Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Fast Flite string and bow compatability?

Messages posted to thread:
dire wolf 11-Oct-12
Clydebow 11-Oct-12
Shorthair 11-Oct-12
Shorthair 11-Oct-12
Shorthair 11-Oct-12
Shorthair 11-Oct-12
dire wolf 11-Oct-12
Shorthair 11-Oct-12
Dan S 11-Oct-12
JE 11-Oct-12
George D. Stout 11-Oct-12
Kwikdraw 12-Oct-12
01archer86 12-Oct-12
Trillium 12-Oct-12
Trillium 12-Oct-12
yorktown5 12-Oct-12
dire wolf 12-Oct-12
George D. Stout 12-Oct-12
Linecutter 12-Oct-12
dire wolf 12-Oct-12
Sailor 12-Oct-12
THRC 12-Oct-12
yorktown5 12-Oct-12
Raven 14-Oct-12
Kwikdraw 14-Oct-12
Raven 15-Oct-12
dire wolf 15-Oct-12
Raven 15-Oct-12
Dan W 15-Oct-12
Gene L 15-Oct-12
dire wolf 15-Oct-12
Rick Barbee 15-Oct-12
JE 15-Oct-12
JE 15-Oct-12
Kwikdraw 15-Oct-12
rare breed 16-Oct-12
bobby b 29-Sep-16
Bassman 12-May-18
George D. Stout 12-May-18
rusty 12-May-18
avcase 12-May-18
George D. Stout 12-May-18
Bassman 12-May-18
Murray Seratt 13-May-18
joe vt 13-May-18
DanaC 13-May-18
KyPhil 13-May-18
George D. Stout 13-May-18
KyPhil 13-May-18
Iwander 13-May-18
hawkeye in PA 13-May-18
Longtrad 13-May-18
Dan W 13-May-18
monkeyball 13-May-18
Iwander 13-May-18
markm 14-May-18
JRW 14-May-18
Babysaph 15-May-18
fdp 15-May-18
Dan W 16-May-18
Linecutter 16-May-18
reddogge 16-May-18
Pdiddly 16-May-18
The Whittler 16-May-18
Kelly 17-May-18
Dan W 17-May-18
yorktown5 17-May-18
Longtrad 20-May-18
SteveBNY 20-May-18
From: dire wolf
Date: 11-Oct-12




Over the years we have discussed and cussed about bows that were or were not compatible with FastFlight bowstrings or some of the new string materials.

My QUESTION for both bowyers and archers is WHAT EXACTLY makes any bow FastFlight compatible?

What is the difference in the bowyer's craft, designs, glue up, glues, heat for cure or design that make one bow "COMPATIBLE" and others NOT?

Is it a question of testing and R&D?and what the Risk Managers or the bowyer KNOW can be expected? Useing different epoxies and cure temps and times? Overlays? Tillering?

Lord I'd hope the craftsmanship and tillerering wasn't the deciding factor..:) And the chosen epoxies haven't changed in 30 years for most bowyers.

So WHAT are the deciding factors for bowyers whether a recurve or longbow can handle a FastFlight bowstring or DynaFlie etc?..

I'm curious because I have made and used Fast Flite 3 splice flemish style bowstrings that I make on bows that are older than many who post here..and never had any issues..Slef bows, bows glued up with Urac and cascophen..and all drawn 30" and over 65#s..

Alawys great response from the bow & arrows..and I have used and made hundreds of fine B50 Dacron bowstrings..

I do not make 'skinny strings' under 12 strands and usually 15 for my own bows over 70#@30" drawn..AND I don't shoot arrows that weigh less than 9 GPP for the draw weight. My bows all have flawless nocks redone if necessary for proper string angle at brace..and kept clean..Ovelays or horn nocks always..

So perhaps my own caveats are to be considered.

Anyhow..WHAT is the reason some bowyers don't rate their recurves or longbows as 'FastFlite' compatible?.. Respectfully, Jim

From: Clydebow
Date: 11-Oct-12




Not sure, but I believe it's the tip overlays.

From: Shorthair Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Oct-12




that is what I have always thought...the tip overlays

From: Shorthair Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Oct-12




that is what I have always thought...the tip overlays

From: Shorthair Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Oct-12




that is what I have always thought...the tip overlays

From: Shorthair Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Oct-12




that is what I have always thought...the tip overlays

From: dire wolf
Date: 11-Oct-12




Well..let's discuss what exactly tip overlays add to any bow.

A tiny fraction of added strength to any glass laminated recurve or longbow.That isn't it.The limb tips are not "WORKING" on that last several inches on any bow..

So WHAT do they supposedly "add" to any bow that makes it more compatible to faster strings>??

Well respected long time Martin aArchery commented on a recurve Howatt Mambe (1990's vintage that had tip overlays on it telling the poster that it was NOT compatible with FastFlite strings. So tip overlays alone are not the key..

Let's hear from some bowyers.. I KNOW what the keys are..and they go a bit beyond the bow, the glues, the design..Jim

From: Shorthair Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Oct-12




not sure what happened....system just sat there forever and now I have a quad post. moderators please delete.

From: Dan S
Date: 11-Oct-12




My last recurve bow I made had a limb failer when I changed to a proforance string . One limb split like fingers with the grain of glass and wood to correct this problem I used a 50/50 woven glass as part of the core .so far so good . Dan

From: JE
Date: 11-Oct-12




Dire Wolf. I was thinking of the same question. I too would like to know. Have been building osage selfbows for a couple of years now. I am almost out of b-50 thought about switching string materials. The 3 Rivers Archery catalog sells phenolic tip overlay material,"makes bow Fast Flight compatible" is what is clamed. Have not broke a bow yet with the B-50, and don't want to start. Would like the preforance of the other FF string though. Thanks JE

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Oct-12




Jim, I have used padded loop fastflight on several bows with no tip overlays. One of those bows has several thousand shots through it with no issues. I also use it on all of my bows, old or new.

No one really knows what makes a bow fast flight compatible. They will say this or that, but there have been no significant studys done to prove one way or another. I can understand why since no one wants to intentionally break a bow or limbs.

