The Tigershark is a takedown recurve bow with a design great for target shooting and bowhunting, whether you're a newbie or an expert. In this review, we've detailed the Tigershark's features to show how it compares to the many other recurve bows on the market and who should consider it for their archery career.
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What’s Included in the Package?
Of course, the Tigershark recurve bow is a takedown package that comes with the components necessary to construct a recurve bow that's ready to shoot. That includes:
- Riser: This is the main central part of the bow that has the grip. The Tigershark's riser is made of hardwood.
- Limbs: Since the Tigershark is a takedown bow, the limbs are attached to the riser and can be removed. The Tigershark comes with two limbs in the draw weight of your choice, and you can get more limbs if you want to change them out for different draw weights.
- Dacron bowstring: The Tigershark includes a 14-strand Dacron bowstring that provides consistent tension.
The Tigershark doesn't come in a super elaborate package, but it does have a couple of nice accessories, such as:
- Stick-on arrow rest: Good for beginners, an arrow rest makes it easier to draw consistently. The one that comes with the Tigershark is stick-on, so installation is a breeze.
- Threaded bushings: Bushings allow you to screw in aftermarket accessories like sights or stabilizers.
- Assembly instructions: As a takedown recurve, the Tigershark requires a bit of assembly. The instructions help you do it accurately.
- Stringer tool: You can optionally include a stringer tool with your Tigershark. If you don't already have one, this is a necessary accessory for stringing your bow.
Assembling The Tigershark Takedown Recurve Bow
Assembly of the Tigershark is pretty much the same as any other takedown recurve bow and pretty simple, especially if you get the pro version.
The first step is attaching each limb to the riser. You have to insert them one at a time into the limb pockets. Once they're set flush with the riser, you can tighten the Allen screws on either limb so they're securely attached.
The next step is installing the stick-on arrow rest. Simply remove the peel so the adhesive is uncovered. Line it up with the bushing for a mechanical arrow rest just below the shelf on the riser and stick it to the wood so it's stable.
The last step is stringing the bow. You can use the included bowstringer or your own if you already have one. Stringing a recurve bow is a precise process with specific steps, so make sure you've studied up if you're going to do it yourself.
Features / Specifications
Similar to other Southwest Archery recurves like the Spyder, the Tigershark has a particularly large range of draw weights. Limbs are available from 20 to 60 pounds in five-pound increments. Because the Tigershark is a takedown recurve, you don't have to commit to a single draw weight either. The limbs can be changed out for more or less power as you need. That said, most states require at least 40 pounds for bowhunting, so keep that in mind.
The Southwest Archery Tigershark has a draw length of 29 inches. If you don't know your exact draw length, you can get it measured at an archery shop. Alternatively, you can estimate it by measuring your wingspan (the distance between the tips of each middle finger with your arms held out like a T) and dividing the result by 2.5.
If you're like the majority of people, your wingspan is pretty close to your height. This would mean the Tigershark has a draw length ideal for people within two to three inches on either side of 6'0". That's the majority of men, but women, youth and shorter men might find it a bit large. On the other hand, it could be too small for taller men.
It's important to get a bow with a draw length you can manage. If it's too long, you likely won't be able to take full advantage of the bow's power. If it's too short, you may find you can't aim correctly or shoot consistently.
Pros and Cons of the Tigershark Takedown Recurve Bow
What We Like
A Wide Range of Draw Weights
The Southwest Archery Tigershark has a large range of draw weights matching its sister the Spyder. Available limbs start as low as 20 pounds, great for beginners. Then the highest draw weight available is 60 pounds, more than enough for bowhunting or serious target shooting.
Between 20 and 60 pounds, draw weights are available in five-pound increments. As a result, you can get a level of power that's calibrated to your abilities. Plus, you can start low and work your way up as you learn good form and accuracy.
Pro Takedown Design
Unlike similar takedown recurve bows, the Tigershark has a pro version that includes precision locking technology. This helps you install the limbs accurately, making it even easier to change them out for different draw weights.
Reinforced Limb Tips
We love that the Tigershark has reinforced limb tips because it means the bow is capable of accepting FastFlight and Flemish bowstrings. These are great, modern materials for bowstrings that maintain consistent tension for longer even if you shoot a lot and also hold up better to outdoor hunting conditions. The problem is that they can tear up your bow's limbs if they aren't reinforced, so the reinforced tips are a huge advantage of this model.
Optional Bowstringer Included
If you're going to shoot or even just own a recurve bow, you have to have a bowstringer. Not only do you have to string the bow when assembling it, but you should unstring it when you're not using it for more than a few days.
We like that Southwest Archery includes a bowstringer if you opt for it. It's really an essential tool, so this saves you the hassle of finding one somewhere else.
