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Thread: Bow string Inspried by No longer impressed

  1. #1
    Sonny Thomas
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    Default Bow string Inspried by No longer impressed

    Of bow strings. Over the past 13 years that I know of weíve come a long ways to the quality strings we have today. I began with a Pearson compound, steel cables and regular bow string. Well, not regular as of now. Very little if any twist was given the bow string. My first bow string didnít last very long and a new one was built by a local string maker. It was on the bow when I sold it a year later.

    After the Pearson I bought a brand new 1999 Golden Eagle Evolution. I shot it and I shot until one day my bow arm began taking a beating. Lord! To the bow shop I went. The mechanic shorten the draw with the then ĹĒ less draw posts. I shot it and it stretched. I had the same local string maker make a set strings for it. While waiting for the strings I had the Evolution hanging on the wall. I was doing something and this sceeeetch, whirl came. Looked around and saw a flickering of light on the wall. Looked to my bow and there was the top wheel spinning, the limbs flat straight and the bow string hanging in two pieces. The new built string was on the bow a year later when I sold it to the next door neighbor.

    Hooked on 3D I wanted a new bow, something faster than the Golden Eagle. The best I could get out of the Golden Eagle was 255 fps. My heart was set on a Hoyt UltraTec, but said a wait period of 6 to 8 weeks (Yeah, right). So the magnesium brother of the UltraTec, the MagnaTec, was the closest thing to what I wanted until the UltraTec arrived. I bought it. This is in early 2000. I shot the MagnaTec everyday and every 3D I could get to. It was faster than the Golden Eagle and by some 15 fps, 270 fps. I placed and won a bunch with the MagnaTec and before the UltraTec arrived almost at the end of 2000 I had to have new strings put on the MagnaTec. The same string maker made a new set, but they didnít hold up any better than the factory strings. But then regulated to deer hunting, not shot all that much, the strings did last longer. It would be years later I had a set built by M&R Bow strings that I had a set of strings that were way superior.

    My 2000 UltraTec made it through the 2000 3D year and almost through the local indoor league session. And a new set string were needed. So again, the local string maker was called. Again, the strings didnít last much better than the factory strings.

    Enter 2003 or 2004. Hoyt comes out with FUSE strings. Well, they werenít called FUSE to start. I got a set to try and I believe Hoyt sold them to me (through my dealer) for something of $25.00, complete set of strings, not just a bow string. The new strings proved the best ever. In fact, my now retired UltraTec still has these same strings on it. And it was with these yet name FUSE strings the UltraTec jumped in speed. It normally checked a 282 to 284 fps. With the new strings it jumped to 295 fps and has held there ever since.
    I get the UltraTec out ever so often. The last was maybe 3 years ago at a Darchery (301) shoot at the shop. 7 shots were that were needed to get the 301 for the win.

    I went through a lot of bows from 2000 to 2006 and all Hoyts (11 all together), except for a 2005 Bowtech Old Glory. All the strings lasted at least a year of hard shooting, except the Bowtech. Less than 6 months of shooting the BowTec needed new strings and I think then Bowtech went with Winnerís Choice. New strings put on, I sold the Old Glory without shooting it.

    Strings, better materials, were on their way to giving longer life. I shoot something of 15,000 shots per year and have yet to have set of string outright fail. And I could care less of garanteed peep alignment. No two bows seem a like and peep alignment troubles all somewhere along the line. But we have information floating all over the place now and peep alignment is easily corrected. My peeps don't have to be straight with bow at rest. As long as the peep aligns at full draw I'm happy....

    2008. Martin strings. Said was so-so strings were on the Gold Series and more quality strings on the Pro Series. This might be true, but the Gold Series strings had quality above beyond years past. What 2008 Martins I set up and worked on took a bit of tweaking to make all come together. A few hundred shots and a bit of twisting the bow string to get the peep to behave, but after that they lasted and lasted. I know of two 2008 Bengals with original strings still on them. No, I donít approve, but they are still being shot. One 2008 FireCat still has original strings on it. It proved easier to tame for peep alignment. A 2008 Slayer still has original strings and doing well, but the owner said they were due to be change. Iíd think so.

