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I went to a local archery shop and the guy behind the counter, who has been in a Vegas Shoot-Off, said "he liked a bow that has more holding weight. " He was going to explain but another customer walked in and we didn't revisit the conversation.

So, at 85% let-off my bowes holding weight is 9-pds; is 9 pounds enough holding weight for serious spot competition?
Thanks T
 

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I went to a local archery shop and the guy behind the counter, who has been in a Vegas Shoot-Off, said "he liked a bow that has more holding weight. " He was going to explain but another customer walked in and we didn't revisit the conversation.

So, at 85% let-off my bowes holding weight is 9-pds; is 9 pounds enough holding weight for serious spot competition?
Thanks T
I have not been in a Vegas shoot off but I would agree with him to some extent. This is one of those subjects where everyone has an opinion and honestly they are all right. Every person shoots best with what fits them.

Here is my theory why this is a common trend. One of the keys to having a solid shot is staying against the back wall. Another one is having the shot break clean. Higher let-off bows can encourage a shooter to become more lazy and start to shoot from the valley or just not stay hard into the back wall. Low let-off and tiny valleys force the shooter to stay against the wall.

Even slight changes in energy going into the arrow can put an arrow out of the 10 ring.

If you stick to a shot routine and stay disciplined you should be okay. Depending on the bow you can also play with the draw stops and the modules to get more holding weight and a shorter valley.
 

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I currently shoot with an 85% let off, and it certainly is possible to do well with it. However, the trend is that most people enjoy a bow that has a higher holding weight as it allows a more solid back-wall as well as it punishes laziness. At the end of the day, 85% is doable, but lower let off is probably more preferable.
 

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65% give or take is about the ideal spot for target; the only area that kinda bucks this idea is 3d.... but its for different reasons.

Higher holding weight does a few things; it will force a stronger shot, it will emphasize form issues faster that need to be addressed, and when you get into a pressure situation it allows you to become very aggressive in the shot and weight things accordingly to get shots to break clean when you need them to break clean. Holding weight isn't a bad thing, more often than not higher holding weight will result in a better DFC (cam geometry plays into this, but normally when you have higher holding weight the platform is adjusted to capitalize upon that and ultimately the DFC becomes better). You won't have the same "drop" into the valley that you have with light holding weight and normally the "valley" is much shorter. Tuning changes slightly with the changes to DFC and power stroke depending on how the holding weight is achieved.

Back wall is 100% independent from holding weight, regardless of system. There is a change in feel of the wall with higher holding weight but that is more due to having to keep positive pressure into the system than the system itself.

My take on things is that the majority of shooters are shooting too low of a holding weight. That said, it does matter on you shot style, but for the most part higher holding weight will result in a better platform; especially if you weight the system down to work with the need to keep and build pressure between the halves while at full draw. Getting drawlength correct is very important if you are going to run higher holding weight; as its very easy for the shoulders to get out of alignment when the pressure between the halves increases. If your shot is based on the idea of starting a shot process and running that shot process regardless of float, you will see the benefits of higher holding weight; especially if you shoot an aggressive shot and build pressure between the halves as the method of execution.
 

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Higher holding weight also helps with any pressure on your string. With single digit holding weight it's extremely easy for the string to be pushed around by your nose or your cheek. More holding weight the string won't move as much to outside pressure that you might inadvertently apply, especially under stress. For myself I like 16-18# holding.
 

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I had issues with collapsing when I was shooting 75% @ 60 lbs. I notice this in some archers I help coach who have too high letoff. When you have a high letoff, the transfer stage of the shot process becomes extremely important. Now that I shoot 65% letoff, I no longer need the transfer step and haven't collapsed even once. Also, face pressure can influence the shot more when there is less tension on the string. Kris Schaff, this year's Vegas champ, holds 23lbs at full draw. Coincidence? Probably not.
 

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I no longer need the transfer step and haven't collapsed even once.
i have a big problem with collapsing. what about just increasing the DW instead of changing the mods? the reason i ask is that i just had my LAS change out my mods to 80% (or maybe it's 85% idk) letoff (the previous mods were 75%) and i don't want to keep bugging them to try different stuff.
 

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I wonder the same thing. In chasing the final unclaimed Xs I am hoping that increasing the hold weight will help with consistency. To that end, I have adjusted the timing and rest to buy as much forgiveness as possible for any variances. I do agree that when you research the higher caliber shooters they tend to hold 20+/-3 lbs.
 

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We seem to be tip toeing around the real issue. The shooters form and shot execution is the real issue here. A high let-off does not stop one from pulling through the shot with 20lbs (+/- 3). The ugly truth is we are chasing bow and or cam adjustments in an effort to help us shoot better when all we really need to do is pull through the shot.

Most archers hit the wall at full draw and basically stop pulling when they should continue to build pressure steadily through the shot.

