Bow Tuning Guide…Updated!! -As Requested!!

Home Forums Archery Tech Forum Bow Tuning Guide…Updated!! -As Requested!!

This topic contains 315 replies, has 81 contributors, and was last updated by  conquestador 2 days, 14 hours ago.

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  • January 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm #531478 Back to Top REPORT
    Bow Drawn

    Joined: 11/14/2007
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    Printed this off and put it in a binder for my home shop.
    Great info from a very helpful guy.

    Thanks Neil :thumbup[/quote:3545x01u] i did the exact same :thumbup[/quote:3545x01u]Great idea and I have done the same thing as a great reference on my work bench.

    January 15, 2013 at 3:00 am #531479 Back to Top REPORT

    Jay Miller

    Joined: 2/6/2010
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    Express yourself now - Fortune cookie
    January 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm #531480 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 5/16/2006
    Location: Alberta
    :D Latest Update

    L.O.S.T. Arrow Archery
    Bow Tuning/Set up – Mathews

    This tuning guide is just that –a “guide” these are methods that have been developed by myself, and combined with methods by other knowledgeable people

    I use these steps in my archery shop and have great success with them, every shooter is different and methods may vary, use what is best for you.

    Above all enjoy our great adventure we call archery and Bowhunting.


    1) Loosen limb set bolts on each side of bow on all bows that utilize limb pocket locking bolts-Tighten limb bolts to max-all Mathews spec’s are with bow to max.

    2) Place bow in bow press bow shelf/rest towards yourself.

    3) Recording all measurements in the next steps will assist in understanding movements in different stage’s of tuning to bow spec’s.

    4) Measure ATA [Axle To Axle], using tape measure or metal yard stick/straight edge, measure ATA from OC [ON Center of axle to Center of axle].

    5) Measure BH [Brace Height]-BH is from string to center of Berger hole or threaded hole on shelf that rest bolts to, most stock bow grips will have the same measurement from the deepest point on grip.

    6) Record CT [Cam Timing]-Older Mathews have two alignment holes in cam-take two 3/32 pins or finish nails with points grinded, edges bevelled and smoothened with fine sandpaper, and place into alignment holes.

    Newer Mathews have Alignment windows…Cam Alignment Tuning with Mathews bows with Alignment or timing window…tune so string is slightly below center with cable…as when string/cable settles it will fall center…an untuned bow or under twisted string will show string HIGH in window.

    7) Level bow by Placing small level on string of bow only sitting in press, then place level on pins to check CT is also level,
    -Or as I do and prefer as I feel it is more accurate -place yard stick/straight edge on pins running full length below string, CT will be evident if out.

    8) Check IWL [Idler Wheel Lean]-place Straight edge/yard stick flush on left side of IW [Idler Wheel]-run Straight edge along string to nocking point, edge of straight edge should be approx 1/8 from string shelf/rest side.

    *NOTE for Reezen and Monster do not use small holes use the large visual alignment hole thru cam on cable.

    9) With bow in press [approved for newer parallel limbs] with shelf/rest towards you, relax strings and cables, Note Most bows require limbs to be let down several turns for pressing.[ Example- Drenalin = 5 turns]

    *Exceptions…The XT and Prestige have course threads so only 2 1/2 turns, DXT, Dren etc have fine threads and about 2# per turn, so approx. five turns.

    You can back your bow down ten pounds from its advertised limb weight. 70# limbs down to 60#, even if it came at 74#. There is enough bolt to go the ten pounds.

    The Ignition can go eight full turns, or about 15# down

    10) I press some bow’s with limbs maxed for faster and easier spec tuning, However it is recommended to turn out bow limb bolts on most models for pressing.

    -all tuning adjustments for other than rest will most likely require twisting of strings or bus cable and cable yoke or Y harness clockwise or counter clockwise.


    11) Start with ATA-press and remove Y harness loops from IW, while loops are removed I remove QCC’s – [Quick Clip Connectors],

    -A light sanding with fine sandpaper[400 grit] on bow side of QCC’s -wipe clean and spray dry powered graphite on axle and QCC’s-this eliminates future creaks and draw clicking noises.

    *Note remember to align slot of QCC’s towards cable or yoke when re-assembling

    12) Remove all twists from loop yokes and twist counter clockwise if facing bow, for Mathews stock strings I twist 12 complete turns on the bows right harness yoke and 9 turns on the bows left side, this will vary from bow to bow, do not over twist.

    For Worlds Best Strings– if standing behind Idler wheel-I twist left side yoke 5.5 clockwise and right side 2.5 twists clockwise to start, if standing on bows shelf side –that’s 5.5 on bows right side and 2.5 twists on Bows left side–as Worlds Best strings cables have loops served as all strings should.

