First Time Buying of Traditional Archery Equipment – Primitive Or Modern

Source: Stick & String Adventures Podcast – Episode 27 – Archers Roundtable

The Continuing Conversation between

ranger_bowJason Albert – The best decision I made when I did start out was starting with a U-Finish Bow.  I liked the fact that I was invested into my equipment.  I made my equipment.  It gave me a connection to it.  And like you said, if you are over-bowed, you can always sand it down and take some of the weight off of it.

Nick Viau – I am going to play a little bit of devils advocate with you there, Jason.  I can only do it because this is the way I started, but I’m a big proponent of starting out a little more modern and working back towards the primitive is a kind of nice way to do it.  And the reason being is because you consider the modern bow hunting world, the modern compound bow.  You’re always going for the technologically better.  I mean, if there is something there that is better and will help you in the field, you’re going to go after it.

Traditional archers; a lot of them work backwards.   I started out with carbons and a recurve.  I love the fact that I started out with carbons and a recurve.  That helped with the consistency with the arrows.  The durability with my arrows, when I didn’t have a lot of money, it was perfect.  I mean, I could bounce those things off of everything.  They wouldn’t break. I went for the first month without breaking a single arrow. Had I started with wood, I probably would have broken quite a few.  I know that I would have broken a lot of aluminum.

And if I would have started with a self bow…  This is from my experience as of recently just shooting s self bow that I finished.  I absolutely agree that it makes you a better archer.  But when you’re starting there is so much that you have to worry about with your form, and getting your form down, and getting it to become a habit that it’s nice to have some things are consistent.  If you know that you have a good tuned bow and it feels good in your hand.

Recurves in general you have a little more mass, it feels a little smoother, you have a flatter trajectory.  And then with your carbons or whatever you’re shooting, you know that they’re consistent from arrow to arrow.  That really helped me.

Now the investment…  I cannot deny the investment. Like you were saying, if you’re invested in your equipment and you learn all that early and you’re on it, then you’re pretty much almost there. There’s not really much further you need to go.  You could side step to a recurve or a longbow, but then you’re kinda moving in a different direction.  I don’t know.  That’s an interesting point.  I never really thought about it like that.

Jason Albert – And my thing is that…  The price.  If you can get a modern bow, a modern traditional styled bow for less than a hundred bucks, then perfect.  I would go that way the whole time.  But for the price, just starting out, not knowing what your body can take…  That U-Finish bow is less than a hundred bucks and you’ve got yourself a nice decent shooting bow there. You’re ready to go.

“I think that’s probably the nicest part about traditional archery is that this is a complete journey.”

Ned Miller- I think this touches on one of the essential parts, at least for me, for what traditional archery is.  There is no one route to take.  I’ve seen this in all different avenues.  The arrows, the bows, the quivers, everything, but I think that’s the greatest part of traditional archery.  If you’re that type of person that prefers to build it and you think that’s the way to go, then there’s something for you.  If you want to start out with that bow that’s finished, ready to go, high performance, there’s that route to go too.  I think that’s probably the nicest part about traditional archery is that this is a complete journey.  It just depends which direction you want to go.


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Union Grove Gun Show Went Great



This October 21st – 23rd, 2016 Rasher Quivers participated in a gun show.  This gun show was sponsored by Bob and Rocco’s and was held at the Racine County Fair Grounds in Union Grove, Wisconsin.

My wife, Lisa, and I enjoyed ourselves at this event.  It was a great opportunity to meet new people and to show off our products.  It was particularly valuable in getting feedback on our product line.  It’s important to hear what people like and don’t like about our products.

