Review of Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow

This is a review of the Bear Archery Cruzer compound bow. First of all, this is the first compound bow that I have owned but I have about nine years experience with longbows and recurves. The only other compound I have shot is a Diamond Archery Provider. The Bear Cruzer is in my opinion the better bow. I am not going to do a comparison on each statistic or feature, instead I will briefly go over the Cruzer.

The Bear Archery Cruzer comes in a “Ready to Hunt” package with a Trophy Ridge Joker 4 sight, a Trophy Ridge 5-Spot quiver and a Whisker Biscuit Quick Shot arrow rest. You’ll need to purchase fletched arrows, field points and most people will also want a release mechanism prior to shooting at a range.

Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow
Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow

The Cruzer is not exactly super light in the hand but that also translates to it being more steady during the shot process. While shooting I found the handle to be very forgiving with respect to me not accidentally torquing the bow as it fires. This is attributed to the handle shape and size. The wrist sling is the perfect size and is comprised of 550 cord style material that is somewhat stiff and has a rubber section near the wrist area. The stabilizer seems to do it’s job as I have no complaints with excessive vibration while shooting. The Trophy Ridge Joker 4 sight doesn’t have five pins which I wanted so it was replaced immediately with an IQ Micro Bowsight – 5 Pin. I don’t have a lot to say about the Trophy Ridge Joker 4 sight since I didn’t really test it but it did come with a small light to illuminate the fiber optic pins which I thought was a nice touch. The Whisker Biscuit was accurate but I installed a QAD HDX Ultrarest. This is a drop away rest which I have come to like.

I am using Gold Tip Hunter XT 340 arrows at 28″ with a 125 grain field point and the bow set at 28″ draw length and 65 lbs draw weight. These arrows fly very straight for me. I would consider trying something else eventually but for now there are no complaints on the Gold Tip arrows which weigh in at 425 grains  including field points. For a release I am using the TruFire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution. Some people prefer wrist releases instead. With my bow on a fish scale it had a field weight of 5.5 lbs, as photographed above – minus the arrow puller. This includes the bow, the quiver with 5 arrows setup like mentioned above, the IQ Micro bowsight and the QAD HDX Ultrarest.

Arrows in a target
Arrows in a target

The draw is very smooth on this bow and I have zero complaints. It feels like a solid bow while shooting and is probably slightly noisier than the Diamond Archery Provider I have also shot. Adjusting draw length was easy using the modules which come with the bow. A bow press was not necessary to adjust the draw length. I adjusted the draw weight easily using my Allen key. I have never taken this bow to a pro shop and have been able to set it all up correctly at home.

So far I have put about 400 arrows through this Bear Archery Cruzer compound bow at the flat range and the 3-D range on targets to 60 yards. I have not missed a target yet and this fact proves that my bow is very capable of accuracy as long as I do my part with shooting form and range estimations.

If you’re looking to get into a decent hunting bow then the Bear Archery Cruzer should be worth considering. It’s affordable, it’s accurate, it’s one of the lighter bows on the market today, it’s made in the U.S.A., it is solid enough to use for deer, bear or elk hunting and has a vast range of adjustments available for draw weight (5-70 lbs) and draw length (12-30 inches).

Specifications for the Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow

  • IBO Speed 310 fps
  • Brace height 6.5 inches
  • Draw Weight 5-70 lbs
  • Axle-Axle 32″
  • Weight 3.6 lbs
  • Let off 75%
  • Draw Range 12-30 inches

Coho Salmon on the Cowlitz River Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing on the Cowlitz River in Washington state during the fall and winter for coho salmon are some of the most productive adventures on the water each year.

This past weekend after a big rain storm hit the west coast the dam opened up to the river to a flow about 6800 cfs. Day one was a slow day and we caught some tired old fish and put up with a fair bit of rain. However the second day was a lot more action packed. My friend Todd and I were able to land limits each of coho including on fish that was 33″+ and 14lbs on the scale. The average fish was about 8lbs. Additionally we caught kings, sockeye, cutthroat trout and suckerfish on the Cowlitz.

 

Sockeye Salmon kayak fishing
Sockeye Salmon kayak fishing
Rainy conditions
Rainy conditions
Kayak fishing Coho in the River
Kayak fishing Coho in the River
The haul of coho salmon
The haul of coho salmon
A limit of Coho Salmon
A limit of Coho Salmon

For gear I primarily used three setups. The pink worm jig, the salmon spoon and a bobber with shrimp setup.

King Salmon Kayak Fishing Buoy 10 and Westport

Here are a couple of recent kayak fishing videos in search of king salmon during several excursions to Buoy 10, Westport and “Marine area 1”.

The first trip my friend Todd and I fished Westport first then Buoy 10. We crossed the Grays Harbor bar with our kayaks. We paddled and let the current take us about 15 miles out for several hours of fishing. This area is about the 200 foot depth mark. I hooked up to one strong king for a little bit but otherwise we came up skunked. Here is the map with launch area and fishing zone marked.

