Trad Talk Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed a whole lot of people seem to really like the string puffs on their traditional bow strings. I’ve always used cat whiskers on my compound and have them on my recurves but I am starting to rethink that decision. I wonder if there is something about traditional bows that make puffs a better choice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Having done a bit of experimentation my preference is for short lengths of paracord, with the core removed.

What I have learned through reading and experimentation is that placement on the string is crucial. I see photos on here of bows, and on the likes of YouTube, with silencers placed suboptimally on the string, usually too far to the outside, lessening their effectiveness.

This is one example of the paracord method:

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,145 Posts
SOME SAY (I've not tried it) "heterodyning" says divide the string in thirds & fourths - - place ONE puff at 1/3 of total distance, from top, and ONE at 1/4, nearer bottom, or vice versa.
Anyone here verify it from experience? I've read of people claiming it works better than making them equal distances from tips.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Locomo

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I was JUST going to suggest what David said. Paracord. Saw that same video. Tried it on my Grizzly. Works like a charm! I used 3 pieces per side but I think 4 may be better. 3 looks a little thin. Fraying was the hardest part. lol. Found a metal fine pick and picked through it. That made life easier. Start at the top and work your way down slowly or knots develop. I was surprised how easy it was and how well it actually worked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I was JUST going to suggest what David said. Paracord. Saw that same video. Tried it on my Grizzly. Works like a charm! I used 3 pieces per side but I think 4 may be better. 3 looks a little thin. Fraying was the hardest part. lol. Found a metal fine pick and picked through it. That made life easier. Start at the top and work your way down slowly or knots develop. I was surprised how easy it was and how well it actually worked.
Tip for next time, I actually just let nature take its course, and didn't do much pre-fraying other than my finger tips right after stringing up the bow. I found after a good twenty arrows or so they frayed themselves entirely!

I'm thinking you're right about the number of pieces, I started with bundles of 3, but they do look a little thin. Acoustically speaking the three work just great, but aesthetically I might want a little more substance.

Image is everything. 😎
 

·
Bart Harmeling
Joined
·
3,392 Posts
I've used cat whiskers a lot, and they work very well provided they are installed correctly. However they wear out and need replacement all too often. Puffs made of dyneema or even paracord will last the life of the string and beyond. A bit of experimentation with placement and perhaps combining with small mufflers will let you use a minimum of material. You shouldn't have to use something that looks like a cheerleader's pom pom.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,426 Posts
I use cat whiskers for my target and hunting recurves. I like that I don't have to have a lot on the string to quiet it down and I like the way they look. And, they do not hold a lot of moisture. My target bow was very noisy at one point (I know, you don't have to have a quiet bow for target shooting) I didn't have silencers available so I put two short pieces of masking tape on the string and it quieted down the bow considerably, the tape just didn't last long. I have even used foam earplugs in a pinch, they worked but didn't last long.

Tradlab did a silencer study: Silencer Study | Tradlab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've used cat whiskers a lot, and they work very well provided they are installed correctly. However they wear out and need replacement all too often. Puffs made of dyneema or even paracord will last the life of the string and beyond. A bit of experimentation with placement and perhaps combining with small mufflers will let you use a minimum of material. You shouldn't have to use something that looks like a cheerleader's pom pom.
I’ve used cat whiskers on my compounds for many years and never wore them out. I don’t know if it’s a brand thing or what but this is the first I have ever heard of that.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
702 Posts
I used cat whiskers for the longest time, but switched to paracord sheath after reading about it. I much prefer paracord since it’s easier to work with and seems to work just as well. You can leave it longer, too; with cat whiskers I had to cut it short so it wouldn’t wear on the string.

I tried string jacks for awhile, but they didn’t work as well in the end.
 

·
Bart Harmeling
Joined
·
3,392 Posts
I’ve used cat whiskers on my compounds for many years and never wore them out. I don’t know if it’s a brand thing or what but this is the first I have ever heard of that.
As far as silencing goes, the attach photo is the most effective technique I found. But they wear out quickly. Tying the full length bundle to the string lasts well, but creates kind of a "chhh" sound that I don't like. If I can hear it then game animals can hear it. Dyneema puffs last for ever, they are quiet, light weight, don't hold much water, and don't collect burrs. Oh, they are also cheap if you invest in some Amsteel Rope. Check West Marine.
IMG_0038.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It looks like cat whiskers did pretty good in the posted silencer tests plus the placement of them seems important, I remember reading about that placement issue before.
I want to get as close to a low tone thump. In my experiences deer are more tolerant to that sound than higher pitched swishing sounds of the string.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Puffs are my choice, I like the look and they really quiet the bow down. I make my own, color and material choice are endless as are the amount of strands in the puff. And after you install them you can trim them down after they puff out.

Lately I have been going with yarn that has a higher wool content than the man made materials. A little more expensive but I like the look.

Here are some silencers that I made out of the woven exterior of a med. rope, all synthetic, but the colors really vanished in the woods.

Good Shooting->->->->Craig


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
Sorry, but if you need those big balls of whatever you have a tuning issue. I use one set of cat whiskers only. if the bow isn’t quite enough with that I am looking for a string issue or arrow issue.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
180 Posts
Sorry, but if you need those big balls of whatever you have a tuning issue. I use one set of cat whiskers only. if the bow isn’t quite enough with that I am looking for a string issue or arrow issue.
Have you ever tried at quite a 31” draw length? Not that easy, the extra power stroke really adds to the noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
I have tried tuning for sound but can never get the string buzz tuned out. Made acrylic yarn puffs that made it a nice thump and no buzz. Just got some bass lure skirt material in to make my own cat whiskers. 5' strips should last a while.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
Strictly for silencing purposes, weight and placement is what makes the difference - not material.
Factors such as aesthetics, durability, water and burr resistance are the factors to consider for choosing material to use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I positioned a set of cat whiskers on my string where the article stated was best and found it made more noise, I put them back to even positions about 12” from the ends where the string contacts the limbs and sounded much better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have tried tuning for sound but can never get the string buzz tuned out. Made acrylic yarn puffs that made it a nice thump and no buzz. Just got some bass lure skirt material in to make my own cat whiskers. 5' strips should last a while.
You won’t tune out string buzz, you can tune it to be quieter but it won’t get it out. The string is going to vibrate like a guitar string and string silencers just dampen that vibration changing the tone and duration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I think Steve nailed it. I've switched to the string leeches. Place them right and they work great, last, don't collect water or burrs. Course maybe they don't look "trad" enough.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top