Do I Need A Custom Bowstring?
Is investing a few more greenbacks in a set of custom string and cables a good idea?
Today’s vertical bow offerings are amazing. They are balanced, fast, smooth and quiet. They offer the latest innovations in terms of riser, cam, grip, limb and cable guard design. If tuned properly, they deliver arrows with incredible accuracy. Bow manufacturers have gone above and beyond in terms of customization. Many offer flagships in different axle-to-axle lengths, as well as those built for speed and those built for comfort. You can order almost any 2019 flagship in an array of camo and custom color options.
There’s simply no denying the benefits of dropping some coin on a new-for-2019 bow. But what holds that bow together? The string and cables, right? They wrap in cam grooves and run the length of the bow. The cams attach to the limbs and the limbs to the riser. Yep, woven strands of string hold your pricy new rig together. My advice is to go the extra mile, shell out a little more green and get a set of custom bowstrings from the get-go.
Why Go Custom?
Vapor Trail’s Jerrod Meyer and his crew are string-building pros, and according to Meyer, mass-produced bowstrings can cause issues.
“A lot of mass-produced OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) strings and cables are inconsistent,” said Meyer. “They are made with low-grade materials. We have our own proprietary custom material called VTX (Vapor Twist Xtreme). This material has undergone serious testing over the past 12 years, and it simply shines above the rest. A set of VTX strings and cables combines our special blend of synthetic materials with an in-depth manufacturing process. The result is a set of custom strings and cables you can trust, and a set of strings that will outlast a set of OEM strings.”
Bye-Bye, Peep Rotation
I set up and test a lot of bows each and every year, and I hate peep rotation. I don’t like having to reach up and rotate my peep with my fingers before each shot. It’s an unnecessary step that takes away from the task at hand. Because custom strings and cables are made with ultra-high-quality materials that are pre-stretched under hundreds of pounds of tension, they eliminate peep rotation.
“When installed correctly, our VTX strings, after as few as three shots, set your peep for good,” added Meyer. “The last thing you want is to be drawing back on that buck and discover your peep-to-housing alignment is way off.”
I’ve been shooting VTX strings and cables for years, and I can say that the three-and-done shoot-in process is accurate.
It happens every year. I have a buddy — or 10 — that brings me rigs showing intense serving wear in the cam area. Most don’t notice until it’s too late — until the serving has separated so much that the cam grooves are wearing on the string. The result is me ordering them a custom string.
Then there are those who detect almost instant serving separation where D-loop and nocking points are tied in. Separation around the roller guide and where the string contacts the string stop is also common. While this type of separation doesn’t require a new string, it will mean paying a bow shop technician to re-serve these areas.
“Our VTX strings and cables are custom-fit to cam-track settings,” noted Meyer. “That means extended longevity. Plus, because we use the best serving materials on the market, serving separation is simply a non-issue.”
We covered this a little in the peep-rotation section, but we need to take it a bit further. Have you ever experienced accuracy issues a few days after buying your bow and having it set up? You may have been busting 10-rings at the shop, but now your arrows are flying a little differently and impacting the target in a different spot? It’s likely your strings stretched.
String stretch is common and will ultimately throw off the timing of your cams. Lower-quality strings and cables stretch throughout their lives. Weather, along with other factors such as how often you shoot, can affect stretch. It’s a problem you don’t want as it will lead to downrange inconsistencies. A custom string will eliminate stretch and keep you on target.
You’re headed out for that hunt of a lifetime, and the day before you leave you accidently nick your string with the razor-edge of your broadhead. Crap! Yes, I’ve been there.
“It’s smart to have a backup set,” said Meyer. “I like to take the time to set up my stock set so it is ready to shoot. I leave a peep tied in, the D-loop attached, etc. I paper-clip the loops together so I don’t have length variation. This set is always with me. If something unforeseen happens, I’m not out of the game. If you have a backup set, you can be up and running again in no time at all.”
Accenting your bow with a custom color set of strings and cables is fun and adds a touch of personalization to your rig. Using Vapor Trail’s Bowstring Customizer, you can build your custom string and cables in just three easy steps. You can choose up to two colors options, as well as the color of your string bat, speed buttons and serving.
“We typically ship the strings same day or next day,” Meyer said, “but guarantee shipment by the third day. And you just can’t beat or Lifetime Service Guarantee. This guarantee notes that your string will be free from creep, erratic peep rotation and serving separation.”
So why get a custom string? I think the real question is, why not?