What’s the Best Recurve Bow String?

Garret Jacob | |

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If you are looking to restring your old recurve bow, or maybe you just bought a newer recurve bow (have you seen our top recurve bow choices?) that did not come with a string, then you may need some advice. There are many different types of bowstrings on the market. From materials like Dacron and Fast Flight to Flemish Twist and endless loop bowstring types, it can be a bit confusing. 

When selecting a new bowstring for your recurve bow, you must know the draw weight of your bow, and what kind of string it is compatible with. For example, some older wooden and more traditional bows may not stand up to the shock released from a Fast Flight bowstring. Or your youth bow may not be able to handle a 14 strand B-55 Dracon bowstring. If you just got a little lost, do not worry. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about bowstrings before making a purchase.

In addition to explaining everything you need to know about bowstrings, we are going to give you our top recurve bowstrings on the market today. So, sit back, and get ready to learn everything there is to know about bowstrings.

Our Top Recurve Bow Strings

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

The best recurve bowstrings

Main String, Center Serving, Loop and End Servings

Main String: The main string, or bowstring, joins the two ends of the bow together and launches the arrow. Traditional main strings were made from linens, hemp, silk, and rawhide. Modern bowstrings are made from Dacron, Kevlar, Spectra, and Dyneema. We will explore our favorite string materials later in the article. As for the main types of bowstrings, we have simple strings, reverse-twisted strings, and looped strings.  

Center Serving: The center serving on a bowstring is the use of additional thread wrapped around the main string at the nocking points where abrasion is likely to occur. You can purchase bowstrings pre-served or you can tie your own center serving.

Before you can tie your center serving, make sure you have the correct bowstring and nock combination. Having the correct combination will not only provide some forgiveness with your shots, but it is a safety issue as well. Click here to see a complete chart of safe and recommended bowstring and nock fit combinations from our friends at the Online Archery Academy

To tie a center serving first prepare the bowstring by giving it 15-20 twists, applying a light layer of wax, and polishing the bowstring with some leather. Next, remove any excess wax that may have clumped up during application and mark on the string where you want the center serving to start and finish. Now you are ready to begin tying your center serving. For in-depth step by step instructions on how to tie your center serving, visit our friends at the Online Archery Academy.

Loop and End Servings: The loop and end servings again consist of additional thread designed to protect the bowstring from wear and tear on the ends where the bowstring connects to the limbs. You can purchase bowstrings that are pre-served on the ends or again, you can tie your own. If you would like to tie your own see bleow.

Here’s an instructional video brough to you by the friendly staff over at Baker Archery

Bow String Materials

Bows traditionally were strung from animal hide, linens, silk, and hemp but today we have a plethora of modern materials available. Of all the materials available today, our three favorites are Dacron, 652 Fast Flight, and Dyneema. Here is a breakdown of each string material.

Dacron 

Dacron is a polyester material that is durable and stretchable. Dacron comes in a 50 and 55-pound option with a 2.6% stretch. This polyester-based material is used on beginner’s equipment, wooden bows, and older bows because the stretchability of Dacron causes less shock on the bow when fired. Dacron strings are low-maintenance and will last several years before needing to be replaced. 

652 Fast Flight

652 Fast Flight bowstring material is measured at 100-pound tension and is generally available in sizes ranging from 45” to 70”. Recurve 652 Fast Flight bowstrings come with a 1-3/4” top loop and a 1-1/4” bottom loop. These strings are long-lasting and come in dozens of different colors.

Dyneema

Dyneema is an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. Dyneema strings come in a 100-pound option that has a 1% stretch. These strings are light and have an incredibly long life. It is suggested to not use Dyneema on wooden bows and instead use them on fiberglass and composite bows. The low stretch on these strings will create more shock on the bow when shot

AMO and Actual Lengths – What String Length Do I Need?

The acronym AMO stands for Archery Manufacturers Organization. This organization created a set of standards for bow manufacturing including AMO bow length. This helps keep consistency between bow manufacturers and bowstring manufacturers. Each AMO bow length has a corresponding string length. AMO bow lengths are their correct string and serving setups are displayed in this graphic below.

Chart of AMO length and real bow string length
AMO lengths and their ‘Real Lengths’ for replacement bow strings

How Many Strands Should I Choose?

Before you decide how many strands your bowstring should be, make sure you know what pound draw weight your recurve bow contains. The number of strands depends on the material type of the bowstring and the draw weight of your bow. Let us take a standard B50 Dacron string as an example. 

If your recurve bow has a draw weight less than 30lbs, usually a beginner bow or a youth bow, then a 10-strand bowstring will be needed. 

For recurve bows with a draw weight of up to 40lbs, a 12-strand B50 Dacron string will do. This is also the most common strand size used by everyone from beginners to avid hunters and competitive target shooters. 

For bows with a draw weight heavier than 40lbs, a 14-strand B50 Dacron will suffice. A 14-strand bowstring will provide less distance, but it will make shooting more consistent and act as a sort of dampener when shot. 

What Is a Fast Flight Bowstring?

Fast Flight bowstrings have the least amount of stretch available for a recurve bow. Less stretch means more energy is transferred to the arrow on release. This does cause more shock to the bow and Fast Flight bowstrings should not be used with older bows and bows that are only made from wood

The worst thing that could happen is your bow could have a tip tear off, or a split may occur in the wood. The least bad thing could be that you have a nock break. No matter what, always make sure your bow manufacturer explicitly states that your bow is compatible with Fast Flight bowstrings. 

