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Custom Longbow Recommendations
Anyone have a recommendation for a good Bowyer for Longbows. Great looking is a must,good natural look,pricey is okay as well.
Send PM to Matt, he may have just what you want! C
I had a Fox longbow with canarywood on the limbs and orange cocobolo for the riser. Not sure anything is better looking. Robertson Stykbow, Aspen Longbows are two others that come to mind.
There are a lot of good looking longbows out there. YMMV
Go slow and ask a lot of questions of each bow maker. Take a look at these bowyer's work and wonder at their skill:
Omega Longbows - http://omegalongbows.webs.com/bowsandotherproducts.htm
Stalker Stick Bows - http://stalkerstickbows.com/product/wolverine-custom/
Kohannah Bows - http://www.kohannahbows.com/index.html
Two Tracks Bows - https://twotracksoutdoors.com/
Striker Bows - https://www.strikerbows.com/
Shadehaven Bows - https://www.shadehavenbows.com/
Belcher Bows - https://belcherbows.com/products/hybrid-longbow
Great Northern Bowhunting Company - http://gnbco.com/great_northern_bush_bow_longbow.php
Tony Semenuk (in TN not far from you) - http://whitewolfarchery.com/longbows.html
So many bows, so little time and money...
Go to RMSgear.com and take a look at the used longbow section, gives you a good variety. Myself Wes Wallace Royal, Fox, JD Berry or NorthernMist cannot go wrong.
Long wait time but well worth it, "Black Canyon Longbow" by Mike Hays out of Pueblo Colorado
One of the finest, custom bow has to be "New Wood" out of Merrill Wis,,, hard to find better, ease of shooting, and price,,,,
to me the only way to know, is to shoot the bow,,,,, but the New Wood is a good one, as I am sure the others posted here are
I would also contact Terry at the Footed Shaft, nice selection of used custom bows at considerable savings
Javaman bows, Two Tracks. Big Jim.
Guys thanks....will research everyone....I'm wanting PRETTY! Lefthanded too...Keep it coming !
depends on what you are looking for 1 piece 2 piece 3 piece. 3 piece I would look at a&h acs. 1 and 2 piece would be toelke whips and maybe big jims buffalo bow
Left handed? Wouldn’t that be a “wrongbow” you’re looking for?
My take: big difference between bowyers... and big difference between types: Hill style longbow, R/D longbow
I wouldnt buy one without shooting a comparative model first. You just cant trust tradguy comments like “ no handshock” I’ve shot some of these supposed no handshock bows that rattled a filling loose.
Oh, and if you are set on a longbow don’t shoot an ILF recurve- those will wreck you for shooting anything “Trad”
What Beendare said. If you front the money, in many cases the bowyer will send you a bow to try and then you can send it back if you can't find anyone local who has the model.
Holm-made Osprey looks and shoots as good as any.
Lots of good ones to choose from.if your looking to spend big money you may want to try before you buy. Kalamazoo is coming up and there will be a lot of bows there to try out.
Lefty’s have rights too, ya know Charlie!
Brian Wessel, Tall Tines Archery does great work.
Yup I love my Tall Tines recurves. Haven’t spent a ton of time with my Tall Tines Stickflinger (longbow) but hope to a little more this summer. Lots of people love them. I should post some pics of it. It is just stunning
I have a Leon Stewart Slammer long bow. Its almost to pretty to shoot.
Mike Treadway in North Carolina - Treadway Longbows
Mike Treadway in North Carolina - Treadway Longbows
Northern Mist Longbows, built by Steve Turay, great guy, top notch longbows. He is in Montgomery, Ala.
Pretty is in the eye of the beholder. Stalker Stick Bows and White Wolf Archery are pretty. Omega and Two Tracks are good value.
Didn't see it mentioned, but make sure you look into Cari-bow out of Manitoba. Beautiful bows and great shooters. Like mentioned, check out the Expo in Kalamazoo, MI at the end of this month. Dazzling array of bow porn for the discerning gentleman ; )
If pretty is what you desire....
