Thread: Good bow techs?
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:36 AM
L.O.S.T.Arrow's Avatar
L.O.S.T.Arrow L.O.S.T.Arrow is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Wainwright
Posts: 4,499

Hello...I Neil B. Stratton owner /operator L.O.S.T. Arrow Archery out of Wainwright...
I pride myself on our bow tech service...I have 40 years involved in Bow hunting and archery...

We have full service...along with "Super tuning"

since solo cams were mentioned....I am a Mathews and APA dealer and have a L.O.S.T. Arrow Bow Tuning Guide which covers all Solo Cam bows in detail and in general..

Duel cam bows are also covered...A bow press and minor tools are needed for complete spec tunes

more helpful hints here

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

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 when string/cable settles it will fall center…an untuned bow or under twisted string will show string HIGH in window, Other brand bows may have alinement lines indented on cam.

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

If your peep rotates from left to right, press the bow and twist the string a ½ twist in the same direction. Now shoot the bow several times to settle the peep. If it still does not roll into the proper position, repeat the process. Always shoot the bow several times to settle the peep before checking for position.

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

-May all you arrow fly straight and true.

************************************************** ********


*-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, 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 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..

*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.
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