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Thoughts On Releases

Release Rope Length

Many people fail to consider the length of their release rope when setting up their equipment. Others believe that changing the length of the rope will affect draw length.  Failure to consider the length of your rope will cost you points in the long run.  Changing the length of your rope (within reason) will not affect your draw length.

Most archers will draw to the same point on their face regardless of the length of the release rope.  If you draw to the same point on your face regardless of rope length, then your draw length will not change as a result of changing rope length.

If you change the length of your release rope, you will affect the alignment of your drawing arm at full draw.  If the rope is too short, you will not be able to bring your elbow around for proper alignment causing an angular displacement. This angular displacement will make it difficult to aim steady and promote poor follow through.  If the release rope is too long, you will have trouble finding a comfortable anchor when you reach full draw and make difficult to achieve proper back tension.

For those that have not played with the length of their release rope, you will be surprised at how small a change in length can affect your shooting.  In my own experience, a change of 0.05" can significantly affect how well I shoot the release.

 

Executing A Shot Without Loosing An Arrow

Everyone with experience shooting a release has had to deal anticipating or jumping on the shot resulting in poor follow through.  I developed the following technique to correct problems with shot anticipation and to practice in the house when unable to get to a range.
Cut a piece of release rope approximately 10 to 12" in length and tie it in a loop as shown in the figure below.  It will take several attempts to get the length of this loop correct.  When you have the loop the correct length, melt the ends and fuse them to the knot to prevent the knot from loosening up.

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Double the loop over as shown in the figure below.

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Run the doubled over loop through your release rope as shown in the figure below.
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Next, bring the doubled over loop around your bow string as shown in the figure below.  Note how I tie a nocking point below the arrow as well as above the arrow.  This ensures that the release draws from the same place on your serving regardless of wether or not you have an arrow nocked.
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Next, bring the doubled over loop around the back side of your release to securely capture the bow string to your release as shown in the figure below.
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Next, center both ends of the loop on the back side of the release as shown in the figure below.  This is where you determine if the loop is the correct length.  Note how my regular release rope appears to be just inside the jaws of the release.  It is important that the loop be the proper length to acheive this placement.  If you fail to get the loop the correct length, your anchor will feel different than for your regular shooting.
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You can now draw the bow back with no arrow nocked and execute shots without dry firing your bow.  You can even set the trigger on the release and when the trigger fires you know that the shot would have executed at that moment.  CAUTION!!!  If you have a bad problem with anticipation, you may collapse when the trigger goes off, letting go of the entire release and dry firing your bow.  I had a friend over to the house once that swore up & down he didn't have a problem with anticipating his shots.  I knew otherwise from watching him in league.   The first time he tried a shot like this he nearly lost the release and had the biggest look of shock on his face I've ever seen.  He used this technique to effectively eliminate his shot anticipation over time. 

Trigger Placement

Severaly years ago, I reached a plateau in my shooting and felt that the release I was shooting at the time was limiting my progress.  I switched to a Carter Big Kid release and struggled for months learning to shoot the release.  In the end, I determined that my problem with the Big Kid was Trigger Placement.  There are kits available now that partially address this problem.  I developed my own solution several years ago that, for me at least, I believe is a better solution.  I built up the trigger with Plumbers Epoxy and used a Dremel Tool to shape the epoxy for desirable trigger placment.  Note how the trigger is curved with a sharp edge on top to catch the joint of my thumb.  When I reach full draw, the joint of my thumb comes to rest on this sharp edge.  I do not have to push on the trigger to make the release go off.  When I pull through the shot, the release rocks slightly into the thumb making the shot go off much like a Stanislawski release, but with better control.

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