How to Increase Bow Poundage – Quick Tips

This is something every bow owner should know how to do. Usually, one of the first things to learn and only requires a couple of items to complete the job successfully.

To increase your bow poundage, you’ll need the following:

  • Set of Allen Keys
  • Paint pen
  • Fingers to count on

I know what you’re thinking, why the paint pen? Trust me; it will make your life much easier by counting revolutions when turning your Allen Keys. All you need to do is strike a line on the part of the limb bolt that turns and a corresponding line on the part that doesn’t move.

It makes things easier to tell when you’ve done a full revolution and a half.

But simply to change the poundage of your bow, you will insert the correct Allen Key in the limb bolt and turn as if you are tightening it. Turn to the right to increase the poundage.

Similarly, to decrease the poundage, you will turn the limb bolt to the left as if you are loosening it.

When doing this for the top limb bolt, you must hold your bow upright.

For the bottom limb bolt, flip your bow upside down, so the bottom is now at the top, and follow the instructions above.

This makes it simpler to adjust the top and bottom limb pockets. With your paint pen trick, you’ll be able to keep both top and bottom limb bolts the same.

Limb Turns

Another thing you should know when changing your poundage is how many turns you’ve completed on each limb bolt. You’ll need to count how many you have adjusted it in or out by.

This is extremely important if you are decreasing the poundage because if you go beyond the max limb bolt turns, you can cause your bow to ‘pop.’ This is exactly as it sounds, your limbs will pop out, and you’ll have a helluva time trying to put it back together.

Always know exactly how many limb bolt turns you are away from your bow popping.

For an average 50-60 pound bow, the max limb bolt turns is about 10, but I would highly advise you to seek the information from the bow manufacturer if you are any way unsure.

Know that we have discussed all the essentials, let’s look at the nitty gritty stuff you should know in relation to your bow’s poundage.

Sight Marks

The first obvious one is your sight marks. Simple rule, if your poundage goes up, so will your sight marks. The higher the poundage, the more efficient your bow becomes. This is something worth noting for both target and field / 3D archers.

If your bow is more efficient, it is also more forgiving, meaning that one sloppy shot you had in your qualifying round might not end up changing the final score by too much.

Then for field or 3D archers, the advantage of having a higher poundage bow means your sight tape is not as long.

Meaning there’s less of a difference in your sight marks between distances which will help the outcome tremendously.

If you judge a target incorrectly, you will still be close to the sight mark you should have been on, and this will help with forgiveness.

It’s another thing to consider.

Arrow Spines

Another item to watch for is the spine of your arrows. It’s heavily dependent on two things. Your draw length and your poundage. If you’re working your way up through your poundage, it’s probably best to stick with the arrows you have until you reach a more permanent poundage that you can happily shoot with.

Don’t get too hung up on your arrow spines. At about 55 pounds and 29″ draw length, I shot 550 carbon one spines which are incredibly off, but they would still hammer in some very nice groups. If you are still maturing as an archer, concentrate more on your shot compared with what equipment goes with what. Everything will come together in the end.

Sneaky Tip

Here’s a really sneaky tip that I’m sure not too many people are aware of. When you increase the poundage of your bow, your draw length will decrease ever so slightly., and the opposite of this is true also.

This can be used to your advantage if your draw length is out by 1/6th of an inch; you could turn those limb bolts in or out to suit your exact draw length to really fine-tune without having to put extra twists in your string.

Extra twists mess with your peep rotation and your D-loop. It’s a handy thing to know, and it’s gotten me out of some sticky situations, so hopefully will do the same for you.

You may also like the following:

Rogan Cunningham

Rogan Cunningham is an archer and writer for He's a proud member of the National Archery Squad. He writes about his archery training, shooting, and traveling with the national archery team, and he also reviews all kinds of archery kit. He only writes about archery, what can I tell you?..... He's an Archer!

Recent Posts