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Fast Facts – Bow Review Series
Thursday, March 24th, 2011

FAST FACTS – VIDEO BOW REVIEWS

Our Fast Facts video bow reviews try and provide some critical  information about each bow in order to help viewers decide if they want to further examine the bows for themselves.  We suggest that you always shoot the bow a few times before purchasing.  Here are several Fast Facts video reviews to help in your quest to find the right bow.  If you would like us to review a specific bow in the style of Fast Facts, drop us an email or let us know in our FORUM.

 

Ice Fishing Gear Review
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Ice Fishing Gear Review

It doesn’t take long for cabin fever to set in after our Hunting Seasons are over and our thoughts turn to “Ice Holes”!  We were able to take a good look at several products that kept us warm and comfortable out on the ice as well as one product that made the ice holes themselves.  Take a look at the winning gear from this season’s ice adventures and don’t be afraid to visit their websites (by clicking on the web address or picture).  We wouldn’t  show them to you if we didn’t like them!

Camuks Xtreme

www.camuks.com

These boots, or should I say “Mocassin’s on steroids”, are unlike anything I’ve ever tried before.  They are as comfortable as sneakers but allow you to trudge through any array of slush, ice and snow without even the slightest bit of cold or water reaching your feet.  They are lighter and warmer than I thought they’d be.  I wore these on several occasions ice fishing and put them to the test in slush and snow.  The variety of liners that come with these boots make it so you can find the perfect combination of warmth and comfort.  The liners are “trim to fit” which give you some extra leeway when it comes to proper fit and satisfaction for your feet!


I have to say that these took a little getting used at first but it was all in my mind.  Because the boots are so light and I was used to the heavy rubberized bottoms of other boots, I didn’t expect them to do such a great job of keeping my feat warm and dry.  I’m happy to say I was wrong and that I would recommend the Camuk Xtremes to anyone that wants an extremely lightweight, warm and very comfortable boot to brave the elements.

The difference between the original Camuk and the new CamukXtreme is the sole. The Camuk is designed with the thinner lighter sole so you can feel the ground a bit when you’re in stealth mode. The CamukXtreme has all of the same Camuk features except that the thicker, aggressively treaded sole is better suited to more Xtreme activities where super traction is a must.
* In ‘ABOVE 30ºF’ conditions Camuks and CamuksXtreme are waterproof from the ankle down only. In ‘BELOW 30ºF’ conditions the entire boot becomes waterproof due to change in the water molecules.

Specifics:
• Odor Proof, *Waterproof foot
• *Waterproof gaiter fabric
• Warmest – The WARMEST hunting boots on the market!!
Depending on size and width Camuksâ„¢ are rated down to -40F
• Flexible – Extremely flexible! Flexibility means circulation. Circulation = WARM
Flexible also means you’ll be able to feel the ground better.
• Lightweight – Very Lightweight!
Men’s Camuks™ Average 3lbs/pr Ladies Camuks™ Average 2.75lbs/pr
• Quiet…VERY VERY QUIET!
Cord Lock Top
Pull-tight Strap system on Calf and Ankle

Darn Tough Socks

www.darntough.com

We discovered Darn Tough recently as a new company out of Vermont.  They use Scentlok technology in their socks which I promptly decided to test out by using them continuously for about 2 weeks without washing as I ran on the treadmill each morning.  Although I can’t say the same thing for my sneakers, the Darn Tough Socks smell the same as the day I received them.  Test #1 Pass!

One thing I can’t stand about socks is when the elastic around the tops break down too quickly and before you know it, your boot socks have turned into ankle socks.  After wearing these for about 2 months in the snow and slush, the socks have lived up to their name.  They’re not only “Darn Tough”, the elastic holds up to excessive wear and remains comfortable for long periods of wear around the calf without over stretching.  Test #2 Pass!

These socks also have extra cushioning in places wear you need it the most.  These socks were just as comfortable running on the treadmill (although they were a little warm for that) as they were out on the ice.  Test #3 Pass!

