Archery | Mandarin Duck Phantom vs Samick Sage
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Archery | Mandarin Duck Phantom vs Samick Sage

August 15, 2019


While I’m mostly known for covering the
fancier Olympic-style bows I do get a lot of questions about cheaper
entry-level bows. I understand that many people are driven by
two things: Budget and user reviews. Over the past few years we’ve seen a few
bows make huge gains in the market. These trends I like to call the Samick Sage
Syndrome and the Phantom Phenomenon. As someone who has received both bows to review and is currently the top search result for
both bows on YouTube I do get asked about which one I would recommend. So, this video will be a quick comparison
between these two bows. Please note that I strongly encourage you
to check out other options. If there is an archery store in your area,
you should check them out and see what they have in stock, as it will
most likely be just as good as either of these bows. However, if you’re only looking to buy online
and want someone who looks like they know what they’re talking about to
give you an answer, let’s do it. The first thing we’ll look at is cost. Because you can buy these bows from different
sellers, and on Ebay and Amazon, price can be a little hard to gauge. Generally, the Samick Sage will cost a bit
more than the Phantom. The Sage can retail for around US$120 While the Phantom is around US$80 The Phantom does come with an arrow rest while the Sage is sold just as is, but can
be packaged with a rest and nock set depending on where you get it from. In any case, the Phantom wins outright purely
on cost. Secondly, appearance. Admit it, you probably
want a cool looking bow for the lowest possible price. This one is subjective, but here’s basically
what you’re getting. A more traditional-style wooden bow Or a modern aluminium frame. The Sage stands out to me more because this
is more of what I expect a bow to look like and indeed, that is the same style of design
shared in other bows. The Phantom looks more like something Hawkeye
would use. I tilt more towards the Sage, but I also get
why you might find the Phantom cooler. Next is feel. Which of these bows is more
comfortable to use? The Sage, as I said earlier, is your typical
traditional bow. The contour on the grip is more like the pistol
shape found on most bows. It has a nice chunky grip, so it feels just
right if you have larger hands. The Phantom uses a compound-style grip. The rubberised grip makes it easy to get a
consistent grip on the bow And you can easily get used to the feeling
of the bow grip. Though, you are gripping a much narrower profile,
so it can be a little difficult for beginners. I lean towards the Sage for feel. A few other quick comments. The Sage is a 62” bow, which the Phantom
is a 56” bow. This makes the Sage more stable, and easier
to use if you’re a bigger person. Additionally, the Sage does come in the 64”
Samick Journey variant. A larger person using the Phantom is going
to have a harder time with stacking and arrow pinch. As an instructor, I’m a proponent of learning
pathways and growth. I find that the Sage is more conventional
in design, and learning with the Sage gives you more familiarity with any other recurve bow. The Phantom is a somewhat oblique entry point,
because it doesn’t look or feel like other recurves, though it does share
some similarities with some hunting-style bows such as the Martin
Jaguar because they’re based off compound risers. Ironically, this means that the Phantom might
give you an easier pathway to compound bows because of the grip. Finally, if you’ve never held a bow, you
might want to know which one is more accurate. Accuracy is the user, not the bow. As long as you get decent matching arrows
and a good tune, both the Phantom and the Sage can be shot accurately. So which would I recommend, and why? The Sage is leaning more towards traditional
archery, for people who appreciate a classic wood design and the “lively” feel of a wooden bow. The Phantom wins out on price alone, maintaining
the functionality of a bow in a practical, strong metal design. I personally think the Sage looks prettier,
but the Phantom is the bow you can toss in your pack and not care about too much. On that note, if you’re looking for a compromise,
it’s hard to beat the Mandarin Duck Windrunner at the moment. It’s a larger bow, but combines with the
traditional design seen in the Sage with the price of the Phantom. But as I said earlier, check out other options
with local sellers to see if you can get something that suits your wants and needs.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I wanted a sage, but they are rarer than rocking horse shit here in the uk, ended up with a cheap second hand phantom off eBay, I’m not disappointed. Limbs appear to be easier to get and cheaper for the phantom than the sage.

  2. Nusensei . … did you forget that the phatom " f179 also comes in camo and pink muddy girl and for hunting the phantom ….coul rather be called the banshee cause its loud

  3. i like my samick sage deluxe, which is basically a discounted version of their old red stag, but my experience with traditional archery is very limited…I'm still wet behind the ears with my compound πŸ˜‰

  4. I know your not a hunter , but I'd love to see more bow reviews if you can, of any kind. Especially purpose-built hunting bows.