On all my old bows....tip overlays or not....I make sure the string notches are smooth and even to form a good tear drop with the loop. Then I make sure I use padded loop strings that somewhat fill the notch. No problems so far.

The old linen strings had much less stretch than dacron, but dacron was stronger and would last longer so it took over the industry in the 1950's. I would suspect if linen was stronger, it would be much like the D-97 strings of today. Anyone who has a bow breakage automatically will blame the string if using fastflight, when they really don't know if that was the reason or not. I personally think FF is easier on bows...especially the skinny ones like Rick Barbee makes. Less mass, and it puts more energy into the arrow with less vibration on the shot. To me that equates to more efficiency, with less stress on the bow itself.

If you look at Bear's new recurves, you will find them FF ready (so-called), with the same type of fiberglass overlays that were used in the 70's. I was resistant too, but then decided since there were no studies to show one way or another, that I would have to try it myself. My experience shows no detrimental effect on bows...new or old, no matter what tips there are, if a few precautions are taken as I said above.

From: Kwikdraw
Date: 12-Oct-12




I was told by a competent bowyer, that vibration (as George stated) of the tips at release caused delamination of the tips, over time. He says if 5 or more laminations are used at the tips, they are FF compatible. All bows I've owned since the mid 60's have had at least 5 lams at the tips, and I have had no problems at all. He also advised that less than 5 lams, use standard B-50 string.

From: 01archer86
Date: 12-Oct-12




Had a top limb completly sever horizontally in 2 on a 62" R/D longbow 52#@28". This was due to the FF string that was on it. It was 16 strand and too harsh for the bow. Keep in mind only heavy wood arrows were shot through this bow. It held up and shot well with B50 dacron string but performed even better with the FF. The bow did not hold up because the string was TOO strong and had no stretch period. Upon loosing the arrow, the string would slam straight home and come to an abrupt hault, whereas dacron has give to it and follows the arrow past home waivering back and forth before settling down. A FF string with too many strands can indeed be too strong for nearly any bow and cause damage. If I use FF on any bow its padded loops 10 strands, light and forgiving.

From: Trillium
Date: 12-Oct-12




I used to be big wall climber when I was younger, and we used to joke that its not the fall, but the sudden stop at the end that will get you every time. Climbing ropes are made to stretch (not unlike a dacron bow string) to absorb some of the energy of a fall so that it does not all transfer to your harness and body. Additionally, a good harness will distribute that remaining energy across your torso. Static ropes, those with little or no stretch, would break your back or pelvis on a long fall.

IMHO, the fact that the limb tips are "not working" is immaterial. In fact, it is the very static quality of the tips that is the concern. What matters is that those limb tips are the points at which the remaining energy of the moving bow limbs is transferred to the limb by the string (energy is also transferred to, and absorbed by, the arrow via the string). It seems to me that there is tremendous shearing force at the tip -- the bottom of the limb (the part below the tip) wants to continue moving forward with the remaining stored energy and the all the mass of the limb, while the top part of the string (above the string loop) stops quite suddenly. A string with a bit of stretch will absorb some of that energy, transferring less to the bow tip -- a non-strech string transfers more energy directly at the point of contact. Reinforcing the tip makes it stronger at the point of string contact, reducing the likelihood of shearing the tip off completely, and the length of the reinforcing piece glued to the tip will distribute the energy across more of the tip.

So, either you use a dynamic climbing rope to absorb some energy, or if you use a static line, develop a harness capable of distributing that energy over a wider area of your torso so that you are not injured -- preferably a static rope AND a good harness!!

From: Trillium
Date: 12-Oct-12




I used to be big wall climber when I was younger, and we used to joke that its not the fall, but the sudden stop at the end that will get you every time. Climbing ropes are made to stretch (not unlike a dacron bow string) to absorb some of the energy of a fall so that it does not all transfer to your harness and body. Additionally, a good harness will distribute that remaining energy across your torso. Static ropes, those with little or no stretch, would break your back or pelvis on a long fall.

IMHO, the fact that the limb tips are "not working" is immaterial. In fact, it is the very static quality of the tips that is the concern. What matters is that those limb tips are the points at which the remaining energy of the moving bow limbs is transferred to the limb by the string (energy is also transferred to, and absorbed by, the arrow via the string). It seems to me that there is tremendous shearing force at the tip -- the bottom of the limb (the part below the tip) wants to continue moving forward with the remaining stored energy and the all the mass of the limb, while the top part of the string (above the string loop) stops quite suddenly. A string with a bit of stretch will absorb some of that energy, transferring less to the bow tip -- a non-strech string transfers more energy directly at the point of contact. Reinforcing the tip makes it stronger at the point of string contact, reducing the likelihood of shearing the tip off completely, and the length of the reinforcing piece glued to the tip will distribute the energy across more of the tip.

So, either you use a dynamic climbing rope to absorb some energy, or if you use a static line, develop a harness capable of distributing that energy over a wider area of your torso so that you are not injured -- preferably a static rope AND a good harness!!

From: yorktown5
Date: 12-Oct-12




As I was playing with this question myself, I built some 9 and 10 strand strings with b-50 and B-55 and braided my loops.

I believe this braiding acts like Chinese handcuffs in that the harder you pull the tighter it holds and also has some give/spring effect. It also makes for a fatter loop without having to add padding.

In my new-to-the-question stage, I send samples of this string to George, Rick Barbee and others. At the time, I wasn't aware of ALL the experiments and testing they'd done and in hindsight, my ignorance was embarrassing.

But I was getting these strings to throw arrows at the same speeds as 16 strands of D-97.

I can't promote the book(s) I wrote on vintage bows here as I'm not a sponsor, but Rick Barbee wrote a chapter for me where he includes how (as a Martin sponsored archer) he jumped on FF when it first became available, and his conclusions included that there was nothing different about a "Fast Flight ok" rated bow and the previous models. He states flatly that his Martin/Howatt bows pre-FF worked just fine with FF. (There's even a photo in the book of you Jim (un-identified) that I pulled from an old posting where you are drawing a static tipped Griz.)

