In October to celebrate my birthday my wife bought me a new bow. I’d been dropping hints for a few weeks so the decision came down to what bow I would like. I’ve been shooting my self-yew English longbow for a year now and I really love it, it has a draw weight of 55# at 28″ and is a pleasure to shoot.
My choice came down to getting a new English Longbow and increasing the draw weight as a step to building up to warbow poundage or try a field bow. I decided against the warbow option as I’d need more space and shooting time to get used to the poundage than I currently have. Once that decision was made it came down to what field bow to get.
After watching lots of YouTube videos and reading up I decided to go with the Bodnik bows by Bearpaw as everything I had seen and them about them was really positive.
After I’d narrowed the bowyer down it then led me to my next question, which Bodnik bow would I buy? Everything I’d heard about the Quickstick, Slickstick, Mohawk and co was excellent, there was a lot of reviews and alot of information so I knew that if I bought one of these i’d have an excellent bow.
The problem, however, was that everytime I browsed the bows on the Bodnik site I was always drawn to the Phantom. It looked gorgeous but there was very little third party information about it to be found on the net. I did find two third party reviews that although were positive made me feel a little apprehensive as there are so many reviews out there for the Slickstick and Quickstick that it was a worry that there was a derth of information about the Phantom.
I mulled my choice over for a few days and decided to just dive in and order the Phantom, I was already in love with how it looked and I knew that if I didn’t buy it I’d regret it. So what follows are my thoughts on the Phantom.
Bow Length: 54 inches
Draw Weight: 20 – 55 lbs
Handle: Black Mycarta
Limbs: Bamboo with white Curly Birch
Grip: Locator Grip
String: Whisper String
Brace Height: 6 3/4 inches
Warranty: 30 years Bodnik
I ordered my Phantom from the Longbow Shop which with the strength of the pound at the moment worked out being a cheaper than ordering direct from Bodnik. I placed my order for a 55# Phantom and was told that it may take upto eight weeks to make. I was therefore a little surprised that around three weeks after order my bow is was made and sent from Germany to England.
Out the box.
The bow out the box comes with a Bodnik Whisper string which has a copper nocking point pre fitted. I’d have preferred the nocking point to have not been fitted as it was really out when I was setting up the brace height of the bow. Another slight disappointment was that the bow didn’t come with a bow bag, naively I expected it too.
The bow handle is made from black mycarta with the limbs being bamboo and curly birch which makes the Phantom extremely light. Aesthetically I think the bow looks amazing with the contrast of white from the curly birch and the black/brown of the mycarta.
I’ve been using the Phantom for a few months now which has given me the time to get a real feel for the bow and how it handles. The first thing that immediately hit me was how short the bow was. At only 54″ it’s light and small enough to shoot in tight spaces without catching your limbs on branches or bushes – or the bow limbs of the person next to you if you’re stood on the shooting line. As the bow is light and short it’s not surprising that it’s relatively thin as well. I haven’t found this to be a problem but it does mean that the arrow shelf is smaller than you may expect.
The Phantom is also a very quick shooting bow, arrows leave this bow like bolts of lightening with zero hand-shock, it’s an absolute pleasure to shoot. The bow is also fitted with a Bodnik Whisper string which makes the bow super quiet. If I’m honest I could have probably got away without fitting the beaver balls to the string as it’s quiet enough but beaver balls are ace so I fitted them anyway.
The one thing that I didn’t really get a long with on the bow was the grip. Firstly, it wasn’t on tight enough so the bow twisted at full draw and then when I tightened it the leather string snapped. After this I removed the grip totally which isn’t an issue for me as I normally don’t use a grip anyway.
In closing I really love this bow as it encapsulates what traditional archery is to me. For me traditional archery is about you, your bow, your arrows and the moment, everything else just gets in the way. The Phantom is light, short, quick and powerful meaning that you can just grab it along with your arrows and go. With the Phantom you’re not compromising portability for quality, the bow looks stunning and like all Bodnik bows it comes with a 30 year warranty.
