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    • prewar70
      Post count: 7

      I’ve been a compound shooter since a kid and am finally going to satisfy the itch to keep it simple and shoot traditional. I’ve also always admired Black Widow recurves. I know this is an expensive jump if I don’t like it but the way they hold their value I could certainly resell it if worse came to worse. In talking to BW, their recommendations was a PSAIII, Ironwood which I like, 50lbs at 28 inches (my draw is 29.5 for my Matthews), split finger, 60″, and Asbel grip (not sure on spelling). So what do you think of this set up for a beginner? I am not a speedfreak nor do I want to pull 55-60lbs especially getting started. Primary game will be deer anyway so a 50-52lb bow and a 650 grain arrow should get the job done. I shot fingers for years with my compound and was comfortable with the split finger so might as well stick with that. My biggest question concern was drawlength. Should I order for 50lbs at 29″ or just stick with the standard 28 and pull an extra pound or two? I’m 6’1″ and I know that traditional is a short draw length but any help there would be great. Thanks for the assistance and any advice would be appreciated.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      I’m not one to give advice, switching as I did, only a few years ago. Just wanted to say welcome. I can totally relate to “the itch to keep it simple.”

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Welcome to traditional archery. I would first start by saying that I would not start with a black widow. unless you are just made of money!:D There are plenty of other bows out there that are great bows that just do not contain exotic woods. I have a take down that I love, that was only 200 dollars new, and it is made of walnut and maple, shoots great and has done me very well over the last two years. Also it may benifit you to buy a used bow, just because they have some scratches on them doesnt make them perform any less. I have two old bows, both are twenty plus years old, and they both are fine. I would check out ebay, the classifieds on this site and possibly even the local classifieds where you live? I know that ebay has a treasure trove of bows, but you need to be very careful, read the description carefully, and if there are some iffy things with it, consult this forum before you buy! Good luck and I hope this helps!

    • Bloodless
      Post count: 103

      Prewar70 — Welcome, and first we’d like to know what’s behind that inturesting handle! I agree with greatree etc./ (who needs a shorter handle, please, like maybe “treeboy”? :D) — you don’t need or even want to start with a BW! I had one onct and it was great, fast and gorgus, but not so great as to pay twice what you can get less fancy but just as good bows for. My 25 sents! Shrew, another top-end bow, starts at $650 last I looked. Great Northern, Elkhorn and a zillion others are right up ther but lots cheaper. Brother, if you have the bucks to buy a BW I’d say travel to the nearest really good trad shop — and tell us where you live likely we have someone who can put you on that scent — and shoot a bunch of ’em. I don’t know that model you said, but BW or otherwise, I can say that coming from training wheels, a recurve may be a best transitional. But a modern “reflex deflux” longbow, even if it aint so long, is the way to go. Anyhow exuse my rude ways to try and hepl and so happy always to see a bowhunter grow! work at it good and a year from now you’ll be giving us advise and we’ll be listning! bb

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      The BW is certainly an excellent choice, but… The first traditional bow you buy will almost certainly not be the one you want a year later. If it’s light enough for you to handle comfortably now, you’ll likely want one a bit heavier after you’ve developed some technique and muscle memory. And you’ll find out about all kinds of other things you want in a bow that you don’t know now. I’d honestly recommend getting a cheaper used bow or an entry level model (you’ll have no trouble finding one you can hunt deer with) and delaying that big investment until you have just a bit more experience under your belt. Don

    • prewar70
      Post count: 7

      A few questions. Let’s just assume I’m getting a BW because I found a bag of money. Can someone address my questions about draw length, poundage, overall length, etc.

      Next, if I don’t get a BW. What’s another custom bow maker that would be worth checking out in the 400-700 range.

      Finally, I am totally open to a used bow, especially a BW! I am faithfully watching ebay and they do sell quite often there. But I don’t want to buy one until I’m sure of my specs, hence my first question. I’m amazed that you can spend 1,000 on a new Ironwood and sell it many years later on ebay and they still fetch 700+. Not bad.

