How to Properly Maintain Your Bow and Bowstringsby Jordan McDowell Content Strategist
When you make an investment in a quality bow and strings, you need to know how to maintain your purchase. With the right care, your bow and strings can last you for years. Depending on the type of bow you have, here are detailed instructions to properly maintain it.
Recurve Bows and Longbows
Clean and Protect the Wood and String
Your recurve bow likely contains a veneer coating designed to improve its strength and durability. You need to keep this veneer moist and solid.
Unstring your bow. Add a small drop of automotive or bow-specific polish to the wood and thoroughly rub it in. Wipe away any excess. You should clean the bow after every use and apply the polish about once per month.
You should wax your string at least once per week with an archery-specific wax. If your string looks fuzzy or dry, definitely apply wax before you shoot.
Inspect Your Bow and String Before Every Session
Thoroughly inspect all parts of your bow and string before you shoot. Make sure the grip is stable and secure, free from cracks or gaps. Check where the riser attaches to the limbs to make sure they’re screwed in properly and tightly. Make sure your accessories—your arrow rest, cable guard, etc.—are all properly installed.
Check the string carefully, especially where it connects to the D-loops and around the nock point. Make sure everything is securely fastened and nothing is loose or frayed. If you notice fraying or places the string is different from the rest, it’s likely time to replace it.
Stow Your Bow Correctly
Unstring your bow for storage. String stretch affects your bow’s draw length, draw weight, and brace height. Removing the string before storage allows the limbs to rest, prolonging the life of your bow.
Don’t store your bow in direct sunlight. Sun and heat can warp the limbs, so store it in a climate-controlled area out of the direct sun. If you don’t use a case, hang it up somewhere out of the way. This will help keep it clean and reduce the likelihood of damage.
Make Sure it’s Accurately Tuned
Tuning a bow means setting the tension in the string. Make sure you know your exact draw length and weight and tune your bow so it fits you exactly. This will ensure your shots are accurate and sighted correctly.
Listen to and Watch Your Strings
Even if you’re shopping for bowstrings by brand and you stick to brands you know, listen and watch the strings carefully as you shoot. Are the strings making more noise than usual or making strange sounds? Check them over thoroughly. You should also inspect the strings when you feel or see vibrations anywhere you shouldn’t. If you can’t find the issue, take it to a professional to get it checked.
Like recurves and longbows, compound bow strings require regular waxing. Apply a soft wax to the strings and cables about once per week for frequent use or once per month for less frequent use.
Keep Your Cams Synchronized
The cams are the wheels on either end of the limbs that create the let-off point and reduce the draw weight. At full-draw, both the top and bottom cam should rotate and reach the let-off point at the same time. If one of them is off, one of the buss cables likely needs adjusting.
Keep Your Axles Well Lubricated
Using high-quality oil-free cleaning agents, keep the cables and cams well-lubricated. This will keep your bow running smoothly and reduce the likelihood of damage. If your bow has cams with needle bearings, don’t use oil as it could break down the grease the bearings are packed with and cause damage to your bow.
Stow Your Bow Correctly
Similar to recurve bows, don’t just toss your compound bow in the corner. It doesn’t need to be unstrung, but you should store it in a designated container and away from high-heat areas. Put a silica gel packet in with the container to absorb moisture that may damage your bow.
General Tips for All Bows
Never Dry Fire a Bow
A “dry fire” is when you pull back the bowstring and release it without an arrow nocked and ready to shoot. When you dry fire, all the kinetic energy your bow builds up that usually gets released into the arrow is instead distributed throughout the bow. It can do tremendous damage to the equipment. This is also dangerous for you because the string can snap or parts of the bow can break and fly off, which can result in injuries.
Choose Arrows That Are the Right Weight and Spine
If you’re new to the sport, your local archery store can help you with this. Make sure to choose arrows that are the right weight and spine stiffness for your needs. Firing arrows that are too light or flexible result in your bow building up more kinetic energy than it needs, and then you have a similar set of problems as when you dry fire.
Created on Jul 2nd 2021 09:48. Viewed 224 times.