to string a recurve bow without a bow stringer, provided that you are careful and follow the step-through method exactly.

There isn’t always the option to head off to the shooting range for target practice so when you have the urge to fire your bow, you need to have a good setup at home; of course, you must make sure that you follow any local laws or regulations for shooting on private property before you start.

However, once you have crossed that bridge, the next step is to make a functional archery target. You might buy one but much of the fun of creating an archery range at home is preparing the equipment yourself.

There are undoubtedly certain materials that are much better for archery targets than others and if you want a target that will be durable but won’t cause your arrows to become lodged, this is an important consideration.

In this article, we are going to be looking at the best material for archery targets as well as giving you some helpful advice on creating a great archery target for at-home use.

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Why Choose A Home-Made Archery Target?

You might be thinking that it would be far easier to head to your local archery store and pick out one of the many targets that you can purchase. While this is likely the most quick and convenient method of acquiring an archery target, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best option.

There are many reasons why making an archery target at home will benefit you. Primarily, this way is far less expensive than buying a ready-made target. Some of these can be seriously bank-breaking and with archery requiring a lot of equipment at the best of times, it makes sense to try to save the pennies where you can.

Furthermore, when you buy a read-made target, your choices are much more limited; the only limit when making a target at home is your imagination. For this reason, a lot of archers enjoy making their own targets as it gives you the freedom to create something that is as close to what they need as possible. The type of archery you practice will determine the best type of target for you.

For the most part, the materials that you use to make your archery target will be recyclable. Often, we use things like hay, cardboard and other materials which can be reused for something else or put in the recycling collection.

In modern times, there is a huge focus on using renewable materials in as many areas as possible and doing your bit with your archery target can help. What’s more, you likely won’t need to invest in any materials as you may already have the lying around the house.

Why Do I Need An Archery Target?

There are three main types of archery; bowhunting, 3D archery and target archery. For bowhunters, when it is not hunting season, in many cases, you will not be permitted to shoot on public land.

However, that is not to say that you do not need to practice, especially if you want to be ready for the next hurting season. Archery is something that requires constant practice.

For target archers and those who enjoy 3D archery, you may not always be able to get to an organised shooting range so having an target at home will surely be an advantage.

But much more than this, practising archery as regularly as possible will help you to hone your skills and keep them sharp.

One of the major parts of being a good archer is keeping your aim spot on, without regular practice, this is something that can diminish quickly. As your aim and accuracy improve, so will your confidence. This means that when it comes to those pressured situations whether in a competition or out in the field, you will be a much better archer.

Using an archery target at home is typically far safer than not using one, unless you are absolutely certain that there is not another person for miles, and you can’t ever be 100% sure.

Firing arrows is a dangerous business and any archer worth his or her salt will tell you that the first thing you must consider is safety. Having an archery target at home will give you somewhere to aim your arrows, meaning that they won’t merely go flying off into the distance with a risk of injuring or potentially killing someone. 

Finally, having an archery target at home will allow you to make sure that your equipment is functioning correctly. All too often, archers don’t touch their bows and other equipment for weeks at a time and then head out to shoot only to realise that something isn’t working correctly.

By regularly using your home-made target, you will always be certain that your archery equipment is functioning as it should be.

What Materials Can I Use For My Archery Target?

When it comes to making an archery target at home, there are two main aspects to think about; the archery target frame and the body of the target. In some cases, both of these are made from the same material whereas other times, you might combine materials.

From hay to wood or carpet to foam, there are a lot of different things that you can use as archery target material. But before you choose, you must think about a few things to make sure that your chosen material is going to serve its purpose.

In the main, an archery target should be durable, since this is something that is going to take a significant amount of trauma from the arrows, you want it to be able to withstand that for as long as possible. Furthermore, the material cannot be so dense that the arrows risk getting lodged into it. This can result in a lot of broken arrows.

Hay Archery Target

Hay is a really common archery target material, particularly in rural areas where many people will already have bales of hay for farming and other purposes. If you have easy access to hay, one of the huge draws is that this is a relatively inexpensive material.

Whether you are a farmer who has plenty of hay bales at your disposal or you have purchased a hay bale for the sole reason of using it as a target, this is not only a cheap way of doing things but also a very convenient one.

Hay bales are constructed blocks made from compressed, dried plants, typically grasses that are extremely solid. One of the huge advantages of a hay bale target is that you do not need to think about making a frame and target separately, since the bale will serve as a two-in-one.

Hay targets, however, can be less durable than some other options and this is something that cannot be helped too much. As the hay bale experiences the trauma of an arrow hitting it, over time, it will begin to fall apart. You can prevent this from happening too early on but covering the hay with some sort of plastic, but in the end, it is unavoidable.

Furthermore, hay may begin to rot if it is left exposed to the elements and you may find that it ends up being home to small animals taking shelter from the rain.

On the plus side, hay targets are extremely heavy and this means that they will not move around when you are shooting, giving you a very stable target.

Carpet Archery Target

A lot of people consider using old bits of carpet as this is a surprising durable material; it needs to be when you think that its primary use is to be trampled on all day!

In order to make a carpet target, you will first need to construct a frame and this can be done using wooden beams. Typically something like 2” x 12” will serve you well. You should also consider that you cannot merely stick a piece of carpet onto your frame and hope for the best. You will create a baseboard, onto which you will stack your carpet.

The carpet should first be cut into 2” x 11” pieces which can then be stacked on top of one another on the wooden base frame that you have made. Once you have stacked the piece high enough, you will want to compress it to give a little more durability.

One of the biggest drawbacks of using this type of material is that it can be time consuming to construct the target. That being said, if you are making an archery target for your kids to practice, this can also be a nice project to get your teeth into as a team.

Furthermore, the carpet can get a little expensive as you will need quite a lot to make the entire target. However, the best way to avoid a huge cost is to go for cheaper carpet. If you go to a local carpet fitter, you may find that they will sell you the end of roll cut-offs for a reasonable price.

While it could end up costing a little more, once your target is complete, carpet is, without a doubt, one of the most durable materials for home-made archery targets and even when it comes time to replace it, it can be done quickly and easily.

