Best finger tab for olympic recurve shooting? [Archive] - ArcheryTalk Forum: Archery Target, Bowhunting, Classifieds, Chat

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September 7th, 2004, 07:23 PM
Just wanting to know what would be a good finger tab to get for olympic recurve shooting?


September 7th, 2004, 08:09 PM
Just about everyone I know who uses a shelf on their tab uses a Cavalier. Six months ago, I bought two Cartels (Cavalier copies) and have used them ever since. Great value, and very good quality. Everything is interchangeable on the two tabs, and I eventually replaced the finger spacers on my Cartel tabs with the better Cavalier spacers.


September 7th, 2004, 08:33 PM
The cavalier or the angel holds the title of best tab.

September 7th, 2004, 08:33 PM
its all about groups. try some other peoples tabs and see what works best. don't go for comfort but groups. i use a wilson black widow with a shelf because it groups the best. i few months ago i bought an angel but it opened up my groups. it felt much better in the hand but the score speaks for itself. just try as many as you can.

best of luck

Jim C
September 8th, 2004, 07:12 AM
I like most of the other recurve guys I know, use the Cavalier though the metal spacer (either version) SUCKS big time IMHO and some replace it with the rubber or plastic jobs from NEET or SAUNDERS. The ANGEL is really good (I just couldn't get used to it) but once its worn out you have to buy a whole new tab. THE WILSON is still used by lots of good shooters and you will see some top guys using the SPIGARELLI (has a ledge and decent spacer) and the JVD and A&F Eurotabs as well. If you don't want a ledge, the Cartel or WW tabs are good choices as well-the koreans tend to prefer a spacer and not a ledge while Frangilli advocates no spacer and usually not a ledge.

your facial profile often is the best determination as to what you need

September 8th, 2004, 08:09 AM
What type of facing and backing do all of you prefure on your tabs ?

E.Boyd - Cadiz,KY

September 8th, 2004, 08:39 AM
For my recurve, it's a Cavalier and super leather, for my hunting compound it's a Wilson and super leather also. I'm going to get a Wilson ledge from Jim C and try that for my recurve.

Jim C
September 8th, 2004, 09:31 AM
I like the cordovan on my Cavalier -it lasts longer than SL in my experience but its more expensive. I try to get Diane Tone to send me the thick ones since they vary in thickness. The SL is more consistent from piece to piece. I have tried the hair and its slick but it wears faster and its too thin for my taste and fingers

September 8th, 2004, 09:48 AM
Who is Diane Tone? Actually, I guess what I'm probably asking is where you order your tabs from?

I love the Wilson (Black Widow) tabs, but golly-gee I wish they'd make one with a cordovan face!

Tom A.

Jim C
September 8th, 2004, 10:08 AM
Dick Tone -famous Olympic Coach and owner of cavalier-his Wife Diane is the one I order stuff from

September 8th, 2004, 11:01 AM
I like most of the other recurve guys I know, use the Cavalier though the metal spacer (either version) SUCKS big time IMHO

Dick's finger separators these day are a molded Delrin material, in the "second generation" shape.

Bad ASCII graphic follows


They are easily modified to make them work well. My metal one, which was one of the original prototypes, is heavily modified and polished, in my case I had to knock off the lower part of the corner.

In my opinion there's nothing more personal gear-wise than a tab, you can't expect off-the-shelf stuff to be ideal- some modification is nearly always not just a good idea, but neccessary.

Dick Tone's shell cordovan faces are the best available, much better than those on the Korean knock-off copies.

Jim C
September 8th, 2004, 11:40 AM
hmmmm-is that new stuff any softer than the aluminum one of the same shape (or Am I mistaken in thinking that the shape you just illustrated was ever aluminum since its hard).

agreed on the quality of the leather though the leather on the WW and the Angel appear to be as good,

the way I set my fingers etc causes those cavalier spacers to beat up my fingers

September 8th, 2004, 11:55 AM
Jim, the new Cavalier spacers are very nice, durable and comfortable.


Jim C
September 8th, 2004, 12:11 PM
I have some of those inverted v designs (unlike the old parallel aluminum ones) but the ones I have are rock hard.

September 8th, 2004, 12:20 PM
The plastic ones are rock hard too, but they are easily modified. You might be surprised what a difference it makes to knock down a corner.

It might be that the hard style separator is a good idea.

This past weekend I had one of my World Field team-mates come into town for some equipment work, and I spent quite a bit of time custom-molding a polymer finger separator for her.

It was comfortable but it ended up flexing at full draw to the point where it didn't stop contact between the arrow and top finger.

She ended up with the standard spacer, with a corner knocked off.

September 8th, 2004, 01:35 PM
What exactly is the purpose of a finger spacer anyway? I mean, once you let go of the string, does it matter whether or not you were pinching the nock?


Jim C
September 8th, 2004, 02:34 PM
thanks GT-I can use a dremel tool with the best of them-I note its a lot cheaper than the metal one-the Cavalier site lists it at 2.75-the metal ones were around 6 bucks as I recall

September 8th, 2004, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by NativeCraft_NC
What exactly is the purpose of a finger spacer anyway? I mean, once you let go of the string, does it matter whether or not you were pinching the nock?


To make sure you don't pinch the arrow.

September 8th, 2004, 05:51 PM
i am currently trying to work on an aluminum spacer shaped similar to the one on the angel tab to mount on the cavalier for a buddy of mine, if it works out, i will probably also make one for myself.

