3Rivers Archery Techs are Longbow and Recurve Experts that are here to help you find exactly what you need to keep you shooting on the range and in the woods. We are #1 in customer service and back our products with 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Shop with confidence. Call or email us any time with your questions. We are happy to help!
Can I visit your store, what are your store hours, and how
do I get there?
Sure! We're easy to find and we welcome you to drop in for a visit and shop our warehouse any Saturday. (You can still visit us during the week. You can fill out an order form and we can pull the items for you, or you can even call in an order and pick it up here whenever we're open. If you'd rather browse our warehouse yourself and shop, you can do that any Saturday from 9:00AM-2:00PM.)
Monday 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Warehouse Closed to the public -
Order Pickup ONLY
Tuesday 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Warehouse Closed to the public -
Order Pickup ONLY
Wednesday 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Warehouse Closed to the public -
Order Pickup ONLY
Thursday 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Warehouse Closed to the public -
Order Pickup ONLY
Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Warehouse Closed to the public -
Order Pickup ONLY
Saturday 9:00AM - 2:00PM
Warehouse Open to the public Shop the Warehouse!
Try out bows on our range!
If you're in our neck of the woods on a Saturday, we encourage you to stop in and enjoy a leisurely stroll through our archery
shop. We've got walls full of all kinds of big and small game mounts,
museum quality longbows, recurve bows, arrows, quivers, and a huge broadhead
collection. We LIVE traditional archery and bowhunting and it's obvious
when you visit.
Remember the range too! We have a private range for anyone who wants
to try out a new bow. While you're here why not test drive one of our impressive
It's really a traditional archery experience, enjoyable for the whole
Please Note:Our warehouse is open to the public for five hours every Saturday.
In an effort to ship all orders as quickly as possible the rest of the week you can still stop in and place an order, we're always happy to gather your goodies for you.
If you'd like to browse the warehouse yourself or test drive a new bow though, shoot for a Saturday.
Directions from the North
If you're coming down from the North come down Interstate 69. (If you're traveling the 80-90 toll road, we're a short 15 minutes south of where the Indiana Toll Road, Hwy 80-90, and Interstate 69 intersect. From
80-90 take the Hwy 69 exit (#144) and go South toward Ft Wayne.) Once on
69 travel South to the Ashley-Hudson exit (#340) and turn to the right
(West) the first road you see on your left is our road, HL Thompson Jr
Dr. Turn left (South) there and we're the third business on the left. 3Rivers Archery 607 HL Thompson Jr Dr Ashley IN 46705
Directions from the South
If you're coming up from the South, head North on Hwy 69 to the Ashley-Hudson
exit. (#340) At the end of the exit ramp, turn left (West) toward Ashley.
You will cross back over Hwy 69. Once over 69 take the first road to your
left, that's our road. (HL Thompson Jr Dr) We're the third business on
the left. 3Rivers Archery 607 HL Thompson Jr Dr Ashley IN 46705
Please Note: I-69 Exit #140 was changed to Exit #340 in August, 2012.
I can't place an order on your
website. I've tried to register! What's the problem?
This is a simple "Cookie" issue. It boils down to how your particular
browser and any intervening firewalls are configured.
"Cookies" is an Internet term that refers to a packet of information that
a host computer (in this case, our Web server) uses to identify a visiting
computer (in this case, your system running the browser). Each visiting
computer is assigned a unique identification number that allows us to
open and process a private shopping cart for you. You must enable your
browser to accept cookies from the 3RiversArchery.com website. If you
are running some type of "firewall" software and/or hardware you may have
to stipulate that http://www.3riversarchery.com and https://www.3riversarchery.com
are trusted sites and that cookies are allowed. If you are ordering from
your workplace then the corporate firewall may block your cookies - it
all depends upon the configuration of the corporate firewall.
We hope that helps clear things up for you. Please make sure that "Cookies" are working on your computer and try placing that order again!
When I order an item online, how do I know it's really in stock at your store?
We update our online inventory at least once an hour 24 hours a day.
Still, when we get low on an item your shopping cart may show the item
as available when we've really already sold that item to someone else.
For instance, when we sweep in a batch of Internet orders, two people
could have ordered the same item when we only had one on the shelf here
back at the store. When we import those orders, the first one to have
the item on the order gets it and the second order will show that item
as back ordered even though the shopping cart showed that item as
being in stock.
Many things can happen. Someone shopping in our store might buy the last one of a particular item. Then we may download Internet orders and even though our website thought we had one more in stock, in reality we might be out. Here again, our shopping cart didn't tell you that we were out, but we were.
It's rare, but it does happen. If it does, we'll contact you and see if you'd rather substitute another item or wait until the next shipment arrives.
We do apologize in advance! If this ever happens to you, please forgive us. We'll be in touch to see what you'd like to do. After all, it is YOUR order and we want you to be happy!
Most bows can shoot a variety of spines fairly well. If you are interested
in finding an ideal arrow for a given bow, then the spine is crucial.
Many things affect the spine selection. The following is a partial list
of some of the more important information.
1) Your Draw Length.
2) The weight of your bow, AT YOUR DRAW LENGTH.
3) The type of string. B-50, Fast Flight, etc.
4) The length of your finished arrow. (From the
valley of the nock to the back of the point.
7) How far from the center line of the bow is
the edge of the sight window, or arrow pass?
8) What type or species of wood will the arrows
be made from?
9) Parallel shafting or tapered?
If you can supply us with this information, we can help you decide on
a starting point for your spine selection.
We ask for this much information because, "Anyone you ask can GUESS at
what spine you need, but the more information you give US the more EDUCATED
that guess can be."
If you would rather choose your own spine, here are some rules of thumb:
1) The standard string material, B-50 is requires
no extra “figuring”. A fast flight string requires a jump in spine of
5-7 pounds. The Artificial Sinew string is heavy, thick, and stretches
very much. All the negative attributes of a poor string material. This
will cost your bow much in performance, and a lighter spined shaft will
2) For every inch longer than 28” you will lose
approx. 5 pounds of spine. So, to compensate for that, you must add the
5 pounds per inch back into the equation. Likewise, for every inch shorter
you will gain approx. 5 pounds, so you will have to subtract the 5 pounds
per inch from the equation.
3) Figure that a 125 grain point is the standard.
A lighter point will “stiffen” an arrow and make it shoot as though it
were a bit heavier in spine. A heavier point will in turn “weaken” it,
making it shoot as though it was a bit lighter in spine.
4) As a rule, laminated recurves place more energy
into the shaft than the other bows do, so they need stiffer arrow shafting.
Laminated longbows place more energy into the back of an arrow than a
self bow. When you enter the world of the self bow you are in no man’s
land. Now you need to consider the wood that the bow was made of, how
efficient the limbs are, how much string follow the limbs have taken,
how far from center shot is the arrow pass, etc. Most self bows require
a much lighter spined shaft than you would think.
5) The whole question of center shot is pretty
simple, but sometimes misunderstood. The further the arrow is from the
center line of the bow when shot, the more of the bow’s riser the arrow
must flex around to “ go straight to where the archer is looking.” So,
it must be a bit more flexible, willing to bend, have less spine. The
closer to the center line the sight window or arrow pass is, the less
of the riser the arrow has to flex around and the stiffer the arrow must
6) Different woods recover from the archer’s
paradox differently. A deflection reading is static. The shot sequence
is dynamic. Each wood species is a bit different than the next, so a “50-55”
Port Orford Cedar arrow will not shoot the same as a “50-55” Laminated
Birch arrow. Woods that have a quick recovery rate shoot as though they
were of a stiffer spine rating. Likewise, wood with a sluggish recovery
rate shoot as though they were of a weaker spine rating.
We get this question a lot and it is really something that needs a complete
explanation. Factory spined really means, "Whatever spine the manufacturer
assigned the shaft." So, if I am a manufacturer, I run the shafting through
my spine tester, take a measurement, assign it a spine number and put
the shaft in the appropriate bin. Those bins will be filled with shafts
that ON MY SPINE TESTER were in that range. (My spine tester may not match
yours!)Also, most manufacturers do not take the time to align the grain
against the deflection force and few take more than one reading. What
does that mean? It means if you've made or purchased your own spine tester
and you test shafts that are supposed to be, 50-55, you may get readings
of 47-58. It does not always happen this way, but it can. Normally you'll
find them to fall very close to the advertised parameters.
