Proper Arrow Fitting

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How do you determine your proper draw length? Here’s a fool proof way of knowing if you’re set up for your proper draw length. This question is always floating around the shops. Draw length is determined by someone’s wingspan divided by 2.5”. (e.g.) Take and spread your arms out. Fully extended, have a friend measure from middle finger on one hand across your back, to the opposite middle finger on the other side. Let’s say it’s 72.5. Now, take (72.5 /2.5 = 29”) 29” inch is where your draw length will be.

Many shops will argue the fact the arrow length determines proper draw length. What if the arrows are cut to long from the previous shop? Or if the individual purchased a used bow and arrows were part of the deal! Now, I have cut and fletched 100’s of dozens of arrows. I have learned that people are usually wrong about their proper draw length. Now, when you are ready to purchase arrows from your shop, how do you select the draw weight for their length?

Every arrow manufacture supplies the shops with arrow charts for the arrows purchased. These charts allow the bow technicians to make an educated decision on the correct arrow spine for your arrow shaft choice. They will cut the arrows to correct length, making sure the arrows are cut square so no tuning issues occur. You are on your way to have selected properly fitted arrows & correct spine selection for your current set up.

I hope this short article assist, all of my fellow blood brothers in the field to make better educated decisions. Take care and Hunt Hard.

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One Response to "Proper Arrow Fitting"

  1. Bruce Morrison   2010/10/07 at 3:21 am

    This subject appears quite often on archery websites. It starts with a new archer asking how to determine his draw length. Then someone responds by providing a “magic formula” based on one’s wing span: “Stand next to wall, stretch out your arms, and have someone measure the distance between your finger tips. Subtract X, divide by Y, then order your bow.”

    I’d never order a bow based on a generic physiological formula. That’ll only get you into the ballpark. As an example, a buddy’s wingspan is 2″ longer than mine, but he shoots best with a DL 1″ shorter than me. Both of us have good form. Arm length and shoulder width might have something to do with it.
    Something else I hardly ever see in these “How do I measure my DL?” threads is a discussion of the type of release you use. Some releases (like the Winn glove) hold the string much closer to your hand, while others have a long body with the trigger way behind the jaws, which gives you less power stroke.

    General rules I read in an article by Bernie Pellerite: Your shooting eye should be directly above your navel, and your shirt buttons should be in a vertical line.
    Grip method (low wrist, high wrist, etc.), stance, use (and length) of D-loop, comfortable & repeatable anchor point, etc., also enter into the equation.
    I’d recommend getting an expert coach to observe you shoot. Then experiment extensively to see what works best for you. If your primary emphasis is hunting, better to use a DL a little short than a little too long. This will help you shoot more consistently from field positions and will reduce the chance of the string slapping your forearm.

    At the 2007 SCI show I asked Bowhunter magazine’s technical editor how many archers he sees with a DL that’s too long. His answer: “About 50%.” An archery shop owner told me he sees even more than that.

    Final tip: Buy a bow with some adjustment range rather than one that’s draw length specific. And never blindly trust the manufacturer’s label! The DL of most bows I’ve purchased have been longer than the label indicated. For example, both of my supposedly 31” Mathews bows were almost 32”. This really affected my form, accuracy, and consistency until someone mentioned that I was stretched out and leaning back at full draw. (That was 11-12 years ago; maybe Mathews has fixed that by now.)