We will definitely be making some changes to our table set up for the next show.  Come see us next month at:

Bob & Rocco Gun Show


at the Bella Vita Banquet Hall

34816 Geneva Rd, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105

November 25 – 27 2016


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First Time Buying of Traditional Archery Equipment – Over-Bowed

Source: Stick & String Adventures Podcast – Episode 27 – Archers Roundtable

The Continuing Conversation between


Jason Albert – My biggest thing with the bows; and pretty much everybody else I’ve ever talked to that was starting off, is being over-bowed.  Your bow weight is way more than you can handle.  I’m guilty of it myself.  In high school I was on the power lifting team and in the military I was on the power lifting team.  So, I’m a pretty strong guy.  I thought that I could handle those big bows.  And I could for thirty, forty shots a day. But what you’re not figuring into the equation is the frequency and the repetition that you’re going to be using there.  The weight on that bow and the effects it’s going to have on your body.

Nick Viau – I totally agree and I would echo Jason in that.  I played football all my life. In college and everything else.  I’m a lineman, a big guy. I think that I am going to take Jason one step further here.  I don’t think people understand that not only are the muscles different.  Your pulling a lot with your back and everything like that, but I don’t think anybody really considers their fingers. I mean, the majority of your string is on your fingers.  And I don’t care if you’re wearing a glove or not, if you start out over-bowed, you are not going to want to pull that bow back.

Over a period of time, eventually it’s going to hurt. I mean, I was taping my fingers up. I was supposed to have a forty-five pound bow, but they didn’t put it on the bow scale for me.  My particular first bow was a Ragim Impala.  It was one of the earlier models and that one was known to stack.  At my thirty-one inch draw at the time, it was pulling sixty pounds. I was way over-bowed.  I was taping my fingers up with athletic tape so I could keep shooting.  I just figured that I was week and needed to grow into the bow.  I totally agree with Jason.

That’s another thing too, is that poundage.  I see this with transitioning compound shooters too. They think that they hold however much poundage in a compound with let-off and their going to be able to move to a traditional bow that pulls…  Maybe even a little bit off, so if they shot seventy pounds or sixty-five pounds in a compound, they think that they can go to a fifty or a fifty-five and their going to be okay.  Well that’s not necessarily the case.  I don’t think they’re going to get that kind of attention  at a sporting goods store either.  They just might want to sell you on something.  They might not have anything in stock but a higher poundage bow.  That’s what they are going to sell you.

“If they have a bad experience up front, they might not even try to continue with it.”

Ned Miller – Absolutely.  The fingers are a really good point.  I use a glove and I can tell when that glove is wearing down.  If I just pick up a bow when I’m in the shop building bows and just doing some test shots and testing things out.  I can tell after just a couple of shots.  My fingers start to get that way. The one thing that this could cause is…  This could possibly be some of the worst stuff it could cause is…  This could take somebody right out of  the perspective of even wanting to stay in traditional archery.  If they have a bad experience up front, they might not even try to continue with it.  They might not tape up their fingers and keep shooting.  They might just put this down and say, “Ah, This isn’t for me.”  When it really could be for them.

Jason Albert – Very good point.

Nick Viau – They’re also not going to understand that their body is going to adapt.  Eventually their fingers are going to callous.  It doesn’t take long.  A couple of weeks with whacking the ole’ forearm and the arm guard and what not.  Putting the strain on the fingers and cutting your fingers up to say, “What am I doing this for?  There’s got to be an easier way to do this.”  Especially if they’re not seeing results right away on the target.

Jason Albert – If I had to, I would recommend that when buying your first bow,  under-bow yourself.  Because you’re spending so much time worrying about your form that the last thing you need to worry about is fatigue and the bow weight.  Your draw weight.

Nick Viau – I agree.  Anybody should master one weight at a time.  If you don’t master a weight, you shouldn’t be shooting that weight, you shouldn’t move up until you’ve mastered that weight.  It should be an effortless thing.  You should be able to pull it back, control it, and hold it for a few seconds.  If you can’t do that, not even once or twice, then you’re not ever going to hit that anchor.

Jason Albert – Right.  Because when you first start shooting, that’s all you do is shoot. I’m talking your shooting anywhere from one-hundred to two-hundred arrows a day.

“My fingers were bleeding by the time I was done after the first three days.”