      I live in the Minneapolis area, would love to know a good traditional shop not far from here. A good friend of mine had a custom long bow made by a guy up in Brainerd, can’t remember the makers name now, but it was a nice bow.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      matthews, paulmer, great northern, bear, and greatree to name a few. I would not worry terrible to much about draw length, to me it is just 6 of 1 half dozen of the other! As far as poundage, alot of guys say start low, but I think that the average guy will be comforatable around the 50-65 area, I have bows from 40 pounds to 70 pounds, and my 40 pound bow, di extremely well on a deer, didnt pass through but about 6 more inches and it would have. I think a 55 pound bow would do great. that is what I use, and I think if it were polled alot of others would feel comforatable around that area! hope this one helped more!

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      I think 28″ is a standard benchmark that bow weight is measured to. If your draw length is 29″ the weight will be slightly more than the standard. I think your assumption is a good one that you could order a standard 50# but would actully be shooting more weight due to your slightly longer draw. If I’m wrong ya’ll please chime in.
      I have admired the BW bows as well but I have done as GTA has done buying less expensive bows and used bows. I have a 50# Bear Grizzly that I gave $45.00 for and have killed deer with. There are some good deals out there. As for resale, I don’t know what those Grizzlys are going for now but I bet I can get alot more than $45.00 for it.
      You have your own vision of your hunt and the bow that will be in your hand. Follow your vision.

    • PagosaBow
      Post count: 61

      I am also 6’1 with a 29″ draw. I shot a horne mnt td at 55lbs. I got my first longbow off ebay for $300, yes it is also a horne. I would start with a weight you can pull comfortably, which would mean shooting a few bows at different weights to see where you are at. SO I would first recommend shooting everything you can get your hands on before you go buy a bw and regret not shooting first. I think they are the ones you can do a trial lease/ rental on before you buy.

    • texasota
      Post count: 47

      welcome to trad, Prewar. i can not give you any advise, I just switched from compound to trad myself. one thing that I can say, is that this is one of the BEST choices I have ever made! Dont get discouraged. Stick with it. you will never go back to those wheeled things again:D

    • prewar70
      Post count: 7

      Ok, somebody sell me their Black Widow!

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      o by the way, I am 6’3″ and I only pull 28 inches, I also pulled 29″1/2 with my compound way back in the day!?

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Hi Prewar

      I also was turned from the dark side, I shot a 70# compound and found a 50# longbow a comfortable alternative, draw length stayed the same at 28 1/2″.
      I found that I stand differently and my head is at a different angle from when I shot compound and that took a while to settle.
      The biggest difference you will find is not taking a tool kit into the woods with you, Traditional is so much simpler.
      I’ll put in a word for Dwyer Longbows, good people to deal with make some nice bows.
      One last comment, I hung onto my compound on the off chance I might need it again one day, couple of years down the line I just gave it away, no second-hand value and no interest, even gave away a bunch of arrows and release aid, it had become worthless to me.
      Mark.

    • prewar70
      Post count: 7

      Got a line on a used BW. What do you think about a PMA, 55 at 28″, and 60in. Is 55 too much starting out and if I pull a little longer than 28 it will go up by a few pounds. I’m I better off finding a 50 pounder.

    • PagosaBow
      Post count: 61

      I think you will do fine with a 50 to 55 lbs. Just stick with it. I was shooting 100 arrows a day this summer got to where I could pull 55lbs with ease and hold for 20-30 seconds should I have to.

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      Prewar70,

      I started 7 years ago shooting a 55@28″ Bear Grizzly 58″ one-piece recurve. I’m still shooting the same bow today. I draw the bow to 29 1/2″ and 60#. The thing to keep in mind is that with a compound, you can count on the cams rolling over, giving you a decrease in draw weight at the end of your draw length. With a traditional bow, you don’t have that. You’re pulling the full weight of the bow for the full length of your draw. What was your draw weight on your compound?

      Michael

    • moss
      Post count: 13

      Buy a cheapie 40# and have some fun whilst you are deciding on your custom bow .55# should be about right with your draw length~

    • prewar70
      Post count: 7

      Draw weight on my Mathews is 68 and is very comfortable. The 55lb bow is at 28.5 inch draw.

    • NavySkyPilot
      Post count: 29

      I spent $135 and bought a used PSE with arrows, arm guard, glove, and some field tips/broadheads. After weeks of shooting foam my 1st arrow hit the fur and she’s now in my freezer. 50#s is plenty of bow. The day I shot her I hunted in the rain for 3 1/2 hours. I’d probably headed back to the truck if I had an $800 bow! Happy Hunting, Dave

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      prewar70,

      If you’re drawing 68 pounds, you should be fine with any bow that draws 50-55# at 28″. Your extra 1 1/2″ of draw length should gain you about 5# of weight over what the manufacturer rates the bow at, if they rate it at 28″. Typically, of every inch of draw over 28″, you gain approximately 3# of draw weight. That is why I draw my 55@28″ Grizzly to 60# at 29 1/2″.