    *With new Reezen stock strings are 2-3 twists on bows left and 7 on bows right…
    With Worlds Best start with 4 Left and 8 right
    *Update on the Z7 yokes…since they have loop ends served.. they have less twists…on average we found they were aprox 7 twists to bows right and 4 twists to bows left …for a starting point..again string should run straight with idler string track at full draw for correct idler lean..

    If yokes twist on themselves, one can remove one yoke and untwist from other yoke, if more twists are required in cable untwist a couple extra twists in yoke.

    With unserved loops, [all loops] twist loops in themselves to make stronger loops.

    13) Reattach harness loops, then remove cable from cam end and twist to achieve bows ATA specs-example-33” OC for SB [Switchback] and Drenalin and 31” OC for SBXT -.

    14) Twisting cable clockwise results in reduced ATA, [also at same time increases BH and CT towards string]- if ATA is over spec’s –2 twists for every 1/16 over.

    15) Counter clockwise Twists result in Increased ATA- [also decreases BH and brings CT towards riser.

    16) Once ATA is accomplished –record # of twists + what direction as string may need twists to fine tune CT and/or work with ATA.


    17) Once ATA is at spec-CT alignment is adjusted via twisting both ends of string equal on string- [which also balances string to help stop peep travel].

    18) I use plastic clothespins to hold string on wheels and cams when bow is relaxed, which holds them in place as I work on it.

    19) If inner timing hole on cam is down towards the riser, twist the cable, if inner hole is towards the string twist the string, Twisting string clockwise moves alignment line toward riser- [also reduces ATA and increases BH].

    20) Twisting string counter clockwise moves alignment line toward string –[also increases ATA and decreases BH].

    21) If bow is extremely out of spec’s twist 2 each string end for 1 twist of cable to start.


    22) Idler Wheel Lean- most Mathews with normal “string settlement” The idler wheel top will tend to lean to the bows left side when held like you were shooting, when bow is relaxed it will look like it is leaning bows top left…but that is slight pull from roller/cable guard,

    Idler wheel lean is checked at full draw

    To correct for example Idler Wheel top leaning to bows left.. add twist to Bows right harness loop to adjust IWL straight at full draw, -[bows left loop for Idler wheel top.. right lean]

    23) Using straight edge/yard stick measurement, twist until edge of straight edge placed on Idler wheel, at nock point is approx. 1/8’’ outside the sting facing you- [Bows left side of string].

    24) NOTE*once string is at full draw string and idler wheel will line up in a straight line- with bow relaxed the idler wheel will appear to have a lean due to the cable guard pull.

    25) When bow is full drawn, string should run in a straight line with idler wheel, if straight edge was placed on idler wheel.

    26) Additional twists may have to be made on cables and both ends of string to achieve all steps to spec’s-remember every twist effects all other specs, also twists to cable and string will effect draw weight and draw length.

    27) Once factory specs are achieved –set center of rest 13/16 [11/16 for some Drop Away Rests] from riser at Berger hole, with arrow on string and rest, arrow should line up center on Berger hole.

    28) Reset nocking point approx ¼ above 90 degrees from bottom of rest and readjust kisser and/or peep.

    This method once done a couple of times is quick and seems simple once understood, the bow results are a quite, smooth drawing bow that “punches tacks”—paper tune or “Walk Back tune” for final tuning and applying broad heads.

    Peep Sights

    Always press a bow when installing and working with peeps…we get more broken strings for peeps than any other reason

    Most strings are manufactured twisted clockwise or to bows right…since most strings are now Z twist and two colors that dictates where peep is placed in string…between the two colors…

    Once a new string is shot it immediately creeps or stretches [regardless of what manufacturer states..all strings stretch some more than others due to construction]

    As the string stretches the peep may want to move/rotate clockwise with the string…or in some cases counter clockwise to bows left pending on how string was installed to start…

    Note* installing serving to peep will rotate string slightly also so its a good idea to serve before adjusting..

    An 1/2 twist opposite to peep twist to string will usually bring it back on…without any major bow spec change..however a few 1/2 twists may be needed to align…

    Therefore since peep rotation is a sign of string creep [stretch] it makes sense to twist string clockwise to re-tune bow spec’s …

    .With a two color strand string that is rotating substantially … can twist string clockwise twists so peep has rotated itself completely 1/2 turn…which will require removing peep now backwards and simply turned around…

    If peep was twisted to bows left …1/2 twist clockwise should align it without having to removing the peep and turning it…

    However even if we ideally would want to twist the string clockwise …if a peep is only slightly off one can twist a well tuned bow opposite of rotation 1/2 turn to align with out messing up specs..

