March 25, 2014
By Jon E. Silks
The name Bear Archery stirs emotion, pride and a sense of family for many bowhunters. For those who personally knew the legendary Fred Bear, those feelings run even deeper, and Bear Archery strives to honor his legacy by building quality, long-lasting bows that perform well above their price tag. They are focused — they have an Agenda.
Bear's 2014 Agenda 6 offers the bowhunter a stiff, truss-enhanced riser, super strong pre-loaded limbs, its fastest hybrid cam system to date, a hinged cable guard system, a versatile grip and several vibration- and noise-dampening features.
Bear brings back its popular, and very fast, H13 Synchronized Hybrid Cam system to power the new Agenda 6 to arrow speeds reaching an advertised 350 fps IBO on a 6-inch brace height.
Of course, performance is not only measured by speed. Many archers also look for a smooth draw cycle, and manufacturers strive to balance the two.
Bear's talented engineers were able to achieve that balance through complex computer modeling software, hundreds of tweaks and extensive testing.
The Bear team then went to work on making the system user-friendly, with a rotating module that is easily adjusted through the entire 25€‰1„2-30 inch draw-length range, including half sizes, without the use of a bow press.
Draw stops on both cams are located in holes that correspond to the associated draw length and provide a solid back wall. The system produces an advertised letoff of 75 percent.
Through the use of a truss-like structure, Bear was able to increase the stiffness of the riser while decreasing weight. In fact, it is the lightest flagship riser they have ever created, which translates into an overall mass weight of just 3.9 pounds.
Bear employs specially formed rubber inserts that press fit into slots located at both the top and bottom of the riser. The strategic locations, coupled with the soft material, result in reduced shock and vibration at the shot.
All new for 2014 is Bear's Hinge Guard. This unique system utilizes a full-capture cable block attached to an arm that is hinged off angle. At rest, the cable block is hinged forward and further away from the centerline of the bow. When the bow is drawn, the hinge arm is tied to the movement of the cables and moves backward, toward the shooter, and closer to the centerline.
This reduces the lateral load at full draw, and in turn the torque applied to the riser and limbs. A bow with minimized torque is more forgiving, consistent and accurate. The center fit mounting bar for this system preserves the higher load-bearing surfaces.
Two grip options are built into every Agenda bow. At first glance, all you will see is the Bear-Logo Overmold grip, which is narrow and covers nearly the entire handle with a rubber material. It provides comfort and a measure of warmth for cold days afield. Underneath you will find a contoured and fully machined smooth grip with rubber side panels recessed in cutouts for shooters who prefer an even narrower grip.
Bear's Max Pre-Load Quad Limbs are fully machined from fiberglass and matched into sets based on deflection values. Their high strength-to-weight ratio allows them to be bent further and store more energy. Limbs move past parallel at full draw for reduced shock, vibration and noise. Limbs are available in 50-, 60- or 70-pound peak draw-weight options.
The alignment of the limbs to the riser is critical to the overall function of the bow. Bear's Zero Tolerance limb pockets work on an interference fit between the limb, boot and pocket to eliminate any movement of the limb in the pocket.
Therefore, the limbs remain stationary while the one-piece pocket pivots during the draw-weight adjustment process.
The Agenda 6 is one of the quietest rigs Bear has ever produced.
Considering the bow's high-end speed, the draw was quite smooth, with the only detractor being a short valley. A moderate kick and lingering vibration were noted at the shot. However, the vibration was almost completely eliminated by a quality stabilizer.
With the comfortable grip options and low mass weight that tipped the scales under 4 pounds in testing, the Agenda 6 has an excellent feel.
Manufacturer: Bear Archery, 800-694-9494
Model: Agenda 6
Cam System: H13 Synchronized Hybrid Cam System
Weight: 3.9 pounds (advertised and as tested)
Brace Height: 6 inches
Axle-To-Axle length: 32 inches
Letoff: 75 percent
Draw Weights: 50, 60 and 70 pounds peak
Draw Lengths: 25€‰1„2-30 inches, in half-inch increments (rotating module)
Riser: Machined Aircraft Grade Aluminum
Limbs: Max Pre-Load Quad Limbs
String: BCY 452x, 61.1875 inches
Cables: BCY 452x, 35.25 and 33.375 inches
Grip: Fully Machined, with rubber overmold or side panel options.
Finish: Realtree APG, AP Snow, Shadow Series (black), Green/Black, Red/Black
Advertised IBO Speed: Up to 350 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $899.99
Comments: Quick, quiet and relatively light.