Foam Archery Target

Ethafoam is often used as a form of protection and this is because of its ability to stand up to repeated shock, making it the ideal material for a homemade archery target. However, since this is such an effective material, you will often find that it does come in at a slightly higher price than other materials.

However, if you are looking for something that you can use with your broadhead arrows then this is an excellent solution; but we will look more at that a little later on.

This type of target is created in a similar way to the carpet target, by making a frame and inserting several strips of ethafoam.

For something a little less expensive, you could use foam puzzle mats; you know the type that you might find in a children’s indoor play area? These are much less inexpensive than ethafoam and make a good archery target. That being said, they may not be quite as durable as ethafoam.

Cardboard Archery Target

You might think we’ve gone crazy suggesting a material as apparently weak as cardboard but in reality, when approached correctly, this can make a good archery target. One of the huge benefits of this is that you will not need to make an additional frame.

You can use one large cardboard box and fill this with other pieces of cardboard so that you have a solid structure. On top of how easy this is to do, you will also find that it is one of the least expensive ways of making an archery target at home.

Quite often, businesses will give cardboard away as it saves them the hassle of having to recycle it themselves.

Now, while cardboard does have its upsides, it is important to point out that this is potentially the least durable material. If you only need a temporary target or are happy to keep reconstructing new ones, then cardboard might work well. But if you are looking for something a little more permanent, this isn’t going to be the best choice.

Arrows And Targets

Earlier, we touched on using broadhead arrows with a foam target. This is because there are certain materials that will always be better suited to specific types of arrows.

Broadheads are essential for bowhunters and while you may not be aiming for a prize buck in your backyard, practicing with these arrows will mean that you can recreate being out in the woods as closely as possible.

However, broadheads are also so sharp that they can often get lodged in a target. Removing them can be something of a challenge and even when you are successful, it isn’t to say that the arrow won’t have sustained a significant amount of damage.

For this reason, you should always use a softer target such as foam when you are practicing with broadhead arrows. However, if you use other types of arrow, you should still think about the best material so you can get the most out of your shooting session.

For those who use hay targets, and please keep in mind that you can just as easily use straw in this instance for the same effect, using bullet point arrows will give you the best experience. Carpet targets are particularly useful for these types of arrows too.

We would advise against using a blunt arrow with a weaker type of target such as a cardboard target purely because the force might send the target flying, meaning that you would need to set it back up after every shot.

Tips For At Home Archery Targets

Building an archery target at home and using it are meant to be enjoyable experiences, but as we all know, archery can be a dangerous sport if it is not done correctly. For this reason, we would always advise erring on the side of caution. These handy tips can help you to have the safest at home shooting practice.

  • Always install a back stop to catch arrows that miss the target. Even the most adept archer may sometimes miss and it simply is not worth injuring someone.
  • Always place your target in a location where people and pets will not be passing behind.
  • Make sure that there are strict backyard archery rules in place and that everyone on the property is familiar with them.


There are lots of materials that you could use to make an archery target for your at-home practice. However, it would be unfair to say that one material is better than the next. The type of material that will benefit you most will depend on several things.

Primarily, you will need to consider the type of arrows you are using as some will not be compatible with certain materials. Furthermore, the cost of the material and how durable it is will play a part in deciding whether it will work for you.

If you are looking for something a little more temporary then a cheap cardboard target may work well. Conversely, if you want a more durable target then spending a little extra cash and using something strong like carpet will work to your advantage.

When you first start out with archery, you could be forgiven for thinking that you might only require your bow, your arrows and somewhere to aim – but there are far many more pieces of equipment, that, whilst not essential, can help with your aim and accuracy.

One such piece of equipment is a bow release, and whilst they might be something of an investment, they are certainly worth splashing out on.

However, if you have never purchased a bow release before, it can be a little overwhelming when you see the sheer number of products that are out there. Choosing the right one for you will depend on several factors, and it is never a good idea to jump in at the deep end without knowing what you should be looking for.

In this article, we are going to be taking a detailed look at the bow release, what you should look for in a product and showing you some of the products that we consider to be the best bow release available today.

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What Is A Bow Release?

A bow release is a small piece of equipment that is used in archery to help the archer shoot their arrow. There might be a degree of confusion surrounding what a bow release is since this product is known by several different names. You might hear it being referred to as simply a release, but others might call it a release aid; whatever you refer to it as, they are all one of the same.

A bow release is used to give you more accuracy when firing your arrows because, rather than using your fingers to release the arrow, this is done with the aid of the release. This works well as the amount of torque that is produced when releasing the arrow with your fingers is reduced and you, therefore, get a much more quick and precise shot.

What Are The Advantages Of Using A Bow Release?

Many things make using a bow release advantageous both to your practice, in terms of accuracy and skill as well as protecting your bow.

Primarily, you will notice that we have already talked about the improvement in accuracy and speed when using a bow release, and this is one of the main reasons that so many people use them. When you are using a bow release, you will be getting a far more consistent shot. Consistency is one of the critical things to keep in mind with archery. Many people are under the false impression that accuracy is the most important thing. While it is essential, it simply cannot be achieved without remaining consistent in your firing.

When you use your fingers to draw the bowstring, there will always be variables, and this can take away from your consistency. In contrast, when you use a bow release, you will always get the same draw weight and tension so your arrows will be released consistently every time. This is essential but particularly in competitive archery. What’s more, using a bow release can mean that it is far easier to group arrows more tightly together, and this is also concerning the consistent draw on the bowstring.

Furthermore, it can be far easier to use the bow when you are using a bow release. When you draw with the finger, you are reliant on the finger muscles and strength to reach full draw. This means you will need much greater finger strength, which, as anyone knows, is much more challenging to obtain than arm strength. Conversely, a bow release will mean that you put the effort in using the arm muscles, which is a lot easier for you.

The condition of your bow can be better maintained through using a release aid, and this is because this small piece of equipment can help to prevent dry firing the bow. Dry firing is when you release the bowstring without an arrow, and this can cause devastating damage to the bow. But more importantly, it can also serve as a way to cause injury both to the archer and anyone in the vicinity owing to debris that can come flying off the bow. We have written a more detailed article about that here.

