Best Recurve Bow Strings REVIEW 2021


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What is the best recurve bowstring? That’s a great question. Strings vary in size, material, and style. The first thing to consider is if you want a custom or stock bowstring. Stock strings are pre-made and can be quickly installed with no modifications necessary, while custom strings require more time to make from scratch.

In order to help you make an informed decision about your string purchase, I have compiled some essential information on what material the strings can be made out of and how important it is to choose the correct AMO length for your needs.

And, of course, I provide you with our recommended top recurve bowstrings. You´ll find our individual reviews below, but in case you are here for the recommendations only, here we go.

At a Glance – Here are our Top Recurve Bow Strings

+ BEST OVERALL -Legend Dacron B-55. Best Overall! Modern string replacement. Available in AMO sizes from 48 inches through to 66 inches. 12-14-16 Strands. This is the string I personally use – highly recommend it. Their customer service and 100% money-back guarantee are outstanding!
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+ RUNNER UP – Samick Sage & Polaris String. The Samick Sage & Polaris Replacement String is a 62-inch AMO length and comes in either a 14 strand (25 to 40 lbs) model or a 16 strand (40+ lbs) mode
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+ REPLACEMENT STRING – by ISPORT. The Archery Hunting Braided Replacement Bowstring is a 56-inch (not AMO length) product that is made from nylon.
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+ HIGH END – Flemish Fast Flight Plus. The product adopts a 3-bundle construction with a total of 18 strands used for extra strength up to 70 lbs of draw weight for faster shooting speeds.
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+ Southland Archery B-55 Replacement String. The product is available from 48″-70″ AMO. 14-16 Strand – There is a single-string product in the box.

First, let’s talk about the different types of bowstrings available.

Stock Strings or Custom Strings?

What is the difference? Stock strings are pre-made and can be quickly installed with no modifications necessary while custom strings require more time to make from scratch.

Also, custom bowstrings tend to have more options than stock strings when it comes to materials like Polyester, Dacron, or Kevlar which all offer different benefits for shooting arrows at various distances.

You choose what you want your bow string to be made from – and how many strand it has.

Understanding Bowstrings: Materials, Strands, and AMO Length

Materials

You´ll have to differentiate between strings for compound bows and recurve bows (or crossbows). Synthetic materials are used to make compound bowstrings in general.

Some recurve bowstrings are also manufactured with different sorts of materials like Kevlar, which is very durable and offers a lot in durability for the string to last long periods without breaking under pressure.

Bowstring Material Comparison

BrownellBCY, Inc.
RampageMercury
Vantage452 X
RhinoForce 10
Fast Flight + (Plus)8125 Dyneema
Fast Flight (Spectra)652 Spectra
D-75Dynaflight 97
Fury (Discontinued)8190F (also Discontinued)
Replaced by Mercury
B 50B 55
source: http://www.bcyfibers.com/

Compound bows

  • BCY 452X
  • 67% SK75 Dyneema and 33% Vectran
  • 20-24 strand

Recurve and Compound bows

  • BCY 8125
  • 92% SK75 Dyneema 8% Vectran
  • 14-16 strand recurve and compound bows
  • 24-28 strand crossbows

Recurve, Compound, and Crossbows

  • BCY D97
  • 100% SK75 Dyneema
  • 14-16 strand recurve and compound bows
  • 24-28 strand crossbows

Strand

The number of strands will determine the total strength, weight, and durability, of your bow string.

With more strand and resilient material, you can have a stronger string with greater elasticity which is useful when target practicing or hunting game in various locations.

Recurve Bow

  • 10 strand B50 Dacron for bows up to 30lbs
  • 12 strands B50 Dacron for bows up to 40lbs
  • 14 strands B50 Dacron for bows up to 50lbs
  • 16 strands B50 Dacron for bows up to 65lbs

The new B55 Dacron Strings give the same stretch as the B50 strings = same power! But less permanent stretch, allowing the string to last longer.

Compound Bow

  • 40 LBS | 12 Strands
  • 50 LBS | 14 Strands
  • 65 LBS | 16 strands
  • 70 LBS | 18 strands

What Is AMO Bowstring Length?


The AMO (Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization) has set standards on what length bows should come in.

How to use AMO Length?

  • String length recurves bows: for recurve bows, subtract 4” from the AMO length, and for longbows, subtract 3″.
  • String length compound bows: string lengths can be found on the limb sticker of your bow

How Long Do Bowstrings Last?

The average lifespan of an archery bowstring is about two years and should be replaced if it starts to look worn or frayed. Bowstrings only need replacing when they start breaking, as a strand might break off the main string part. If you´re going to pay someone to restring your bow, here´s our article about the costs involved (costs to restring a bow).

Don´t forget to use bowstring wax to keep your strings in good shape!

Whether you already own a recurve bow and are looking to upgrade the factory-provided strings, the supplied string has snapped, or you’re just looking to buy a spare string in case of breakage, using a good bowstring is essential.

Get the wrong size, use the wrong material, or even fail to regularly wax the product and you’ll soon find it either unusable or providing poor performance during your next hunt or bow fishing trip. 

