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Countdown to F&S's Best of the Best Bows #14

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June 28, 2011

Countdown to F&S's Best of the Best Bows #14

By Scott Bestul

I just got done testing 14 brand-new bows for Field & Stream’s “Best of the Best” awards program. I’ll be announcing the winner of the test in the September issue of the magazine. Meanwhile, I thought you’d like to see the runner ups. So every week from now until September, I’ll be posting reviews of the test bows, counting them down from #14 to #1 and revealing the winner here shortly after the September issue hits mail boxes and newsstands.

The Test: For the third year in a row our test was held at Archery Headquarters in Rochester, Minn., one of the Midwest’s top pro shops. My testing team included shop owner, Marty Stubstad; bow technician and tournament pro, Trent Kleeberger; veteran bowhunter and 3-D shooter, Tom VanDoorn; and me. We fitted each bow with a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, weighed it, then shot it through a chronograph using a Carbon Express Aramid arrow that weighed 437 grains and was 29-1/4 inches long (this will explain why our arrow speeds won’t match the IBO speeds advertised by the manufacturers). Then we spent hours on the range, testing each bow for noise, hand shock, balance and grip, back wall, draw cycle, fit and finish and overall shootability. Bows were rated on a scale of 1-10 (10=perfect) in each category, and the scores were totaled to determine rank. This week we’ll begin the countdown with:

Bow #14: Rytera “Seeker” (rytera.com)
Price: $899
Weight: 5 lbs. 12 oz.
Length: 33” axle-to-axle
Speed: 290 fps.

Comments/Notes: The dual-cam Seeker sports an innovative design, which places the grip in front of the riser. Interestingly, this allows adjustment of the bow’s brace height from 5-1/2 to 8 inches. The grip angle is also adjustable. Dual carbon stabilizers are placed at the top and bottom of the riser.

Hits: The Seeker was very fast, tying for 3rd in the speed category. It had a nice back wall and decent draw cycle for such a fast bow.
Misses: While the team was split on the Seeker’s hand shock (two felt it was decent, two hated it), no one liked the Seeker’s balance or grip, which could have been a function of the riser design. We also felt the Seeker was loud, likely a function of the short brace height (we tested it at the factory setting of 5-1/2 inches).

The Takeaway: The Rytera is an attention-grabbing bow; the unique design alone insures that. The 3-plus inches of brace height adjustment is totally unique, and though it placed low on our list, this bow has some promising innovations. For shooters who demand a fast arrow and appreciate slick engineering, the Rytera is worth a look.

 

Comments (19)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Booner Chaser wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

The upper and lower parts of the riser look very similar to Bowtech's destroyer...A unique looking bow for sure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Not a comment as much as an observation. I'm a little disappointed with the bow manufacturers for not coming out with a bow that is pleasing to the eye. They appear to get uglier every year. The technology is also lacking. Why are they still fastening the limbs to the riser with a lug nut? Why are the cam pins still held into place with a little snap-ring? Do we really want u-shaped bows to hide the brace height? If you compare the form, fit and finish of a $1000 bow to that of a $1000 shotgun you would have to be a fool to buy a bow. Outside of custom recurves and stickbows there is no craftsmanship in the bow industry. Just a bunch of stamped and milled parts loosely fitted together. If you purchase a recurve at least you know a skilled craftsman spent hours with the bow in his hands finely tuning every aspect and the finished product can be taken to the woods or hung on the mantle, it is that pretty.

Sorry for the rant. Just had to get it off my chest.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

the reason the technology hasnt changed is because it doesnt neet to e clips holding the cams on a compact ans do the job imagin putting a cotter pin to do the job