    And of the years in between and now. Iíve used several brands of strings, both custom and factory. All seem to hold up well. To name a few; Winnerís Choice, Excellerator, M&R Bow Strings, Dakota (Stone Mountain), Vapor Trail, Martinís Hammerhead and Pearsonís custom built strings by Proline. If I were to say the best I have to give the nod to Vapor Trail. I have a set that has been on two Martin Shadowcats ranging from the summer of 2010 to February of 2012. Some 40,000 plus shots and they still look great. So great do they look that I kept them just in case. I put on the Hammerhead strings when I had to send the 2010 back to the factory. Good thing, because the Shadowcat was replaced by a 2012 Scepter V.

    Of Martinís Hammerhead strings. I had traded my 2006 Hoyt ProElite (not a fast bow) to a Martin Staff shooter for his 2011 Shadowcat he didnít like. I thought it was a good tradeÖEven up. And he had only shot it twice in competition. I believe he got the Shadowcat right before the 2011 Illinois ASA State Championship. It was here he asked me how to go about setting the timing. Not month later I had the Shadowcat. New factory strings, yep, Iíll shoot them. And I did. One, the servings came loose. The serving for the string stop went almost immediately. No big problem. Corrected about as fast as removing the loose serving. And then one cable of the two tone strings was not even, the green longer than the black. So I asked Roger of M&R Bow strings. ďThey should be okay, eventually evening up.Ē Yes, they did and right when I didnít need it. In a 3D contest I shot good up to about target 16 and arrow went crashing through the ďtulips.Ē I was given a test shot and again my arrow went crashing. What happened was the bottom serving had separated and on the same uneven cable. I was out of the 3D. At the shop I removed the serving of both cables and stretched the cables. The uneven cable evened out completely. Both were reserved with different serving material. All put back on the Shadowcat I lost about 5 fps, the different material robbing velocity, Still, 285 down to 280 fps was no big deal. The bow shoots greatÖ
    The main thing is, the Hammerhead strings are still on the bow and still have lots of shots left in them.
    Last edited by Sonny Thomas; 07-28-2013 at 11:28 AM. Reason: missing word

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    Interesting read Sonny. I remember when I got my new Hoyt Mako back in 1989. It was my first new bow in 9 years and had synthetic cables and string from the then relatively new fastflght material. I did what most did then and "trained" the peep to align at full draw. During a hot summer 3D shoot I watched the peep turn when going from sunlight to shade--common for the day. Constantly tuning the bow to keep it shooting well.

    Got staff with XI in 1993 and had much the same performance. In 1997 got with Golden Eagle and surprisingly chose a Litespeed just for it's shootability. That's when I started to learn the intricasies of bow tuning. One of the few bows that I could tune bare shaft, fletched, and broadheads on a bare shaft to hit the same POI at 35 yards. Not fast at 261 fps, but very accurate. In 2000 got on staff with Pearson/McPherson and things got better. They started making their strings from UltraCam, a better material for sure although they weren't prestretched and peep rotation continued. Still they lasted, durability was good.

    Fast forward to 2004 and signed with Martin. Factory strings were still so-so on most bows, but getting better on high end bows. Newer materials and prestretching getting learned. Started getting custom strings from Winner's Choice, Bucknasty, and others and found heaven on earth in the string department. Set a bow up. tune it, and forget it. Life was good. Then along come Hammerhead strings. Finally, a factory string that more or less lived up to the hype. Even they have gotten better over the last few years. My 2010 Alien Z still has them on as does my 2011 Nemisis. About the only reason I see to change now is for color choice.

    To that end my Crimson Red riser 2012 Nemisis has strings from Hutch at Bowstring Depot. Red riser with Fl green and black strings just didn't get it. So I chose Flame and silver. Now the bow is Purdy.

    Younger shooters who haven't had the experience that we have just can't appreciate how far string material and string making procedures have come over the last 10 years. Materials such as 8125, Trophy, and 8190, along with prestretching, serving that doesn't move is the cat's meow.
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  3. #3
    Sonny Thomas
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    Default Bow string Inspried by No longer impressed

    Those read this and young as Barry noted, string were just about terrible way back when. The true double cam was considered just awesome, but the strings weren't up keeping a decent tune and peep alignment. And bow presses were to the point only bow shops had them.
    The double cam slipped off to the side and the single cam reigned supreme for a good while. Longer of bow string the string stretched, but simplicity to correct was there. simple was moving the nock and peep and go until the stretch got too much.