Big Jim builds a sho nuff pretty bow. He has a plethora of wood choices.
He built mine out of some African wood called Movingui. It has sheep horn overlays. Sweet looking bow.
His wait time is 14 months though....
Movingui with sheep horn tips
Movingui with sheep horn tips
Lots of good options above. I have a Primal Tech 2pc that, IMO, is at the top of the class with regard to performance and looks. Look them up and have a conversation with Randy. He has 1, 2 and 3pc options.
Pronghorn Bowx by Herb Meland is a good choice.
Pretty in fit and wood dont care two squats about gaudy carvings and images just pretty wood,fit,finish...
Bo Jackson asked the same thing many years ago. And he’s a lefty shooter too.
He went with a Black Widow. :-)
I’d poke around stickbow classifieds to see if you find one that looks pretty, see what you like then go in for the kill. Lotta great bowyers, lotta great bows, it’s a love affair, gotta try a lot of jelly beans before you find your favorite, lower poundage is best... no more than 54lbs, more than enough for them old blue collars..gl
I shot longbows for years. I particularly like Wes Wallace. He does have a "test drive" program that will help you decide
I always found the "Hill Style" bows to be too rough for me to shoot. They would make my teeth hurt. The Reflex/Deflex style (like Wes makes) are very easy to shoot. Remember that you will probably have to shoot an arrow that is a bit softer than you would with a recurve as longbows are cut at least 1/8" over center.
It is a pleasant journey, enjoy the trip. TMBB
Hack ,that is a sweet rig brother!
Definitely talk with Allen at Liberty Bows. He is a skilled bowyer and a wealth of knowledge.
Three Rivers Archery's Tomahawk.
Byron Ferguson (or his son) make a few beautiful longbows and they shoot very well! Byron wrote the book "Become the Arrow" and he does trick shooting at shows and TV ...
I could not say enough good things about Leon Stewart of Pa. My two reflex deflex longbows are outstanding in appearance, shootability and workship. I would strongly suggest that you take a look. His bows rarely come up on the secondary market for a very good reason. You can bury me with my 2. SG
After thinking about this....I'm going to take a WAG.
A gift and you want it to be a looker. Almost all of these bowyers will make something really special....that Idaho Curt [The Wood Vault- link] has some fantastic one of a kind veneers you can get for these bows. Dan Toelke makes one heck of a good bow and if you need it say...before college graduation, he can have it done in a month. Some of these bowyers are out a year and a half.
Another WAG; with a long DL I wouldn't be afraid of ordering a longbow thats 66", 68" long....big difference in smoothness between a 68" and a 64" at 29",30" Draw length.
I would go Reflex deflex over a 'D' shaped longbow any day of the week. EDIT; If the bow is primarily for dinking around....generally longer is better. You can hunt with a 68" longbow....but if it was primarily a hunting bow a little shorter is what most guys go with. I know if I was buying a bow like this it would be a 2 piece for sure as longbows are a PITA to travel with consider luggage restrictions. AND of course the 'overbooked monicker always applies to stick bows. You want to be conservative in weight to start...ie; lower poundage. A longbow puts more weight on your fingers than even a recurve [my preference] Sometimes its worth reminding those new to stick bows; a 70# compound is 14# at full draw.
Another bowyer that everyone raves about [and hasn't been mentioned] is Maddog...[he makes shorter Shrew type longbows] but I think he is at 1 1/2-2 yrs out.
If you want one from Leon Stewart [excellent] it better be quick as he is retiring.
I've had a lot of custom bows but I wouldn't order a bow without the option to return it. Yelowstone makes a good bow. Maddog, lots of good bows out there.
People are so reluctant to state the obvious.... Black Widow PL is as good of a longbow a you can get.
