Rage Outdoors is known for mechanical broadheads, but this American corporation has rapidly diversified since its official beginning in 2005, says Vice President for Sales and Marketing Jon Syverson. In December, Rage purchased the Nockturnal lighted nock brand from Double Take Archery in Texas. They also introduced a new quiver this year, the Rage Cage.
“We were recently bought by a private equity group out of Boston,” Syverson says, “and the biggest thing people fear in that situation is that we’ll have cutbacks in personnel, offer cheap, out-of-date designs and customer service will decline. Not so! This acquisition gives us the financial deep pockets to build our brands and grow the market for Rage Outdoors.” Syverson knows what he is talking about because he has been involved in multiple sides of the outdoor business, from sales rep to retail counter.
The company’s flagship products, the Rage mechanical broadheads, are founded on a SlipCam system. Arrows tipped with Rage mechanicals fly like all mechanicals, with the blades folded into the ferrule. On target impact however, when the shoulders of the blades catch on the hide of a big game animal, the SlipCam forces the blades to slide back and deploy from the rear. By the time the blades hit, they’re fully deployed to maximum cutting diameter. This gives a wide cut and superior blood trail.
According to Syverson, this system has three advantages. First, Rage guarantees that blades will be fully deployed. Second, there is no loss of kinetic energy because rear-deploying blades penetrate like fixed-blade heads. Third, the open blades follow the cut-on-contact tip and do not grab or deflect; they give full cutting diameter immediately.
What Rage calls the ShockLock system is an internal locking device that holds broadhead blades back until impact, at which point they are instantly deployed. This system uses an O-ring as a shock absorber to control performance should the broadhead hit bone.
The Rage design minimizes deflection. “Over-the-top” expandables—those with blades that deploy from the front and swing backwards—sometimes fail to completely deploy or change direction on angled shots when the leading blade, in the process of deploying, grabs the hide and encounters initial resistance. This is an energy-killer and Rage’s rear deploying system prevents it.
A good example of how all this comes together is the new, two-blade Rage X-treme (3-pack, $50). With a 2.3-inch cutting diameter, the sweeping blade angle on the X-Treme is built to maintain kinetic energy upon penetration for deeper wound channels and wider blood trails. It uses the new Rage Shock Collar to keep the blades in place until and upon impact. A yellow metallic ferrule makes these mechanical, rear-deploying heads very readily recognizable.
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Innovating in the archery sphere is competitive and the new Rage Cage Quiver ($60) proves that, because it has a lot of features commonly found on more expensive products. The Rage Cage is a compact, low-profile, 8-ounce quiver designed specifically to securely hold 5 arrows tipped with mechanical broadheads. Constructed of advanced polymers and extruded aluminum, the Cage mounts to a bow with a tension-adjustable snap-on feature Rage calls a SnapTrap. Using a pair of rubber vibration-dampening posts, this quiver is completely isolated from the bow; mounting or removal only requires a simple twist.
The carbon-fiber-dipped polymer quiver hood fully encapsulates and protects the broadheads. A readily recognizable feature, the see-through Flexiglass Shield, gives bowhunters visual confirmation of broadhead condition and seating.
The new TwistLock broadhead securing system inside the hood holds heads snug in specially designed foam inserts. This prevents rattling or prematurely deploying blades. Insert a head, twist the arrow shaft once and the broadhead is held in place. Dual arrow retainers are stepped and tapered in a dual “fits-all” configuration to hold all shafts.
In December 2011, Rage announced that it had purchased the Nockturnal lighted nock system (3-pack, $25) and associated technologies from Double Take Archery. “The Nockturnal lighted nock is a breakthrough design,” says Syverson. “It is more affordable and lighter in weight than most other lighted nocks. Plus, it doesn’t require magnets, glue, or complex activation techniques.”
The Nockturnal has a string-activated linear switch that is protected deep within the nock and will not turn on (or off) inadvertently. The battery lasts an estimated 20 hours. The Nockturnal nock body is made of clear plastic for maximum light transmission and at night can be seen for hundreds of yards. The lighted nock system weighs only 20 grains, half the weight of most others, and is available in 6 colors and 5 sizes depending upon the type and size of the arrow shaft. (Nockturnal-G is $30 per 3-pack and available only in 5 colors.)
So what about the future? “We’re going to continue to grow and build this company far beyond what you see today,” Syverson says. “Our sales representatives are very important in that growth and I would like to mention them. For the northeast and mid-Atlantic, W.J. “Bill” Gartland & Associates, in the Midwest, Steve Kaufman & Associates and out west, John Sileciki’s JES Marketing.”
Contact Rage Outdoors at their New Address: 9403 Westgate Blvd., Proctor, MN 55810. The toll free number remains the same as at the former address in Superior, WI: (888) 779-0092. The office email is iHunt@RageOutdoors.com and the Internet is www.ragebroadheads.com. Rage is active on Facebook.com and Twitter.com.