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Cable driven arrow rests are a popular type of drop away rest that works through a cord attached to the Buss-cable of the bow.

In some versions, when the bow string is drawn, tension is applied to a spring attached to the launcher arm. When the string is released the spring removes the launcher from beneath the arrow as it is launched from the bow.

Other versions allow you to set the launcher in the ready position before shooting and it will stay in the upright position if you let down without shooting.

The cord is shorter for a cable driven rest compared to the limb driven rests because it doesn’t have as far to go to be attached. This may appeal to some people but the truth is the results are very similar from one to the other.

There is an argument that the launcher arm of a cable driven arrow rest drops away too quickly leaving the arrow unsupported for too much of its initial movement. This may be the case for some arrow rests but the majority provide support for up to 25% of the arrow length before falling out of the way.

Some feel a cable driven arrow rest is more forgiving because the speed of the drop away process is quicker. The arrow doesn’t sit on the launcher arm for as long, reducing the chance of accidentally torquing at the moment of release.

Cable driven arrow rests have provided many hunters with years of success and continue to be a popular option preferred by a good chunk of the bow hunting population.

We have put together a selection of some of the most popular and successful cable driven drop away arrow rests currently on the market.

They have been listed in a table below to give you an opportunity to make a quick comparison. Further down the page we have gone into greater detail, examining the features of each. The prices quoted in the table are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Recommended Price which is often higher than the price you can find it for in stores.

Comparison List of Cable Driven Drop Away Arrow Rests

Make / Model

Weight

MSRP

8.0 oz

$144.95

Ripcord Code Red Arrow Rest

4.8 oz

$89.95

6.0 oz

$129.99

Arizona Archery Enterprises Driven CD Arrow Rest

13 oz

$309.99

6.0 oz

$59.99

8.0 oz

$119.95

Description of Cable Driven Arrow Rests

Now that we have been able to browse through the basic details of the leading cable driven arrow rests we will take a look at a more detailed overview of each.

These brief arrow rest reviews aim to provide extra information about the rest that is not otherwise immediately apparent.

We will look at any special unique features and the hunting scenarios where each one might be most effective.

QAD Ultra Rest HDX Arrow Rest

Product Features

  • Curved capture bar
  • Total arrow containment
  • Thumbwheel moves launcher into position
  • Timing Cord Lock
  • Break away safety
  • Full draw indicator marks
  • Laser-cut felt, cam-brake and dampeners
  • Right or Left hand

The QAD Ultra Rest has been around for quite a few years now and has become one of the most popular and most effective cable driven drop away rests available.

The cord attaches to the down cable of the bow and uses EZ-Clamp technology to make setup quick and simple, whether at home or out in the field.

The launcher arm is cushioned to prevent unwanted noise at the moment of release. But the cushioning is also applied underneath the launcher arm so there is no bounce back after it has been triggered.

In addition, there is a lock-down mechanism to keep the launcher in the drop-away position.

This ensures the launcher arm won’t bounce up to make contact with the arrow as it passes through.

A nice feature is the ability to leave the rest in the upright position when you let your bow down. 

For tuning purposes the rest can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically to enable you to perfect the alignment and to ensure a smooth and accurate arrow launch.

Now, this is an important point and something to take your time over. The rest can (and should) be fine tuned so that it is properly positioned. Failing to do this invites the problem of contact with the fletching.

If you properly tune the HDX you won’t get the fletching contact and you should enjoy a smooth, accurate release every time.

Find out more about the company and the full range of products available by visiting the QAD website.

Ripcord Code Red Arrow Rest

Ripcord Code Red Arrow Rest

Product Features

  • Arrow containment system
  • Over-molded launcher
  • Windage and elevation adjustment
  • Offset cord
  • Drop dead brake system
  • Internal dampening system

The Ripcord Code Red arrow rest is the company’s original cable driven arrow rest system with a containment setup. It is triggered by the cord attached to the bow’s downward cable.

The rest features the ability to lock the launcher in the up position to create a three-sided cradle for the arrow to be secured.

It is possible to perfectly tune the rest on the bow thanks to the ability to adjust for both windage and elevation. Making sure the rest is properly positioned will help with shooting accuracy as well as ensuring there is no contact with the fletching as the arrow leaves the bow.

Rubber over-molding on the launcher arm plus other internal dampening features means there is no noise made by the device as it is triggered.

As an added precaution against the possibility of arrow contact, the cord has been offset to keep it completely out of the way.

The Ripcord arrow rests have earned a reputation for being durable and dependable. It installs using a lightweight bracket that locks it firmly in place so it won’t budge.

