July 21, 2015
By Jon E. Silks
Always looking for a way to drive its technology to the next level, Bowtech has introduced all-new PowerShift Technology. It essentially creates three distinct shooting experiences and three different performance levels all on one bow without changing draw length or draw weight — truly a multi-bow!
The 2015 Prodigy's OverDrive Binary cam system is home to both PowerShift Technology and rotating draw-length modules. A Center Pivot Extreme riser provides a stiff shooting platform and is the base for the one-piece synthetic grip, Revolver Riser Dampeners, FLX-Guard cable-containment system and carbon rod string stop. CarbonCore limbs, Octane factory strings and many finish choices complete the rig.
Once again, the biggest news with Bowtech's Prodigy is the innovative PowerShift Technology, coupled with the already popular OverDrive Binary cam system.
This new cam feature uses a 3-position PowerDisc to shift the cable track slightly for three distinct draw cycles, shooting experiences and performance measurements. All three setups get to peak weight in the same distance.
So, the beginning of the draw always feels the same. Soon after the peak, however, the game changes. Without changing draw length or draw weight, you can experience the difference of PowerShift Technology through the feel of the draw cycle and the speed displayed on a chronograph.
The #3 Comfort setting provides the smoothest draw for those less focused on speed, while the #1 Performance setting presents the most aggressive draw cycle and fastest speeds. The #2 Classic setting is for bowhunters looking for the best of both worlds.
In our testing, the speed change from one PowerDisc setting to the next was four feet per second, However, that may not hold true for all draw lengths and weights. PowerDisc changes can be made simply by removing a couple screws and sliding the disc to a new position. No bow press is required.
Just remember that changing the setting will slightly change your arrow's impact point, requiring sight adjustments.
Since its debut in 2010, the OverDrive Binary cam has earned a reputation as a system that is reliable, easy to tune and fast. With this system, you set the arrow rest at dead center and tune for perfect arrow flight by adjusting the top and/or bottom split buss cables.
In addition, Cam Synchronization Axles (CSA) are locked into each cam, forcing them to work together. Draw lengths from 25-30€‰1„2 inches, in half-inch increments, can be selected via a rotating module and adjustable draw stop. The Prodigy, in the Performance setting, is advertised to achieve 343 fps on a 7-inch brace height with 80-percent letoff.
The longevity of Center Pivot Technology, introduced in 2007, can be attributed to the resultant reduction in noise, shock and vibration, which made it popular right out of the gate. The Prodigy's Center Pivot Extreme riser flares out at each end, providing a wide platform that stretches out to support the limb almost halfway along its length.
Moving the pivot point closer to the throat of the grip creates a more stable configuration, enhancing consistency and accuracy by reducing torque.
Bowtech's FLX-Guard cable-containment system uses a small, limb-like arm that flexes during the draw cycle. The flex moves the cable containment roller toward the centerline of the bow at full draw, reducing torque and increasing consistency and accuracy. When the shot is fired, the FLX-Guard automatically springs back to position and out of the way of passing vanes.
The Prodigy is outfitted with Bowtech's multi-layer CarbonCore limbs. Impact-resistant skins cap the top and bottom surfaces. The laminated, double taper limbs reach a past-parallel position at full draw for a shot with reduced shock, vibration and noise.
Limbs are offered in draw weight ranges of 40-50, 50-60, and 60-70 pounds. A riser-mounted string suppressor, cable dampeners, FLX-Guard dampener and two Revolver Dampeners join the CarbonCore limbs in the fight against vibration and noise.
PowerShift Technology does indeed provide three unique, easily distinguishable shooting experiences, with some variance in speed. I would personally select the PowerDisc position based on the animal I was after, terrain, possible shot distance and weather conditions.
At the range, there was a small kick and a slight, lasting vibration at the shot. Both were easily tamed with a quality stabilizer. While I consider the Prodigy's grip only average in terms of comfort, it does allow for consistent hand placement, which is critical to consistent shooting. Overall, the Prodigy is a solid performer at every setting and was simply fun to shoot.
Cam System: Overdrive Binary with PowerShift
Weight: 4.2 pounds (advertised); 4.3 pounds (as tested)
Brace Height: 7 inches
Axle-To-Axle length: 32 inches
Letoff: 80 percent
Draw Weights: 50, 60 and 70 pounds peak
Draw Lengths: 25-30€‰1„2 inches, in half-inch increments, rotating module
Riser: Center Pivot Extreme
Limbs: CarbonCore, split
String: Octane Factory, 452X, 60.5 inches
Cables (2x): Octane Factory, 452X, 35.3125 inches
Grip: One-piece, synthetic with ABS inlays
Finish: Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Black Ops, Realtree Xtra Green and Gore Optifade Elevated II
Advertised IBO Speed: 343 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $1,099
Comments: The Multi Bow!