View Full Version : Recurve poundage verses Compoud

bob cooly
04-16-2013, 07:36 PM
Some of you must shoot both. I shoot a 50-60 pound compound comfortably. What do you think I could shoot in a Traditional bow, I am starting to itch.

bob cooly
04-16-2013, 07:40 PM
kAN't speel either. poundage, compound you know. Been reading Traditional Archery Magizine too much.:o

04-16-2013, 08:02 PM
haha, I was interested in learning what pondage was. I haven't shot a compound in about a year but mine was set to 55 pounds. My longbows are 50 and 42 pounds. I don't have much difficulty with them, but I notice that I get lazy and my form declines much quicker with the 50 pounder. Also when I'm holding it at full draw while I wait for a moving target to get into position, my arm starts to cant to the left or right and it screws up my shot. I have no problem at all with the 42 pounder unless I want to shoot more than 35 yards.

04-17-2013, 05:33 AM
Everyone is a little different so what works for you will not be the same as everyone else. With my compounds, I shot 47 lbs indoors, 67 lbs outdoors, and hunted with 57 lbs, all quite comfortably. When I made the switch to trad, I wanted a bow I could pull and shoot comfortably or I figured I would never stay with it.

I bought a Jaguar with 40 lb limbs and a set of 55 lb limbs for hunting. I found I could shoot the 40's well, but could not handle the 55's and maintain good form. I traded the 55's for 50's and was able to work into them by my first trad hunting season. Last May I had shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff (not related to shooting trad) and was unable to get back up to the 50's for this past season. I hunted (successfully) with the 40's. Right now I'm shooting 45 lbs and will probably stay with that weight for next season. I could probably shoot 55 lbs now, but find I'm more accurate at 45 lbs.

Your compound weight is a little less than I was shooting so you may find 30 or 35 lbs is a good start for you. Perhaps the best thing to do is try a few differnt weights by shooting someone else's bow and see how you feel. Remember, it doesn't matter how much weight you can pull if you can't hit what you're aiming at! Stay with what's confortable when it counts and work up to heavier weights if you feel it's necessary. My bow with 40 lb limbs worked just fine on midwest whitetails - one pass-through and complete penetration on the other.


04-17-2013, 08:53 AM
If its been a while since you've last shot traditional gear, or you are just starting out, DRB gives good advice here. You will have a much easier time learning to shoot traditional with a 30-35lbs bow, and if you're new to it, the 30#er will be way easier on your body, especially your fingers! It's all prefence, but I like a tab, rather than a glove. You're best bet would be a inexpencive take-down, and when you are ready, buy the heavier limbs. Have fun, I love shooting my old Pearson!

04-17-2013, 09:21 AM
Some really good advice from these guys. I know it's been almost 40 years since I shot traditional, but I'm moving back that way with a Diablo TD this year. I don't have the strength I once had so I'm ordering 30# limbs, knowing I can move up if and when need be. I doubt I will because it's not for hunting. I'll be able to make things simple when I shoot 3D with my 10 year old student I'm coaching. Shots will be no more than 25 yards for her so I figured why not just shoot with her.

If I were you I'd take down some names here. If you'd ever need new limbs these guys might be willing to sell you some.

04-18-2013, 10:41 AM
Like others stated, start out light to get your form right, then you can work up in weight. I started shooting a 28# Bear Tartar(1968) last Spring, just moved up to a 40# X-200 and I'm can shoot it with ease and good form; would have been difficult trying to learn with it.

04-20-2013, 03:48 AM
start lightish and enjoy shooting the single string
i shoot barebow compound, a martin mystic 37#, mostly 3d but some field also.

have been playing with barebow recurve and trad a bit in the last year. started very light. have always shot fingers so no problem, i use the same finger tab, same anchor.

so i'm now also shooting a hoyt eclipse riser with kaya k3 short 30# limbs. unsighted. shoot indoors with this one.
with a 25 inch draw length, this most likely gives me about 24# on the fingers.

i also shoot a 30# samick sage with timbers and feathers off the shelf at traditional type 3d events. the most fun of all.

Mike G
04-20-2013, 08:12 AM

Very good advice from everyone. I thought I'd throw in my two cents also. As stated everyone is different, but from experience I do know you'll need to go lighter weight on any traditional bow to feel comfortable. There are more things also to consider when choosing a traditional bow, recurve or longbow. Are you planning on shooting purely instinctive or are you planning on using a sight? When you look at trad bows the draw weight will be measured at a specific draw length, like 45# @ 28". Obviously if your draw length is greater your draw poundage will be greater and lower if less. Are you planning on eventually hunting with it and what type of hunting?

I have a recurve that I have setup strictly for shooting fish. It's rated at 45# @ 28". I'm drawing 28" and have a sight on it. I also have it setup with the rubber rollers on the string so that I don't have to use a glove or tabs. I can hold this bow at full draw for quite some time, but with this setup I am quicker at the shot than I can be with a compound bow setup for fishing. I used to deer hunt with this bow.

I also have a longbow that I am pulling 55#. I have this one setup bare, shooting off my hand as a shelf and completely instinctive. Great bow for small game and deer, but I can not hold this bow at full draw for very long. It is more like draw, get on target and release.

Until this year I always drew 70# with my compounds. My newest is set at 58#, I just decided that I really don't need to be pulling back that much weight and I'm not getting any younger. Thankfully I have never had any back or shoulder problems.

Shooting bows is just pure fun!


bob cooly
04-20-2013, 08:39 AM
Thanks for all the input. Friend has 5 Traditional bows and said he let me try any of them from 30-45lbs. (PONDAGE) is shooting a bow under water where you can pull more weight:rolleyes:

04-20-2013, 07:26 PM
I think I saw a Howard Hill video where he shot a shark under water - he must have been using "pondage" :-)