Bear Archery Kodiak Cub Review


Draw WeightBow LengthTakedown?Weight
Bear Kodiak Cub Recurve Bow

Bear Kodiak Cub Recurve Bow

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20, 30 lbs.

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
24"No~1.7 lbs

- Designed just like Bear Archery’s adult bows
- Great bow for learning archery methods and techniques
- Very durable
- No bow stringer included
Also recommended: Best Bear Archery BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

Package Contents

Welcome to my review of the Bear Archery Kodiak Cub. This is a traditional youth bow that was first introduced by Bear Archery in 1965 as the Little Bear. Each package delivered by includes the following items:

  • Bear Archery Kodiak Cub Riser and Limbs
  • Dacron Bowstring
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty Card

Assembling The Bow

When you receive your Bear Archery Kodiak Cub, it may not require any assembly at all. Mine, for example, was already strung, so it was ready to go straight out of the box. If yours does not come pre-strung, stringing the bow is all that you need to do, and then you are ready to shoot.

The Kodiak Cub does not ship with a bow stringer, so you will need to have one on-hand, just to make sure you do not damage yourself or the limbs while you’re stringing the bow.

How Powerful and Accurate is the Bow?

super-kodiakThis bow’s primary purpose is target shooting, so power is not much of a requirement. As such, the 30# draw weight of the bow will not yield much in the way of power. Even so, it’s perfectly suited for target shooting out to 30-40 yards.

I found the bow to be amazingly accurate, once I’d tuned it. From 30 yards, I maintained 2” groupings consistently, which is a very nice thing to see in a youth bow. The Bear Archery Kodiak Cub has been refined over the years and has maintained its position as one of the top bows for teaching archery fundamentals to new archers. Its accuracy is a testimony to its suitability for target practice among young archers: if I miss the target with this bow, I know the problem is me and not the bow.

Is The Bow Suitable For Hunting?

If your youth or small adult wants to use a bow for small game hunting, the Kodiak Cub will work beautifully because the Kodiak Cub is very well balanced and accurate. It is just like a bow intended for an adult archer, but scaled down for smaller frames and hands. The bow works wonderfully for small game hunting, and I’ve taken mine out for several test runs and bagged squirrels, groundhogs, and even a couple of rabbits with the Kodiak Cub. I would recommend, however, going with a 30# draw weight if you plan to hunt small game with this bow.

link to beginner's buying guide
Hunting larger game with the Kodiak Cub is not only ill advised, but also illegal in most states. Most states require longbows or compound bows to have a draw weight of at least 40#, and the Kodiak Cub is only available up to 30#.

Is The Bow Suitable For Beginners?

This bow is definitely suitable for beginners, since it was first designed as a beginner’s bow in 1965 and has been refined for that purpose over the past five decades.

The Kodiak Cub is designed almost exactly like adult-sized traditional bows, but small enough for youth and small adults to handle with ease. Because it’s designed to be a bow for teaching proper archery techniques, it is great for teaching archery fundamentals the right way. A beginner will find the bow very forgiving while also encouraging proper grip, stance, draw and release.

Does This Recurve Accept Accessories?

The bow is not drilled for accessories out of the box, but that’s not to say it would not be possible. Someone skilled in setting up bows could drill the holes, but Bear Archery doesn’t design this bow with accessories in mind. The sole purpose of the Kodiak Cub is to build up the confidence of young shooters who are being introduced to archery and taught the right way from the very beginning. Teaching archery the right way means, in my opinion, teaching instinctive shooting, or shooting without the aid of an artificial sight, first and letting the archer build up his or her skills from the fundamentals.

Arrows For The Bear Archery Kodiak Cub

Since the Bear Kodiak Cub is a youth bow, you need to make sure you use youth arrows with it. I tested the bow with Victory Gamer arrows at 30” long, Victory Ares 29” arrows, and Victory Venus 29” arrows. All three arrows shot cleanly and accurately, and held up to the light draw weight of the bow without any complaints. The Kodiak Cub is a pretty forgiving bow, and will shoot either aluminum or carbon arrows without any problems. Since the bow is not very powerful, you also shouldn’t have too much concern about aluminum arrows getting bent when fired, either, unless you or your youth overdraw the bow frequently.

Is This Bow Comfortable To Hold?

The Bear Kodiak Cub is very comfortable to hold, and feels just like one of Bear Archery’s adult bows. Even though my hands are too large for the bow, I was able to fire the bow for several hours without any fatigue or pain. My 12-year-old nephew also found the bow very comfortable to hold and shoot for hours of backyard archery fun.

Materials And Durability (Riser, Limbs)

Bear Archery handcrafts the Kodiak Cub’s riser from black laminated hard rock maple, and backs the maple limbs with high-strength black fiberglass. It ships with a Dacron string, and is available in draw weights from 20# to 30#.

As a former Rangemaster for Scouts Canada, I know how youth are with bows. In the hands of a youth, a bow will be dropped or sometimes thrown. With that in mind, I ran a couple of tests on the bow that I do not normally try. First, I let the bow drop from my hand with every release for about 10 shots, removing my retaining strap to make sure the bow fell when I fired it. The bow didn’t mind one bit, and kept on shooting just as well as when I first strung it. Then, just for giggles, I tossed the bow down as if I was angry at the bow for a bad shot. Once again, the Kodiak Cub took every bit of abuse I felt I could reasonably expect it to take in the hands of a youth archer, and didn’t complain in the slightest.

Bear Archery has made this bow durable enough to last for years, and they have always had that thought in mind when making this bow. The durability of the bow, along with its accuracy and suitability for beginning archers, is one of the reasons the bow has been in production for almost 50 years.

What String Fits The Bear Archery Kodiak Cub?

The Bear Archery Kodiak Cub ships with a good-quality Dacron string that will serve you well for thousands of shots. When you do need to replace the string, any Dacron 44” bowstring will work well with this bow. Since the limb tips are not reinforced, though, you cannot use Flemish strings or any FastFlight strings with this bow.

Is The Bear Archery Kodiak Cub a Heavy Bow?

No, the Kodiak Cub is extremely lightweight, since it’s designed as a youth bow. While Bear Archery doesn’t give an exact weight for the bow and I didn’t have any way to weight mine, I did find that the product listing for the Kodiak Cub on Amazon shows it as being only 1 lb. shipped. That sounds about right to me, since the bow felt like it was a pound or less in my hands.

How Loud Is The Bear Archery Kodiak Cub?

The Bear Archery Kodiak Cub is probably as loud as any other recurve, but no louder than most. It is by no means quiet for a recurve, but neither is it particularly loud.

Traditional Bow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our bow review. Whether you’re a small adult looking for a smaller bow or you’re looking for a good beginner bow for a youth, you can’t go wrong with the Kodiak Cub. It’s been around for years as a youth bow, and has a tried and true design that thousands of young archers have cut their archery teeth on. Check out Today's price on the Kodiak Cub.

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