We have been spot checking our shafting and we have been finding them
to be very close to the advertised spine. Once in a while we get a phone
call from someone who just hand spined their shafting stating that their
50-55 shafts worked out to be: 2-47#, 2-49#, 6-50#, 2-54#. This can happen.
This is not always the case but don't be surprised if you see that in
a batch of "factory spined" shafting. Most of the time, barring any drastic
spine differences, these shafts when made into arrows will fly just fine
out of the bow you plan to use them in. Especially when close range hunting
is the end use. Granted, they will not fly quite as well as a perfectly
matched set would. But if you want "Hand Spined" instead of factory spined
you'll either have to purchase a spine
tester, buy your shafts in bulk, and spine them yourself, OR purchase
them from a full time arrow builder that spines and weighs every shaft
that comes through their door. Those shafts are going to cost you more,
but they should. Someone else did the work.
Hand spining is a slow and tedious process that is very accurate if properly
done. First you should straighten your shafting. If the shafting is crooked
it will be more difficult to calculate the reading. Then before using
tester, make sure that it is calibrated for the diameter of shaft
that you are planning to test. This is also called "zeroing the tester".
Place your first shaft on the spine tester with the edge of the grain
opposite the pressure of the deflection weight. Ignore the first reading.
Turn the shaft 180 degrees and take a reading. We'll say it's 56. Turn
the shaft again 180 degrees and take a reading. It's 50. Turn the shaft
another 180 degrees. It's 56. Turn the shaft another 180 degrees. It's
50. Calculate the average. That's 53. Mark the shaft 53. After about 6
shafts, double check your spine tester to make sure it is still "zeroed".
If it has moved, you'll have to re-spine any shafts in question. It'll
take you a while at first, but eventually you'll get faster. Still, now
you can see why the manufacturer can not afford to hand spine the shafting.
He would have to raise the price of his shafting to his distributors,
and you'd probably see the retail price of shafting more than double!
Hand spining is best done by the end user. Normally the end user does
not mind investing the extra time to get a little more precision in his
If you do not care to invest the time and money necessary to set yourself
up for hand spining but you still want perfectly matched arrows you'll
have to contact a professional arrow builder. There are many of them out
there. They will offer not only hand spined arrows, but they will also
weight match them for you. Many will offer shafting like this: Hand spined
to within five pounds, weight matched to within plus or minus 10 grains.
If that's what you are looking for, then go for it and be prepared to
pay for it. The arrow builders are taking the time and offering you a
service. They deserve to get paid for that service.
See our youtube video about Hand Straightening here...
Starting about 10" from the loop, take your bowstring that is not under
tension and spread the strands of the string apart into two groups of
approximately half the strands strands. This will create two sections
or “bundles” of string strands.
Insert ¼” of the end of the fur silencer between the two bundles of strands.
Wrap the rest of the silencer around both bundles at the same time in
a “barber pole” fashion until you reach ½” from the end of the silencer.
Once again, spread the strands of the string apart to form two bundles
and insert the last ¼” of the fur silencer between the bundles. At this
point it's a good idea to twist the string a couple of times. This will
help keep the silencer in place.
Repeat for the other side.
Once you shoot the bow a few times, the fur on the silencer starts to
"lock" upon itself and virtually completes its own installation.
How to install Snakeskin backing
for laminated bows:
backing laminated bows we recommend using a quality contact cement
such as Barge
Cement. The skin itself must be dry when you are applying it. If you
dry your own skin, you can control the shape and straightness of the skin.
If you buy a pre-dried skin and do not care for the pattern or straightness
of the pattern, you will have to re-hydrate the skin, reposition the skin,
and re-dry the skin.
For Drying of skins, we recommend using simple cardboard and stick pins.
Position the skin on the cardboard, scale side down, and stretch it slightly
as you push the pins into the cardboard. Be careful! Do not
push the pins all the way through and into your hands or furniture. Watch
the pattern of the skin as you tack it down. Keep the center line straight
and keep the pattern symmetrical. It will make the gluing process easier
if you do. When the skins are dry, you are ready to continue.
Prepare the surface of the limbs by thoroughly cleaning and degreasing
them. Mineral Spirits or regular Rubbing Alcohol will work well for this
as it will not attack the resins in the fiberglass. You do not have to
rough up the surface of your bow. The Barge
Cement will hold even on smooth fiberglass
If you have a padded vise, you may want to use that to secure your bow
at the handle. If not, you will have to come up with an alternative method
of securing the bow. When your bow is secured, you can work with both
hands. This project is much easier if you can use both hands.
Apply a thin, even layer of Barge
Cement to the surface of the bow that will receive the snake skins.
As that is drying, apply a thin, even layer of Barge
Cement to the surface of the snake skins that will be in contact with
the bow. Allow that to dry for a couple of minutes.
Now, starting at the handle section, line up the center of the snake
skin’s pattern with the centerline of the bow. Touch the two glued surfaces
together there and while holding the far end up and out of the way, slowly
and smoothly slide your near finger over the skin onto the bow all the
while checking for the proper alignment of the pattern of the skin on
the surface of the bow. Continue until you reach the tip of the limb.
(Repeat for the other side.)
Trim with a sharp utility knife such as our “Snap-Knife”.
You can use the bow limb as a guide for the blade cutting from the grip
out to the tip but be careful and do not cut the bow itself.
To remove the scales, use a piece of leather or coarse cloth and carefully
rub against the grain of the scales. (From the tip towards the handle.)
You will see the scales “jump” off the skin. Then with a piece of masking
tape, this time going with the grain of the scales, (From the grip section
to the tip section.) press the tape onto the top of the skin and slowly,
carefully pull it up and away from the skin. The remaining scales should
come off during this operation
I want to paint my
arrows, which paint should I use?
The safest way to start is to choose one "family" of products and stick
with it until you feel the urge to experiment. We offer two real "families"
of paints; Bohning and the 3Rivers gasket and cresting lacquers. The choice
is really up to the individual arrow builder.
Bohning offers quite a few color choices and even manufactures all of
their own adhesives. Every Bohning product will work with every other
Gasket Lacquer and the 3Rivers
Cresting Lacquers are compatible with each other and our own Fletch-It Archer's Adhesive is an excellent choice for fletching. Ferr-L-Tite works well for mounting your points.
If you ever want to attempt mixing products from different manufacturers,
please use caution and only test on scrap pieces of shafting, etc. It's
very disappointing to get to one of the last steps of the arrow building
process only to find that your once beautiful arrows are now full of wrinkles,
and the paint seems to be melting right before your very eyes!
We do also offer a unique cresting paint from Bob Burton of Whispering
Wind Arrows. His water based "Professional" cresting paints will not attack
any of the finishes that we know of. So, even though we have warned you
to use caution when mixing families of products, we are here to tell you
that the "Professional"
cresting paints will work over any clear sealer that we have seen.
So, if you clear coated in Bohning, you could crest over the Bohning knowing
that the water based paint will not attack the solvent based finish below.
I'm having trouble getting
my Tru-Center Taper Tool to cut smoothly. What can I do?
taper tool must be adjusted correctly for proper angles and depth
of cut. To facilitate this, we utilize slotted blades. The slotted blades
are very adjustable. This allows you to adjust the blade precisely to
allow for the differences between the machined bodies of the tool. The
company that machines the bodies for us can't hold close enough tolerances
to allow us to use blades that have holes instead of slots. So, we have
the slotted blades specially made for us. This can also cause the blades
to be installed incorrectly. If that happens it will be natural to assume
that the tool is not working. The real problem though is the proper adjusting
of the blades. As the blades are moved in closer to the shaft, they cut
deeper. If they are mounted too deep, then they will cut too deep. They
will snag and tear at the shaft resulted in a "Chewed" look. If this happens,
you need to pull the blade further away from the shaft and try it again.
As easy as it is to install the blades too deep, you can also install
the blades too far away from the shaft. In that case, the blade may not
be cutting deeply enough, or even not at all. The perfect adjustment is
in-between. It may take some initial patience to get the tool adjusted
properly but once you do you will have the satisfaction of near perfect
nock and point tapers. Hint:
Sometimes a blade must be flipped so the bevel is down to get the nice
smooth cutting action.
