How To Paper Tune A Compound Bow: Everything You Need To Know

The paper tune is great and at the same time a cheap way to evaluate the arrow’s flight and thus your bow’s performance. It is a perfect solution to finding out the adjustments necessary to your bow if you are not able to manage an expensive, slow motion camera for the job.

You should know that tuning is necessary after every change that you make with your bow. So never think that tuning is only required at the first time of use.

This article will talk a lot about how to paper tune a compound bow. So please read on and know how to do it.

Start with Knowing a Bit about Paper Tuning

Before you know how to paper tune properly, learn what is meant by paper tuning. Paper tuning your bow is done by keeping a wax paper in front of your shooting direction.

After your arrow’s flight, the performance of your bow as well as its arrow is evaluated seeing the tear of the paper.

By seeing the torn paper, you could be able to say how were the initial impact, the shaft’s flight as well as the feather’s movement. So the main judgment comes from seeing the hole made by the arrow.

paper-tuning-tears (1)


How to Do the Process?

It is very easy, simple and cost effective maneuver.

Step 1

The first thing is by making a stand where you could stick the paper for tearing. You can buy a stand for paper tuning. If you do not want to pay a penny, then you can do that by making a stand yourself.

There are several ways to make a stand. Here I will show you two ideas.

  • You can do it by taking a package of a television or anything else’s that is rectangular or square in size.

After that, cut some portion to fit a sheet of paper there. You must take the size of the paper which you will use for the paper tuning. Then make sure that the cut size on the box is a bit smaller than the paper so that you can stick some edges of the paper with the box. Now stick the paper and wrap over the cut portion. Stick with glue or cut board pin.

  • Another way you can use to make a stand. That is with wood’s frames.

You can manage some sized woods and make them a rectangular or square shaped stand. Stick the paper on the frame.

Step 2

Fix the box or the frame on a stand so that you can adjust the height of them.

Step 3

Set up your bow initially with the best possible skills that you know. Take the right arrow in order to have a perfect result.

Step 4

Now position yourself with your bow and arrow in front of the stand. You should keep some distance (5 – 7 yards) between you and the stand. You can reduce the distance gradually once you are sure that your tuning has properly done.

You will hold the bow parallel towards the stand. If you see that the stand is not high enough, you may need to kneel a bit.

Step 5

It is time to shoot now but never ends up with a single shooting as you will have to go for several shootings in order to evaluate the arrow’s flight properly. Always check everything properly before each shooting.

Step 6

Now it is time for evaluating the tears. Look at the different types of tears that might happen in the case of you. There might be several scenarios like tail low, tail high, tail right or tail left. Multiple tears can also be experienced. The good tearing is that one where one edge of the arrow’s feather remains top and the other two edges remain accordingly.

See again ​the different types of tear and fix your bow after that:

Diagonal-Tear (1)



Tail Low


Tail High


Tail Left


Tail Right



Step 7

In this step, you will have to go for bow’s adjustments. The adjustments of your bow usually take place by improving the rest to the right or left. Ensure that you are chasing the point while doing the adjustments. If the fletching is making a hole to the right and the impacting is on the left, then you will have to rotate your rest to the left.

Removing or adding twists is another bow’s adjustment. You may need to adjust the roller guard rod or the cable guard for expanding or reducing the tension on the cables.

You will have to address the arrow’s spine by heightening draw weight due to resolving the right or left tear.

Step 8

As you have adjusted your bow, now you will have to adjust the arrow. Adjustments to your arrow can be done by reducing the draw weight of your bow. In fact, there are several ways to bring change in the arrow for the weak or strong spine.

If you reduce the length of the shaft, you could stiffen the arrow and this will weaken the shooting at a longer length. By reducing the insert or point weight, you could stiffen the arrow and increase insert or point will weaken it.

You will have to apply these techniques while you are choosing your arrows. Different types of arrow spines point weights, and lengths after tearing the paper will reveal which bow to be used for better performance. You can use different shafts and judge which one to use after evaluating the tear on the paper.

All these will help you choose the perfect arrow for your shooting. So evaluate the thing properly.

Here is a Demo:​

​Wrapping Up

After the long discussion, I hope you have known how to paper tune a compound bow. It is not expensive and is very easy to go for. Slow motion camera can give you the room for evaluating the tune of your bow and arrow, but you obviously know that it will cost much which sometimes may seem to you unbearable.

So never be worried if you can’t go for the expensive option as paper tuning for your compound bow is always a welcoming thing for tuning your bow at any time.

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