Mathews touts the 2013 Creed as the “… smoothest drawing high-energy single cam ever created.” The Geo Grid Lock Riser, walnut grip, and Harmonic Dampers identify it instantly as a Mathews bow. Several design features stand out at a glance and distinguish it from the Mathews bows of the past. First is the new Simplex Cam system, featuring an over-sized cam and idler wheel. Second is the past-parallel limb design—while Mathews’ twin cam Monster series bows are designed with past-parallel limbs, limbs on previous single-cam bows do not so clearly extend past parallel at rest. Also different, at least for Mathews’ single-cam offerings, is the quad split limb design, as opposed to Mathews’ usual SE Composit SlimLimbs.
Despite these differences the Creed invites comparison with Mathews’ other single-cam offerings. (Literally, if you look at the Mathews website.) At a top published speed of 328 fps, it is a tiny bit faster than the also-new ZXT (326 fps), slightly less fast than the hot-selling Helim (332 fps) introduced last year, and slower than the very fast Z7 Magnum (340 fps). Interestingly, it has a slightly longer riser than the Helim while sharing the same axle-to-axle length of 30 inches, a fact accounted for in part by the past-parallel limb construction. Related to that, the Creed’s limbs take off from the riser at a sharper angle, another design feature that distinguishes it from Mathews’ other single-cam bows. The 7-inch brace height is the same as that of the Helim, though wider than the significantly faster Z7 Magnum, which has a brace height of 63⁄8 inches—skinny compared to Mathews’ other single-cam offerings. The mass weight of the Creed at 3.85 pounds makes it a light bow by any standards, though slightly heavier than the 3.5-pound Helim.
The Creed shares with most other single-cam Mathews bows the Reverse Assist Roller Guard, but unlike some others the String Stop is not easily adjustable.
Draw weight adjustments on the Creed cover the standard 10-pound range, and are made by simply turning the limb bolts, with no set screws. Draw length is module-specific.
Fit and finish on the Creed is, as you’d expect, excellent. This could be Mathews’ sharpest looking bow to date.
Mathews bows have a reputation for being easy to tune, which is no doubt one reason for their popularity. As with other Mathews bows, a small hole in the cam serves as a quick and easy registration mark to insure cams are properly oriented. The cable on the test bow was dead center in the hole, so I set the bow up with all our standard test accessories. I’ve commented in the past on how the set screws in some rests cannot be used on Mathews’ Geo Grid-Lock risers. Mathews makes its own rests, and some other manufacturers offer models specifically designed for Mathews bows. In any case this is not an insurmountable problem. Many shooters suggest 13⁄16 inch from the riser for fixed rests, 11⁄16 for drop-aways on Mathews bows. I generally start at 13⁄16 with all rests, and adjust as needed when paper tuning. In this case, I made a few adjustments and found that 3Ž4 inch resulted in perfect bullet holes at several distances.
This bow did feel very light. It is slightly top-heavy, but easy to balance out. Mathews claims for smoothness are borne out objectively on the draw force curve, and more subjectively when shooting the bow. It comes back to peak weight fairly gradually; drop-off into the valley is sudden but not harsh. At correct draw length the bow is very steady. The valley is not wide, but there is no sense of a grabby cam. One interesting option Mathews offers is an alternate draw stop. The bow comes with a relatively thick, rubbery draw stop over a draw stop post on the cam. Shooters who prefer a slightly wider valley can remove it and replace it with a skinnier draw stop that is provided. Shooting both, I found the difference to be slight but perceptible, and preferred the alternate, skinnier draw stop.
The bow is, like most Mathews bows, very quiet. It doesn’t jump forward in the hand at the shot as do many bows, nor is there a noticeable vibration or tuning fork effect. Overall it’s a very pleasant-to-shoot bow; the Creed is yet another outstanding hunting bow from a manufacturer whose excellence and innovation have garnered a large share of the bow market.