    On a solid color string if peep is considerably rotated one can simply remove peep and situate peep aligned back in equal strands without twisting string…

    Loop should be rotated also to follow peep..a perfect alignment is when both peep and loop are straight away from bow toward shooter even at rest…

    Or if that doesn’t work

    Relax the string again. Look carefully at the direction of the string twist. For example, if the normal twist of the string is clockwise, and your peep must move to the left a ¼ of a turn, take two strands from the top left side and flip them to the bottom right side. Then take two strands (make
    sure they aren’t the same two strands) from the bottom right side and flip them to the top left side. This will pull the peep over to the direction you want.

    If you want to move it the other way, just do the same steps in the opposite direction. Note: more strands will mean more movement.

    Shoot the bow to re-settle the string and repeat as necessary…

    This for me is the easiest and most stable

    *Thank you to who it was that did this chart up for and sent it to me

    -May all you arrow fly straight and true.


    * NOTES *

    *-Removing a bow grip may appear to add up to ½ -¾ to your draw length or anchor points.

    *-To adjust Cam alignment slightly, twist cable-ATA wont move measurably.

    *-If inner hole is tipped towards riser twist up cable and if inner hole it tipped towards bow string put equal twists into the string on each side of the cam……NOTE: limb bolts must be max down to check and or set this

    *-Twisting cable clockwise will increase poundage.

    *-String and cable stretch or “creep” will decrease poundage and increase draw length.

    *- Apply Super Glue on all serving ends on a bow right out of the box-also apply glue to the couple of inches of serving near the “Roll over” of the cam-This will forever prevent serving separation.

    *Do NOT use bow wax near servings that contact cam/wheels. May cause build up, abrasion, and cause string to ride off cam/wheel.

    *-Dry graphite powder should be used in place of all oils, greases, etc on any moving parts that need lubricating on a bow- string wax, light vegetable or scent free synthetic oils can be used on bolt faces etc -that show rust.

    *-Dry graphite can be bought at locksmith supplies or some hardware stores in a rubber squeeze contamination with a needle nose spout.

    *-Backing poundage off- takes pressure off of the string in turn causing it to simulate a longer string length which increases the draw length … one of the reasons a lot of people suggest shooting a bow maxed down in poundage.

    *-There are couple of important reasons for putting twists in a string /cable.
    1. – Twists stop the string from opening up and thrashing around during the power stroke.
    2. – twists help out balance of individual strands and the string itself.

    3. – “On a standard compound bow, initially 10 – 20 twists is a suggested range.
    If you use a material that does not creep, no further twisting will be required. [no such material :whistle ...Neil]
    Obviously on single cam strings, more twists may be required. The recommended range is 20 – 40. ”

    As most know-twisting a string/cable allows fine adjustment of length, Bringing bows to manufacturers Specs.

    At one time manufacturers recommend around one twist every four to six inches – approx only 15 twists in an average compound string, but strings were much shorter than.

    Lately many well known string manufactures and top archers tell us to use far more twists than this – usually around 1 -1.5 and max at 2.5 twists-per-inch.

    This is to increase speed and help consistency and bow tuning.

    Also a string with hardly any twists is slow and there is a flatter area and resistance.

    *Caution strings/cables can be over twisted putting overdue stress on them.

    *When feeding new string/cables on bow –feed string onto black roller on roller cable guard, cable feeds onto shinny aluminium color roller.

    * Limb Bolts….XT and Prestige have course threads so only 2 1/2 turns Max, DXT and Dren have fine threads and about 2 Lbs per turn, so aprox. Five turns down max.
    You can back your bow down ten pounds from its advertised limb weight. EX…70# limbs down to 60#, even if it came at 74#. There is enough bolt to go the ten pounds.

    The Ignition on the other hand can go eight full turns, or about 15# down.

    *When paper tuning- A left tear and no matter what you do it won’t go away and the arrow is spined correctly, you can set the center shot about 11/16″-13/16 from riser to center of the arrow shaft and/OR try put a few twists into the bows right side of the yoke ..1/2 twist at a time..max approx 2 twists as it moves quickly…check for possibility of miss-tracking string on idler if moved to far.

    * When paper tuning [Mathews/solo cam Bows]-if results are a continual HIGH tear…no matter where you move/adjust nocking point…that is a result of a weak spine/arrow..Use stiffer spine/arrow.

    *Don’t paper test from a bow with a new string and a tight nock…shoot and enjoy a bow and wear in the string before re- tuning bow to spec and paper tuning-A tight nock on a new string will give false or erratic readings.

