|Samick Sage Recurve Bow
See on Amazon.com
How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
|30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 lbs.
If you’re looking for the best Recurve Bow on the market in the “Very Tight Budget” category, you just found it.
I get an average of 3 questions per day from archers looking to buy an affordable recurve for beginners, and the Samick Sage is brought up in at least half of all these questions. There’s good reason for that.
Let me tell you a little bit about the people who created this bow first. Samick Sports is a Korean company that’s been in the industry since 1975. Since then, they have grown so much as to have their bows sold in over 50 different countries, and they are known for sponsoring quite a few of the world’s best competitive archers. So what exactly did Samick do to make the Sage such a great piece of equipment? Let’s examine all the parts separately.
If you aren’t sure what kind of draw weight is right for you, check out my Recurve Bow Draw Weight Chart to settle this matter.
The Riser – Top Quality
What immediately grabbed my attention the first time I picked up the Sage was just how classical and majestic the riser is; almost as if it was taken straight out from the Lord of the Rings. The whole thing is extremely simple and effective in design as well as very well-polished. In fact, this simplicity is the exact reason why this bow is so reliable and such a perfect choice for a beginner – since there are no “bells and whistles,” there’s virtually no chance of anything breaking. The riser comes drilled, so if you want to install an arrow rest rather than shoot “off the shelf,” or if you’d like to attach a solid recurve bow sight, stabilizer, or arrow quiver, you’ll do so in a matter of minutes. What about the materials?
The riser is made from laminated Olive Dymondwood and Hard Maple These materials are exactly what makes it so resilient and long-lasting, and probably the reason it just looks so damn awesome too. Anything else?
Nope, nothing! And as I said earlier, simplicity is exactly what makes this bow effective. The riser was designed to be durable, easy to tune and customize (the drilled holes for extra accessories), and beautiful. And it delivers.
Samick Sage Limbs – Resilient & Duable
One of the reasons I decided to write this Samick Sage review is because of how much I enjoyed the limbs on this recurve. I am used to having limbs on bows in this price range twist on me from time to time, and since I really hate the entire limb straightening process, I was kind of wary of how things would turn out for me with the Sage.
In the close to 2 years that I have owned and used this bow, however, I haven’t had a case of twisted limbs once. Not even once. I thought at first that I was just lucky, but when I checked out what other people on ArcheryTalk and similar archery forums had to say, I didn’t find a single case of limb-twisting mentioned. That’s enough confirmation for me. So, what exactly are the limbs made of?
Hard maple. As is usually the case, the maple is laminated with a layer of fiberglass (black in this case), to give the limbs more durability and resistance to bending. After 2 years of using my bow, I can only feel one tiny little bump under the laminate.
The limbs are quite long, but that’s not a problem as the Samick Sage is a Take down, so you can detach the limbs from the riser to make storage and transportation easier. In fact, the screws can be unscrewed with just you fingers, so no tools / hex keys are necessary. That’s not all though – there is one more important thing you should know about the limbs.
The tips are reinforced with Phenolic plasic, which means that the bow accepts FastFlight™ strings. So if you ever decide to upgrade the string on your recurve, you should sleep well knowing that your bow is ready for it. This is really a treat, and personally I know of no other bow in this price range that has reinforced limb tips.
How It Shoots & Real Life Performance
This is always the most critical part. It’s not uncommon for a recurve bow to have high quality elements but still somewhat under-deliver when an arrow is shot. All the parts must come together in perfect harmony, otherwise drawing the bow will only result in disappointment. So how does the Samick Sage fare in this department?
I’ll keep the answer short: this is the best bow that I have ever shot in the “up to $200″ price range, period. No if’s or but’s. The draw is really smooth, there are no noticeable vibrations at all during release, it’s exceptionally quiet -which is really important on a hunting trip. Due to the bow’s length of 62” it is really accurate, and can even (to a certain degree) compensate for stance and form issues that the archer shooting it might have. What about arrow flight?
This will obviously depend on what drawing weight you choose. The higherthe drawing weight, the straighter the flight of the arrow will be and the more deadly its on-hit effect. The Samick Sage is available in 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 lbs. versions. For the best performance, I recommend getting a 40# (or higher) version and staying away from the 35# one, unless the bow is intended for a youth male or an average-sized female shooter. You’ll be able to shoot targets from as far as you need to, and expect tight arrow groups from well over 30 yards.
Is The Samick Sage Good For Hunting?
As long as you get the 40# draw weight model, you’ll harvest deer from 30+ yards without any problems if you place your shot correctly. For larger game (elk for example) you might need to go slightly beyond that and get a 45# (or heavier) version of the bow. The Sage is definitely not the smallest recurve on the market, but it’s still compact enough to make it easy to carry around and maneuver in the field.
Just keep in mind that the suitability of any bow for hunting will depend not only on the draw weight, but also on your draw length. The longer your draw length, the more kinetic energy your arrows will carry and hence the deeper they will penetrate your target. As such, if your draw length is 26″ or less, you will likely need to make up for it by getting a heavier version of the bow if you want to hunt (45# minimum, even for deer).
Samick Sage Review – Summary
A fellow archer put it into words far better than I ever could. Here is what he said about the Sage:
I think the Sage is the best return on investment available for entry level archers. I recently bought one for my son. Even after reading all of the positive reviews, the quality and versatility were far beyond my expectations. I would have no qualms about hunting with this bow. I couldn’t be happier with this purchase. If I had a third thumb, it would be up too. Great job, Samick!
I’ll offer my own summary as well, of course: if you want to experience the joy of shooting your own reliable, majestic recurve, or whether your a more advanced archer looking for a new experience, do yourself this big, once-in-a-life-time favor, and give the affordable Samick Sage a try. I recommend you start by checking out Today's Amazon.com price on the Samick Sage.