Bow Basics:

Brace Height refers to the distance between the grip of the bow and the string.

The shorter the brace-height, the faster the IBO speed rating will be. This is due to an increase in the bows power-stroke. In other words, the arrow remains on the string for a longer period of time, it travels a longer distance. This means more energy is transferred to the arrow, which equals more speed.

The longer the brace-height, the slower the IBO speed rating will be, due to the string being further away from the grip, because the arrow travels a shorter distance before leaving the string. This means less of the bows energy is transferred to the arrow.

Brace-height equals forgiveness of a bow.

Shorter brace-height = less forgiving bow, because the arrow is on the string longer, there is more time for the shooter to affect the shot.

Longer brace-height = more forgiving bow, because the arrow leaves the string sooner, providing less time for the shooter to affect the shot.


Physical Weight is the actual weight of the bow.

Bow Hunters who typically hunt in demanding terrain will often favour a lightweight setup. Lighter bows make long hikes over tough terrain much easier as the hunter experiences less fatigue. This can be a real asset over the course of a long backcountry hunt.

However, when it comes to the physical weight of a bow, some shooters prefer a heavier setup. This is typically due to the increased stability that a heavy bow provides. In simplest terms, a heavier bow will resist hand-torque much better than a lightweight setup because of the added resistance that the increased weight provides.

Therefore, it is important for the shooter/buyer to consider the overall weight of the bow and how it will affect their success in the field or on the range before making a purchase. Also, please note that the listed weight of a bow is typically without accessories.


























Axle to Axle 33"


Axle to Axle 30.5"

Brace Height 7"

Brace Height 5"

Axle to Axle is the length of your bow as measured from the axle of the top idler wheel to the axle of the lower cam.

When it comes to applying these dimensions to target shooting or hunting it is important to consider how and where the bow will be used. Shorter axle to axle bows can be advantageous when hunting from a ground blind or tight quarters in a tree stand.

On the other hand, longer axle to axle bows provide more stability; especially when shooting at longer, open-range distances.

In the end, where you hunt, and how far you expect to shoot should ultimately determine what your axle-to-axle needs are. Typically, taller shooters will feel more comfortable with a slightly longer bow. However, this isn’t always the case as all shooters are different. The best advice is to test shoot as many models as possible before making a decision.


Let-Off basically refers to the percentage of weight that is subtracted from the bows draw weight. In other words, a bow set at 70lbs, with 80% let-off, will only require that the shooter hold back 14lbs of weight when the bow is at full draw.

In most hunting situations, high let-off can be a real asset. For instance, high let-off allows the hunter to draw the bow early and wait while the target animal moves into position with less concern as to whether or not they can hold the bow back long enough to allow the shot to materialize. Less holding weight means you can hold the bow at full draw for a much longer period of time.

When it comes to target shooting, many archers prefer a bow with a lower let-off; typically in the 65% range. This provides the shooter with more “tension”, or resistance, to pull against while using a back-tension release; which is very popular with top-level target shooters.


IBO speed rating for a bow is reached by shooting a 350 grain arrow at 70lbs of draw weight and 30 inches of draw length.

This is important to remember because unless you are shooting the same specs used to attain IBO speed ratings, your bow of choice will not shoot as quickly as you might think.

For instance, many shooters make the mistake of choosing a bow with a particular speed rating and then shoot a draw length that is less than 30 inches, a draw weight that is less than 70lbs, and a hunting arrow that typically weighs more than 350 grains; while at the same time still expecting the bow to reach the advertised IBO speed rating.

Like everything else associated with archery, there are pros and cons to speed.

It is very important to understand that high arrow speeds do not come without some degree of sacrifice. When it comes to all-out speed, it is no secret that dual-cam bows are faster than single cam bows.

However, the shooter must understand that when it comes to most hunting situations, the single-cam bow design offers many advantages over the dual-cam. For instance, single-cam bows require less maintenance, are typically more forgiving, and produce less recoil and less vibration than bows incorporating dual cams.


Draw Length is the length of your draw from the front of the bow riser to the back of the arrow in your draw hand. In order to reach your full potential as a shooter and a bow hunter it is important to be relaxed and comfortable when executing the shot.


To achieve this, the bow must fit you properly; i.e. the draw length must be correct. There are a few methods for selecting your proper draw length, but perhaps the easiest way is to use the “wingspan” method, simply stand with your back against a wall, arms spread out, while a friend measures from your middle fingertip (on one hand) to the middle fingertip on the other.

Next, take that measurement and divide it by 2.5.