What’s more, many modern compound bows have been designed with a bow release in mind and not using one could put unnecessary pressure on the cams, causing the bow to become damaged.

Are There Any Disadvantages To Using A Bow Release?

In the main, a bow release is an effective tool to have when you are using a compound bow; they may not be suitable for a recurve bow, but we will look at that in a little more detail later on.

If you use a release aid with a compound bow, you will see far more advantages than drawbacks. The only downside is that, much like any piece of hardware, your bow release will need replacing after some time. That being said, many of the modern release aids are made with exceptionally durable material and have a great deal of durability.

What Sort Of Bow Uses A Bow Release?

There are two main types of bow in archery; the recurve bow and the compound bow. A recurve bow is a much more traditional piece of equipment, whereas a compound bow is a modern, mechanical take on the recurve.

In the main, a bow release is used with a compound bow. That being said, some archers will use a release aid with their recurve bow, but if you do this, there are several things you should keep in mind. Mainly, you will need to have your bow retuned so that it is suitable for use with a release as well as reconsidering the type of arrows that you will use.

Many archers who use a recurve bow prefer to stick with traditional methods of the sport; after all, archery goes back thousands of years and back then, our ancestors certainly would not have had the additional equipment that we use today. If you prefer to shoot using as traditional method as possible, then a release probably isn’t for you.

However, there have been specific releases that have been used over the years with the recurve bow, but most archers have developed reliable techniques using the fingers that deliver incredible results; although this takes a lot of practice to get right and if you want to get your shots accurate from the get-go, then a release aid would work well.

One of the main reasons that archers using a recurve bow don’t tend to use release aids is that they are more focussed on holding the weight of the draw. The mechanical design of the compound bow means that, at full draw, a very high percentage of the draw weight is being held by the bow. In contrast, when you use a recurve bow, you will need to take the weight of the draw, and a release may interfere with this. If you were to use a release with much heavier draw weight, there would be a genuine potential for an accidental arrow release which is not something that you want.

When you use a compound bow, you will likely use a peep sight; this means that using a release is much easier. However, since a lot of recurve archers do not use this type of equipment, and so their shooting style would not be compatible with using a release aid.

Using A Release Aid With A Compound Bow

As we have already mentioned, a compound bow is designed to be used with a release aid, so it is undoubtedly worth considering one if you own a compound bow.

One of the main reasons that releases work well with a compound bow is that many archers using this type of bow are susceptible to target panic. No, this isn’t some kind of archery related illness but rather when the archer finds it challenging to keep their arrows aimed at the target and may struggle with shaking or fidgeting. As we know, stillness and composure are two very critical aspects of archery. Using a release aid will drastically reduce target panic.

Furthermore, when you use a release aid, you will not need to spend anywhere near as much time practising your aim. If you shoot with your fingers, there is no getting away from the fact that you will need to practice for much longer to get a consistent level of accuracy that is conducive with being an effective archer.

Do I Need A Release Aid?

In short, no, you don’t need a release aid, but you certainly might want one. It is clear that using this small piece of equipment can drastically improve your precision, and this is particularly important in target archery competitions. But, some people simply prefer a more traditional method and want to shoot with their fingers. This is entirely acceptable but will require much more practice.

Of course, as we have discovered, if you are using a recurve bow, you may need to have the bow retuned before you can start using your bow release and the type of arrows you use might need to be changed.

Types Of Bow Release

Archery is a complicated sport, and as such, most of the equipment involved does not merely come in a standard design. This applies to the bow release, and as such, there are several types of bow release.

Before you commit to purchasing any particular product, one of the first things you should do is to look at the various types of release and understand which one would work well for you. As with anything, there are pros and cons to each type, but your level of experience, equipment and personal preference will all play an essential role in choosing which you like best.

Wrist Release

A wrist release uses a similar sort of trigger that you would see on a rifle, for many people this will be a much more familiar motion, especially if you have moved from rifle shooting to bow shooting. Therefore, making the transition much more straightforward. One of the significant advantages of this type of release is that it is attached to the arm and therefore, always ready for use. Furthermore, they are ideal for using in windy conditions or when aiming for a moving target. Since you will be using the muscles in the wrist to draw the bow, this makes it much easier to get a quick and steady draw.

The wrist release is, without a doubt, the most popular among hunters, and there are several reasons for this. One of the primary reasons that they remain so popular is that they are far more affordable; archery can quickly become an expensive hobby if you invest in the most expensive equipment, but when you can pick up a wrist release for a reasonable price, it’s tempting to go for it.

But just because they are more affordable, this certainly doesn’t mean that they are not useful and practical. The wrist release is exceptionally comfortable to use, and for this reason, a lot of people will lean towards it. Furthermore, they are effortless to use and adjust. This means that you can easily alter both the torque and the pressure without any complicated process.

These are also very reliable pieces of equipment and deliver consistent results; as such, you will find that they are an excellent choice for anyone who is just starting with archery. If you want to start as you mean to go on and learn to get your shot on target, this is a great place to start.

Wrist releases, as their name may suggest, are fitted around the wrist and can be attached to your body using either a buckle or velcro fastening. Both of these offer security and comfort. Neither method is preferable over the other and which you choose will largely depend on your personal preference.

  • Wrist releases are great for people who are just getting started with archery or for hunting.
  • The release is operated with the index finger.
  • They feature an arm attachment.
  • They can be adjusted.
  • Wrist releases make it much easier to hold the fully drawn bow.

Hand Release

A hand release is another popular choice, but you may find that these are used more in competitive archery thanks to their greater accuracy and the fact that they are far more sensitive than the wrist release.

Even if you do not take part in archery competitions, the hand release might be a good option if you are looking to take your archery practice to the next level, as this type will vastly improve your skill and accuracy.

There are many excellent benefits to using this type of release, but one of the most notable is that they will prevent you from releasing the arrow prematurely. As an archer, at one point or another, you will likely fall victim to target panic and let the arrow go too quickly. However, when you use a hand release, this prospect is mostly eliminated. The reason behind this is that this style of release uses a tension system as opposed to a trigger release. With a trigger, it would be easy to fire when you aren’t ready, but this method will not allow you to release until the thumb is drawn back enough to hit the release.

