Is my proper draw length 28" or 29"?!!?


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  1. #1

    Is my proper draw length 28" or 29"?!!?

    I am a bit confused. I have been shooting a 28" Fred Bear for years now and only have it because it was given to me for free.... although I am not sure if its the correct draw length for me I shoot it pretty well.

    So here is where I am confused. I measured my wingspan and got 72 inches so from that I calculated my draw length to be 28.8 inches which is closer to 29" than it is to 28". Do I need to go up to a 29" or what?

    Thanks for any clarification you can give me!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Mississauga ON
    You have to decide for yourself by trial-and-error. The "formula" is only a starting point.

    Set the bow at 29" and see if your shooting improves.

    It's kind of like buying shoes. You can measure your shoe size as, say, a 10, but until you actually try size 10 shoes on and walk around, you can't know if 10.5 or 9.5 might be better for you.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

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  7. #4
    I've been trying to figure this out myself.

    One thing I've noticed is that used bows are generally not reliably marked.

    Also, different bows of supposedly the same draw length may feel different.

    Seems like it's a general and unprecise art and you pretty much have to go by how the bow feels to you.

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Honestly both/ neither one-------you set a bow to the person not some magic number you come up with. Those are "ball park" numbers only------ you fit the bow to the person and that "number" can vary according to the bow.
    Example I have two different bows, different companies------the draw "number" is a full inch different from one to the other but both bows feel exactly the same at full draw for length------it's only a number.
    Have a good day and a better hunt

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    In da woods
    When in doubt, it's best to go shorter than longer. Been there, done that one.
    Shootin Flat And Hittin Hard

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    SC Wisconsin
    It really does seem to vary between Bow Companys. In one major brand I shot for years, I was a 27.5 although I measure to a 28.5. In the bow company I shoot for now I am a 28.5 (right on my measurement figure). Some bows have different valleys, draw cycles and just fit different it would seem from person to person depending on there form. Picking up off a rack, you get what you get, having someone set you up who knows what they are doing.....I feel you tend to enjoy more of what you get....I would start with a 28.5 per your question in the post. If you are shooting a bow without limb stops, you may be able to repeat your anchor point easier, with the shorter draw (less creep if the cam wishes to take off on you). If you shoot a bow with limb stops you will be able to hit the wall and know if you are to short.....Hope this helps. Good Luck and shoot straight!

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Montgomery County, PA
    Try both. If you are not feeling a diff between 28" and 29" go with the 28" draw. If you are not feeling a diff or 1 feeling better, you have not been shooting long enough. You will never find 2 bows to feel like the same draw. You have to remember when these things are puit together they are slapped together and sent down the line. Each MFG put in a certian number of twist in the stings and cable then onto the NEXT one.. Now does that number of twists put the bow at the draw it should be? Most cases no. Now if you want it correct, goto someone who does more service and tuning not a run of the mill Archery Shop. They can set the draw mod for say 28" then do string and cable adjustments to make the bow 28". Remember, quality of string materials and a well made string and cables play the biggest role here.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Middletown, Pa
    I'm with richJ. If you're smart you'll buy a bow that is adjustable from about 27" to 30" and experiment with the draw module to find which setting suits you. You also should consider that most bows do not measure what the module is set for either--most are slightly long. The only way to know for sure what the draw length really is is to have it measured on a draw board. Also, if you plan on shooting a string loop I would go with the shorter setting to start with.

    Many guys say something like " I am a 29" draw", or something to that affect. In truth, a person does not HAVE a draw length. They really mean they shoot a bow at a certain draw length or they measure to a certain draw length using some formula. Formulas are OK to begin with, but by experimenting you might find that what draw length fits you the best may vary from that measurement. That's why you buy a bow that has some adjustment.

    UBP Life Member,PSAA Life Member
    Hutch~N~Son strings by Bowstring Depot

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    My arm span is also 72". I was measured at a pro shop @ 29". Shoot that way for over a year. After reading a few threads here and looking at some pics posted from Nuts & Bolts, I decided to shorten my draw a bit. I went down to 28.5 and couldn't be happier. Groups instantly shrank.
    Archery makes my shaft quiver. Hidden Content

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Have you actually measured the draw length on that bow, or are you going off of what the specs say? It could be that your bow is actually measuring at 28.5" draw. If it's measuring at 28" and you want to test your theory, I would try to lengthen the draw by a half inch and see how that feels and shoots. Just because something feels better to you initially doesn't mean that you'll actually shoot better that way. My bow feels better at 31.5" draw, but I shoot better with it set at 31" draw. And, I've now tried the 30.5" draw, which seems to shoot very well for me, but I'm bunched up in the shoulders so going back to the 31" draw.
    Potential is interesting, performance is everything.

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Everywhere Your Not
    I have the same measurements on wingspan as you last year I shot a 28.5", this years bow is a 28" I don't see a big difference between the two.
    A riser,two limbs a string, and a fist full of cheap arrows. "To find me you have to be smart, To catch me you have to be Fast, To be me you must be Kidding"

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