Martin Archery Poplar Recurve Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Martin Archery Poplar Recurve

Martin Archery Poplar Recurve

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How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
25, 29, 35 lbs.Yes

- Hand-tightening limb bolts require no tools to assemble
- Predrilled and includes brass inserts for accessories
- Economical target bow
- No bowstringer included
- Not available in draw weights appropriate for most hunting
Also recommended: Best Martin BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

Archery is a fun and useful sport, since it ties directly into hunting and even fishing. While I usually purchase bows that I can use for several purposes, including target shooting, sometimes I come across a recurve that is designed solely for target archery and decide to give it a whirl. This was the case with the Martin Archery Poplar, an extremely economical target bow. Let’s see how well the bow performs.

What Do I Get With The Poplar?

Martin Archery PoplarWhen you unbox the Martin Archery Poplar, you can expect to find the following items in the packaging:

  • The Martin Archery Poplar, including limbs and riser
  • Assembly hardware
  • A bowstring
  • A Martin Archery 2015 product catalog

You won’t find a bowstringer in the package, unfortunately, so you should make sure that you have one on hand. You also won’t find any tools for assembly, but in this case, that’s okay: the bow doesn’t require tools to attach the limbs to the riser.

How Hard Is The Martin Archery Poplar Recurve To Assemble?

This particular recurve is one of the easiest to assemble that I’ve ever seen. You just attach the limbs to the riser, and then string the bow. The limb pockets are fitted and the bolts are hand-tightened, so you don’t require any tools to assemble the bow. You will, however, need a bowstringer on hand for stringing your recurve, since this makes the process simpler, safer, and more accurate.

What Accessories Can I Install On The Bow?

The Poplar is predrilled and includes the brass inserts for a stabilizer, sight, and/or Berger button. You should install these accessories once you’ve assembled your bow, then move on to tuning your bow. If you’ve never tuned a bow before, or if it’s been a while, be sure to follow our easy-to-read four-part guide to the whole procedure.

Is The Poplar Accurate And Powerful?

MartinPoplar2You can choose your draw weight, like with any bow, and Martin Archery gives you several choices here. Available draw weights for the Poplar are 25#, 29#, and 35#, and both left- and right-hand variants are available for purchase. These available draw weights don’t make for the most powerful recurve bow known to man, but they are certainly enough for target archery.

Accuracy with this inexpensive bow is surprisingly good. You may or may not be able to use this particular recurve for competition archery, but it is definitely a great choice for building up your form, technique, and accuracy. I was able to maintain 2-inch groupings from 40 yards, which is about the norm for me.
link to beginner's buying guide

Can I Use This Recurve Bow For Hunting?

Since the maximum draw weight on the Martin Archery is only 35#, you won’t be using this bow for deer or elk hunting in most states. After all, most states require you have at least a 40# draw weight for hunting medium-sized game. With that said, the Poplar is definitely powerful enough and accurate enough for hunting small game, like squirrel or rabbits, if you really want to use the recurve for dual purposes.

Is The Martin Archery Poplar Good For Beginners?

This recurve is very forgiving of inexperienced stances and techniques, so it is quite applicable for beginners to use this bow. On top of that, the Martin Archery Poplar recurve is built to add accessories, like a sight and stabilizer, making the recurve even more useful to beginners. While I tend to prefer instinctive shooting over using a sight, I always recommend that beginners install at least a sight on their bow for the best possible learning experience. Instinctive shooting can always come later, and really should.

What Are The Best Arrows To Use With The Bow?

Arrow selection is, as always, a highly personal decision. It all depends on what you’re going to use the bow for, even when it’s a recurve that’s really only useful for target shooting. For a great start to choosing your arrows, be sure to follow our guide to arrow selection.

How Durable Are The Limbs And Riser On The Recurve?

Since this is a takedown bow, durability isn’t as huge a concern as it would be on one-piece recurves. After all, there is little to no chance of limb twist when you take the bow down between uses, but sometimes people “forget.” If that sounds like you, rest assured that Martin Archery’s limbs are quite durable and resistant to limb twist, and the riser is as solid as it is light-colored and beautiful. This is a bow designed to be used, so it’s very rugged even in its beauty. With all of that said, I still recommend unstringing and taking down the bow after use, to get the most life out of it.

What Strings Will Fit This Recurve Bow?

This is a long recurve bow, and takes 66“ AMO length strings. The limb tips are reinforced, so you can use Flemish or Fastflight strings with the bow. I’ve found that finding 66” strings can be a challenge sometimes, but they’re readily available if you know where to look.

Is It Heavy?

The Poplar is lightweight, even though it’s quite lengthy. I’ve held much heavier bows, but I’ve also held a few lighter recurves. The Poplar rides a hard-to-find balance between being too light and too heavy, and I’ve found it’s one of the easiest bows to hold for long periods of time of any recurve I’ve ever used.

How Quiet Is The Bow?

Since this is a target bow, quiet isn’t as necessary as on a recurve designed for hunting. Even so, I found the Poplar to be quiet quiet and vibration-free. I’ve shot this bow continuously for hours without any ill effects, and I’m sure your experience will be the same.

Recurve Bow Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Martin Archery Poplar recurve bow. This is an excellent target bow, and it’s quite useful for beginners to archery. If you’re looking for a bow that’s equal parts target recurve and hunting tool, though, you should keep looking. Make sure to take a look at Today's price on the Martin Poplar if you’re interested.

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