Samick Sage Accessories: Essential Equipment for Your Bow
Congratulations! You just got a Samick Sage bow. That's a tremendous choice, and it's widely regarded as a great bow for beginner-to-intermediate archers. It's a high-quality recurve bow, it has takedown limbs that you can replace as you gain strength and experience, and it's easy to set up. The Samick Sage was my first bow, and if you go to your range and ask the staffers, you may find it was their first bow, too!
Here's the best part about it, though: you can dress it up or dress it down as much as you like. There are plenty of Samick Sage accessories manufactured, and many of them are pretty easy to install and use.
So in this post, I'll go over some of your options. I'll list a few things that might help a new Samick Sage owner, talk about some of the "finer points" about the bow, and introduce one or two add-ons you can acquire if you're looking to dress it up.
Add-Ons I'd Recommend
These are a LOT of items you can add to the Samick Sage, but here are some of the most common.
A Bow Stringer to Put the Bow Together
The Samick Sage usually comes with a bow stringer, and... honestly... I'm not crazy about it. I've used the version that comes with the bow, and to me, it felt flimsy. Whenever I used it, I always thought that bow was going to slip out of the stringer and dart across the room. So, I usually recommend getting a Selway Limbsaver Recurve Bow Stringer. I purchased mine a while ago, and I've used it a lot. It seems pretty durable.
Many people don't use a bow stringer when they're stringing their bow, but I have to advise against that. It's "best practices" to use a bow stringer, and in fact, I wrote an entire post about it, so check out the "Commandments" section if you're interested.
Arrows for the Sage
A bow's not a bow without an arrow! Gotta have something to shoot, right?
If you're new to the sport, there are so many things you need to learn about: draw weight, draw length, brace height—the list goes on. Some of these concepts are intuitive, and some are not. Sadly, selecting arrows is not one of those concepts that comes intuitively.
The way that archery manufacturers measure arrows is, in my opinion, INSANE. Arrows are measured differently if they're made out of wood, aluminum, carbon, or carbon-aluminum mix, and then after that, every arrow manufacturer has different scales about how to select arrows made of those different materials. It's enough to drive you crazy.
(In order to help you out, I wrote a detailed post about arrows here. Give it a read when you're ready to learn the ins-and-outs of arrows. It's a tough subject, but it's an important part of understanding archery).
So, to keep things simple, I'll recommend the Easton Jazz Arrows. They're a great choice for beginners.
They're aluminum—which is great for beginners and people who shoot at the range—and they come pre-fletched with feather vanes, are pre-nocked, and include screw-in field points. That's a good set-up for a new archer, especially because a lot of arrows for advanced archers need to be assembled at home, and that's usually beyond the capability of a novice archer.
The only thing you'll need to know to get these is know your draw length (and remember, the arrows you buy need to be LONGER than your draw length, by at least a few inches). These arrows usually are manufactured in sizes 1716, 1816, and 1916 (the first two numbers in each measurement—17, 18, and 19—refer to the diameter of arrow; the last two numbers in each measure—16, 16, and 16—refer to the thickness of the walls of the arrow), and all three of these sizes are good for draw weights between 15 pounds and 50 pounds, so that means they should be good for the vast majority of beginners.
Those measuring systems may seem odd, and it makes arrows one of the Samick Sage accessories that seems a little mysterious at first. Don't worry, though—the longer you use arrows and the better you understand how the physics of arrows work, the easier those measurement systems become.
Some Nocking Points
The nocking point on your bow string is the spot where you connect your arrow to your bow string before you pull the bow string back. It's very, very important that your nocking point be in a precise location, so that you can consistency connect your arrows to the same spot on the bow string. If you connect your arrows to different spots on the bow string before you shoot them, it can be very, very difficult to achieve accuracy in your shots.
I usually get a pack of Allen String Nocks and throw them in my bow case. They're always good to have, and as you use your bow, your bowstring will eventually lengthen a little bit, and you may need to change the location of your nocks.
You can, however, create your own nocking points using string and dental floss, and some people love doing so. Here's a great video about how to make your own nocking points.
By the way, for the Samick Sage, the manufacturer's recommended location for your nock point is 3/8 of an inch above the center line on your bow square—and that's the next thing that's helpful:
A Bow Square for Measurement
When you're setting up your bow, a bow square can help you measure a perfectly straight line from your arrow rest to your bow string, and then, as I mentioned above, you can set the nock point 3/8 of an inch above that measurement. For a much, much clearer explanation of what I mean, go to 5:30 here:
This is a pretty fantastic explanation of how to set up a Samick Sage, and at some point, I'm going to make a similar video.
By the way—if you don't want to get these items separately, there are tuning kits where you can buy a bow square, some nocks, and a pair of nocking pliers. I've used the Allen Bow Tuning Kit, and it's worked well for me. The bow square isn't perfect, but it gets the job done.
An Allen Wrench to Attach the Bow's Limbs
This is an incredibly useful tool, and I like the Pine Ridge Allen Wrench. I keep one in my bow case, and it comes in very handy. Here's why:
If you look on the side of your Samick Sage riser, you'll see that there are two hexagonal holes. This is where you'll screw in your bow sight (and I talk about bow sights below), and to screw in a bow sight, you'll need to use an Allen wrench.