In the end, it seems that a lot of a FF rated bow language was marketing and that bowyers simply took a bit more care in how they formed the loop nocks, re-enforcing for added confidence and built up overlays just making it easier to distribute the stress evenly on the limb tips.

Said differently, WE as archers made a leap by assuming that a bow rated as FF safe meant that last year's non-FF model wasn't. Rick's experiments, Dire's, George's and my modest experience have well satisfied me that just about ANY old bow with nicely formed tip nocks AND padding or braiding the loops provides a safe setup REGARDLESS of whether the bow carries tips specifically meant for FF.

And yes, George's points about improving the efficient transfer of energy from bow to arrow with FF does "feel" better in the hand. Rick Barbee strings even increase the draw weight of a bow slightly too. (less stretch at full draw)

In the last year or so I have put my braided loop 9 strand D-97 strings on more than a dozen bows from '59 Kodiaks forward in vintage and has lead to my oft repeated conclusion that there is NOTHING new in bow design of much consequence. A FF equipped vintage classic will EQUAL the performance (arrow speed, quiet and stable manners) as any current bow, whether production or custom.

Rick

From: dire wolf
Date: 12-Oct-12




Some good thoughts from a few of you folks.. Trillium..as far as stretch goes, at least a 3 splice flemish bowstring of FastFlight DOES stretch some..tho not as much as the old B50 Dacron..I'm not as certain about endless strings which are not much twisted up as to how much they do or don't stretch in use.

FWIW, the fellows in England who replicate the English longbows-warbows say that Brownells FastFlight very closely replicates the best Flemish flax( linen) bowstrings used during the Mary Rose eras and before.

From my 20+ years of experience and use of the Browells FastFlight, ( many thousands of arrows) I think it is a tougher better material than the old B50..The musical not of the bow when braced is clearer and the string imparts more of the stored energy of the bow into the arrow's flight..

In my experience and humble opinion..failures of bows that are attributed to FastFlight bowstrings probably are traceable to a variety of issues rather than the string material.

First is the design-shape and roundness of the nock loops of the bow..

Secondly and often overlooked is HOW evenly the upper-lower bow limbs bend and recover in unison. Thirdy is the arrow weight and string size.One can go too light in arow weight or too small in string diameter in the quest for cast-speed and he can get close to or even at the equivalent of repeatedly dry fireing his bow.

Fourth would be the use of newer string materials on older laminate recurves or longbows bough used whose handling and storage past is questionable..This includes extremes of humidity and heat-cold construction and also small dings and damage to glass and limb edges that are not apparent to the casual observer on a used bow.

I do not agree that having five laminations in the tips is any silver bullet..I routinely use FastFlight strings on bows that have two laminates plus glass back & face and a single wood overlay on heavy-fast bows and have had no issues..

Also use FastFlight on selfbows of yew and osage and it really works great.Use it on bows that are over 50 years old..Bows glued up with Urac 185..Bear, Herters, Howatt, Wing among many.

So for me..the jury remains out on EXACTLY what constitutes a "Fast Flight compatible" bow....Still waiting on some professional bowyers to help define this for us..Jim

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Oct-12




Jim, "professional bowyers" will not be able to tell us in scientific terms whether or not FF compatible means this or that. Such a defining explanation would require extensive testing, and require many models for testing of each specific makeup. It would take some money, and time....not to mention enough expertise to make it viable. What a bowyer thinks is probably no more valid than what the mailman thinks, if the mailman has been shooting bows for a few decades.

Where we are right now is "he said this, she shad that"....and it is not in anyway written in a thesis after an appropriate study. I think we will continue to do what we do, with our own experience as the defining factor. I know what works for me, and it may not be what Fred Smith finds works for him...or even John Jones. 8^)).

Folks are slow to change, especially when there is no defining study available to refer to. I don't blame folks for being skeptical about FF on old bows...I was too, for a good while. I only undertook the personal study to sate my own curiosity. The problem now is I can hardly stand to use B-50 on any of my bows due to the excessive vibration after the shot...excessive vibration that I personally think is more harmful than the so- called sudden stop of FF material.

I have also found there is a difference in a quality made FF skinny string, than a regular FF model....say of more strands. For me, the skinny string with ample padded loops is much more friendly to all my bows....including vintage ones. And they don't offer the vibration/shock, et, al...of Dacron.

If folks are leery of FF on old bows, then by all means don't use it...stick with Dacron; it has served us well for many decades and still will. That said, let's make sure we don't throw the baby out with the bath water either by making claims that are more conjecture than fact. Just my thoughts.

From: Linecutter
Date: 12-Oct-12




I have argued with this before and had it happen to me. It is during the case of a dry fire with recurves: arrow nock breaks, arrow not put on the string snuggly. I had a Pearson recurve I put fastflight on small string nock fit was loose, arrow came loose on the string when I drew and upon release bow came out of my hand arrow went 6 feet and fastflight string pulled down through upper bow limb. Most recurves today use Micara in their limb tips to prevent that from happening. Older bows don't have it. DANNY

From: dire wolf
Date: 12-Oct-12




George..Thanks..as usual..for your insightful inputs..:) I don't personally 'pad the loops' on my own strings.. They are mostly 15 strand FastFlight 3 slice flemish strings for the bows I shoot over 70#@30"..There's plenty of bowstring in the loops..:)

On the vibration matter: I have long been one who when making and tillering bows seeks to have BOTH upper & lower limbs bend and recover in unison based on nocking point and hand placement on my bows.. This is not easy to do for most BUT IF you think about it..haveing both limbs bend & recover in or very close to unison means that whatever energy ISN'T transferred into the arrow meets and cancels out dead center..and there's no hand shock and very small felt recoil at all..

HOW the limbs start and finish bending is a whole nuther topic.. You and I know when a bow draws and shoot right..REALLY RIGHT.. Being able to define why or replicate it is another challenge few take the time to investigate..:) Jim

From: Sailor
Date: 12-Oct-12




I put 9 strand ultra-cam skinny strings with 18 strands in the loops on all of my bows. I loved the way they shot with the skinny strings.