    Will be skipping about;
    With the coming of better strings the double cam was brought back, but of different design. Darton had their CPS cam system and quickly adopting (leasing Darton's patent) Hoyt came out the the cam & 1/2 and the single cam slipped a pace or two back. And the true double cam came back into being, but given a new name through different design. Martin was perhaps the only bow company that kept a true double cam. The smallish Furious cams most recognize. They are something of the cams we called Hatchet cams. Hatchet cams were the fastest, but also instilled fear as timing was crucial. Some carried a little tool you hung on the bow string to gage the gap between the bow string a cable. You checked both ends to both cables. I may have that little gage somewhere. The person that could keep their hatchet cam bow in time was the person to beat.
    And those of us made the leap from single cams to modern double cams had our problems. Hoyt's Master cams were Hoyt's fastest and most awesome cams,...if you could keep all synced and timed. The Command Cam took over and were much friendlier. And Draw stop timing was the coming thing and much acclaimed for the cam & 1/2. And now all is history. Javi was probably the first to write up draw stop timing. His procedure took off like a rocket.... Well, after one understood the procedure. Javi's procedure in hand one dropped back to Hoyt's Command Cams and Presto! Magic! Ahhh! Almost quickly Hoyt's timing marks became reference points. But then Javi's procedure fell in in line with Martin's Cat cams and then a series of other cams by other bow manufacturers. My Pearson MarXman is timed right out of Martin's manual. And though some one noted Martin's manual somewhat outdated, it is by far ahead of many other manufacturer's manuals.
    Again, if not for better string materials much would not have come to pass......

    Of note; I once spoke with Javi one on one for something of over one hour. He is incredibly intelligent, but admitted he was no techical writer. Maybe not, but no one has gone further to correct his procedure. After our discussion I found his procedure almost child's play. Martin's manual give pics and how to and makes timing a piece of cake. Alas, Javi suffered two heart breakers almost together. He lost his father and then had what many thought to be a stroke, but was something else. He became missing on AT. He sold off much of his archery tackle. By luck I happened to run into a person who personally knew and frequented with Javi. Javi is doing well and enjoying camping. Ever so often he'll get on AT. And of another note; So popular became his Draw Stop timing is became overbearing. So overbearing he once asked for his Post to be removed. Happily, it wasn't.
    Last edited by Sonny Thomas; 07-28-2013 at 12:21 PM.

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    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    Javi sure knows his stuff. Wondered what happened to him. Thanks for sharing. FYI I have an acquaintance quite well that you may have heard about. Name is Larry Wise. We shot together a few times back in the 70's. He actually was a follower of a sales rep group that I shot with in the 90's. Sherwood Schock in case you're interested.

    Funny thinking about Javi, though. Sold most of his archery stuff, did he? Sounds like me. After my massive muscle loss a few years back I wasn't able to hunt for 3 years. Couldn't draw enough weight. Year four rolled around and I could shoot enough weight, but that old fire had burned out. I thought I'd miss hunting, but I have found other avenues to follow---coaching kids. To that end, one day I looked in the mirror and realized I didn't need all my hunting gear so a lot of camo, treestands, steps, sticks and other stuff has been and still is being sold.

    I still enjoy shooting and do so almost every day. Some things are just good exercise, for the body and the mind. I have this saying.
    " People don't quit doing things because the get old---they get old because they quit doing things."
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    Senior Member wscywabbit's Avatar
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    Wow guys, thank you! That was an interesting read for sure. I'm glad we have people on here like you that have experience, understanding, and the need to teach. It definitely makes this a better community than some of the "other" forums .
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    Member dzsmith2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfisher View Post
    Interesting read Sonny. I remember when I got my new Hoyt Mako back in 1989. It was my first new bow in 9 years and had synthetic cables and string from the then relatively new fastflght material. I did what most did then and "trained" the peep to align at full draw. During a hot summer 3D shoot I watched the peep turn when going from sunlight to shade--common for the day. Constantly tuning the bow to keep it shooting well.

    Got staff with XI in 1993 and had much the same performance. In 1997 got with Golden Eagle and surprisingly chose a Litespeed just for it's shootability. That's when I started to learn the intricasies of bow tuning. One of the few bows that I could tune bare shaft, fletched, and broadheads on a bare shaft to hit the same POI at 35 yards. Not fast at 261 fps, but very accurate. In 2000 got on staff with Pearson/McPherson and things got better. They started making their strings from UltraCam, a better material for sure although they weren't prestretched and peep rotation continued. Still they lasted, durability was good.