    As far as Aesthetics I can totally dig the sage, I like my wooden furniture.

  5. Very awesome! I wish I knew about the sage but my hand are kinda small and the phantom is just perfect. Btw your aim is freaking awesome!

  6. I love phantom style and price but I'm left-handed. There is another similar option?

    If don't, Windrunner will be my choice. (I'm a brazilian guy and will buy online)

  7. NUSensei, how tall are you? I also have the Samick Sage and I'm about 5' 7" (or about 170 cm). To me the bow seems a bit big so I was wondering how you feel about the size.

  8. I bought a Sage about a couple weeks ago (still waiting for it to be delivered to my local archery shop) and I stumbled across the Phantom. I'm content with a Sage as I like the looks of it and I found it to be pretty comfortable to hold too but I think sometime in the future I'm going to buy the Phantom too just so I can have a cool looking carbon bow. I've always wanted one.

  9. Just for clarification. You said the wooden bow has a mmore pistol style grip, yet it is chunky? If i look at a pistol or an ar grip it looks much more like the one on the phantom, slim and slightly oval.

  10. I was looking at both these, but I think I'll be getting the Black Hunter by M. Duck. I'm 6' 2" so 60" is sort of a minimum for me. I do like the look of the Phantom, and I think the Black Hunter is a good compromise in looks and traditional wood grip.

  11. Any chance of a review of the Mandarin Duck Black Hunter, It looks like a fun bow at a pretty nice price. I'm thinking of getting one for myself and my son.

  12. Because of your videos, review about Phantom from Mandarin Duck and Samick Sage, now I have had two of them, and I loved them all. Great bows. Thank you for your reviews πŸ‘

  13. Lancaster Archery has taken over the Sage. Their version has done a good job at rebranding it and gave it some minor but needed upgrades. For the Olympic paths, the Galaxy Crescent is the best alternative for someone wanting an entry level bow. For 160 USD you can have a well purposed ILF Olympic rig that will give you the full upgrade path and not break the bank.

  14. Everyone needs to get a Windrunner ASAP! First to order skips disorder. To late, no fate.
    Hurry now guys! Apocalypse is coming and only the Windrunner bow can save your family by providing the meat on the tables.
    And creating panic on the Mandarin Duck team is always fun to watch. Someone please make a Mandarin Duck factory floor video.

  15. I'm sorry about bombarding your channel with questions, lol, but I am considering the Phantom. I already have a Sage, but I really like the Ninja or "Hawkeye" aesthetics of the Phantom. Your primary critique of the Phantom is that it doesn't feel or handle like a traditional bow, and as such, limits the user's growth. That primary concern seems to stem from the grip, and also shorter limbs and stacking. I have been reading reviews of the Phantom, and I have 2 ideas that could rectify this maybe?

    1) I don't know if this is an option, but replacing the Phantom's grip with an aftermarket one that replicates the Sage's traditional contour? I feel like this would address the primary misgiving you seem to have about the Phantom that in your eyes, makes it less suitable to train and learn on.

    2) Use longer limbs on the Phantom, such as those for the Samick Sage or Journey. I've read others state that the Journey has longer limbs that fit in the Phantom, and would bring the Phantom's overall length to be a good bit longer, thus eliminating the stacking and arrow pinching issues.

    I would hypothesize that these two changes to the stock Phantom would eliminate all of your critiques regarding the Phantom's usability as a beginner's training bow to grow with. I don't know how accurate of a hypothesis this is, so I wonder what your thoughts are. Like I said, I love my Sage, but I am really drawn to the Phantom's ninja aesthetics and ruggedness.

  16. I have the next level offering in the line up, the Black Hunter. I looks cool and while I am at the ragged edge of the draw length envelope, the stacking isn't bad and it shoots quite well with properly spined, tuned, and feather fletched arrows.

  17. I ain't buying anymore "long" (i.e., more than 56") bows ever. In fact, if I can get a 48" bow, all the better. I don't care how great a bow is, if it's longer than 56", manufacturers aren't getting my money. Now, that said, I have quite a few bows now (long ones included) thanks to my parents forcing me out of the house at a young age and instilling in me a fear of not learning a highly marketable skill. For me, an extremely important fact is that comparing bows hugely enhances my skills, knowledge, and enjoyment of archery. I can also say that the Toparchery 56" recurve bow (similar to your Phantom) that I recently bought for the princely sum of $79 is by far the best deal that I've encountered in archery. So, I also ain't buying any more bows that cost over $100. For me, no need at all.

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