It has become a common practice of mine to recommend takedown bows when people express an interest in archery, or bow hunting for that matter. They are functional, versatile and tunable to your specific needs. A takedown bow offers the shooter the ability to be taken down–hence the name. The limbs are usually held in place by screws that can easily be hand tuned. When you are looking at getting a new setup you need to make sure that you know the difference between ILF and non ILF limbs. We won’t get too much into the specifics until the end of the article, but what you need to know is that the ILF bow will give you more flexibility in the future.
These bows are made for people who might need to backpack to their hunting location, are just getting started in the sport, and/or just want something that is more compact. I have been all over this beautiful earth backpacking and riding with my takedown bow. I do not think that I could have had the same freedom if I were to get a one piece bow, or a compound bow. I don’t have anything against them, the takedown bows just suit my lifestyle better. I typically shoot for target practice, but I could definitely take this thing out hunting if I wanted too.
For new shooters, I recommend starting off on the lighter end of the spectrum, so that you can [more] easily build up good form. The beauty about using takedown bows as a beginner is that you can change out the limbs as you build up your “archery strength.” If you get something that is too heavy to start out with, then it will either take you longer to develop good form, or you won’t develop it at all until you drop down some weight.
35 pounds is where I would say the average male sits when they are starting on their takedown journey. I want potential buyers to understand that 35 pounds on a recurve feels quite a bit different than it would on a compound bow. 20 pounds is where I would start out the average adult woman if they were looking to start with a takedown bow. Don’t worry, if you have kids, there are also lower draw weights that have gone as low as 14 pounds.
If you are looking to use your bow for some serious target practice then I would recommend that you get a takedown bow that has longer limbs–maybe look in the 60” and above category. Having a bow with a longer length will give you more balance, will shoot smoother and in turn should help you out with your accuracy. With that being said, you should always make sure to get a bow that is appropriate to your personal draw length. Getting the biggest bow on the market will not help you out one bit, if it is not suited for you.
There are various different brands that are on the market right now that have affordable models on their line. Some of them can cost as low as $75, while others can cost well over $300. A good middle ground can usually be found in the $100-140 range. In my opinion, I would suggest going with something cheaper to start, and then move up to the heavier price tags once you have gotten a feel for the bow and the specs will actually make a difference–this is just an opinion.
Having a takedown bow will ensure that you have durability, performance, and convenience all wrapped up in one package. Getting a package that uses maple or wood laminate limbs will give your rig that traditional feel that most archers love about the sport. If you are looking for something that has a futuristic feel, it would be limbs that are made of an aluminum/magnesium blend.
Make sure that you ask questions about the riser! I have heard of various cases in which people have bought takedown bows with smaller draw lengths who were not able to change up to the heavier limbs once they were done. This usually happens because the riser on the bow with the longer draw length is a different size from the next smaller model. If you plan on moving up in draw weight/length you can avoid this issue by asking to see both of the bows and then place them side by side. Always do your homework.
You want to make sure to abide by your particular countries requirements if you are looking to hunt with your takedown bow. Most places typically require 40-45 pound draw weight at a 28” draw length in order for the shooter to use it to hunt. As stated earlier, if you are looking to shoot target archery (and you want to be as good as you can) then you will be better off getting a bow that has longer limbs. If this will mainly be for recreational use then you are good going with the bow that feels the best.
Now what was that about ILF? ILF is a type of riser/limb configuration that has become very popular recently for takedown bows. Bows that have ILF parts can generally be interchanged between one another. This in essence means that you are not bound to one manufacturer to supply you with the limbs for you takedown. It is common practice with these bows to have risers and limbs from different manufacturers for that custom feel. This provides the shooter with an added level of adjustability. I have one bow that is ILF and another that is not. They both shoot very well for me, if you want the extra adjustability go with ILF.
If you are looking for something to get you past the tipping point, here are a few good takeaways. The cost is almost always going to be lower when you are looking at takedown bows. Now, that is not to say that you won’t find expensive takedown bows out there, but the majority of the bows that are sold are on the lower end on the spectrum. There are also no tools that are involved when you want to take down the recurve. Most of them are taken down by twisting bolts. This can come in handy for people who wish to put their bow inside of a back pack or a hunting pack. They are also very quiet, lightweight and very low maintenance.