Samick Sage Saga Part II: The Lancaster Whine

Sage 1
The Samick Sage takedown recurve bow. Huh … Looks like a moustache.

If I could go back in time I would order the bow online, probably from my beloved 3Rivers Archery, probably with 45-pound limbs.

As it was, I drove an hour and a half to Lancaster, PA. It was raining and freeway-boring most of the way. And then of course there was the drive back, in heavier rain. On the bright side….

I was traveling with my favorite person; on the return trip, a brand new Samick Sage sat in the backseat; and I’d seen the inside of Lancaster Archery Supply — cue heavenly choir music. And we had a nice late lunch at El Serrano.

But in addition to the gray, drizzling sky, another cloud hung over the expedition: disappointment….

I bothered driving to Lancaster — spending all that time and gas money — so I could handle the Samick Sage. I wanted to test fire it with different weight limbs to see which limb weight I should begin with. I did not want to over-bow*. If anything, I’d go maybe a little under. I was thinking 45#.

But test firing didn’t happen. When I arrived, the sales staffer informed me they had only two limb weights: 55# and 60#. What? I had called ahead. The staffer on the phone assured me the shop had in stock the various limb weights I wished to test. I knew 55# would be pushing it.

Before I go any further, let me say that Lancaster Archery Supply is a wonderful place and the employee who assisted us was great. He even gave us a couple good fly-fishing tips.

The atmosphere of the showroom is relaxed, no sales pressure. In fact, you have to take a number if you want staff assistance (this was a Saturday). You can wander the floor and fondle bows to your heart’s content.

The shop has everything — times 10 (except for lighter Sage limbs). Frankly, the sheer volume and apparent redundancy of the stock overwhelmed … in a joyously glutinous way. And of the half-dozen or so archery shops I’ve visited, Lancaster has by far the best selection of trad bows. Which, given the shops I’ve visited, isn’t saying much. But still.

And Lancaster promised a chance to test fire the Sage with different limb weights. So we drove.

In the end, I bought the bow with 55# limbs — how could I drive three-plus hours round trip and not return with a bow, then have to wait however long to have the bow shipped (and pay transport costs)? Of course not! No way!

Curiously, I ordered a set of 45# limbs from Lancaster shortly thereafter and they had them in stock. Maybe they shipped from their Poughkeepsie warehouse?

That’s the story of my Samick Sage purchase. Because of the limb fiasco, do I not recommend Lancaster Archery Supply? Heck no. The place is an archer’s paradise, especially if you’re into shooting those funky looking arrow machines called compound “bows”. If the place was an hour closer, I’d probably visit it twice a week. Probably own three compound “bows” by now and have retinal detachment from peering through peep sites.  Friendly staff. Browsing apparently encouraged. Classes, a range, blandishments up the wazoo. What’s not to love?

Oh, right: I’m definitely over-bowed at 55#. I know, I’m a weakling, sad shadow of manhood. What can I say? In fact, 45# is pushing it. But it’s getting easier to shoot more arrows during each session without feeling like my left elbow is going to pop off and bounce all over the lawn. The season is young and my strength is increasing.

So, am I selling the 55# jobs?

Nope. As the 45s get easier, I’ll switch to the 55s from time to time till I get stronger. I have actually very nice (for me) groupings with the 55# limbs but they’re 4 or 5 inches off desired point of impact, at about 1 o’clock high.

More to come on the Sage in near-future posts.

*Over-bow: The bow’s draw weight is too heavy for the archer to shoot effectively. The natural inclination is to over-bow. like the desire for more of anything, more weight can mean more speed, impact, and alpha-dog rights. Thing is, if your bow weight causes muscle strain, double vision, moistened undies and arrows flying every which way but where you want, all those good things go for naught. Listen to the coach.

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