After reading stories here about tips breaking off and limbs spliting I looked carefully at the tips of my bows.

The tips of my 1963 Pearson Mustang has tiny tips, only 5/16" between the groves, with one layer of wood overlay. Not wanting to take a chance of hurting the old bow I went back to B50 on it.

My 1991 Howatt Hunter has 1/2" between the groves at the tip with one overlay of wood and I am comfortable shooting the FF skinny string on it.

I picked up an old bow at a garage sale without any markings on it. It had heavely built up tips but after about 100 arrows with the FF string the belly glass on the bottom limb complete delaminated. Was it the string? I doubt it. It was probably just time for the old bow to go. There is no way of knowing the history of the bow so it would be foolish for me the claim that the FF string caused it to blow up.

I know many of you shoot FF stings on all your bows. Would you be comfortable shooting FF on a tiny tiped bow such as the Pearson Mustang with only a wood overlay???

From: THRC
Date: 12-Oct-12




ALA' Howard Hill, I'm a fat string guy, and back up the talk with a PACT Chrono.

I long-splice my flemish nock-loops, and serve them as well with Brownings' Serve thread. They are fat and fill the nocks on the bow as well as the S nocks on the arrows.

This gives 170fps on 500grn arrows.

IMHO--Longbows slam the string into the nock at release, and recurves like mine pull the nock down into the limb, semi-compressing it as well as bending it. Longbows seem to have more of a bending action, as the string doesn't lay in a limb groove, it just jerks hard on the nock.

So---Were these bow failures with longbows, or recurves?

TinHorn

From: yorktown5
Date: 12-Oct-12




Sailor, I don't think we can make any intelligent statement based solely on tip size. Tiny tips at the end of a wide limb are as you surmise, probably more vulnerable unless well re-enforced so that the bending stress is applied across the whole limb. But a limb that tapers evenly down to a tiny tip is already spreading the load, and so theoretically would be less risky for FF.

To answer you differently, my oldest current "shooter" carrying a skinny FF is my '61 Kodiak Special and it is zinging arrows as fast as any performance bow. Still playing with a newly acquired '64 Griz that with the same string is blowing 9gpp arrows thru the chrono so fast that I'm keeping the results to myself until I can double/triple check whats going on.

The bows I still have carrying this skinny D-97 with braided loops include a '60s Wing PII, a Pearson Cougar, '72 Howatt Super-D, '72 Browning Explorer II, early '60s Root Brush Master and a custom limbed '66 K-Mag with a Barbee original. ALL are throwing 9-10gpp arrows in the mid 180 fps range and that's with each of them tuned for accuracy and stability not speed.

Like George, I have done a 180 turn around where once upon a time I would take FF OFF a newly acquired bow because I didn't like how the (normally stranded) FF strings felt on the bow.

But after dropping down to 9 strands, I too like how they make the bow behave and EVERY bow I get my hands on now usually gets the new string before I even shoot the bow.

Rick

From: Raven
Date: 14-Oct-12




Hi I'd like to bring this topic back up to the top. I shoot mainly with FITA shooters. So all the shooters in my club use endless loop strings/not flemish twist. So this made me think that when the bow manufacturers went over to building bows to be fastflite compatible that meant that the newer limbs must be able take an endless loop string. The loop in that type of sting is just covered with serving and really has no compressing value. So to me saying that a bow is fastflite compatible means that it will be able to use one of these type of skinny fastflite strings. Put one of these type strings on an old bow that is not fastflite compatible more than likely I would think that the limb would go off, most likely near the nock. I am very impressed to hear at you guys have been able to develop stings; flemish twist, with padded loops that will work with these vintage bows. I understand that the padding and the twists in the string will help absorb some of the shock of the non-streching fastfite material. But I would still try to say that there must be some improvements made in limb design and materials because bows now days can use a fastflite endless loop string where I'd be worried to try that with a vintage bow. I had been using only fastflite endless loop strings on my 1990-2000+ bows. I've only started to learn how to make flemish strings. So I wondered if anyone has experimented with padding the loops of an endless loop string and if it would help enough to use on a bow that was said to not to be fastflite compatible?? Joe

From: Kwikdraw
Date: 14-Oct-12




Dire Wolf - my old bowyer buddy, says: the glass laminations are considered lams when counting for FF compatibility. So your old bow w/ glass back and belly, w/ 2 wood lam cores, plus a wood overlay at the tip would be 5 "lams" at the tips. I have an old Wing that has glass back and belly, 2 maple core lams, and 3 very thin wood tip overlays, making it a 7 "lam" tip. I've used FF on this bow since FF's inception w/ no ill effects. Now, that might not have anything to do w/ it but for shear strength, I would thing the number and strength of the lam material would be very important. The effects of vibration would probably have more to do w/ glues, glass structure, lam strength, etc. Wyatt

From: Raven
Date: 15-Oct-12




That just made me think. I also have a few old recurves Herters and Root that have no overlay material at all, just the fiberglass back and belly at the limb nocks. Surely those bows shouldn't be shot with an endless loop string made from fastflite, or am I wrong. Joe

From: dire wolf
Date: 15-Oct-12




Raven..A couple of string-things to consider: 1st, the endless loop bowstring has HALF the number of threads in the nock loop as in the string's body. This is offset by serving the nock loop..or perhaps in some cases for custom endless strings by adding shorter thread in the loop area before serving it over.. The endless strings have sufficient breaking strength margins..just smaller nock loop string diameter.

The Three splice flemish bowstring has the same number of threads in the nock loops as the body of the string..Moreover, the nock loop portion is twisted tighter-differently than the string body..giveing it a bit larger diameter as well as adding strength..Som custome flemish stringmakers add strands to what will become the nock loop of their bowstrings..ESP if they wish to shoot fewer strands in the body of the string yet feel they need the diameter and strength in the nock loop..

I don't personally pad or add to nock loopnor serving area on my own flemish bowstrings..Unless I'm making a string for a bow 45-55# I always use 15 strands even with FastFlight material..