Bushings Allow You to Attach Accessories
A nice feature, the Tigershark has threaded brass bushings that allow you to screw in accessories like a stabilizer, quiver, sight, mechanical arrow rest, etc. In fact, you can even use the Tigershark for bowfishing since you can install a reel.
Right- and Left-Handed
The Tigershark has versions for both right- and left-handed people. You should get the one that's right for you because using a right-handed bow if you're left-handed, for instance, increases the chances of painful wrist slap. It also negatively affects your accuracy.
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What We Don’t Like
Only Dacron Bowstring Included
The Tigershark works with FastFlight and Flemish bowstrings, but Southwest Archery only includes a Dacron string with the bow. Dacron is still a great material, but we think it would have been nice to get a FastFlight string with the package.
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This is somewhat a matter of personal taste, but we aren't huge fans of the Tigershark's riser finish, which is a bit conspicuous, a concern if you're going to be bowhunting with it. This is the main difference between the Tigershark and the Spyder.
Southwest Archery Tigershark Takedown Recurve Bow Quality
The quality of the Tigershark's riser is similar to the Spyder's. It's expertly crafted out of hardwood, so it's durable and long lasting, even if you're using it outdoors. The finish isn't as sleek as the Spyder's, but the craftsmanship is just as good.
The Tigershark's laminated limbs are of a moderate quality. They have reinforced tips, which is a great feature. However, the lamination can wear down with repeated use. Luckily, it's a takedown model, so you can easily replace the limbs if this happens.
The Tigershark's grip is well-designed and feels comfortable for most people. It's pretty straightforward, so you can hold the bow correctly without much effort.
The Tigershark comes with a 14-strand Dacron bowstring. Dacron is a quality material, and the 14 strands are good for most draw weight options. That said, there are better bowstring materials like FastFlight that the Tigershark is compatible with, so you may want to change the bowstring out later on.
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Is the SA Tigershark Takedown Recurve Bow Good for Beginners?
The Southwest Archery Tigershark is a great recurve bow for beginners because you can easily assemble it and get it in manageable draw weights as low as 20 pounds. You can start with a low draw weight and then take advantage of the recurve design to move up to more powerful limbs.
The only issue for beginners is that the Tigershark is 62 inches in ATA length, a touch on the long side. This creates more rotational torque when you shoot, which can throw off your form and your shot. That said, most takedown recurves are about 62 inches, so it's still a good option in this regard. If you want a smaller bow, you'll likely need to go with a single-piece recurve like the Bear Grizzly.
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Is the Tigershark Takedown Recurve Bow Good for Kids?
At 62 inches with a draw length of 29 inches, the Tigershark takedown is too big for most kids, though it may work for teenagers who are mostly grown. Smaller teenagers and children need a youth-specific model like the Tiger Takedown Recurve Bow.
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Is the SWA Tigershark Takedown Recurve Bow Good For Hunting?
The Tigershark is an excellent choice for bowhunting. It has draw weights available up to 60 pounds, enough power for taking down big game and trophy bucks. Plus, the included arrow rest helps with accuracy, and you can even install important bowhunting accessories like a sight thanks to the threaded bushings.
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The Southwest Archery Tigershark vs the Samick Sage
The Tigershark is a Samick Sage clone. In fact, Southwest Archery claims that some of the engineers and developers of the Samick Sage were brought in to help design their takedown recurves.
The main reason to choose the Tigershark over the Samick Sage is the easier assembly using the pro precision lock technology. It's also a bit bigger and therefore better for taller archers.
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The Southwest Archery Tigershark vs Spyder
Both manufactured by Southwest Archery, the Tigershark and the Spyder are essentially the same bow. The primary difference is the riser finish, which is a bit more traditional on the Spyder and a bit more conspicuous on the Tigershark. Additionally, the Tigershark's pro precision lock technology makes takedown a lot easier while the Spyder comes in an XL version for tall archers.
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Southwest Archery Tigershark vs The Bear Grizzly
The Tigershark is geared towards beginners who are still learning accuracy but want to hunt in the future, something that's easy to do thanks to its large range of draw weights and takedown design. The Grizzly is a higher-quality single-piece bow that's a better choice for experienced archers and bowhunters who plan to use their bow a lot.
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Wrapping Up the Southwest Archery Tigershark Takedown Recurve Bow Review
Similar to both the Southwest Archery Spyder and Samick Sage, the Tigershark provides a lot of draw weight and power options that you can take advantage of using the takedown recurve design. This model in particular has one of the best takedown designs due to the pro precision lock technology that makes it easier to install the limbs correctly. It's a great bow for beginners and bowhunting.
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