September 9th, 2004, 07:32 AM
To make sure you don't pinch the arrow.

But why does it matter - you're letting go of it, yes?


Jim Pruitte
September 9th, 2004, 07:45 AM
Pinching the arrow nock would cause inconsistancies as the arrow is released.

September 9th, 2004, 07:54 AM
Like others have said, a tab is a very personal thing. I suggest buying as many different tabs as you can afford and try them out. You'll also notice that almost everybody modifies the stock tab to fit them. Don't be afraid to cut the leather, knock corners off the finger spacer, dremel the shelf, or bend the base. Once you get a tab in the shape you like make about 5 of them just like it. If you don't and you loose it you will have to start over. :(

September 9th, 2004, 09:23 PM
My vote: Cavalier with a ledge and spacer......

September 10th, 2004, 12:59 AM
I must admit, when I ordered the finger spacer from Lancaster I was quite peeved that I actually paid for that rock hard piece of aluminum. But to my surprise, well, actually, I only opened the spacer after reading this thread, the spacer is indeed made of delrin. Its very nice and much more comfortable than that aluminum pos.

September 10th, 2004, 08:36 AM
I put a couple wrap of that medical tape that sticks to itself around the finger spacer. Both to fatten it up a bit and to soften it. My vote would be the cordvan tab, wears verry nicely and not Thin like the super leather.

September 10th, 2004, 12:17 PM
I use the Cavalier with the Cordovan face. I have one with the aluminum separator and one with the delrin. The delrin is definitely more comfortable in its "stock" state.

Has anyone ever played with using a rubber layer (normally supplied with the hair face) in between the suede and cordovan layers or some other combination? What were the results?

September 10th, 2004, 12:29 PM
I'd imagine it'd be nicely padded. I personally use two suede layers and couldn't be happier. No longer feel the "bite" of the string.

September 10th, 2004, 12:33 PM
I use a thin felt layer in my Cavaliers. I have some pads made out of some really soft tanned deer hide but they're too thick to be used with the face and leather and too thin to be used with just a face. I may just try and get my fingers really toughened up and use the deer hide as a backing.

September 10th, 2004, 01:20 PM
Like has been said, just carve that delrin finger spacer until your fingers just barely can be squeezed to touch the arrow.

Until I could feel the arrow with my fingers, I had huge vertical inconsitancy. Now I can feel if I've got the tab in the wrong place on the string as I set my fingers at about 6 - 8" of draw.


September 10th, 2004, 01:22 PM
and another with the fingers kind of like they'd be at predraw.


September 10th, 2004, 01:30 PM
My separator wore a hole in my index finger until I decided to take it off (I'm not real bright sometimes). I'll have to do some rotary tool work tonight and see what I can do to make it fit me better.

Stick & String
September 11th, 2004, 09:42 AM
What is the purpose of the hard shelf above the tab? Is it necessary?

September 11th, 2004, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Stick & String
What is the purpose of the hard shelf above the tab? Is it necessary?

Its to anchor under the chin.

Stick & String
September 12th, 2004, 09:43 AM
I understand that it is to anchor, but what is different than using your index finger and thumb as your anchor point. Why is it better? S&S

September 12th, 2004, 11:28 AM
Some people find it more consistent to anchor their jaw on a ledge, or shelf (but you have to remember to keep your teeth together...he,he.) It also helps with the sight marks a bit at the longer distances, since it lowers your anchor even further.

I began using a ledge early on, and it seemed very comfortable, and consistent, to me. Others have no use for a ledge. Just personal preference.


September 12th, 2004, 08:24 PM
i used to use cordovan with the suede, but once i moved up over #40 i added the rubber layer in between. I like it because i can still feel the string well, but it isn't too painfull. I think it works quite nicely. Also, has anyone who uses the cavalier with shelf had the problem of cutting or rubbing the underside of the chin raw? my friend has a scar on his chin, but a very strong, stable, consisten anchor, i never had the problem until i got a good anchor, and now i occasionally rub the underside of my chin raw. It does help my anchor stay good, and my groups are nicer, and it doesn't really hurt after a while, i just get a callus, but has anyone else experienced this?

September 12th, 2004, 09:54 PM
I've never had that problem.

September 19th, 2004, 03:34 PM
So far I am shooting the Win&Win 360 tab with hard rubber spacer. It is the most comfortable for me and I like the feel of anchoring with my hand instead of a ledge.

So far the only modifications I've done to the Win&Win is to the leather, to personalise it with my hand.

I've tried the angel tab and shot cavalier for a while. The Cavalier with spacer gave my fingers excrutiating pain during and at full draw and the ledge had to be completely modified to get a good anchor. Even after changing to another spacer, I still felt the pain. I liked the cavalier for shooting compound with fingers and no spacer or ledge, but definitely not with recurve. So I stopped shooting with Cavalier tabs.

I also tried the Angel tab for a while. With ledge and spacer. I didn't like the spacer because it was to small and I still got slight contact. The tab was also painful with that overhanging piece that goes over the index finger. I modified the tab by removing part of the ledge and using hockey tape to thicken the spacer. I still didn't like it. I now have the ledge removed completely and have quite a thick spacer. I only use this tab to shoot my light poundage practice/form building recurve.

I like the feel of the spacer on the Win&Win. I like the feel of the leather and the tab just fits well with me.