It may help in the initial setup to have a well tapered nock end and a
point end of a shaft that you can insert into the tool to act as a guide.
Slide the blade into place just barely against the shaft and on the same
angle as the taper on that shaft. That should get you close, then you
would only need to fine tune from there.
Once in a great while we do get a truly "defective" tool. One that just
can't be adjusted well. If you get one of those, contact us for a return
authorization number and we'll swap you. You send us the bad one and we'll
send you a new one. It's as easy as that.
See our youtube video on using the Tru Center Taper Tool here...
My wooden shafts/arrows
are not all straight. What can I do about that?
The wooden arrow is steeped in the history of archery and the mystique
of days gone by. They are, after all, a natural substance, subject to
the laws of nature. One of those laws is, "Wood reacts to the conditions
around it." In other words, wooden arrows do not stay straight all by
themselves, they move around as they react to the conditions of the world
around them. If you want to shoot wooden arrows, you must learn the skills
that go hand in hand with using them. One of those skills is straightening.
You must learn to straighten them. The age old, "heel of the hand" method
has worked well for countless years and continues to do so. It is not
difficult to learn, but will take a while to master. It is described in
detail in our film, "Crafting Traditional Wood Arrows" which is available
on DVD. Many compression style straightening aids have also come onto the scene in the last couple of years. The difference between the "heel of the hand" method and the
"compression" is that when using the "heel of the hand method", you GENTLY
stretch the short side of the curve while again, GENTLY compressing the
long side of the curve against a soft fleshy heel of the hand. If done
well, the cells will accomplish this stretching and compressing without
damaging the cells themselves. There is a bit of elasticity in good arrow
woods and this is what allows this method to work so well. The "compression", "hook" or "burnishing" method uses tools that are rubbed on the surface of the long side of the
bend. This rubbing actually slightly crushes the surface of the cells.
They are forced into being shorter by pressure from a hard tool. This
"burnishing" is more permanent as well as more invasive. The truth of
the matter is though is this, the burnishing works and the arrows still
fly well and true. So, if you have tried the "heel of the hand" method
and it's not working for you, pick up one of the straightening tools and
give them a try. It does not matter how you get your arrows straight,
as long as you do.
See our youtube video on shaft straightening here...
We wouldn’t say that they “whistle”, but they can make a little noise.
Let’s face it, call it what you like, all arrows as they fly through the
air make some sort of noise. As far as additional sound from the broadhead
goes, solid two blade heads make the least amount of noise and vented
heads make the most. While we’re at it, taller feathers also make more
noise than shorter feathers. How does this affect your hunting? It is
our experience that the actual sound an arrow makes in flight does not
alarm the animals that they are shot at. We feel that you should disregard
“in flight arrow noise” as a criteria of selecting the best broadhead
for the job. The “upside” to vented heads is that they normally exhibit
more stable flight characteristics. They are much less likely to offend
you with broadhead steering or wind planning. The bottom line is this,
the advantages offered by the venting of a broadhead far out weigh any
negative side effect such as additional noise in flight.
Would there be any
difference in the look and feel of a bow made with the takedown sleeve
vs. a one-piece bow? Would it be noticeable in draw or vibration?
This all depends on the way the bow is built. We must assume that we
are comparing well designed bows in both categories. If that is the case,
then the following observations should hold true.
Take down bows are awesome! Just the convenience of storage and transportation
alone should be reason enough to have us standing in line for them.
With the clever use of “Bondo” on the sleeve and shrewd placement of
some type of grip material or a“Shur-Grip”,
you can achieve the look and feel of a one-piece longbow while maintaining
all of the advantages of a take down longbow.
Whether you use the take
down sleeve to make a take down bow from scratch, or convert an existing
one piece bow into a take down, the attachment point of the system is
in the grip or “handle”. The handle area is a non-working part of the
bow, so as far as the limbs are concerned, there is no difference between
the solid one-piece and the two-piece take down. You should notice no
difference in the drawing or characteristics of the bow. The opposite
is true in the world of fishing rods. In the fishing world, one-piece
rods enjoy a relatively unfettered opportunity to transfer their energy
to the lure and line during the cast. A fishing rod with several ferrules
will have a completely different action than a one-piece. The entire cast,
action, and “feel” of the rod will be noticeably different. This is because
the ferrules impede and interfere with the energy transfer. This is simply
not the case when dealing with the take down longbows as we have described
The sleeve will however add additional mass weight to the bow. For shooting
stability this is good. A little extra weight will help to keep the bow
pointing the way you pointed it. It will be a little more resistant to
unwanted movement during your shot. Additionally, the extra mass will
help to reduce any noticeable “thump” or “harshness” that you may experience
when shooting arrows of light physical weight.
The bottom line is this. Two piece take down longbows are among the most
convenient bows for hunting or target shooting that we have ever had access
to. There is no reason to shy away from any two piece take down system
that utilizes the grip area of the handle for the attachment site. The
sleeves are good and the dovetail system is even better. Come visit our
shop, or see us at one of the shows. We should have some bows of both
kinds for you to shoot for yourself. I’ll bet you this, if you do end
up owning one, you’ll never regret it.
I’d like to start
making my own arrows, what do I need to get started?
Basic Arrow Building Equipment and needs.
A good attitude and a determination to succeed will be your best tools.
Take advantage of any knowledge base available to you.
Our Crafting Traditional Wood Arrows DVD
will be your absolute best investment to start with. Other books, videos,
friends, professionals, etc., can also be great sources of information.
Build your arrows boldly. If you do not risk, you will not learn…
This is the body of the arrow. It must be in good shape. My personal preference
is Port Orford Cedar, but I have used and can recommend any of the following:
Norway Pine, Hex-Shafts, Canadian Pine, Sitka Spruce, Alaska Yellow Cedar,
Maple, and Laminated Birch. Shaft Straightening Aids. Learn to hand straighten.
If you just don't catch on I'd try the hook first. It is the least expensive
and does a fine job as long as you don't push too hard.
The heart of the Fletcher's craft. Trueflight is my favorite choice. The
grind is the best and most consistent of any I've ever seen. That being
said, nearly any feather will work. The fletcher decides where he is on
the wheel of arrow building and uses what he likes. Tests different types,
and normally settles on one. Feather shapes? I use mostly shield and a
modified Pope and Young. Most commercially available feather shapes have
stood the test of time and will give very good results when fletched.
Buy them already cut to shape at first. Later if you want to experiment
you can buy burners or choppers. Don't worry about that in the beginning.
I prefer the Bohning
Classic nocks. They are a high quality plastic, not brittle, and manufactured
with great precision. They have an indexer and are available in many colors.
I like the Woodsman 3-blade heads the best. (Woodsman
broadheads are available in glue-on or screw-in)
If you're more into two and four-bladed broadheads then consider one of
the Magnus broadheads. They are also available in screw-in and glue-on
in numerous two and four blade designs. I have had very good results with
the old standard two blade Zwickey
Eskimo too. Broadheads are very personal. Use what you have faith
in. If you're not sure, try the Woodsman. They're easy to sharpen,
fly great, and cut big holes. They have a reputation for complete pass-throughs.
That's why we call them, "The most deadly broadhead you'll ever shoot".
Field Points. We sell thousands of them in many different weights. Get
the ones that match the weight of your broadheads. They're available in
screw-in and glue-on styles.
I used to use all oil based stains. I have had some off and on trouble
with them and have switched to alcohol based stains. I like the penetrating
qualities and the bright colors available. You can also mix the colors
to get any combination that you desire. I have not played much with the
water base stains yet, but from what I've seen, they should do quite well.
I have used the Bohning products for about 17 years. I am familiar with
them, know how they work, what I can get away with, etc.. If you use Bohning
products, you must use ALL Bohning products. So, as someone just getting
started, I'd suggest starting with and sticking with a good water based
sealer like the one we now offer. We now offer a fantastic water based
sealer in both a clear
finish and a white dipping paint for cap dipping. They yield a beautiful
gloss finish, dry quickly, and eliminate the solvent based fumes present
in all of the non-water based sealers. Water based sealers will eventually
replace all of the solvent based ones. It's just a matter of time.
tubes. I like the speed coat dipper cap system. It cuts down on
thinner/fumes and is much faster than conventional dipping. How do I normally
build my arrows? By conventional dipping because I know that system the
best. Someone first starting, I'd say go for the gasket system. Big dipper
and a speed coat dipper cap.