This will give you an excellent starting point for finding your proper draw length. However, variations in D-Loop length and axle to axle bow length may require some small lengthening or shortening of your final draw length measurement. For example, if your wingspan measurement is 70, divided by 2.5, then your draw length will be in the neighborhood of 28 inches. But, when you add a D-Loop to the string, you will essentially be altering (lengthening) this measurement by as much as ¼ of an inch. If the addition of a D-Loop causes your form to deteriorate, then the bows draw length may need to be shortened just a bit in order to bring you back to your initial measurement before the loop was added. You can also experiment with the length of your release-aids connection strap while at full-draw until a comfortable location is established.

Overall, you want to be relaxed while shooting and be consistent in your anchor point….both of which start with choosing the proper draw length.


Draw Weight is simply the minimum and maximum amount of weight required to bring the bow to full draw.

Typically, this weight range is 10 pounds. For instance, a bow with a 60 pound peak draw weight will have a minimum of 50 pounds. Likewise, a 70 pound draw will carry a minimum draw-weight of 60 lbs. Overall draw weight can be increased or reduced (within this 10 pound range) by simply tightening or loosening the limb-bolts on each limb.

This allows the shooter to customize his/her bow to the perfect draw weight.


Single Cam / Dual Cam Systems

When you compare the single cam bow system to that of the dual cam, perhaps the most noticeable difference is that of “simplicity”. The invention of the single-cam bow forever changed the landscape of archery.

Instead of two cams fighting one another for control (typical of two cam designs), the single cam system utilized an idler wheel on the top limb and a single-cam on the bottom; no more fighting. Suddenly, all of the timing and synchronization issues that frustrated shooters for years were gone.

For instance, the single-cam has proven to be more efficient than any other compound bow system available.

With the highest efficiencies numbers ever documented from an 80% let-off bow, the single-cam obviously transfers more of the bows stored energy where it matters most…..the arrow. In addition, the single-cam system provides a solid back wall, generates less recoil and vibration, and produces very little game-spooking noise. Also, the single-cam has shown to be more reliable (requiring less maintenance) because the synchronization problems typically found on a dual-cam system have been eliminated.

All of this adds up to the most accurate cam system ever developed.

Despite the inherent advantages of the single-cam system, some archers simply want to shoot the fastest arrow possible. 

While the dual-cam system can certainly fill this niche, many versions do so at the cost of the aforementioned problems. The single-cam bow design offers many advantages over the dual-cam. For instance, single-cam bows require less maintenance, are typically more forgiving, and produce less recoil and less vibration than bows incorporating dual cams.


The new Mathews AVS System allowed engineers to dynamically move the force vector of the anchored cable from one side of the cam axle to the complete other side of the axle. This allows for a quicker “build rate” on the front side of the draw force curve and increases the amount of stored energy. In addition, the new AVS system allows the anchored end of the buss cable to pass through the centre of the axle to the other side. By doing so, engineers discovered that they could completely control cam balance to achieve any desired amount of let-off. This not only gave them the ability to optimize draw force profiles for energy storage, it also allowed them to maximum bow performance and efficiency.


Bow String has two purposes.

First, it is used to transfer energy from the shooters arms and back muscles directly to the limbs of the bow.

This allows the bow to be “drawn” and thus store energy. Second, it is used as a catalyst to transfer that energy from the limbs to the arrow. This transfer of energy is what gives the arrow speed and direction. The most important feature of the string is its ability to do this repeatedly with a very high degree of consistency. Otherwise, it quickly becomes a hindrance to bow performance.

While one may assume that a bowstring is a bowstring, a closer look will reveal the exact opposite.

In fact, a quality bowstring can actually make your bow perform at a higher level than with typical strings.


The Mathews Zebra Bowstring is a great example. What makes the Zebra string so special?

Well, it has everything to do with Z-S Counter-Twist Technology. The strands in the Z bundle are twisted counter-clockwise while the strands in the S bundle are twisted clockwise. Then, the two opposing bundles are twisted together. The result of this technology is that when the bow is draw, twist bias in the string is eliminated and therefore pulls back straight. This virtually eliminates peep sight rotation.

Zebra Bowstrings requires extensive and unique pre-stretching processes prior to being installed to all Mathews’ models. This eliminates creep before the string is even placed on a bow. 


The Bowtech Octane Bowstrings are hand built to ensure that our high demand for quality is upheld. Over the last ten years, Octane has designed and built custom machines that are proprietary to the Octane string building process. The combination of hand quality and custom precision machinery allows for only one result; Perfection.


The Hoyt Fuse Custom String System is built with over 700 pounds of tension for increased performance eliminating peep twist and creep. Going far beyond industry standards, Fuse Custom Strings use premium materials and are constructed with exclusive Fuse CTT (Continuous Tension Technology), twisted and served under loads far higher than those achieved with conventional string building machines.


