HMPE Strings



AIUK Saviour
I was talking to Sid at Border Bows today. He asked me what string material I used; I told him that I used Angel.

He sucked his teeth and told me that I should just use Fastflight+.

I was on the point of ordering some Brownell Fastflight+ when I looked at what it was. As far as I can see Fastflight+ is 100% HMPE, as is Angel. What am I missing here? Is there more to the chemistry than just the chemical formula? Is it down to chain length or something?


AIUK Saviour
I'm not arguing with Sid, by the way, I'm genuinely baffled by string material and I have to admit that I'm making pretty much arbitrary decisions about it.

I probably will buy some Fastflight+ because I'm sure that Sid knows his stuff, I'm just trying to understand.

Timid Toad

Staff member
Fonz Awardee
Ok, string materials are baffling, with various manufacturers giving the same stuff proprietary names but not explaining properly what's the actual material involved.

So here goes:

If you are in any doubt, Fastflight+ is a safe bet, particularly if you are buying a string off the shelf. This is what Sid was saying.

However, HMPE is fine. Angel's current lineup is fine, as long as you take into account the varying thicknesses of the strands. 777 is thicker than Majesty Pro for example.
Avoid at all costs any string with the word X in the name. These were originally designed as ultra low stretch for compounds, and recurves need a little stretch. I know Border don't recommend them, and Uukha and (I believe) Hoyt and W+W recommend other materials too. Statistically there seems to be more limb failures with X fibre strings. At the moment that's anecdotal, but I'd not want to risk my ?700 limbs for a ?15 string and a couple of extra fps.

What I do is get my strings made a tiny bit longer than normal and add in perhaps 10 or so extra twists. It gives a lovely very rounded string, with a tiny bit more give than one with fewer twists. The other alternative is to reduce the strands count by a couple - it'll give a little more speed - but if that makes the bow noisy, which it might, I'd prefer the more twists option.

I've been shooting various incarnations of Angel for over 10 years with the approval of Border and have never had a problem. Hope that helps.


There are a few different formulations of Dyneema and Spectra (the main versions of hmpe for bowstrings) but the differences between them appear to be tiny. Marketing points rather than detectable in real world archery applications.


Most of the top Korean archers still use FF+ strings on their recurves, I made FF+ and 8125G strings or my Recurve (Smartriser, Uukha X-curve) both set to the same brace height, and shot them over my chrono. Result, both clocked the same speed. The Koreans say that FF+ is more forgiving on a poor release, mind you their poor release is my good one.


Well-known member
I have never found out whether the S Koreans use original fastflight always woolly answers when asked.

Not available these days but I guess they would have massive reels of it.

BCY 652 Spectra which is the same as original fastflight.

652 Spectra Bowstring
Spectra bowstring, same as the original Fast FlightTM - still the choice of many recurve shooters worldwide. Available in solid colors.

Recommended strands: 18-20 (+/- 2)
Approximate feet per pound waxed: 8,200
Spool sizes: 1/4 lb., or 1 lb.


Well-known member
I watched a long video a couple of years ago about the S Korean selection shoot, and in the background of one of the scenes I saw a massive spool of Angel material sitting on a shelf.