Lathes. We sell the Bohning Pro-Crester and Junior-Crester. They
both work fine. Bob Burton sells a very nice unit called a Phillips. They
help to stabilize the shaft if it's just a little crooked and that makes
painting precise pinstripes much easier.
Brushes. I have been using the sable brushes that we sell. They
are very good brushes, very reasonably priced and I have had great results.
Cresting rack. You'll need something to rest your arrows on while
cresting them. We do not sell them, but you can easily make something.
Paint. All the cresting paint we sell is good. It boils down to
the family again. Stick within a family unless using the water based pains
from Whispering Wind. They should go over anything.
Tools. I like our Tru-Center taper tool. It can be tricky to
adjust, but once it is adjusted well, it is a great tool. They're a very
good value for the dollar. The woodchuck power taper tool is an excellent
tool too. A little more expensive, but a good taper tool that can do any
size and any type of wood.
Arrow Cut-Off Tools. I roll a knife along the mark and snap off
the shaft. That's all the home builder needs. If you have a band saw or
some other power saw that you'd prefer to use, that's fine. The knife
works for me.
Jigs. The Bitzenburger has been the best of the best for many
years. They are easy to use and will last several lifetimes. They are
also costly. My second choice is the BPE. They are very well engineered.
Have a ton of experimental flexibility and are much more reasonably priced.
Testers. Purchase your shafting pre-spined and weighed at first.
These tools are fantastic for the home fletcher once he/she really wants
to get into the craft but at first add to much cost to the equipment purchase.
Scales. At first pick up the 3Rivers pocket grain scale. It's
very inexpensive, does a great job and will let you know how well matched
your finished arrows are. The electronic scales are my favorite for speed
and accuracy when later you are buying your shafts by the hundred and
re weighing, re-spining them all.
What shows and shoots
will you be attending this year?
3Rivers Archery will not be set up at trade shows or events during the upcoming seasons. Even if we aren't there manning a booth, you'll still be likely to see us in the crowd and on the range shooting and having fun. If we're camped, stop by and introduce yourself. We enjoy meeting our fellow longbow and recurve shooters.
Remember, you can see what events are going on or even post your clubs events at our "3D Shoot Schedule" section.
Bowfishing is one of the most action-packed forms of bowhunting available
to archers anywhere. The season on these rough fish is generous and they
are active most of the time. It's easy to get started and a ton of fun
so read on! If you are new to the sport, we offer an excellent DVD on
This bowfishing DVD from 3Rivers Archery combines bowfishing how-to and
action. 3Rivers owner, Dale Karch, shows traditional bow set up from tape
on reels to the more sophisticated AMS retriever reels, as well as arrow
selection, arrow setup, and some of the more handy accessories available
. Once the bows are ready, the fishing action starts. Over 30 minutes
of nonstop bowfishing action with Dale, Byron Ferguson, and Byron's two
sons Shawn and Zach. It runs about 45 minutes and is well worth the small
See our youtube Bowfishing Trailer here...
First let's start with a basic equipment list:
Of course you'll need a bow. Any basic bow that's comfortable for you
to draw will work. We would recommend not less than about 35 pounds at
your draw length. Many of our bows are ideal for bowfishing. The Sage Take-Down Recurve is an excellent bow fishing bow, with the required AMO bushings and plunger bushing already installed.
When selecting a bowfishing reel you enter an area of return on your investment.
Like when buying a car, you pay extra for additional features. For those
who like simplicity and value, there are screw-in
reels. These reels are very simple yet extremely functional. For those
who like all the bells and whistles and take their bowfishing seriously,
there is no better reel available in our opinion than the AMS Retriever
Reel. If you're looking for the best there is, go with the Retriever Reel
from AMS. (All of these reels come with the appropriate fishing line.)
3.) Fish Arrows Fish arrows
come in many configurations. We suggest that you start with the basics.
Then when you decide you're excited about bowfishing, you can upgrade
to more advanced equipment. (Side note on fish arrows. Make sure to have
a couple of extra fish arrows with you when you head out for a day of
bowfishing. Once in a while something happens and you'll lose an arrow.
It's much better to have a couple spares with you than to have to run
to the nearest archery shop!)
4.) Miscellaneous Equipment
As in most sports, there will be equipment that is nice to have, but is
not mandatory. The AMS
Safety Slide is one of them. It eliminates the possibility of arrow
snapback. Not only does this protect you and those around you, but it
allows more accurate shot placement, which of course means more fish!
Then there's the No-Glove.
They are soft rubber parts that slide onto the string and not only cushion
your fingers on the string, but form a quick and reliable arrow locator
on your string. (Note: These are good on youth bows as well. It's much
easier for kids to get used to these than learning to use a tab or glove.)
There are many different arrows and points to choose from as well. See
Bowfishing Section for many other items.
5.) General Tips
Now for a few tips to help your first fishing forays be more successful.
The most important thing to learn it to Aim Low! There is something
called "light refraction" that makes things in water look closer to the
surface than they really are. As a test at home. Fill a clear drinking
glass with water and put a pencil in it. See how the pencil looks like
it bends? That's the illusion caused by the light refraction. Aim below
where you think the fish really are to hit them. The deeper they are,
the more pronounced the light refraction will be.
You are going to miss fish. Probably quite a few of them. Don't let it
get to you. In bowfishing you normally get lots of shooting action, so
if you miss, reel in your arrow and shoot again!
Wear polarized glasses. The glare off the water makes it very difficult
to see submerged fish. Regular sunglasses do not cut out the glare. Polarized
glasses do. They are available in most stores that sell regular fishing
equipment. Make sure you get a pair of these, you'll see and shoot more
fish if you do.
Make sure you get a copy of your local hunting and fishing regulations.
Learn to identify the fish that are legal to shoot in your state. In most
areas only "rough" fish may be taken with a bow and arrow. Make sure you
know that you are shooting at a legal fish or don't shoot!
If you have a boat, take that out for a day of bowfishing fun. Night fishing
is a blast too. Rig your boat with some auxiliary lighting and travel
the edges of the lake. Many times you'll see some of the larger fish up
in the shallows at night. If your boat will support it, a platform is
a nice addition. Your shots are easier to make if you're shooting straight
Make sure you get out there and give it a try! You'll have a blast. Bowfishing
offers plenty of action and it's fun for the entire family. Get yourself
geared up and go!
What size nocks do
I need for the Legacy shafts I'm ordering?
Legacy aluminum shafting is easy to buy nocks for. The answer is in the
first two numbers of the shaft size you are buying. Let's say you're looking
at a 2216 shaft. The first two numbers are "22". They tell you what diameter
the shaft is in 64'ths of an inch. That makes a 2216, 22/64" (11/32")
in diameter. You'd need 11/32" nocks. Likewise a 2020 is 20/64" (5/16").
For the 2020's you need 5/16" nocks. As a side note, the second two numbers
are the wall thickness in thousandths of an inch.
Why do I have to
pay a minimum shipping fee? Can't you just put a 50 cent stamp on my small
order and mail it?
We get this question all the time! The answer to this is complicated
so bear with us.
First, when you run a mail-order company like ours there's no real "simple"
order. There is much more to an order than most people realize. We have
LOTS of overhead and the order process is complex. We have to have someone
here to take the order, to process the order, to print it, pick it, pack
it, tape it, run it across the manifest, and ship it. (That doesn't even
take into consideration the cost of the box, tape, and packing materials.)
Then we have to have people in customer service to be able to answer questions
about the order, the status of the order, etc. That goes for an inquiry
even six months down the road! We have to be able to look up the order
and prove that it was shipped, who it was shipped to, and when was it
delivered. If we can't, we have to reship. You can't get that kind of
information with a 50 cent stamp.
We do listen to customer feedback though and we have made making small
orders much easier. We used to have a $15.00 minimum order. Back then,
we refused to accept any order under $15.00. Now, we allow small orders,
but we don't alter the shipping. (If you compare our minimum shipping
rates to other stores though I believe you'll find us very competitive.)
This way, you can order a few small items, you just have to pay the shipping
on them. We think that's a pretty good service.
