Outdoors Magazine

Best Recurve Bow Reviews 2017 – Buyer’s Guide and Comparison

By Chris Noal

When you’re looking for a recurve bow, you’ll find that there are tons of details that you will need to keep in mind. You may not yet know what you need. That’s where we come in. Not only will we give you suggestions for the kinds of recurve bows that you should look at, but we’ll tell you the different kinds of things to look for. It’ll all depend on what you want out of your bow, but you can bet that we’re going to help you discover the best recurve bow for you.

Let’s get into what you will want to look.

Best Recurve Bow

What Makes the Best Recurve Bow

The ‘best’ recurve bow will depend on what you’re looking to do. Not every bow fits every need, so you’ll want to really think about what you’re doing before you start looking at bows. But regardless of what we tell you, make sure that you test the bow before you make the purchase. What might sound good on paper might not always be an actual fit for you.

1. Purpose – There are two general purposes for bows. The purpose will change some of the specifics that you look for, but not others. While we’ll talk briefly about what the different purposes mean for what you need, make sure to take a look at the rest of this section to find a little bit better information.

The first purpose for a recurve bow is for hitting targets. Almost any recurve bow will work for this purpose, regardless of any other purpose that it might have. You will just need something that you can fire well, so you’re not going to be that limited when you’re looking at bows for this kind of purpose.

The second purpose is hunting. While a recurve bow might seem a little odd for that purpose, you will be able to find bows that you can use. Most bow hunters will wind up using crossbows because they can have a little bit more of a punch. However, regular bows can also work. You will specifically need to look for bows that have a heavier draw weight. Hunting with a recurve bow may also mean that you need to spend a lot more time working on your bow skills. The strength to get a good hit in isn’t something that you will just have. So make sure that you’re not only practicing shooting but also working out to build up your strength.

2. Length – The length of the bow depends on you. The height that you look for will depend on the kind of draw length that you have. This is a measure of how far you can pull back the string before you fire. This will affect the length of the bow that you want.

Choosing Recurve Bow
There are two major ways of measuring this. The first way is to stand with your arms spread, then measure the distance across. Then you will divide that number by 2.5. This number isn’t that accurate, but it can be a good place to get started.

The second way is approved by the ATA (Archery Trade Association) and is understood by many people. You will need a bow. You will pull back the string in a proper firing position. Then you will measure from the point where you nock an arrow to the pivot point. The pivot point is on the far side of the bow, so you may want to measure to where it would be on the inside and then add length. How you do that is really up to you.

After you have this number, you will be able to figure out the kind of bow length that you will need. The following chart has the bow sizes that you will want to look at based on the draw length. Hopefully, when you got to a store, the salesperson will want to help ensure that you have the right length bow. Without the right length, you could be missing out on extra energy that could go into your shots.

For target archery, this is less important. However, if you are intending to hunt with your bow, then you will want to pay close attention to the numbers for the draw weight of your bows. The draw weight that you will be capable of achieving will also change as time goes on. The draw length shows how far back you can pull the bowstring, so you might have to work up to the draw weight that you need for hunting. This is where all that practice comes in.

Draw Length14-16”17-20”20-22”22-24”24-26”26-28”28-30”31”+

Bow Size48”54”58”62”64-66”66-68”68-70”70-72”

3. Draw Weight – The draw weight of your bow isn’t the draw length or involved in the length of the bow that you want. In fact, you’ll be able to find different draw weights for many different kinds of bows and sizes. The draw weight is the kind of power that the bow will be able to deliver.

There are average draw weights that you will want to keep in mind when you are looking at bows though. Children will have a draw weight between 10 and 25 pounds. The smaller they are, the lower the draw weight you will want. Women will have a draw weight between 25 and 45 pounds. Men will have a draw weight between 30 and 60 pounds.

However, these numbers are a little bit deceptive. Test the bows before you purchase and make sure that you are capable of using the bow. You will be able to pull more as you train, so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t hunt right away with a recurve bow. Just keep practicing and working on it.

4. Extras – While extras aren’t always necessary, they can be nice. They can help you fire and make it easier to shoot more accurately. You don’t have to use them for target archery or hunting. You can typically find recurve bows that have spots where you can put extras, but you might have to find other ways for some bows that are not made for attachments.

5. Weight of Bow – The weight of your bow might not affect too much, but it can change how you decide to carry it. If you are intending to take your bow hunting, then you’ll want something that you don’t have to lug around for long periods of time. However, the more you work with your bow, the more you will be capable of carrying. After a couple months of hunting, the bow might not feel heavy at all in your hands when you’re walking around the woods.

6. Price – The price of a bow can be a major factor for some people. If you don’t have a ton of cash to burn, then you will want to find a cheaper bow that can deliver a similar experience. However, if you really know what you want and have the cash to burn, then a more expensive bow may be able to deliver a better experience. It will last longer and be made of better materials. But there are options all over the price range, so you should be able to find something that will work for you.

10 Best Recurve Bows 2017 – Reviews and Guide

We have picked out ten of our favorite bows. These will give you a better idea of what’s out there and what you might want.

1. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow – Best for Price

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow Review

While there are bows out there that go for a little bit less than this Samick recurve, this one balances a lower price with a great quality bow. This bow has a lot of great qualities, like the fact that you can take it apart. Take down bows are easy to transport, but it also means that you can purchase separate limbs to get a different draw weight.

This bow is great for people that want to be able to work up in draw weight for hunting. You will have to spend a little more money, but you will be able to just have one bow while you’re moving up.

2. Martin Archery Jaguar Elite 45# Bow – Best for Beginners

Martin Archery Jaguar Elite 45# Bow Review

While this bow is a little too big and hard to draw for children, this is an excellent bow to start with. It is a reasonably priced bow and it’s also a take-down bow. You will be able to learn a lot from this bow and keep a great bow in your arsenal.

It has a large range of draw weights that you will be able to achieve, so it makes sure that you will be able to get a lot out of this bow.

3. Bear AFT2086150 Grizzly Recurve Bow – Best for Hunting

Bear AFT2086150 Grizzly Recurve Bow Review

This bow is made for an average draw length, so it should fit most people well. This particular bow has a 50-pound draw weight.

This is on the higher end, so this should be able to hit most game that you are hunting. The draw weight might actually be a little bit too much for newer hunters, so make sure that you take some time to practice with this bow before you go out to hunt.

4. PSE Blackhawk Recurve – Best for Target Practice

PSE Blackhawk Recurve Bow Right Hand Review

Like we said earlier, a lot of bows work well for target practice, but the PSE Blackhawk is such a nice bow to use. This particular one doesn’t have a good draw weight for hunting, which is why I’ve suggested it for target practice.

This bow is not a takedown, but it is absolutely gorgeous to look at. It fires well too, which just makes it a much more amazing bow. Everyone will be jealous when you show off this bow. It doesn’t have a bad price either.

5. Martin Archery Jaguar Elite 45# – Best Take-Down Recurve Bow

Martin Archery Jaguar Elite 45# Bow Review

Take-down recurve bows are a great thing for anyone and everyone. It doesn’t matter if you use this bow for hunting or for target practice. Transporting it and storing it will so much easier.

This bow has the right draw weight to do hunting as well as target practice. This particular bow also has spots to put on attachments as well, which means that you’ll be able to customize the experience for everything you want to do.

6. Martin Archery Hunter Recurve – Best for Weight

Martin Archery Hunter Recurve Bow Review

Sometimes, you want a bow that is light. The tradeoff with this bow is that it is not a take-down bow. A lighter bow will be easier to carry around. It will also be easier to hold up for a long period of time.

This particular bow is great for hunting as well. It’s got a wide range of draw weights, which means that you’ll be able to take down game with ease.

7. Martin Archery Saber TD 40# – Best for Length

Martin Archery Saber TD 40# Recurve Bow Review

If you are on the market for a really long bow, then this is the one for you. This one is well made, which means that it is a little bit more expensive. However, this one isn’t that bad for the price.

This is another take-down, which means that despite its length you will be able to easily store the bow. We have listed specifically the 40-pound bow, but there are many more models available in a number of different draw weights. This bow will be able to fit plenty of people.

8. Bear Archery Super Kodiak Recurve Bow – Best for Draw Weight

Bear Archery Super Kodiak Recurve Bow Review

When you’re looking for a good draw weight, you may be tempted to go very far in one direction. This one is a 50-pound draw weight. This weight fits for many people and is a really good weight for hunting as well.

This bow, even though it isn’t a take-down bow, is made out of great materials. This bow will be able to last for a long time and provide a great experience.

9. Martin Archery Jaguar Elite Traditional 55# Bow Kit – Best for Accessories

Martin Archery Jaguar Elite Traditional 55# Bow Kit Review

We’ve already listed a similar Martin Archery model, but this one is perfect for those that want accessories. This bow comes in a kit that comes with a carrying case and a couple of small accessories. However, this one is great for those that want to add more to their bow.

It’s also great for hunting, so make sure to get some extras to make your hunting experience even better.

10. Hoyt GameMaster II 62 Takedown Recurve Bow – Best Overall

Hoyt GameMaster IIHoyt GameMaster II 62 Takedown Recurve Bow Review

This bow is the best overall because of how well made it is. This one isn’t that great for hunting because of its lower draw weight, but there’s a lot to love about this bow.

You customize this bow a little bit, which means that you can make the experience of firing it a little bit more unique to you. But the bow by itself delivers an extremely smooth and reliable shot every single time.

This is one of the more expensive bows, but that’s because of the quality of the bow and how well it shoots.


There are so many bows out there for you to try. When it comes to recurve bows, there are so many good qualities to look out for. Out of this list, I would like the PSE Blackhawk the most since most of what I want to do is target practice. But I’m not you. What I need and what will fit me will not fit you. Make sure you figure out exactly what you need from your bow before you start looking to purchase the bow. However, once you find the bow that fits everything that you need, you will find something that you will cherish for years to come.

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