A few months back one of our members asked me to write something explaining on ILF bows.
ILF Meaning - International Limb Fitting designed by Hoyt.
ILF is just another way the limb can attach to the riser, period! Some bows limbs are attach by a bolt that's screwed down to the riser, with an ILF attachment, the limb slides into a dovetail and the bolt can be adjusted for shooting 3 fingers under or split finger, the term for this is adjusting tiller. When the bolt is adjusted in it gains poundage and when the bolt is adjusted out it decreases the bows poundage.
Due to the popularity of the limbs attachment several custom bowyers like Bivouac Bows, JavaMan Archery, and Stalker offer custom ILF limbs. These custom ILF limbs come in your choice of woods and weights.
Most shooters will tell you the reason they shoot ILF bows is because there's so many choices in limbs. If you're looking for a new recurve or longbow, don't overlook the ILF limb attachment.
@Ugly Coyote As I remember it Hoyt was pushing the new Formula limb attachment but it never took off. Everyone is already vested in ILF.
For the bowhunter I find the DAS system is superb. The limbs bolt down from the belly side of the riser and it’s extremely quiet compared to the ILF bows that I shot however more shooters are shooting ILF. It’s easy to change the ILF bushing to DAS as long as you have a press.,
I did a lot of research before I bought my first ILF bow. Also, Draven was a big help in explaining tillering and recommending risers and limbs.
Contrary to what some people have said, ILF bows are not noisier than other bows, if they are set up correctly, just like any other bow should be.
The general rule is for split finger, the the upper limb should have 1/16" to 1/8" positive tiller. That is, the upper limb measurement is greater than the lower. For 3 under, tiller should be close to zero.
The adjustment is made with the same bolts you use to adjust the weight. Weight adjustments are minimal, maybe 1-2 pounds. If you adjust for weight, make sure you check the tiller.
Usually, any ILF limbs with fit any ILF riser. In some cases adjustment may be necessary.
Interestingly, Earl Hoyt invented the ILF bow in 1980. However, the Hoyt Formula bows use a proprietary limb attachment that is not interchangeable with ILF.
I have a few different risers and ILF limbs that I switch around for different shooting venues. One riser is wood, the others are ones modified for ILF from old compound bow risers. Why? Because I like variety in my “archery experience “. Would I hunt with one? You bet, my wood riser is as quite with just a set of whiskers as my LB. Another reason for ILF already mentioned is the variety of limbs available. Would make a good starter bow or rehab bow. I have seen limbs for under a hundred bucks.
And if you're looking for one as a hunting bow, I have a nice Win&Win with Dryad Legend ACS longbow limbs that is available. 17" riser, 62" bow, 47#@28". PM me if interested.