Martin Archery Jaguar BF Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Martin Archery Jaguar BF

Martin Archery Jaguar BF

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52 inches2.5 lbs

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
29, 40, 50 lbs.Yes

- Gorgeous blue water reaper design
- Powerful and accurate
- Included string is good quality
- No bow stringer included
- No bowfishing reel included
- Not suitable for beginners
Also recommended: Best Martin BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

Sometimes you want to use a bow for hunting in the bush, but other times your hunting takes you onto the water. If you’re a bow fisher, you want some good gear to use to enjoy the sport. Martin Archery has refitted its trusty Jaguar into a bowfishing bow, so let’s see how well it lives up to the Martin name.

What Comes With The Jaguar BF?

Martin Archery Jaguar BFBowfishing requires a fair bit more equipment than usual archery, so I hoped to find a good bowfishing reel and fishing point in the box. Here’s what came with the Jaguar BFM. when I purchased it:

  • The Martin Archery Jaguar BF, including limbs and riser
  • Bow string
  • Assembly hardware
  • 2015 Martin Archery catalog
  • Assembly instructions

No bow stringer, and none of the usual accessories you need for archery fishing, unfortunately. I know from previous models that Martin used to provide a kit that came with a reel, but that reel was poor quality and most of the time it got thrown out in favor of something else, such as the Zebco 808. I had a Zebco 808 laying around, fortunately, so I attached that.

How Hard Is The Bow To Assemble?

Let’s back up a bit, and talk about how hard the bow is to assemble. The short answer is, not very, if you know what you’re doing. Attaching the limbs to the riser is easy enough, but then you need to string the bow. Martin didn’t include a bow stringer, so make sure you have one. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to move on to installing your accessories.

What’s That About Accessories?

Next, you’ll install whatever accessories you plan on using. The Jaguar BF is drilled and ready to accept a sight, plunger, and bowfishing reel. Martin has even included the brass inserts, so all you need to do is install your accessories. At a minimum, you’ll need a reel and your nocking points, but you may also want to fit your recurve with a sight or Berger button.

That done, you should tune the bow, probably following our detailed guide to properly tuning a bow.

Is The Jaguar BF Powerful And Accurate?

Martin Archery Jaguar BF2his recurve is available with a draw weight of 29, 40, or 50 pounds. So, it’s as powerful as you want it to be, pretty much. I’ve used mine to fish for walleye, pike, and gar, using both the 29 pound and 50 pound models. They’re both powerful enough for most fishing purposes, unless you’re going out deep-sea fishing – if that’s the case, stick with the 50# draw weight.

Accuracy is dead-on with the Jaguar BF, and I was able to handily maintain 2″ groupings from 30 yards. Quite good for such an inexpensive bow, and the accuracy remained just as solid out on the water as at the archery range.

Can I Use The Bow For Hunting?

I’m not sure who would want to carry around a bright blue bow in the woods, but the 40# and 50# Jaguar BF is certainly powerful enough to take down a deer or elk. Honestly, though, this isn’t the best bow for hunting purposes on land, since it’s custom crafted to accomodate the reel and might feel awkward shooting without the weight of the bowfishing reel. I love saving money as much as the next guy, but I would still recommend using separate bows for hunting and bowfishing.

Can Beginners Use This Bow?

Here again, the Jaguar BF might not be the best fit for a beginning archer. This isn’t a target shooting bow, since it is designed for a specific purpose. You should already have some experience with archery before you begin bowfishing, and I’d recommend a different bow for beginning archery.

link to beginner's buying guide

What Are The Best Arrows To Use With The Bow?

You’ll want to use a good quality bowfishing arrow when you’re out on the water, but for practice shooting you’ll likely want a different choice. Read more about how to select the perfect arrow for your use in our complete guide to arrow selection.

How Durable Are The Limbs And Riser On The Recurve?

The Jaguar BF is built around a metal riser and wooden limbs, with fiberglass reinforcement. It is very durable, and will last for years if you take care of it right. This means disassembling and unstringing the bow between uses. Take care of the bow right, and you won’t have any limb twist or other problems. Leave it strung for weeks or months, and your luck might not be so good.

What Strings Will Fit This Recurve Bow?

The limb tips on the Jaguar BF appear to be reinforced, so the bow should be compatible with Flemish or Fastflight strings. I stuck with the included string, however, and it has served me very well for a full fishing season already.

Is This A Heavy Bow?

The Jaguar BF itself is only 2.5 pounds, but the reel and line can add a fair bit of weight to the bow. With that said, I’ve found the recurve to be quite easy to handle in the boat, and fairly lightweight.

How Quiet Is The Recurve?

This isn’t the most quiet bow on the market, but it’s still pretty quiet. I’ve found the bow to be quite silent with string silencers installed, and there is no noticeable hand shock or vibration when shooting.

Recurve Bow Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Martin Archery Jaguar BF takedown recurve. This is an excellent choice for bowfishing, with great accuracy and a good amount of power. Unfortunately, there aren’t any complete kits available just yet including the Jaguar BF, so you’ll have to buy the rest of your accessories for bowfishing separately. Take a look at Today's Online Price on the Jaguar BF if you’re looking to buy one.

1 Comment

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  1. Is this riser the same as the Jaguar Elite? I really want to know if it is mild for ILF limbs. I haven’t been able to get a definitive answer about this.

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