How far can you drive these days for $5.00-$6.00. Not very far. So paying
a $5.00-$6.00 shipping fee can start sounding like a great deal more than
So, depending on how you look at it, low minimum shipping rates seem VERY
reasonable. Wouldn't you agree?
What's the best bow
grip material and how do I install them?
The selection of bow grip materials is varied but the top sellers are
and the adhesive-backed
leather grips. The "Shur-Grip" is a seamless rubber tube that rolls
onto your longbow (and some recurves) and stretches to fit the curves
of the grip like a skintight glove. These grips offer solid non-slip positioning
in the hand, they're impervious to water or snow, they're easy to install,
and they're reasonably priced. (A trick to installing these on recurves
with a little more mass on the riser is to roll them up like a doughnut
and over a short piece of parachute cord. Then when you get to the largest
section of the riser, you can use the rope like a flexible lever and force
the "Shur-Grip" up and over the largest section of the riser.) These grips
have a universal appeal and you'll see them on bows being shot by both
the new "modern-traditionalist" and the older "vintage-traditionalist".
Next in line is the adhesive-backed leather grip. This one appeals more
to the "vintage-traditionalist" but its versatility keeps it a top seller.
Not only can you use this item as a grip material, but you can use the
scrap for arrow rests and plates. To install the adhesive-backed grip,
first measure your bow grip to determine what height and width is needed,
then "cut-peel-and-stick". (A good tip for trimming the seam neatly is
to wrap the grip around the handle and overlap the bottom and top layers.
Then, cut through both layers at the same time with a utility knife.)
Remember to save the extra pieces.
See our youtube videos on installing bow grips here...
When it comes to arrow rests and arrow plates the selection is vast.
rests and arrow plates) To clarify the "rug rest" is a pad that is
installed on the arrow shelf, the little ledge on the side of a longbow
or recurve where the arrow "rests". The "arrow plate" is installed on
the side of the sight window, right where the arrow rubs against it during
the shot sequence.
Not many longbow and recurve shooters shoot elevated rests anymore. However,
there is one worth mentioning, the "Neet
Pro-Rest". It does enjoy a loyal following, and can be used on some
compound bows, but the majority of traditional shooters use rests and
plates of rug, calf hair, or leather materials.
Rest" and "Rug
Plate" are our all-time best sellers in this category. They're adhesive
backed for easy installation. The side plate is ready to install. You
simply peel off the backing and stick the plate where you want it. The
rest needs to be trimmed to fit. Set it on the shelf, draw the shape of
the shelf edge on the bottom, then trim to fit before the peel and stick
process. The rug rest and rug plate are available in black or brown, work
for right or left handed bows, and are inexpensive. Leather and calf-hair
versions of these accessories are available as well.
One package deal that has been a strong seller for over 20 years is the
"Bear Hair Rest & Plate". This set, from Bear Archery, offers the same
rug rest and leather side plate combo that comes standard on all Fred
Bear recurve bows.
Arrow holders are popular with both compound and traditional shooters.
The best is the "Kwik-Lok" arrow holder. It's adhesive backed for quick
installation, cut out for a plunger, and the rubber used in them is silent
and supple, even in frigid temps. It's the perfect accessory for treestand
hunters who either hang their bows from a hook, or stand and hold their
bow for hours. (The arrow holder eliminates the bowhunter having to keep
their index finger hooked over the arrow all the time. Which is especially
advantageous in the cold.)
Many of us traditional bow shooters like to lean on our bows. When we
do this, the lower limb tip takes a beating unless it's protected. That's
why bow tip protectors are "must have" accessories. They're available
in leather as well as plastic and rubber versions. The leather kind is
novel and attractive, but the plastic and rubber kind are the top sellers.
The basic, "Rubber Tip Protector" is available in three colors, brown,
green, and tan. They slide on the lower limb tip easily and protect it
from abrasion and moisture. The soft rubber stretches to fit either longbows
or recurves and that makes them the most practical and universal tip protector
available. Another side benefit of using tip protectors is they keep your
bowstring attached to the lower limb. Once you have your bow all tuned
and your string just the right length, it's problematic if the string
comes off the lower limb tip and loses some twists. When that happens,
you have to re-tune your bowstring and that's a time consuming chore.
Bow tip protectors hold that sting in place. Bow tip protectors should
be on every longbow and recurve out there. They're so low in cost and
they serve such an important purpose, there's no excuse for not having
String Keepers slide over the upper limb tip. They utilize an adjustable
hook system that hooks on the upper loop of the bowstring and keeps it
near the upper tip for easy access. This is especially handy if you store
your bow in a soft bow sock style bow case. Without fail, when you pull
your bow from a bow sock bow case, the string will have moved well down
the limb and away from the tip. This isn't the end of the world, but it
makes the stringing process a bit more tedious. The string keepers eliminate
that problem and most of them are attractive to boot.
Most compound shooters are quite familiar with dampening vibration in
their setups. Normally longbows and recurves are pretty immune to this,
but occasionally a traditional archer will find they have a situation
where a little dampening would really help. They now have a choice. The
traditional "LimbsaverÔ" looks like a black flat-topped mushroom, has
an adhesive back, and is easily attached to the limbs. The new "Bow TunerzÔ"
offer the same benefit but they wrap around the bow rather than stick
to it so you can experiment with different limb positions until you find
the one that offers the best results.
Do I need a Bow Stringer
or will the "step-through" method work?
Absolutely not! Do NOT use the "step-through" method. This is not only
dangerous to you, but it can damage your bow limb! The bow stringer is
one of the most important accessories you'll own. Never leave home without
it! There are several good stringers on the market, but our top sellers
are so far ahead of the next in line that the choice is clear. The winners
in this category are the longbow stringers and recurve stringers by Selway
Archery. We market them as simply, "the best bow stringers available".
They're all you'll need.
This bow's too pretty
to hunt with! What can I do?
Most of the longbows and recurves on the market today look more like
works of art than the deadly tools they really are. Most fine custom bows
use clear fiberglass on the limb facings so the warm hues of the natural
wood used in the core can be seen and appreciated. When bow hunters take
to the woods though, they need concealment. Their gear must blend in with
the patterns of their surroundings. Camo bow socks are the answer. They're
available in different patterns for different situations. We have them
in; "Snake", a subtle dark contrasting with medium-light shading that
is effective in nearly all environments, "Tiger" which has a bit more
color but enough contrast to disappear in most situations, and "Snow"
for situations when there is snow on the ground. These socks eliminate
the glare and hide the lines of the bows from all game.
Another limb camo worth mentioning is the "Lemkover Leaves" from Whitewater
Creek. If you're a fan of the leafy style 3-D camo you'll like these.
They attach to the bow via VelcroÒ strips and ties. They're very effective.
Both of these products should come with a warning! Be careful if you lean
your bow against a tree and walk away, you may never find your bow again.
What can I do about
unwanted noise during the draw?
A unique bow accessory worth special mention is the calf-hair string
groove silencer. These silencers are precut adhesive-backed calf-hair
strips that are installed on recurve bows just where the string meets
the bow at brace height. Their benefits are twofold. Many traditional
shooters use Flemish strings and these strings often have quite a bit
of string wax on them. This can cause unwanted noise during the draw.
You should always remove and burnish away excess string wax from your
string, but since the string groove on a recurve bow is especially prone
to this noise it's a good idea to use the string groove silencers. They
also help with what is called "string slap". Some recurve bows are equipped
with what we call "double loop" or "endless" strings. These strings have
their loops formed by wrapping them with string serving material. This
forms a long, hard, and somewhat noisy section of string that slaps the
limb upon release of the arrow. These string groove silencers dramatically
dampen that string slap which is especially important to bowhunters.
There are many kinds of string silencers. Many compound shooters are
familiar with the rubber "Cat-Whiskers" and "Kwikee" string silencers.
Still, most traditionalists favor the look and performance of natural
silencers whether they are wool or fur. Wool string silencers like the
"Woolie Whispers" (sheep wool), "Quiet Wool" (llama wool) and "Musk Ox"
(musk ox under-wool called "Qiviut") string silencers are fantastic at
dampening string vibration and they remain remarkably dry in wet conditions.
