Benefits Of A Lighted Nockon Mar 13, 2013
Lighted nocks have changed the way I practice and bowhunt. If you have never tried lighted nocks for hunting, and they are legal to use in your state, you definitely should. If they are not legal for hunting, they still work great as a training tool. My guess is the first time you try them you will immediately add this tiny piece of gear to the end of your arrows. Lighted nocks not only can improve your shooting, but they will give you critical data about your shot placement when hunting.
Choosing Your Lighted Nock
There are many brands and options of lighted nocks available today. I have tried several and currently use two different brands, both of which work well. I read and examined several reviews that helped me come up with my final choice. If you are not sure where to start, check out Justin Zarr’s review of lighted nocks titled. It can be found here (lighted nock review). Justin did an in depth review that provides valuable information on each lighted nock model so that readers will have an idea about which one best suits their needs.
There are many brands and options of lighted nocks. When you find the right one, I suspect you will never go back. Pictured here is the all new Carbon Express LAUNCHPAD Illuminated Precision Nock.
There are many factors that helped me make my final decision on which nock I wanted to use. While the brightest light available was my top priority, reliability, battery life, simple design, and being light weight also played a large role in the one I chose. Lighted nocks need to be reliable. If they don't turn on it doesn't matter how bright they are. They also need to remain illuminated for extended periods of time; not only for practice, but for real life hunting applications. Therefore, battery life is essential too. I don't want extra parts or pieces to worry about so having a simple design that is user friendly is also very important. Finally, the lighted nock needs to be light weight so that the F.O.C. of my arrow doesn’t change.
Using the above criteria to make my choice, I went to my local pro shop and shared my results with them and asked for their opinions. While there were several lighted nocks that fit all of my criteria, the fun part was trying them out. This is a great selling point of a good pro shop. Besides their expertise, they had all the lighted nocks that were on my list available for me to try. I would highly recommend trying any product out before you purchase it as you will be happier if you have directly compared it to its competitors.
Getting Used to the Light
It is best to regularly practice with lighted nocks if you intend to hunt with them. This is important for two reasons: First, even though lighted nocks are much lighter than in the past, all current models are still heavier than a standard nock. It is best to practice and find out if it changes your arrow's point of impact or flight characteristics. Second, practicing with lighted nocks will allow you to get used to the explosion of light that takes place when the bow propels your arrow to your target. This is something you need to do before using them on your first hunt. By practicing with them, you will get used to the light, preventing you from flinching on a hunt.
With the speed of most modern bows, these glowing balls of light will allow you to better track the flight of your arrow. This will provide immediate feedback which will reveal flaws in your technique or arrows that simply do not fly true. When using lighted nocks you will also more readily pick up on bow-hand torque. While the focus of this article is not on curing the many causes of hand torque, lighted nocks will definitely allow you to know it has occurred.
Lighted nocks allow you to see slight imperfections in arrow flight that might not be otherwise noticeable due to today's speeds of bows. Notice the difference in arrow flight from the two images above?
It is extremely helpful during practice to see the path of your arrows and eliminate any arrows that do not fly true. Technique aside, there are certain arrows that do not fly like they are meant to. This is another way that lighted nocks pay off. By picking out the errant arrows, you are able to re-shoot them to eliminate the possibility of a technique flaw. If the arrow is still off, you can then focus on the arrow itself.