I would put Mike Dunnaway's longbows (Wild Horse Creek Bows) up against any out there. He is meticulous and an artist when it comes to his creations. Plus, there is no CNC mass production involved so you are truly getting a one-of-a-kind bow made just for you. These are pics of his new Destiny model that I had him make for me about a month ago. The limb core is bamboo and the veneer is spalted mango. The riser is curly chocolate mango with cocobolo accents. An added touch that Mike does is make a custom arrow for you with a footing made from the same wood as the bow riser.
I couldn't recommend anything better than a Toelke Whip and it's probably the shortest wait time for a custom bow there is, it's weeks not months!!! Beautiful and fast!!!
Anything bad about antler tipped limbs....chipping???etc??
Maddog. I’d highly recommend the Mountaineer model. it’s a DANG good one!! :^)
As you can see from above when it comes to bows there are a lot of great bowyers out there. My recommendation is to find who is the local "bow guru" in your area and try some of his bows, or better yet, find someone who has a lot of bows and shoot his different ones, then order from the one you like. Each area usually has a great bowyer somewhere close, and that's often where people end up ordering from. There's probably like 45 responses to this thread with 40 different bowyers mentioned? That's because each guy falls in love with a local guy, or his buddies bow and goes from there. Around here there is a guy makes "Caribow" makes beautiful reflex deflex longbows. I've got a Tall Tines recurve that I absolutely love got it this past summer. I shoot it much more intuitively. Of course I fell in love with them by shooting my brothers Tall Tines (M.Pauls above). So if you plan on doing a good amount of shooting with it I really recommend shooting a number of different bows. You WILL find that some flat out work for you, and others don't. When I picked up my Tall Tines I couldn't miss. Right from the first shot, it's been incredible. Wasn't like that with my Caribow. My Tall Tines I shoot a small deer target out past 55 yards and rarely miss the vitals, it's just so right. Other bows somehow I am fighting. The struggle is finding the "one."
I own and have shot a total of 3 longbows, and at least one of ‘em is technically a flatbow, so what do I know, right?
But show me anyone who has shot them ALL and I’ll tell you who can give you more than One Man’s Opinion... Stuff like “People are so reluctant to state the obvious.... Black Widow PL is as good of a longbow a you can get.”
Replace “Black Widow PL” with “______________” (fill in the blank), and you can probably find 20 experienced shooters who would agree...
The problem is that you’ve asked people to tell you their favorites without asking them what they like or telling them what you’re looking for, and nobody can actually HELP YOU on that basis....
So.... what do you Like? Or if you don’t know.. what do you think you want? What matters to you?? Do you actually give a rip whether your bow was constructed using some degree of CNC machining? Are you going to be disappointed to learn that ANY power tools were used in the build? At that rate, what about glass or carbon lams? Do those offend you? Or what if you’re OK with fiberglass - maybe you’ll insist on a bowyer who heats his bow-box with Certified Texas Free-Range Mesquite, rather than using light-bulbs as most do?
OF COURSE I’m giving you the business, but when you ask a really subjective question with no clue as to what matters to the people who are giving you their opinions....
So lemme ASK you...
What do you think you’re looking for? Self-bow? English War Bow? Howard Hill style? A short, aggressive R/D design for turkey hunting out of a blind?
Are you in it for speed? Silence? Packability? Aesthetics? Prestige?
Do you want/need a take-down? If so, 2-pieces or 3? Are you looking for a hard-working, backcountry hunting rig, or a 3D competition set-up, or a Work Of Art, or, are you thinking to just dip your toe into it and you don’t want a bad experience because you bought something too cheap to be enjoyable?
Personally, I think all of these guys who are recommending that you go with a high-end bow from a custom shop right out of the gate are secretly hoping to pick up a practically new bow from their favorite bowyer on the Leatherwall classifieds... ;)
So maybe fill in a few blanks for us.... What’s your budget? Are you shooting recurves now, or coming over from a compound? What are you going to hunt? HOW do you plan to hunt with it? Or are you just going to be plinking with this one? How far do you expect to be able to shoot with it? Are you going to be Gapping? Split-Vision? Grip & Rip? How much time and effort are you willing to put into getting a well-tuned arrow? What KIND of arrows?
