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The Most Important Recurve Tuning Areas

The Most Important Recurve Tuning Areas

Too many archers spend massive amounts of time on tuning, when in reality it doesn’t matter. Getting a basic tune is important, but beyond that what should you use your time for when it comes to tuning? I explain why micro-tuning isn’t that important and why you should spend your time on other things!

For an overview of the points in the video you can see the breakdown at the bottom of the page. You can also read our in depth guide on How To Tune a Recurve Bow.

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The basic tune is surprisingly effective. By ‘basic tune’ I mean matching your arrow spine, arrow length and bow weight so that your arrows are properly tuned to your bow. If you’ve done a basic setup of your bow for limb alignment, tiller and centreshot and then completed this ‘basic tune’ you’re pretty much there.

So why is micro-tuning not worth it? It does have a place, but only within the confines of your shot consistency. The vast majority of archers won’t benefit from micro-tuning, and it is only worth your time if you consistently shoot 660+ on a Fita 70m. So what should you focus on instead if micro-tuning isn’t worth your time?


Having a well maintained set of arrows that are as closely matched as possible is essential. End of. So many archers shoot with destroyed fletches, or dented/bent nocks that massively damage any chance of close grouping. You should treat your arrows with great care and keep them in perfect condition.

Instead of spending time on plunger tuning, spend time maintaining your tab and replacing the leather. Make sure your string is in good condition and isn’t worn out. Spend time customising your tab and grip to make your whole shot better. These are all much better uses of time.


Every month or two, de-fletch all your arrows and shoot them bareshaft at a distance where you can keep all your arrows in the gold. Check how they all group and make sure there are no fliers. If there are arrows that don’t group, check them. Replace the nocks, replace the points, and see if you can get them to group again by changing or re-inserting the components. If you can’t get them to group, then it’s time to relegate them. You shouldn’t be shooting these arrows in competition! And probably not even in practice either. Save them for close range blank boss work.

Doing this will gain loads of points in competition! If you’re shooting a single bad arrow in a competition you will be throwing points away every single end, it’s that simple.