By Bob Robb, AmericanHunter.org contributor
Of all the accessories a person can add to a compound bow, none are as important as the arrow rest. I am always amazed at how many guys I spot in deer camps every fall with a very expensive, late-model compound bow sporting a cheap arrow rest. That’s like buying a Ferrari and putting a set of cheap tires on it.
I am also amazed at how many bowhunters still use a biscuit-type rest that totally encapsulates the arrow shaft with bristles. The theory is fine—such a rest prevents the arrow from accidentally falling off no matter how the bow is canted, and the bristles do not really affect arrow flight (at least at short range)—even though they contact the fletches as the shaft passes through. And yet, testing shows that these rests are not the most accurate on the market. The bristles will also wear down over time, changing impact and consistency. For the average guy who shoots a few arrows a year, I guess they are OK—but then, you would not be reading this if you were an average hack bow shooter or bowhunter, would you? And besides, many of the new drop-away rests out there now come with a full capture feature.
For maximum performance, the drop-away arrow rest is the only way to go. Modern drop-aways are precision tools, easy to set up and tune, quiet as a church mouse, reliable as the sunrise and by far the most accurate arrow rest design ever made. Here are the hottest new drop-away rests I saw at the recent ATA show.
APA Archery: The Twister CD (Cable Drive) is machined from aircraft aluminum and stainless steel, and is a full containment hybrid rest that works with all sizes of fletches. It works very well on bows that have roller guards as well as more traditional cable guard systems. The MSRP is $90.
Arizona Archery Enterprises (AAE): The DOA Full Capture/Fall Away rest launcher stays up once the bow is drawn and drops away only upon the release of the string. The launcher arms drop just before the fletches reach them for maximum guidance. It comes with either a Hoyt, Mathews or universal mount. The MSRP is $129.
Fuse Ultra Rest: The Ultra Rest includes Velocity Dropaway Technology, which allows the rest to drop only when the bow is fired. The patented VDT is both durable and reliable, and the rest always maintains your arrow in total containment. An internal cam/brake design offers superior noise reduction and a silent draw, while a convenient thumb control lets you cock the rest into a full capture position, ensuring total silence on either draw or let-down. The MSRP is $140.
G5 Outdoors: The Expert Pro connects to the upward moving buss cable for improved clearance, and also helps eliminate tension on the buss cable that can risk pulling the bottom cam out of synch. Ball bearings give it incredible durability and smoothness. The MSRP is $110 for black and $120 in any of the three available camo patterns.
New Archery Products Apache Micro-Drop: A compact version of the red-hot full containment Apache rest introduced last year. This thing sports toolless micro adjustment knobs combined with highly-visible micro laser-etched tuning graduations, a 360-degree sound dampening pad inside the pin guard, and felt-covered launcher. I liked it so much I ordered two for my new hunting 2011 bows. The MSRP is $90.
Ripcord: The Code Red is a full-containment rest featuring a redesigned tether opening designed to reduce wear and provide consistent shot-to-shot performance. The soft red over-molding virtually eliminates noise, internal dampers reduce wear, and the easy set-up football clip for the tether cord is the best system I have yet seen for drop-away installation. Both black and camo available. MSRP: $110.
Trophy Ridge: The Revolution is a full-containment drop-away that rotates 90 degrees counter clockwise after perfectly guiding the shaft up to the instant the fletching passes through. Silencer pads are included, and both standard and micro-adjust versions are available from a company that knows how to build these things right. The MSRP is $60 for the standard and $80 for the micro.