It is not the first year Bowtech has offered the exact same model with different brace heights, and the Reign 7 is a continuation of that idea. The Reign 7 is the seven-inch brace height version of the 2017 Reign brand. Although the bow is a bit slower than the 6-inch version, it still shoots speeds up to 340 feet per second. Many shooters are more comfortable shooting a 7-inch brace height bow versus the faster 6-inch model. For years, 7-inch brace height bows were considered the standard for the best combination of speed and forgiveness. For shooters still comfortable with these characteristics, the Reign 7 will be ideal. Although some improvements have been made to the tried and true Overdrive Binary Cam System, the draw cycle and overall feel will be similar to previous years. Improvements to the cam system allow for better fine-tuning, which can all be made without the use of a bow press. For setting up the Reign 7 initially, the enhancements will be very beneficial. However, to make adjustments in the treestand as Bowtech suggests, although possible, will more than likely not happen. The MSRP of $1099 is competitive as well for a high quality-hunting bow, but for shooters on a budget, the price may be too steep.
Bowtech has upped their game offering some really nice looking, non-traditional finish options on the Reign 7. For Kryptec patterns, 2017 brings Highlander, Altitude, and Raid. Bowtech has also brought in the Sitka Optifade Elevated II pattern, which will also be well received. Shooters interested in more traditional patterns will be thrilled to see Mossy Oak Break-up Country and straight Blackops. In the past, Bowtech has been slammed a bit for how well terribly the finish stays on the carbon core limbs. This does not appear to be as large of an issue as it was in previous years. The added finish options look spectacular, and when joined with the more standard patterns, should offer something for everyone to get on board with.
The Reign 7 riser design stays similar enough to be a characteristic Bowtech model, but also changes its look slightly to be more streamlined. The overall weight of the rig tips the scales at 4.3-pounds bare bow, which technically is a bit heavier than the 4-pound standard, but with the help of the Outrigger on the bottom of the riser, it never feels unbalanced. The 32 5/8-inch axel-to-axel measurement is compact enough to fit well in tight treestand locations or ground blinds without taking up too much room, but also long enough to add some stability and a favorable string angle at full draw.The Center Pivot Extreme (CPX) riser is a great concept, which has been used for a few years in the Bowtech lineup. The limbs connect to the pocket forward of the grip, which means the bow has reflexed riser characteristics. However, at the midway point of the limbs, the riser has another connection point, which allows the Reign to have some deflexed riser characteristics as well. This means the bow has a mixture of impressive speed created by the reflex design along with a more stable platform seen primarily on target bows.The Reign 7 also has a FLX roller Guard cable containment system to help keep the cables in the most natural position possible as the string is drawn to full draw. As a bow sits at rest, the cables want to naturally line up in the middle of the bow. The cable guard takes on a great deal of torque as the bow is drawn, which on a traditional containment system, is directly transferred to the riser impacting accuracy. The FLX cable flexes in toward the centerline of the bow, which eliminates torque by having the FLX guard absorbing some of it instead of the riser alone. After the shot, the FLX guard flexes away from the riser to allow for proper arrow and vane clearance and the installed dampener on the guard itself deadens the vibration.
The Bowtech grip features wooden side plates, which can be removed if desired. The grip is a bit on the thick side, but the tapered back and throat area allow for a comfortable fit in the shooter's hand. The stain used on the grips varies slightly from bow to bow, but the two toned look helps the grip pop a bit, and gives it a more sophisticated, high-end look.
Split limb technology has been a staple for Bowtech in past years, and the Reign 7 continues the tradition. The bow is offered in 50, 60, and 70-pound maximum draw weights, and can be adjusted down 10-pounds below those ranges. Although not super popular draw weights, the option for 80-pound limbs could be what some shooters are interested in if they are able to pull the extra weight and want the added kinetic energy.As mentioned previously, the CPX riser design allows for multiple connection points by design in order to give shooters the benefit of a reflexed and deflexed riser. That means the pocket works in a way that allows for a secure fit where the riser and limbs attach, as well as a pivot point in the middle of each limb. The limb pockets are a bit longer than other designs because of this, but blends well into the overall design of the bow.
