Generally the longer the bow the farther it can cast arrows. The English long bow was about 6 feet long when unstrung and had a lethal range of nearly 300 yards. Compare that to the short recurved bows the Mongols used which had an effective range of about 200 yards.
A bow with a 70 pound draw weight requires 70 pounds of pull to draw the string back to full draw. Recurve bows draw weights are generally determined at a set distance usually around 29 inches. Bows are avalible for different draw lengths too, so one size don't fit all. Bows also come in different lengths but more for performance reasons than personal sizing.
The length of the arrow matters most. If the arrow is too short for your draw length its uncomfortable and inefficient. On the other hand if the arrow's too long you're casting extra weight you don't need. Your proper draw length is determined by using a super light weight sizing bow and an arrow with a shaft marked like a ruler. Once that's determined you know what draw length and shaft size you need.
For field archery women generally would use maybe a 58 inch recurve with a draw weight of around 35 to 40 pounds. The heavier draw weights are generally used for hunting. When first starting out you want to use a lighter draw weight because if one begins with more weight than they can comfortably handle you run the risk of developing bad habits like "freezing".
An old school long bow had a draw weight of 150 pounds and some of those Mongolian bows approached 200. By the way even though compound bows are faster and easier to use I like the old fashion laminated recurves much better, they're like works of art.
Jun 14th, 2013
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