  • Hand release aids offer greater sensitivity and precision.
  • They are great for those looking to move their skill to the next level.
  • Hand releases will eliminate premature arrow release.
  • They have a hand attachment.
  • There are many more adjustments.
  • Suitable for use in competitive archery.
  • They are compact, portable and lightweight.

In addition to the two main types of release, there is also a hinge release, and while these are less common, they are not without their advantages. In the main, this type of release works very well if you are unable to control your target panic. Many people decide to throw in the towel with archery because of this, but it is essential to remember that it will take some time and practice before this goes away.

But even those who have practised for years may still experience target panic. But that doesn’t mean to say that you should give up; a hinge release offers ultimate control and is used in a similar way to the hand release so is familiar if you have been using this method previously.

This type of release aid does not have any sort of trigger to release the arrow and instead relies purely on the back tension as a way of firing the arrow.

The Best Bow Release Aids

Later in this article, we will be looking at what you should look out for when buying a release aid, and there are many things to think about. However, it is wise to get a good idea of what is on the market and discover which products take you fancy at first glance.

If you are confident that you know which type of bow release would work better for you, then it can make choosing a product a lot easier. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best bow release aids for different situations.

Best Wrist Release – SpotHogg Wise Guy Release Buckle

Since the wrist release is one of the most popular, it stands to reason that you will find a lot of this type of release on the market. Unfortunately, some are not what you might expect, but that is not the case with this one. People are raving about the quality and effectiveness of this wrist release.

It is a very lightweight piece of equipment that is portable and won’t get in the way. The accuracy that you will achieve with this wrist release is immense, and this is thanks in part to the forward trigger, which allows for maximum draw length and incredible speed.

Pretty much everything can be adjusted on this model; there is an adjustable trigger as well as adjustable length so no matter what your wrist size, you will find the right fit for you. The d-loop hook means that adjusting the strap is quick and straightforward, giving you more time to get on with shooting.

This is an excellent bow release for beginners owing to its ease of use and adjustability. Furthermore, the wrist release is widely considered to be the best choice for those who are new to the sport. It has been made with both men and women in mind, although, if you need something a little smaller for a child, this might not be suitable.

  • Adjustable trigger
  • Adjustable strap
  • Easy to use
  • Zero self-travel reloading hook
  • D-loop hook up
  • Maximum accuracy and speed

Best Hand Release – Tru-Ball Archery Fang

We often talk about hands-free hunting, but what does this really mean? In short, this hand release is the definition of hands-free hunting and allows for both repetitive shooting as well as use when hunting game.

There are many exciting things to say about this hand release, and one of the first things that you will notice is that this is an extremely durable piece of kit. It is crafted from top-quality materials that will undoubtedly withstand being put through their paces. Even if you spend all day doing archery, you can feel confident that this is a bow release that won’t let you down.

Aside from being durable, the archery fang features a full containment system which requires the archer to push the slide forward to lock the release or push it back when you want to do repetitive shooting. This is undoubtedly a versatile product.

An important thing to look for in a bow release is whether it is adjustable and you won’t be disappointed with this one; the trigger is adjustable as well as the thumb barrel position so you can use the release in a way that is comfortable for you.

If that wasn’t enough, it is easy to use, simply pull the trigger once to fire and pull it a second time to reset the release.

  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable
  • Highly durable
  • Full containment system
  • Hook style jaw
  • Great for hunting and repetitive shooting

Best Youth Release – Scoot Archery Youth Hero Release

If you have a passion for archery, you will likely want to share that love with your children, but if you do, it is vital to source archery equipment that has been designed for them. This means that the activity will be more accessible to them as well as being much safer.

This is a wrist release which is ideal for kids as they familiarise themselves with the sport. There are a lot of youth products on the market, but none are quite as good as this which features an infinitely adjustable strap, so even children with much smaller wrists can get involved. What’s more, it is effortless to adjust and features a robust nylon strap connector so that the child is free to adjust the release themselves without help from an adult.

Furthermore, this is a very lightweight piece of equipment so the youth won’t feel as though they are being weighed down by something hefty, which could affect their aim and accuracy.

It boasts a knurled trigger which offers superior comfort and a much better grip, again this is ideal for kids who are just getting to grips with the sport.

Further adjustments can be made which will better control the torque giving you child the freedom to shoot accurately right from their very first arrow.

  • Highly adjustable, even for tiny wrists
  • Torque reduction
  • Knurled trigger for more outstanding grip
  • Extremely comfortable wrist release
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Lightweight

Best Budget Release – Tru-Ball V Lock Buckle Strap

Archery equipment can cost a lot of money, and if you are looking for something that is a little less expensive, you want to be sure that quality will not have been compromised. One of the most notable things about this piece of equipment is that, despite its budget price, it still demonstrates a superior level of quality.

Coming in at more than $100 less than some of the more expensive release aids, this one is made from lightweight materials that offer the archer superior comfort. What’s more, this wrist release is compact enough that it will not get in the way when you are not using it.

It features a v lock release strap and a buckle design that offers ultimate security and can be adjusted to a wide variety of sizes. Even those with extra-large wrists would find that they get a comfortable fit with this bow release.

You are also getting a very durable piece of kit here, and many people have talked about the long-lasting design. This is great if you shoot regularly and need something that will stand the test of time. This further demonstrates that a budget bow release doesn’t have to be inferior.

In fact, this release has some of the highest review ratings we have seen even when compared to some of the more high-end products.

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to adjust, even for larger wrists.
  • Lightweight
  • V lock release strap
  • Buckle for added security

What To Look For In A Bow Release

Buying any type of archery equipment requires you to think carefully about what you are looking for and what will work best for you. You could dive in and buy the first product that you stumble across, but this comes with the risk of getting something that won’t deliver as you expected.

Many people believe that firing a bow and arrow is relatively straightforward, but unless you have ever tried, you won’t realise that this is something of an art and definitely takes some practice. Making sure that you have the right equipment can significantly contribute to your skill and accuracy.