What Is a Flemish Twist Bowstring?

A Flemish Twist bowstring is a beautiful and traditional form of a bowstring. A Flemish Twist has braided loops on each end of the bowstring. You can purchase bowstrings with a premade Flemish Twist in the string or you can make your own. If you would like to make your own, check out this interesting video.

Can You Make Your Own Bow String?

The short answer is yes! You for sure can make your own bowstrings. It is not that difficult to do if you follow the instructions carefully, however, it does require the purchase of some equipment to assist in the string making process. 

The two pieces of equipment you will need to purchase to make your own bowstrings are a bowstring jig and a string serving jig. You can find these pieces of equipment available in most pro-shops and dealers. You can also build your own bowstring jig if you really are motivated. 

In addition to the jigs, you will need the bowstring material and the serving material. Make sure the bowstring material you choose is compatible with your recurve bow. 

Once you have all the equipment and materials you need, you can go ahead and begin to make your own bowstrings. For a step by step guide for making your own bowstrings brought to you by the Moorabbin Archery Club, check out this website.

Recurve Bowstring Reviews

Deerseeker Dacron

Deerseeker Dacron Bow String Set with 2 Nock Points 12/14/16 Strands 48-70 inches for Traditional Longbow Recurve Bow Replacement Bowstring
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

The Deerseeker Dacron bowstring is a B-55 string that is available in 12, 14, and 16 strands. This Dacron string is stable, flexible, and is good at absorbing shock when shooting. This is an endless loop style string which comes pre-served with center and loop serves. This string also comes with 2 nock point and can be found in various lengths from 48” to 70”. Dacron is excellent for beginner bows, longbows, and recurve bows.

What we liked:

  • Quieter than Fast Flight. 
  • Available in several strand counts and bowstring lengths.
  • Includes 2 nock points. 
  • Better suited for older and wooden recurve bows. 
  • Affordable.

What we didn’t:

  • Arrows fly slower than Fast Flight.

Check the price on Amazon »

Legend Propel Recurve Bow String

Legend - Recurve Bow String | Traditional Bow String | Dacron B-55 Bow String Replacement | Archery Accessories | Archery Equipment for Recurve Bow | AMO 48in to 66in | 12-14-16 Strands
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

The Legend Propel Recurve Bow String is a Dacron B-55 bowstring with an abrasion-resistant finish. This bowstring includes endless loops for easy installation and comes in 12, 14, and 16 strand strings. Lengths range from 48” to 66” and Propel guarantees all their gear will 100% money back if you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase.

What we liked:

  • Available in 12, 14, and 16 strand bowstrings. 
  • Lengths range from 48” to 66”. 
  • Treated with an abrasion-resistant finish. 
  • Covered by a 100% money-back guarantee.

What we didn’t:

  • Slower shot in comparison to Fast Flight bowstrings.

Check the price on Amazon »

SAS B55

Southland Archery Supply SAS B-55 Dacron Replacement Traditional Recurve Bow String - Made in USA (AMO 48 in (Actual 44 in), 12 Strands (Bows Upto 40 lbs))
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

The Southland Archery Supply B-55 Dacron bowstring is ideal for traditional long and recurve bows. These strings are manufactured in the United States and are available in 12, 14, and 16 strand bowstrings. Lengths range from 48” to 64”. The end type of the SAS B-55’s is an endless loop. Fits most traditional bows, recurve bows, and takedown bows.

What we liked:

  • Made in the USA. 
  • Variety strand counts and lengths available. 
  • Fits most traditional bows. 
  • Ideal for recurve bows.

What we didn’t:

  • Not intended to be used on youth bows with a draw weight less than 30lbs.

Check the price on Amazon »

SAS Fast Flight

Southland Archery Supply SAS Flemish Fast Flight Replacement Traditional Recurve Bowstring - Made in USA (AMO 48 in (Actual 44 in))
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

The Southland Archery Supply Branded Fast Flight replacement string is constructed with premium quality and contains 18 stands. This string comes with a Flemish Twist ending and is black and brown. These strings are affordable and manufactured in the United States. Available for every bow length from 44” to 66”.

What we liked:

  • Arrows fly faster than Dacron strings. 
  • Includes stylish Flemish Twist endings. 
  • Available in a variety of lengths in increments of 44” to 66”.

What we didn’t:

  • Not intended to be used on older bows.

Check the price on Amazon »

First String Recurve Bow String

The First String Recurve Bowstring is your basic Dacron string. Includes a center serving made from a Spectra and polyester blend for an amazing grip. Available for recurve bows with an AMO length of 52” to 66”. Contains 3-ply twisted Dyneema ends.

What we liked:

  • Includes center and end servings. 
  • Available in several lengths.

What we didn’t:

  • Strand count not listed and there is only one available.

Check the price on Cabelas »

Milaem Dyneema Raw Material

No products found.
Click the picture to see No products found. on Amazon

Make your own bowstrings and center servings with a spool of Dyneema by Milaem. A single line can bear 88lbs. Each spool contains over 360 feet of thread. The Dyneema is extremely strong and is constructed from a high-performance polyethylene. Available in 20 different patterns and colors. 

What we liked:

  • Extremely strong. 
  • High performing. 
  • A single thread can bear 88lbs of pressure. 
  • Available in 20 different colors and patterns.

What we didn’t:

  • Costs more and requires more time to make your own strings than just purchasing a finished bowstring ready to go out of the box.

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