How to Increase Bow Draw Weight

By Jeremy Hoefs

Draw weight--represented in pounds--commonly refers to the peak amount of weight an archer is required to pull to draw a bow. As the poundage increases, so does the pressure required to draw the bow. According to Brandon Ray, outdoor writer and professional hunter, says that increasing poundage will result in increased arrow speed- a feature that archers look for. Adjusting the bow’s draw weight requires a step-by-step procedure to ensure the bow is properly tuned and shoots properly.

  1. Turn the limb bolt clockwise to increase the draw weight. Some bow models will require turning the limb bolt located at the pocket where the limbs connect with the riser before adjusting the draw weight.

  2. Count the number of revolutions completed with the wrench. If you are making a small increase to the draw weight, only turn the limb bolts one revolution. Never turn the limb bolts more than four revolutions.

  3. Turn the opposite limb bolt clockwise the same number of revolutions. Both the top and bottom limbs must move in unison while drawing and shooting the bow for consistent accuracy. Having both limbs set at the same poundage ensures moving in unison.

  4. Draw the bow and hold at full draw for at least one minute. If you can’t hold the bow at full draw for at least one minute, consider decreasing the draw weight by turning the limb bolts counterclockwise one-half turn. Use a scale to test the bow's draw weight.

  5. Tip

    Most female shooters with average strength will have a draw weight between 40 and 50 lbs. Most male shooters with average strength will shoot between 55 and 70 lbs. Consult the owner's manual or local archery pro shop for detailed instructions about your bow model. A general rule-of-thumb for increasig draw weight is to keep it at 75 percent of maximum strength.


    Avoid using excessive torque while turning the limb bolts or over-tightening the limb screws. Drawing too much weight can cause injury to the shoulder and elbow.

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