    *Your rest location should dictate arrow length.
    The most forgiving setup is the rest contact point at the berger hole (which is 1 3/4″ less than the bow’s DL). The arrows then should be cut 3/4-1″ infront of rest contact, putting them about 1″ less than the DL.

    * When tuning broadheads, and they are hitting to the right of field points for a right handed shooter, that indicates a weak spine reaction …Try turning the DW down and see if the broadheads move closer toward the field points.

    *Excessive bow torque related to having too much bow hand on the grip can cause erratic tears.

    *A test for under spined arrows is simple..Temporarily lower limb bolts several turns and try paper tune again.

    *Twisting Strings-When the bow is in front of you in a press or maintenance center …the common tech method is cam to your right and Idler wheel to your left..looking at string/cable from behind the cam..Bottom of to left cable guard to right…string/cable are twisted clockwise…standard procedure that keep servings tight.

    *When checking for Idler lean– draw as one would shoot…. arrow nocked with release,- anchored…have assistance watch or use straight edge behind you…wheel straight line with string at full draw.

    *For an arrow tuning guide use..

    When using charts for arrows…
    IBO speed of less then 260 is considered a Soft Cam
    IBO speed between 260-290 is considered Medium Cam
    IBO speed of 290-320 is considered Hard Cam
    IBO speed greater than 320 is considered X-Hard Cam

    Update on new Reezen,.. all above remains the same as others… with the following change if custom strings are involved…the String Grub which weighs 33.0 gr can be removed by sliding off stock string…use a small long cotter pin put on top yoke loop slide Grub over pin and onto new string…place ¾ from suppressor.

    * Grubs and distance from rubber suppressor

    -Reezen ¾
    -Monster Top and bottom 2”
    -Z7 …1”
    – Mag……1/4
    – EZ………None

    * Installing Cat whisker type silencers on string may/will prevent string from jumping suppressors, new design suppressors eliminate this problem.

    * E Clips are 3/16 on all Mathews bows

    NOTE* There has been a limb twist issue with DXT and Reezens…if the bow all of a sudden doesn’t paper tune and/or is erratic have your dealer check for limb twist…or as some call it CAM lean…

    Place an arrow along flat surface of CAM …the arrow should run straight with string ..If it does not.. the cam may have bad bearings or it is Limb Twist.

    Monster update…Tune as solo cam..only as a double solo.. Its exactly like spec tuning a solo cam but on each end..ha ha, the AVS system takes care of itself…keep ATA in spec as normal, but you have two cables to work with do them equal.
    *Cam Alignment…see below.

    your looking for the cams to rollover in time, synchronized or the same together..

    -In more specific detail

    First the bow should be in Mathews spec, ATA, BH, nock point

    To true sync (time) the bow, it needs /should be at full draw. You will need a nocking point established, The cables on both cams need to drop into the draw cam/mod track at the same time, or synchronized . . (the draw mod/cam is the smaller track that the cable feeds into.)

    The Monster has the timing windows, which are close on many, the cable is centered in the timing windows…

    at full draw adjust by twisting cable/string until both cams are in time or roll over synchronized …

    mark in timing window with a white marker where cables run thru when timed…this will allow reference when bow is relaxed
    as long as string/cable have settled or stretched….weather, temperature can still effect strings further…

    duel cams were once a pain to keep timed or synchronized …hence the ingenious invent of Solo cams…
    however the Monster is simple as far as duel cams are concerned..
    As I mentioned earlier the timing windows are a good indicator for timing as bow was timed at Mathews factory..

    .and this procedure may be to much for the average shooter…your Mathews dealer will make it a lot more simple…we re-time all Monsters that are sold here that are brought in for the standard re-tune when strings settle at no charge…

    Tune bow as you would solo cam, paper, walk back etc

    *Cam Alignment Tuning with Mathews bows with Alignment or timing window…tune so string is slightly below center with cable…as when string/cable settles it will fall center…an untuned bow or under twisted string will show string HIGH in window.

    *All Mathews Bows… Technical-Specifications Chart.. … -Chart.pdf

    *How fast is your bow…Take rated IBO…
    IBO speeds are based on a bow with a 30″ draw set at 70lbs shooting a 350gr arrow.
    -For every inch of draw length you go down you will lose 10 FPS
    -For every 5# draw weight you go down you will lose 10 FPS
    -For every 3 grains of weight your arrow is over IBO ( 5 grains per pound) you will lose 1 FPS
    -For every 3 grains of weight you add to your string you will lose 1 FPS

    • On most Mathews latest models set center shot at 13/16 from riser arrow on rest centered on berger.
    • Some of the new models have thick center serving and will cause a left tear in paper…reserve with .21 BCY

    * With HeliM like any bow check roller guard and Dead Stop set or lock nut/bolts for tightness as they may loosen up with shots out of the box new… Blue lock Tite can be used for better set

    May all your arrows fly straight and true.