Do I have my modules adjusted so I have a low let off and short to zero valley, Absolutely. However, if we think this is some kind of magic wand we are living in a dream world.
 
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We seem to be tip toeing around the real issue. The shooters form and shot execution is the real issue here. A high let-off does not stop one from pulling through the shot with 20lbs (+/- 3). The ugly truth is we are chasing bow and or cam adjustments in an effort to help us shoot better when all we really need to do is pull through the shot.

Most archers hit the wall at full draw and basically stop pulling when they should continue to build pressure steadily through the shot.

Do I have my modules adjusted so I have a low let off and short to zero valley, Absolutely. However, if we think this is some kind of magic wand we are living in a dream world.
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I am thinking that holding weight of 20lbs is really old info or complete BS. World Archery has a limit of 60lbs and even at 75% let-off that is only 15lbs. Even if the limit wasn't there I don't know many shooters that would want to shoot 70lbs when the round is 60 or 72 arrows.

Sixty pounds and 65% can get a shooter to 21lbs but not all bows offer 65% and I have heard of some bows having 90%.
 

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I am thinking that holding weight of 20lbs is really old info or complete BS. World Archery has a limit of 60lbs and even at 75% let-off that is only 15lbs. Even if the limit wasn't there I don't know many shooters that would want to shoot 70lbs when the round is 60 or 72 arrows.

Sixty pounds and 65% can get a shooter to 21lbs but not all bows offer 65% and I have heard of some bows having 90%.

Getting 20lbs or more of holding weight isn't that hard on the majority of setups; and depending upon who you are lower letoff mods are available for the platfroms that are more difficult to get to that 20lb number with a 60lb bow.

Cam rotation (advanced or slowed) will change holding weight, harness lengths will change holding weight, how you achieve that 60lbs (did you put a smaller cam with a shortened harness length on lighter limbs to compress the system to your DL... etc), build spec on the harness will change holding weight and feel of the wall... etc. So as a shooter, if you know you shoot best with 22lbs of holding weight but your cam system only comes in 75% letoff, you can tweak things to gain holding weight and try to get up to that number. And the same goes the other way, if you have a setup that only comes in 75% letoff but you want 80% changes can be made to lose holding weight as well; just depends how much you want to mess with your setup to fit it to you instead of trying to fit yourself to a platform.
 

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Getting 20lbs or more of holding weight isn't that hard on the majority of setups; and depending upon who you are lower letoff mods are available for the platfroms that are more difficult to get to that 20lb number with a 60lb bow.

Cam rotation (advanced or slowed) will change holding weight, harness lengths will change holding weight, how you achieve that 60lbs (did you put a smaller cam with a shortened harness length on lighter limbs to compress the system to your DL... etc), build spec on the harness will change holding weight and feel of the wall... etc. So as a shooter, if you know you shoot best with 22lbs of holding weight but your cam system only comes in 75% letoff, you can tweak things to gain holding weight and try to get up to that number. And the same goes the other way, if you have a setup that only comes in 75% letoff but you want 80% changes can be made to lose holding weight as well; just depends how much you want to mess with your setup to fit it to you instead of trying to fit yourself to a platform.
I agree 100% and I can do that because I build strings and do my own work. You can do all of that because you know how. Most of the shooting public don't build strings or have access to someone who can make those tweaks. The average new shooter and most small shops don't know how to do this stuff.

The strings on my bow are not factory spec, I altered them so the bow would shoot the way I wanted. If didn't know how to fine tune my bow and build strings I would be shooting factory spec.
 
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I get that the majority of shooters either don't know or don't have access to the resources needed to learn how to work on their own equipment and what each change does to the system; but I feel that one of the best ways to grow the sport on a whole is to get the information out there so as people question things. If people just accept that factory spec is law there will never be the feedback needed to drive the market in a different direction.

I learned how to work on this stuff by trial and error... kinda a "lets see what happens if I do this". I talked to people about why they did what they did, asked questions about specific items; not just a setup on a whole. For the most part all archers are very approachable, even those that shoot pro class. Talk to people, see what jives across the group and see what differs.

On the topic of strings tho; thats one of the biggest factors in getting a solid setup that you can trust. If you don't have good strings you're gonna fight things. What I do when setting up a new rig is use the factory strings as a sacrificial set to get the final harness lengths so I can have a set built that puts the bow at the spec I want it at. So I'll twist things up, let things out, mess with cam rotation, etc to get a platform that I'm happy with. If i'm a 30.3125" DL, I'll put 10-12 twists into the cables, let the string out a touch, take a turn outta the limb bolts and see how that feels... if its not right I keep messing with things until I'm happy. Then I take that harness set and measure those to have new strings built; I feel a lot of people mess up here and that they just order strings to factory lengths and factory spec. I run 452x natural, higher strand count, and different serving dia than stock strings to get the feel and longevity out of a set of strings-- so going from a 24/28 strand set to a 28/32 strand set will change holding weight, feel at full draw, and wall. A 30/30 set feels different as well. A set made out of 8190 or X gives a different feedback and takes a different strand count to get the same feel.... I also run non stock serving lengths as well.

