Your choices in recurve bows might seem pretty limitless, but they generally fall into one of two categories: one-piece and takedown bows. With a takedown recurve, you can easily detach the limbs from the riser, making it much easier to transport and store your archery equipment.
Even now that you’ve made up your mind that you want a takedown bow, you still have plenty of options. I’m going to explore some of those, giving you the top three takedown recurves that you can choose from. I’ll also provide you with some of the most important qualities you should be looking for in a takedown bow, so you can choose another model if you don’t like the top three.
Martin Archery has been around for years, and they’re quite well known for manufacturing affordable and accurate bows, especially recurves. You won’t find their products to be the cheapest on the market, but you will love the balance Martin Archery maintains between affordability and quality.
The really great thing about the Saber is that it’s available in a wide variety of draw weights, from 30 to 55 pounds, making it easy to find one that meets your abilities while still being a potentially great choice for hunting. Removing the limbs is a snap, not even requiring any special tools. In the five years I’ve had my Saber, I’ve never noticed any limb twist at all. This recurve is highly accurate, and the bow’s lightweight aluminum riser is ready for you to install a stabilizer, plunger, and/or sight. The only real con with the Saber is the rubber arrow rest, which wears out a bit too quickly.
Since 1975, Samick has established itself as an excellent archery manufacturer. Korean-based, the company sells its bows in more than 50 countries, and has made a name for itself also by sponsoring some of the world’s most accomplished competitive archers. Samick’s bows, in short, are some of the best around, and certainly the best for their price category.
The Samick Sage is an excellent choice for beginners and veterans alike, offering you both economic and practical use no matter what your skill level is. One of my favorite qualities of the Sage is how forgiving it is of poor stance or technique. I’ve lent my Sage to several beginners, and they were quickly shooting tight patterns without much practice.
The Sage is available in draw weights from 40 pounds to 55 pounds, and it’s easy to exchange the limbs when you outgrow your current set. The thumb screws tighten and loosen easily, meaning you don’t need a bow wrench to disassemble or reassemble the bow. You also don’t have to worry about limb twist with the Sage, since it’s so well-made. The Sage is affordable, gorgeous to look at, and terrific for installing accessories to customize your recurve.
The successor to the Martin Jaguar, the Jaguar Elite takes all of the great features of its predecessor and builds upon them. This is a bow that, once you get used to the seemingly added weight of the aluminum and magnesium construction, will have you wondering why you ever stuck with wooden recurves before. It’s sturdy, vibration-free, and exceedingly comfortable to hold and shoot. The Thermal V coating on the handle ensures a slip-free experience no matter what the weather is like. Unfortunately, you’ll need an Allen wrench to take down the bow. Luckily, Martin has done a great job of eliminating limb twist in the Jaguar Elite.
The biggest drawback with the Jaguar Elite is the arrow rest. It’s made of plastic, and can wear and fall apart relatively quickly. Fortunately, you can get a new arrow rest at a great price point, for less than $15, and that will get you an arrow rest that will last ten times as long. I just wish Martin Archery had used a better arrow rest from the get-go.
You’ll find that all of the same qualities you’d look for in any other recurve bow hold true with takedown models. However, there are a few other characteristics you should keep in mind. Keeping these in mind will make your investment that much more sound, while also helping you be sure you can properly maintain and store your takedown recurve bow.
Ease of removing the limbs
Ideally, a takedown recurve will use thumb bolts/screws to hold the limbs in place. This way, you don’t have to carry any special tools with you in the field, and you can quickly and easily unstring and disassemble your takedown bow for storage and transportation. This isn’t an absolute, of course, but it makes life a lot easier.
Availability of replacement limbs
The other advantage of a takedown recurve is the ability to exchange the limbs with stronger ones as your strength and form improves. To take advantage of this, though, you want to be sure the manufacturer sells limb separate from the bow itself. This way, you can easily move from a 30# draw to a 45# draw or heavier without replacing the entire bow.
One problem that often comes along with takedown recurve bows is limb twist and warp. You want to make sure that whichever model you choose doesn’t suffer too much, if at all, from this problem. I’ve taken care to ensure that the models I’ve listed in the top three either don’t suffer at all from limb twist, or the problem is very slight. Most of our bow reviews will tell you if limb twist might be a problem, so be sure to pay attention to that factor.
Okay, there you go. You’ve got a shopping list of three takedown recurves to choose from, as well as the factors to bear in mind when it comes time to make the selection for yourself. There are plenty of excellent models out there to pick between, so if the three top takedown recurves don’t quite fit your fancy, just keep in mind the ease of removing the limbs as well as finding replacement ones, along with avoiding limb twist.