Because JMO, every recommendation you get here is going to reflect every consideration I’ve listed and maybe a dozen more, whether the guy making that recommendation has given it any conscious thought or not. Some folks go through dozens of bows before they find The One, and you’d think it was some kind of Black Magic at work, rather than they finally found (through dumb luck) one that is well-tuned with an arrow they have on hand and which suits their shooting style.
Personally, I started with a Howatt Hunter recurve and just learned to shoot it; haven’t had any trouble adapting to any bow since, but mainly because if you can shoot One well, you can probably shoot them all.
IOW, it’s a lot easier to get bad advice than it is to buy a bad bow.
Genesis, Reinforced tips are a good thing. Of course the addl weight affects bows speed....a tiny bit....but you really don't buy a bow like this for the speed. Antler makes a good looking tip.
Tons of nice longbows out there but be sure to check out Dwyer.
Any shootbility differences in the Riser designs of Tall Tines Stickflicker vs the Toelke Whip? I like the Trad look of the Whip better but just wondered if the Stickflicker more recurve looking riser has any advantages.Sorry to be so general.I'm gonna love whatever I buy because I'm gonna shoot it a lot.Generally speaking is all. Toelke 2 piece desgn locks in the handle....is that ever an issue?
I am very pleased with the two slightly used Bob Lee longbows I acquired 2 to 3 years ago. Beautiful bows, quiet, and most important , I can shoot them surprisingly well.
If you are willing to look at the used market, you could take a look at Jim and Buddy era 21st Century longbows. I have half a wall of their longbows and one of them I refer to as my best "Sunday bow". Riser is the most gorgeous piece of zebrawood I have ever seen, and you won't get a more curvy, sexy looking bow than their design, especially if you find a rare one with Holmegaard limb tips. Extremely fast and pleasant to shoot. Many world championships have been taken with them. Norb Mullany tested them a bunch of years back and stated either they were the fastest bow he ever tested, or they had the highest dynamic efficiency he had ever tested - can't remember. One problem is that they are pretty scarce and you have to look to find one.
Jim Ploen lives close to me in the Twin Cities and I have shot tournaments and informally with him a bunch of time. Shooting with Jim is also being coached by him because he has a switch in him that has two settings, the first one is "sleep" and the second is "full-speed ahead". He is an amazing, talented guy. He shot, if not the first, one of the very first 300s with recurve/fingers back in 1967. Good luck with your search, you only have a couple hundred or so different bows from above to sort out and decide!
I will second Mike Dunnaway (Wild Horse Creek Bows). He makes a great bow and is a heck of a guy as well.
I will also second Gregg Coffee (Java Man Archery). Gregg is a top notch guy, makes a stunning bow and my elkheart longbow is by far my most favorite bow.
If you are just starting out, I suggest buying a used bow. As you go along you will find certain things you like and dislike about a bow and eventually you will find one that fits you perfect. It's better to spend less $$$ and find out what design and style fits you best as apposed to spending a bunch of money on a custom bow up front and then ultimately deciding you hate the bow.
It took me several years before I finally found what I really liked in a trad bow, not to mention several thousands of dollars I spent on custom bows that I ultimately sold for half the price I paid for them! But if you already know what you like in a trad bow you know exactly what i'm talking about.
Another option is to buy your own veneers and send them to a bowyer. There are a couple sites that sell some pretty crazy veneers. Curt at the wood vault would be a good place to start.
Just speaking from experience here. Good luck on your search. There are many great bow builders out there that are willing to work with you and make something exactly like you want it.
I will give a third vote for Mike at Wild Horse Creek bows.
Lots of good bowyers out there, my top two choices would be Abe Penner of Caribow or South Cox of Stalker bows. Both make beautiful bows but better yet they also are some of the best performers out there. Shawn
Tolke,Northern Mist,Maddog,look no futher!
