By Greg Tubbs | PUBLISHED September 22nd 2021
Your bow is tuned! You bring it home from the shop. Do you have a brand new string? If so, you have to break that in. Every string has a different break-in period, and some will stretch more than others. Ask your archery shop about the break-in period.
After your bow is tuned, now it's time to get down to the tedious part. Bare shaft tuning your arrows...
Bare shaft tuning takes a lot of effort. It is tedious labor. You have to shoot and adjust. Shoot again. Adjust. And continue this process until you get a perfect flight. Perfect flight meaning it strikes the target plumb. Not on an angle. Angled implies a loss of energy (efficiency), and your arrow may not exit where you intend it to!
What do I need to adjust?
Some will say you need to adjust your bow. Well. If you don't have a bow press, you can't adjust your bow other than the rest and the site if you have all of these squared up. The only other thing you can adjust is your arrows. You can adjust the weight of your field point and the position of the nock. Adding more or less weight in the front of the arrow will affect how much the arrow shaft flex's on launch off of the riser.
By adjusting the knock, you are changing how the arrow flexes by putting more pressure on the arrow's spine. Rotating the nock applies pressure on the strong or weak side of the shaft. Don't believe me? Try it! You can change how the arrow flies out of your bow.
Fletchings do the steering!
Why not just fletch them up and shoot? Hunters have been doing just that for years! The fletching is doing more work. Nock tuning is a belt and suspenders approach to making your arrows as efficient as possible. If you nock tune your shafts to perfection, you can get away with using smaller fletchings. You don't need as much steering to correct the flight.
This technical bow and arrow tuning isn't for everyone. Not all hunters have the time or the patience to do this. If you're going to attempt this, start it in spring. By summer, you'll be super confident for fall!