Recurve bow is one of the most commonly used bows in archery, and like others, it needs maintenance and adjustments. It may include regular cleaning to sight adjustment or string and unstring a recurve bow. However, there is a thin line between optimal care and unnecessary adjustments. Too often, screwing and unscrewing can significantly affect the Bow’s performance, affecting your game.

That is why you need to understand the equipment better and when it is vital to make changes. This article narrates everything you need to know about unstringing and stringing your Recurve Bow, from when to do it and how to do it.

When to Unstring your Recurve Bow String?


pulling recurve bow string


Though there is no hard and fast rule, and it depends mainly on personal preference, several factors can indicate that your Bow needs to be unstrung. It may include how often you shoot. Experts recommend keeping your recurve Bow strung during the shooting season. You can think of unstringing it if there is a long gap between the next shooting season.

But how long should the gap be? Most people say that if it is more than 2-3 weeks, you should unstring it because this will protect the bow structure and strength. The bow material also plays a crucial role. For instance, a fibreglass bow can be left strung for longer without losing draw weight. On the contrary wooden bows should be unstrung if you are not planning to shoot with them for a week or so.

You may also want to unstring your Bow if you are travelling with it or if it is the time to clean.

What things may you need to Unstring a Recurve Bow?

Fortunately, there is not too much equipment that you need to unstring a recurve bow. The easiest and safest method comprises the use of a stringer. There are two types of Recurve bow stringers.

Dual Loop Bow Stringers

They are the easiest to use and consist of two loops or pockets at each end of the cord. It is designed to fit comfortably onto the recurve Bow’s limb tips. One end of the bow stringer has a thicker loop than the other so it can work properly.

Loop-and-Saddle Bow Stringers

They are different than the dual loop stringers in only having a single loop that attaches to the upper limb tip of the recurve Bow. The other side of this stringer is called the saddle.

Steps to Unstring a Recurve Bow

After you have the bow stringer, it’s time to start with unstring recurve Bow.


unstringing a recurve bow


Placing the Pocket to the Bow’s Lower Limb

In the case of the double loop, the stringer places the thick loop over the lower limb of the Bow, ensuring it fits comfortably. If you are using a single loop stringer, place the pocket on this end.

Pulling the Other Pocket (or Saddle) to the Upper Limb

Place the smaller pocket over the upper limb tip with a dual loop stringer. For single loop stringer, loop the saddle end over the upper limb, and then place the pad against the curved portion of the limb, just below the string nock.

Holding the Bow Firmly

In the next step, hold the Bow with your dominant hand gripping near the upper limb tip; your other hand should be on the central handle. Position it to the string side so that the string and bow stringer are facing toward the floor.

Stepping down Firmly on the Cord

Lower the Bow until the bow stringer touches the ground, and then put your feet above it to hold it firmly against the floor. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and stable to secure the cord beneath.

Pulling the Bow back

Slowly pull the back up from the handle. The bowstring should become slack as the stringer takes up the tension. Pull the slack bowstring out of the upper nock, leave it hanging from the upper limb, and unhook it from the lower limb.

Taking off the String

Lastly, lower the Bow, the stringer cord should be slack, and the limbs should be relaxed. Now gradually remove the string and the stringer. And here you have your recurve Bow unstrung.

The Bottom Line

When strung, recurve bows are under constant stress; this tension provides the necessary energy that results in a powerful shot. However, this tension also makes it dangerous to string or unstring the Bow, as a loose limb can release with enough force to snap it. At this moment cheap bow stringer comes in handy, making the whole process safer and easier. But never try too hard and seek professional help if you cannot handle the job.