How to Choose the Best Arrow Rest for your Bow

Thinking About Rest?

One of the primary components to any bow is the rest. The function of a rest is to ensure that the arrow is held in a stable position until fired. There are many types of rests on the market today, making it kind of confusing when trying to select the perfect rest for your bow. When considering which rest will work best for you it is important to think about the endgame.

 

 

Are you hunting and if so are you shooting game at close range or at a distance? Or are you looking for a rest to simply target practice with on the range? These are some very important questions that should be answered before we even start to think about purchasing a rest. If we can visualize our setup either in the woods or on the range we can then begin to break down the best choice in rests. There are three primary rests available to archers today consisting of Drop Away Arrow Rests, Containment Rests, and Shoot-Thru arrow rests. All of these rests have unique features that will impact the way you hunt and shoot.

Drop Away Arrow Rests

Drop away rests are a unique rest in the sense that they move with the arrow per say. Typically a cord runs from the rest to the cable slide or downward cable of the bow. When an archer draws back the arrow rest rises with the arrow helping to keep the arrow in place, reducing the possibility of the arrow coming off of the rest during the drawback motion. At full draw the arrow will sit in the rest, and once the bow is fired the rest falls away eliminating virtually any contact with the arrow itself. The advantage of the drop away is that the fletching of the arrow does not come in contact with rest helping to maintain the integrity of the arrow’s path. A drop away arrow rest can be excellent for hunters and archers alike because it offers both stability and clearance.

 

Containment Arrow Rests

Containment arrow rests function just as the name suggests, these rests eliminate the possibility of your arrow falling off when drawing back. With a containment rest the entire arrow is surrounded thus leaving the shooter with the ultimate confidence that the arrow will be ready to fire when the time comes. The containment rest is a favorite among hunters, and especially those that hunt game at close range. Being a hunter I love using containment arrow rests especially here in the Midwest where I am 95% of the time 20 yards or in from the animal I’m hunting. The whisker biscuit is perhaps the most popular containment arrow rest on the market today; personally I’m not a huge fan of them because of how much contact they have with the fletching upon release. With that being said if you are a long range distance hunter I wouldn’t recommend the whisker biscuit because of the excessive contact the arrow flight may be altered. I use a three point contact rest, which offers full containment of my arrow with less contact of the fletching on release.

                            

Whisker Biscuit                        Three-Point

Shoot-Thru Arrow Rests

Shoot-thru arrow rests are the simplest forms of the three rests. These rests strictly serve as a sitting point for the arrow, and the arrow slides across the top of the rest during drawback and release. The first bow I ever had was equipped with a shoot-thru rest and it worked well, but as my draw length increased the more I noticed the arrow falling off of the rest. This became very frustrating and I was constantly using my finger to prop it back up on the rest. Whenyou shoot with this type of rest your bottom fletching or cock fletch passes directly through the rest and should not come in contact with the rest itself if setup properly. To reduce noise on the drawback I would line the prongs of the rest with some felt, however after a lot of shooting the felt has to be replaced as it wears down. Even though this type of rest lacks containment of the arrow if you are shooting straight vanes and your bow and bow is properly aligned this rest offers great accuracy. Under controlled conditions such as on the range this rest may be a very suitable choice. Note if you are shooting helical or offset fletching this rest can pose some issues on the pass through so extra attention to the setup will be important. 

What Rest is Best for You?

Having envisioned your end goal you should now have a better idea of what type of rest might be best for you. Even if you already have a setup it might be fun to try something new to see how it affects your accuracy. Remember to think about the type of vanes you’re shooting, the distance, and form when selecting your next rest! ....HAPPY SHOOTING!



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