Concerning older bows without overlays: I have the expereince and skills that enable me to ADD overlays to any bow..old or newif I wish..I have a 1960s vintage Damon Howatt Hi-Speed that had none when bought used..but I added overlays to it. My PRIMARY purpose in adding overlays is NOT for tip strength..tho they do add that ESP to very smalled tipped bows.

It is to create a more rounded crossection for the bowstring nock loops to bear up when braced, drawn and shot. There are NO edges on any of my bowstring nocks..no matter whether all wood, wood laminate, backed, horn nocked, glas lam..

Even with a great finish, sharper edges will have the finish wear faster and expose the more coarse fiberglas or wood of the bow..SO evrything needs to be smooth, properly contoured and rounded on my own bows..

For your older bows W/O overlays, I'd AT LEAST insure that the edges are clean, symmetrical and smooth with good finish..Overlays will enable your bow tips to be more rounded..adding to string life..IF you can add them do so but this needs done properly..stripping all old finish and contouring and shaping them well and glueing them on with the best epoxy you can get. This will lessen any 'collector's value' on vintage bows but for those whi intend to shoot the old ones( like me) that is of no consequence..Good luck, Jim

From: Raven
Date: 15-Oct-12




Jim Thanks for the help and explanations. I was just trying to repeat your original question, because I would also assume that something has changed in bow building to allow us to use these endless loop strings on almost any modern bow now. I understand that a well made flemish sting and a well formed limb noch will make it possible to shoot any bow (vintage-present) with fastflite string. But if we take these flemish stwist strings out of the equation and just think about the endless loop string, there must have been some improvements to make it possible for modern bows to use fastflite endless loop strings. All the Fita recurve and some of the longbow shooters use only endless loop strings. These strings in fastflite I would not use on a vintage bow. I would also hope to hear from some of the bow builders here to clarify the differences in making a bow Fastflite compatible (todays terms). Joe

From: Dan W
Date: 15-Oct-12




You could add another layer of serving to your endless string loops. It is a small pain to do this on an already completed string, pushing & and winding the material (I use dacron, not serving string for this as a better cushioning material) through those loops.

But I have done it, built up the thickness. This is exactly what I did on an old original FF endless loop string that I put on my 48#@28" ca. 1953 vintage Bear Cub semi- recurve (no top overlays) 15 years ago. That bow has been dry fired a few times over the years with that same string; it's still in one piece- no loss of draw weight, no visible deterioration that I can see in the fiber glass or glue joints that wasn't there when I first got this about 1990. I also used this bow for thumb draw training, pulling it out to 30".

I even put loop servings on one of Rick's padded loop Flemish strings, just because the limb tips on my static tip Grizzly are so much smaller than the Cubs, Polars, and Alaskans.

From: Gene L
Date: 15-Oct-12




I have heard FF strings will break bows, but I have never experienced it myself. A number of years ago, I wrote an article for TB about the advantages of FF strings, which stirred up a tempest in a teapot. (The article was overly optimistic, I have to say, regarding speed.) I've used one on my 64 or so Kodiak @41# and had no problem. Used on on a newer 70s Kodiak !60#, no problem.

For a while, FF strings were an excuse for bowyers when bows broke, but without any proof scientifically. Usually, these bows were classic recurves which were old and may have had glue problems to begin with.

The average and above average bowyer knows how to glue things together, knows how to design a bow to maximize performance, but knows little about science.

Here's an experiment you can do reference strength of a bow tip. Take two unsharpened pencils. Break one in the middle, no problem. Now, take the other one and try to break off the first half-inch. Nearly impossible.

As for padding a string, a flemish string is twice the diameter in the loops than it is in the body of the string. So it's already padded.

From: dire wolf
Date: 15-Oct-12




Something else I mentioned and Ranger B..(Jimmy Blackmon talks about in a recent video-post here is about final tillering for the bow..

He speaks about bows and the archer's hand placement and finger placement and how final tillering that FITS the archer can really ADD to the smoothness of the bow and performance..

The GIST of what Jimmy is saying is about limbs bending and recovering close to perfectly in unison with one another..HARMONY of delivering the stored energy from both limbs to the string and hence the arrow and the side benefit which is a bow with no hand shock and far less felt recoil..

Archers have had bow strings break during shooting from time immemorial..Hunting in battle at the butts..etc..Flight shooters who sought one or two arrow records and so risked both bow by design and by the smallest string mass they could use are the exception..tho there are SOME rachers these days who push that skinny string envelope way past sensible in their quest for speed..

There is usually at least one reason why and often contributory multiple reasons why the string fails or a bow breaks..

Eliminate the obvious stoopid causitive issues best you can and a well made bow with a proper bow string ..properweight arrows and properly shot will give many hundreds of arrows to the mark without issue..before the string needs replacement.. Raven..I wish I had more input on endless strings in FastFlight..but my own experiences are with the Flemish 3 splice strings such as a hunter and field archer-rover would make & use..They add cast to the bow..but they have not posed any detrimental risks to any of the old or new bows I have made & used them on..Jim

From: Rick Barbee
Date: 15-Oct-12




I have stayed out of this discussion until now, because I don't want anyone to think I am trying to sway their decision on using, or not using a fast flight string. It is not my intent what so ever.

There have been some very good points made, so I'm going to throw in my two cents.

Will I use fast flight strings on old bows? Of course I will, and have been doing so for many years now. Granted, it is much easier for me to make that decision about a bow if I have the bow in hand, and quite honestly, I have, and have had old bows I would not put a fast flight string on.

There are 5 clear cut determining factors where old bows are concerned:

#1 - Does your bow have very narrow/skinny & thin limb tips, especially in the string notch area (common in many of the the older target style recurves)? If so, then you probably don't want a fast flight string on it. Then again, bows of that style aren't generally the type one would be looking to boost performance on anyway. If however, that narrow/skinny notch is accompanied by good thick tip overlays, you're probably OK.