Type Of Bow Release

We will not go into great detail about the types of bow release as we have already looked at these. However, it is essential to point out that when you are shopping for a release aid, you will need to think about the style you are going to go for.

In short, beginners are much more likely to find a wrist release the easiest option, whereas those who are more experienced would benefit more from a hand release. Furthermore, those who take part in competitions might be at a more significant advantage when using a hand release as they can achieve greater precision.

Is The Release Comfortable?

When you are practising archery, the last thing that you want is to feel uncomfortable in any way. This is why we see archers wearing comfortable clothing and shoes but also why choosing equipment that is comfortable is essential. If you are more focussed on a minor irritation from your equipment, you are much more likely to stray off target.

For this reason, it is vital that you source a release aid that will not disrupt your accuracy and skill. If you are choosing a wrist release, one of the first things that you should look for in terms of comfort is whether the strap is padded. If it is not, you should give it a wide berth and look elsewhere. Without padding, the strap could rub on your skin and cause irritation. This is even more important if you will be using the release for longer periods of time.

In contrast, a hand release should be looked at in a different way when we are trying to determine whether it will be comfortable. You will want to make sure that it is made from hard wearing materials that offer a superior grip.


The last thing you want is a piece of equipment that is going to fall apart after a couple of uses, but sadly, there are some inferior products that this can happen to. Before you commit to a purchase, you should take a look at the build quality of the release. This will include looking at the materials and the way that they have been put together.

It is no secret that bow releases are not necessarily cheap pieces of equipment and for this reason, you certainly don’t want to spend all of that money only to find that the release breaks after the first use.

Most experts would recommend looking for a wrist release that features a leather strap as this material is far more durable than anything else. You may also want to look at the individual components of the release to make sure they are well constructed and sturdy.


As we have mentioned, bow releases are not always the most affordable things; they’re by no means the most expensive either but it is important to work within your means.

We have shown you one excellent budget wrist release which has all the important features that you would expect to find in a more expensive model, so this proves that it is entirely possible to find effective budget releases. It may just take a little more time and inspection to be sure that the product is fit for purpose.

In contrast, if you have a larger budget and want to splash out a little more, it can be tempting to believe that the most expensive releases are the best. While you will often pay for quality, it is still important to give the bow release the once over to ensure that you aren’t simply paying for a brand name.

Release Mechanism

Your level of experience and the way you shoot will both play a part in determining the best release mechanism for you. Opting to go for either an index finger or thumb release can also be determined by how much target panic you experience. In the main, if this is a problem for you, you might be better using a thumb release that will prevent firing the arrow before you are ready.

On top of this, you should make a decision over whether you prefer a fang or a caliper hooking mechanism; for the most part, this will be down to your personal preference, and if you try out both styles, you will likely discover which you feel more comfortable using.

Is The Release Quiet?

If you are out in the wild hunting game, the last thing you need is a noisy release aid. Some products might create a clicking sound as you draw the bow and this is a big no-no when hunting. It might not be such an issue for target archery, but if anything, it could be off-putting, so it is better to look for a bow release that has a quieter operation.

In addition to this, it pays to think about the type of fastening on the strap. A buckle fastening will be much quieter when adjusting than a velcro one, which can vastly disturb the silence.

String Style

The style of your string setup will determine the type of release that will be suitable for you, and this is a very important factor to consider, so be sure not to omit this.

In the main, there are three different types of string setup; these are D-loop, metal fastener or a metal nock, and it is vital that you choose a release that is compatible with your setup.

Is The Release Adjustable?

You do not want a release aid that will limit you, and one of the most critical things to look at when buying your release is whether it can be adjusted. There is the option to have a custom made bow release, but it is worth keeping in mind that this will be more costly.

When you can purchase a bow release whose length, angle and trigger can all be adjusted, it seems pointless forking out for a custom model.


A bow release is a small piece of equipment that is used to shoot your arrow without having to use the fingers, as you would when using traditional archery methods. This can improve your speed and accuracy as well as giving you greater consistency. These releases are especially useful for those who compete in archery tournaments and certainly give you the upper hand over your competitors.

There are two main types of bow release; hand and wrist and which you use will significantly depend on how experienced you are and the type of archery you do. For example, bowhunting enthusiasts might benefit from a wrist release, whereas target archers might find a hand release to be more advantageous.

Whichever type of release you choose, it is crucial to take specific aspects into consideration before you purchase your equipment. Doing this will ensure that you get a quality bow releases that will meet your needs and serve you for many years to come.

A lot of people think that replacing their compound bow string should only be done when it really needs it, but were you aware that if you neglect to do this, the life of your bow could be affected?

It is essential to regularly schedule in bowstring changes and get this done sooner if you begin to notice problems with the bow. How often you use the bow and the quality of the string that is installed will have an impact on how long they last but in the main, you can expect your compound bowstring to last around three years.

In this article, we are going to be looking at not only the length of time you can expect your bowstring to last but also what to look for that might indicate it is time for a change – and much more!

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How Long Will My Bowstring Last?

One of the first questions that archers ask when purchasing a new bowstring is ‘how long does a compound bow string last?’ and in short, you would expect this type of bowstring to last for around three years.

However, several things might impact the length of time that you bowstring will serve you. It may surprise you to learn that something as simple as how you store your bow will affect how long the string lasts. For example, if you keep your bow somewhere that is particularly humid, this will drastically reduce the lifespan of the strings. This is mainly because there is a higher chance of mould developing. Furthermore, if the temperature is too high, this could melt the wax on the strings and cause them to fray and the elasticity to be reduced.

Of course, the frequency that you use the bow will also dramatically affect how long the strings last. Each time you draw the bow, the string takes an enormous amount of pressure, and over time, this will cause it to lose elasticity, loosen and potentially become frayed. In correlation with this, how far you draw the bow will also impact the quality of the string over time; the further back the bow is drawn, the sooner the string will wear.

The brace height will also affect the life of the string. If the brace height is shorter, the string will be under more pressure and will not last as long.

The environment in which you are shooting will also impact the lifespan of the bow. However, it is a wise idea to schedule in a bowstring fitting every three years, even if you think that the strings still have some life left in them. However, some manufacturers would suggest doing it even more frequently than this.