Although we tested the boot socks for this review, we think the over-the-calf socks would be perfect for all the rubber boot wearing bow hunters out there.
We’re looking for big things from this new company!  Check them out @ www.darntough.com

Specs: High density cushioning on foot bottom. Custom shrink treated Merino wool. Ribbing above the ankle insures a proper fit. Reinforced heel and toe. Elastic support around the arch. Ring toe construction for a comfortable invisible seam. Generous sizing: calf stretches 1” more than our traditional sock fit, allowing for a wider range of fit.
67% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 4% Lycra® Spandex

Carhartt’s Arctic Duck Bibs

www.carhartt.com

Men’s Duck Bib Overall / Arctic Quilt Lined

There is no shortage of high tech insulated / waterproof suits on the market designed specifically for Ice Fishing.  These “Fancy” suits run between $350 and $400.  While we’re sure these suits do a pretty good job at keeping you warm and dry, we’ve found something we like far better……Carhartt Arctic Apparel!
The Carhartt name is synonamous with the terms “rugged”, “well built” and “long lasting” so we thought we’d give the Duck Bibs a try on the ice and see how well they work in the snow and slush.  Not only did they keep us warm, they did an extremely good job of keeping us dry in the snow and slush.  The material that they make these bibs out of is so rugged and tightly weaved, the water just beads up and runs off of them.  I knew they would be rugged and well made but they honestly did a better job with the waterproof aspect than I thought they would.     Instead of spending all that money on a specific suit just to go ice fishing with, go with a tried and true brand like Carhartt.   After all, you can fix your tractor, shovel snow, ride ATV’s and pretty much anything else you want in them as well!

Arctic Bib Specs: Made of 12-ounce, 100% cotton duck, it is lined with quilted, 100% arctic-weight nylon. They feature a zipper fly, multiple tool and utility pockets, a hammer loop, legs that zip to knee and have protective wind flaps, and double knees with cleanout bottom to accommodate knee pads.  Heavy-duty zippers and triple-stitched seams.

Strike Master Lazer Mag Auger

www.strikemaster.com

The Strike Master Augers that we tested this winter had two jobs; to fire up in a variety of temps with little to no fuss, and to cut through ice ranging from 1 to 3 feet thick.  The Lazer Mag did both flawlessly.  If you’re the type that goes ice fishing a few times a season, you might be able to get away with a hand auger but if you go more often than that, you’ll need a power auger to keep your sanity.  Here are the specs on the Strike Master Lazer Mag.

• 2 Year Warranty on Solo Motor
• Fuel Primer and Compression Check for Easy Starting
•  Electronic Ignition with Automatic Timing Adjustment
• Twin Serrated Stainless Steel Lazer Blades
• Power Point Center Blade
• NEW! High Impact Composite Handle Compound
• 40:1 Transmission with Heat Treated Gears
• 2.5 H. P. Solo® 42cc 2 Cycle Engine
• 24 oz Fuel Tank
• Optimum Exhaust Gas Removal with Fluted Diffusion System
• Optional Extensions Available for Cutting Ice Thicker than 42″

StrikeMaster adds more meat to the cutting tool that defines power augers. A 42cc, 2.5 horsepower Solo® motor teams with stainless steel Lazer Blades to turn the lake into an ICEE®. Low fuel consumption and generous 24-ounce gas tank combine for hundreds of holes between fills. Electronic ignition reduces wear and tear on your rotator cuff. Handles made with a high impact composite compound manage the muscle without adding body fat. The Lazer Mag is the picture of form and fitness

Arbor Wear

Double Thick Sweatshirts

www.arborwear.com

We’ve mentioned the Double-thick pullover hoodies from Arborwear before but we really can’t say enough about them.  They are so warm and rugged that combined with the Carhartts mentioned above (also shown in the above pic), you could probably race in the ididarod with little problem.  The great thing about these hooded sweatshirts is that they get better with wear.  We have ice fished with these as our outer layer in single digit temperatures with no complaints.  As long as you plan accordingly with your base layer, you’ll be good-to-go with the Double-thick pullover.  Much like the Carhartts mentioned above, you can do a whole bunch of other stuff in cold weather with these awesome hoodies!

ArborWear offers a variety of rugged products that will no doubt appeal to the hardcore outdoorsman.  You can check them out at www.arborwear.com

Gerbing Heated Vest & Hand Muff

www.Coreheat.net

Not only did we fall in love with the Gerbing Heated vest and muff during our hunting seasons, we continued that relationship with them throughout the winter on the hard water.  We had never tried any heated products before using these and they have since become an addiction in cold weather.  You no longer need to spend loads of money on handwarmers when you have the Gerbing Vest and Muff.  Using terms like “Plugged In” and “Charged Up”, Dan and I treated the Gerbing Products like we treat our bows.  Taking care to make sure they were ready for the hunt ahead!

