How to Tuning A Compound Bow Arrow Rest



In modern archery, a Compound Bow Arrow Rest that uses a levering system, usually of cables and pulleys, to bend the limbs. The pulley/cam system grants the user a mechanical advantage, and so the limbs of a compound bow are much stiffer than those of a recurve bow or longbow. … The pulleys feature two cam tracks. Setting up a compound bow is not as hard as you thing we will tell you every step how it’s done correctly and how to set up your new compound bow arrow rest.

Tuning A Compound Bow Arrow Rest

Whether you use your bow for target practice, bow hunting or fishing, learning to tune a bow can be a worthwhile endeavor. Surprisingly, you can find out what adjustments to make to your bow by shooting an arrow through paper, a common practice to guide tuning.

Setting your Compound bow arrow rest for dynamic Center shot

First you should set the rest for correct height this is done by installing the rest and placing an arrow on it then adjusting the height of the rest so that the arrow shaft is at the same height as the center of the threaded hole in the riser that is used to secure the rest to the bow (the Berger buttonhole). If you are using a spring steel blade type rest you may need to support the arrow a little so the flex is taken out of the spring steel blade while adjusting the rest height.

Using a bow square set the nock height on the string at 90 degrees for drop away and for a Trophy Taker, Spring Steel rest while supporting the arrow a bit to take the bend out of the Blade and 1/8″ above 90 Degrees for all other rests. this nocking height will probably require adjusting later in the tuning process.

set your rest left right adjustment so it is approximately in line with the string and stabilizer

Make a dot about 1/4″ in diameter on a target at about shoulder height then step back about 3 yards. set your sight at about 55 yards then shoot at the dot and keep adjusting your sight left, right, up and down until you hit the dot. Now using a larger dot or vertical line that you can see up to 60 yards walk back to the distance shown on your sight this will be around 50 to 60 Yards depending on the bow then shoot a group of arrows if your arrows impact to the right move your rest to the left. repeat this process until both your short and long-distance shots are in line remember to only pay attention to the good shots for all tuning methods.

Compound Bow Arrow Rest

This is basically the same as the walk back tuning only you don’t require a large target, as to the name of it I have heard it called French tuning but whatever the name is it works very well and will line your arrow up with the thrust of the string not just to the cam center

  1. Attach the Nock Point

Tuning A Compound Bow Arrow Rest

The first decision is whether to use a string loop or a brass nock set. We spent the last two seasons experimenting with string loops while using a variety of release aids,

Regardless of which system you decide to use, you’ll need a T-square to find the point on the string that is parallel to the riser’s cushion-plunger hole. Next, attach the nock set or the string loop’s top knot 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the point parallel to the cushion-plunger hole. (You’ll need a pair of nocking pliers to attach the nock set.) If your Compound Bow Arrow Rest is producing perfectly level nock travel, this placement should be good enough.

  1. Attach the Rest

Tuning A Compound Bow Arrow Rest

You have to decide if you want to use a drop-away rest or a fixed-position rest. If you plan to shoot carbon shafts, we recommend a drop-away; the aggressive helical fletching needed to stabilize small-diameter carbon arrows makes fletching contact with the rest common. Larger-diameter aluminum shafts allow you to use either style of rest.

Move the rest so that the arrow will cross directly over the center of the cushion plunger hole. Then move the rest so that it is in line with the string. The best way to achieve this position is to install a stabilizer, nock an arrow and look down on the bow to see if the shaft is parallel with the stabilizer. You may need to tweak the rest one way or the other later, but this is an excellent starting point.

  1. Install the Peep Sight

You wouldn’t shoot a rifle without a rear sight, so don’t shoot a compound bow without a peep sight. A bow press is needed to install most peep sights. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to go to a pro shop. If you’d rather do it yourself, you can buy a portable bow press.

The key to properly installing a peep sight is finding the center of the string. If the string on your bow has two different colored strands twisted together, you can just separate them. If not, you’ll have to count the strands and divide them by two. This is an important step; if the peep sight isn’t in the string’s center it can spin too much when you draw back the bow.

After putting the peep sight in, install string silencers. Also, if you are using brass nock sets, you should install “eliminator buttons”–these are little rubber donuts that slide onto the string to cushion the arrow’s nock from the release aid’s jaws.

Now take the bow out of the press, put an arrow on the string and draw it back. Look through the peep sight to see if it needs a further alignment. The peep sight should line up perfectly with your eye and the center of the sight window when you’re at your anchor point. Normally, you can slide the peep sight up and down without putting the bow back in the press, but not always.

Once you have the peep sight at the proper height, follow its directions to secure it in place. Next, shoot the bow several times to set the string before worrying about how the peep sight is rotating in the string. If the peep sight is not turning over to the desired level, detach one end of the string from the bow (using the bow press again) and twist the string. Continue this process until the peep sight comes back square to your eye every time. This process should take place over a week of shooting so that the string can reach its fully stretched length.

  1. Attach the Sight

Tuning A Compound Bow Arrow Rest

Choose a solidly constructed bow sight with fiber-optic pins that are easy to adjust. Before purchasing a sight, determine how many pins you need. In my opinion, you should use as few as possible to limit confusion. Most whitetail hunters do fine with two or three pins set for 20 and 30 yards, 25 and 35 yards or 20, 30 and 40 yards. Western hunters normally will have opportunities for longer shots. and so should set four or five pins for 20 through 50 yards or 20 through 60 yards. Follow the instructions that come with your sight to install.

  1. Silence the Rest

Tuning A Compound Bow Arrow Rest

Your bow should be quiet while being drawn and fired. We will use a thin layer of adhesive-backed foam rubber or fleece on the riser so that, if an arrow should fall off the rest, it won’t clatter when it hits the riser’s shelf. Dr. Scholl’s moleskin works great on the rest’s launchers. It stays in place better than any other product I’ve tried and does a great job silencing the draw.

  1. Reserve Your String

After shooting your bow a few hundred times you need to perform two maintenance steps:

  1. If the string has stretched, twist it back down to its original length. Twist the string in the direction of the existing spiral. If a string stretches, the bow’s draw length will increase, forcing you to make a deeper, more uncomfortable anchor point.
  2. At this point, we recommend replacing the serving on your string. Your best bet is to pay to have it done the first time. Watch a professional and learn, and you’ll be able to do it yourself the next time. While you’re there, pick up a spool of serving material and a good serving jig.
  3. Paper Tuning

Cut a square hole in the bottom of a cardboard box. Tape a sheet of paper across the opening and place a target more than an arrow length behind the sheet of paper. Now stand about 6 feet away from the box and shoot through the paper to the target. If the arrow cuts a clean, shaft-sized hole with tiny tears that are the same width as the fletching, the bow is tuned. If there is a tear wider than the arrow’s fletching to any side of the hole, some tuning is required.

Most modern bows tune easily, but some have string-travel problems that result from cam lean during the draw and release. If you absolutely can’t get your bow to tune, take the bow to a pro shop for help. The bow itself just might be at fault.


If you follow these steps, you’re probably not going to have many troubles for a year or more. Once a modern bow is in tune, it stays that way for a while. If there are issues, chances are it’s the user and not the equipment. But if you are having a problem, it can’t hurt to revisit each key component, starting with your bow and accessories, and then moving on to your arrows and broad heads. Before you make any major tweaks, go visit your bow-shop pro. Odds are, it something simple that you’re overlooking, and he’ll soon have you back in the woods and hitting where you aim.


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