How Much Can You Shorten A Bowstring?

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The bowstring is the most important part of any bow. When the bowstring is drawn back and released, it will catapult the arrow with great force. It is important to choose the right bowstring for your bow, as different strings will produce different results. Sometimes the string is too long for the archer – and maybe you want to reduce draw weight and draw length.

What should you do in this situation? Luckily, the bowstring can be changed or altered quite easily. You can even shorten it. Find out everything you need to know about shortening a bowstring right here.

How Much Can You Shorten A Bowstring?

The extent to which you can shorten a bowstring will depend on what bow you are using. With most bows, you can alter the bowstring height by at least ½ an inch. While this may sound like a small alteration, it can actually make a world of difference for some archers.

When it comes to compound bows, it is possible to shorten the string considerably. The extent to which a bowstring can be altered is reliant upon the cam system. I would recommend visiting your local archery shop to get this done as they will have the tools and experience.

Why Shorten A Bowstring?

The main reason why you would want to shorten the bowstring is that you might want to increase the string height. In short:  Shortening the bowstring gives you a lower draw weight and a shorter draw length. Also, the brace height of the bow will be increased – making the bow more “forgiving”“.

If you think that your bow’s draw weight is slightly too high for you, then you could consider shortening the bowstring.

How Can You Shorten The String?

If you´re using a recurve bow, the most common method for shortening the bowstring is to simply twist the string so that its length is reduced. This is a simple method, as you won’t have to cut the string or remove specific parts.

Hold it with your thumb and forefinger. Gently turn the string so that twists are added. Add as many twists as you need. If you are unsure of how much you want to shorten the bowstring, simply try using the bow and see if it feels more comfortable drawing the bow.

When shortening the string, be careful. If you have never done it before, you might want to get the help of someone who knows what they’re doing. This is because most bowstrings can only be twisted so much. If you shorten the string too much, it will be difficult to use. Be sure to try out the bow after you have shortened the string to see if it feels comfortable.

To shorten the bowstring on a compound bow you should visit your local archery shop. They will have the tools and experience to do it for you.

If you want to learn how to do it yourself, there are plenty of instructional videos and articles online. This can be a difficult and potentially dangerous task if not done properly, so make sure you understand the entire process before attempting it.

Can You Replace A Bowstring?

Can You Replace A Bowstring?

Yes, it is possible to replace a bowstring. If the string begins to look worn and feels weakened, it is recommended that you swap the string. As a result, many archers will replace their bowstrings every two or three years.

Many others simply do this when the bowstring feels as though it must be replaced. If you shoot the bow often, you might need to replace it more regularly. On the other hand, if you rarely participate in archery, the bowstring will only require replacement every few years.

Depending on where you practice your archery skills, will also determine how often you need to replace the bowstring. When your bowstring is likely to be covered in dirt and grime, you must replace it frequently. Your bowstring will need to be changed less often if you practice in a clean environment.  

How Can You Care For A Bowstring?

One of the best ways that you can care for the bowstring is to wax it. You can purchase specialized bowstring wax, such as this Bohning product, to maintain it.

These waxes are designed to stop the bowstring fibers from becoming weak and frayed. To further maintain the bowstring, ensure that the bow is kept in a secure and clean area. You should consider investing in a bow case, as these products can keep the entirety of the bow, including the string, safe and protected.

It is also advised that you routinely inspect the bowstring every time that you use the bow. This inspection should be thorough every time, don´t forget to give the string a quick check.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Bow Restrung?

There is no definitive answer to this, as the price will depend on several factors. For example, different professionals will charge different prices.

Plus, it will depend on what type of bow you own. In general, it costs between $50 and $100 to get a bow restrung.

Though this may sound like a lot of money, it is worth getting a compound bow professional restrung. This is because most people lack the equipment to do this by themselves.

What Were Medieval Bowstrings Made From?

Before the days of synthetic bowstrings, they tended to be made of hemp. They could also be constructed from flax.

These materials are not nearly as durable as the synthetic materials utilized for bowstrings nowadays.

Dacron, which is commonly used for bowstrings, is sturdy and designed for easy cleaning.

Final Thoughts

Bowstrings play such an important role in a bow’s operation, so they must be maintained and cared for. Bowstring maintenance may include shortening, replacing, and cleaning the string. Many archers fail to properly maintain their bowstring, resulting in their bow not performing as well as it should.

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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