What Are the Leading Drop Away Arrow Rests?

The idea behind the drop away arrow rest is that the rest falls out of the way after the arrow is launched. The worry about the fletching making contact with the rest is removed using this type of arrow rest.

When the bow is held at full draw the arrow is held securely in place in its shooting position by the drop away rest. At the moment that the arrow is released the rest moves downward to clear the path for the arrow to pass through.

The benefit of using this type of arrow rest over some of the other types comes when using arrows with large helical fletching to pass by the arrow shelf without making contact.

The problem of keeping the arrow settled on the arrow rest is solved by a lot of drop away arrow rests that are designed with a bar that sits above the arrow for added security. This provides the hunter with the performance of a full containment arrow rest that then becomes a drop away rest.

The way in which most drop away rests work is by the movement of the bow’s buss cable or by the movement of the bow’s limbs. Other drop aways react to the inertia of the shot. They have been increasingly designed so that they can be micro-adjusted and include vibration dampening features too.

Not surprisingly, the drop away arrow rests are among the best sellers in stores around the company thanks to the innovation that has led to some of the most advanced designs available.

The following guide takes a look at drop away arrow rests from some of the leading manufacturers in the industry. The majority of the latest and most popular drop away rests have been included with links to indvidual manufacturer pages to get further information about the company and the full selection of arrow rests that each has been responsible for.

Trophy Taker

The latest version of drop away arrow rest from Trophy Taker is the Smackdown Pro. This is a solid all metal piece of equipment that can be completely relied upon to work. The unconditional lifetime warranty guarantees it.

Trophy Taker Smackdown FC ProThe Smackdown Pro has been developed from earlier versions and this is obvious in the sleek design, feather weight and smooth exterior. It is a high quality limb activated rest that also offers a full containment option – the Smackdown FC Pro.

The fact that the cord tension can be adjusted very simply is a plus that many hunters will appreciate. The adjustment option means that cord wear can be prevented and the rest will fit all of the bows being made today.

Offering the same features as the Smackdown Pro but activated by the downward movement of the buss cable is the X-Treme FC Pro. This rest features a full containment ring that has been improved to use a flexible rubber flap to guard the ring opening. Once the arrow has been pushed through it will not be able to fall off.

A mid-priced option is the Pronghorn Pro, a strong, simple and quick loading rest. The Pronghorn Pro is a non-containment drop away rest that utilizes a PVC rubber ring coating. It is built with a narrowed mounting place to give it greater adjustability on bows with narrow risers.

Also at the middle level of the price bracket is the X-Treme FC drop away rest. This uses a one piece stainless steel launcher and is activated by the downward movement of the buss cable. It features a top slot containment ring as well as an ultra-quiet full capture launcher and the loading slot is angled to hold the arrow in position no matter what angle the bow is held at.

The budget priced drop away rests in the Trophy Taker line up include the X-Treme SL and the Pronghorn SL. The SL in the model names refer to the side lock windage adjustment feature. Both of these models are just as solidly built as the top of the line models but have been pared down to the minimum in other features.

Get more information about these arrow rests by visiting the Trophy Taker Arrow Rests page.

AAE (Arizona Archery Enterprises)

AAE Hawkeye Fall Away Arrow RestA new drop away arrow rest has been released by AAE for the 2013 season called the Hawkeye Limb Activated Fall Away which is a full capture fall away rest. It features a flexible launcher arm for better accuracy, dual bushing system and ground axle as well as a sliding launcher system. The rest comes with a Limb Sandwich attaching the cable to the bow limb.

Other drop away rests produced by AAE have proven very popular with hunters, namely the Pro Drop and AAE DOA Drop Away Arrow Restthe DOA Full Capture arrow rests. The Pro Drop is limb activated and uses a cord that is made from stainless steel making it particularly durable. The activation cable can be attached to either the upper or lower arm limb and timing adjustments can be easily made.

The DOA Full Capture arrow rest is fast and accurate and can be used on the fastest of compound bows. The rest uses a delay mechanism in the trigger to keep the launcher arm cocked for slightly longer to increase accuracy. The launcher arm is flexible which acts as a dampener on the arrow at the point of release.

Target and competition shooters have been catered for with the Freak Show fall away rest that is micro-adjustable for maximum accuracy. It is solidly constructed and features launcher blades that are unique to AAE that provide an indexing system to change the launcher without having to retune.

QAD - Quality Archery Designs

QAD (Quality Archery Designs) is another leading arrow rest company that has developed a strong line of drop away rests.

The line is headed by the Ultrarest HDX. This model features total arrow containment, a cam brake and dampeners, vertical, horizontal and overdraw adjustment capability, full draw indicator marks and a thumbwheel that has been redesigned so that the model is more versatile than its predecessor. Also built into the rest is lockdown technology so that the launcher arm will not bounce back after the shot keeping it completely clear of the arrow fletching. As with most arrow rests sitting at the top of the market, the HDX has been fitted with anti-vibration technology for minimal noise production. The rest itself has also been padded with laser cut felt for a silent draw.

The Ultrarest LD Pro Series rest has been designed with the same features as the HDX model but does not contain the anti-vibration feature. This particular rest is also only available in black.

The Ultrarest Hunter is a great value for money choice from the QAD range. It offers total arrow containment and the body is made from CNC cut aluminum with stainless steel components. Noise reduction has been dealt with by the addition of felt padding.

Get more information about these arrow rests by visiting the QAD Arrow Rests page.

