Whisperstik Bows , a traditional bowbuilding business owned by J.D. Lund of Coral, Michigan is likely one of traditional archery’s best kept secrets. But after shooting one of J.D.’s Mojo Stik one piece recurves, I have a sense that the secret may soon be out. A brief review of the bow’s attributes will give you some of the reasons why.
First, I must confess that I am a bow junkie. In fact, although I have any number of wonderful custom recurves and longbows in my collection, I seldom bypass an opportunity to try the custom crafted work of emerging or simply lesser-known bowyers. As a result, I have found some real gems over the years…and a gem is exactly what I discovered upon conducting a test of the Whisperstik Mojo Stick recurve.
My Mojo Stick is a 60 inch bow exquisitely built with a sleek macassar ebony riser and striking tulipwood limbs under clear glass. The combination is absolutely stunning and, with construction so meticulous that glue lines and overlays are virtually seamless, the bow’s quality workmanship is hard to ignore.
The bow came from the bowyer equipped with a leather grip, fast flight string with mink silencers already installed, and already pre-set for the optimum brace height of just under eight inches. I installed a brass nock point ½ inch above center, selected a variety of test arrows to try with the bow, and quickly walked out to my test range to begin my evaluation.
The first thing I noticed about the bow when I placed it in my hand and prepared for the first shot is what I believe to be one of its most significant qualities: the highly functional grip. J.D. obviously put a great deal of thought into the design of the Mojo Stik’s handle and upon conducting further examination, the reason why his design works so well is clear: with a slight palm swell that tapers to a deliberate and well-defined throat, an archer’s hand naturally and effortlessly slips into the same place for each and every shot. This design does not provide a thumb rest per se, but it does provide a place for the thumb to gravitate toward each time the bow hand is placed in the grip. Given that consistent hand placement and consistent accuracy are nearly always found together, this is a very important characteristic of the Mojo Stik.
After shooting a few test arrows, I settled on what appeared to be a perfectly tuned combination for the 60 inch, 43 pound bow I was shooting: a Gold Tip 35-55 cut to 29 inches with 250 grains up front and five inch shield cut feather fletching. My first three-shot group with these arrows was shot from a distance of 18 yards and yielded a four-inch spread. Several other three shot groups followed and the Mojo Stik achieved similar results with the average of all groups shot measuring just over three and one half inches. As mentioned previously, the importance of a well designed grip in achieving these kinds of results cannot be overstated.
Other characteristics of this bow that are worth mentioning and are important for traditional archers to consider include the smooth, stack-free draw, the absolute whisper quiet manner in which the bow releases the arrow, and the respectable arrow speed. Although the Mojo Stick is at the top of its class in terms of both smoothness and quietness, I would rate it at better than average in terms of arrow speed. There are certainly faster bows on the market today, but the combination of respectable speed coupled with excellent quietness, smoothness, and grip still make this bow an excellent choice for the traditionalist seeking a one piece recurve.
Whisperstik Bows may currently be one of traditional archery’s best kept secrets and with custom bows that are well-designed, competitively priced, and super quiet, it won’t take long for the word to spread. These are serious hunting bows for serious traditional bowhunters. If you ever have the opportunity to take one of these wonderful shooting gems for a test drive, I’m sure you will agree.
© April 2008