When Should You Replace The Bowstrings & Cables On Your Bow – Archery

Crossbows

Outdoorsmen, with today’s technology most if not all Crossbows use String Cables instead Steel Cables and these strings will stretch and wear faster. So when you look to replace your crossbow string you need to consider replacing your two cable-strings as well.

Now, when to replace your Strings is somewhat dependent on your usage; how many times a year you shoot your bow and do you keep your crossbow cocked instead of shooting it after each hunt. The rule of thumb is to replace your strings every 3 years, but if you are a serious shooter and shoot at ranges of 40 yards or more than you will need to replace all three strings more often. Here are the signs to look for when trying to decide to purchase new Strings.

1. Any fraying on the strings
2. Loss in speed (FPS)
3. Arrow drop over distance (accuracy)

Why Arrow Drop Or Loss In Speed

Have you noticed a loss in Feet Per Second (speed) or does your arrow now drop more, at 40 or 50 yards, than it did when you first purchased a Crossbow? This is because your strings (3) have stretched, increasing the draw length and not allowing your Bow Limbs to be pulled back as far. Your Crossbow now is not as efficient as it once was, but by replacing your string and cables you can get this back. Note, at shorter distances, 10 – 20 yards, you may not notice the loss in accuracy.

The Average Hunter

If you are the average Archery Hunter, which shoots their deer within 25 yards then you may be able to go 5 years before replacing your strings. But make sure you wax your strings and keep an eye out for any fraying.

Does Waxing Your Crossbow String Help

Waxing your Strings does help minimize fraying and will extend its life, however the string will still stretch. When waxing your string avoid waxing the area where you arrow nocks.

To Wax your strings properly, add your wax onto the entire string, except for serving areas and the center of your String used for arrow nock placement. This area if waxed can gum up your trigger and affect locking and firing of your mechanical mechanism.

Compound Bows

For Compound Bows you will have steel cables instead of string. If String Cables then follow the same replacement strategy as for the Crossbows. Now since you have steel cables instead of string-cables they will not stretch or wear as fast, so replacement is based more on the conditions of these cables. If you see any damage replace them.

The Compound-Bow String replacement also depends on how much you shoot. My recommendation is; for the serious hunter replace the string every two years, for the average hunter every 3-4 years, and for the casual hunter every 5 years.

Does Waxing Your String Extend It’s Life

Waxing your String will extend the life of the string and help prevent string fraying. However the string will still stretch over time. Also as with the Crossbow do not wax the area that is double wrapped (Called the Serving) and design for your nock, this area is not needed, is more robust, and the wax can gum up your mechanical release or collect debris.

Waxing – How To Extend The Life Of Your Bow String

To Wax properly apply your wax up and down the string(s), then use your fingers or a clean cloth to work the wax in. By working the string up, down, and around the heat created by friction will allow the wax to soak in, extending the strings life.

Tips – Why You Should Replace Bow Strings

A. Safety – Stretched, worn, or frayed strings can break
B. Safety – damaged cables can break
C. Draw Length gets to long
D. Noticeable Loss in speed, distance, and/or accuracy