Best Recurve Bow for the Money 2018
The modern crossbow and compound bow are to hunting what the metallic cartridge with smokeless powder is to firearms. That said, it is quite interesting that many hunters still prefer to use a recurve bow for hunting. Nevertheless, many manufacturers have come up with innovations that make recurve bows superior archery equipment and excellent tools for hunting certain species. This comprehensive guide on recurve bows is for individuals who would like to give traditional archery a try.
Benefits of a Recurve Bow
They shoot arrows faster than straight bows
Recurve bows get their name from their unique shape. The limbs curve inwards such that the string lies against the ends of the limbs. This allows for greater force when the archer draws the bow and releases an arrow.
They are more affordable compared to compound bows
For someone who can’t afford a compound bow, buying a recurve bows makes financial sense. The lower cost of recurve bows is attributed to their simpler design. Compared to a compound bow that is made up of a system of mechanical pulleys; a recurve bow consists of the string, riser and limbs.
They are easy to store and highly portable
Recurve bows are incredibly easy to take apart, making them a favorite for someone looking for portability. This also makes them a great purchase for archers with limited storage space.
They provide an element of challenge
Because they aren’t equipped with sights like compound bows, a more refined technique is required when using recurve bows. The increased need for accuracy makes recurve bows popular in archery competitions.
They offer a traditional archery experience
The use of recurve bows can be traced back for centuries. Mongols, who used them for warfare and hunting, are credited with their invention. They were also used by Native Americans, Persians and Romans. It’s no wonder that they are sometimes referred to as traditional bows. Using a recurve bows is a great way to connect to the ancient, vibrant archery tradition.
What accessories are used with recurve bows?
While you don’t have to shoot recurve bow with an added accessories, many shooters prefer the added comfort and ease that comes with high quality accessories. The standard take-down consists of two limbs, a wooden handle as well as the string. All of these come in varying tension and can be purchased in a kit or individually. Using a stabilizer, finger tab and a bow sight allows many shooters to ensure that the arrow hits the right target. Other accessories that archers find useful include a quiver, which provides a good place to keep arrows. An arm guard and a chest guard help protect the outerwear and body from archery-related wear and tear.
Factors to consider when choosing a recurve bow
You might get confused when looking through all the models all the time. The good news is that you can relax because choosing a recurve bow is easier than you think. As long as you keep the following considerations in mind, you will be happy with your choice of a recurve bow.
Intended purpose: target practice vs. hunting
Whether you are interested in target practice or hunting or both; recurve bows are great archery tools. The fact that they are more difficult to use compared to other types of bows makes them popular in archery competitions. It’s also important to note that their greater need for accuracy affects hunting. You will need to practice using your recurve bow as it’s possible to land a fatal shot on your first try. This helps ensure that the targeted animal doesn’t suffer unnecessarily. Keep in mind that recurve bows are put to better use when used to hunt small game as compared to big game like deer. Remember to check the minimum draw weight requirement in your state before making a final decision.
Expected price of recurve bows
The price of recurve bows varies greatly depending on manufacturer, materials used, draw weight and other factors. Affordable ones cost anything from $90 to $250 and are a great choice for beginners. More costly bows cost $240-$540 and appeal to more experienced archers.
This is the amount of force stored in a fully drawn recurve bow. It affects the amount of strength required to draw and shoot with a bow. It is best to start with the lightest draw weight if you are a beginners. This will allow you to nurture your technique and improve accuracy without the added difficulty of drawing the string. Any draw weight works great if you plan on using the bow for target practice, but a lighter weight makes it easier to draw the bow. A minimum draw weight may be required in some states if using a recurve bow for hunting.
These are lower and upper parts with the string attached to both ends. The limbs connect to the riser in the middle of the bow. Recurve bow limbs have a unique shape that curves back and away from the bow. This allows for greater velocity. Limbs have varying draw weights and are usually made of different high quality woods that are laminated in fiberglass.
This is the middle part of a recurve bow that has a grip for your hands and connects both limbs. Laminated wood, aluminum or a combination of the two are the common materials used to make risers. They are compatible with limbs of varying draw weights and are often used to attach accessories like a sight or an arrow rest.
