Bow Setup & Tuning – Rest Install, Center-Shot, & Nocking Point

Today, in Part 3 of our bow build, we will be mounting our arrow rest, setting the rest height, center-shot, and determining our nocking point.  These small steps determine how the arrow leaves the bow upon release, so they are crucial for good downrange accuracy.

Here is a quick overview of the process…

  • Mount the rest and ensure full range of motion for drop-away launcher
  • Set the rest height to get the arrow running through the berger hole
  • Set the center-shot by measuring from the riser out to the center of the arrow shaft
  • Set the nocking point by ensuring the arrow is perpendicular to the bow string

As you see in the video, I use a “bow square” to determine my nock position and ensure the arrow is perpendicular to the string.  There are other methods of achieving this, such as using a string and arrow level set.  I recommend a bow square for beginners because it is cheaper and doesn’t require that you have a vise or press to hold the bow perfectly level.

If you use a bow square, be sure to account for the thickness of your arrow when determining the nocking point.  The “zero” on the level will be at the bottom of your shaft, so your arrow’s nock will sit above the zero line.  The good thing about using a string and arrow level is that it takes this calculation out of the equation.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

The Author

Mark Huelsing is a regular guy with an irregular passion for bowhunting and the outdoors. Learn more about Sole Adventure or get in touch with Mark...

Email  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

  • Steve always, great video! I’m following these how-to video closely so that I can setup my next bow from scratch myself.

    Couple quick questions, what model press are you using from Last Chance? I don’t have a work bench, so I’ve been looking for a free standing press and this looks like it would fit the bill. Also….why would you need to put your knocking point north of the “0” to account for the arrow thickness? Wouldn’t you be trying to center the knocking point along the “0” line through the center of arrow? As always, sincerely appreciate all the great info your site provides.


    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Steve. Good questions. I am using the Last Chance EZ Press Deluxe. The floor stand is an optional accessory for this one, as well as the standard EZ Press (but not the EZ Green).

      As far as accommodating for arrow thickness when setting your nocking point with a bow square, think of it like this… Lay one of your arrows flat on a table. The surface of your table is the zero mark (in line with the bottom of your arrow), but the center of your arrow’s nock isn’t flat on the table surface, is it? You need to set the nocking point according to the arrow’s nock position, not the bottom of the arrow shelf. Does that make sense?

      • Steve

        Ahh…that makes sense. One last question….can you use your press as a vice as well? I will need to make 3rd axis adjustments with my sight, so I’ll need to pivot the bow downward and updward.

        Thanks again for all your help.

        • SoleAdventure

          As you’re facing the bow press, it can rotation 360-degrees around (like a clock). They also have a new axis adjustment (add-on) that allow it to tilt towards you as well. I have a dedicated vise, but find myself using the press as a vice more and more.

  • Wesley Levy

    Great video mark! Reading your posts all the time makes me want to learn bow hunting!

  • Jake Huff

    I feel like this is a dumb question but I honestly can’t find it anywhere. How do you figure out if your sight is at a perfect right angle to the bow? I tried to use a regular level but my sight doesn’t have a flat enough service to put it on. Is there a certain level that would make this easier?

    • SoleAdventure

      Are you looking to ensure that your sight level is accurate with your bow? If so, use a level along the bow’s string to get the bow level vertically and then confirm that your sight’s bubble is also showing level. If you meant “right angle” in terms of “in and out” (like a door on a hinge), then you’re referring to what’s called 3rd-axis leveling. Here’s a great video on that: