The nocking height is the
distance the bottom of the arrow nock above (or very occasionally, below) the level of the arrow rest.
The best place to start is
with a zero nocking height. In other words, the bottom of the nock
exactly level with the arrow rest. Although I call it 'zero', it
will in fact raise the centre of the
arrow shaft very slightly above rest level, which is usually what is
N.B. The use of 'D' loops is not dealt with
here. I have tried them several times over the years, but for some
reason I have never understood, I seem to be the only archer in the world who
doesn't get on with them. They affect my vertical grouping very
badly, so consequently I have very little practical experience of them.
a bow square to the string, move it until it just touches the arrow
rest or launcher when hanging vertically and mark the 'zero' level on the string.
This is where the bottom nocking point will fit, if necessary.
Fit a nock at this mark and make another mark fractionally above it; you must leave a small gap between nocking point and
nock to prevent pinch at full draw, especially on modern, shorter
the 'zero' level can be tricky if your rest has a deep 'V', or if you
use prongs instead of a single arm, as there is nothing to place
your bow square on that corresponds to the arrow. There are
several ways around this. First, you can just guess it, which will
probably be good enough at this stage. Second, some bow squares,
such as the excellent 'Jim Dandy' (don't blame me, I didn't choose the
name) have a wide, radiused bottom edge that imitates an average arrow
quite well. Finally, if you want to be really cunning, cut a slot
along an offcut of the size arrow shaft you intend to use and slide it
your bow square: the cutting wheel on a 'Dremel'-type miniature rotary
tool works well for this.
important thing is that, once you have decided what level you want to
start at, make sure you set your bow square on some solid part of the
rest or launcher, and make a note of the reading. All checks and
adjustments can then be taken from there.
a nocking point at the upper mark. I do not recommend any sort
of metal nocking points, as they damage both the nock and
the string. Use serving thread or Dacron bowstring
material. Apply nine tight overhand knots, starting at the mark
and working upwards, then cut the ends to about 1/4 inch (5mm) and
secure them by melting (please don't set fire to the string - I
really have seen it done!). The main advantages of this type of nocking
point are that it does no damage and, although it will never move accidentally, it can (with a
little bit of luck) be adjusted by screwing up or down the serving, particularly
if you use monofil.
a lower nocking point, if necessary - see diagram below. It is necessary:
use any release that attaches directly to the string rather than using a
If the release rope fouls the nock at full draw, or
your nocks are on the loose side.
Check particularly for rope
fouling as the other two should never happen - you should never use a
jaw-type release directly on the string, and you should not permit loose
nocks. Come carefully to
full draw and look at the release rope. If it is fouling the
nock, as it often will be with a modern, short bow, tie on three to
five overhand knots, as before, but starting at the lower nocking mark and
working downwards, remembering the gap. Check again and try more knots if necessary,
but don't overdo it as there are disadvantages to having your release
and your nock too far apart. Some people use a rubber
'eliminator button', rather than a second nocking point. I have no
experience of this, but instinctively mistrust the system - it looks
like fouling to me! If you are in doubt, let the size and
consistency of your groups be the final decider - as always.