#2 - Was your bow manufactured in the pre compound era, or the post compound era? If post compound, your chances of handling fast flight are much better. In the beginning of the wood laminated compound bow, there was a problem of delamination due to the glues being used. This problem was solved by changing to better glues, and fairly soon after these better glues started being used in the manufacturing of stickbows. Even with the older glues, many of the older stickbows were capable of handling fast flight strings, which leads me to #3.

#3 - If the bow is well built. No flaws, or defects in materials, or glue up then it is likely going to hold up just fine, assuming it meets the conditions in number 4 & number 5.

This is a tough one to tell, because you just can't always tell by looking.

Look for tale/tale cracks in the riser/handle.
Look for glue joints which don't seem to be evenly distributed. Look for cracks in the glass, etc, etc. If any of these conditions exist you may have a problem, but that problem exists regardless of whether you use a fast flight string or not. The bow is likely going to fail. The fast flight string will only potentially speed up that event.

#4 - As George, Jim, and RickR have mentioned so many times now, and in the past - The string grooves/notches of the bow must be smooth with no sharp angles, or edges in them. They must be filed out, so they spread the pressure points of the string out evenly over a larger area. Pin point pressure points can kill a limb tip in a hurry, even with a Dacron string during a dry fire.

I've noticed, that longbows seldom seem to have a problem with string material selection, except when extremely skinny loops were used. Why are they more receptive of string materials?

The answer is simple. The tips are generally thicker back to belly, and have the string grooves filed in where normally/usually there are no sharp angles, or edges for the string loop to ride on. The pressure points are more widely & evenly distributed.

I've also noticed a trend over the years in recurve manufacturing where the tips & string grooves of the recurves are being made similar to that of a longbow. A very good trend in my opinion.

#5 - Is the string properly built? The loops of the string must also be of sufficient size, so they spread the pressure points of the string out evenly over a larger area of the grooves.

Number 4 & number 5 go hand in hand. Not only do they help the bow to handle the string, but also the string to handle the bow.

I've seen just as many tip splittings with dacron strings as I have with fast flight strings. This one thing leads me to believe, that the bow failures which have occurred, were more due to a flaw in the bow of some kind, and/or an improperly built string, than to the string material used.

When I say "flaw in the bow", I am speaking not only of something during manufacturing, but also of damage the bow may have received over the years.

It all boils down to - "Examine your bow". Ultimately, the decision has to be yours, but you need to know what to look for in order to make that decision.

I'm sure that's all about as clear as muddy water, but I hope it helps shed a little light on the subject for some of you.

Rick

From: JE
Date: 15-Oct-12




Well I'm sold on FF strings now. Do you think the color matters.;)

From: JE
Date: 15-Oct-12




Well I'm sold on FF strings now. Do you think the color matters.;)

From: Kwikdraw
Date: 15-Oct-12




Well, sounds like to me if you have a well built bow, w/ no obvious flaws, string 'er up w/ FF. I think Rick, Jim, and my old bowyer buddy are right. Thanks guys.

From: rare breed
Date: 16-Oct-12




Had a very bad experience with a new "fastflight string" on a 1990s era Bear Takedown (green tips). The 50lb. Bear bow shot lights out with the string (2215 arrows at 29 1/2 inches of draw)I was routinely getting 200-211 feet per second through the chrono. Even won a bet with a compounder who scoffed when I told him the speed I was getting. In any event, eventually the string cut through the top limb slicing half way down the center. Scared the beans out of me and left a really painful welt on my bow arm. So, from then on, I just don't trust fastflight on conventional/older bows. I want to believe I can get away with it, but I just don't want to risk anything like that again. (p.s. After fighting with Bear Archery, they did, indeed, stand by the bow and sent me a set of brand new limbs!!) Shoot Straight, rare breed

From: bobby b
Date: 29-Sep-16




I never pad my loops ff or not. All my strings are ten strand flemish twist. I do add phenolic tip over lays on all of my vintage bows. If the bow looks iffy after i have examined it, and made the fix , i use b55,if it looks in top shape, then i use ff.After doing this to over fifty vintage recurves, and 100 or so selfbows that i make, i have yet to have a bow failure.Maybe just dumb luck, but it works for me .

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 12-May-18




The one weak link to the ben pearson cougar is no tip overlays.I have fixed many of them, and they just had b50 strings on them.I have to cut an inch off both ends of the bow,and add phenolic tip over lays to a few of them.This makes the bows stronger so i remove glass and wood from the sides of the bow untill i get it back to original weight. I then add a 10 strand ff string to them. After doing this not only is the bow safer to shoot, but you can see that the bow perfoms better.I just fixed a friends 1988 martin who had installed a 16 strand ff string to it. The tip overlays looked strong ,but they were just some kind of plastic.The string cut right through the string nocks.I removed them ,and put one and one have inch long tip over lays of phenolic on the tips.I then put a padded loop 10 strand flemish twist b55 string on it. It worked, and he was happy,since that bow was like part of him.The wing hunter, and the browning wasp have strong tip over lays from the factory. I still add phenolic to the tips,they work great with ff

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-May-18




Bassman, I've been shooting ff on my bows that have no tip overlays, and have been doing it for years. I have never seen a string cut into fiberglass, and I even wore out a band saw blade trying to cut through fiberglass while shaping a longbow limb, so I can't see a fiber cutting into glass that isn't already compromised.

I have two currently with zero tip overlays that shoot fast flight material. My 1970 Carroll's Gentleman Jim, and my Cravotta Brothers, Black Hawk Scorpion..semi recurve.

Stuff happens though, but it hasn't been my experience to see that first hand, maybe I'm just lucky. Sure won't hurt anything to fortify the tips, but I've not found it necessary myself.

From: rusty
Date: 12-May-18




all my english longbows use fast flight string,they have no glass on them at all, its hard to find someone who makes a dacron string long enough for them anyway and the bowyers who built them recomended against using b-50

From: avcase
Date: 12-May-18




Rick Barbee, Your point #5 above is one that I used to overlook in the past with disastrous consequences on my Flight bows. If the string loops are too big, they will act like a cheese cutter and tend to split the tip apart. A very strong and smaller loop (properly sized) will actually compress the tip and help hold it together when the string is under tension.