Nick Viau – Exactly. My mentor told me that too.  Twenty arrows a day, don’t go over that. Who’s going to stop at twenty arrows a day when you get started?  I shot all day.  My fingers were bleeding by the time I was done after the first three days.  You just can’t get enough of it.

Ned Miller – I can see this too, just from a having kids perspective.  Everything we’ve talked about so far, I’ve seen up-close and personal with both my son (who is getting ready to turn five) and my daughter (who’s three).  They both have experienced all the things we are talking about.  It’s not really the fingers so much.  But when I was making little tiny bows for them.  If it was too heavy, you would notice right away.  If they had any type of little wince at all when they pulled it back, they only shot one or two.  They would put it down and they would stop.

Now I would take that same bow down to the shop and rework it.  Drop the weight on it.  Then give it back to them a couple of days later when they were ready to do it again.  He’d pick it up, he’d shoot, and because it didn’t pull hard, he just kept doing it.  So even there, with very naive to what’s going on, it’s very mental and physical.


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Union Grove Gun Show | October 21-23

Join Rasher Quivers in Wisconsin at the Union Grove Gun Show on October 21-23.  See Rasher Quivers products up close and personal.

30% Off Website Prices at the show only

Bob & Rocco Gun Show


at the Racine County Fairgrounds

19805 Durand Ave, Union Grove, WI 53182

October 21 – 23 2016


  • Adults – $6.00
  • 14 & Under – FREE

Show Hours:

  • Fri: 3pm – 8pm
  • Sat: 9am – 5pm
  • Sun: 9am – 3pm
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First Time Buying of Traditional Archery Equipment – Pro Shop Vs. Small Shop

Source: Stick & String Adventures Podcast – Episode 27 – Archers Roundtable

A Conversation between

Ned Miller – We’re going to kick it off with the first topic which is going to be, “First Time Buying of Traditional Archery Equipment.” What that means from a buyer’s perspective (The kind of things you run into).  And also from a shop owner or product owners perspective and the kinds of opinions and the kinds of advice we give to new time archer’s and buyers. So, Alright guys, let’s kick it off with that topic.  Whoever wants to chime in first on first time buying.

Jason Albert – I have so much to say about this because I made like every mistake in the book when it came time for me to buy my stuff. So, I figure a good place to start is on bows. For me…  I am going to start it right off the bat with something a little controversial.  I know that I am going to get a lot of hate mail for this, but……

  • Stay away from the large commercial sporting goods stores like Cabelas & Bass Pro’s if you are not an experienced archer.  Cabelas and Bass Pro Shop are great places to buy stuff if you know what you are doing, but most of their employees are short-term employees.  I have to recommend to buy from your local Mom & Pop pro-shop because they have the passion for the sport and they have the knowledge and experience to get you set up properly.

Ned Miller – Now, Jason, Have you had some particular personal experience with that or is that coming from some other people you’ve talked to?

Jason Albert – From my personal experience and other people I’ve talked to.  I mean…  They come away with arrows that are not even coming close to being spined for their bow.  They’re over bowed because they just wanted to sell them what they could.

Ned Miller – I get that.  And you can tell just by looking at their products or some of the websites.  Cabelas and some of the bigger establishments…  They have great products.  there’s no doubt about it.  But,  if you are a first time buyer and have a lot of questions that are very detailed, and to what a lot of people consider to be a niche market, I can see how you can get on the wrong path.

Jason Albert – Definitely buy from your local Mom & Pop pro shop.  Even if you have to drive 25, 30, 50 miles.  It will be worth your time because they’re going to be the one’s that get you set up right. And their more likely going to be the ones you set up a relationship with.  Sporting good stores…  They’re very impersonal and they’re just not going to be there for you when you need it.

Nick Viau – I couldn’t agree more.  I actually couldn’t agree more with Jason here. I originally did a lot of shopping online.  I was actually set up with an outfitter. Fortunately they had a traditional guy on staff that was traditional first and everything else second.  He was able to set me up with what I needed.

