October 28, 2010
Ever hear the saying less is more? Normally, my antennae goes up when I hear this sort of thing, thinking there must be a catch. However, I must admit, when I think of Reflex, "less is more" comes to mind. Reflex is the Sister Company to Hoyt, but it deals primarily to mail order companies, which cannot carry Hoyt bows. Your local proshop, on the other hand, can carry both. Reflex bows tend to cost less but offer more value than the competition.
The Reflex Denali offers it all: speed, forgiveness, great looks and an overall design that begs to be out hunting. The Denali is built on a machined aluminum riser for strength and durability. The riser features 1 1/2 inches of reflex to give the Denali an added speed boost that subsequently equates to more penetration power when hunting.
For those who are wondering, a reflexed riser design performs as if the archer had a longer draw length. The 1 1/2 inches of reflex on the Denali gives the shooter 1 1/2 inches more power stroke (the time the string is actually pushing the arrow) than a neutral or deflexed design.
The Denali runs the middle of the road with a generous brace height, medium-size length and a solid-performing cam that will shoot arrows at well over the 300fps mark.
Speed And Power
Speed and power are relative to the archer's individual setup. The Denali is rated with an IBO speed of 305 fps. I shot the Denali with an A/C/C 3-39 arrow that weighed 389.3 grains. The bow was set at 60 pounds with a 28-inch draw length and shot 249 fps. Of course, my specs are much less than the requirements for IBO, which explains the difference.
Whenever the subject of speed and reflexed risers comes up, the first question that pops into my mind is, "how forgiving will the bow be?" It does n't matter how fast the arrow is going if I can't count on the bow to consistently do its job in delivering the arrow to the center of the target. The Denali did perform to my level of expectation, with each shot.
The Denali measures 34 inches from axle to axle and weighs just a bit over 3 1/2 pounds. This is short to anyone who has not bought a bow in the last few years, but it's very midrange when compared to most of the bows being sold today. The Denali also has a very forgiving brace height of 8 1/2 inches, which accounts for much of the shootability. The shorter the brace height on a bow, the longer the power stroke, which, as I eluded to earlier, gives more speed and power. The disadvantage of a short brace height (below 7 1/2 inches) usually reveals itself in the form of accuracy. Bows with ultrashort brace heights are harder to control, and all but the most experienced archers will normally suffer from torque problems that cause left and right misses.
The Denali is equipped with Reflex's Single-Cam and features an adjustable draw length and letoff. Adjusting the draw or letoff simply requires following a simple chart in the owner's manual. First remove the screw so the module can slide between different positions. Then, once the module is locked down, the draw stop peg is moved to a corresponding hole and viola! Both the draw length and letoff have been adjusted with nothing more than a simple set of Allen wrenches.
Draw Weights: 50-60 or 60-70 pounds
Draw Lengths: 27.5Ã‚ — 30.5 inches
Mass Weight: Three pounds, nine ounces
Letoff: 60-75 percent, adjustable
Grip: one-inch throat, rubber side plates
Brace Height: 8 1/2 inches
Eccentrics: Reflex Single-Cam (RSC)
Axle-To-Axle Length: 34 inches
Finish: Mossy Oak Shadow Branch
Comments: The simple combination of features, at an affordable price, makes the Denali a great all-around bow.
The Denali uses Reflex's Split Limb. The roughly 15-inch, solid-glass limbs are manufactured with 3⁄4-inch Split Limb Technology and are as sturdy as they come. The grip on the Denali is a low- to medium-wrist design that is flat and square at the riser. The low-wristed grip allows for the maximum amount of surface area against the hand vertically. The narrow throat measures 3/4 inch, and when you figure in the rubber side plates, the grip is exactly one inch wide. Reflex strings and cables are manufactured in-house from Brownell's D-75 string material and are complemented with Brownell Diamondback center serving for consistency and superior performance. The limb pockets on the Denali are solid machined aluminum. The cable guard is made from a carbon rod with a plastic slide. The camo finish is Mossy Oak's Shadow Branch.
The Denali lived up to all it promised on the range. The Denali has a very smooth draw that dropped comfortably into a deep valley. By "deep" I mean that the back wall was very solid, and the cam rolled over suddenly into the valley. However, I had no problem settling into the shot without the string trying to get away from me. The vibration was minimal, and when I added a stabilizer and some Limb Savers from Sims Vibration Labs, it was as quiet as it was smooth.
The strategy behind Reflex bows was not to build bows with a whole host of options. Reflex bows do not offer multiple limb options, cam options or colors. What Reflex bows do offer is about the best bang for the buck offered by any manufacturer today. The bows are kept dealer-friendly by limiting the number of SKU's a dealer must stock, and the simplicity and ruggedness of the designs are definitely user-friendly.