Should You Wax Your Bow String?

Maintaining your archery equipment is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Among the various components of your bow, the string and cables play a pivotal role in the arrow's propulsion and accuracy. One common debate among archery hunters is whether or not to wax their bowstrings. Let's delve into the pros and cons of using bow string wax as part of a regular maintenance routine.

The Pros of Bow string Waxing:

1. Increased Lifespan:

Bow string wax serves as a protective layer against environmental elements such as moisture, dirt, and UV rays. By applying wax regularly, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your bowstring. This is particularly important for archery hunters who shoot frequently, as their strings are subjected to more wear and tear during field use.

2. Enhanced Performance:

Well-maintained bow strings and cables contributes to consistent and reliable performance. Waxing reduces friction between the fibers, allowing the string and cables to move smoothly during the release. This results in more efficient energy transfer from the bow to the arrow, ultimately maintaining accuracy and speed similar to out of the box specifications.

3. Noise Reduction:

Unwaxed bow strings and cables can produce more friction-induced noise during the release, affecting your stealth in the field. While it's minimal compared to the noise product by your arrow flight, more specifically when shooting broadheads, but it's still a slight added variable within our control. Bowstring wax acts as a dampening agent, minimizing vibrations and reducing the overall noise generated. 

4. Prevention of String Serving Separation:

Bow strings and/or cables are typically composed of multiple strands and serving, which is a tightly wound thread that reinforces specific areas. Waxing helps prevent serving separation, ensuring that the strands remain tightly bound together. This is crucial for safety, as a separated serving can lead to a catastrophic failure of the bowstring.

5. Weather Resistance:

Exposure to varying weather conditions can adversely affect bow strings, leading to premature wear. Bow string wax creates a barrier against moisture, preventing water absorption that could weaken the fibers. This is particularly relevant for bowhunters who frequently shoot in wet or humid environments. If you only choose one reason to wax your bow strings this is likely it. Also, if you're a hunter that regularly hauls their bow around by the string, wax will help prevent any oil and other foreign substances from penetrating your bowstring's fibers.

The Cons of Bowstring Waxing:

1. Fixes Fraying:

While this isn't really a con...A big misconception around waxing your bow strings was born from visual appearance and the old wive's tale that wax will repair frayed strings. Once a bow string starts to fray there's no repairing it, only slowing it down. Fraying leads weakened fibers and/or strands. Hiding that through a solid wax application is simply a visual bandaid. 

2. Over-Waxing Issues:

Applying too much wax can be counterproductive. Over-waxing can attract dirt and debris, leading to a gritty texture that hinders the smooth movement of the string. Finding the right balance is essential to reap the benefits without compromising performance. You'll want to be particularly carely around your cams, roller guards, and other areas on your bow where debris could cause catastrophic failures.

3. Frequency of Application:

Regular waxing is necessary for optimal results, and the frequency may vary based on factors such as weather conditions, usage, and the type of wax used. Some archers find it challenging to integrate this maintenance task into their routine consistently.

4. Varied Opinions on Waxing:

There's no unanimous agreement in the archery or bowhunting community regarding the necessity of waxing. Some archers argue that modern bow string materials are designed to withstand environmental factors without wax, while others swear by regular waxing for optimal performance. With advancements in fiber and bow string material such as Bloodline B99 wax isn't ever required. So when you order those new custom bowstrings, be sure you understand what product is being used for the build. 

In the debate over whether to wax your bow string and cables, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs and shooting habits. While bowstring waxing offers tangible benefits in terms of increased lifespan, enhanced performance, and noise reduction, it does come with some drawbacks like messy application and the need for regular maintenance. Ultimately, the decision to wax your bow strings depends on your priorities as an archer, your willingness to invest time in proper maintenance for the sake of improved performance and longevity, and an understanding of what material was used to build your strings.