Choosing the right arrow for a compound bow is an important step for any archer. Too long or too short of an arrow can result in poor accuracy and performance, making it difficult to reach one’s goals and aspirations. Knowing how to properly choose an arrow for a compound bow is a skill that all archers should have, and there are a few different methods to make sure that the arrow selected is the correct size for the bow.
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Determining Arrow Size by Measuring Draw Length
The draw length of a compound bow is defined as the distance between the bowstring and the end of the riser at full draw. Knowing the draw length of a compound bow will help an archer in determining the proper arrow size, as it is necessary that the arrow should be a few inches shorter than the draw length. Generally, draw length will be marked on the inside of the bow’s riser, although knowing the proper draw length does require measuring the draw length with a draw board or measuring tool. With that data in hand, an archer can determine the arrow size suitable for the compound bow by subtracting between 1-2 inches from the draw length. For example, if the measured draw length is 30 inches, the suitable arrow size would be 28-29 inches.
Using Arrow Manufacturers and Spine Charts
Arrow manufacturers will typically have arrow spine charts available online that can help archers determine the proper arrow size for their compound bow. These charts will typically display a range of arrow lengths, appropriate draw weights, and draw lengths. For instance, if an archer were using a 31 inch arrow, with a 24-34 pound draw weight and a 27 inch draw length, they would be able to determine the correct spine index (400-500) for the arrow length and bow combination. By entering those specifications in the chart, the archer can determine that a 400 spine index arrow is ideal for the combination.
What if the Arrow is Too Long?
It is important for archers to remember that an arrow that is too long for the bow can affect performance and accuracy. If the arrow is significantly too long, the archer will often experience decreased velocity and deflection in the arrow’s flight, resulting in an off-target shot. If the arrow is only slightly too long, then the archer may experience more torque in their bow string as well as a diminished “bounce back” during the forward phase of the draw cycle.
The Bottom Line
Selecting the right sized arrow for a compound bow is essential for the success of the archer. Knowing the draw length of the bow and choosing the appropriate arrow size and spine index are the main components to this selection process. By using the tips listed above, archers will be able to determine the best possible arrow size for their compound bow.
In conclusion, selecting the proper arrow for a compound bow is an important but achievable task for any archer. By using the methods listed above, archers will be able to select an arrow that is the ideal size and spine index for their bow. In doing so, the archer can be sure that they are using an arrow that will not only optimize performance, but also maximize accuracy with every shot.
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Last update 2021-01-05. Price and product availability may change.