Recurve Bow Reviews
I have taken a look at the best Recurve bow’s that is currently on the market and have chosen five top bows for your consideration.
1. Samick Sage 62” Take-Down Recurve
If you are a beginner on a tight budget, the Samick Sage 62” will prove a worthy investment. It is designed and manufactured by Samick Sports, a Korean company whose bows sold in more than fifty countries.
The riser has a majestic, yet simple and effective design. It comes drilled, allowing you to attach accessories like a stabilizer or sight. The hard maple and olive dymondwood used to make the riser account for resilient and awesome look of the bow.
One of the main highlights for many customers was the limbs. No one had a case of twisted limbs. The hard maple material is laminated with fiberglass for added resistance to bending, and hence durability. While some may consider the long limbs a downside, many think it doesn’t matter since the Sage 62” is a takedown. The ends of the limbs are reinforced with Phenolic plastic and as such, the bow can be used with FastFlight strings.
All of the above are meaningless if a bow doesn’t deliver great performance in real life. The Samick Sage 62” is the best recurve bow you will use to shoot in its price range. It is exceptionally quiet when drawing and doesn’t produce noticeable vibrations during release. This is incredibly important when hunting. The 62” length of the bow compensates for form and stance issues that the user may have.
The arrow flight depends on the draw weight you choose. This bow is available in multiple draw weights including 35, 40, 45, 50 and lbs. The flight of the arrow increases with increase in the draw weight. That said, the 35# is a good option for an average-sized female shooter or a youth male.
- Left- and right-hand versions available
- Multiple draw weights
- Good for all skill levels
- Great performance
- Made by a Korean manufacturer
2. SAS Courage 60” Recurve Archery Bow
The SAS Courage 60” is a suitable recurve bow for both beginners and experienced archers. It is available in draw weights of 40-55lbs, in increments of 5lbs. All of these are great for target practice and powerful enough to take big game like elk down.
The riser is crafted from a combination of Chuglam, Bintagor and Makore hardwoods. It is also laminated for durability. The limbs are made from maple and Makore wood laminations then faced with fiberglass for added durability and strength. This construction makes the limbs resistant to twisting and any form of abuse. The limbs are, however, not reinforced. This restricts use of Flemish or FastFlight string. We love that the limbs don’t have issues of twisting.
The SAS Courage 60” is incredibly comfortable to hold, thanks to its ergonomic design. It is fairly lightweight at 3 pounds, and Southland Courage did a great job of keeping it quiet during release. This comes handy when on a hunting trip.
The arrow flight depends on the draw weight, with the 55# offering the greatest velocity. The 35# bow has the slowest arrow speed and is best recommended for average sized shooters or beginners.
Unlike the Samick Sage, this one doesn’t have a drilled riser. As such, it doesn’t accept stabilizers, plungers and other accessories. For an experienced archer who prefers instinctive shooting, this shouldn’t be an issue. As long as you don’t mind spending a little time getting accessories installed, this recurve should prove a great tool for hunting and target practice. It will give you hours of traditional archery fun.
- Simplistic and inexpensive
- Easy to use
- Takedown design
- Best beginner recurve
- Bushings for accessories aren’t installed
- Not compatible with FastFlight string
- Only available in left-hand
3. Southwest Spyder XL 64” Recurve Bow
This recurve is, in many ways, similar to the Samick Sagebut has improved manufacturing quality. What we love most about the Spyder XL 64” is that it comes with everything you need to get started including stringer tool, arrow rest, three carbon arrows arm guard and an airline-approved carrying case.
The riser features dual wood laminated construction and 2 tone semi-gloss finish. We love the incredibly comfortable grip as it doesn’t have unnecessary material additions. The ergonomic design and thermal properties of the wood are a huge plus in cold climates. You have the option to screw in attachments for an optimized archery experience.
Southwest Spyder XL 64” has 2-piece limbs that are made from laminated maple hardwood and finished with black matte fiberglass. The ends are reinforced with plastic, allowing you to use upgraded bow string.