      I had one disadvantage when I started shooting. I did not have access to a lighter weight bow to build my form on, and because of that, I’ve spent a fair portion of my archery career fighting bad habits. I now have a good solid form, and I understand all the mechanics of shooting a bow much better than I did when I was 21. Take the advice these guys on here give, and, at the very least, if you buy a Black Widow Bow, have a lighter set of limbs (perhaps 45#) built for it as well, to practice form and overall shooting. Have these limbs built first, so you can get shooting as soon as possible, and have BW work up a heavier set (perhaps 55-60#) a little farther down the road. Good luck shooting and let us know how you progress.

      Michael.

    • Rocks
      Post count: 104

      I’m sorta in the same boat as Prewar70, just decided to take up trad hunting. Some great info in this thread by the way.

      I did a lot of research and finally settled on a bow, a Whip from Montana bows. Definitely not a cheapie, but I can afford it right now. It’s going to be a RD longbow, and will be in the low 50’s. I got a lot of great advice from the bowyer there and he helped alot with the choice. I’m looking forward to getting it and will be following some of the great advice you guys are giving.

    • moss
      Post count: 13

      Navy Sky pilot said, “I spent $135 and bought a used PSE with arrows, arm guard, glove, and some field tips/broadheads. “

      thats my point, a custom bow is great if you can afford one but its not necessary, especially if you a beginner. You can have lots of fun and practice with a 45# PSE, samick,etc whilst you are looking for your ultimate bow, by which time you can step up to a 55# custom bow easily

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Montanaford has it right!
      One thing though, Go ahead and buy the BW but buy a takedown.
      Why? well you can buy another set of limbs if you want to later. Get a yardstick and back up against the wall keeping your shoulders square with the wall, put the yardstick against your chest and extend both arms to the fingertips.Read the measurement and note the approximate of your draw length. Now realize that 50 at this draw length has several variables you should consider, one being that of Bow length which the guys at BW can advise you on what length Bow you should use. Usually longer Bow limbs on a recurve will be the most efficient and easier to shoot (less pinch) and less stack at the end of the draw. I would go even one step further in the draw weight consideration and tell you that I have seen Ken Beck kill Caribou with a less than 50 pd. bow. I would start out with a set of limbs in the 45-48 lb. weight and step up to the 50’s later, after you have established form and accuracy.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Since you asked,…:D

      First of all, buy your BW. One thing I’ve found out in life is if I want something and can afford it, “working up to it” ends up costing more in the long run.

      If ME, a perfect solution would be to buy one with TWO sets of limbs. While most can work Up to 50ish bows, I’ll never be one to recommend anyone starting with that weight.

      Montana has the weight right, 40, low 40s all are better to learn PROPER form, and take the word from someone who had horrible form for years, it’s not something you ever want to fight correcting. (Learning to shave with one eye closed and using the opposite hand you normally use is about 100 times easier.)

      (Edit: An interesting point to me here is that 30 years ago? My suggestion would have been a 35lb bow. Hmmmmm. 😀 )

      Since hunting DEER, I wouldn’t be one bit afraid to take that “low” weight bow out after em either.

      Tuning a “stick bow” is another world from tuning a compound. I’ve helped dozens with both. I WOULD shoot the lower weight bow, learning proper arrow tuning and PULL (but not shoot) the 52 or whatever you decide on to build your shooting muscles and I’d do so probably an entire archery season.

      Shooting the lighter bow, achieving great form, you MAY also find your anchor “moving” a bit, longer or shorter and will be more easily found and comfortable if not attempting to concentrate on holding too.

      Keep in mind, I’m older than “some” here and recall when ALL of us were shooting 42-46lb bows on deer WITHOUT carbon arrows, WITHOUT Doc Asbhy’s penetration report to help, and succeeded on a regular basis and gave our bow weight no thought what-so-ever.

      Deer didn’t morph into anything else than what they were then and you’ll see many posts here and on other sites where your “50-52lb bow and a 650 grain arrow” will not only get the job done, it would do the same on about anything walking I can think of to hunt barring a FEW African animals.