 QAD Ultrarest HDX
Ultrarest HDX


Among the many archery products produced by Sims Vibration Laboratory under the name Limbsaver, there is a drop away arrow rest that has been made to operate smoothly and silently. The Limbsaver Fall-A-Way Arrow Rest has been constructed with a sealed balanced twin ball bearing system that does the work to keep the process quiet.

An adjustable stop has been built in so that the launching arm rests on the dampening pad or, if you prefer, to float above the riser. The cord can be attached at two attachment points which means the choice can be made to attach it to either the buss cable or the cable guard rod slide.

Further noise reduction features have been built in for to control the launcher arm bounce back that may occur. A drop pad using Navcom technology helps to reduce both vibration and noise.

Trophy Ridge

Not all drop away arrow rests actually drop out of the way. This is what makes the Trophy Ridge Revolution arrow rests somewhat unique. Instead of falling out of the way it revolves out of the way. The rest provides full containment and clearance with an easy set up. The rest is tuned to the bow’s performance with the help of its internal components which means set up time can be greatly reduced. No dropping away means there is no risk of bounce-back and it also means no noise. When the launcher arm is engaged there will be no problem with noise from the arrow rattling around on the rest. This is due to the inclusion of silencer pads.

Trophy Ridge Revolution
Trophy Ridge Revolution

Another drop away rest in the Trophy Ridge range is the Dropzone. This rest is more the traditional style of drop away with a vertical drop completed. It operates cleanly and smoothly and remains silent with the help of rubber dampers.

Ripcord Technologies

Ripcord Code Red Arrow RestThe drop away arrow rest produced by Ripcord Technologies is the Ripcord Code Red arrow rest and it uses a special type of containment system that uses an arm that secures the arrow to the arrow rest at all times. This arm is so effective that it is possible to turn the bow completely upside down and the arrow will not fall off.

There is a great degree of fine tuning that is able to be made with the Code Red thanks to the wide range of windage adjustment that it offers making it possible to fit the rest to any type of compound bow.

The launcher arm is called the Slimline and it is notable because it is virtually indestructible giving the rest a high degree of durability.

The company also produces a second drop away rest called the Ripcord SOS. SOS stands for Sustained Optimized Support and the rest features a delayed fall away action. The reason why this might be a desirable option is that the delaying action creates greater stability for the arrow at the moment that the rest is going to fall.

Find out more about these arrow rests by visiting the Ripcord Technologies page.

Axion Archery

The drop away arrow rest from Axion Archery is the Pulse Automatic which has been advertised by the company as being capable of guiding the arrow for longer and then falling away faster. The automatic part of the process is the fact that the rest resets itself back into the upright ready position after it has been triggered.

This rest is different to other conventional drop away rests in that the triggering cable attaches to the lower half of the bowstring or cable. It is this feature which allows the launcher to stay up for longer to increase guidance.

The launcher is fast, extremely fast thanks to the power retract mechanism and the entire unit only weighs 3 oz. It also offers the arrow full containment even when in a let-down situation.

NAP (New Archery Products)

New Archery Products (NAP) has produced a small but feature-packed range of drop away arrow rests that have managed to combine durability and reliability at a competitive price. The reputation of the company has grown with the success of the Quicktune 800, Quicktune 1000, Quicktune 2000 and SmartRest has been well and truly confirmed with the Apache.

The SmartRest has introduced new technology into the rest with a cushioned landing for the launcher as it drops away. The idea is that the launcher will not bounce after it falls at great speed. The clearance of the launcher arm from the arrow and its fletches is then assured every time.

The Apache was first released in 2010 and it combined the advantages of a full containment rest with the efficiency and accuracy that comes from a fast drop away. It has since gone through a few upgrades and refinements so that the Apache is now joined by the Apache Micro and the new ultra-lightweight Apache Carbon.

The above rests are part of an extensive line and can be viewed more fully on the NAP Arrow Rests page.

 NAP Quiktune Smartrest Arrow Rest
 NAP Apache Carbon
Apache Carbon


The original Limbdriver Pro has been around for a number of seasons now and it remains one of the more popular drop away arrow rests preferred by bow hunters and target shooters alike. The reason for its popularity is due to its clever design that uses a spring-steel launcher arm, a free-floating head and adjustable spring tension. It can absorb initial arrow shock and will produce arrow flight that is incredibly accurate.

The successor to the VaporTrail technology is the Limbdriver Pro-V which is the first ever limb driven rest with a full-capture option. The rest features an adjustable spring tension and a free-floating launcher arm. The rest supports the arrow for 70 per cent of the shot cycle and this enables the arrow to reach a speed where it stabilizes itself before being pulled away. The result is greater accuracy and better performance.The updated model for 2013 has been given a larger rubber dampener so that it operates more quietly. It comes in a range of different launcher arm colors.

The company’s Micro-Elite rest has also been redesigned for the 2013 season and it features a dual bushing design for better stability. It is able to operate off either the top or bottom limb. As the name suggests it has great adjustability capabilities with micro adjustments able to be made that allows for fine tuning down to the smallest degrees.


The drop away arrow rest has been available to the hunter and target shooter alike for some time now and there is no doubt they can play a part in assisting with accurate shooting. The use of a drop away means that larger helical fletching will not be impacted as it passes by.

As well as improving accuracy the shooter should also experience a slight improvement in the speed of their bow with less contact made to the arrow.

With these points in mind and with the obvious improvements that have been developed and in evidence in the rests mentioned above, it is no surprise that they are becoming the preferred arrow rest for archers of all types.

As can be seen by the number of rests that were mentioned in this article, there is no shortage of drop away arrow rests to choose from.

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