How Do I Know When My Compound Bowstring Needs Replacing?

As you practise archery more, you will become more and more familiar with the signs that your bowstring and any other equipment requires repair or replacing. However, when you are just starting, it can feel a little overwhelming, and you may not be as easily able to recognise the signs that your bowstring is on its way out.

There are several things that might indicate it is time to source a new bowstring.

What Type Of Shooting Do You Do?

Believe it or not, the type of archery you do will impact how long the bowstring will last. In the main, if you practise target archery, you may need to replace your bowstring more frequently since you will likely be taking far more shots than someone shooting a bow for bowhunting. In addition to this, target archers tend to use much lighter arrows, and this means that there is far more pressure and tension on the string, causing it to wear more quickly.

Speed And Accuracy

Two of the critical things in archery and speed and accuracy; if your arrows are not fast and precise, you won’t succeed in hitting your target. However, many people complain that their aim is off, and this could be simply resolved by changing the bowstring.

As the string wears over time, this will affect the bow’s ability to shoot quickly and accurately.

Inspecting The String

There is nothing that will give away a worn string more than the visual clues, but these can be difficult to spot, especially if you are not sure about what you are looking for.

On the cams, you will notice timing marks and these indicate where the bowstring should be lined up. In the event that these are off, this is a clear indication that it is time to replace the bowstring.

Furthermore, the texture of the string is a clear giveaway that it might not be performing to its best and needs replacing. If it is time to change the string, you will notice that it feels brittle, dry and fuzzy. You might also see visual clues such as fraying.

How To Prolong The Life Of Your Bowstring

There are many ways that you might make your compound bow string last longer. One of the most popular and effective is to apply wax to the string. This serves a dual purpose; primarily, it will prevent the string from fraying, but it will also make it far more weather-resistant, which is essential if you are shooting in the great outdoors, which most people do.

Storing your bow correctly is also imperative to make the strings last as long as possible. It can be tempting to store the bow in an outbuilding or shed, but the humidity levels in these environments are not conducive with a long lifespan for the string. If you are not going to be using the bow for some time, it is a good idea to remove the string and store it separately.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Compound Bowstring?

The good news is that restringing your bow might not cost as much as you would think, and when you spread this cost out over time, you will see that it truly is very little.

You can save money by purchasing a bowstring for as little as $20 and fitting it yourself. But if you do not have the relevant experience, you can expect to pay around $100-$150 for the string and fitting.

The cost of the string will also depend on the brand and quality; it is preferable to buy a slightly more expensive string that will last longer than buy a lesser quality one that will need replacing much sooner.


Compound bows are very popular thanks to their power and ease of use, but it is essential to understand that if the bowstrings are past their best, your performance will be affected.

In the main, you should replace the bowstring every three years, although this can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. It is important to regularly inspect the string to check for signs of wear and treat it with care to prolong its lifespan.

If you have been into archery for a while, there is a good chance that you might want to extend your hunting abilities by taking part in bowfishing.

You already have a bow and more arrows than you can count. You have the skills and the knowledge to hit a moving target so the next thing you need to do is to get out on the water and bowfish, right?

Maybe not, first, you need to consider whether you can bowfish with a hunting bow. In this article, we are going to be exploring this so that you can get ready to experience a whole new way of shooting.

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What Is Bowfishing?

Where hunting with a bow is normally done on land, bowfishing takes it to new heights and archers go to the water to target fish.

It might seem like the two are similar but this is only because the same weapons are used; a bow and arrow. However, bowfishing is a lot more fast-paced than its land-based counterpart and as such, even seasoned archers may find it vastly different.

Can You Use Any Bow For Bowfishing?

There are many bows that are designed purely with bowfishing in mind but if you already have a hunting bow, it might seem pointless investing in another piece of equipment. The good news is that you can use any bow to do bowfishing. However, you may need to alter the bow slightly.

What is even more exciting is that you can modify any type of bow for bowfishing so whether you shoot with a recurve or a compound, you can still get in on the action.

All it takes is adding a few essential accessories onto your bow and you’re good to go. But aside from this, you should consider the fact that this sport is a lot harder on your bow.

If you have a prized or expensive bow that you do not want to become scratched or damaged, it might be best to avoid using this for bowfishing.

When you are on the boat, there is a very real risk of the bow being banged around. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for the bow to fall into the water and while in the main this won’t cause too much damage, it is something that some people may not like.

Finally, if your bow falls into the lake at a great depth, short of jumping in and going looking for it, you might have to admit that it is gone forever.

Can I Use My Hunting Arrows For Bowfishing?

While you may be able to adapt your bow so that it is suitable for bowfishing, there is no getting away from the fact that the arrows you typically use may not be suitable for bowfishing. For this reason, this is something that you will need to invest in.

Arrows that are used for bowhunting are not designed to move through the water and this can render them almost useless when it comes to bowfishing. If you want to be successful then you will need to look for alternative arrows.

Unlike hunting arrows, bowfishing arrows tend to be made of much heavier materials and do not have fletchings, this helps them to move through the water more efficiently.

Furthermore, bowfishing arrows feature a mechanism that allows you to attach a line, in a similar way that you would attach a hook to a traditional fishing line. They are also barbed so that once they hit their target, they will not dislodge, allowing you to reel in your catch.

But Wait; Is Bowfishing Legal Everywhere?

If you are keen to get out on the water and try your hand at bowfishing, you are going to need to make sure that you are doing it within the law. The last thing you want is to incur a penalty but the good news is that there are not too many restrictions on where you can and cannot bowfish.

In the USA, it is legal to bowfish in all 50 states as long as you are shooting non-game fish species. However, in some states such as Nebraska, there are game reserves where you can go to take part in an organized event. But it is worth keeping in mind that many of these reserves prefer you to use a more traditional angling method.

It is also worth considering the type of fish that you are permitted to legally catch when bowfishing. In the main you can count yourself as being within the law when shooting common carp, grass carp, buffalo, gar, and catfish but this can vary depending on your location so it is helpful to explore this before getting started.

