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Nocking Points and D Loops

Whether you use a longbow, recurve or high tech compound bow, accuracy in archery is vital. Although simple pieces of equipment, the target archer and bowhunter would be inconsistent in their shooting without a good solid nocking point or d loop.

Their are dozens of variations of setting up your nocking point, with metal nock sets, tied nock sets and the use of the d loop. Here are some standard and variations of nocking point and d loop styles and some positives and negatives of each style.

Single Brass Nock SetSingle Metal Nock Set

For finger shooters and release aid shooters, the single brass nock set or metal nock set is easy to install with nocking pliers.

It won't slip with correct installation and is relatively easy to unistall or move for tuning.

This set up has been standard for many archers over the years because of the simplicity, easy to do and reliability.

Cons - More weight then a string nock set. Direct wear from release aid jaws if used on the bow string. The jaws may also put pressure on the arrow nock and pinch it or push the arrow off the bow string.


Double Metal Nocking Points

Double Metal Nocking Points

Two brass or metal nock sets provide a secure nocking point. Can be used with a release aid or for finger shooters.

Cons - More weight then one and the two nock sets may pinch the arrow nock.

For bowhunters looking at game, not at their equpment, it may be a touch harder to nock the arrow in position while not looking at it.

If the noc sets are placed too close to each other, they will pinch the arrow nock.


Single Tied Nock Point

Single Tied Nock Set

Tied nock sets or string nock points (Also called soft nocks) are light weight on the bow string and stay in position if tied in firmly.

They can be used for release aid archers and are great with target finger shooters, as the minimal size profile releases a touch better then the metal nock set.

The tied noc set can be made out of dental floss, BCY nock tying thread, #3D serving or similar.

Cons - Harder to put on, adjust or remove. For the bowhunter using fingers, it may wear more then a brass nock set.

Double Tied Noc SetsDouble Tied Nock Set

Two tied in nocking points give a secure point and if used for release aid shooters, will stop the metal jaws from directly touching the arrow nock.

Cons - A touch more weight then one nock set and more time to fix and adjust.

Standard D LoopD Loop

The d loop is very popular with compound target archers and bowhunters alike, who use a release aid.

The d loop pulls equally above and below the arrow nock and shaft. It delivers the bow string's force more uniformly to the end of the arrow shaft. There is no downward flex on the arrow and arrow rest, or sidewards pressure as with finger shooters, therefore it should increase accuracy and speed.

There is also less wear on the bow string serving as the release aid is not directly contacting the bow string.

Archers with a very long draw length may be limited with archery bow brands and makes, as some don't cater for very long draw lengths. While not increasing the the bow's draw length, it can help increase the archers anchor point for very tall archers or long limbed shooters.

Cons - Harder to hook up with the archery release aid when watching animals bow hunting.

More additional equipment to fail or complicate things. May slip up without additional nock sets to hold it securely.

It may affect your anchor point, while the bows draw length technically stays the same with a d loop, the archers anchor point may be half an inch or so longer. If you do shorten your bow's draw length to compensate for the added d loop length on your anchor point, you will lose some speed.

To learn how to install a d loop, click on How To Tie A D Loop


Single Tied Nock Set with D LoopD Loop With Tied Nockset

The single tied nockset with a d loop may give you the best of both worlds as it secures a good nocking point and the d loop won't slip.

Cons - Slightly more weight and mucking around to tie it in.




Double Tied Nocking Points With D LoopD Loop With Two Tied Nocksets

The double tied nocksets with a d loop is popular with some target archers as it puts downward pressure on the arrow when the bow is at full draw. This helps it stay on the arrow rest, which is handy for bowhunting or field archery shooting different angles.

If your d loop breaks or for replacing worn d loops, this system is great as your nocking points are already there.

Cons - Takes more time to tie it in and slightly more weight, although string nock sets have minimal weight.


Metal Nockset Above D LoopD Loop With Metal Nockset

A single brass or metal nock set place above the d loop gives a solid knocking point that won't slip and is easy to install.

Cons - More additional weight.



Brass Nock Set Under D LoopMetal Nockset Between D Loop

A single metal nock set placed between the d loop gives similiar advantages to above, but you have a more accurate reference point if your d loop breaks or you have to replace it.

Cons - May pinch into plastic arrow nock and more additional weight.

Eliminator ButtonsEliminator Buttons

An eliminator button is basically a rubber nock that goes between the release aid and arrow nock. It cushions the arrow nock from the release aid.

It can be used with a brass or string nock set above the arrow nock, or d loop.

Cons - Some require that the bowstring be taken off to be slid on.

The eliminator button can crack or pop off, depending on manufacturer.

Metal D LoopMetal D Loops

Some metal d loops have the advantage of helping align the peep sight as the arrow nock aligns in a slot, which eliminates the rubber tubing of some peep sights.

Metal d loops are also reasonable easy to fit and adjust.

Cons - More weight on the bow string then a cord d loop. Also may be harsh on release aid jaws, from the metal contacting each other and can make more noise.

The metal isn't as forgiving as the string d loop material.

Some brands are poorly constructed and the small screws required to secure it, may break easy.


Their are countless other d loop and nocking point set ups, each with their own pros and cons. For 3D, field and target archery, there is generally a good reason why the top performers choose their nocking point set up.

For bowhunters, a simple system works best, as murphys law sometimes steps in when it comes to your archery equipment in the field.

Try a few different set ups and see which style suits your shooting!