May 15, 2015
By Curt Wells
First impressions are always interesting, whether you're meeting a stranger or pulling a new bow out of the box.
When I slipped my new Mathews Monster Wake out of the box, the first words that came to mind were beautiful, beast, nasty, and wow!
This bow is not for the meek.
Another word that is inescapable is "heavy." The bare 35-inch Wake weighs in at 5.38 pounds, which is really only about a pound heavier than the average bow, but it is noticeable. The extra weight comes from the 32-inch riser, which combines a target bow design with hunting technology.
The $1,699 price tag is also a result of a riser that requires more than two hours of machining to produce, but is designed to eliminate torque when the bow is drawn.
The cost is a personal consideration, but I will comment on the mass weight, something I've always considered an overemphasized feature in a bow. Even when we purchase a lightweight bow, the first thing we do is add a plethora of accessories, including a weighted stabilizer.
Just keep in mind the finished Wake will still only weigh about a pound more than any other finished bow. So unless you're shaving ounces for a sheep hunt, a pound isn't a big deal.
Now that I've addressed the only two negatives I could find on the Wake, let's look at the positives — and there are plenty of them. This bow is powered by the very popular DYAD AVS Cam System, uniquely designed to match the wide, stout, and short limbs on this bow. That geometry creates a 5-inch brace height, which used to be considered a negative, but that is no longer true.
First, the Dead End String Stop arrests the bowstring, so the days of getting your arm slapped are over. More importantly, ultra-slow-motion videography has shown that once you release an arrow, it is out of the bow long before any influence you might impart on the bow with your grip or bow arm.
We used to believe that dropping your bow arm, or grabbing the grip after the release would affect your shot, especially on short brace height bows. That simply isn't possible. That only happens if you're torqueing the grip or moving your bow arm before the release.
Also on the positive side, that short brace height creates a longer power stroke, which is where most of your arrow speed comes from.
I set my Monster Wake up with a Spot-Hogg Boss Hogg sight (told you I don't care about weight) and an AXT Titanium RECON rest. I did go with an ultra-light AXT Carbon Vapor quiver, but mostly for balance reasons. To the string, I added only a D-loop and a peep sight.
Just looking at the Wake, and knowing it's a speed bow, I was expecting a harsh draw cycle with a radical, shoulder-tweaking break over.
Instead, I got three-quarters of the way through my first draw, waiting for the break, and just as it was rolling over the draw it unexpectedly rolled softly into the valley and up against a hard wall. It was surprisingly smooth, which is a big deal for me because I despise a harsh draw cycle.
As you might expect, there was very little hand shock at the shot, and I don't believe I've shot a quieter speed bow. The Wake gets excellent marks on all three counts — smoothness of draw, hand shock, and shot noise.
I got my Wake (with 85-percent letoff but 75-percent is available) all set up and tuned with Easton Injexion Carbon Alloy 330 arrows and Lumenok lighted nocks.
First, I set it up at IBO specs — 70 pounds with a 350-grain test arrow — and stepped up to the chronograph. Then I set it up at my typical hunting specs at 66.8 pounds with a 467-grain arrow and shot through the chronograph again.
Here are the results:
|30-inch draw||70 pound draw weight||350-grain arrow||348.2 fps|
|30-inch draw||70 pound draw weight||467-grain arrow||303.1 fps|
|30-inch draw||66.8 pound draw weight||350-grain arrow||335.7 fps|
|30-inch draw||66.8 pound draw weight||467-grain arrow||292.2 fps|
As you can see, the IBO setup (minus the peep) would be right there at the stated rating of 352 fps.
My hunting arrows are relatively heavy, but I've always been a believer in a heavy setup so there are no penetration issues on animals.
My hunting setup is generating more than 88 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy — more than enough for any big game animal short of an elephant.
The Monster Wake is a serious bow for serious bowhunters, and I'm about to get serious with it. After spending the next couple of weeks shooting and tweaking this bow, I will take it to the real testing grounds, a spot-and-stalk black bear hunt in British Columbia.
I'm certain those bears will be no match for the Monster Wake.