Bow Report: Strother "Wrath SHO"

June 17, 2013

Strother Archery boldly launched operations several years ago in the heart of the economic downturn—and promptly generated more orders than could be filled. They retrenched and came back in 2011 with several high-performance bows that garnered a lot of attention. Currently the line-up includes six bows and counting, the new flagship model being the Wrath SHO (Super High Output). The original Wrath was introduced last year; for this year Strother’s designers set out to make the Wrath both faster and smoother shooting. They accomplished this by tweaking the modular hybrid Badger Cam slightly to create a smoother draw cycle while reducing the brace height from a full 8 inches to a still very friendly 73⁄8 inches. At the same time, the 32 inches axle-to-axle of the original Wrath was reduced slightly to a more compact 303⁄16 inches.

Among new features on the Wrath SHO is Strother’s ZT Loc-N-Cradle limb pockets, creating what Strother touts as “the highest level of limb integrity in the industry.” This is a wide-set pivoting system developed to prevent any twist of the split limbs. Adjusting draw weight is achieved by loosening a set screw and then turning the limb bolts, then retightening the set screws. Another new feature is Strother’s Super Glide cable guard, a low-friction system that guides the cables in toward the vertical axis of the bow at full draw, and back out at the shot to provide adequate clearance. It’s a very simple, effective system with no moving parts. The string stop is adjustable to keep it centered and at the proper distance from the string. The adjustable draw stops are an unusual design, featuring stops on opposite sides of each cam; a stop on one side contacts the limb, while a stop on the other side simultaneously contacts the cable. This allows shooter to micro-tune the draw length while creating a very solid back wall.

Strother has quickly earned a reputation for the fit and finish of its bows, and fit and finish on the Wrath SHO is the equal of any bow on the market. Inset logos on the cam and riser are set off nicely, especially against the Realtree AP Black pattern of the bow I tested. In a word, it’s a very cool looking bow.

Shooting the Bow

At four pounds the Wrath SHO can fairly be described as a light bow, though not super light by current standards. Like most bows it is slightly top-heavy, but with a stabilizer in place balances perfectly. The Strother 2013 tuning manual recommends drawing the bow (ideally on a draw board) to insure that the top and bottom draw stops make contact simultaneously. If they do not, instructions are given regarding how to twist or untwist string/cables to achieve proper timing. Next step is to measure axle-to-axle length, which should be within 1⁄8 inch of specs, and again instructions are provided for twisting or untwisting the string and cables to get up to spec. Some of this might be off-putting to the casual shooter, but it shouldn’t be. I’d like to see all manufacturers making this kind of information readily available. The shooter who lacks a press or is uncomfortable making these adjustments can take his bow to a local dealer for assistance.

The draw stop was in synch and the bow was up to specs out of the box, and set-up and tuning were straightforward and easy. The drop-away rest mounted easily and securely with the set screw locked down, allowing more than adequate room for vertical and horizontal adjustment.

As previously mentioned, the draw stop system makes for a very firm back wall on this bow. At full draw it is among the most rock-steady bows I’ve tested. The valley is not wide, but neither is it exceedingly narrow. Between the 80 percent letoff and the rock solid back wall, any shooter who perceives the cams as “grabby” is over-bowed, shooting at too long a draw length, or not exercising good shooting form.

The draw cycle is very smooth, with no sensation of stacking, no bumps, no jarring drop-off-the-cliff feeling when the cam breaks over. Despite a lack of obvious sound dampeners (apart from the string stop), this is a quiet bow. There is no discernible vibration or hand shock.

Strother’s tag line is “Extend your range.” Everything about this bow, from its steadiness at full draw, the respectable 335 fps IBO rating, the stability of its limbs, and the forgiveness of a generous brace height, contributes to that end.

Download the full report (PDF)