Riser design differences? Oh yes, in general more mass in the riser means less hand shock. Compare a heavy metal risered bow to a slim hill style for an extreme example.
Some bowyers can design in more smoothness but for the most part a low mass riser will always have more thump to it.
Two piece? Not a problem in fact with some metal connections like Dan Toelke uses, the metal gives the riser more mass=advantage. Some of the older poorly made two piece hinge designs did have an audible click to them- not good.
Saluki riser with artwork
Saluki riser with artwork
I had a Toelke, good but not great. Maddog good but not great, well worth the low price though. My Caribow was fantastic just a bit too heavy for me. Widows are nice and reliable and great customer service. Many really good bows available now. My carbon Centaur with ebony, bloodwood and juniper has been the best longbow for me. Saluki's are a bit different. Exotic, fast and expensive. My Centaur and Saluki have been my favorites for the last 7 years.
Long time Steve, hope all is well! Check out Jim Neaves over at Centaur. His takedown longbow is an insane piece of art and shoots like the wind. Takes a year to get, but worth it. Lots of good ones out there.
Well, as you have read there are plenty to choose. Probably why most trad shooters can't just own one lol.shoot before you buy and if your unable to just plan on owning multiples.
How great a bow is is not determined by the price tag or the glitter they are built with. It's determined by the way they perform and fit the individual bow shooter. When the OP said custom, that means he is wanting something built to his hand, with the grip he likes, with the sight window he likes, tailored to his draw length, and tillered to his release hold. Three under isn't the same as split for tiller. If the bowyer isn't asking you these questions, then it isn't going to be a custom bow. It's going to be a model of bow he ,akes in the weight range you request.
I've owned Black widows, all the way down to bear, pearson, and wing production bows. They are all good. All will be within a few FPS of the other if shooting the same arrow weight, draw length, and string. So, don't let anyone tell you any different. Or, suggest their $2000 candy art is a better bow than one you may choose.
Talk to some bowyers. Tell them what you want and, what you are looking for. If they won't build it move along to one that will. And, understand that price is only an indicator of what the bowyer is willing to sell a bow for. Not the value of a certain traditional bow to you. God Bless
What WV Mountaineer said. You really need to shoot some bows for yourself, what I like may not be what you would like. After you pass the $400 mark you're usually paying for cosmetics.
Cleland Stickbows LLC. Out of Firestone Colorado is a LH bowyer that builds a amazing line of bows. You can go to his web site or to RMSgear in Denver where you can check out some of his beautiful pieces. Short wait time and reasonable prices for such a great loooking bow.
I went ILF longbow this past year and loving it. The New Stalker ILF look really nice. I went with Dryad. Amazing shooting bows.
Go to Stickbow. A guy just got a Wes Wallace Royal longbow. The limbs are really thin. Looks really sharp.
Myself, I would consider an ACS longbow made by O.L. Adcock. His website is acsbows.com.
O.L. Adcock hasn't made a bow in over 10 years. The bows he did make were top shelf if you were lucky enough to get one after you paid for it.
Black canyon is a master. I’d aleays pick him.. second place Would be Yellowstone
If I had to only pick only one longbow, Centaur.
I don't see a long box sitting on my porch....so maybe its not a gift after all- grin
So we have narrowed it down to the top 50 bowyers in the country for you. Maybe if we knew little more about what you are thinking....we can get you to 25......
Hear hear Mountaineer! Wise words to follow Genesis........
Geez, you might have asked, "who wants to see my wife naked?". If you never shot a "longbow" you just need to buy and try a few and then a few more. Trad guys go through a lot of bows to find "it" and most never find "it". Most of what guys stated above are receives with kinda straighter limbs. Hybreds. The riser, the grip, that's where the bow starts. How the limbs look or are formed matter in performance and eye appeal. I like a straight riser and straight limb, an American longbow. Hill style. Not English and not hybrid. Stickbows are an evaluation for those who want to go about their business of killing stuff and the how matters more than the end result of death. You'l find the "It" bow but you have to kiss a few toads along the way.