The Gerbing Heated vest is not at all bulky and is equipped with a variety of zippers in all the right places.  With 4 levels of heat (25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) both the vest and muff give you options for the degree of cold and how long your battery might last in it.   The Muff comes with it’s own battery as well (also with the 4 levels of heat) and you can use the batteries interchangeably with all the Gerbing products.

Gerbing offers a variety of other heated products like gloves and socks, so before you head out in the cold next winter, check em out at www.coreheat.net

Bow Review – Bowtech Assassin
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Bow Review – Bowtech Assassin

The Assassin is a 30 5/8 inch Axle to Axle bow with a 7 inch Brace Height.  The bow is  covered in Mossy Oak Treestand camo and what BowTech calls an “Invelvet Finish” which seems to be a super thin rubbery material that protects the bow as well as cuts down on noise and vibration.  The weight of the bow itself is 3.8 pounds and is easy to manipulate in the tree as well as ground blinds.

The Assassin has BowTech’s Binary Cam system for better synchronization between the 2 cams and an error free nock travel.  The let-off range is 65 – 80% and produces IBO speeds of up to 333 fps.  The Cams are capable of a whopping 6 inches of draw length adjustment and the draw stop provides for a rock solid wall by coming to rest against the limbs rather than the string.
The Assassin comes complete with the following accessories:

a TruGlo 4-pin sight, Hostage XL arrow rest by Octane, 4″ stabilizer, Bowtech wrist sling, 5-arrow one-piece quiver, pre-installed string loop, peep sight and string suppressor

Specs:
3.8 lbs (barebow)
4.8 lbs (fully equipped)

26 – 30 inches of draw range

30 5/8 inches Axle to Axle

330 FPS IBO

7 inch Brace Height

MSRP: $599 (R.A.K = Ready, Aim, Kill)
• Price includes Bow, Tru Glo Apex Sight, Octane Hostage Rest, 5 Arrow Quiver, Hi-Tek Stabilizer, Jim Fletcher Peep and a cool Bowtech logo wrist sling.

Video Review: Check out our Fast Facts video on The Bowtech Assassin

Key Features:

Binary Cams: 2 Symmetrical Cams in perfect synchronization to provide error free nock travel, which of course translates into better arrow flight.

Six Inches of Draw Range: the rotating modules on these cams allow for a range of 26 – 30 inch draw by simply loosening 2 allen screws, rotating the module and re-tightening the screws.

Draw Stop: A unique feature on this bow is the heavy duty, rubber-covered draw stop that comes in contact with the upper limb of the bow (instead of the cable). This provides a rock solid wall and anchor point.

Invelvet Finish: This Mossy Oak Treestand Overcoating is truly unique in that it not only protects the bow but it also serves as that extra layer of noise dampening. (NOTICE…. NO LIMBSAVERS ON LIMBS!)
The finish resembles the same type of coating that is on my Traditions Muzzleloader Stock & Forearm…Almost a rubbery type feel to it.

String Stop: A lot of bows are coming with these string stops now and after shooting this bow in my video league for about a month now, the stop shows little to no signs of wear.

Real World Speed: At 67 pounds and 29inch draw, our 28.5 inch Victory HV arrow with 100 grain field point flew out of the Assassin at a consistent 322 FPS.  This surprised us since the draw cycle at this poudage was reasonably smooth

Accessories: I decided to use all the accessories that came standard with this bow for two reasons; 1. To discern the quality in them over a period of heavy use and 2. This bow shot so well out of the box with these particular accessories that changing them seemed, well, silly!

Final Thoughts:

The Bowtech Assassin “Ready Aim Kill” package is fast, quiet and accurate and it’s clearly a top shelf bow for a below average cost point.  At $599 you certainly get “BANG FOR YOUR BUCK” on this bow in terms of both performance AND accessories.   Bowtech has taken the “SET-UP” out of the equation and that’s not a bad thing for the majority of bowhunters out there!  If you know your draw length and poundage, you’re good to go with the Assassin.

Visit www.bowtecharchery.com or your local Bowtech dealer for more information on the Assassin

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