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Any archer who has been doing this for a while will know that there are way better recurve bows out there than the Samick Sage. The number 1 question from beginner archers is “What bow should I get?”
So, I went out and found the best recurve bows under $150 that are BETTER than the Samick Sage.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here’s the short list:
|Recurve Bow||Best Attribute||Where to buy|
|Southwest Archery Spyder||Sage, but PERFECT!||Find on Amazon|
|OMP Adventure 2.0||Widely Available |
|Find on Amazon|
|Black Hunter Takedown||Perfect Limb Alignment||Find on Amazon|
|KESHES Takedown||Sight Included!||Find on Amazon|
|PSE Pro Max||Most Complete Package||Find on Amazon|
|PSE Razorback||Superb Quality||Find on Amazon|
|Vista Monarch||Comfortable Grip||Bass Pro Shops|
|SAS Courage||Exotic Hardwoods||Find on Amazon|
|PSE Nighthawk||Whisper Quiet||Bass Pro Shops|
|Cabela’s Warden||Readily Available||Bass Pro Shops|
I’m not going to go into how to choose a recurve bow, how to get your draw length, assess draw weight, etc, in this article. For that information, please check out this article.
This will be a rundown of the cheapest, most afforadble recurve bows that are better than the Samick Sage, in my opinion.
Shall we begin?
Southwest Archery Spyder
The Southwest Archery Spyder is my top pick alternative to the Samick Sage.
And with good reason.
Many of the same engineers who developed the Sage went over to Southwest Archery and brought all of that experience with them.
The Spyder is the final result.
The Sypder is everything that made the Sage the iconic “must have” recurve bow and then some.
While the Sage is rather bulky and unrefined, the Spyder is superbly finished with all the edges rounded and the surfaces nicely polished to a velvet shine.
And the addition of the red stripe down the length of the riser makes it “go faster”…obviously!
Available in 25 lbs to 60 lbs draw weights, this bow can be used for pretty much anything from beginner learning and target practice to big game bowhunting. You can choose to get it with or without the stringer tool and it comes with a basic stick-on arrows rest.
With a smooth draw and comfortable grip, this is hands down THE bow for ANY archer, beginner or veteran.
You can get yours from Amazon here.
Take it away NU!
OMP Adventure 2.0
October Mountain Products is one of the big names in archery gear. They produce everything from recurve bows and longbows, quivers, bow cases, archery tools, and much, much more.
If you’ve ever done anything in archery, chances are you’ve come across OMP gear.
Made from laminated hardwoods, walnut, maple, white oak, and padauk, the OMP Adventure 2.0 is probably OMP’s most popular recurve bow. It is the choice for archery ranges all over the world…literally!
For that reason, it is extremely easy to find extra limbs for the OMP Adventure 2.0 pretty much anywhere.
The bow comes in right-hand or left-hand, in lengths from 48 inches to 68 inches and draw weights from 10 lbs to 38 lbs. They come pretty much bare-bones but are ready to accept plunger-type arrow rests, sights, and stabilizers.
And the quality is fantastic!
Once you’re setup and dialed in you’ll be hitting bulls-eyes with boring regularity out to 50 yards no problem.
The OMP Adventure 2.0 is the least expensive recurve bow on our list and if you buy one, you can expect a superb beginner bow that is very forgiving and a joy to shoot. You can get yours from Amazon right here.
Check out the video below where NUSensei goes into more detail and demonstrates some stone-faced accuracy.
You might also like these articles:Top 10 Recurve Bows for Women
What is the Best Wood for a Recurve Bow?
What size bow should I get for my 10-year-old child?
Black Hunter Takedown
The Black Hunter Takedown recurve bow is the second least expensive recurve bow on our list.
Most people who shoot the Black Hunter say it’s the most comfortable recurve bow they’ve shot at this price range.
This beautiful dark wood laminate bow comes in draw weights form 39 lbs to 60 lbs. The bamboo core and fiberglass limbs screw onto the riser with the typical bolt but are aided by an additional pin. This ensures perfect limb alignment every time.
In addition to the set pin, the limb attachment is padded with felt and this greatly reduces vibrations.
If you buy the Black Hunter, you can expect an extremely quiet bow and a comfortable shooting experience. It’s also super good looking! You can get yours from Amazon here. You get the riser, limbs, bolts, wrench, and bowstring. Pretty basic..but beautiful.
Check out this video from Armin Hirmer where he does thorough review of the Black Hunter.
On the downside, the bow does not come with any bushings for sights, arrow rests, or stabilizers. BUT that might not be a big deal for many Traditional archers.
Also, it’s rare, but some people have experienced problems with the fiberglass at the string nock splitting. This tends to happen when the bow is not handled with care or allowed to be dropped regularly.
The KESHES Takedownn recurve bow is available in draw weights from 15 lbs up to 60 lbs and comes with a bow stringer tool AND a sight!
It comes with the sight!
Mind you; it’s not the greatest sight ever produced, but it gets the job done.
The riser itself is pretty standard for an entry-level bow and is laminated hardwood. The limbs also are laminate hardwood core fiberglass.
The KESHES Takedown comes complete with bushings for a plunger arrow rest, sights, and stabilizer.