In 2021 the company also released a new version of this rest, the Ripcord Code Red X which has added a few new features to the original design.

Find out more about the company and the range of available products by visiting the Ripcord website.

Trophy Taker X-Treme Pro LockUp Arrow Rest

Product Features

  • Full arrow lockup containment ring
  • Easy to tune
  • Rubberized steel containment ring
  • Easy loading gate
  • Lifetime warranty

The X-Treme Pro Lockup arrow rest is a cable driven rest that is easy to set up and straightforward to use.

The containment system will keep the arrow locked into place once it has been loaded.

All parts that come in contact with the arrow as it is loaded and while the bow is drawn have been given sound dampening treatments to ensure it operates in complete silence.

The rest may be adjusted horizontally with an easy-to-read graduation indicator to help you align your arrow perfectly.

The cord may be attached to the downward cable of the bow and triggers the launcher arm so that it smoothly falls away to allow the arrow to pass without making contact.

Find out more about the company and the full range of products available by visiting the Trophy Taker website.

AAE Driven CD Arrow Rest

Product Features

  • Laser engraved reference marks
  • Manual vertical and horizontal adjustment
  • Rotating axle on stainless-steel bearings
  • Capture arm
  • Available in left or right hand

The Driven arrow rest is available as either a cable drive or limb driven system and provides hunters with a stable fall away rest platform.

The design provides a few features that makes it easy to use and easy to set up. It can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally using a smooth dovetail system.

The flexible launcher arm moves on a stainless steel ball bearing system that moves smoothly and cleanly. 

Laser engraved reference marks are highly visible and are very helpful in the tuning process as you set the rest up to ensure complete accuracy.

This is a good priced drop away arrow rest that provides everything you need to get clean and accurate arrow flight with every shot.

Find out more about the company and the full range of products available by visiting the Arizona Archery Enterprises website.

NAP Apache Arrow Rest

Product Features

  • Full containment system
  • Foam lined for sound dampening
  • Laser graduation markings
  • Weight: 6 oz
  • Available in black or Realtree AP

The Apache drop away arrow rest is one of the most popular lower priced cable driven rests available.

It uses a full containment system that has been completely fitted out with a sound deadening foam lining to ensure zero sound comes from the rest.

The cord attaches directly to the down cable and operates the launcher arm with smooth precision.

The entire device is solidly formed with metal components ensuring it will be a long-lasting piece of equipment that will survive all types of adverse weather conditions.

The rest is adjustable vertically and horizontally and laser engraved gradations make it easy to position it so that it is aligned for maximum accuracy.

Find out more about the company and the range of products available by visiting the New Archery Products website.

QAD Ultrarest LD

Product Features

  • Straight capture bar
  • Total arrow containment
  • Lock-Down Technology
  • Break away safety
  • Full draw indicator marks
  • Laser-cut felt, cam-brake and dampeners
  • Right or Left hand

It’s worth pointing out another of the QAD Ultrarest arrow rests here. 

The LD is very similar to the Ultrarest HDX that was mentioned above apart from the fact that it uses Lock-Down Technology.

The Lock Down Technology captures the launcher arm after it has fallen away to ensure there is no chance for bounceback. 

This is significant because the spring tension on this rest can be ramped up to increase the speed of fall to enable the rest to be used with bows shot at over 400fps. 

Many of the nice features that you’ll find with the HDX are also available here with the ability to retain the launcher in the upright position when letting the bow down still a feature.

Find out more about the company and the full range of products available by visiting the QAD website.

Just a quick note about the QAD arrow rests. As well as producing the range of Ultrarest drop away rests as universal rests that will operate on any type of compound bow, the company also produces a range of custom Ultrarests.

There is a custom rest made specifically for Bowtech, PSE, Mathews, Hoyt and Elite compound bows.

So if you’re a dedicated fan of any of these bow manufacturers and want to use a drop away rest suited specifically to complement the look and design of the individual risers, you should seriously consider taking a look at QAD.

Conclusion

The drop away rest has come a long way since the days of the first hit-or-miss concepts and you can be confident that the cable driven rests available now deliver arrows with smooth reliability.

When looking for an arrow rest you should almost ignore the price because the phrase “you get what you pay for” is definitely a factor here.

The higher priced models have features such as locking systems to keep the launcher raised when required and the ability to stop launcher bounce at the bottom.

As long as you’re prepared to put the time and effort into tuning the rest to your bow’s performance you should enjoy trouble-free arrow launches that are accurate and true. This should simply be a matter of taking it out and putting it through its paces with plenty of target practice.

For many, once you have become comfortable with your arrow rest it should become one of those pieces of equipment that is rarely thought of again due to its reliability.

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