Hoyt Carbon Spyder FX 30 Review

Hoyt Carbon Spyder FX 30

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  • The most compact carbon bow produced by Hoyt
  • Cams give the bow a longer axel-to-axel feel
  • Dual string stops or cable stop option for the back wall feel shooters prefer
  • 50-pounds of draw weight adjustment


  • Not everyone wants a short, compact hunting bow
  • MSRP is $1399


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Editors' review

Hoyt has created the shortest, most compact axel-to-axel carbon bow for the hunters that stay in a tree stand or ground blind for the majority of their time in the field. The official axel-to-axel measurement is a compact 28-inches, but with the new DFX cams and UltraFlex limb combination, the string angle is closer to last year's Carbon Spyder ZT 30 from 2015. The DFX cams also have the ability to be shot with dual string stops, or an optional limb stop to firm up the back wall even more than it is with the string stops. With 50-pounds of draw weight range in 6 different limb configurations, and six inches of draw length adjustment, the Carbon Spyder FX is a bow that can fit just about anyone able to afford the bare bow price of $1399. Understandably so, a short compact hunting rig is not what all shooters are looking for, but for shooters wanting a short bow for the ease of maneuvering it tight hunting situations, the Carbon Spyder FX with a longer feel thanks to the DFX cam system may be exactly what some shooters need. 330 feet per second is not smoking fast, but is an achievable number for this model as well, which means it packs enough punch to hunt just about anything shooters want to go after.


The Carbon Spyder FX is available in every color option Hoyt offers according to the Hoyt website. With the Spyder FX being a designed hunting bow, it is safe to say those finish options will be more popular. Realtree continues to be the staple pattern for Hoyt with the option for shooters to choose Realtree Xtra or Realtree Max-1. New for 2016 is Under Armor Ridge Reaper camo, which is sure to be a huge hit offering a cool, fresh looking pattern for those wanting something just a bit different. A black riser combined with carbon fiber limbs or any of the camo choices is also an option. Shooters can also choose to select between three special packages: the American Heritage package, the BoneCollector package, and the Vixcen package. For shooters wanting even more customization, color kits are also available in a variety of colors including colored grip options.Those wanting target colors for their Hoyt Carbon spyder FX can choose between blue, custom black, pearl white, or red. Any of the finishes will look sharp, but the target colors will more than likely need to be ordered since it will not be as popular of a seller when compared to the more traditional hunting colors.


The Carbon Spyder FX sports an all carbon riser in what Hoyt markets as "Carbon done Right." The carbon is hand rolled and the separate pieces are glued together to increase the strength and stiffness of the material itself. Carbon itself never gets cold, even in extreme hunting conditions, so aside from its many other benefits, this is something to look forward to in a hunting rig also. Carbon is also relatively lightweight when compared to aluminum model bows, and also has a higher strength to weight ratio, which makes it lighter and stronger than a comparable aluminum bow. Hoyt has decided to carry over the fairly popular Zero Torque Cable Guard system. The system has a pivoting roller, which allows the string to creep towards the arrow shaft at full draw, while still being able to move quickly enough to get out of the way of any style of fletching. Ultimately, this puts less stress on the riser in regards to torque caused by the cables as the bow is drawn, which leads to a more accurate bow in the long run.


Many people enjoy shooting the Hoyt grip, which is unchanged for the 2016 model year. The Carbon Spyder FX will come from the factory with a single piece wooden grip installed. This grip can be easily removed with two screws (one on each side of the grip), and replaced with Hoyt side plates for a skinnier feeling grip. Shooters can also choose to shoot straight off the riser, or add some grip tape to get the feel and thickness they desire. Either way, the Hoyt grip is a nice feeling grip. Hoyt's popularity has also opened them up to several after market grip providers if the factory choices do not feel the best for shooters. The carbon is warm to the touch even in cold weather, so diehard hunters braving the elements, will never have to worry about their hand getting cold from the bow, which is often an unstated benefit of an all carbon riser bow.


The Ultra Flex limbs and the ProLock limb pocket get a new design for 2016 as well. The limbs have more of a preload than Hoyt has offered in recent years and pairs with the cam system to help improve shooting posture and form while holding on target. The 50-pound draw weight range is wonderful, with maximum draw weights offered in 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, and 80-pounds.Hoyt does stick with the multilayer laminate limb formula to house the energy created by the cam system, which has been a proven design for them in the past. The limb pockets still create near zero tolerances and the connection point between the limbs and riser, but they are not as enclosing as they have been in the past. Hoyt has also decided to move away from the Air Shox limb dampening system, and chose to go back to a more traditional dampener that slides between the split limbs. The Hoyt graphics are well done, and display the name without being too over the top with the design.