So, if you purchased one with a 30 lb draw weight, and then got a basic stabilizer and a flipper arrow rest, you could very easily and comfortably nail the 10-ring all day long under most indoor and field conditions.
That sounds like a pretty sweet setup for ANY bow let alone an entry-level bow!
If that sounds like a sweet deal to you, you can get your KESHES Takedown Recurve Bow from Amazon here.
PSE Pro Max
PSE Archery shouldn’t really need any introduction. They have been around since forever.
The PSE Pro Max comes as a complete package in draw weights from 15 lbs to 35 lbs and is intended for beginners.
You get the bow, bowstring (pre-installed with Finger Savers), bow stringer tool, 3 carbon arrows and a quiver, a stick-on style arrow rest, arm guard, AND an adjustable sight.
The only thing you don’t get is a target.
All for under $150!
The PSE Razorback is another iconic starter recurve bow. The rise is constructed from hardwoods and is threaded for a sight, arrow rest, and front stabilizer. You get your pick of 54″ length for a draw weight of 15 lbs or 62″ for draw weights from 20 lbs to 30 lbs. The limbs a maple core with fiberglass laminate.
You will need to get a bow stringer since it doesn’t come with the bow. Alternatively you can string your bow the ol’ fashioned way as demonstrated in this video:
This is one that can be your first bow and carry you all the way through many competitions with only a few upgrades like a stabilizer, sight, and plunger rest.
The most striking thing about the PSE Razorback is the quality finish of the wood on the riser. Smooth but not shiny…a real beauty!
It’s marketed as a “beginner bow”, and it is just that…but don’t let the marketing speak fool you: the PSE Razorback is a bow you buy once and never sell. You can get yours from Amazon right here.
Vista Monarch 62″
The Vista Monarch is crafted from hardwoods and comes in 62″ and 54″ lengths. The riser is hardwood and the limbs are hardwood core with fibreglass laminate.
By now, you’re probably noticing a trend in construction of these entry-level recurve bows: hardwood risers and hardwood core with fibreglass laminate limbs.
That’s because it simply works.
And works supremely well!
The Vista Monarch does exactly that: it just works supremely well.
And goes even further right where it counts: the grip is just a little bulkier than other bows and that makes it very comfortable to shoot. If you really want to get technical, there is even enough room to sand off a little here or there to get the perfect custom fit for you.
If you buy this bow, you’ll be getting a very solid simple bow, arrow rest installed and ready to shoot. It comes with bushings for a front stabilizer and a sight. You may even be able to bowunt with this if you elect to go with the 40 lb draw weight.
Southland Archery Supply (SAS for short) offers the Courage in 58″ and 62″ lengths. Here we’re talking about the 58″ version.
Unfortunately for you lefties, the SAS Courage only comes in right-hand.
The shorter bow lends itself better to bowhunting as it will be less prone to getting caught of brush or branches.
The riser is made from exotic hardwoods bintangor, makore and chuglam and the limbs are laminated with maple and makore with high strength fiberglass on the outside.
The build quality is amazing and it just looks fantastic.
One thing to watch out for is the limb tips or string nocks. They are not reinforced so be sure to inspect them regularly and watch for signs of de-lamination of splitting.
If you do ever have any problems with your bow, Southland Archery Supply has excellent customer service and they will take care of you straight away.
There’s a rumor out there that the PSE Nighthawk is “just” a carbon copy of the Samick Sage.
While it’s true that they do look very similar, the PSE Nighthawk is by far the superior to the Samick Sage in quality and those little details, like the inlaid medallion on the riser, that PSE Archery puts into all their bows.
The riser of the Nighthawk is crafted from hand-selected beachwood and gorgeous walnut. The limbs are maple laminate with clear fiberglass to show off the hardwood core.
Like most of the other bows on our list, the PSE Nighthawk comes with bushings for a sight, front stabilizer, and plunger arrow rest.
It i more expensive than the other bows so far, but the quality definitely shows here.
And when you add the string silencers, it shoots so quiet! Even more than other bows.
The market for entry-level recurve bows has been rapidly growing for the last few years and it was only a matter of time until Cabela’s decided to get into the game.
Manufactured by Fleetwood, the Cabela’s Warden is their foray into the recurve bow market. Crafted from walnut, white oak, hard maple and garin the riser is multi-laminated and the limbs are the ever-reliable wood core and fiberglass. The limb tips are reinforced and can stand up to the repeated stress of fast flight bowstrings.
This bow is not for the faint of heart…or weak of fingers!
If you purchase this bow, you can expect it to be even quieter than some compound bows.
Let me say that again: QUIETER than some compound bows!
That’s because this thing was designed with bowhunters in mind. Being designed specifically for bowhunting, the Cabela’s Warden comes in draw weights of 40 lbs, 45 lbs, and 50 lbs.
And with the addition of string silencers, it will be the ultimate stealth bowhunter.
One minor thing to watch out for: the bushings for sight installation can have a tendency to pot out. This is easily fixed with some wood glue.
I live in Alberta, Canada where I enjoy indoor and 3D archery with traditional bows and compound bows. On this site, I share everything I’ve learned about archery along the way.