I bet a majority of these tip failures happen with the top nock, which usually has a bigger top string loop to make it easier to string and unstring. Add to this a really skinny loop, and it can be trouble.

Alan

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-May-18




My osage selfbow from Brad Smith has tiny tips and came with a Fast Flight (BCY-X) string. Dave Mimms hickory selfbows came with Fast Flight strings also.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 12-May-18




George,always better to be safe than sorry.IF YOU OWN, AND SHOOT MORE THAN ONE BOW,AND NOT SHOOT HUNDREDS TO THOUSANDS OF ARROWS OUT OF ONE PARTICULAR BOW YOU MAY GET AWAY WITH IT.I JUST FIXED A FRIENDS 1988 MARTIN HOWATT BOW WHICH HE BOUGHT NEW.THE TIPS HAD OVERLAYS ON THEM THAT SEEMED TO BE MADE FROM SOME KIND OF PLASTIC.HE THOUGHT HE COULD SHOOT A FF STRING ON IT,SO HE PUT A 16 STRAND FF ON THE BOW,AND GOT AWAY WITH IT FOR TEN YEARS. IT IS THE ONLY BOW THAT HE OWNS, AND SAID HE SHOT THOUSANDS OF ARROWS FROM IT.WHEN IT LET GO, THE STRING RIPPED THROUGH THE OVER LAY , AND CUT STRAIGHT THROUGH THE NOCKS PUTTING A FIVE INCH VERTICAL CRACK IN THE LIMB,So i cleaned every thing up ,AND ADDED A PHENOLIC TIP OVER LAY ON IT,AND I TIED HIM A 10 STRAND B55 STRING, AND PADDED THE LOOPS. The vertical crack is like the ones you see on alot of vintage bows,SO I FILLED IT WITH CRAZY GLUE.SO FAR EVERTHING IS HOLDING.HE LOVES THAT BOW, AND WAS SICK WHEN IT HAPPENED.BE SAFE NOT SORRY .JUST SAYING.

From: Murray Seratt Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-May-18




Gentlemen, I do not have enough knowledge to comment on this. I will say that in 1997, Mr. Bob Lee told me face to face, that FF would destroy his bows, and eventually everybody else bows. I know that now he produces FF compatible bows. My old bows mean too much to me to risk it.

Murray

From: joe vt
Date: 13-May-18




I have an original 59' Kodiak that is a wall hanger now because the low stretch string on it cut through the limb tip and down the limb about 3". It was an awful feeling and sight when it happened.

Maybe I will make a floor lamp out of it one day.

From: DanaC
Date: 13-May-18




Having had a few blow up, I'm paranoid of older bows in general. Would never use FF on one!

Comes down to experience - George et al certainly has more than I do, and their comfort level reflects that. If I wanted to 'up' the performance of an older bow I'd try an endless loop string of Dacron. And *slightly* lighter arrows.

As always, ymmv!

From: KyPhil
Date: 13-May-18




I read in a book that hoyt did some testing in the 80s and determined that phenolic tips were needed. Black widow also did some testing and concluded that a limb core of fiberglass and reinforced tips were needed. Both those companies probably did that based on testing and not hersey.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-May-18




My experience is my experience, certainly not hearsay which seems to be the order of the day on the Leatherwall. People will rally around one person who says someone's bow broke because they used low stretch, and don't believe someone who has done it for years with no issues. Others have seen it first hand it seems, but how many have they seen. How many bows were broken when using Dacron that weren't blamed on the bow string.

If you want to lecture me on the dangers of low stretch, then you better have personal experience using it. I'm at about ten years years now with zero failures. That is actual usage on actual bows, not my cousin's brother's aunt Millie. Use what makes you comfortable, that's a simple fix. But don't tell me something won't work when I've proven it will. There are lots of choices out there, so if you fear low stretch....don't use it.

You guys citing what people did or said need to allow us the information so we can view it as well. My 'experience' doesn't align with the horror stories.

From: KyPhil
Date: 13-May-18




I'm just stating what I read and assuming that these companies did extensive testing and decided that some changes were needed to prolong the life of the bow since the business is their livelihood or... they just made it all up to get a laugh at people who argue about it 30 years later.

From: Iwander
Date: 13-May-18




Tell me what bow's tip/tips won't blow if it's dry fired a few times with a 10 strand fastflite string at 28" or more. I think the key is just not to dry fire them. It never hurts to use a fastflite string wilh extra strands in the loops and shoot arrows at least 8gpp. I've been using dacron string on my Jim Brackenbury bow and it performs just fine. Nice and quiet too.

From: hawkeye in PA
Date: 13-May-18




I have ruined two bows with the original FF and a dry fire, one of which was its first dry fire and 3 months out of warranty.

Maybe they both had bad glue, I have no way of knowing. But the one just out of warranty was a expensive learning curve. Those are the only two bows I've ever ruined with a dry fire. My other dry fires have been with dacron.

With out a independent lab running dry fire test this disagreement will go on just like what's the best broadhead. And even then we will still have the nasayers.

From: Longtrad
Date: 13-May-18

Longtrad's embedded Photo



I was using bcy x on an all fiberglass glass bow because it made the bow sooo much nicer to shoot. I am talking a night and day difference between b50 and the bcy x on that old 100% glass bow.

everything was great until it wasn't. The string ended up cutting right down the limb in that bow. I wouldn't tell anyone not to try it, but I would recommend padding the loops.

From: Dan W
Date: 13-May-18




Time to bring this thread back up, VERY appropriate to this discussion:

http://leatherwall.bowsite.com/tf/lw/thread2.cfm? forum=23&threadid=299713&messages=52&CATEGORY=9

In case the link doesn't work it was "How many dry fires?", 25-April-18

And to truly cut to the chase, this entry in that same thread linked above really spells out some stuff, and answers the inherent question about "how" safe is one string material vs. another:

Redneck Engineer Date: 25-Apr-18

"Earl Hoyt told me that with dacron strings his bows could sustain 300 dry fires. That wasn't a guess. He built a machine to do the dry fires and that was the test results. When he incorporated the low stretch bowstrings, he repeated the tests and could not get any of his bows to withstand more than 20 dry fires. Thought you might find that interesting."