Bowtech has coined the term "Smartbow," and a great deal of that comes from the engineering incorporated into the Overdrive Binary Cam System. Those following Bowtech at all through the years are sure to be familiar with the Overdrive system and its design to take in and let out the cables the exact same way on the top and bottom cam. Shooters will also be familiar with the level of tunability the Bowtech cam system has in general making it fairly easy to set everything to the needs of each shooter and their chosen set up. With everything being identical on the top and bottom cams, the nock travel of the arrow is flawless, which also helps with downrange accuracy. The "Smartbow technology has taken the adjustments folks love about the binary system and allowed them to be incorporated into the cam for some minor adjustments without the need for a bow press.To start with, the Reign 7 is capable of speeds up to 340 feet per second, and adjustable from 25-31-inches with a modular based system. Shooters can also utilize two distinct draw cycles with the FlipDisc technology. The performance setting will give shooters the most speed out of each setup, whereas the comfort setting will be a little easier draw cycle. This can be changed at any time, without a bow press, and without impacting the tune of the bow. Of course, with arrows shooting different speeds, the impact point downrange will change. However, changing out the disc for the other setting should not impact the tune. The other minute adjustment engineered into the cam system is the MicroSync adjustment dial. This dial allows shooters ten separate positions to account for cam timing issues, which would normally be done by twisting the cables. The MicroSync dial allows for these changes to occur without spending time pressing the bow and twisting the cables. Bowtech states this can be done in the treestand, which may not be practical even if it is possible.The Overdrive Binary Cam system has a long list of features allowing shooters to get the best tune out of their rig. For some shooters, meticulous in how their bow shoots and performs, these features are going to be outstanding. However, many shooters just want their bow to shoot well, and after the initial set up and some routine trips to the shop a couple times a year, just want a bow that performs. With the Reign 7, both kinds of shooters are going to be happy, but the Smartbow features may not be as much of a selling point for those not wanting to tinker much on their rigs.
340 feet per second is pretty fast for a bow that draws this well. Shooters can have the forgiveness of a 7-inch brace height bow, along with the speeds of a pretty high performance bow. With the option to choose comfort or performance settings, the shooter has more ability than any other time to choose what feels best to them. The performance setting feels similar to other Overdrive outfitted bows, and the comfort setting feels similar, with a more forgiving back wall and valley.As the bow is drawn, the cams transition through the draw cycle well. The back wall feels solid enough, but not as firm as a dual limb stop bow. Holding on target is very simple, and even after the shot, the Reign 7 is fairly easy to keep on target through the follow through. The noise is very minimal after the shot, and the handshock is almost not noticeable even before adding accessories. The 340 feet per second speeds are outstanding for the draw force curve offered on the Reign 7.
The Bowtech Reign 7 is designed with hunting in mind. Of course, it would make a nice 3D bow as well, but its main function was designed to be a hunting bow. Shooting 340 feet per second, the Reign 7 will be quick enough to compensate for minor errors in distance, which will be nice for the novice 3D shooter. As a hunting bow, the kinetic energy and shorter framed Reign 7 will be comfortable.
The Reign 7 is a great shooting hunting bow. Shooters a bit scared of having a brace height under 7-inches will appreciate this 7-inch model of the faster 6-inch version. The cam technology is phenomenal, and will be beneficial for those wanting to tinker and mess with their bow to have the absolute best performance possible. However, for many shooters, although the technology is well integrated, it is not going to be a selling point for choosing a cam system that can do so much without needing a bow press. The Reign 7 is a great shooting bow, and should even be considered by shooters not wanting to toy with their rig. At the end of the day, a $1099 price tag is competitive with other high-end bows on the market. That price may not fit in everyone's budget, but it is a fair asking price for a bow of the highest caliber. For shooters wanting a mix of speed and forgiveness in their new hunting rig, the Reign 7 should be on the list of bows to give a try. The new finish options look outstanding, and this hunting bow can flat out shoot.