How Do the Strings on our List Compare?

BrandAMO LengthStrandPrice
Legend Dracon B-5548″-66″12, 14, 16$$
Samick Sage & Polaris String62″14, 16 $$
Flemish Fast Flight Plus48″-66″18$$$
I-Sport 60″12$
SAS Replacement String48″-70″12, 14, 16$$

Industry Leading Recurve Bowstrings

B-55 Dacron Replacement Recurve Bowstring

Legend - Recurve Bow String |...

B-55 Dacron Recurve Bowstring


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This is my top recommendation. It is the string I personally use on my takedown bow. I am absolutely happy with it. And should it ever be time to replace it – I´ll 100% go with the same brand again!

Alexander Knobloch

Owner, Bowaddicted

The B-55 Dacron Replacement Recurve Bowstring is available in AMO sizes from 48 inches up to 66 inches. The number of strands available: 12 strands supporting up to 40 lbs, 14 strands supporting 50 pounds, and 16 strands supporting up to 66 pounds draw weight.

A unique graphic explaining in depth how AMO length compares to Real Length

AMO Lengths and their “regular” counterparts


Industry-leading strings, that are safe to install on recurve and traditional bows! Quick endless loop install

PROS:

  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
  • Ticks all the boxes!
  • AMO sizes from 48 inches to 66 inches
  • Various number of strands depends on the pound limit
  • Serving protects loops and nocking point

CONS:

  • What? They have a 100% Money-Back Guarantee…

The string includes a healthy serving that protects the strands of the string to avoid them breaking individually ruining the string from the inside.

The B-55 is a little thinner than the B-50 strings. Some like it, some don´t!

The primary stress points on a bowstring are the loops and the serving where the string is most at risk. And they did a real good job with this string to do their best for outstanding durability!


Samick Sage & Polaris Replacement String

Replacement Archery Bowstring for...

Samick Sage Replacement String


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The Samick Sage & Polaris Replacement String is a 62-inch AMO length and comes in either a 14 strand (25 to 40 lbs) model or a 16 strand (40+ lbs) mode. It is primarily designed as a replacement Dracon string for Samick Sage brows but could be used on other bows like a Polaris too.

The string is pre-twisted for simplicity and additional strength. When fitting the string, adjust it to the correct brace height by twisting the string.

PROS:

  • Quality string supplied with Samick Sage bow products
  • 62-inch AMO length
  • Pre-twisted string
  • Choice of 14 strands (25 to 40 lbs) or 16 strands (40+ lbs)

CONS:

  • Requires regular waxing to keep it usable over the long-term

The string comes pre-waxed upon delivery, but the manufacturer advises to re-apply wax to the string on a regular basis to extend its useful life by avoiding it becoming too tense and un-stretchable.



FLEMISH – Fast Flight Plus – REPLACEMENT RECURVE BOWSTRING

Flemish - Fast Flight Plus - Replacement...

FLEMISH Fast Flight Plus


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The Flemish Fast Flight Plus Replacement Recurve Bowstring is available in 44-inch to 62-inch lengths (actual length, not AMO regulated length measurement)

The product adopts a 3-bundle construction with a total of 18 strands used for extra strength up to 70 lbs of draw weight for faster shooting speeds.

PROS:

  • 44-inch to 62-inch (actual length, not AMO measurement)
  • Three bundle design with 18 strands
  • Works with low stretch bow designs
  • Choice of 14 strands (25 to 40 lbs) or 16 strands (40+ lbs)

CONS:

  • A high-performance string that doesn’t suit all bows (check with your bow manufacturer)

The braided string is suitable for bows that only support limited stretching in order to fit. The Fast Flight standard is high performance but won’t suit all bows equally.

It is best to check with the bow manufacturer to determine if the product is suitable (according to the manufacturer of this string).

In cases where this string is found to be incompatible, we recommend the B-55 Dacron Bowstring reviewed above as a reliable alternative.


Replacement String Southland Archery Supply Recurve Bow

Southland Archery Supply SAS B-55 Dacron...

Replacement String Southland Archery Supply


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The Replacement String from SAS is a life-saver in a situation where you’re out on the hunt and your string breaks or catches on a tree branch and damages it.

The product is available from 48-70″ AMO, (the usual 4-inch difference) is apparent here).

If for example, your old string is 60″ measured laying flat with pinched loops – order a string that matches it. In this case 60″ actual size!

PROS:

  • Pre-waxed for immediate use
  • One string in the box
  • Solid choice as a backup string to take on a trip

CONS:

  • Quite thick

The product is design for both archery competitions and bow hunting trips. It is already pre-waxed and awaiting use. It is a good idea to keep the string waxed between uses to ensure it’ll be an excellent performer later in the month too.

This is a 55 Dacron String – but fits most traditional bows and recurve bows. Made in the U.S.A.


ISPORT Archery Hunting Braided Replacement Bowstring Recurve 56″ Black

I-Sport Archery Hunting Braided...

