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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I'm wanting to get into archery. I've done a lot of research, and I'm currently looking at the Samick Sage, a Cartel-Sage hybrid, or a Greatree Firefox.

Here is the dilemma: My local archery shop, The Bow Rack, only carries the Greatree Firefox as far as low-cost starting recurves.
If I were to buy the Sage/Carsage, I would have to buy online, which has the drawbacks of having to pay for shipping and having to buy sight-unseen.

I've been able to find a lot of reviews about the Sage, and just today some people raving about the Carsage idea, but almost nothing about the Firefox. I did find one person somewhere online that said they're about equal, but I don't know.

Between the Sage and Carsage, I would probably take the Carsage, since it's cheaper and in many people's opinion an improvement (the draw weight limit isn't a problem, I'll probably buy a one piece or custom build when I'm ready to move up). Is this the correct riser and this the correct limbs? Is Lancaster the best source for these products?

I also read that the Cartel riser is longer than the Sage riser, so it should drop some draw weight per draw length, while being a smoother draw, right?

If anyone can compare the Firefox to the Sage/Carsage from experience, that would be awesome.

BTW, the Firefox and the Sage are both $139, plus shipping for the Sage.

I'm 5'11" tall, and I calculated my draw length (armspan/2.5) to be 29.6".

Thank you in advance!
 

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I don't know anything about the Firefox, but I am planning on buying a Sage so I've done quite a bit of research on it. I also came across a lot of good opinions on the Carsage set-up, and you do have the correct links for the riser/limbs. However another thing I've come across is that the Sage and Polaris limbs are interchangeable, which means you could buy the Cartel Riser and the Samick Polaris limbs and save $40 which would easily make up for the shipping cost (They actually have that set-up for sale on Lancaster - USA Archery 62" Recurve). Just something else to think about...

I'm sure there will be plenty of people to give you experienced opinions on this though, just thought I'd share what I've learned..... Oh and :welcomesign:
 

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Greatree makes an excellent bow. I have one. Very similar to the Samick bows.

If you can get Wayne or either of the two Chris fellows at the Bow Rack to set you up, you're way ahead of the game. Those guys know quite a bit about recurve shooting, though the shop skews towards compound (don't they all!). They'll string it and place the nock locator on, and you can have them make you up some carbon arrows with feathers to match the draw weight of the bow.

Go online to Lancaster Archery or 3Rivers Archery and order "Shooting the Stickbow" by Anthony Camera (the Bow Rack doesn't carry it). It's a great archery manual for a beginner to help learn proper form and all the accompanying equipment, tuning, string, arrow, etc. stuff that goes along with it.

Final note ... think long and hard on your first draw weight. Make sure you can dominate the bow as a mate to your existing musculature. This will allow you the daily repetition of shots needed to learn how to shoot properly without undue straining and fatigue.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the speedy replies!

Thin Man, was you suggestion that I buy the Firefox from the Bow Rack, or buy one of the others and have the guys at the Rack set it up?

I'll look in to that book and probably go for a 30# or less draw weight.
 

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If you can get a bow locally, have them set it up for you, make arrows to match the bow and sell you the other accessories like arm guard, finger tab, glove, stringer, target bag, etc. then you are a lucky fellow, indeed. The Bow Rack Boys are the Bomb and are very nice folk to deal with. In the event of a bozo with the bow, they'll be quick and reasonable on the repair or adjustment.

30# or less is a very good idea for starting out cold.

Have fun.
 

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I dont have any experiance with the great tree. But the sage and carsage are both great bows. I prefer the carsage mainly because the handle fits me better so I shoot it better.
My carsages(3) all shoot a little faster than with the sage riser even at a little lower draw weight. The polaris limbs will work also but theyre not made to shoot with fast flight strings, the sage limbs are.My 50# carsage pulls 47.5#s @ 28" and shoots a 500 grain arrow at185fps, 450 gr arrow @ 195 and a 375 gr at 205 fps. This is with a fast flight string. My 35# carsage pulls 33# and shoots the same weight arrows @ 150, 160 and 170 with a non fast flight string. I cant remember what the 45# shoots but it pulls 42# and is my favorite. Cartel also makes a 24" riser called a sirius that Im thinking of trying. Its only 10.00 more and Im hoping it will make around a 67" bow. I think you could use samick journey limbs and sirius riser and wind up around 70"s.
The 33# carsage is very accurate.
 

