So, the new Southwest Archery Spyder.... Hoyt produce a Spyder bow but that’s a compound bow, Spyder are also a company that produce a range of Ski clothing, so it’s possible if you’re into traditional Ski archery you could outfit yourself with a bow and clothing of the same name.
But I’m guessing you’re not interested in that and are here to find out about Southwest Archery and their ‘Samick Sage killer’ named the Spyder which is being touted online as the 'Sage v2', engineered by the same people that build the popular Sage bow… but improved.
Is it really better? Let’s take a detailed look.
What can we say, this pretty much does what it’s being touted to do, it’s the Sage, but with improved manufacturing quality, it's lighter, has a better finish, a wider range of draw weights, limbs interchangeable with the Sage and Journey. It just has to be a top pick for any beginner or intermediate traditional archer or hunter.
This bow gets our top pick for best beginner recurve bow for 2017!
Draw weights (lbs):
20,25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60
Brace height (inches):
AMO Length (inches):
62 (Spyder), 64 (Spyder XL)
Max Draw (inches):
29 (Spyder), 32" (Spyder XL estimated)
Wood, 2 color lamination, red stripe
Cut Past Center
Laminated hard maple with matte black fiberglass
Left and Right hand models available
1 year manufacturers warranty when registered online with 30 days
You can pickup the Spyder (62" AMO) or the Spyder XL (64" AMO) as part of a ready to shoot package which comes with everything you need to start shooting out of the box. This includes an arrow rest, stringer tool, and airline approved lockable hard carry case, arm guard and 3 carbon arrows.
Aydens review of the Spyder takedown which includes unboxing the 35lbs version, assembly, stringing, an assembled bow weigh-in, brace height and draw weight measurements and a few shots at 5, 10 and 15 yards.
This has dual wood laminated construction giving a 2 tone semi-gloss finish. You’d be hard pressed to find a better looking bow riser made from wood and this one certainly looks excellent. The grip has no material additions and is pure polished wood, but it is ergonomic and comfy to hold, and wood has good thermal properties so when it comes to cold climates the bow won’t feel cold to grip in comparison to a metal riser.
This riser allows for shooting directly off the shelf out of the box or you could fit a material stick on arrow rest and further still there is the option for a screw in rest as fitments are provided for that. The shelf is a cut-past center allowing for the string to power the arrow in a straight line with little deflection.
Both left and right handed variations of the bow are available, and you need to make sure you get the right one. For clarity, normally the bow you draw the string with is the handedness of bow you’ll want, i.e. if you pull with your right hand you want a right handed bow and vice versa.
The riser on this bow is made of 2 tone of laminated wood and very similar to the Samick Sage in design and construction, however there are slight but noticeable differences, the color of the wood is different, there is a subtle red stripe above the arrow rest and compared to a Sage some of this risers edges have been rounded giving it an overall more polished feel. This riser has also been designed to make this bow lighter than the Samick Sage.
The limbs on this bow are 2 piece laminated hard maple surrounded with matte black fiberglass with reinforced plastic bow tips for durability when using upgraded bow strings. The limbs feature a spider design with SouthWest Archery printed alongside the limb length and draw weight.
The lims are available in draw weights from 20lbs up to 60lbs and as they’re easy to change this makes it an ideal bow for the beginner who wants to start on a low draw weight and progress up the scale, although we didn’t have any to hand when writing this review we believe it would be possible to interchange the limbs in this bow with the limbs from the Samick Sage or the Samick Journey giving you even more options if you already own either of those bows.
An excellent draw and a good almost vibration free shot is what you should experience from this bow, the addition of string silencers can make it very quiet, quiet enough for hunters. It is hard to differentiate the quality of the shots from this bow from the Samick Sage.
The wooden 2 tone riser and matte black limbs with this addition of some subtle enhancements to the styling over the Samick Sage make this bow ever better looking than the Sage. The only thing perhaps not to like is the addition of the SWA archery spider logo on the limbs, especially if you’re not a fan of spiders as so many people aren’t, but you could cover it easily enough with stickers.
In the basic package box you’ll receive the limbs, the riser, the string and an allen key at a minimum, however this bow is also available in a package containing a stringer and even a ready to shoot package with everything you’d need to get started such as a glove, arrow rest and arrows!
The limbs are attached to the riser by firstly sliding them into a pocket, locating the screw hole and securing the limb onto the riser using a supplied bolt with an allen key. The bolt hole cover is slightly raised from the limb to allow the screw to be completely recessed when fully tight. This means the screw head is protected, but the limb does have a raised area when the screw is located, it is not totally hidden.
This isn’t super simple and does involve the use of tools so wouldn’t be possible anywhere unless you carry a multitool or had made sure you’d remembered your allen key. Not as good as a snap on limb, but still, a relatively painless assembly, but maybe not one you’d want to be performing every day.
Basically these bows go together in the same way but the Spyder favours an allen key and recessed limb screws over the slightly more raised finger screws on the Sage.
The Spyder comes with pre-installed fitments for an arrow-rest, stabilizer and sight and it is possible to fit a bowfishing reel, but we must add but none of these are normally supplied in the basic package unless you’ve ordered them specifically.
Comes supplied with decent quality string however this can easily be upgraded to something with higher performance be improved by upgrading to something higher performance due to the protective plastic on the ends of the limbs.
In the most basic package form this bow doesn’t come with a stringer, however you can either opt for the upgraded package, purchase one separately or it’s always possible to make your own. Attempting to string the bow without a string WILL void your warranty, you have been warned.
The Sage is shorter than this bow at only 62" AMO but the Journey (which is the same as the Sage) can match it at 64" AMO. The Spyder is lighter, has a higher quality finish, a bigger range of draw weights, there is only really 1 area where the Spyder fails to outmatch the Sage, it requires tools to assemble, however we're pretty confident that you could (if you have one) switch the bolts from a Samick Sage with the bolts from the Spyder and you'd get the benefits of tool free assembly.
From the largest US archery manufacturer comes a great beginner bow available for juniors (PSE Jr Razorback) but only up-to 35 lbs draw for adults, that draw weight should be fine whilst you are learning, but if you want to go higher you'll be stuck with the Razorback. Another downside to this bow (for some) may be the white limbs with the PSE logo making it look like a target shooters bow. The Spyder has the advantage here as it has a far greater range of draw weights.
The Jaguar is only available for right handed shooters, the supplied arrow rest is also a little on the flimsy side and the assembly and disassembly is slightly more fiddly than the Spyder however the Jaguar does have a metal riser, comes in black or camo and can be accept ILF limbs should you wish to upgrade it to that level.
A decent quality traditional wooden takedown barebow. The Courage comes in a range of draw weights, is light, nice to look at and is supplied with a 3 year limited manufacturer warranty and a furry ‘rug’ style stick on arrow rest. All the necessary fitment points for quiver/sight, stabilizer and arrow rest are pre-installed on the latest iteration of this bow. As a beginner though, you may want to look at something with a longer AMO length for an easier experience as this one only comes in at 60” as opposed to the 62" Spyder.
Southwest Archery have been in the archery industry for over 20 years supporting Olympians and professional hunters throughout that period. They’re a company committed to producing high quality products at affordable prices whilst maintaining excellent customer service standards.
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I've had a love of shooting since I was a kid. My parents used to tell me I'd never stop bugging them to let me have a real bow and arrow! That desire never really went away and now I own lots and lots of different things you can shoot with, bows, rifles, catapults, you name it I've probably got one. and I still love to shoot them. Please let me know what you think of my work, comment, like, rant, speak up!