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Which Rest is Best

Which Rest is Best


In the world of hunting archery two types of arrow rest dominate the scene. Containment rests, and drop away rests. Deciding which is best for you can be expensive and frustrating. Hopefully we can shed some light on the subject and see which is best for you.

Containment rest came on the scene with the Whisker Biscuit a few years back. This rest simplified one major problem hunters had and that was keeping the arrow on the rest while moving, tilting or just drawing the arrow. It allowed for acceptable accuracy and after some modifications became wildly popular. Other companies took notice and began offering their versions of the containment rest. Hunters spoke loudly they wanted a rest that did what the Whisker Biscuit did and other containment rests emerged.

Before this, the drop away rest was wildly popular. The design was such that when the arrow was released, the rest stabilized the arrow for a few inches and then ‘dropped away’ to prevent interference on the arrow and producing a more accurate flight of the arrow. This style rest is still very popular among hunters and tournament archers. Both have their pros and cons and frankly I shoot both styles. It really comes down to a personal preference in the hunting arena.

If I am treestand hunting the drop away is fine. I will be making shots that are steady, slightly downhill from the stand and with little movement on my part. However if I am spot and stalk hunting, I want the containment rest that I do not have to worry about my arrow falling off my rest and clanging my riser. I want the assurance that the arrow is where it is supposed to be when it is supposed to be there.

The drop away as stated is popular among certain hunters. It can be more accurate than the containment but is a bit harder to get dialed in. That being said, it is still not that difficult to get dialed in at reasonable yardages.

The containment rest is a bit different, the Whisker Biscuit has little adjustments to it and this is one of the things many hunters like about it. Other models have other adjustments that can make them a bit more accurate. The Halo by G5 for example is a containment rest that has three independent adjustable “arms” that can be tailored to the particular diameter of the arrow being shot. So if you are shooting standard size arrows or micro diameter arrows the “arms” can be adjusted to hole them as snug as needed to produce accurate shot and keep the arrow stable.

Whether you choose a drop away or containment, the need to practice and the patience to get the rest set up is as important as setting the sights if not more so. Too many shooters will slap on their rest, get it level and then fight with their sight for better accuracy when the problem is really with the rest. I have found that using the owner’s manual of the bow and the rest can alleviate a lot of headache. My Prime Alloy for example says to start with the rest at 13/16 from the burger hole for center. By setting my rest at this point to begin with allowed me to dial it is very swiftly.

The rest is important with what is known as fallback tuning. Sight your bow at thirty yards. Then hang a weighted string or draw a plumb line from the thirty yard arrow and back up to sixty yards. Shoot for the center of the target and the arrow should be lower than the thirty yard arrow. If this arrow strikes to the right of the line, move your rest to the left. (a little goes a long way here. Do not move it much) and shoot again. Keep doing this until your arrows are on the vertical line. Now your rest is aligned with your sights. Regardless of which type you shoot, this is a great exercise.

Choose a style you will like for your situation and get to know it, how it fits, how it adjusts and how if handles your arrows. Once you have confidence in your rest, your sights should be easy to set and set with confidence.