Ask the Editor – String Angle Off or Draw Length?

Posted on October 2, 2012


Q: Hello Joe. I love your magazine and your book, and I wish I had them years ago. Now a technical question for you.


I’m six-foot-three tall, with a six-feet, four-inch horizontal wing span. I just purchased a new Hoyt Maxxis 35 bow. The draw length is currently maxed out a 31 inch inches. I was shooting an Oneida Eagle, (31-inch draw) since 2002. Due to the Oneida’s design and its longer string length (45 inches), I was able to draw the bow and have the string come to rest nicely against my nose.


As you can see by the attached photo, I’m unable to get the string to contact my nose without leaning into it, which feels uncomfortable and unnatural. This also seems  counter to what I have read in your book.


Hoyt does make the Maxxis 35 in a 32-inch draw, but my dealer says that I don’t need the longer draw and that I should go to a kisser button or tip my head into the string. My past experience with a kisser was flesh being ripped off my face!


I’m wondering, if I go to the 32-inch draw, will the angle still be too acute for a natural position? Hoyt does make the Vantage LTD with a 45-inch axle length and draw length out to 34 inches. I’m sure the longer axle length would solve the string/nose issue nicely, but my big concern with this bow is that its speed rating is about 40 fps slower than the Maxxis. Unfortunately, the dealer and no one within a 1 1/2-hour drive from home has a Maxxis in a 32-inch draw or the Vantage. Any idea, comments, suggestions?


Bernie Kennett, via email



Modern bows are becoming shorter and shorter, which makes the string angle at full draw quite acute. As a result, archers often experience difficulty getting the string to touch their nose at anchor. The best way to remedy this is to increase the draw length slightly and to use a shorter-nose release aid.


A: Hi Bernard. Thanks for writing in. From what I can tell, your draw length appears correct, only the sting angle is sharp due to the bow’s axle length. The way to remedy this, which is a common problem nowadays, is to increase the draw length slightly (about 1/4 to 1/2-inch), and switch to a shorter-nose release. This will keep your anchor the same, but the shorter head will take in the added draw length and bring the string closer to your nose. To fine tune draw length beyond that, simply adjust the size of the string-loop one way or the other.


It appears you are using a Carter release with a long nose. Try the new RX 1 or 2 — both offer great trigger quality and feel, with the RX1 being slightly shorter in the nose. The Jim Fletcher Insider would be another top choice.


Note: A slight “dip” of the nose is okay but a lot is not, as it distorts comfortable, natural form. The Maxxis 35 is a great bow and you should be able to make it work by making these adjustments. –Joe Bell, Editor


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