Eccentric System

The DFX cam system is the power supplier for the Carbon Spyder FX, and brand new for 2016. In typical Hoyt fashion, they have chosen to stick with the three base cam system for draw length adjustments between 23-29-inches with a first time ever internal module system. The number one cam is offered in 23-25-inches; the number two cam is between 25-27; and the number three is available from 27-29-inches. The DFX cam has decent performance on the Carbon Spyder FX with the ability to shoot up to 330 feet per second, which is a projected 30-inch draw length calculation since the bow does not go that long. In addition to this, the DFX cam system has an option to be shot with dual string stops, or a limb stop post so shooters can fully customize the feel on the back wall. The DFX cam system in combination with the UltraFlex split limbs and pockets allow the string angle to be less sharp than past Hoyt models. This equates to a better feeling bow at full draw, the peep coming closer to the shooters eye and allowing them to touch the string to the tip of their nose and the corner of their mouth for proper shooting form without having to do a head tilt.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Hoyt Carbon Spyder FX feels awesome for shooters wanting a more compact bow. The draw cycle feels like other models with the DFX cam system as it starts out fairly easy and gradually reaches peak weight. The transition into the let-off in the draw cycle is very manageable, and shooters are able to even hold the string right on the transition point without having to wrestle it one way of the other. For hunting situations, this is ideal. The shooter being able to stop anytime they need to without getting busted by their target animal is a welcomed addition of the smooth cam cycle. With the integration of the optional limb stop, Hoyt has really marketed the DFX cams to all shooters. The back wall is a personal preference feel in regards to how much give shooters like to have on the back end. Some shooters like to pull a bit into the back wall, while others like the solid, no play approach to holding on target and executing the trigger for a proper shot. The DFX cams allow for either feel on the back end, which open the bow up to more potential shooters.While holding on target, the bow sits very nicely and is easy to aim. Compact bows typically have a sharp string angle, but the Carbon Spyder FX simply does not. In fact, Hoyt claims the string angle is closer to the 30-inch Carbon Spyder model of last year thanks to the DFX cams and new limb system for 2016. After the shot, the bow is dead in the hand and feels like other carbon bows. The noise from the shot is minimal, and any vibration in the bow caused by the shot is absorbed before reaching the shooters hand. The overall feel of the bow is great for those on the market for a shorter axel-to-axel option. This bow will not work for all shooters, and more than likely is a better option for those on the short to middle section of the draw length ranges. However, the improved string angle feel is a nice feature, and helps the bow feel better for a larger number of shooters.

Usage Scenarios

The Carbon Spyder FX is a designed hunting bow for those serious about a compact killer. The shooters will love the more favorable string angle provided by the DFX cam and UltraFlex limbs, which will make the 28-inch bow feel like a bit longer model giving the best of both worlds. Archers wanting to do some 3D shooting will find the bow plenty accurate as well.

Hoyt Carbon Spyder FX vs Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 30

BowHoyt Carbon Spyder FX 30Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 30
Version 20172015
PictureHoyt Carbon Spyder FX 30Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 30
Brace Height6.75 "6.75 "
AtA Length28 "30 "
Draw Length23 " - 29 "24 " - 30 "
Draw Weight30 lbs - 80 lbs30 lbs - 80 lbs
IBO Speed330 fps332 fps
Weight3.6 lbs3.6 lbs
Let-Off80% 75%
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These two bows are very similar to each other, and will more than likely appeal to the same buyers. The FX is 2-inches shorter axel to axel, but the string angle, and therefore the feel of the bow is basically identical. This will allow shooters to go a bit smaller, with no compromise in comfort. With all things considered, the Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 30 is still a great bow, and shooters already owning one may see no need to upgrade to the FX. However, shooters that do not own a compact Hoyt carbon hunting bow may be drawn to the features of the FX. With the ZT being a model year older, shooters may be able to find them a little cheaper than the brand new FX, if that is a consideration one way or the other. Both choices are great bows for those on the market for a compact killer.


Hunters continue to demand the most performance from their rigs while maintaining shootability and forgiveness. The Carbon Spyder FX is a short bow with an actual draw length feel of a longer axel-to-axel model, cams that shoot up to 330 feet per second, and a 6 3/4-inch brace height for forgiveness. Shooters wanting the ultimate compact hunting bow with a weight of only 3.6-pounds should take a serious look at the 2016 Hoyt offering. An MSRP of $1399 is not cheap, but for the serious archer, a hunting bow with these specifications and favorable draw cycle may be worth the extra money in the long run.

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