The Mathews mad Mission lineup is not new to the archery world, but a rig designed specifically for women is new for 2014. The Flare is a great shooting single cam rig in with a forgiving 7 1/8 - inch brace height, a compact 30.25-inch axel-to-axel measurement, and decent speeds up to 315 feet per second. Combined with 40 pounds of draw weight adjustment, 6 inches of draw length ranging from 24-30-inches, and a price tag of $449, the Flare should be a real eye catcher offering a great value of performance and value. The Flare is a great bow for female shooters just beginning or looking to upgrade to more performance.
As an extension of Mathews, the Mission finish follows their quality and craftsmanship. The Flare is available in three options: all black, Lost AT camo, and an upgrade Pink Sparkle finish. All three offerings come with Zebra Hybrid hot pink strings and pink limb graphics sporting the Flare symbol. All three-finish options offer a little different look. The black is a clean look that can be used for all types of archery, the Lost AT camo is a Mission unique pattern designed by Mission for Mission bows, and the pink sparkle is a little bit louder look for those wanting prettier looking bow. No matter which option shooters choose, they are all going to look great and withstand all shooting situations very well.
The forged aluminum riser is machined to get the final design and cutouts. Weighing in at 3.96-pounds, engineers did a nice job eliminating weight to get under the magical 4-poud mark, but it would be nice for the overall mass to be lighter yet considering the compact 30.25-inch axel to axel measurement. The Flare features a simple carbon rod and cable slide, with a rear-mounted string stop system with a little adjustability. There is also a front mounting stabilizer bushing for additional weight out front. Several other Mission models have a harmonic stabilizer, but the Flare does not feature this technology unfortunately. The compact riser is highly reflexed, and a touch on the short side. Often times, a shorter riser is tougher to hold on target, but the Flare is still quite solid on target.
The Mission Flare has a composite grip that is the worst part about the bow. The grip makes the bow look cheaply made, and take away from what would otherwise be a decent looking bow. Although the grip does not look too pleasing, it does feel pretty comfortable. The composite grip will be warmer than some other grip materials in cold weather conditions, and it does serve its purpose. However, there are better grip options available that look nicer and feel better.
The Flare has parallel solid limb construction, which helps cancel out the noise and vibration caused on a shorter axel-to-axel measurement. The pink Flare decals stand out on the solid limbs, but do not look overdone. Although not all female shooters are interested in pink decals, they do add a nice look to the bow. Draw weights are available in a 30-pound range from 30-60-pounds, with peak draw weights of 40, 50, and 60-pounds. The limbs do not come stock with dampeners from the factory, but there are plenty of aftermarket dampeners available for those interested in adding them. The bow is relatively dead in the hand without them, but some shooters may prefer to use them. The string suppressors added near the cables help stop the strings forward movement pretty well though. This calls for three points of string suppression, one at each cam, and the string suppressor.
The Mission Flare is powered by a single cam system, which does a great job at producing IBO speeds of 315 feet per second with an easy to pull draw cycle. The 80% let off cam system has six-inches of adjustment ranging from 24-30-inches in half-inch increments. The cams are draw length specific, which has a major positive and one major drawback. The major upside of the cam being draw length specific has to do with the performance being optimized for each draw length. The major downside has to do with replacing the cams. This cam be a bit more expensive and will require expert equipment and a shop for the cams to be removed and swapped. Single cam technology has been characterized as easy to initially set-up and pretty easy to maintain. Single cams are less susceptible to performance issues caused by string stretch and other issues because they use an idler wheel on the top cam that cannot be out of tune. As long as the timing lines up in the cam indicatory slot, everything should be good to go.
The single cam draw cycle is butter smooth from start to finish. It is easy to hold on target for a short axel-to-axel bow, and the vibration after the shot is almost nonexistent. The Flare produces surprisingly good speed for a women's bow at 315 feet per second IBO. The cams really draw smoothly; have no noticeable transitions, and a solid back wall at the end of the draw cycle. The valley is generous, and will allow shooters the ability to relax a bit while at full draw without any severe consequences. The weighted cam helps the overall performance of the bow, as well as the vibration free after shock. The arrow is heard thumping the target, but noise is very minimal.
For a women's bow the Flare may be a great multipurpose bow for many shooters. For serious female archers, there may be better options on the target side of archery, but for hunting the Flare fits the bill very well. The compact design makes it very maneuverable in all hunting situations, and the shootability is going to make it a dream to shoot in high-pressure hunting situations.
For $449 the Flare is a fantastic value for female shooters wanting to upgrade, or those getting started in the archery world without breaking the bank. The grip stinks, but the rest of the bow has some really great shootability and adjustment features making it worthwhile. The smooth drawing single cam Flare is a dream to draw, shoots well, and is accurate for a short axel-to-axel bow. With 7 1/8-inch brace height and 315 feet per second, the Flare will perform very well as a hunting bow for big game animals. Female shooters on the market should take a serious look at the Mission Flare backed by one of the biggest names in the archery industry.