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Thread: new string dilemma

  1. #1
    In the Red
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    new string dilemma

    I have a low poundage (38#) draw bamboo backed longbow and have difficulty shooting over any distance greater than 50yds (excessive elevation problems) so a club colleague suggested restringing it with fast flight instead of the rather thick dacron string it has at the moment. Now it has been said to me by more than one person who knows a good deal about longbows that I should not use a double loop string otherwiswe there is a chance I could break the bow. Whilst obtaining a flemish looped string in fast flight is not difficult I cannot see why the end loops of an otherwise indentical string would make enough difference to cause damage to the bow or not. The bow has horn nocks if that make any impact on the reasoning.
    Can anyone offer an explanation? Is it one of these things that happened once for reasons unknon so it is now accepted wisdom that it must be true in all cases.

    I used to own a beautiful Colt SAA reveolver in 44-40 and I was warned that the primers back out on the cases (44-40 was a more powerful round than the 45 long colt that was more common). The story had some truth to it but only when applied to balloon head copper cases not made since the 1880's. Is it the same with the bowstring?

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  3. #2
    It's an X
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    I do remember fastflight strings being considered unsuitable for longbows as they did not stretch so much and it was believed the bow would be damaged by the shock of stopping suddenly, compared to the gentler stopping allowed by stretchy Dacron. Then, some tried fastflight and it seemed their bows survived.
    I think a Flemish looped string would offer a more cushioned contact round the nock area compared to the slim served end loop. Perhaps those loops would have more tendency to cut into the nocks on the limb tips.

  4. #3
    In the Gold WillS's Avatar
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    It's rubbish! I use double loop FastFlight strings on bows with 100# draw weights and more, never had a problem.

  5. #4
    It's an X EVC's Avatar
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    Ask the question to the bowyer if possible. Despite some annecdotal evidence (the poster above) in favour of the FF string, the maker is supposed to be the authority on this matter.

  6. #5
    In the Gold WillS's Avatar
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    I make my own bows, and if I thought FastFlight would damage them, then of course I wouldn't use it.

    EVC is right however - if you ask the bowyer and he says it's fine, you can't go wrong. What's more likely is that you'll ask the bowyer and he'll say FastFlight will damage the bow because if you use it, he can't be blamed if anything goes wrong.

    Here's a thought for you - traditional longbow strings were linen - linen stretches even less than FastFlight yet the top warbow guys use linen on 170# bows. If non-stretchy strings were harmful to a longbow, I don't think people would use them on priceless yew warbows

  7. #6
    It's an X Del the Cat's Avatar
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    I use 'hard' modern string materials and double loop strings on all my bows including a 70# Yew longbow with self nocks.
    I also use a low strand count and have never had any damage to nocks or bows. I've even had a relative dry loose where an arrow has split at it's nock... still no damage.
    You will find a plethora of people who "know a good deal about longbows" most of them can't tell a cow's backside from a banjo and are what I call 'armchair experts'.
    If you want to see my credentials google Delsbows or Bowyers Diary.
    Anyhow, more problems are caused by bowyers knots slipping than are caused by double loop strings.
    Del
    BTW on a 38# bow I'd only be using 8 or 10 strands of Astroflite, with extra strands layed under the serving at nocks and centre to bulk it out for loops and finger comfort/nock fit.
    Health Warning:- These posts may contain traces of nut.

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