Many of these fish are large species which is a huge advantage when bowfishing as it means that you have a better target. It is no secret that shooting a quick moving fishy target does take some practice, so the bigger, the better.

The early spring is typically the best time to go bowfishing since this is when the fish are spawning and can be found in shallower water. There is very little point trying to bowfish in deeper water as you will likely not get very far.

Fresh water is usually the location where bowfishermen can be spotted but there are several salt water locations where bowfishing can be done. In Louisiana, you will find some particularly lucrative spots.

Again, the targets that are legal will vary depending on where you are but in the main, things like flounder, sharks, redfish and rays are all acceptable fish for bowfishing.

Bowfishing Bows

Now that you know where you can bowfish and what type of fish you are allowed to target, you will likely be keen to get your bow set up and get started.

As we mentioned, it is possible to use a normal hunting bow to do this activity, but you will need to add a few things.

Bowfishing is a lot more fast-paced than traditional archery so if you have been used to carefully lining up to hit your target, you will need to shake that habit right away. WHen bowfishing, you will make a lot of speedy, off the cuff shots. If you don’t, you’ll likely miss your target.

It would stand to reason, therefore, that a lighter bow would be more beneficial when bowfishing. Most people would recommend using a bow with a draw weight between 30 and 50lbs as this can be the most effective. Something with a heavier draw weight may be too challenging for this fast action sport.

The type of bow that you use for bowfishing comes largely down to personal choice. Many people prefer a compound bow because they are much easier to use. Conversely, a recurve bow tends to be shorter and a lot easier to take apart, which is essential if you are going to be travelling around a lot.

You can, of course, use a longbow which is typically much more lightweight but these are also much bigger so can be difficult to transport on a boat, especially if it is a smaller vessel.

What Accessories Do I Need?

When you switch from bow hunting to bowfishing, you will need to be prepared to modify your bow and there are some accessories that are crucial for this sport. Adding these to your bow will mean that you don’t need to invest in an entirely separate piece of equipment.

But before you begin adding accessories, you might want to think about removing some of those that are already installed as you might not need these.

Primarily, you will need to remove your sight, sight rest and peep sight; unlike regular archery, these are not necessary for bowfishing and will only serve one purpose – getting in the way.

You can also remove other components such as the D-loop and stabilizer as these are not needed either.

Bowfishing Reel

One of the key differences between a normal bowhunting bow and one that is used for bowfishing is that the latter makes use of a reel.

This add-on is very similar to the reel that you would be a traditional angler using and without it, your bowfishing trip would not be hugely successful. It allows you to reel in your catch.

There are three different types of bowfishing reels to choose from and which you go for will depend on your level of experience and your personal preference.

The three main types are spinning reels, bottle reels and hand reels.

  • Spinning reels are very similar to push-button fishing reels and are attached to the bow using a device that is similar to a stabilizer. They use a braided fishing line and if you prefer, you can add a laser sight or other accessories.
  • A bottle reel is a very convenient type of reel since, as the name suggests, the reel is kept inside a plastic bottle, keeping it out of the way. Many bowfishers use this type of reel for this reason. They use a heavy braided line and are attached to the bow using screws.
  • Hand reels are very lightweight and easy to use. They are popular with people who are using a more traditional type of bow. You can install the hand reel using screws in the location where your stabilizer would typically be located.

Arrow Rest

You may already have an arrow rest installed on your bow but it may not be ideal for bowfishing. With this sport, it is widely accepted that something simpler is better than a complex piece of equipment.

One major consideration is that if you have a drop away rest, this can be dangerous when used in bowfishing so it may be wise to remove this and go for something a lot more straightforward. As the drop away rest comes away, there is a risk of it becoming tangled in the string attached to the arrow and this could cause an injury.

Otherwise, you are free to choose the type of rest that feels most comfortable to you. SOme people prefer something that encloses the arrow completely, whereas other people like an open or shelf rest.

Additional Equipment

Aside from the essential pieces of kit that you will need to convert your bow from a regular hunting bow to a bowfishing bow, there are a few optional extras.

If you plan to do your bowfishing at night, and a lot of people prefer doing it this way, you might need to install a light. These lights can be installed in the same location as your stabilizer and are normally operated by batteries.

Furthermore, a lot of people like to install a laser sight. While a regular archery sight will be useless for bowfishing, a laser sight is great for refracting the water, making it a lot easier to hit your target.


Bowfishing is a great alternative to normal hunting, especially out of season and more and more people are taking an interest in this fast-paced and exciting sport.

However, there is a lot of misunderstanding where the equipment is concerned. While you cannot use the same arrows that you would when hunting, you can use the same bow. But there is a catch; you will need to add some accessories.

Once you have done this, you can get out onto the water and enjoy your newfound hobby. The good news is that there are many locations around the US and the globe where bowfishing is perfectly legal. You must check local regulations however, as there may be some restrictions as to the type of fish you are permitted to target.

When you are bowfishing, it is essential that every shot counts and is as accurate as possible. Of course, this comes with a lot of practice but having the right equipment for the task is just as, if not more important.

The arrows used in bowfishing are different to those that we see in bowhunting and other types of archery, and for this reason, it is crucial to understand what to look for so that you can feel confident your arrows won’t let you down.

In this article, we are going to be looking at the best arrows for bowfishing and providing you with some invaluable information for sourcing the right equipment for you.

How Are Bowfishing Arrows Different?

You could be forgiven for assuming that any arrow would be ideal for use in bowfishing and you wouldn’t be the first novice archer to think this. However, there is a clear and marked difference between the arrows we see being used by bowhunters and target archers and the ones that work well for bowfishing.

There are special arrows that have been made exclusively for use by bow fishermen, and in the main, they tend to be far more robust than those that we used for hunting game. They are also much heavier; think about having to travel through water, this could dramatically slow the arrow if it is not designed correctly.

To look at a bowfishing arrow, one of the first things that you would notice is that there is no fletching. While this is an essential component of the traditional arrow, for bowfishing, this could serve as a way for the arrow to veer off course as it hits the water, so they are not used.

How Is A Bowfishing Arrow Made Up?