Bus Cables are attached to the cams and basically work with the string during the draw process to get as much energy as possible out of the bow limbs. 

In order to prevent the cables from interfering with the arrow and/or arrow fletching during the shot, the cables are moved to the side (away from the arrows flight path) using a Cable Rod, or Cable Guard.

The Cable Rod extends rearward (from the bow riser) toward the bowstring. The cables are then attached to a Cable Slide that is attached to the Cable Rod. As the bow is drawn, the cables slide along the rod and out of the arrows path.

While this method is effective, it does rob the bow of smoothness during the draw cycle.

In order to eliminate this problem, diferent manufacturers introduced their new designs to their bows.


Mathews Reverse Assist™ Roller Guard reduces friction even more for a smoother draw cycle by positioning cables in a reverse manner; in front rather than behind the roller guard. Traditional roller guards position cables on the back side of the roller guard and cause the cables to wrap tighter as the bow is drawn back and therefore places more pressure on the cables. The Reverse Assist™ Roller Guard allows the cable to roll with less tension in a fully contained roller guard and ultimately makes the bow smoother since there is less tension on the cable.


The Bowtech FLX-Guard™ cable containment system addresses the tuning effects of extreme cable tension and inflexible cable guards found on today's bows. As the bow is drawn, the FLX-Guard™ responds by flexing inward, absorbing the cable guard torque that would have otherwise been transferred to the riser. The result is substantial reduction in lateral nock travel, yielding a real advancement in tuneability, forgiveness, and accuracy.


The Bear 4X4 Roller Guard8 sealed ball bearings deliver the smoothest draw cycle and the maximum amount of efficiency.

The Bear Hinge Guard New technology reduces torque on both riser and limbs by allowing the cable to smoothly move inward throughout the draw cycle, and instantly return at release to provide optimum fletching clearance.

The Hoyt Inline Roller Guard has been around in one form or another for close to 30 years now. As the originator of the compound cable guard, Hoyt knows a thing or two about the subject. Our roller cable guard had to be stronger, sleeker and lighter—and we’re proud to tell you that we hit the X-ring on all three criteria with our new, patent-pending In-Line Roller Guard. Exclusive advanced bearing technology and in-line rollers work in concert with the rigging on our bows to increase efficiency, making for higher speed and lower energy loss. draw cycle, and instantly return at release to provide optimum fletching clearance.


Serving is the material wrapped around the bowstring to protect the string from wear and tear where the arrow clips on and off the string but also where the string runs over the cams and cable guard.














Basic Shooting Form is very important when it comes to shooting a bow accurately.

A Shooter must pay particular attention to shooting form and procedure. This can only be accomplished after the correct draw length has been established. After that has been done, the shooter can then move onto draw weight selection and the basics of shooting.

The most important thing to consider when contemplating draw weight is that muscles that are warm and loose (such as during summertime practice) can often manage a heavier drawing weight than muscles that have become cold and stiff after sitting motionless in a frigid tree stand for hours on end. Therefore, consider the climate and conditions in which you plan to hunt before making a decision about maximum draw weight for your bow. In most cases, a reduction of a few pounds can make a big difference in drawing the bow smoothly; especially while wearing heavy, bulky clothing.

To shoot a bow accurately, it is important to understand that it begins with consistency.

Meaning, that unless the shooter’s grip (how they hold the bow) and anchor point (position of release hand in conjunction with face) are the same for every shot, consistency will not be found and shooting accuracy will suffer.

When gripping a bow, be sure to place the bow grip in the centre-line of the hand where the large bones of the forearm butt up against the smaller bones of the wrist. This will provide the most stable, torque-free platform from which to shoot. The bow hand should also remain relaxed (with fingers hanging loosely) throughout the shot process.

The anchor point (this is merely the location that your release hand touches your face while you are at full-draw) should also be given special attention. . In order to maintain consistency, try to establish your anchor point on a solid, non-shifting portion of the face such as the jaw bone and string touching the tip of the nose.

Once you find a suitable location, strive to find it every time you come to full-draw.

This can be as basic as a knuckle tucked in close to the jawbone.

When aiming, try not to “punch” or “jerk” the release trigger the moment the sight pin covers the target. Instead, let the sight pin float around the target while simultaneously squeezing the release trigger.

In order to maximize shooting accuracy the bow should fire unexpectedly.


Consistency Hinges on Correct Draw Length

Anchor Point 1

Thumb or Knuckles

on the Jaw Bone

Anchor Point 2

String Touching the Nose

Shot Placement

Focus on the Target not your Trigger Finger

Hand Position

Not Squeezing the Grip, Bow Resting in your Hand

Body Position

Comfortable, Relaxed

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