The value of preventative bowstring maintenance


Changing the string on a bow
All photo credits: Brandon Evans

Preventative maintenance can be applied to many different things. In the automotive world, it can save on incredibly expensive repairs. When it comes to archery, it might not be the amount of money that it saves you, but the shot of a lifetime that you may or may not ever get again.

I've always been pretty good at keeping things in a fairly decent order, especially my hunting equipment that I've invested a good amount of money in. And to be honest, I'd never really thought about preventative maintenance when it came to hunting gear. If it looked good, I'd run it. Until I was watching one of Phil Mendoza's Alpha Bowhunting YouTube videos on bowstrings. He takes a one-year-old string and a new string and leaves them in the rain, then shoots them both. You might be surprised by the results. You can check out the video below.

How does water impact a compound bowstring

Diving into preventative bow maintenance

Tools needed when changing bow strings

In this article, I'll walk you through the process of some preventative maintenance that we should be doing just about every year by replacing the strings and cables on a compound bow.

Step 1

Measuring old d-loop position
Measuring the old d-loop length for a reference when the new one is installed.

First, take a few measurements and record them.

Recording bow string measurements before making adjustments

Recording all of your old setup information will help set everything back to the way that it was. It also makes sure that your bow is still in factory specs.

Measuring bow axle to axle length
Measuring bow axle to axle length to make sure it's still near factory specs or the specs that shot the best for your bow.

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Step 2

Taking photos of the bow string change process

It's always nice to have a visual reference to the way the strings are routed. Take a couple of pictures. This comes in super handy when you are reassembling things.

Step 3

Carefully changing the string on a bow

Go one string or cable at a time, keep the twists that come in them the best you can. By only doing one at a time it allows you to keep everything where it needs to be and keeps some of the confusion out.

Step 4

Measuring bow specs after installing new string

Once you have them all swapped out, check all of your measurements again. You'll want to check the timing of the cams, the cam lean, and that the draw length hasn't changed. You can add a couple of twists to different cables to fine tune it.

Paper tuning bow after changing strings

With the added insurance that this little bit of maintenance provides, you can be confident that when that shot of a lifetime presents itself, your bow will be ready.

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