One of the most essential pieces of your compound archery equipment is your release. The release is one of the two points that connect the archer with the bow. Therefore, a bad release aid can seriously hinder your archery performance.
Choosing the right release is quite difficult since we all have different preferences. Some archers prefer a high-tech adjustable release, while other archers want something simpler and cheaper. Therefore, I have listed 5 different index finger releases, which I would recommend.
In this article, I will only discuss index finger wrist releases, also known as caliper wrist releases. If you are not sure what kind of release you want, I recommend reading the article below:
Elong Archery Caliper release
Cheap but durable
- The extension bar gives additional grip
- Not adjustable
- The Velcro strap will wear out over time
I have recommended this release in a few previous articles already, especially because it’s very beginner-friendly. It’s not only inexpensive but also very easy and intuitive to use. Since you can make the wrist strap very small, it’s a great option for children. It also has a surprisingly smooth trigger pull for its price class.
Sadly, the extension bar is not adjustable, which means that you cannot change the distance between the wrist strap and the release unit. For most people, this won’t be an issue, but if you like to tune your gear, this might be a dealbreaker.
Over the years of using this release, I also noticed that the Velcro wears over time. Therefore, you might have to replace the release within a few years. If you are looking for a higher quality release, I recommend considering the next release.
Click here, to read my full review of this release.
Tru-Fire Smoke Extreme
More durable and adjustable
- Configurable extension bar
- Durable wrist strap with belt buckle
- Trigger tension is not adjustable
Tru-Fire is one of the most recognizable release brands. That is with good reason, they have manufactured a lot of high-quality releases for a reasonable price. The Tru-Fire Smoke is an excellent release that offers you a lot of customization options for an affordable price.
The major advantage of this release is that you can adjust the length of the tension bar. This makes sure that you can use this release even if you have very long or short fingers. The entire release is also more durable, which will be most notable with the strap.
This release has a strap with a belt buckle, which will not wear as Velcro will. Another advantage of the buckle is that you can mark which hole you normally use. This makes sure that your wear your release the same every time you shoot, which can improve your consistency.
This release doesn’t allow you to configure the trigger sensitivity. If you find this an important feature, you might want to check out the next release.
Scott Archery Hero X Release
A serious release for a small price
- Adjustable trigger tension
- Torqueless design
- Extremely durable
- Relatively expensive
If you are looking for a release that will last a lifetime, I would recommend buying the Scott Archery Hero X. It’s not a cheap release, but it’s made of extremely durable materials.
The major advantage of this release is that you can customize both the trigger tension and the extension strap. Both can be configured very precisely, which allows you to find the optimal settings for your shooting style.
This release also features a torqueless design. The strap has a larger range of motion than the extension bars on the previous releases. This makes the release more forgiving for errors in your form.
Spot Hogg WiseGuy
Most advanced wrist strap
- The wrist strap is configurable with a Boa dial
- The release unit can be swiveled out of the way
- Easier to attach to the string
- Open trigger design is less secure
The previous two releases have a belt buckle style wrist strap. This has a few advantages as we discussed previously, but it also has some disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that you cannot configure the wrist strap tightness exactly to your liking, because you have to choose one of the precut holes. The second disadvantage is that it is more difficult to put on.
This release has a Boa system, which allows you to tighten the wrist strap exactly to your liking. The boa system is also easier to use and distributes the forces more evenly over your wrist. Therefore, if you are picky on wrist straps, this is the release to buy.
Another benefit of this release is that you can swivel the release towards your forearm. This makes sure that your release is not in the way while you are retrieving your arrows. Overall, this release is very comfortable, but that also makes it one of the most expensive options.
The last thing to consider is the open-sided trigger design. The advantage of this design is that it is easier to attach the release to the string, but it’s also a bit less secure. For target archers, this won’t be an issue, but it’s something to consider if you use your bow for hunting.
Scott Archery Pursuit Release
The best of two worlds
- Hybrid between a wrist and a handheld release
- Highly configurable
- Preloaded trigger for a superior trigger feel
- Cannot be used as a traditional wrist release
The last release from this list is the Scott Archery Pursuit. This release is a hybrid between a handheld and a wrist release. This means that the release both attaches to your wrist and is also held in the hand.
Although it’s quite different from most releases, there is a good reason why you might want to choose this release. Handheld thumb releases are quite popular, especially within target archery.
The major benefit of this release style is that it has a very smooth trigger. The long trigger in combination with the preload mechanism makes the trigger very light but also controllable. It also allows you to anchor behind your cheekbone, which makes for a very solid anchor point. Read this article, for more about the differences between a wrist release and a handheld release.
What you should consider while choosing a release
While choosing your release make sure to take the following points in mind:
- Smoothness of the trigger: I have a few release aids that had a very stiff trigger. This can cause your fingers to tense up which may lead to bow torque. Additionally, stiff triggers are notorious for causing target panic (flinching while you release the shot).
- Adjustment options: the more you can adjust on your release the better. This allows you to completely tune your release aid to your liking. We all have different preferences; some people prefer a heavier trigger while others prefer a hair-trigger. The only way to figure these preferences out is by experimenting!
- Extension bar, vs rope: I prefer an extension bar that connects the trigger unit to the wrist strap. It feels more stable, gives me a solid place for my fingers, and doesn’t dangle while retrieving the arrows. There are some good reasons why some archers prefer a flexible rope though. It is more forgiving if your release is sub-optimal.
- Ergonomics: while you are at full draw, your body is under a lot of tension, and you must stay very focused. It’s advantageous to have an ergonomic release because it will help your body to support the shot. I had a handheld thumb release that pinched my fingers, which caused me to release sloppy. So, make sure that you buy a comfortable release!
While selecting the releases for this article, I made sure that they meet all these requirements. Don’t forget to read my in-depth guide on releases, for more information:
Thank you for reading this article, I hope I helped you out with these recommendations. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them down below. I will reply to your comment as soon as possible and send you an email once I replied.