ISPORT Recurve String 56″


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The Archery Hunting Braided Replacement Bowstring is a 56-inch (not AMO length) product that is made from nylon and suits draw weights up to 50 lbs. It is a black color, and there is a single string in each product box.

PROS:

  • 56-inch actual length (non-AMO length) replacement string
  • Pre-waxed ready for use
  • Single string in the box
  • Support 50 lb draw weight

CONS:

  • Max up to 50 lbs

The string is ideal as an easy replacement for a broken string for traditional recurve bows.


What You Should Know

Bowstring materials have not always been made using the same core materials. Some were made from linen that was waxed or a Dacron polyester material which supported 50 lbs per strand and stretched nicely beyond the 2 percent mark.

A Kevlar and Vectran combination arrived in the 1970s offering faster speeds but a little stretch to speak of.

The Dyneema and Spectra combination was released in the 80s, which was a durable fiber that worked well other than at higher elevations where both heat and higher string tension caused problems.

Most recently, a blended mix of synthetic materials resolved most of the issues of previous materials as long as the string was waxed on a regular basis.

The official A.M.O. Measurement is usually labeled on a bow string. The actual string is 4-inches shorter out-of-the-box than the official A.M.O. length.

The string stretches somewhat when it is fitted. In most cases, a bow will have its required A.M.O. length printed on the limb, the box or within the product information and is best clarified before ordering to avoid size-related disappointment.

Only The String?

The best recurve bow string is not necessarily a single product selection. Each bowstring is different. In many cases, a replacement string only supports up to a 50 lb draw weight which limits the feet per second (FPS) speed of the arrow.

In other cases, the material is less durable in all weather conditions and at elevation. All bowstrings should come pre-waxed, so it’s not necessary to wax them up once they’ve been fitted to the recurve bow.

However, they do require regular re-waxing to ensure they stay supple enough for long-term use.

When it comes to overall quality, the better brands do seem to have an edge of the workmanlike string replacements of lesser brand names.

FAQ

What is the best string for a recurve bow?

The most popular recurve archery string is DynaFLIGHT 97, BCY 8125, or BCY-X – designed to increase arrow speed with very few fibers

How do I choose a recurve bow string?

You must know your bow length before buying a bowstring. Take the distance between the string grooves.The length of your bowstring can be determined once you know the bow’s length. With a recurve bow, your bowstring normally measures 4 inches less than the length of the bow

Is it bad to keep a recurve bow strung?

When not in use, unstring your bow. Why? Because the bow is compressed when strung, and over time. This constant compression will make the bow weaker. That´s why leaving a recurve bow strung is bad and will reduce its lifespan.

When should I wax my bow string?

Bowstrings that are properly waxed have a slight tacky feel. It’s time to wax the string again if it feels dry, or if it starts discoloring or fuzzing out. Strings are waxed every 2 to 3 weeks and, in case of rain, before a competition.

What is the difference between B50 and B55 string?

The new B55 Dacron Strings give the same stretch as the B50 strings = same power! But less permanent stretch, allowing the string to last longer.

BCY: “B55 Bowstring – 100% polyester similar to Dacron
but with better durability and very low stretch.”

What is Dyna Flight 97?

Bowstrings made of Dyna Flight 97 from BCY are perfect for both recurves and longbows. With high-strength Dyneema, this product is very durable and low creep. It can be used to make both Flemish Twist and Endless Loop strings

What can I use for homemade bow string?

The traditional materials include linen, hemp, other plant fibers, sinew, silk, and rawhide. It is possible to use almost any fiber in an emergency. On a modern recurve bow or compound bow, natural fibers would be unusual, but they are still used on traditional wooden bows and composite bows

Should a bow string be twisted?

YES! It’s good for the individual strands if your string has a few twists (no strand is put under more stress than the others). When stringing your bow and measuring the brace height, add twists if it’s too long, take twists out if it’s too short.

How many strands should a bow string have?

The most common string is 12 strand B50 string, compromising weight, size, strength, and nock fit. Stronger and heavier bows equate to more strands

How often should you replace your bow string?

The recommendation is to change the bow string and cables every year on target bows and every two years on hunting bows. Bows used for target shooting require more string changes than hunting bows because they see more shooting

What is a Fast Flight bow string?

Fast Flight: 
Fast Flight is actually a brand name for a product made by Brownell. This material isn’t stretchy, allowing more energy to be transferred to the arrow, but also causing greater shocks to the limb tip. 

Dacron: 
Compared with Fast Flight, Dacron stretches more, being a better material for beginner bows.

What does AMO mean in archery?

The Archery Manufacturers Organization is known as AMO. The group developed a number of standards, including bow length. It is almost always AMO bow length that people refer to when they give a bow length in inches. 

The AMO bow length is the string length plus 3 inches. The AMO has been renamed the Archery Trade Association.

An AMO 66 inch bow takes an AMO 66 inch string (actual length 63 inches)

Which way do you twist a bow string?

The string should be twisted in the same direction as the center serving. A string twisted opposite the way the serving is twisted could loosen the serving.

Last update on 2021-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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