Have you ever tried shooting another person’s bow? Chances are that you totally sucked! It is, usually, near impossible to attain the same group with another’s rig. Every archer sets up his bow with add-ons that favor his/her form of hunting. The differences between you as hunters cannot allow you to share rigs. At least not successfully.
Here are the most important archer traits that affect the choice of arrow rest.
Demands to be met by the rest differ across different professions. The hunting arrow rest or best drop away arrow rest may be the worst arrow rest for the pro marksman. Angles supported by a rest is one such demand. Hunters require a wide range of angles. You will need a rest that can hold the arrow for a directly down shot.
When hunting from a tree stand, these angles are the most common. The arrow rest should also support right angled placements. This placement proves useful when hunting from the ground.
The best arrow rest for hunters must support very dynamic angles. The competitive archer, on the other hand, is less demanding on angles. All shots will be fired from the ground. Durability is another demand that sets the two shooters apart. An arrow rest must be durable to handle all the strains of a hunt. Bow fishing, for example, involves wrestling with prey.
The big game hunter and competitive archer do not have much concern for durability. Finally, the noise level is crucial to a hunter. Competitive archery raises no such concerns. Deer, for example, have learned to jump the rope. They tighten their muscles and crouch at the snap of the bowstring. This split second decision has ruined many a hunter’s shots.
The lower the noise, the higher the chances for a successful hunt. A noisy arrow rest will spook away game.
What do you shoot? Every archer has a preferred arrow and bow. Some archers, like yours truly, are all about compound bows. Others are die-hard recurve fans or best crossbow fans. I even met a long bow enthusiast who managed pretty decent groups. The last decade or so has seen a lot of growth in the arrow rest industry. There is now a rest tailor made for every bow out there.
Arrows also come in different weights and widths. When you go for full containment rests, make sure they can accommodate your arrow’s width and weight.
You should also look for rests tailor made to suit your preferred bow. Different bow types exhibit different arrow flexes when shot. Using a bow specific arrow rests can greatly improve your accuracy.
Another factor to consider is your preferred side of the shot. If you are a left side shooter, go for rests that are built for left side bows and vice versa.
Finger shooters and mechanical shooters also have different requirements.
Finger shooters have better results when they use shoot-around rests.
These arrow rests are best suited to counter the horizontal oscillations associated with finger releases.
Use a spring rest or standard flippers if you prefer older bows without a center shot cut away. These arrow rests have more horizontal arrow accommodation.
The older bows have much more horizontal flex and standard shoot around rests may not accommodate the flex.
N.B.: Shoot Around Rests are also known as Pressure Rests.
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The only way to know for sure if a rest is good for you is to try it out. Even top rated arrow rests disappointment to some. The best arrow rest types are the ones that suit a hunter’s technique.
Have this in mind; an arrow rest purchase is not meant to be eternal. If the chosen rig under-performs, move on to another.
If you find one that improves your groups, keep it. Do not listen to other people’s ideas of what rest would be better.
Stick to what you have found to work for you specifically. The shooting technique is as diverse as hunting gear. Some moves are minute and impossible to point out.
An old hunting partner instinctively lowered his bow as he fired. We only became aware of the fact when we watched his shots in slow motion. When I recorded myself, I saw that my bow remained relatively stationary after shooting.
I cite this as the perfect example to show the diversity of technique. He was a full containment type of guy. The rest nullified the influence his bow drop had on his arrow’s flight. I was always of the opinion that his groups would improve if he used fall away rests. The advice had worked for every hunter before him. He was the first exception. Fall way rests were no good for him.
They did not sufficiently reduce the impact of his bow drop. So, you see, an arrow rest may work for everyone else but fail you miserably. The best arrow rest for you is just that, the best type FOR YOU. You cannot impose it on another.
The price range of arrow rests is very wide. Some rests go for under $ 10. Others are well over $ 100. It is important to know what features you cannot do without and how much you are willing to pay for them.
If you are desperate to improve your groups, pay more. Some rests combine the features of full containment rests with the convenience of drop away rests. You can enjoy the best of both worlds but at a very high price.
Weigh your financial ability with the features you need and then look for a rest that supports both.