How Long Should Arrows Be For A 26 Inch Draw?

How Long Should Arrows Be For A 26 Inch Draw

Whether you’re into archery or bowhunting, selecting the right arrow for your setup is extremely crucial if you want the right flight speed and accuracy. 

But since there is a wide range of bows out there, it’s natural that there are tons of arrows to provide you with the perfect arrow for your bow. One of the most essential metrics to consider while picking an arrow is its length. 

So how long should arrows be for a 26 inch draw? Ideally, a 26 inch draw bow will require an arrow that is anywhere from 27 to 28 inches. However, certain factors may affect the real length of your arrow, depending on your draw technique and personal preferences.

If you want to know more about arrow length and how your bow draw length affects it, this article will provide you with all the information you’re going to need!

How Long Should Arrows Be for a 26 Inch Draw Bow?

How Long Should Arrows Be for a 26 Inch Draw Bow

Despite popular belief, the draw length of the bow and arrow length is connected by they’re not identical. This means that a 26 inch draw bow doesn’t necessarily work with 26 inch arrows.

The best way to determine the right arrows for your draw length is by trying out different arrow lengths and figuring out the best one for you.

However, as a rule of thumb, you usually determine your draw length, then you simply add anywhere from 1 to 2 inches to get the recommended arrow length range. 

In that case, if your bow has a draw length of 26 inches, the arrows that you’re going to use here should be anywhere from 27 to 28 inches.

What Happens if I Pick the Wrong Arrow Length?

As previously mentioned, the length of the arrow suitable for your bow lies within an ample range of 1 or 2 inches. So what happens if you end up using an arrow that is either too long or too short? Let’s find out:

If you shoot an arrow that is remarkably longer than your bow draw length, not only will it stick out an awful lot during a full draw, but it’ll also affect both your handling and maneuverability.

Additionally, the excess shaft weight will also make your arrow heavier, stiffer, and therefore, a bit slower.

An arrow that is short is good for flying, but when it’s too short it won’t sit right at full draw and can be quite dangerous to use. For that reason, the arrow shouldn’t be shorter than the draw length of the bow.

Are Longer Arrows Faster or Stiffer?

Many new archers think that the length of the arrow is corresponding to the speed at which they hit a target. But in fact, shorter arrows can actually be better for your shot, as they typically fly slightly faster and even more accurately.

On the other hand, longer arrows will reduce the accuracy of the shot by inducing some spin that will make your shot more likely to miss the target.

The stiffness of a given arrow is mostly controlled by the type of material that the arrow is made of. 

However, not only the length of the arrow but also the weight and cross-sectional circumference of the shaft can have a significant role in affecting the stiffness. 

This is something you should also consider because an arrow that is too stiff can encounter several problems.

If you have a set of arrows and you want to know how to measure them the right way, here’s what you need to know. First, you should know that what’s measured here is only the shaft of the arrow, not the head or the point of the arrow itself.

For that reason, what you’re going to do here is simply use any measuring device, preferably a tape measure, and find the length of the shaft of the arrow.

Do Arrows Need to Be Cut?

Do Arrows Need to Be Cut

If your arrows turn out to be slightly longer than you need, you might be considering trimming them off. Technically speaking, you can cut your arrows if you have to. 

However, I don’t recommend cutting your arrows unless there’s no other way to use them, as most arrows are cut precisely to their length and unprofessional trimming might affect their accuracy and speed. 

Additionally, it can put the arrows at the risk of damage and weakening their structure, especially for beginners. If you had to cut your arrows, you need to buy smaller ones the next time.

If you want to know more about choosing the right arrow for your bow, here’s a brief guide that I wrote about arrow length and whether you need to cut them.

Can You Paint Bow Limbs?

If you’re into personalizing your bow, then you’d be delighted to know that you can actually paint bow limbs without worrying about any negative impact on your performance. However, you need to make sure that you aren’t applying a really thick coat of paint.

The painting process is also quite easy. All you need to do is grab some fine grit sandpaper and very gently remove any color coat on them. 

After that, give your bow a quick clean up with some alcohol to remove paint from any remaining parts. Apply a few light coats of paint and finish off with a couple of clear coats for protection. 

Keep in mind that painting your bow might affect its resale value, so only do that for bows that you’re planning to keep.

Wrap Up

With that said, our guide for how long arrows should be for a 26 inch draw comes to an end. As you can see, the length for an arrow is mostly about 1 or 2 inches larger than the bow draw length, although the ideal measurement is usually down to your personal preference.

The most important thing to consider while choosing arrows is to avoid getting arrows that are too long or too short. Remember, the best way to determine the right arrow length for your bow is to try it out yourself, so you might have to try different lengths until you’re all set.

If you want to learn more about arrows and how they behave during flight, here’s a brief guide that I’ve previously put together about the physics of archery and whether arrows spin while in flight.


My name is Roland, and I have over a decade of experience in archery, both with bow and crossbow. I want to share the best tips and tricks about archery and help you reach the next level. So, browse through the blog and find relevant information about archery and stick around.

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