This bow is available in draw weights ranging from 20lbs to 60lbs. For the beginner who wants to start at a low draw weight and progress up the scale or the experienced archer who can benefit from a high draw weight; this will prove handy.
Shooting with the Spyder is a great experience, partially because it has a vibration free shot. Adding string silencers makes for an even better hunting experience. The string supplied with this bow is of decent quality and the accessories included come handy. Compared to other models on this list, it offers a wider range of draw weights and is longer at 64 inches. And while it requires tools to assemble, the fact that it comes in a ready-to-shoot package makes this a negligible issue.
- 62” and 64” AMO lengths available
- Comes in a wide range of draw weights
- Takedown design
- High quality black matte finish
- It’s part of a ready-to-shoot package
- Requires tool to assemble
4. Martin Archery Saber Recurve Bow
Martin Archery has a knack for accuracy and affordability, and the Saber is evidence of that. It is a particularly good piece of equipment that’s great for beginners and intermediate archers. But what makes the Martin Archery Saber great?
Like many Martin Archery bows, the Saber has an aluminum riser. This makes the riser durable and lightweight, both of which are important in archery. The handle has an ergonomic design and is extremely comfortable to hold. This is attributed to the Thermal V protective dampening grip. Customers also loved the Vibration Vortex V.EM.’s integrated in the handles as it reduces vibration, hence quiet shooting. The rubber arrow rest, though a flaw, doesn’t cause many issues
This review wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the limbs. The Martin Archery Saber is fitted with laminated wood and glass limbs. They are quite durable and send an arrow through the air with authority. You never have to worry about twisting issues and you can remove both limbs by unscrewing the screws.
Taking apart the Saber for transportation or storage is an easy process that takes less than a minute. This is attributed to the take-down design. That said, you don’t have to worry about investing in additional bow case as you can carry it in your backpack. Unlike, of course, you find bow cases like me.
- Wide range of draw weights from 30lbs to 55lbs in increments of 5lbs
- Superior vibration dampening technology
- Extremely comfortable to hold
- Very accurate in good and bad weather conditions
- Smooth to draw
- The arrow rest is made from rubber, and gets damaged after a year of shooting
5. Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow
Bear Archery is one of the most innovative and respected brands in the industry. That said, you can rest assured that the Grizzly recurve bow won’t disappoint. And while it isn’t for everyone, its advanced features are worth the steep price.
It is fitted with custom limbs and riser, both of which are made from northern hardwood. The limbs, for whatever reason, aren’t going to twist for years to come. This bow stands at 58 inches, a length that provides the perfect balance between target shooting and hunting. The glossy finish of the limbs goes a long way towards preventing absorption of moisture.
The shelf on the riser is well positioned, balanced and lined with bear hair. It is the kind that would make an amateur look like a good shot. Many customers noted that the Grizzly delivers improved arrow grouping i.e. how close together the arrows land after a shot. This level of accuracy is only achieved with high-end bows.
At only 2 pounds, the Grizzly is lightweight and an incredible choice for those who go on long hunting trips. Drawing and shooting with it is a quiet experience, making it a great tool for hunting. It is available in three draw weights i.e. 50, 55 and 60 lbs. These weights make it a little difficult for beginners to draw, but they aren’t an issue for experienced hunters.
If you can afford the Bear Archery Grizzly, we would advice buying it as it comes with advanced features. The riser, shelf and limbs are a great combo while the performance and accuracy are off the charts. It’s everything you need in a neat little package.
- Excellent bow for beginners and advanced archers
- Great arrow speeds
- 100% ready for shooting right out of the box
- Resistant to weather
- Great for target practice and hunting
We love the Samick Sage as an entry-level recurve bow for those on a budget. It offers more than what you’d expect to find on an inexpensive bow. This includes a takedown design and a wide range of draw weights. Despite being expensive, the Bear Archery Grizzly is what we would recommend for someone looking for best value. Both of them are second to none in their price ranges and would make an excellent addition to anyone’s bow collection.