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Bow Report: Hoyt Carbon Spyder 30

Some bows invite comparisons with their predecessors or with similar bows in a given line-up. As the name suggests, the Hoyt Carbon Spyder 30 features a carbon riser, unlike the previous Hoyt Spyder series, which did not. And though it somewhat resembles Hoyt’s carbon bows such as the Carbon Element G3, the fact is, the riser itself differs in design. It can still be fairly described as gnarly in appearance, but is a little less curvaceous and with (I would suggest) somewhat less graceful lines. It’s also driven by a different cam than either the Carbon Element or the Spyder series bows in the form of the new Z5 Cam & 1/2. It does boast some features common to last year’s Carbon Element G3 and Spyder series bows, including the AirShox limb suppressors as well as Hoyt’s Perfect Balance offset stabilizer design, Silent Shelf, and Pro Fit custom grip options. At 30 inches axle to axle, it’s Hoyt’s shortest carbon bow. Draw weights running from 50 up to 80 pounds, with a 65-pound option, make this bow accessible to a wide range of shooters. Draw lengths are cam-specific, with available options encompassing 24 to 25.5 inches, 26 to 28 inches, and 28 to 30 inches.

The nominal IBO speed of 332 fps puts it dead even with last year’s Carbon Element G3—on the fast side, but not super-fast. (The 2014 Spyder Carbon series also includes the Carbon Spyder Speed Bow, at 340 fps, as well as the Carbon Spyder 34, a longer axle-to-axle model.) In terms of fit & finish, it’s enough to say that Hoyt is justly famous for the fit & finish of its bows. Hoyt claims the new carbon tube riser design is stronger and quieter than the original, and that the Z5 Cam & 1/2 is “liquid” smooth; more about these issues later.

Shooting The Bow

Hoyt Carbon Spyder 30Hoyt recommends a 90-degree nock point when the arrow is aligned with the rest mounting holes, and a centershot of 13/16 inch. (Here’s a nit-pick: Much as I like the Silent Shelf for its sound-dampening qualities, it covers the rest mounting holes, making alignment a little more difficult.) I was able to use our standard QAD rest for test purposes, but would recommend the Hoyt-specific QAD rest or another brand for this bow because of the narrow profile of the riser. Pressing the bow to install a peep sight (or for any other purpose) requires removing the AirShox, but this is a quick, easy, and straightforward procedure adding about one minute to the process. Adjusting the draw weight, I couldn’t help but notice that the limb bolts turned very easily and smoothly without the stickiness or chattering that occurs with many bows. That is not a big issue, but it does suggest superior materials or tighter tolerances.

At 3.6 pounds the Carbon Spyder 30 qualifies as a very light bow, as you would expect from a carbon riser bow. There are a few lighter bows on the market, but it’s doubtful there are lighter non-carbon bows that are equally rigid, quiet, and vibration-free. In addition, balance is excellent, thanks in part to the short axle-to-axle length, as well as to Hoyt’s offset stabilizer design. An adjustable draw stop insures that the back wall is solid, and the bow holds very steady. Possibly because of the offset stabilizer mount, excellent balance, and light weight, I did not experience the tendency to cant this bow that is common to most compact bows.

The Hoyt Carbon Spyder bows come standard with a full wood grip. It’s slick, narrow, and very comfortable—everything I look for in a grip. Like all Hoyt’s compound bows, the Spyder bows are compatible with Hoyt’s custom grip options, which means the grip can be removed and replaced with wood side plates, or a wood high-wrist grip, or a softer, synthetic grip for bowhunters who prefer the warmth and softer feel of that style.

Earlier I made reference to Hoyt’s claim for a liquid-smooth draw and super-quiet shot. To describe this bow as smooth-shooting for its speed would be to damn it with faint praise. In truth, this bow is smooth-shooting and quiet for any speed. In an era when bow manufacturers seem to be competing for the “World’s Smoothest-Shooting Bow” title, this bow truly stands out. With the exception of the radical Oneida Eagle bows, if there is a bow that draws and shoots more smoothly, I’ve yet to come across it. It’s also virtually dead in the hand, with minimal recoil and no discernible vibration. While 332 fps doesn’t qualify it as a true speed bow, it’s plenty fast enough for almost any hunting scenario. And there is a lot to be said for the kind of smoothness and quiet that for most shooters contributes to more consistent accuracy and less string jumping—not to mention longer, more enjoyable practice sessions. Bottom line: Any bowhunter who values smooth and quiet, and who truly enjoys the simple act of shooting a bow, owes it to himself or herself to give this bow a try.

Hoyt Carbon Spyder 30

HOYT CARBON SPYDER 30 SPECS

Letoff:.................................... Not Stated

Brace Height:.................... 6 3/4 inches

Weight:................................... 3.6 pounds

Axle-To-Axle Length:. 30 inches

Speed:....................................... 332 fps

Draw Weights:.................. 50, 60, 65, 70, and 80 pounds, adjustable down 10 pounds from peak.

Draw Lengths:.................. Cam-specific 24-25 inches, 26-28 inches and 28-30 inches.

Options:................................ Finishes in Realtree Xtra, Realtree Max-1, Black Out, plus numerous custom camo and color options.

Suggested Retail:......... $1,499

 

OBJECTIVE TESTS  (30 Inches Draw)

Peak Hold*:............................ 70 pounds

Weight, Full Draw*:........... 15.5 pounds

*Rounded to nearest half-pound

 

At 70-Pound Draw Weight

Arrow Weight Speed @ Launch Speed @ 20 Yards K.E. @ Launch K.E. @ 20 Yards
385 grains 309 fps 298 fps 80.51 ft. lbs. 75.96 ft. lbs.
500 grains  271 fps   263 fps  81.66 ft. lbs.      76.84 ft. lbs.         

 

 

At 60-Pound Draw Weight

Arrow Weight Speed @ Launch Speed @ 20 Yards  K.E. @ Launch K.E. @ 20 Yards  Sound Level
385 grains 287 fps 277 fps 70.93 ft. lbs.  65.32 ft. lbs. 57.1 dBA 
500 grains 256 fps     248 fps 72.71 ft. lbs. 67.9 ft. lbs.  47.0 dBA
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