Before you begin looking for your new favourite bowfishing arrow, it is essential to get to know the make-up of these pieces of equipment, the materials from which they are made and the overall feel of the arrow.

There are usually five parts of a bowfishing arrow; the shaft, the rail, the nock, the point and the barb. Let’s take a look at these components in a little more detail.

The Shaft

The shaft of the arrow is usually constructed from very durable material, so it is important to take a look at this when purchasing to ensure that it will stand the test of time.

In the main, they will be made from aluminium, carbon fibre or fibreglass.

The Rail

The rail is used to secure the line, and this is an essential role to play as it also counts towards safe use of the bow. If there is no rail, then there is a risk of the arrowing flipping back towards you and causing an injury.

The Nock

The nock is the part at the end of the arrow that secures to the bowstring. This is one of the critical components of any arrow as it keeps it in place whilst it is in the bow.

The Point

The point of the arrow is the spearhead that will penetrate your target. There are replaceable points, and these are ideal for bowfishing. However, you should also try to find arrow points that are made from a durable material that will work well with this type of archery.

The Barb

The barb is that part of the arrow that prevents it from being detached from your catch before you have had the chance to reel it in.

One of the best types of barb to look for is a reversible barb as this will allow you to remove it from the fish with far greater ease.

Things To Consider When Buying Bowfishing Arrows

Once you are familiar with the importance of finding an arrow that has been explicitly designed for bowfishing, and you understand the individual components of such an arrow, you are ready to start shopping for your equipment. But before you do, there are a few things to consider; this will further allow you to source the right product for your needs.

What Material Should You Choose?

As we have already discovered, the shaft of the arrow will usually be made from fibreglass, aluminium or carbon fibre. Each of these materials has its benefits, but which you choose will vastly depend on your unique needs.

  • Fibreglass arrows are very durable and rust-resistant; they are ideal if you need something that offers longevity.
  • Aluminium arrows are a little heavier than other options.
  • Carbon bowfishing arrows are even more durable but still offer a good degree of flexibility.

In terms of the other parts of the arrow, your choice of materials may vary once more. In the main, however, you can expect to find that the point and the barb will be made from stainless steel, although there are some other choices. The benefits of stainless steel are that it is durable and extremely resistant to rust and the elements.

Dimensions And Weight

Arrows that are used in more traditional forms of archery like bowhunting are usually not as strong as those found in bowfishing. For this reason, you will notice that a bowfishing arrow is a lot heavier and this can take some getting used to if you are used to lightweight arrows.

You should also consider the type of fish you are going to be aiming for. The arrow weight that you would need for a 30lb fish would be vastly different to one that would be adequate for a 10lb specimen.

Furthermore, you will need to consider the length of the arrow. Again, this will correspond to the size of the fish you are targeting, with longer arrows being more suitable for larger fish. This is because something longer will deliver a far more significant amount of power than something small. In the main, bowfishing arrows will measure anywhere between 21 inches and 32 inches.

What Type Of Arrow Heads Do You Need?

We talked about the barb earlier on, and this is something that is incredibly important when choosing your arrow heads. You must keep in mind that as you reel your catch in, and attempt to remove the barb, this can be made far more difficult if not using a reversible barb. Primarily, this is because the fish will not be still. However, you will need to keep in mind that the barb will need to be reset before you use it again; otherwise, it will not perform.

In addition to thinking about the barb, you will want to make sure that you look at the point of the arrow. As we mentioned earlier, these are typically made from stainless steel, but the cut is just as significant as the material. Sourcing a carefully cut point will ensure that it can penetrate the fish cleanly and effectively.

Are The Arrows Safe?

You are using the arrows because they have the power and intensity to penetrate your target and ultimately kill it; therefore, it stands to reason that they would just as easily be able to injure or kill a human. Safety should be one of the most essential aspects when buying any piece of equipment for archery.

Some arrows will come with a pre-installed safety system that will prevent them from flipping back towards the shooter and anyone else who happens to be nearby as well as stopping the line from getting tangled when you draw the bow.

If you do find arrows that you love but do not feature a safety system, there is the option to install one yourself. Whilst this might seem like just another thing to do, it is vastly important.

What Is Your Budget?

The price you will pay for your bowfishing arrows will vary greatly depending on where you buy them, the brand and the quality, among other things, so it is vital to keep this in mind. However, we would always suggest investing in the best quality that you can afford.

The material of the arrow will have an impact on its price, but in the main, you shouldn’t find yourself breaking the bank provided that you keep the type of fish you will be shooting in mind.

Bowfishing Arrow FAQs

Q: Can you get personalised bowfishing arrows?

It might be possible to personalise your bowfishing arrows, but we would not recommend doing this as it might affect its function. However, it is entirely possible to alter the colour, and many people do this to make their arrows more visible in murky waters. Not to mention, these bright colours can also look impressive.

Q: Can I use a regular arrow for bowfishing?

You could certainly try, but you would almost certainly find that using a normal arrow for bowfishing would not yield the results you were looking for.

Arrows that are made for other types of archery are not as durable nor are they as heavy so you would not get the power needed to shoot a fast-moving fish through the density of the water.

Even if you did manage to shoot the fish successfully, the arrow would likely break as you reeled it in, losing you your catch.

Q: Can you shoot a bowfishing arrow too long?

If you are taking part in bowhunting or another type of archery, then there might be a limit to how long the arrow flight should be, if it is too long, your accuracy might be affected. In contrast, bowfishing arrows do not need to travel the long distances that other types of arrow would travel, so this isn’t generally a problem.

Q: Do I need an arrow rest for bowfishing?

There are several advantages to using an arrow rest, most notably, your aim and accuracy will be greatly improved. However, they are not compulsory.

If you do want to use one, the best type to go for is a whisker biscuit as these will offer the best accuracy and ensure a direct shot each time.


Bowfishing arrows are different from traditional arrows as they are much stronger and heavier since more power is needed for this type of archery. They also do not have fletchings as this would affect how they travel through the water.

With this in mind, it is important to be sure that when you are buying arrows for bowfishing, you look for those that have been made specifically for this purpose.

There are other things that you can look at to make sure that you get arrows that will meet your needs, such as the materials used, safety features and weight.