By Scott Einsmann
Accurate archery requires consistency in every part of your shot, whether it’s your grip, your anchor, or how far you pull the bowstring back. That’s especially true when shooting recurve bows.
Even a fraction of an inch difference in a recurve’s draw length changes the arrow’s impact point. That’s why many Olympians use a clicker.
As the name implies this bow accessory makes an audible click, which has a dual purpose. It helps archers keep their draw length consistent, and it helps them mentally execute a consistent release by triggering their shot.
Manufacturers make myriad types of clickers, but the most common mounts on a bow’s riser and includes an arm that extends toward the arrow shelf. The arrow sits under the clicker arm. When the arrow tip pulls past it, the arm hits the riser to make the click.
Another clicker mounts to the bowsight. It works just like the riser-mounted clicker, but provides more adjustment range for different arrow lengths. If you shoot a longer arrow, or you’re young and still growing, a bowsight-mounted clicker is an excellent option.
A third type of clicker is limb-mounted, and it’s most commonly used by traditional archers. These clickers mount to the limb with double-sided tape, and connect to the bowstring with a cord. As the cord pulls tight, a tab on the clicker flexes and clicks.
Adjusting your clicker is much like adjusting your sight. The initial setting gets you close, and then you fine-tune it. With help from a friend or coach, pull your bow to full draw and note the arrow point’s distance to the clicker. Let down and move the clicker until it’s close to the arrow point’s position at full draw.
Now put your arrow under the clicker and come to full draw again. When you reach your anchor point, you should have about a ¼-inch remaining in the draw to make the clicker go off. Your goal is for the clicker go off at the same time on each shot with a slight movement of your back muscles.
Clickers are a fantastic tool, but if you can’t reach your draw length consistently you’ll endure lots of frustration. Consistent draw lengths require precision in your alignment, bow arm and anchor point. A coach can help you with those aspects of form, and help you decide when you’re ready to use a clicker. To find a coach, click here.