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The carsage is a great shooter very quite with a good string. yes the journey limbs would be better for your long draw. make a 64" bow instead of a 62". Really a good value. The sirius is 24" an the cartel 62" riser is 20" you might lose some poundage with the longer riser. I would ask someone at lancaster an I think it,s also heavyer. Would make a great target bow. I think you will get a better shooter with the samick over the greatree.
 

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Been here, done this . . . actually April 19 this year, to put a date on it. We went w/ a Sage in 40# because that's what the mobile archery trailer had in stock. I'm 5' 10" and 28" draw, maybe 29" . . . maybe. Let's add that April 19 I turned 65 yrs old.

First issue I had was sore shoulders. I was shooting maybe 100 plus arrows every day. (Range set up in the barn.) Two weeks into it, I drove into the shop (HQ for the mobile trailer) to shop for limbs in about 24# / 25#. We're serious about getting back at archery, after 50 yrs hiatus, and decided instead of limbs to opt for a Fuse Focus (USA Hoyt Italian import) in 24#.

The Sage is 62" over-all length (62" AMO -- an acronym "Archery Mfg. Organization," to standardize some specs. like bow length measures.) The Fuse Focus is 66" AMO.

After reading lots of posts in here, reading "Shooting The Stickbow" -- Anthony (Viper1) Camera who posts in this forum, I learned that for target shooting the 66" bow is going to draw smoother for me. The 62" Sage sort of starts "stacking" at the full-draw. Stacking is where the bow reaches its full-draw maximum and just won't "arch" any farther. The shorter bows are generally used for hunting, where they're easier to move through woods and obstacles.

And so, from what you post here, I'd go for a Cartel Riser and Polaris limbs for 66" or longer AMO. Lancaster Archery is a good source for shopping, but your local shop would be able to set-up your bow / arrows, etc. AND you really want to develop a working relationship with your local shop! You might have your shop order a bow for you, so you can see it, probably shoot it on their range.

Let me add, since we're shopping here -- My friend Carly bought a 24# Wohegan from the mobile trailer. This because the "trailer" is pretty much oriented toward serving hunters in the area and a bow in 24# is not legal for hunting. Accordingly, it's a 54" youth bow -- and way too short for her. Carly is 5' 9" and draws about 28" just like me. We traded that bow in the HQ shop for a 66" Samick Polaris in 24#. Also matched Carly with some correct arrows. She was shooting some heavy hunting arrows her dad gave her.

The happy ending to Carly's shooting is that she went from a too short bow she couldn't use, arrows that didn't work to a set-up that fits, is tuned, and makes her happy. Tune and fit makes all the difference!

Moving right along here -- Two weeks after I purchased the Focus, I opted for an "Olympic Style" bow -- ILF (International Limb Fitting), the ILF limbs fit the ILF risers, across ALL brands, so lots of options for setting up a bow. Also, the ILF design allows for angle adjustment of limbs, some other options. The Sebastian Flute Forged Plus riser was $250, my 24# long limbs (They come in "short" "medium" and "long".") ran $80, the entry-level limbs. ILF limbs can run $500 or more for Carbon, laminates. I opted for a 70" AMO on this bow. A month later, having gained some strength, I got some ILF long limbs in 40#, better grade for $120 -- and bought Olympic style carbon stabilizers, but that's another story.

Here's a photo of an ILF bow, limbs --



So what have I learned in 3 months?

FIRST -- BUY THE BOOK ! ! ! "Shooting The Stickbow" Anthony Camera,

Look at this link, some articles posted here you can read.

Shooting the Stickbow - Home
www.shootingthestickbow.com/‎
Shooting the Stickbow, 2nd Edition by Anthony (Viper) Camera presents a clear and comprehensive approach to learning and mastering the art of Archery, FAQ - ‎Aluminum Arrow Guide, online chapters.

--------------------------------------------------------

For target shooting, for YOU a 66" / 68" bow is the best option. I like my 70" ILF, but its longer length sacrifices some "efficiency" -- arrow velocity. I'm not concerned about arrow velocity. I like that the longer bow is smoother, more forgiving. Besides, I like long and willowy as a general esthetic, in women, fly rods, and now bows. *LMAO* That's just me!