18 thoughts on “Bodnik – Phantom ”
Glad your loving the phantom, and it’s nice to see someone write a review on one, I’ve been considering getting one of these bows for ages bow but as with yourself due to the lack of reviews I haven’t yet.
I’m a massive fan of bodnik bows and currently own a slick stick and love the reflex deflex limbs, does the phantom have these limbs? Doesn’t see to be any info saying whether they are or not.
Once again glad you like yours and it’s really nice to get a review of one
Thanks for your comment it’s very much appreciated. In terms of the limbs they’re deflex with a very slight reflex at the end. There’s some pics on the web at the now at full draw and you can see it. The limbs are also really narrow making the bow really quick. I think it’s at a pretty good price at the longbow shop at the moments as well. The bottom line for me is that it’s a Bodnik now which means quality, it’s very quick and light and it looks very striking. If you get it please let me know how you get on with it.
after reading this I am now going to dive in and get the phantom.I love the look of the and as Iam only 5’6″ the 54″ length will suit me fine
Thanks for commenting. It’s a lovely bow, you may also want to take a look at the ghost which is the recurve version
just one small point I draw with 3 under do you think there will be any finger trap with the bow being so short.I
have ordered the bow and it should be here next week
Finger trap? Sorry, I’m unfamiliar with that term. I’ve shot the bow 3 under before and I’ve had no issues. Let me know how you find the bow when you get it
I contacted bodnick and they advised that the bow was tillered for split finger shooting not 3 under as at 54″it was so short shooting 3 under would adversly effect the tillering of the bow .I should have said finger pinch not finger trap.If you shoot split finger does the narrow angle of bow string to arrow pinch your fingers .If you are shooting 3 under do you find that it effects the bow ie put it out of tune. many thanks for your help the should have been here by now looks like it may have been held up in transit
Hi, I use a Bodnik speed glove and have never had an issue of finger pinch on the bow. I’ve also shot it three under and haven’t experienced any adverse effects. I think you’ll be fine
thats great, thank you very much for putting my mind at rest over this issue
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You’re more than welcome. Let me know how it goes
I have been shooting the Phantom for about a week and really like the look of the bow .The arrows I received with it seem a little stiff for the bow .800 spine on a 35lb bow and I have a 26/12 draw.Will get this issue sorted and then everything should be fine .I love the way it shoots and it is really light for walking round the field course
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Excellent. I’m really happy you like the bow. It’s very striking and it shoots really well and quick
Well I have been shooting the bow for a few weeks now and I am very pleased with it .I resolved the finger pinch issue by starting off two under one above but getting near the end of the draw I remove the one above .Think it,s called a slavic draw.The bow is faster than some which are of a heavier draw and its so easy to carry round a field course.Just wonder why B
odnick decided to withdraw it from production but keep the recurve model
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I’m really happy that you’re enjoying the bow. I’ve found it to be very fast as well, which can mean it’s a little unforgiving of mistakes but if your form is nailed down then you’re fine.
I’m also surprised that they’ve removed this bow from production, I expect it’s probably down to sales but you’d expect some marketing would solve that issue!
Can’t understand the withdrawal from production either….a superb bow in all respects.
Hi all Been reading your comments I’m about to buy one of the last phantoms in store. I have been thinking of the reason of withdraw of the bow and I found one..
I have order one Shrew bow Lill favourite that’s why I’m not buying the “Fire stick” Looking around the Shrew bow models (the expensive Bodnik bows)And some of their line bows looks very very similar to the Phantom…
The reason for withdraw is that the curly birch seems unstable, love the look of this bow and wish bearpaw would continue this bow as they did with the ghost.
Really, that makes sense. It’s a fantastic little bow and I’ve had no issues with it. With it being so small and quick you have to be on your “a” game when shooting it!