We were all waiting to see what was Bowtech’s move in the competition line-up for 2016. In 2015, they took a big step and launched their first new Target Bow in 5 years. It was quite a big jump away from what we were used to in the Specialist and to be frank, archer’s either loved it, or hated it, for various reasons.
Bowtech, however, seems to have done the sensible thing, and decided to work on the small details of the bow instead of launching a brand new break away target bow, taking the fanatic and changing small things to improve what is a really good target bow for those that needed it.
The “new” Bowtech Fanatic 2.0 that was launched at the 2016 ATA show is an iteration, not a “new” bow… let me show you what they changed:
1. They made it usable for Ladies and short draw length archers (as well as the really tall guys!)
They now have two cam options, taking the bow down to 24” draw length (small cam) to 32” DL (on the large Cam)
2. The cams now have Powershift Modules… so you can swop between comfort and performance settings on the cams. Depending on whether you are shooting WA 720’s or distance judging 3D or Field events, you can swop around and get the extra speed you might want.
3. The Axle-to-Axle has changed, making it about an inch longer… This change really improved what was already an extremely solid aiming bow, and with that, the limb deflection. Current Fanatic owners, like myself, already did something similar by using a slightly longer custom string and cable set
4. The Draw stops have changed back to a single pin string stop (which is sorry, because I really liked the triangles!) but with the new cam design, we have been able to turn them around and actually make them function as limb stops – I am not sure if this will be an “official use” but we did it in the past with the specialists, so why not try?
5. The limb rockers are now bolted to the riser. Some archers mentioned that they feel movement there, I can feel the movement, but it makes almost no difference on the shot result if you twist and turn it as best you can and then shoot it out of a hooter-shooter, so again, I don’t think it fixes a specific problem (although I might be wrong) but more a case of peace of mind and helping the archers get rid of one more worry… if it feels good, it will shoot good.
6. The shoot through cage on the riser is now recessed slightly, and a small redesign means the cage configuration is about 4mm narrower. Archer’s that complained about the grip catching them on a knuckle will like the new design. I really like the old Fanatic’s grip, it worked perfectly for me, so I can’t say whether it’s an improvement or not. for some it will be, for others, like me, it makes very little difference.
7. The bottom hole on the riser is now of the larger diameter, so stabilisers can be mounted low (or extra weight) without step-down rings – making the holes the same size simply means its a convenience.
…and that, along with new custom string designs and a bunch of extra colours on a textured (as opposed to smooth) riser… is it.
As I said, It’s an iteration. A refinement of a great bow. So… how does it shoot?
I did a few hundred shots over a few days with it in a similar setup as my current Fanatic (Bumblebee) and I must say I like the draw cycle. It’s very close to what I have set up now (I short draw to get a 62% let-off) but maybe a touch smoother, and a touch more controlled.
Although people have commented that the bow is really quiet, I think it may actually be a smidgeon louder than the old Fanatic (which would make sense… its got a longer string) but this is on the ear only… not measured at all! Either way, it makes no difference.
The Fanatic is still the best aiming bow I’ve shot, and I think the Fanatic 2.0 is a few percent better. It feels like I can hold it on target just a bit longer (although, again, it might be a balance difference with the longer ATA having an impact… regardless, it feels great)
The speed is up a bit, thanks to the new cam designs and Powershift modules (and Limbs) and the shooting is still Excellent.
I pretty much matched my scores between the two bows straight out of the box…
Bowtech Fanatic = Great Bow
Bowtech Fanatic 2.0 = Great Bow Refined
Best would be if you tried it out yourself and see if you like what they did. I think you will. Most Fanatic owners will be happy keeping their “old” bow (as I will most probably be doing) If you shoot competition it’s a good thing to keep a bow for a while to gell and get the best out of it, i believe. The changes are small enough that it would most probably not make a difference to you.
If you are thinking of switching to target archery, or trying out a Fanatic 2.0 as a new target bow, then JUMP at the first opportunity. You will love the way it shoots! We will be seeing a lot of them on the competition lines in 2016!
Thank you to Archer’s Edge for making the Fanatic 2.0 available to us!
If you want to try it out, please contact Archer’s Edge for more info!