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I've honestly never even heard of Rytera. Buckhunter, I gave you a +1, but I do think today's bows are pretty remarkable technologically speaking, especially when you look at the leaps and bounds that have been made in the last 10-20 years. I cannot get over the prices though. You are right about that, when I look at the price of new bows, I think "man I could buy a REALLY nice gun for that kind of money".
I can't understand how guys get new bows every year or 2 either. There's tons of 1 or 2 year old bows on Craigslist in my area, all saying "got new bow, don't need this one anymore".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fshrmon wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I'm looking to get into bowhunting and am excited to read the full article in the Sept issue, but I also am curious if there will be any reviews of introductory bows in the $399-$500 range?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Amen buck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I agree both on the aestehic and technology statements above by buck and jbird. Also about the ever rising cost of bows. I have to admit after recently purchasing a Mathews z7 I was thinking of the beautiful Kimber rifle I wanted for a similar price, but most of my hunting is done with a bow. Im anxious both to see how my new bow fares on this list and also to hunt with it. Going to be a great fall. So far i have Zero buyers remorse even at twice what i'd normally spend on a bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I shoot a $100 dollar 50 lb. recurve. Its just as accurate and theres alot less to go wrong with it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I believe Rytera is Hoyt's cheaper line of bow; although this bow ain't cheap.

This bow is too heavy.

They should have spent more engineering dollars in making it lighter than to have an adjustable brace height. I have no idea why someone would want an adjustable brace height. Instead of fine tuning the bow to a particular brace height, they had to accomodate for a large range. A 5 inch brace height in a hunting bow is, well, pretty damn stupid.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Greene wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Any advice for someone in the market for a bow is helpful, but $900 is pricey. Hope you are testing mid price range bows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

FYI-Rytera is a child of Martin Archery. They kick out some innovative bows but this one is by far the most innovative. I've owned most brands of compounds and agree with buckhunter that these days they are not the nicest looking but are great in terms of speed, comfort, and shootability. Unfortunately the price has gone up along with the technology but I shoot my bows almost every day of the year so I can justify big money for a bow. A $1000 deer rifle a person shoots for a week per year....no way in my book!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

fhsrmon and HunterGreene,
I recently tested four really good bows all for under $500. I'll post that test here as soon as it hits the newsstand, which will be soon.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I have a HCA 4Runner and I challenge any and all Bow Manufacturers to prove they have the best bow and make it absolutely irresistible to buy new bow and I quadruple dare them!

I'm waiting,

LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!

28" Gold Tip with 100 gr Muzzy 3 blade at 310 fps and "MOCC" at 50 yards.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishdog52 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Looking to return to archery hunting as NYS just changed to law to permit 12 yr olds to hunt deer. Been to 2 shops and am disappointed with the gizmos and shocked at the prices. Not going to spend $2,000 to get 2 of us back into the game. Where is the functional, and reasonable equipment? I can spend $300 on a Rem 870 shotgunand go hunt nearly anything. How does one sort thru all this stuff?
Guess it has been a long time...40 years....since I prowled around,and shot a few deer with my Sanders recurve & some newfangled aluminum arrows.
Help with a complete starter package might be a useful article.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pacific Hunter wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

So does this adjustable brace height make the bow more forgiving than the other high speed bows with the short brace heights?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigeyedfish wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I like the idea of the adjustable brace height, but $900 and 5.75 lbs are big numbers. There is no way I could justify spending that kind of money on a bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

i have a z7 and won't be needing another one for a long time which is good considering that i paid around $800 for it. you'd think with the price of the bow being reviewed, it would rank better than 14th.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminmoore32 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Bow Hunting is really good and the winners really deserve it.The adjustable brace height looks very interesting but I think you have paid a lot of money over it.
ceramic cookware

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from suzettech wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Keep up your writing Scott, I enjoyed the details. Thanks for sharing, i bookmarked. You need this reviews before you start planning.
Travel guide http://ideal-escapes.com/

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Not a comment as much as an observation. I'm a little disappointed with the bow manufacturers for not coming out with a bow that is pleasing to the eye. They appear to get uglier every year. The technology is also lacking. Why are they still fastening the limbs to the riser with a lug nut? Why are the cam pins still held into place with a little snap-ring? Do we really want u-shaped bows to hide the brace height? If you compare the form, fit and finish of a $1000 bow to that of a $1000 shotgun you would have to be a fool to buy a bow. Outside of custom recurves and stickbows there is no craftsmanship in the bow industry. Just a bunch of stamped and milled parts loosely fitted together. If you purchase a recurve at least you know a skilled craftsman spent hours with the bow in his hands finely tuning every aspect and the finished product can be taken to the woods or hung on the mantle, it is that pretty.