Kayak Fishing Westport
Kayak Fishing Westport

We decided to head on out to Buoy 10 where eventually we picked up fish close to the Cape Disappointment area. It was a good turnaround after getting skunked at Westport.

During the second excursion I had a great trip seeing a gray whale, crossing the Columbia River bar and catching a small Chinook. The fish was caught three or four miles west of the north jetty at Cape Disappointment. Interactive map below.

Here is an approximation of this trip on a map as I was unable to retrieve the map data from my Lowrance for precision marks.

Kayak Fishing King Salmon
Kayak Fishing King Salmon aka Chinook

I am including a video below regarding salmon tackle and setup for kayak fishing. Best of luck if you’re trying to hook up a king , coho, or any kind of salmon.

 

 

Kayak Fishing Prince of Wales Island and Gravina Island

In July and August 2016 I conducted a 9 day solo kayak fishing trip to Prince of Wales Island and Gravina Island out of Ketchikan.

The trip started by taking the Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Bellingham,WA to Ketchikan, AK. This is about a day and a half journey each way traveling through the north end of the Salish Sea beyond  Vancouver Island and to Ketchikan.

From Ketchikan I launched and was catching salmon within 15 minutes of being on the water. Living was simple with good fishing and most of my company was birds, bears, fish and sea otters.

Here is the video I first compiled with footage from this trip. I highly recommend doing a trip to southeast Alaska for kayak fishing.

 

Below is a map where I camped in yellow and the red marks where the trip started and ended. This trip required crossing the Clarence Strait each way. I recommend you do this on a day when the weather is good as the shortest crossing was at least six miles.

Camp Locations Prince of Wales Island, AK
Camp Locations Prince of Wales Island, AK

Kayak Fishing Cle Elum Reservoir for Lake Trout

Kayak fishing on Cle Elum Reservoir can be hit or miss. I found that spring time is usually more active for rainbow trout and lake trout (aka mackinaw).  This spring I was able to land my biggest laker on this reservoir.

While trolling the west side of the lake with a small spoon I foul hooked this 29 inch lake trout along with another smaller one and kokanee. It sure made  up for all the times I was skunked on this body of water.

 

On a later trip I was able to hook up to a healthy looking rainbow trout while fishing with my daughter.

Lake Trout Kayak Fishing
Lake Trout Kayak Fishing
Rainbow Trout Cle Elum Reservoir
Rainbow Trout Cle Elum Reservoir

Padre Island Kayak Fishing Redfish Excursion

Kayak fishing on Padre Island and Corpus Christi for speckled trout and redfish is a good winter idea. I was able to make this trip with my friend Gordon who did the driving and supplied the kayaks. This trip was done in the first week of January 2016.

We spent the first day trying to catch speckled trout out of the Packery Channel area. I did manage the only trout that day on a shiny spoon. We must have seen twenty or thirty people out but that was the only fish we saw caught.

That evening we drove down onto Padre Island and set camp about five miles down the beach. The following morning Gordon and I drove about 50 miles of four wheel drive in his Jeep which was towing a trailer with two kayaks reaching the channel and jetty out from Port Mansfield.

The afternoon was spent among several groups of dolphin and eventually Gordon picked up a small redfish which we had for dinner.

At this point our fishing excursion was not exactly producing a lot of fish so we changed gears and focused on the inside and outside of the jetty the following morning. Here we picked up three more redfish on spoons, crab under a bobber and a jig tipped with squid.

Overall the trip was very relaxing and was a good escape from the cold and short winter days of Washington state.

Kayak Fishing Redfish Texas
Kayak Fishing Redfish Texas
Kayak Fishing Redfish Padre Island
Kayak Fishing Redfish Padre Island
Padre Island Fishing
Padre Island Fishing
Padre Island Jeep
Padre Island Jeep
Kayak Fishing Redfish Port Mansfield Jetty
Kayak Fishing Redfish Port Mansfield Jetty
Refish Eye
Refish Eye
Padre Island 4wd
Padre Island 4wd
Speckled Trout
Speckled Trout from Packery Channel

 

Padre Island Winter Kayak Fishing Excursion from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Kayak Fishing For King And Coho Salmon

Today I’m posting a few videos up which describe the tackle and approach used when kayak fishing for salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

This video below outlines the tackle used for salmon in the salt water for the most part but the gear and technique mentioned could be used in lakes or slow moving rivers as well.

 

The next video was made by my fishing partner Todd and is not necessarily instructional but does  expose some of the techniques we use to target salmon such as Coho or Kings in the Columbia River system near buoy 10.

 

Finally, my fishing parter Todd has also provided the following two videos which I have contributed to and where we are targeting Coho on the Cowlitz River from kayaks.

 

In a future post I will describe some of the gear and modifications to gear and kayaks which I have done in order to help me catch more salmon effectively.