    Note* there are many more tips with pics on back pages


    February 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm #531481 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 5/16/2006
    Location: Alberta
    :D FYI…

    *Grub 1 1/4″ from where string leaves cam to bottom of grub…as there is no string suppressor to measure from…Note Thats with Cam alignment/timing cable centered in window…if high or low allow for that 1 1/4 measurement…

    *Idler wheel lean is closer to string than most models…some even in line with straight edge at nock point.

    * The HeliM really shoots well slightly low in alignment/timing window and ATA 1/16 short…which is standard specs when we retune spec on the HeliM.

    * Assure that set screws are always tight on roller guard, Dead Stop and modular on cam…as these have been known to loosen on the Helim, Blue locktite can be used to secure as the Blue will break free when needed..


    February 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm #531482 Back to Top REPORT
    Bow Drawn

    Joined: 11/14/2007
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    This thread is still growing and getting better all the time that it does. :thumbup :thumbup
    February 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm #531483 Back to Top REPORT

    Age: 45
    Joined: 9/27/2008
    Location: Ohio
    TTT :D
    HeliM 27.5@56lbs Easton Bloodline 400's/ CX Blue Streak 250 Truball Max 4 /Short n Sweet/Ktech
    February 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm #560413 Back to Top REPORT
    Bow Drawn

    Joined: 11/14/2007
    View My Bows
    {#emotions_dlg.mathews_nicethread} Glad to see this is still here. Now if all the pictures that were attached to it would show up it sure would be nice. {#emotions_dlg.mathews_green1} Nock on.
    February 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm #564197 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 9/14/2010
    Location: Mississippi

    {#emotions_dlg.mathews_nicethread}Glad to see this is still here. Now if all the pictures that were attached to it would show up it sure would be nice. {#emotions_dlg.mathews_green1}Nock on.

    +1 Will we ever get the pictures back????? {#emotions_dlg.mathews_praying}  Glad I saved a copy of this before the Forum upgrade. {#emotions_dlg.mathews_whistle}{#emotions_dlg.mathews_doah}

    2010 Z7, 28.5"/#70, 3-60 ACC's cut 27.5", 100gr G5 Montec total 406gr, Spot Hog Wrapped Right On 5 Pin, Axion GLZ 5" Stabilizer, Apex 5 Arrow Quiver
    March 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm #566691 Back to Top REPORT

    Age: 62
    Joined: 9/9/2004

    {#emotions_dlg.mathews_nicethread}Glad to see this is still here. Now if all the pictures that were attached to it would show up it sure would be nice. {#emotions_dlg.mathews_green1}Nock on.

    +1 Will we ever get the pictures back????? {#emotions_dlg.mathews_praying}Glad I saved a copy of this before the Forum upgrade.{#emotions_dlg.mathews_whistle}{#emotions_dlg.mathews_doah}

    Wish I’d have done that! Screwed up there! Well, this is basically a TTT.

    It's not how far you shoot, but how close you get.
    March 4, 2013 at 9:47 am #566772 Back to Top REPORT
    Bow Drawn

    Joined: 11/14/2007
    View My Bows
    March 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm #569773 Back to Top REPORT

    Age: 62
    Joined: 9/9/2004
    TTT  And why, for heaven’s sake, is this not on the sticky page?
    It's not how far you shoot, but how close you get.
    March 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm #570008 Back to Top REPORT

    Age: 58
    Joined: 3/18/2006
    Location: WI
    View My Bows

    TTT And why, for heaven’s sake, is this not on the sticky page?


    Z7; Victory Arrows; HHA
    March 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm #570921 Back to Top REPORT
    Bow Drawn

    Joined: 11/14/2007
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    TTT  the pictures and graphs got blown away and they really added to showing the tuning application.
    March 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm #571649 Back to Top REPORT

    Age: 35
    Joined: 2/6/2012
    Location: North Dakota
    I have to admit I am a visual learner.LOL. How about a video showing the set-up of one of these bows?
    Jesus Gave All, All to Him I Owe.
    March 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm #571958 Back to Top REPORT
    Bow Drawn

    Joined: 11/14/2007
    View My Bows
    I was hoping Neil would help rebuild this thread with his pictures and there a few from gjarcher in this thread too that were the icing on the cake too.

    The video would be a cool deal for this thread but I would hold my breath for it.

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