July 29, 2010
How-To Thursdays: Tie a Better D-Loop
By Dave Hurteau
Here’s one from the archives, written by Greg Staggs. For what it’s worth, ever since Greg wrote this piece for me a couple years ago, I have tied my own D-loops exactly as he describes below—and I do think it makes a difference. –Dave Hurteau
The Scoop On Your D-Loop
With the current wild popularity of short axle-to-axle bows, more and more archers are adding a D-loop to the string to shoot with a caliper-style release. This is smart on the one hand. Because of the very sharp angle created when you draw a short bow, the added loop makes for less torque, less nock pinch, and less serving wear compared with shooting directly off the string.
On the other hand, it exacerbates a very common problem. Hunters already tend to favor draw lengths that are too long—which tends to have a negative impact on accuracy. Adding a standard D-loop makes it effectively longer. And guys don’t want to shorten the bow’s draw because that means losing speed.
The solution is to tie your own, extra-short D-loop. It is easy to do and saves you a few bucks at the pro shop. If you tie it exactly as follows, it adds only the absolute minimum amount of length to your draw.
 Tie the first knot. Start with a 12- to 18-inch length of loop material. Tamp one end gently to flare the fibers, and melt them with a lighter to form a ball. Using this end of the cord, form an upside-down U just above and behind the bowstring. Bring both tag ends under the string and back up through the inverted U.
 Pull it tight. Snug it up by hand, then wrap the long tag end around a small flashlight and pull as hard as you can, cinching the knot down tight.
 Tie the second knot. Bring the long tag end behind and under the bowstring, then in front and back up through the loop you just made. Now do it again, but this time bring the tag end in front and under, then behind and up through.
 Pull it tight. Here’s the key to the whole thing. Do not preform the D part of the D-loop before snugging up this second knot. Instead, keep the cord lying tight alongside the bowstring as you tighten. Now cut off the tag end about 1/8 inch away from the knot, flare out the fibers, and melt them into a ball, being careful to keep the flame away from the bowstring and loop. Note that the two melted ends should point in opposite directions.
 Form the D. Finally, insert a pair of needle-nose pliers into the flattened D and open the jaws to cinch down the knots and open your extremely short D-loop. This way, the effective draw length is increased as little as possible and your anchor point stays nearly the same as if you were shooting off the string.
[Caution: No D-loop you or anyone else ties is 100 percent fail-safe. Always aim your bow in a safe direction before drawing it. If you don’t feel comfortable tying your own D-loop, bring this article to your bow-shop pro and ask him to tie your next loop this way. —G.S.]