      Lots of the above, I learned “the hard way” so wished only to add it as food for thought.

      As proof of my convictions, Ive bowhunted whitetail now for approximately 40 seasons. Whitetail is about all I think about bowhunting for various reasons too.

      I spend each and every year shooting and preparing for season. My bow? It’s a 43lb, 1968 Bear Super Kodiak shooting various arrows I’ve a thread about also listed here. For comparison sake only, after 1985 or so when I “went heavier” I have taken deer with bows 57-72lbs, both longbow and recurves.

      While our “old” arrow set ups “worked” and still would, today’s information and materials give us a means of much more efficient delivery of energy to the arrow/arrowhead and into the deer giving (ME at least) superior results..some of which are results better than what I had previously with a bow 20 lbs heavier in pull.

      The one thing I have NO doubt of is that every arrow I shoot is MORE than capable of humanely taking a whitetail out to ranges beyond what most prefer, and beyond. Since adding the information the Ashby Report has provided (even though I am still experimenting to find ONE arrow I prefer) it is quite obvious the penetration of this “light weight” bow is more than ample and I really doubt Ill switch to my 55lb bow unless an Elk hunt, or similar, comes my way.

      I simply have nothing I can radically improve on by doing so.

      Shoot what you feel is “your” set up, but don’t be afraid of something “lesser” while learning good, solid form from start to finish.

      Doing so is just my opinion of learning it in the fastest most efficient way possible and it’s mandatory to have such to reach the full enjoyment traditional archery has to offer.

      Last but not least………
      Welcome to the World of Traditional Bowhunting!!
      YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT!

      God Bless!
      Steve Sr.

    • prewar70
      Post count: 7

      Steve and others thanks for the advice. I am definitely going Black Widow takedown, and it’s just a matter of time before I find the right used one. Ideally, I want a min of 60″ and 62″ if I can get it for comfort and the ability to go with heavier limbs down the road. I’d like to find a fifty pounder at 28″ or high 40s, that’s my goal. As far as draw length, again I’ll say I’m 6′ 1″. My draw length on my Mathews is 29 with a loop. Measuring draw length for compounds I’m right at 29-29.5. Measuring per one of the posts here with my back against the wall and from my chest to fingertips I’m at 27″. I’ve been told that my draw length will be shorter on a traditional but what is the 27″ number supposed to tell me? Is 27″ my ideal draw length for a traditional, a full 2 inches shorter than my Mathews? Or is 28 going to be perfect for me. AGain, any help is appreciated. Thanks for all of the good advice.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Hey Prewar maybe your compound was too long. When you start shooting a tradbow you will probably anchor with your finger and hand on your face. This will cause you to need a bow weight at that distance. Draw length is measured to the throat of the bow plus inch an 3/4 technically speaking. I just measure to the back of the bow while drawn to my anchor point (front of riser where the arrow is drawn to) and use that as my draw length on that particular bow. May I suggest that you go to a knowlegable source like a traditional archery shop or trad club in your area and get some help from someone on establishing your draw length before you buy a bow. This will clear up several questions and get you on the right track.

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      Prewar,

      Typically, your draw length for traditional gear will be shorter. I don’t know why that is. I find it interesting that you’re 6’1″ and are coming up with a 27″ draw length. I’m 5’10”, and I draw my bow, like I said, to 29 1/2″. But, then again, each person’s body is different. Maybe I just have monkey arms for my height, and you don’t. If you can find time, go down to a local archery shop that stocks recurves and have them measure you draw length on one of their recurves. They should have an arrow that’s marked in inches to measure draw length. That will tell you your length. Good luck.

      Michael.

    • prewar70
      Post count: 7

      Perhaps I’m putting too much emphasis on draw length. It’s not like compounds where you have to know your exact draw length, there’s no in between. On a traditional 28 seems to be the standard and you either draw a little longer and a few more pounds or the opposite. I think if I can find a good BW that is at least 60″, preferably 62″, and around 50lbs at 28, I will be in good shape. If I end up drawing 29 with a 60 or 62 incher, I shouldn’t have to worry about stacking or pinch. What do you think.

    • LanceColeman
      Post count: 17

      BW has a try before you buy program. My suggestion would be to have BW send you a 45-50# at your draw bow for you to shoot and make your mind up on before you dish out the cash.

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