First of all, let me preface this with saying I’ve only been shooting at a target now for about a week and a half. Also, as a newbie recurve archer, I haven’t had the opportunity to try a bunch of different apertures out, so take everything I say in that context. Instead of doing a full blown review after a lot of use, I decided to share with you my initial thoughts.
Let me start with the product appearance and packaging. I LOVE the fact that when you order the Shrewd Flex it comes with everything you will need. I find it slightly annoying when products are released, but then the company nickle and dimes you to purchase all the accessories that should have come standard with it. Shrewd hit the nail on the head with this, including a lens (drilled on standard), dots or fibers depending on which lens you selected, two different sun shades, and 3 rings to reduce the aperture size.
All of this fits nicely in their packaging, so it is easy to throw in a backpack or bow case to carry with you to the range. I like the look of the scope, and it comes in 3 color options (no orange though!). My ONLY complaint here (and it’s only relevant for those that shoot an Axcel sight) is that the blue of the Flex doesn’t match the blue axcel scope. Obviously, this is a very minor detail and not really important, but I’m trying to be completely honest in my feelings and it drives me crazy when companies all make slightly different shades of a color. I just want everything to match 🙂
One thing I was warned about to look out for with this type of scope was it loosening and causing my impact point to change on the target. Now again, I haven’t used this scope a lot yet, but so far I have had no issues with the scope moving. The one area that has come loose a few times is the part that screws in to hold the lens/reducers in place. My guess is this is simply due to the fact that I haven’t done a great job really tightening this down after I made changes, but I plan to throw a little bow wax on the threads just to make sure.
In terms of how I feel about the scope for shooting, it’s still a mixed bag and I think this is where I get to a lot of personal preferences. Coming from compound, I loved that this scope had the same visual feel of what I was used to shooting. In fact, my brain didn’t recognize the difference, and the first night shooting with it, I kept looking for my bubble (something I did not do with the more traditional recurve aperture)! Shooting at 18M, I found my field of view was just too large for my liking (even on a single spot) without any of the reducers. I went ahead and put in the biggest reducer, which framed the target perfectly for me on a single spot, but once I moved to a 3 spot, I found it was showing more than I would like. I loved how easy it was to add the reducer rings, and I didn’t even notice it was there in terms of looking different from the scope edges itself.
Finally, I ordered the 0.29 drilled lens figuring this was bigger than the fiber I had used when I had a fiber with my compound, so it would be a good size. For me, I felt like it just showed way too much movement. I can’t speak for what it will look like at 70M, but at 18M the fiber wasn’t relaxing. I will say, however, that the fiber was easy to see, even in low lighting of an indoor range. For now I just stuck a black dot on the lens (over the drilled hole), and that seems to be working for me. I am still waiting on my lens from Clear Targets, which will have a dot inside the lens (exactly like their compound lenses). I am wondering now if I might like to try a setup similar to what I used in compound with a ring and a dot inside the lens. I assumed it would be too much on a small recurve lens with zero magnification, but I’m thinking now that might allow me to get rid of the reducer ring and frame the target as I want to with the lens ring. Luckily, I can play with stickers on the lens to see what is going to work before having a lens made to match my preference.
With that, here is a brief summary of my initial thoughts:
+very well made, high quality product
+includes everything you need in minimal packaging
+works with Clear Targets lenses
+easy swapping of lenses/reducers/etc
+3 color choices
-0.29 fiber may still be too small for some
-cheaper apertures are available