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String jig setup

Updated: May 15

It's sometimes hard to tell which nocks you are using if you are not familiar with the vast variety out there! And when a manufacturer says they make a "small groove" nock, it is not necessarily the same as another manufacturer's "small groove" nock. You will get the best nock fit and arrow flight if your nock is custom fit to your string. The first step is knowing which nock you are using. Here's a guide to help with identification:

Nocks by Type

Pin nocks

Note: Beiter nocks are only shown in their pin nock form above, however Beiter nocks are made in press fit styles as well. From my experience, these nocks are the most consistent in terms of throat size across their many offerings. It should also be noted that the #1 and #2 nocks are an asymmetrical design while the hunter nocks are symmetrical.

Press fit nocks

Glue on nocks

Over Nocks

Nocks by Throat Size

These are organized by type. Unknown sizes are omitted.

Pin nocks

Press fit nocks

Glue on nocks

Over nocks

Throat measurement

When it comes to string fit, the most important part of the nock is the throat size. Many manufacturers list this size in their packaging or marketing materials. These sizes are far from what we were actually measuring in some cases. So all the measurements listed above are throat measurements as measured with a set of pin gauges in thousandth of an inch increments.

If there are any nocks listed above without a measurement that means we don't have a sample to measure. If you have such a nock and want to send it along to expand the collection that would be greatly appreciated!

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How is a Barebow string different from an Olympic Recurve string? They are both a single string used on a bow with recurve limbs. And the exact same riser and limbs could be used to shoot either Barebow or Olympic Recurve. So what's the difference??? There are a couple:

Center serving material

For those shooters who use string walking as an aiming method, it's more important that they be able to hold a crawl once set. For that reason a grippier center serving material (such as BCY Powergrip) will work better for such a shooter. Olympic recurve shooters tend to prefer a slicker material for a smoother release as they have no concerns about holding a crawl since they hook the string above and below the nock every time.

Center serving length & position

For Barebow shooters who participate in any events governed by World Archery, there is a rule that the upper end of the center serving cannot be in their field of vision at full draw. The intent is that the transition from center serving to string material not be used as an aiming reference.

World Archery Rules, Book 3, Chapter 11 (Athletes Equipment - Barebow Division):

World Archery Rules

This can be addressed by changing the length and/or position of the center serving. Some archers aim to keep upper end of the serving below their eye while most extend it further up the string so the top end is always above their eye at all crawl positions.

The best way to determine where yours should be is by taking a photo of yourself at anchor at both your highest and lowest crawl positions. Using an existing string as a reference you can then figure out where you would like that serving to end. Typically that measurement is specified by the number of inches above and below the center point of the string but some archers indicate this as the center serving starting point from the tip of the top loop.

Here's an example:

18M Crawl

50M Crawl

For Matthew Seidemann (pictured - with his enthusiastic permission) we increased the length of his center serving resulting in 7" above the center of the string. In the before pictures above it was 4" above the center point.

Hint: As long as the center serving is above the archer's vision while the crawl is directly against the nock, it will be fine as you crawl down the string and the top of the serving moves higher for longer crawls.

Please keep this in mind the next time you are ordering a string or preparing for a tournament. You don't want to be caught at a competition being forced to panic-serve™ extra length above your center serving, blacking out your string material with a sharpie, or even worse ... disqualified.

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Most archers select their string colors based on the color of their bow. And there's nothing wrong with that. But there are a few things to consider when choosing your next string color:

  • Tuning: Different colors will result in a different weight string. This is because of how the string material is manufactured. Some colors (such as white) have very little wax while others (like fluorescent colors) have a much higher wax content. The more wax, the heavier the resulting string. And strings of different weight will tune differently. To learn more check out Archery Path.

  • String blur: String blur should also be considered. Some people see some string blur colors better than others. And this should be tested in varying lighting conditions as well. However you don't need to buy a bunch of strings to test this. Strips of construction paper of different colors can be used to simulate what you will see with your string blur and what colors work best for you.

  • Twist direction: Some archers have trouble remembering which direction to twist the string to adjust brace height. Choosing a multi-color string is an easy way to more easily see which way the string is twisted. That can be used as a reference to figure out which way to twist to raise or lower the brace height.

Now you have more information to make a more educated choice for your next string!

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