You’ve purchased the bow of your choice — no doubt a hot-to-trot flagship sporting the latest and greatest sure-to-make-you-shoot better technologies. You picked your sight — a fancy five-pin moveable or single-pin, perhaps. The pins are bright and durable, and the sight boasts tool-less, easy-to-use micro-adjust windage and elevation adjustments. You went with a longer stabilizer with an offset to add a sidebar. You have to make sure the balance is perfect … I get it. Yep, your 2017 rig is shaping up to be a beauty. My hope is you don’t skimp on the arrow rest. Why? Simple. The rest is the only bow-mounted accessory that touches your arrow. Pick the wrong one and your dreams of dropping arrows into the 10-ring at 80 yards will remain nothing more than that — a dream.
Hailing from the West, I spend lots of time perched in gnarled cottonwoods overlooking vast CRP tracts. When I finally earn my opportunity and that opportunity requires a shot that is often beyond the whitetail-comfortable distance of 35 yards, I want a grip-and-grin photo, not a poor-me story. For this reason, I put more thought into my choice of arrow rest than any other accessory. Check out my three field-proven choices below, and put some more meat in the freezer in 2017.
1. QAD MXT
I’ve anchored more bone with a QAD on my riser than I can shake a stick at. I love the rest’s simplistic design and no-fail nature. For years, my go-to QAD was the Ultra-Rest HDX, but when this rest kingpin introduced the MXT, I was hooked.
The MXT incorporates what I’ve been wanting in a bowhunting fall-away for years — micro-adjustability. Featuring true precision click adjustment, the MXT offers windage and elevation adjustment. You or the pro-shop professional setting up your bow can simply loosen a pair of set screws then manipulate the numbered and marked up/down (elevation) and right/left (windage) knobs 1.9 thousands of an inch per click. That’s right — no more loosening a set screw with an Allen wrench trying to tap the rest over, up or down. Tuning is easy and frustration free. You will have to remove the QAD-branded aluminum covering the mount-to-riser screw, but this is easily accomplished with a slim flathead screwdriver or the included QAD knife. QAD includes an extra aluminum cover in case you damage the one attached to the rest during the removal process. The rest is still cable driven and still sports a curved capture bar.
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When the rest is in the up positon — accomplished by pressing the newly designed easy-to-grip thumb-wheel down — your arrow is completely contained. The arrow can’t fall from the rest, no matter the positon of your bow, and make game-spooking contact with the bow’s shelf.
Another big “like” I have with this rest is the VDT (Vertical Drop-Away Technology). When the bow is fired, the launcher drops away due to the speed of the bow and its sync (timing) with the rest. The general inertial of the bow does not make the launcher arm fall. Tune this rest up perfectly, and arrow/vane contact will be obsolete.
For more information, visit www.qadinc.com or call (434) 846-5839.
2. Vapor Trail Limb Driver Pro-V
I’ll admit I was a limb-driven holdout. I didn’t like the idea of a long piece of rest cord running from my rest to my top or bottom limb. I figured the design wouldn’t withstand my long walks to and from distant stands. I figured I would hang the cord on every piece of brush on the plains. Guess what? I was wrong.
The attachment of the Pro-V’s cord to the top limb is so tight and so secure, I’ve never had an issue. If you do, simply loosen the set screw that attaches the cord to rest, give it a tug with a pair of needle nose pliers and retighten the screw. The rest is a full-capture rest boasting a free-floating launcher arm. This launcher arm supports the arrow for 70 percent of the draw cycle, allowing the arrow to better stabilize itself before dropping out of the way. Are worried 70 percent support will lead to arrow/vane contact? Don’t be! Because the system is limb-driven, it has no choice but to be fully out of the way when the arrow passes through. The rest runs off your top limb and not your down cable, so there are no timing issues to contend with. As the bow is drawn, it’s raised by the inward flexing of the limb and drops when the limb rebounds upward at the shot.
Be sure to clean your top limb with rubbing alcohol and take your time setting the included limb pad. The pad is very sticky, so once you set it, it’s going to stay where it’s at. Now tie the cord around the limb over the pad using a simple half-hitch knot while keeping downward tension on the cord and pushing the launcher arm down toward the shelf. Then tighten the set screw to hold the rest in place.
For more information, visit www.vaportrailarchery.com or call (763) 862-8870.
3. Ripcord Ace Micro-Adjust
I love to fine-tune and tinker, so the Ace Micro-Adjust is my choice when it comes to picking a Ripcord model. I appreciate the tall, red, labeled windage and elevation knobs that allow me to eke my way left, right, up and down. Another ace up your sleeve is Ripcord’s FireFall design. This design allows the launcher to fall only when the bow is fired, not when let down. That’s right — when your muscles collapse and you can’t wait for that buck to turn broadside any longer, you can simply fall apart. You don’t have to worry about the rest crashing to the shelf and spooking the deer.
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Regardless of the bow’s position, the Ace Micro-Adjust keeps the arrow contained. This means the chances of your arrow falling from the rest and contacting the shelf is zero, and when the rest is engaged, there will be no launcher bounce-back. The Ultra SlimLine launcher (whittled down to give you 46 percent more vane clearance) will be locked down the second it impacts the shelf via Ripcord’s dual-brake system. The combination of this system and the Ultra SlimLine launcher means once you get the rest perfectly tuned, you will experience zero arrow/vane contact.
This is a downward-cable-driven rest, and it’s a snap to set up. The key once you get the rest on your bow and leveled is to take your time. With a micro-adjust rest, less is more. Walk your windage left or right and your elevation up or down a little at a time. You have the ability to tune a bow that will produce a perfect paper tear and shoot a raw shaft (one without vanes) straight into a target at 20 yards. Invest the time in the technology and let it work for you.
For more information, visit www.ripcordarrowrest.com or call (406) 683-0100.