Unlock Precision: Creep Tune Your Cam
Most of the questions I receive are whether or not to spending BIG money for a BETTER bow. The problem is most cannot tell me what they do not like about their current bow. And if you don’t know that then how can you determine with confidence the next bow will be any better?
Unless there is a large improvement in speed or a definite change in grip or brace height most people are spending money to end up in the same place. To me that makes very little sense.
After 30+ years of working on other people’s bows I have noticed one little thing that almost every unsatisfied archer has in common: their current bow is inconsistent and unforgiving!
This is especially true of Hybrid cam shooters. Perhaps that is a marketing gimmick of Hoyts. Think about it…if you have all the top target shooters winning tournaments with Hoyt yet your bow is not consistent or forgiving, maybe you need the new years’ Hoyt that’s even better!!! *wink*
Great Bow Hunters Do This
Well, before you go out and drop another house payment (or two) on a new Hoyt let’s ask ourselves what those great target shooters are doing to find such great success.
It’s easy to conclude that top target shooters and even hunters have a bow that fits them perfectly. It’s also clear to see that the top outdoor shooters have a bow/arrow combination that produces flawless arrow flight. But you have a bow that fits and gives good arrow flight, yet you shoot it good today and not so good tomorrow.
You start off your day hitting center and then later in the day your bow groups low or high. You adjust your sights for the high POI and then tomorrow it is hitting low. What are those premier guys doing that you simply cannot? The vast majority of the time it all boils down to “Creep Tuning”
What is Creep Tuning
Creep Tuning is a process of finding and tuning your cams to their “sweet spot”. That’s a spot within the timing of the cam where you can get away with a little too much pressure on the stops or a little too much forward slide into the valley and still remain consistent in your POI.
Every cam system I have played with has one. Some are wide spots and some (like the Cam 1/2) have narrow spots. But every single bow I have had in the past 30 years has had a sweet spot! And luckily it is rather easy to find if you have a bow press or a good quick service shop.
The key is to first get the arrow tune as close to perfect as you can achieve. Then using a horizontal line, you shoot your arrows with a base line group using perfect form and back tension.
You then shoot a group at the same horizontal line using a little too much back tension and another group sliding forward about 1/4″ into the valley. If the groups without the proper back tension rise or fall compared to the base line, you are not tuned to the sweet part of the cam.
Just remember the further back you can achieve a perfect base line the more accurate your tune will be. For some that will be 10 or 20 yards and for others that will be 40 or 50 yards. Be careful not to lie to yourself about your abilities. A perfect base line at 20 is going to be much better than a false base line at 50.
Creep tuning is only useful for hybrid cams, which allow for individual tuning personalization. This is not possible with a binary cam or single cam.
The human body is an amazing machine adaptable to constant changes. However, as we fatigue through a day of shooting, as we apply additional clothing for warmth, as we bend to shoot uphill/downhill or left/right the body’s answers to adapt usually changes our draw and ability to repeat back tension in a 100% fashion.
Therefore, the creep tune gives us the largest amount of physical change before losing our POI. Whether in the field or on the target line this can make the difference between happy and sad, content and discontent, success and failure.
Most Pro Shop do not have the personnel to spend so much time on a tune. The “Creep Tune” usually does require a press so often times it needs to be done at a shop with a range. But it should be much cheaper if not free to do yourself. Really, it is quite easy once you understand control cables, power cables and how to advance or retard a chosen cam.
It seems like such a little thing. But it often results in one of my biggest rewards! Once you find the sweet spot in your cam, it’s time to “Spine Tune” your arrows.