    Fast forward to 2004 and signed with Martin. Factory strings were still so-so on most bows, but getting better on high end bows. Newer materials and prestretching getting learned. Started getting custom strings from Winner's Choice, Bucknasty, and others and found heaven on earth in the string department. Set a bow up. tune it, and forget it. Life was good. Then along come Hammerhead strings. Finally, a factory string that more or less lived up to the hype. Even they have gotten better over the last few years. My 2010 Alien Z still has them on as does my 2011 Nemisis. About the only reason I see to change now is for color choice.

    To that end my Crimson Red riser 2012 Nemisis has strings from Hutch at Bowstring Depot. Red riser with Fl green and black strings just didn't get it. So I chose Flame and silver. Now the bow is Purdy.

    Younger shooters who haven't had the experience that we have just can't appreciate how far string material and string making procedures have come over the last 10 years. Materials such as 8125, Trophy, and 8190, along with prestretching, serving that doesn't move is the cat's meow.
    i was born in 89
    IM BACK!!!!

  7. #7
    Sonny Thomas
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    Default Bow string Inspried by No longer impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by dzsmith2 View Post
    I was born in 89.
    OMG! Barry! These kids ain't reached puberty yet!

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  9. #8
    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny Thomas View Post
    OMG! Barry! These kids ain't reached puberty yet!

    You could say it that way, Sonny, but there is something else I've learned about those who pursue this sport. Experience doesn't always mean a guy has shot forever like us. I know people who have shot almost as long as me and still don't even know how to move a peep sight or sight in their bow, install a rest, etc. They just never took the time or have the interest. On the other hand I know of one guy I taught to shoot about 3 years ago that knows almost as much as I do and maybe more in some areas.

    Some people are just afraid to work on their compound bows, thinking they are some technical nightmare. Little do they know that within reason all compound bows are virtually the same and the mechanical concept hasn't changed since the beginning. It's just a simple block and tackle system. Sure changes have occurred over the years, but those of us who have seen and lived with these changes can understand a lot of the changes and in some cases appreciate some of the virtues of some of the older bows; and by old I mean decades old. Most of these pups talk about a 3 year old bow being like an antique and it isn't so. I don't consider a bow outdated till they're more like 10 years old. I've said this before, but the fastest bow I've ever owned was a 2004 Martin SlayR. Second fastest was a 1992 Martin Viper with energy wheels and steel cables. That's how far bows have come.

    More coming later.
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    Super Moderator Arrow Splitter's Avatar
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    Well said Barry. I've been in archery for 11+ years, but as probably many of you know I was born in '93. My Dad (he started archery when I did) and I took the time and researched and learned all about archery, including the tuning and setup of a compound bow. Now a bunch of years later we tune other people's bows for them. It really is all about how much you put into learning the sport of archery, from tuning to shooting.

    A.S
    Last edited by Arrow Splitter; 07-30-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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  11. #10
    Sonny Thomas
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    Default Bow string Inspried by No longer impressed

    Meant only in jest, but yes, there are those who take a more serious archery undertaking.
    Most all kinds of knots are simple and is the ole block and tackle compound bow and the only way to find out simple is to get your feet wet. How to serve and what to use is pretty simple - Use your own bow and a chunk of thin rope or thick string - just practice some place on the bare bow string.

    At one time I had pictures in here of how to relax a Martin bow completely in order to change strings or to twist strings. Just back off the limb bolts so to just see through the barrel nut, draw bow a bit and use a stiff arrow or padded long screw driver to lock the cam (s) back to the limbs so to keep strings and cables floppy loose.

    Like Barry, but a step more, I have a real hard time shooting a new bow today and say it's better than my retired 2000 Hoyt UltraTec. Accuracy wise, no bow back then and all through up today's bests it. If there is anything better it's a lot of today's bows are able to achieve blazing speed at less draw weight and less draw length. Like Barry, I've had my share of health and injury issues and that lesser draw weight sure is nice. I can still draw my 70 pound bows, but I never used 70 pounds when I could pull 70 pounds all day along. At 62 pounds I had to de-tune it to be legal in NFAA events (prior to the now 300 fps limit). And now something of a hair over 55 pounds with arrows used my Shadowcat and MarXman easily gets 280+ fps. My Pearson would have to be lowered more if a went with a legal IBO arrow as it nails 296.4 fps.

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