Fur silencers are available in nearly any fur you can imagine. We have
limited the field to the best performing, best selling fur types and they
are; beaver, otter, and muskrat. Beaver is the best selling, otter is
the best for dampening and muskrat is the best for water repellence. All
of these silencers are good sellers. It's just a matter of personal preference
and how much you are willing to spend
Brush buttons are designed to keep debris form wedging in-between the
string and the bow limb on recurve bows. They are available in two sizes,
11/16" and 7/8" and are a "must have" item on any string for a recurve
When should I wax
my bow string and how do I do it?
String wax is not normally thought of as an accessory, but strings need
to be routinely waxed to lengthen their life span Here again there are
many choices but a good silicone based wax like Bohning's "Tex-Tite" or
a beeswax and rosin based "String Maker's Wax" is best. When you start
to notice small little fibers "fuzzing" on your bowstring it's time to
apply some wax. Rub the wax stick up and down on the string and even the
serving. Then with a small piece of clean, soft leather, rub the string
vigorously to heat the wax and burnish the string. The warm wax will penetrate
the fibers and the leather will remove any excess. (Those scraps you saved
from your leather bow grip material can be used for this.) Regularly waxing
your strings will keep them in good shape for safe shooting.
This tool separates the strands of an endless string while your bow is
strung so you can install the fur style string silencers described above
without unstringing your bow. Squeeze the tapered tip between the strands
then twist the unit and "lock" the string in the groove. Now your string
has an opening for you to start the first ½" of the fur silencer in. Remove
the tool and the string closes on the silencer. Wrap the fur around the
string now "barber pole" style till you have about ½" left. Insert the
string separator again twist and insert the bottom end. Remove the separator
and again the string clamps down on the silencer holding it in place.
This is another accessory that is at home with both compound shooters
When it comes to gloves or tabs the selection is endless for the traditional bowhunter. How does one decide?
We’d like to shed some light on the multitude of gloves and tabs available for traditional archers. We’d like to leave you thinking you have a good understanding of the offerings available in today’s market as well as a feel for which are the best sellers and which one’s might best suit your specific needs.
When you see someone shooting a longbow and recurve, 99% will be shooting with a glove or tab. It’s no wonder there are so many choices of quality finger protection. Like the age-old “Ford vs. Chevy” debate, there are two schools of thought in traditional circles. “Gloves vs. Tabs.” We’d never be able to end that debate in this article, and fortunately there’s no need to. Some folks go for the Chevy, and some the Ford, some for gloves, some for tabs. Neither is better than the other, only different. No two archers are exactly alike, so gloves and tabs are available in an almost endless supply of unique designs and varied materials. Sales of both gloves and tabs are strong and we strive to always offer whatever types and styles our customers request.
We've found, however, that a high percentage of traditional bowhunters use gloves and most target archers, like serious 3-D, FITA, and Olympic shooters, prefer tabs. Bowhunters do sometimes use tabs though. Dale is one of them. He prefers shooting a tab for everything and anyone who’s seen him shoot knows he can shoot well in any situation. When shopping for just the right glove or tab for you, pick out a couple that appeal to you and test-drive them. See what feels best and shoots best for you. When you find what works for you, stick with it. We also suggest you pick up another one as a spare and suggest that you break them both in by shooting them for a couple of weeks. There’s nothing worse than having your glove or tab all broken in and then losing it when you don’t have a back up. It always seems to happen at the worst time like during a big hunt or just before an important shoot. Having a “ready to shoot spare” is a wise strategy.
When it comes to shooting gloves there are plenty of choices. You’ll see; full palm “Damascus” types, “open end” and “closed end”, “nylon tipped”, “Cordovan tipped” and specialty types like the “Skookum Mega-Tuff”. The choices are many!
Most beginners start with the standard “open-end” or “closed-end” gloves, like the ones from the Wyandotte Leather Company. They’re straightforward, simple affairs, single leather thickness with adjustable wrist straps. They work. They protect your fingers like they’re supposed to, and they’re the least expensive on the list.
Full palm gloves, most often called a “Damascus” glove come in quite a few popular configurations. The official Damascus glove is one of our top sellers. It’s form fitting, comfortable, and allows a good feel of the string. The Berlin Glove Company has it’s own version of the full-palm glove. It’s supple deerskin with reinforced fingertips. A little thicker than the regular Damascus glove, it offers a bit more finger protection. For that reason it has become a top seller.
What about tabs? If you’ve been around bows and arrows long enough, you’ll remember when everyone who was anyone was shooting the good old “can’t pinch” style tabs. If longevity is a measure of success, the “can’t pinch” tab may be the most successful form of finger protection of all time. We still sell literally thousands of them every year. They’re available in both smooth leather, and clipped calf hair. If you’re new to the “can’t pinch” concept, you may be wondering why they call them a “can’t pinch?” There’s a rubber spacer attached to the tab that’s positioned between the index finger and the next two fingers. This pad allows just enough friction between your fingers and the arrow nock for you to hold it, but it also keeps you from pinching the nock during your draw and release. It’s an excellent shooting aid and helps eliminate much of the archer’s error as far as a clean shot sequence goes. These are the workhorses of the tab world. Wyandotte Leather offers excellent examples of the standard “can’t pinch” tabs. They’re very reasonably priced, they function well, and they’re readily available.
Very well made and quite well known, the Black Widow tab evolved from the respected Wilson Brothers tabs of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Black Widow tabs are available in either leather or calf hair in regular split-finger or even a 3-fingers under style. These tabs enjoy a loyal target archery following and there are quite a few bowhunters switching to them now as well. They offer an adjustable Velcro( finger strap for a custom fit and have unique leather spacer pads included in the design. We recommend these tabs highly for bowhunters and target archers alike.
Cordovan leather has long been recognized as the most slick, most durable, and most desirable leather for gloves and tabs available anywhere. Tabs made from cordovan leather are available in a split-finger, “can’t pinch” style as well as a 3-fingers under version. Dale has been shooting one of the regular split finger models for about three years now. He switched to these because, as he puts it, “They don’t wear out.” It’s hard to beat cordovan leather for gloves or tabs, not only does it give you great releases, it lasts for years. Our "Can't Pinch Cordovan Tabs" utilize an elastic band for keeping them where you want them and a “can’t pinch” spacer for even finger pressure on your nocks. Tough and long lasting, Cordovan tabs are becoming the tab of choice for those bowhunters who prefer tabs.
There’s one in every crowd! They’re called “SAM” tabs or “Super Archery Mitts”. They’re not really a true tab or a glove. SAM tabs are more like a tab than a glove, but your fingers slide through the fingerstalls, allowing them to wrap completely around your fingers. Then, at the shot, they travel with your fingers much like the finger stalls on a glove. They’ve been proven to increase arrow speed and they’re quite comfortable. This has made them very popular with traditional bowhunters. They can even be slipped over thin hunting gloves when out in the field for double protection.
So which is it? Ford or Chevy? Glove or tab? Regardless of your personal choice, they’re all good. The journey to find the perfect glove or tab is actually quite enjoyable. There’s the test-driving part, and lots of it. That means lots of arrows are flying and after all, that’s the best part of shooting bows isn’t it? If you’ve been stuck with one style for a long time, do yourself a favor; try some of the new ones. You never know when changing something as small as your glove or tab might improve your own shooting.
Of course we stock all the gloves and tabs mentioned above and are constantly coming out with new and improved products. Be sure to check our New and Featured Items often and the many special Web Only Deals we offer.
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Is it the graceful lines or the natural beauty of exotic woods that catch your
eye? Current trends in custom bow making indicate that exotic woods are the norm.
All custom bowyers and even some production shops are now using clear glass to
show off their "works of art." From the business standpoint, sales of clear glass
bows far outweigh those of black glass. Catching someone's eye will be part of
the reason why they purchase this type of bow.
Why a recurve? Lets start with some of the common reasons. First and foremost
will be the grip. A recurve grip feels very familiar if you are converting from
a compound bow. This type of grip will also not allow you to twist the bow, which
is an important issue when shooting. The palm swell on a recurve fit's your hand
like a glove.
Now the shelf should be very close to the top of your hand, this is standard and
helps in the hand-to-eye coordination. Like shooting pool, by getting down close
to the stick you're able to see the shot better. Also the shelf should be crowned
with a radius that provides a high point. This is the only point that you want
your arrow to rest on. It is very common on older bows to have a flat shelf, which
will put too much drag on the arrow and this can cause arrow flight problems.
