How To Setup A Compound Bow
Need to know how to set up a compound bow? Each brand of compound bow will have their specific tasks to set them up when you buy it. The best thing to do is to read and follow the instructions in the owners manual for your specific compound bow. However, there are basic similarities in most bows which will be discussed here.
To set up a compound bow you will need:
- Hex wrenches
- Nocking pliers
- Tape measure
- Bow square
- Inspect bow. The first step is to inspect the bow carefully to insure that all cables and strings are in their correct positioning. If they are not now is the time to get them correct.
- Set draw weight. Set the draw weight by turning limb bolts with wrenches. It is very important to make sure to turn limb bolts in equal numbers of turns for both top and bottom.
- Set tiller. The tiller is the distance of the string from the riser. Select a place on both upper and lower riser and measure the distance. It should be identical and if it is not you will need to adjust it by turning the limb bolts equally but in opposite directions. If you turn the top bolt 1/4 turn clockwise, you turn the bottom bolt 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. Repeat this process until the distance is equal.
- Perform bow specific cam setup. Each bow will have different procedures and tests to insure the cams on both upper and lower limbs are correct. Refer to your owners manual, or contact your manufacturer for specific instructions.
- Install arrow rest. Install the arrow rest of your choice following the manufacturers instructions.
- Pre-Install nock or nock loop. Using the bow square, nock, and nocking pliers install the nock on the arrow string. Exact end placement will end up being a trial and error thing when shooting and tuning the bow.
- Check and set vane clearance. Using an arrow check for proper vane clearance with the cables. Adjust cable guard as needed to give at least 1/16" clearance.
- Install optional accessories. Follow the instructions that comes with the item install all optional accessories. This may include sighting systems, stabilizers, release aids, quivers, and any other item you desire. One little trick learned from many years of archery hunting is to use sticky backed mole skin to cover many areas of the bow to help prevent noise. This is especially good on sight windows and anywhere the arrow might accidently hit if it falls off a rest. It can even be wrapped around cables where they intersect to help prevent the noise of cable slap
- Recheck all bolts and screws. Using the correct tools go all over the bow a second time to insure all bolts and screws are properly tightened.
That is the basic process of setting up a compound bow. Each bow will use different specific instructions and may have more or less steps in its individual setup. The next process in setting up a bow properly is tuning it, but that is another article. Enjoy your new bow.