Everyone approaches things differently but at the end of the day we all want the same results.
 

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i have a big problem with collapsing. what about just increasing the DW instead of changing the mods? the reason i ask is that i just had my LAS change out my mods to 80% (or maybe it's 85% idk) letoff (the previous mods were 75%) and i don't want to keep bugging them to try different stuff.
That could work, however, you would need new, stiffer arrows and you would need an extra 5lbs of draw weight for every 1lb of holding. Don't hinder your own performance due to social anxiety. Get the mods. Or switch to bowtech like me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I get that the majority of shooters either don't know or don't have access to the resources needed to learn how to work on their own equipment and what each change does to the system; but I feel that one of the best ways to grow the sport on a whole is to get the information out there so as people question things. If people just accept that factory spec is law there will never be the feedback needed to drive the market in a different direction.

I learned how to work on this stuff by trial and error... kinda a "lets see what happens if I do this". I talked to people about why they did what they did, asked questions about specific items; not just a setup on a whole. For the most part all archers are very approachable, even those that shoot pro class. Talk to people, see what jives across the group and see what differs.

On the topic of strings tho; thats one of the biggest factors in getting a solid setup that you can trust. If you don't have good strings you're gonna fight things. What I do when setting up a new rig is use the factory strings as a sacrificial set to get the final harness lengths so I can have a set built that puts the bow at the spec I want it at. So I'll twist things up, let things out, mess with cam rotation, etc to get a platform that I'm happy with. If i'm a 30.3125" DL, I'll put 10-12 twists into the cables, let the string out a touch, take a turn outta the limb bolts and see how that feels... if its not right I keep messing with things until I'm happy. Then I take that harness set and measure those to have new strings built; I feel a lot of people mess up here and that they just order strings to factory lengths and factory spec. I run 452x natural, higher strand count, and different serving dia than stock strings to get the feel and longevity out of a set of strings-- so going from a 24/28 strand set to a 28/32 strand set will change holding weight, feel at full draw, and wall. A 30/30 set feels different as well. A set made out of 8190 or X gives a different feedback and takes a different strand count to get the same feel.... I also run non stock serving lengths as well.

Everyone approaches things differently but at the end of the day we all want the same results.
I really appreciate all the feed back and I'm sure at some point this will all make sense, but you're teaching advanced psychics and I just need basic algebra...Lol.

I'm just getting back into archery after a 30+ year hiatus and the technology and thought process has changed. Back then 65% let-off was a big deal and now it seems hard to get a bow that low. The bow I shot with back then was 60-65% let-off with no back walk or valley; it was consistently trying to pull the string out of the release, which maybe the reason I shot it so well? Idk...but i was a teenager then too...lol

Now, I'm starting my 4th week of being back into archery and bought a bow based on my old view of what was a good bow. But after having some shooting errors that I didn't have before and learning as much as I can, I feel like the let-off is possibly a factor, but when I read OhWells post I think maybe it's more of a draw length issue?

I don't have a bow press and I don't know if I will ever get one with today's bows being as adjustable as they are. IDK...time will tell.

Thanks again for all the help. T
 

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I really appreciate all the feed back and I'm sure at some point this will all make sense, but you're teaching advanced psychics and I just need basic algebra...Lol.

I'm just getting back into archery after a 30+ year hiatus and the technology and thought process has changed. Back then 65% let-off was a big deal and now it seems hard to get a bow that low. The bow I shot with back then was 60-65% let-off with no back walk or valley; it was consistently trying to pull the string out of the release, which maybe the reason I shot it so well? Idk...but i was a teenager then too...lol

Now, I'm starting my 4th week of being back into archery and bought a bow based on my old view of what was a good bow. But after having some shooting errors that I didn't have before and learning as much as I can, I feel like the let-off is possibly a factor, but when I read OhWells post I think maybe it's more of a draw length issue?

I don't have a bow press and I don't know if I will ever get one with today's bows being as adjustable as they are. IDK...time will tell.

Thanks again for all the help. T
Like you I cut my teeth on compounds that had no back wall and 40% let off was a big deal. I took a break and then worked hard and started shooting as a staff shooter. During that time period we had string stops and they were an easy way to tell of cams were not timed but the back wall wasn't as stiff. These days if the bow is set up well it is much easier to shoot a hinge or thumb release. I could not imagine shooting my hinge with no back wall.

If your bow is not set up properly for you this whole adventure can be quite frustrating. As for a press, it is handy to have one but not essential to enjoying archery
 
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