Compound Bow Strings
Bow Strings have their own separate range of selections, but compound bows narrow the choices down to a
practical set. This is because a compound bow frame stays entirely rigid, as opposed to a traditional bow that
flexes with the string. Due to this fundamental change in bow structure, certain bow strings work better with
compound bows. These can be referred to as “compound bow strings”.
There are different types of compound bow strings used for different purposes. Dacron string is comprised of a
relatively inexpensive, flexible material that is perfect for beginners or steel-cabled bows. Fast flight strings,
on the other hand are less tolerant to stretch. This makes them more suitable to cabling and string systems of
A beginning user will prefer more elastic bow strings for their long stretch length that allows them to
experiment with draw length and targeting. An experienced user knows their draw length and calibration on a
consistent scale and will use a stiffer string for better precision. Materials like Kevlar and Vectran, which are
otherwise excellent for traditional bows, are not suited for compound bow use because they do not last long or
It is said that the next step up in attenuating one's performance is where the archer produces their own custom
strings by hand. This is a somewhat precise process, when care is taken, and allows the user even further control
over their performance. This is not absolutely necessary, as even experienced users will favor the consistent
precision of machine-wound bow strings.
In choosing the length and type of string for a compound bow, the same considerations that come into play for
traditional bows must be considered. The anchor point, the point at which the string is pulled, plays a big role in
these considerations. The other remaining factor is the two points between which the string is threaded.
Determining the draw length of the bow is as simple as adding a few factors together. The length of string
needed to form a continuous loop between the two nocking points and the anchor point of the archer approximates a
good draw length for the archer. From there, the rest depends on the preferred tension and drawing distance of the
The choice in compound bow string material follows the factors of cost, elasticity, and wear resistance. Dacron
is an inexpensive elastic material, although stiffer, stronger materials are desired for higher precision. The
majority of draw energy is stored in the mechanical parts of a compound bow, so the string elasticity simply alters
the process of drawing. Rigid strings are generally sought after due to this property.
The choice is, in the larger scheme of things, that which is most suited for the archer and the bow. The main
factors are the draw length, the tension on the bow and string, and the anchor point of the archer. Generally,
archers will tend toward tougher strings with restrictions on price and performance.