On top of the shelf is the window. This also needs to be a radius. On most, if
not all recurves, the window and shelf are cut to the center of the bow. This
will allow the arrow to point straight away from the shooter and not point slightly
to the left for a right-handed person.
The overall length of the bow needs to be considered and is determined by your
personal draw length. For most traditional archers, the draw length will fall
into the 27"-28" range. Some recurves will handle this even if they are only 56"
long. I find that a bow around 62" long will facilitate most of all the qualities
that I am looking for. Remember, this is only a guide and there are exceptions
to every rule. On shorter bows you should watch for finger pinch. This is the
angle of the string against your fingers when at full draw. If this angle is too
sharp you will feel your fingers being pinched together and it will be much more
difficult to get a clean release. With added length also comes more accurate shooting.
Short bows are great for tree stand hunting but not as helpful when "the shot
Recurve bows have wide limbs that help transfer more energy/power to the arrow.
When we talk about stored energy, it is called the preload. It is referred to
as the amount of bend in the limbs that is required to string the bow. This can
and will vary. The more preload, the sooner the bow will start to store energy,
which is were "stack" comes from.
Stack or the amount of resistance to pull the arrow back to your desired draw
will start off being very comfortable at about 1-2 pounds per inch. As you reach
full draw at 28" the resistance is now 3 pound's per inch. The more preload you
have on the limbs the harder it becomes to pull the bow. Keep in mind that not
all recurves will have this problem. Some of the hybrids will draw very comfortable
all the way back to 29".
Another factor to consider is a take-down recurve verses a one-piece. Take down
recurves are easy to travel with and allow you the ability to have different sets
of limbs. One set for hunting and perhaps a different weight for target shooting.
They are generally not as smooth as a one piece because of the shorter working
limb but they will shoot faster because of the shorter limb. A one-piece recurve
is not only very smooth, it is also be lighter in mass weight and for some of
us this is an important factor when hunting.
Lets talk about limb tips. If you are planning on shooting a fast flight string
you need to make sure the limb tips can handle it. If it is a custom bow, the
bowyer can answer this question or you can order the bow with the proper limb
tip material. Most of Bear Archery and Martin Archery bows are ready for endless
loop strings (non-stretch /Fast Flight strings). If not sure, contact the manufacturer.
Limb tips can be works of art. Some are wide and fat, while others are slim and
thin. This is another personal choice each customer needs to make. Personally,
I like to use a recurve that has 1 3/4" wide limbs that run from the riser to
about 6 inches from the tip of the bow. Having this width run that far up the
limb keeps the bow stable and shooting smoothly.
Now that you are looking at details lets talk about glue lines. Most limbs will
have 2-4 pair of wood laminations glued together. On the outside of the limbs
will be the fiberglass. Clear in most cases. With clear glass it is easy to see
if there are any foreign objects under the glass, if there are, this could be
a sign that the bowyer did not clean the lams before gluing. Now look at the side
or edge of the limb, where the wood laminations meet. There should be lines between
the laminations that are very thin all the way up and down the limb, no bulges
or open spots. This is the way the glue lines should look. When glued properly,
the glue joint will be stronger than the wood itself. If there are any gaps, no
matter how small, this is a week spot and a bad sign. Now, down to the riser or
handle. Always check for cracks as this is a high stress area and you need to
look for detail here. Good glue lines are what hold this bow together.
Another trick to try is to hold the bow in your hand and slide your fingers up
and down the sides of the limb, what you are feeling for is dips or rough spots
on the side of the limb. These edges should be smooth and straight.
Also, be sure to look at the bow under the sunlight. This natural light will highlight
any scratch marks or flaws in the glass. An added bonus of this natural light
inspection is that you will see the bow in the same light you'll be hunting in.
This is a good time to see if you like the finish. Gloss shines in the sun but
sure makes a bow look like a million bucks. I have a satin finish on my bows for
hunting reasons. Either gloss or satin, both will protect your bow. Choose the
one you like best.
Recurve limbs can become twisted if left stored in the wrong position. They can
also become twisted if strung and unstrung without using a stringer. Most can
be straightened for a price, but this is normally more than the cost of a good
stringer. In addition, for personal safety reasons, it is always recommended that
you use a bow stringer.
How do you check to see if your limbs are straight or twisted? First the bow must
be strung (of course using a bow stringer). Hold the bow in your hand with the
back side facing up. Now look down the limb. The string should follow the limb.
If the last few inches of the limb are pointing in the wrong direction, then you
have a bad limb. Do not shoot a bow with a twisted limb. If you do, the limb could
twist 180 degrees.
This brings up the warranty. READ this carefully. Some are pro-rated from the
day you buy and others are so complicated you need a lawyer. Find the one that
fits your needs. I have returned bows to the manufacturer that were 2 years old
and had them replaced. This is not only a good working relationship but also a
Now all you need to do is find the bow weight that fits you best. I have sold
bows for over 16 years, with 8 of those as a bowyer. About 15-20% of my first-time
customers bought a bow that was too heavy for them. I found out that if they were
coming off of a compound that was, lets say 70#, they thought they needed a 65#
recurve. I tried then to explain to them that shot placement was much more important
and if they could shoot a 55# bow more accurately, then that is what they should
buy. In my opinion a 55# bow will take any animal in North America.
About 15years ago I thought all longbow shooters were a little "off the wall".
They had to be, because no one would want to shoot a bow with all the hand shock!
How could anyone shoot a bow with a 68" length from a tree stand? This was just
the beginning. The handgrip was square and unfriendly. The shelf was the side
of your hand or very slightly cut into the riser. And talk about speed or lack
there of. I honestly figured I could out run one. Of course, this was a LONG time
ago! I'm not as fast as I used to be, just a little smarter.
Then I attended a traditional shoot in Coon Rapids, Minnesota and was invited
to shoot the course with a good friend of mine, Dick Boss of Boss Bows. All he
told me was to show up and he would have a bow for me to shoot. He said it was
a new design he had been working on. I assumed he meant a recurve because he knew
that was all I shot. When I met Dick that morning, he was standing there with
not one, but two longbows. I asked him where my bow was and he handed me one of
the longbows. All I did was laugh. I tried to explain to him my thoughts about
longbows and as Dick always does he just walked towards the first target and asked
me if I was going to whine all day or shoot? I had no idea how to hold this thing
or how to aim it so I asked for a little help and as a "male" that does not come
The first thing I noticed was the grip because it fit my hand, which I thought,
was different. It had a little bit of a dish to it so that I could grasp it in
the same spot each and every time I picked it up. This is important to me for
good shooting form.
I thought the length was pretty short, at only 62." I did not believe this could
possibly shoot with any accuracy. As I started to nock an arrow, I was surprised
to see the shelf cut in so deep it was about 3/16 of and inch from center. I remember
thinking wow Dick must know something?? This is not just a fluke. I approached
that first target and took a stance that was my recurve stance. Dick spoke no
words, he just watched. I just picked a spot and pulled back to my 28" draw and
was amazed at how smooth and easy this longbow pulled.
It is important to note that a good longbow should pull about 2 ½- 3 pounds per
inch of draw. When the pounds per inch start to add up to where you've started
to store too much energy in the limbs, this is what is referred to as stack. My
choice weight for hunting and target shooting is 55#.
So as Dick quietly watched, I anchored and released. The arrow flew straight and
true. The shelf, being cut so close to center, allowed the arrow to clear the
riser, fast and clean. This is a very important point to look for in a longbow.
The closer to the center of the bow that the shelf is cut, the easier it will
be to tune your bow. This will allow you to shoot two or three different arrows
from the same bow instead of just one size.
To my amazement, my first shot landed right behind the shoulder. Quite a nice
shot or was it just luck? I had never shot this particular bow before, let alone
the fact that it wasn't a recurve. On to the next target where I once again draw
back and release. Another good hit! Now I had to ask Dick "what did you do to
get this bow to shoot so easy?"
In addition to the points that I just covered, Dick and I talked about all the
new designs available in the current longbow market. The hybrid's that add some
reflex into the limbs has been a big influence. This has allowed the longbow to
become a little shorter then in the past. This brings up the question, what is
In recent years, my line of bows, Tomahawk's have introduced a 58" longbow available
in a one-piece model and a take-down available in a maximum draw length of 27".
