Although a compound bow is designed with a serviceable arrow shelf on which the arrow may be launched the key with shooting accurately can come down to the control applied to the arrow at launch. Consequently there are a number of different types of arrow rests that have been designed to give the shooter the edge.
Although they are all designed to help start the arrow on the straightest and most accurate path to the target, there are a number of different ways in which the rest can operate giving the shooter a choice that will help fine tune their compound bow set up.
A drop away arrow rest, which is sometimes also referred to as a fall away arrow rest, provides a sturdy rest that consist of a couple of prongs that can be micro-adjusted to zero right in on the target. At the moment the bowstring is released the rest drops down and out of the way of the arrow and it’s fletching, timing it so the arrow is allowed to fly free.
A containment arrow rest is a little different in that the arrow is completely surrounded by the frame of the arrow rest. The advantage of using this type of rest, particularly for the hunter, is that once the arrow is fitted into the rest it will remain secure while moving about. Most containment rests are designed so that the arrow is able to pass completely through without any part touching the sides. However, there is the possibility that the vanes could become frayed if they don’t completely clear the rest or if using larger vanes.
A shoot-through arrow rest is designed with a couple of prongs that are spaced apart and are forced down and out of the way by the momentum of the arrow. Alternatively they are designed to allow the arrow vanes to pass by while providing slight movement to let them pass. These arrow rests are usually the simplest to install and are also some of the cheapest rests available.
The final type of arrow rests that should be mentioned among the others are those that are known as pressure rests. These arrow rests are designed to be used by finger release shooters who require an arrow rest that limits the amount of horizontal oscillation that takes place.
In many cases the arrow rest that you choose will be the result of trial and error testing. It does not necessarily follow that the most expensive or most elaborate looking arrow will be the one that will suit your shooting style or the arrows that you use. Find an arrow rest, tune it and then, most importantly, use it.