“But, most of the experiences I’ve had when people go into a sporting goods store, a large one, aren’t very good”

But, most of the experiences I’ve had when people go into a sporting goods store, a large one, aren’t very good.  They usually come back spending way more than they should have.  Like Jason said, they usually don’t have very tuned equipment. They’re usually sold on really high-priced carbon arrows.  A lot of guys come back with blazer vanes and stuff like that.  They’re not feather fletched.

Most of the staff aren’t trained on what they’re selling.  They only know, and most of them will tell you, “I am really not that familiar with them (traditional bows that is).” That’s kinda where they stand.  There’s so much to know in the modern world than traditional.  And that’s what they sell.  I mean, let’s face it.  We’re a very small percentage.  They are not trained in setting people up like that.  Unless you get somebody on staff who happen to have been one first, you’re not going to have very good luck.

I highly recommend the Mom & Pop stores.  Plus, the Mom & Pop stores are going to put you in contact with other people who shoot like you do.  And you’re going to be able to find a community.  I really had to shop around for that for a long time.  It took me a few weeks to find a shop that said, “Yeah, we got a traditional guy.  You might want to stop in here on Tuesday’s” or something like that.  That community is important.  Finding that mentor is so important at first.  You’re not going to get that at a major sporting goods store like that.

Ned Miller – I could really see the pitfalls you could run into.  The thing is… I think a lot of these big stores have basically a very canned perspective or canned package towards traditional archery.  Here’s two or three bows we may have.  If they have that many.  And they’re definitely not going to have any traditional wooden arrows.  It’s all going to be carbon, aluminum.  If you want to go down the wood arrow route.  I can see that they have a very canned perspective.  One set up for everybody.  And we all know that with traditional archery, there’s not one set up for everybody.


Here is a link to another blog post on a similar topic: PSE’s Will Jenkins on Buying Online vs. Pro Shops

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Three Arrows

My blog post, “Pacific Archery & The Little Arrow” was a response to this blog post written by Nick Viau of Life & Longbows.



I put three arrows through three deer and hung the results on the wall to honor the memory.

The first was aluminum – the culmination of beginner’s luck and a newly discovered talent. It reminds me of a young hunter nearing the end of his first season, overcoming shaking hands and pounding heart to cast it. Killing was new to me then and I haven’t forgotten the weight of the moment: the arch of the arrow; the crunch of red-speckled snow under foot; my breath rising in the chilly December air; Dad’s voice congratulating me on the phone.

Remorse. Joy. Pride. I never thought an object capable of retaining such things, but I relive the moment with every glance to the wall. That simple implement, that ridiculous tin can, is so much more than an arrow somehow. It represents an awakening – my baptism to the world of bowhunting.

The second – a…

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Pacific Archery & The Little Arrow

I was reading a blog post from Life & Longbows called, “Three Arrows.”  Nick was telling a story about his Harvest Arrows and asked if anyone else had any arrow stories to share.  This is my reply to his Blog Post.

When I was living in Las Vegas, I loved to hang out at the Pacific Archery Shop.  I met some of the best people I will ever know in that shop.  As most of you know, when you get a bunch of archer’s together the jokes and sarcasm are never ending.  That was true in the case of the Little Arrow.

It is no secret that I am not a tall man.  My draw length is only 25 inches.  Because of this, the short jokes are never ending.  Gabby Reyes was particularly ambitious with his Hobbit jokes.  They were never ending.

little_arrow-1One day Gabe Bozarth, the shop owner, put a field point on one of Gabby’s broken arrows.  They wrote some kind words on the arrow. Then laid it across the horns of an elk that was mounted in the archery shop as if it was the arrow that had taken the beast.  When I walked into the Pacific Archery Shop  they were all waiting for me with the arrow for my arsenal.  The arrows read:

  • The J. Albert Special
  • AKA “Das Midget”
  • AKA “The Hobbit”

They really know how to make a guy feel good about himself.

I live in Wisconsin now, but the Little Arrow still lays across the elk antlers in the Pacific Archery Shop.  The J. Albert Special.

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