Sorry for the rant. Just had to get it off my chest.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

the reason the technology hasnt changed is because it doesnt neet to e clips holding the cams on a compact ans do the job imagin putting a cotter pin to do the job

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I've honestly never even heard of Rytera. Buckhunter, I gave you a +1, but I do think today's bows are pretty remarkable technologically speaking, especially when you look at the leaps and bounds that have been made in the last 10-20 years. I cannot get over the prices though. You are right about that, when I look at the price of new bows, I think "man I could buy a REALLY nice gun for that kind of money".
I can't understand how guys get new bows every year or 2 either. There's tons of 1 or 2 year old bows on Craigslist in my area, all saying "got new bow, don't need this one anymore".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fshrmon wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I'm looking to get into bowhunting and am excited to read the full article in the Sept issue, but I also am curious if there will be any reviews of introductory bows in the $399-$500 range?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I shoot a $100 dollar 50 lb. recurve. Its just as accurate and theres alot less to go wrong with it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I believe Rytera is Hoyt's cheaper line of bow; although this bow ain't cheap.

This bow is too heavy.

They should have spent more engineering dollars in making it lighter than to have an adjustable brace height. I have no idea why someone would want an adjustable brace height. Instead of fine tuning the bow to a particular brace height, they had to accomodate for a large range. A 5 inch brace height in a hunting bow is, well, pretty damn stupid.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Greene wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Any advice for someone in the market for a bow is helpful, but $900 is pricey. Hope you are testing mid price range bows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

fhsrmon and HunterGreene,
I recently tested four really good bows all for under $500. I'll post that test here as soon as it hits the newsstand, which will be soon.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Booner Chaser wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

The upper and lower parts of the riser look very similar to Bowtech's destroyer...A unique looking bow for sure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Amen buck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I agree both on the aestehic and technology statements above by buck and jbird. Also about the ever rising cost of bows. I have to admit after recently purchasing a Mathews z7 I was thinking of the beautiful Kimber rifle I wanted for a similar price, but most of my hunting is done with a bow. Im anxious both to see how my new bow fares on this list and also to hunt with it. Going to be a great fall. So far i have Zero buyers remorse even at twice what i'd normally spend on a bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

FYI-Rytera is a child of Martin Archery. They kick out some innovative bows but this one is by far the most innovative. I've owned most brands of compounds and agree with buckhunter that these days they are not the nicest looking but are great in terms of speed, comfort, and shootability. Unfortunately the price has gone up along with the technology but I shoot my bows almost every day of the year so I can justify big money for a bow. A $1000 deer rifle a person shoots for a week per year....no way in my book!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I have a HCA 4Runner and I challenge any and all Bow Manufacturers to prove they have the best bow and make it absolutely irresistible to buy new bow and I quadruple dare them!

I'm waiting,

LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!

28" Gold Tip with 100 gr Muzzy 3 blade at 310 fps and "MOCC" at 50 yards.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishdog52 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Looking to return to archery hunting as NYS just changed to law to permit 12 yr olds to hunt deer. Been to 2 shops and am disappointed with the gizmos and shocked at the prices. Not going to spend $2,000 to get 2 of us back into the game. Where is the functional, and reasonable equipment? I can spend $300 on a Rem 870 shotgunand go hunt nearly anything. How does one sort thru all this stuff?
Guess it has been a long time...40 years....since I prowled around,and shot a few deer with my Sanders recurve & some newfangled aluminum arrows.
Help with a complete starter package might be a useful article.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pacific Hunter wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

So does this adjustable brace height make the bow more forgiving than the other high speed bows with the short brace heights?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigeyedfish wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I like the idea of the adjustable brace height, but $900 and 5.75 lbs are big numbers. There is no way I could justify spending that kind of money on a bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

i have a z7 and won't be needing another one for a long time which is good considering that i paid around $800 for it. you'd think with the price of the bow being reviewed, it would rank better than 14th.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminmoore32 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Bow Hunting is really good and the winners really deserve it.The adjustable brace height looks very interesting but I think you have paid a lot of money over it.
ceramic cookware

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from suzettech wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Keep up your writing Scott, I enjoyed the details. Thanks for sharing, i bookmarked. You need this reviews before you start planning.
Travel guide http://ideal-escapes.com/

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment