If you recently purchased your first crossbow, you have probably chosen the one based on the size, shape, and appearance of the risers and limbs. What you probably have not paid as much attention to is the actual bowstring. But without the proper bowstring your bow will not be operational. Not all bowstring is created equal, there are several things that you will want to consider when choosing what string you will use in your bow.
Why Your Bowstring Is Important?
Did you know that the bowstring that you select to use with your bow will influence a lot of things? Some of these include the following:
- The amount of vibration that your arrow will have
- The amount of noise your arrow will make
- Your ability to fine-tune your bow
- How long your string will last and more
Once you begin using your bow on a regular basis, you may choose to purchase several different strings which will depend on when, where, and what you are using the bow for.
What Are The String Options?
You will be able to find bowstrings of several different sizes, strands, and materials. Some of these are dependent on the string manufacturer you choose, while others may be available across a wide array of manufacturers.
The strand of string you use is very dependent upon the draw weight of your bow, but there may be times you may choose to use a heavier strand that what is ordinarily recommended. The recommendations can also vary by manufacturer, but some of the common ones are as follows:
- 12-strand string is recommended for draw weights of up to 40 pounds
- 14-strand string is recommended for draw weights of up to 50 pounds
- 16-strand string is recommended for draw weights of up to 65 pounds
Some manufacturers do not produce a 12-strand string and recommend you use a 14-strand string for any bow that has 24–40 pound weights and 16-strand string for anything over 40. You may even find a manufacturer that produces an 18-strand string.
Bow string is available in a wide variety of lengths. It can be found in two inch increments that range from 48 to 66. If you do not purchase the correct length, it will be almost impossible to correctly operate your bow. Choosing the right length of string can be as simple as measuring the string that is already in your bow, but if you do not have string in your bow, there are other ways this measurement can be calculated.
- Call the manufacturer of your bow. Be prepared to give the make and model of your equipment. You may even be able to find this information on the manufacturer's website.
- Take it to a professional sporting good store like Kidron Sports Center and ask for assistance. Someone in the department that sells crossbows should be able to help you calculate the length of string you need.
- Locate an owner's manual for your bow. Many times these can be located online and should contain the information you need.
Bow strings have come a long way from the days that it was made from catgut, horsehair, and waxed linen. Most of the string on the market now is made from a wide variety of synthetic and blended materials, some of which include Dyneema and Vectran. Compositions vary by manufacturer and will continue to change over time as new materials become available on the market.
As you start to use or practice with your new bow, take the time out to try different strings that you find on the market. Many times the right string is really a matter of the owner's preference and the end result you are hoping your bow will be able to accomplish.