Restringing your compound bow is easy if you plan ahead. Regardless if it's with or without a bow press, proper inspection on your bow string and your tools is crucial in saving you time.
Knowing how to restring your gear yourself will save you money from paying for this service at pro shops. It's simple and crucial - a reality in archery!
Still, restringing your compound bow can break your gear if done badly, so make sure you avoid the pitfalls!
Workspace and Equipment Check
As with anything to do with all sorts of projects that has to do with archery, having a neat and organized workplace will help set the tone in getting things right. And when it comes to restringing a compound bow, make sure to have these ready:
It may be a simple task, but missing out on even the tiniest bit during the first phase may just mess up the entire restringing process!
Now, you do have two ways on how to restring a compound bow - let us start off with the first way below.
How to Restring a Bow WITHOUT a Bow Press
You can still restring your compound bow even without the advantage of using a bow press. Think of it this way - in the worst case scenario that you'll need to have your string replaced during a hunt, you'd want to make sure that your prey wouldn't get away by getting a new string on your compound bow! Here's how you can do it:
Locating the Limb Bolts
Inspect your compound bow's limbs and find where the limb bolts are. These bolts are the ones that connect the actual bow limbs on the riser. Once you've spotted them, insert your Allen wrench on one of them.
Turning your bolts has to be done in an anti-clockwise manner to loosen the bolt's attachment towards the compound bow's riser. Also, for the optimal pressure needed to take off out of the bow limbs, make sure that you'll twist your Allen wrench for three full revolutions. That should take out just the right amount of tension!
Careful Adjustments Toward a Full Draw Position
With the pressure taken off your limb bolts, carefully position both your feet to step on the dangling bow string. Holding tight on the riser, slowly pull up until your compound bow is at its ideal full draw position.
It's crucial that your limb bolts are loose - you wouldn't get the proper full draw position if they're still tight! Also, relax and clear your head. The last thing you'd want is to drop your compound bow!
You can do this the other way around too by stepping on the riser, and raising the string with one hand. Then use the other to insert the new string.
Taking Out and Replacing the Compound Bow String
Once at the desired full draw position, have one hand hold on to the compound bow's riser firmly. Using your other hand, grab hold of your new bow string. This string's ends should then be looped through the teardrop fittings on the compound bow's cable (to help you out, these fittings are located on each end of the cable). It'll take practice, but take your time doing this!
Reversing the Steps
Once you have looped the new bow string in, carefully lower your compound bow. Keep on lowering it until you've noticed that the limbs are now aligned back to its original position.
Additionally, observe how the looped bow string is. You'd know you've done a great job if the string's seated and lined up properly on the compound bow's groove! Now, you'll have two strings on your compound bow!
Replacing the Old with the New String
With those two strings, you'd need to find a way to take out the old one. Simply step (with both feet) on the replacement bow string. Once you've safely secured your position, start pulling on your compound bow's riser until you're at the desired full draw position.
At the right position, simply take out the old bow string. You can now lower your compound bow after removing the old string (remember to tighten the limb bolts with your Allen wrench to secure your limb and riser integrity as well!)!
How to Restring a Bow WITH a Bow Press
Using a bow press will assure you that your bow string is properly installed. Of course, proper knowledge on how to both prepare and use the actual tool will save you from the stress of constant adjustments. Besides full-sized bow presses there are portable ones too - these are even usable out in the wild. Here's how you can restring your compound bow using a bow press:
Initial Inspection Does the Trick
Aside from the initial check of your tools and of your work space, consider checking your current bow string as well. Check for any visible defects and wear and tear found on your string. You'd know something's off if the string's discolored or does not have the same texture when you first had it on your gear.
Checking the New Bow String
Aside from checking your current bow string, a thorough inspection on the string you plan to have installed is a sound decision to make too. Check if the material of the new bow string is right for your gear. Of course, your preference should also be considered - you do not want to install something mainly because it's the latest or most expensive type in the market. It'll eventually backfire on you - archery's more about your own style, so something as simple as a bow string will allow you to shoot to the best of your ability.