Now that is considered a short longbow. However, we have to limit the draw poundage
to 60# and under to reduce the stress on the riser. For the heaver weights, .a
62" longbow is starting to become a common length.
What about the old style longbows? They are still around and holding their own
around the new hybrids. There are a core of longbow shooters that want the long
length and straight grip bow like Howard Hill shot. He shot them so accurate that
he is still admired today. This type of bow has its place, and has it followers.
There are some longbows out there that are just as fast as most recurves. With
current designs and woods you can have both smoothness and speed. The bow that
Dick let me shoot could handle fast flight strings that allowed me to get a little
more speed. The nice idea about having a bow geared for fast flight is that you
can shoot the bow with B-50 or fast flight strings. Make sure the tips are built
right to handle both. If you're not sure, ask the bowyer before trying fast flight.
Otherwise, you'll probably void your warrantee.
The exotic woods available on the market today, allow us to build a bow with any
combination of woods. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the wood combinations
are unlimited. Clear glass has become the norm just as it is in the recurve, so
that you can have can have your cake and eat it too.
A quick recap on what to look for:
Smooth pulling. About 2 ½ to 3 pounds per inch of draw. After that you will
feel stack or more weight per inch of pulling the bow back.
Bow length. Today you can have a 62" bow that can be pulled all the way back
to 28 ½ inches smoothly. This has become possible with the style we now call
hybrid's because they work that well.
Clear glass. This is almost a norm in the current bow building market. This
will show off the beauty of the woods being used to build your bow.
Wood's. From the riser to the limb tips you can pick just about any wood that
you can think of.
Shelf. Make sure it is cut as close to center as the bowyer feels safe doing.
The closer the better. Just a note, both the shelf and window should be crowned
or radius to allow for arrow clearance .
Limb tips- Bomb proof tips are a plus. Make sure the bow can handle both fast
flight and B-50 strings. This can eliminate a return later. I have seen fast
flight strings actually cut into the glass on bows that did not have the right
limb tip material.
Apparently we're never too old to change our ways. I changed my mind 15 years
ago when my friend put his longbow in my hand. I've set aside the recurve for
a longbow. And I've been fortunate enough to harvest a few big game with my
The last thing you need to know is that a longbow should feel comfortable in
your hand and shoot right where you are looking. If it does, BUY IT! Don't hesitate!
No two bows are exact. If you find a good one for you - make it yours.
38.) What is the E-Z Kut Guarantee and how do I process mine?
Here's the E-Z Kut Guarantee:
"E-Z Kut heavy duty ratchet pruners come with a lifetime guarantee. If this product should ever fail by breaking or the blades become too dull to use, chip or bend simply return it to E-Z Kut for repair or replacement. Please include $6.95 to cover shipping and handling."
Here's how to process yours:
Send your pruners plus a check or money order for $6.95 along with your name address and a note describing what happened to:
1935 S Plum Grove Rd
Palatine IL 60067
Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.
There are so many small game heads that it's best for us to simply describe each one. Different heads are best suited for different bow hunting situations.
We call our new Traditional Only Blunt "The Hammer" because it nails small game. It is the most effective small game head we've ever used. The fluted design with scalloped cutting edges, coupled with recessed ballistic point, all in hardened steel, makes this one mighty head! It's sure to become your favorite roving and stumping head! We offer it in both Glue-On in 125, 145, 175, 200, and 250 grains, and in Screw-In in 100, 125, 145, 175, 200, and 250 grains.
The Ace Hex Blunt is tough to beat. The center is concaved and the sides are flattened resulting in six sharp "points" that help keep your arrow from skipping away or slipping under the grass. That's not all! That concave face-scalloped edge combination delivers a deathblow to any small game animal. They're available in Hex blunt glue-on or Hex blunt screw-in, 125 grains, so they can be used on any wood, carbon, or aluminum arrow.
Regular steel blunts. The only thing "regular" about the plain steel blunt is the low price. At less than $4.00/dz retail they may be the best bargain available. These points are still quite popular with bowhunters and they do a very good job at killing small game. If they have any down side, it'd be that they're small in diameter so they don't pack as hard a hit as do the wider blunts and, when used on wood arrows, impacts on the sharp corner of the front flat will often break your arrow. The solution to that is easy though, don't miss. We know, easier said than done! These heads are a great deal, they've been around "forever" and they're every bit as good today as they ever were. They're available in both steel blunts glue-on and steel blunts screw-in versions too so they'll appeal to all shooters no matter what arrow type they're using.
Snaro bird points are sure attention-getters! This is one popular head, probably made so because of their impressive loops. Four loops of wire on a steel blunt marketed as a bird point but actually effective on more. They have advantages and disadvantages. They're heavy (220-280 grains) and wind resistant so they slow down your arrow. This makes hitting moving game, especially at longer distances, more difficult. When you se the big loops you think, "Hey, I'll still get my animal or bird even if I'm off a little." But the truth of the matter is if you miss, this head is not going to get you rabbits and squirrels. You need a lot of power behind this head to take advantage of the wire loops, if you don't have the power, you may hit your target with the loops but you won't have enough power to kill them. We think the best use of these is on birds and then specifically when you're aiming for the head. In that situation, a near miss will result in a bird in the hand more often than not. When the wires connect on the head or neck of a bird, they're very effective. They come in two sizes a 3" diameter and a 6" diameter and Snaro screw-in models for all types of arrows.
The Tred Barta Bunny Buster is so handy it deserves to be included in every bow hunter's small game repertoire. The basic concept of a hard-hitting rubber blunt has been tested and battle-proven for over 50 years. This one, with its one-of-a-kind parallel-to-tapered internal slot, can be slipped over tapered or non-tapered shafts or even over steel blunts or field points on wood, aluminum, or carbon arrows. There's no tapering and no glue needed. Wood arrow users can give new life to an arrow that breaks off behind the head by pulling an extra Deadhead out of their pocket and slipping it over the broken end of the shaft for an instant small game or stump-shooting arrow. Make sure to always keep a couple handy.
The Zwickey Scorpio is not a small game head. They convert broadhead tipped arrows into small game arrows. As we've discussed, using broadheads for small game can be very effective, but keeping the arrow with the animal is always desirable. The Scorpio helps you do just that. It's designed to fit snugly on the arrow shaft where, upon impact, as the broadhead penetrates the Scorpio provides resistance preventing the arrow from passing through. The arrow stays with the animal or bird making recoveries easier. For this reason many turkey hunters use Scorpios. They're available in sizes to fit all popular aluminum shafts and carbon shafts of 5/16" or larger, but are NOT recommended for use on wood arrows.
We've included the field point because some folks just don't know any better. In a word, DON"T. Don't use field points for small game hunting. They don't kill quickly and it's not fair to the animal. They ARE of course perfect for all target shooting and are available in many weights and sizes in field points glue-on and field points screw-in versions.
Broadheads are not really intended for small game hunting, but sometimes they are used. Most of the time it's a big game arrow used to shoot a small game animal when the bowhunter didn't bring any small game arrows with him. We don't really recommend broadheads for small game, but we have seen excellent results on game birds like grouse, pheasant, and turkey. The risk of shooting clear through your animal is high and if using dogs, broadheads are strictly prohibited. Still, sometimes bowhunters will choose to use broadheads for small game.
Jack Zwickey and his dad Cliff designed the amazing Judo. It took real "out of the box" thinking to envision such an amazing arrowhead. They truly are perfect for realistic bowhunting practice. You can shoot into stumps, trees, cut-banks, and even open fields without fear of losing your arrows. The small spring arms that encircle the head prevent deep penetration in the stumps and ground and they grab tall grass and flip your arrows up so you can find them in grassy fields. Judos are the ultimate stump shooting head. Zwickey even calls it, "The Unloseable Point". You'd be hard pressed to find a longbow or recurve toting traditional bowhunter who doesn't have a Judo or two in his or her quiver. For that very reason they are often called to perform as small game heads and have many small game species to their credit. They're available in several sizes and in both Judo screw-in and Judo glue-on versions. We do recommend that you have over 50 pounds of bow force if you intend to use them for small game.