As you probably already realize your bow string is an essential part of the bow, because lets face it if there is no string then there is no possibility of shooting. It would be like a car without a motor.
That being said it is very important that you keep an eye on the condition of the string so as to make sure that it will deliver the best performance possible. The most common questions I hear are: “when should you change the string and cable”, “what could I do to prolong the life of the string/cable”, “and what do I do if the string breaks.”
Now first of all I just want to state for those of you who aren’t very familiar with the bow. The purpose of the string is to pull on the cams causing them to rotate. As the cams rotate they pull on the cables which are attached to the ends of the limbs of the bow. As the cables are pulled their length shortens causing the limbs of the bow to bend, this is what produces the energy within the limbs.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR STRING
Ok so let’s start of with the first question “when should the strings be changed”. Well what you need to do is simply look at the condition of the string. What you’re going to be looking for are badly frayed sections, or broken strands on the main part, and on the part that rides on the cams. There is also going to be areas of the string that have serving on it. When you see this serving coming undone or badly spreading apart it is time to change the string.
Also pay attention to the draw-length of your bow because as a string ages it becomes stretched out and this in turn lengthens the draw of your bow causing the draw to become too long. This however does not always mean you need to replace the string more often than not you can bring it to a repair shop and they can put some twists in the string to shorten it back up.
HOW CAN YOU PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR STRING
How can I prolong the life my string?, there are a few suggestions that I would make to you. The first is to get a hold of some bowstring wax. You can buy it at almost any archery retailer or repair shop. I have used almost every wax out there and I would strongly recommend the new Dalton High-Speed Bow Wax Conditioner it goes on very smooth and absorbs into the string very well.
When you first receive your new string it will be pre-waxed but as your bow is introduced to the outdoor elements in time this wax wears off, and that’s when you’ll notice the string begin to fray. At this point your going to want to get that wax (it usually comes in a cylinder) and put some on the string.
Then take a rag and rub it up and down the string to heat the wax up so that it is able to soak into the string. Doing this will tremendously increase the life of your string.
Another thing I would suggest doing is to store your bow in a dry place, leaving it in the back of your truck or in a place where there is a lot of moisture really breaks the string down. If you have been out hunting and it has been raining or snowing and your string is wet, or dirty. Take a cloth and wipe it down to make sure that the dirt and the water are gone.
This will more than likely cause the wax on your string to become thin or may just wipe it off so you then take your wax out and re-apply the wax to your string. This will ensure that the string stays dry and that the dirt will not cause excessive wear to your string.
The last suggestion I have for you is to get yourself a string loop. I’ve seen it all too many times. The string will be in good condition except for where the release pulls back on the string. When the bow is drawn there is a huge amount of pressure on the release and this quickly causes wear on the bowstring. So to solve that problem a lot of archers now are switching to a string loop, which is nothing more than a piece of string that attaches to the bowstring both above and below the knocking point of the bowstring. This forms a loop in which you put your release on and use the loop to draw with instead of the string.
WHAT DO I DO IF THE STRING BREAKS
To be honest you want to avoid this at all costs. But if your string does break you will undoubtedly have to bring your bow into a repair shop to get serviced. What happens when the string on a bow breaks could result in a couple different scenarios the first being that the string snaps and the cables are strong enough to keep the bow held down (applies only to dual cam bows), in which case place your bow immediately into your hard case and hurry yourself into a repair shop to get the bow serviced before the cables snap as well.
The other scenario(applies to solo-cam and dual cam), if you’re not so lucky and both the string and cables break, your bow limbs will shoot forward more than likely causing the bow to jump out of your hands. With the limbs shooting forward so fast this could ultimately cause them to break, or crack. It could also cause the axles and cams to bend or break. This is a very, very costly scenario; that you can avoid by staying aware and taking care of your string and cables.
*NOTE* In the paragraph above I make mention of cables, most bows have strings and cables they do different jobs but all of the rules with the strings apply for the cables as well.
Taking care of your bow and using these guidelines to keep your strings and cables healthy and performing their best will not only save you a lot of money and headaches but will also make sure that the next time you draw your bow on an animal or target that you don’t end up having to pick up pieces of your bow as you watch your trophy animal get away.