Once you've selected a new bow string of your liking, apply some bow wax on it as well. This will help in making the attachment process as easy as possible. Also, a really quick reminder: make sure that what you're choosing are strings. A common mistake some archers get into is that instead of strings, they'll get bow cables instead. Remember, bow cables are meant for the pulleys and gears found on your compound bow's limbs. These are never meant to be used for shooting!
Mounting the Compound Bow into the Bow Press
Here's the tricky part. There are actually different kinds of bow press models in the market. But for simplicity's sake, we're going for the most common variant: a double pull compound bow press.
This type of bow press will work well for almost all compound bows in the market. Compound bows with past-parallel limbs (which are rare), would need specialized services and a unique bow press for proper restringing.
Now, back to the main topic. Installing a compound bow into a bow press is generally an easy affair - you would just need to mount the bow to the specified bolts found on the press. However, make sure that your compound bow's limb bolts are properly adjusted before mounting it on a bow press. As such, make sure to use your Allen wrench to properly remove tension on the limbs before mounting the bow on the bow press.
Taking Out and Replacing the Compound Bow String
Now that you have your compound bow mounted securely on the bow press, you can now properly do the restringing process.
If your compound bow is of the teardrop configuration, you'd need to string the new bow string while the old string is still in place. You can do this by lining up and looping the new bow string on the groove where the old string is. Once the new string is attached, you can safely detach the old one.
If your compound bow has a non-teardrop configuration, you will need to thread the new bow string with the starting point on the bow's cam. Looping the new bow string on the cam then sliding it into the compound bow's groove will do the trick. Now, if you're working with compound bows with two cams, you'd need to loop it in on both cams. Single cam compound bows will need to begin the looping process on the idler wheel then down towards the end of the opposite cam.
Removing the Compound Bow from the Bow Press
Now that you have the new bow string attached, re-tighten the bow limbs and slowly lift it out of the bow press. Test and shoot your compound bow - you'd want to make sure that everything's in working order with your new bow string!
Miscellaneous Bow String Tips
Here is some helpful information you'd want to know about your compound bow strings!
Spotting Defects on Your Compound Bow String
Let us talk more on how to detect problems on your compound bow string. Knowing if there are any defects on your bow string will help you determine the best moment to have it replaced. After all, even if it's a simple process, you'd want to maximize your gear's potential and you'd also save some crucial time in getting everything done!
Always Check It
Perhaps the most-used part of your compound bow can also be the one that's overlooked the most! Constant inspection (before and after shooting) of the bow string will allow you to get intimate and familiar with it. Doing this simple step will let you spot any new changes that may occur on your string - and as such, help you see if it's indeed now to change it.
Go for the Visible Defects
What should be of utmost importance when inspecting your bow string are the obvious defects on it. When you spot a frayed area, see how bad the damage is by running a finger on it. Most likely than not, the difference in texture may mean that you really ought to have the bow string replaced.
Cam As You Are
Aside from the bow string, make sure to also check the cam area in which the string is looped too. Aside from the pressure you place on your bow whenever you shoot (which should most likely be at the center area), these cam spots apply tension which may result in wear and tear in the long run. Again, if there are frayed defects on these areas, then you'd ought to have your bow string replaced!
Spotting the Nock
Of course, the nock area of your bow string will most likely be where the most tension is at, considering you are pulling on this part to shoot! Aside from the visible frayed defect, any loose or damaged stands on this part will give you an idea on just how far this bow string of yours has gone.
Your Draw Length is a Giveaway
If you've noticed that your bow string is longer than it should, then it is most likely worn out. The proper draw length is needed for you to shoot accurate shots. So, if the length seems off, then you'd better have a new bow string attached!
Here are some nice resources if you need to know more details on how to restring your compound bow: