Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gear Review: Strother Wrath SHO Compound Bow


Usually I am quite content shooting my compound bows for years. This year I opted to shoot some different bows to keep my options open. It turns out I really like the way the Strother Archery bows feel when I shoot them. After shooting them over and over and over again, I chose the 2013 Strother Wrath SHO as my primary hunting bow for this year and it is a stunner! SHO stands for 'Super High Output' and with my bow set at 70# it delivers. Many have asked me why I opted for a 2013 bow and didn't go with the Vital, Strother's 2014 flagship bow. The reason is that the SHO felt more comfortable to me when I shot it and anyone who knows me understands that I don't just go for the bow that is touted as the best. I shoot them first and then decide.

First, let's get into the draw cycle of the Wrath SHO. The draw is very smooth and there is no bounce to it. It anchors into a hard back wall (which I prefer) and with 80% let-off there is no creep. I felt like could hold it back for days. In fact, I am practicing more and more just holding it back for around 30 seconds to a minute in case I have to during the season. The bow feels really good!

Speaking of feeling good, at only 4 lbs., the SHO ranks very high as being one of the lighter bows on the market. The weight felt good to me and the contour of the grip allows it to seat well into your hand as you shoot. Carrying the bow by the grip is also very comfortable. Most times I dislike having to carry a bow by the grip due to my hand being twisted at an odd angle. That's not the case with the Strother Wrath SHO as it has been designed well.

Here are the specs from the Strother Archery website:
  • Axle to Axle: 30 3/16"
  • IBO Speed: up to 335 fps
  • Brace Height: 7 3/8"
  • Let Off: 80%
  • Mass Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 27-30"
  • Peak Draw Weight: 50, 60, 70, 80 lbs.

The Badger Cam II has stops that keep the cam from rolling beyond where it needs to be. Your cam stops in the same position every time. In all my years of bowhunting I have never seen anything like this and like the design as it seems to work very well. 

I won't elaborate on the ZT Loc-N-Cradle System because it is a unique system and it is so new to me.

There is zero vibration felt in the grip when releasing the arrow. None at all. In fact, it feels super smooth and like buttah! It's dead in the hand, too. The bow I shot at the pro shop had no extra vibration dampening or silencers on it. My new SHO doesn't either. In fact, straight out of the box it was silent. After shooting over 1000 shots through it, the bow is still silent and has no vibration. That fact alone thoroughly impresses me as most bows seem to need some sort of vibration reduction. This does not as far as I am concerned.

Normally, I go with a shorter brace height, but something about the 7 3/8" BH with this bow intrigued me. Especially seeing as the axle-to-axle is very short, but I like a short ATA bow because I can maneuver better and it doesn't get hung up on brush as much. Trust me, when you bust enough brush with your bow on your back you learn to appreciate the little things. The SHO is very forgiving due tot he longer brace height and I truly like that. For those long range practice shots out to 100 yards, this definitely helps me group my shots better. 

I am not sure how I feel about the contained Super-Glide cable guard. The cables seem to rub a bit more than I normally see, but there isn't any more obvious wear on them either. It'll take some getting used to and I will keep an eye on them.

The claim is that the bow shoots up to 335 fps. I have not chronographed my set up, but I can tell you the bow shoots fast, flat, and drives an arrow through foam like a nail through white oak. It not only feels powerful, it really is powerful.

The bow was very easy to tune and continues to impress me. If you are in the market for a new compound bow and you like the features I do, take a look at the Strother Wrath SHO. Challenge yourself to shoot a dozen arrows with it and see if it doesn't make you a believer, too.


  1. What a timely read. I have been struggling with getting an SHO or the Vital. I'm getting back into archery after a 20 yr , I got way to busy with other stuff. I'm flipping out about the change in bows. I'm leaning toward the Vital, my feeling is they are both close to a great shot, but the Vital has newer parts, ( meaning cam III to a Cam II ) Am I missing something these "Newer" type bows has to offer. Also Should I just get a used bow to start, again. Just found you online, so thanks for the tips you give us.

    1. The Vital has newer parts, but you should shoot the one that you feel is most comfortable. Every year manufacturers will come out with new and improved technology on their bows. Getting a new bow vs. used bow is all up to the individual. Honestly, if you have the money, get a new bow. They have a warranty, you know it has all new parts, and will last you a long time. A used bow can still be good, but you don't know if it's ever been dry-fired, if it has been damaged, and there probably isn't any warranty on it any longer. Go shoot the Strothers again and see how you feel. Good luck!

  2. That is a beautiful bow. What is the price range, roughly, on a set up like that?

    1. Bare bow is about $700 new, but used around $400. Great bows!