As noted above here, "Get a bow you can dominate." First error for most new archers is to get "over bowed" -- too much draw weight and they just can't manage to hold it steady. The "over-bow" creates obstacles to developing form/technique. For starters a 25# bow is perfect for learning, easy to draw, easy to perfect your form because you can focus on form, not wrestle the draw weight. Since you're shooting target, 5' 11" and longer draw, you want a full-length bow, not a shorter bow for hunting.

The longer Cartel riser and Polaris limbs (longer than Sage limbs, same exact brand, same style), in about 25# sounds like a good fit. Evidently the Cartel has a weight limit for the riser I think the Cartel limit is 40# which is plenty power for target.

Down the road you can add heavier limbs for your bow. Or, like me, end up with several bows -- and everything else I've decided to do related to archery: arrow building, string making, etc.

Talk to your local shop about ordering a bow for you. Oh yeah, let's add here that some shops specialize in compound (bows with wheels) archery. They're focused on the hunting market, and often don't quite understand the Traditional, recurve / longbow end of the art.

My shop, to my great fortune, specializes in both, and they're a great source for learning the fine points.

Lancaster Archery is a site sponsor here, good service, reliable, knowledgeable. For the record, Lancaster is always about $10 LESS on cost than my local shop. So shipping cost from Lancaster works out to a draw for cost. (Never mind that my shop is a 100 mile drive away, gas is $4 a gallon these days.)

Local shop can tune your bow, match arrows, give tips, and provide a place to practice on the range, hang out, learn the art.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, I ordered the hardcover edition of Shooting the Stickbow, shoud arrive in a week or two.

I've tentatively settled on Samick Journey limbs ($75, only come down to 30#, but that should be fine.), Cartel Sirius riser ($50), then arrows, quiver, arm and finger guards should bring the total to around $250. (I'll try to make the guards, etc., but just in case...)
I'll have to contact my shop to see if they'll do the setup and Lancaster to see if the bow will come with a string, etc., but I've got a good idea of what I want.
It'll probably take around 3 weeks for me to save up the money, so if you have some really awesome suggestion, you still have time to sway me. :p

One question: what's the idea behind this fast-flight string I keep hearing about? Does the improvement they provide give a better beginning experience?

Thank you all very much for your help!
 

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For your draw, I'd go with a longer bow than the Sage. The Journey is very similar, but 2" longer, and should be more comfortable.

I wouldn't limit myself to one source of information. The best I know of is Masters of the Barebow, Volume III--2 World Champion archers who are also proven coaches.
 

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Fast-flight is the now generic term for modern, low-stretch string materials. Most bows of modern construction will come with this type of string. Older bows were built during the era of Dacron (polyester) material. Some new bows are also built with this material in mind, so it's still in common use depending upon the bow's (or archer's) need. Some modifications of tip reinforcing and thickness have developed over the years to accompany this low-stretch string's usage upon the bow.

Your beginning experience won't really care what string is on the bow as long as it is properly built to your bow's specs. The odds are that your purchase will include a low-stretch string, anyway. If not, don't sweat - shoot like the dickens for months on end - and keep reading up on all these interesting facets of archery all the while.
 

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Your beginning experience won't really care what string is on the bow...
I disagree. The string that comes with these bows is normally pretty lousy. Overbuilt, wrong length, one-size-fits-all, not served to fit any normal nock....that's not a slam against anyone, it's just the way it is. Most "over the counter" strings are that way.

You may not have a full appreciation for the difference in how the bow feels, sounds, and performs with a good string vs. the one that comes with it, but I think you certainly will notice a difference.

Chad
 

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Your beginning experience won't really care what string is on the bow as long as it is properly built to your bow's specs.
I would have disagreed, also, had I not completed my own sentence.
 

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Depends on how you define "properly built to your bow's specs". I've seen posts here implying the strings that come with these bows are fine. I disagree.
 

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My definition of "properly built to your bow's specs" is probably nearly identical to yours.

I've bought and setup several of the entry-level Samick bows and have always made my own strings for them. The included strings, being more apt for rigging masts on a sailing vessel, were never even removed from their packaging.

I certainly agree that, at least on the bows I mention above, a more appropriate string than the one included should be separately purchased, or hopefully, substituted when ordering the bow, and I usually try to make mention of that when a discussion heads in that direction.
 
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