Me personally? In the middle. Like George, I have shot many old vintage and not so old bows with the low stretch strings, no issues. But, like some of you other guys, I have suffered a few casualties as well. Some my fault; which for me seems to have come down to not paying enough attention to nock conditions AFTER a bow has been dry-fired- but survived with no apparent damage.

Also the particular low-stretch string: it should not overpower the bow with a massively overbuilt string that has ZERO stretch (as opposed to LOW stretch) and overly skimpy nock loops; creating the well known cheese-slicer effect on the limbs.

The overly long loops enhancing the cheese-slicer effect sounds very reasonable, very glad to see that point made, which I had never considered before. There will be a few more Dacron strings for some of my bows.

From: monkeyball
Date: 13-May-18




I am not sure why some guys would even want to run the hypo strings on the older bows.

They were built to shoot with B-50, and they worked fine with those strings.

For the slight gain in speed it is not worth it.

Good Shooting->->->-> Craig

From: Iwander
Date: 13-May-18




My friend shot competitively with hunting clubs and tournaments as far back as the early 60s with dacron strings. He told me recently that himself and the top shooters he knew would leave their bows strung to keep the strings stretched. He also said that he preferred endless 12 strand strings for his 50# bows.

From: markm
Date: 14-May-18




Back in the years when RER Bows was owned and operated by Kevin and Sue Termaat --- bowyers unsurpassed by any in the business --- I told them I intended to shoot arrows of 7.25 gpp and wouldn't order a bow unless they could guarantee the bow's survival. Kevin promised "bullet proof" tips which he said were THE issue regarding low gpp and low-stretch strings.

Nine years and 200,000-plus arrows later, the bow looks and shoots as well as it did the day it was delivered.

Mark

From: JRW
Date: 14-May-18




Unless the bow is made to handle modern, no-stretch string materials, it's not worth the risk IMO.

From: Babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 15-May-18




What's wrong with B50?

From: fdp
Date: 15-May-18




So back to one of the original questions, what is makes a bow "fast flite/low stretch compatible"?

From: Dan W
Date: 16-May-18




If it's still in one piece by the time you hang it up after a lifetime of shooting, it was"fast flite/low stretch compatible".

From: Linecutter
Date: 16-May-18




Longtrad,

So what actually happen with the shot that caused that? Arrow nock blew, arrow nock slip off of the string because of loose fit, or other, basically a Dry Fire situation, just curious. It has been my contention that is when situations like that occur, on old bows using High Performance String Material, not on a normal shot. As to the last part of your comment. Were the loops not padded on that string? DANNY

From: reddogge
Date: 16-May-18




I had old bows de-laminate and limbs fold in half with B50 too. I don't think the string had anything to do with any of these. It was just the bow's time to go.

From: Pdiddly
Date: 16-May-18




My informed perspective based on personal real life use on over 20 bows is that BCY-X and Fury strings that are properly made are better for old bows.

They vibrate WAY less ( vibration is bad) snd low stretch noticeably increases a bow's efficency...do what you want with your bows but I am gradually switching to a more modern and better material than B-50.

From: The Whittler
Date: 16-May-18




So if it's an older bow tips/limbs split/break with B50 it's just it's time, old bow must of been abused.

Older bow tips/limbs split/break with low stretch it's must be the string.

I would like to know how a low stretch string can cut through fiberglass.

From: Kelly
Date: 17-May-18




The common factor here seems to be “dry fire”. I can count the times I’ve dry fired a bow on one hand and there still are more uncounted fingers left than counted. This is after almost 58 years shooting bows.

From: Dan W
Date: 17-May-18




"Earl Hoyt told me that with dacron strings his bows could sustain 300 dry fires. That wasn't a guess. He built a machine to do the dry fires and that was the test results. When he incorporated the low stretch bowstrings, he repeated the tests and could not get any of his bows to withstand more than 20 dry fires."

Kelly:

"I can count the times I’ve dry fired a bow on one hand and there still are more uncounted fingers left than counted. This is after almost 58 years shooting bows."

OK, now we can do some useful math. In Kelly's hands, a Hoyt bow strung with a low-stretch string would last almost 600 years before finally succumbing to its final dry-fire. But, it would last closer to 9,000 years with a Dacron string!

Of course, that's Kelly- I've been a lot sloppier & careless over my 32 years of shooting & busting bows so, "YMMV"!

From: yorktown5
Date: 17-May-18




Kelly is on to it. IMO its dry firing that causes the cheese cutter split, weakening the tip area...and it may not fail completely for decades after that one afternoon when the kid's played Robin Hood or cowboys and indians.

Nicely padded loops and like George NO PROBLEMS, ever. Unlike George, my little hobby/business of old bow repair, and I have built my braided loop strings for customers (I only make tham as a part of a bow's re-hab, NOT FOR SALE) and there are perhaps close to 100 past customers using my 9 stranders padded/braided to 15 in the loops with NO COMMENTS OTHER THAN PRAISE for the string.

Me in George's camp.

Rick R

From: Longtrad
Date: 20-May-18




Linecutter I just saw your question

" Longtrad, So what actually happen with the shot that caused that? Arrow nock blew, arrow nock slip off of the string because of loose fit, or other, basically a Dry Fire situation, just curious. It has been my contention that is when situations like that occur, on old bows using High Performance String Material, not on a normal shot. As to the last part of your comment. Were the loops not padded on that string? DANNY"

Luckily that didnt happen during a shot, i left the bow strung overnight and found it that way the next morning, I cant recall a dry fire or broken nock with that bow, so I am not sure what happened. The bow is older than I am and I am not sure of its previous history though.

From: SteveBNY
Date: 20-May-18




Quote: "I am not sure of its previous history"

This could be one of the major contributing factors to ANY bow failure.





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