Do you want to learn how to tie a nocking point on recurve bow?
You’re in luck! I’ve spend many an hour trying out all the various methods of tying on nocking points in an attempt to find the easiest and most reliable method.
The good news…
I’ve found it!
Learning how to tie nocking point on a recurve can seem like a complicated thing but if you learn the right method, it’s not complicated at all. When it comes to recurve nocking points, there are two options that are commonly used.
The first is using metal nocking points. This is a fairly quick method but there are some negatives. One is that you have to nock pliers to crimp these on to the bowstring. Another potential negative is that these can sometimes leave a sharp edge and if you anchor on your cheek or jaw there is possible to cut yourself with these.
For me, a better option is to tie on a nocking point using serving string. I learned how to tie a nocking point on a recurve bow from a competitive recurve archer. They are often traveling for competitions and often don’t have a lot of time to tie on complex nocking points. So they have developed the quickest way to tie on good, reliable nocking points.
If you plan to learn how to tie a nocking point on a recurve bow, there are a few supplies you will need. It doesn’t have to be the exact things I use, there can be some variation in things like serving string brand and size. You can check out my recommended gear page if you would like to pick up what I am using.
Here is a video I made if you’d rather watch than read.
The things you will need for this are:
- Serving string-Any serving string should work fine. In the pictures I am using .025 serving string to tie this nocking point. I prefer using a thicker serving thread.
- A hot glue stick-The kind you use in a hot glue gun.
- A lighter-The kind you use to burn things.
- A bow square
- A knife or scissors
How To Tie A Nocking Point On A Recurve Bow in 6 Easy Steps
Step 1- Measure Your Brace Height
While the process of learning how to tie a nocking point on a recurve bow is not difficult, there are a few things that are necessary to do this correctly. The first thing you need to do is check your brace height.
This is the distance from the back of your bow handle to your bow string. You can do this with a tape measure or with a bow square.
Your bow manufacturer will have a recommended brace height for your specific bow. This is usually determined by the length of the bow. I would say the majority of brace heights fall between 7-9 inches. The recurve I have here is a 46 inch bow and the recommended brace height is 8-8 3/4 inches.
If you need to increase your brace height, twist your bowstring before you put it on. Some archers recommend twisting a new bowstring 30 times before you put it on. This is generally what I do because it always seems to get the brace height in the recommended range.
For example, I put a new bowstring on the recurve in the picture. I put it on without twisting just to test what it would be. It was 7 3/4 inches. 30 twist got me right to 8 inches. I ended up putting 50 twist to give me a little room for stretching the string out. FYI: 1 twist is considered 1 half turn (180 degrees ) of the end loop.
Step 2- Mark Your Nocking Point With a Bow Square
The second step is to put on your bow square and mark your nocking point. You really can’t learn how to tie a nocking point on a recurve bow the easy way without a bow square.
It’s possible to set a nock point without a bow square but it turns an easy task into a difficult one. A bow square is cheap and really handy.
(Side note: In the picture you’ll see a forked horn bow square that I was reviewing. Ultimately, I would not recommend it. It works decently but it is made of plastic and I actually dropped it on the floor and broke it after using it for a video.
Stick with an aluminum bow square like Easton’s T-Bow square. You want to nock high about a half inch. You can mark the point with the serving string but the easiest way is to take a nock off one of your arrow and place it in the correct spot.
Step 3- Run A Foot of Serving String Over a Glue Stick
A lot of archers don’t think they can learn how to tie a nocking point on a recurve bow because it seems complicated. Others figure that even if they could learn an easy method, it would not be reliable.
I would be inclined to agree if it weren’t for this step and the secret ingredient that makes these simple nocking points last. Hot glue.
You need to cut off a foot of your serving string and run it several times over the glue stick. This will leave a layer of the glue on the string. This is what makes these nocking point work so well. Once you coat the serving string with hot glue, you can feel at thin coat of it on the string.
It feels very similar to bowstring wax. It’s not like a regular wet glue, which would create a mess and be difficult to tie a nocking point with. You will barely notice the hot glue on the string and it doesn’t interfere with tying the nocking point on.
The best part is that once you are done tying on your nocking point you can melt the glue which will then harden a give you a really great nocking point.
Step 4- Tie on Your Upper Nocking Point
Next, you want to tie on your upper nocking point. This method uses over and under knots. You’ll wrap your string around the serving and tie a simple overhand knot then cinch that down tight.
You want to cinch your first knot down right against your nock, or whatever you used to mark that spot.
The end of the string will then be on the under side where you will tie another overhand knot. You repeat these over and under knots, making sure you are stacking them tightly against each other. You should tie at least 5 knots on each side but you can do more if you prefer.
There are various methods for how this is done. Most methods make learning how to tie a nocking point on a recurve bow difficult. Honestly, i think most of the methods over do it and it’s unnecessary.
The way I’m showing you is the easiest and incredibly reliable. I would add that to do it this way, you need thicker serving string. I use a .025. This lets me use a single loop for each knot.
Some variations with this if you are using thinner serving string. You can double loop the string with each knot still only going one way. OR you can single loop each over and under knot, going up the string and then tie over and under knots on top of those going back the other direction.
While these variations are really difficult to learn, I feel like they make it harder to have a clean, even nocking point. My recommendation is to save yourself the hassle. Use thicker serving string and keep it simple.
One you have tied at least five knots on each side, you can finish with an square knot when you have the nocking point as long as you want it and cut off the tag ends.
Step 5- Tie On Your Bottom Nocking Point
Cut off another foot of serving string and run it through the glue again. Place your nock up against the upper nocking point.
Tie your first knot close to the nock but not too close. This can pinch the nock too tightly when you draw and interfere with arrows release.
You then want to repeat the process of over and under knots on the bottom. You can cut off the tag ends you are done.
Step 6-Burn the tag ends, and melt the hot glue with a lighter.
Once you have finished tying the upper and lower sections of your nocking point, you can cut off all the tag ends. Then it is time for the lighter.
You can start by burning off the tag ends. After that, you can run the lighter over all the serving string you just tied on to melt the hot glue. It really doesn’t take much to melt the glue.
You should also take care not to over do it with the lighter. The lighter should continuously move so that you don’t burn the string to much. After the glue is melted it will harden pretty quickly which will leave you with a great nocking point that should last you a long time.