You may have already have one lying around the house, and you can always use that; I have one specifically for archery-related tasks and I keep in the bow case, because if I had to retrieve the Allen wrench every time I went to the range, I'd almost certainly forget it.
An Arm Guard for Protection
This is another great piece of protective equipment, because the MOST COMMON archery injuries are not—thank God—puncture wounds; the most common archery injuries are contusions (that is, serious bruises) when the bow string hits the soft skin on the inner arm.
(That's only one archery injury, by the way—there are plenty of other things that can happen, including tendonitis and muscle tears, if you're not careful.)
I use the OMP Mountain Man Arm Guard and it covers the area of my inner arm that could get injured. If you need something bigger than that, you can get a sleeve guard; the Tarantula Sleeve Wrap Arm Guard is a great option, plus it's camo, which is always a good thing.
Gloves and/or Finger Tabs
This is another helpful piece of protective gear. If you're using the Samick Sage without something to protect your fingers and hands, you'll be able to get away with it for a little while, but after about 10 minutes, ooooooooooooh boy is it going to hurt.
And, according to many archers who have "toughed it out" and gone days and weeks without gloves or tabs, simple finger pain isn't the worst of it—without protective gear on your hands, you can incur damage to the muscles and tendons in the fingers.
So, most archers use gloves or tabs to protect themselves. What you choose comes down to taste—I myself prefer gloves to tabs—but there are plenty of people (including most Olympic archers) who use tabs.
One thing to keep in mind: if you're buying a tab, they come right-handed or left-handed, so be sure to select the one that's appropriate for you.
An Arrow Rest
These are another item you can get in bulk and toss in your bow case. Your Samick Sage should come with an arrow rest (it's a Cartel, if memory serves), and that's actually a perfectly good piece of equipment. You can apply that to your bow, and you should be good to go.
If you want to get a few replacement rests, I like the Bear Weather Arrow Rests by Bear Archery. They're very simple, and they get the job done. I also like the Hoyt Super Rest.
One note of caution when you're buying an arrow rest: it's a "handed" piece of equipment, meaning that righties will need to get an arrow rest that goes on a right-handed bow, and lefties will need to get an arrow rest that goes on a left-handed bow.
Bow String Wax
Also good to consider. Bow string wax maintains the integrity of the bow string, and lengthens the life of it; it's another item you can keep in your case. There's some debate as to how often you need to wax your string; some people do it after every practice, others do it once every couple of weeks. It's up to you, really.
There's actually a lot of different products you can buy; I like Scorpion Venom. It's simple, and a lot of the hunters I've heard from really like it. Good enough for them, good enough for me!
A Quiver for Arrow Storage
In most cases, you'll want to think about a quiver. Some people use a back quiver, and others use hip quivers; it comes down to personal preference.
I've used back quivers and I've liked them, but I find myself mostly using hip quivers. I have the Easton Flipside 3-Tube Quiver, and it suits me fine. I can fit a total of nine arrows comfortably (that is, I can put three arrows in each tube, and even if the arrows have feather vanes they won't rub up against each other and damage each other), and I can fit a total of 18 arrows if I pack them in (but that may not be a good idea for feather-vane arrows, but would probably be fine for plastic-vaned arrows).
I've yet to find "the perfect quiver"—back quivers spill when you bend over, hip quivers bounce around when you walk, and I've never seen a bow mounted quiver for a recurve (although I'm sure they're out there). I've found the Easton hip quiver is a good solid bet.
A Bow Case to Protect and Transport Your Gear
This just makes life a whole lot easier. I used to lug my gear around in my backpack, but that was an incredible hassle (and it was probably dangerous). If you're going to get a bow and a set of arrows, it's a very, very good idea to have the right equipment to transport them around (and, this probably goes without saying, but if you're actually going to travel with a bow and arrow—that is, fly someplace—you'll need legitimate storage equipment, and it'll need to be airline-approved).
I like the Vista Traveler Takedown Case. It's got room for a dozen or more arrows, loose equipment (like an Allen wrench, bow string wax, gloves/tabs, and so on), and it's got specific slots in the case for the Samick Sage riser and the Samick Sage limbs. It's not the most solid thing in the world—there are more extravagant options—but it's pretty rugged, and my kit is safe in it.
Of all the gear I've purchased, this is one of my favorite pieces.
A Bow String
Your Samick Sage should come with a bow string, and the one you've received is actually very good. It should do you fine, and you can use that for a little while without needing to replace it.
Nice to know there are at least a few items you won't have to think about!
Non-Essential Samick Sage Accessories (But Still Useful!)
These are items that are very very helpful to have, but could be seen as "non-essential."
A Bow Sight for Aiming
I can already imagine the email I'll get, telling me that I'm wrong, and that this is an essential item. And—that might be the case! A bow site makes archery a LOT easier, especially if you're just starting out.
For me, using a bow site certainly makes shooting a lot more fun, especially when I was a beginner. The Samick Sage actually has a spot specifically designed for a sight, and a scope is very easy to install—provided you've got an Allen wrench!
Sights can go from run-of-the-mill to very, very high-end, and if you're just starting out, a basic sight will probably do you just fine. The Adjustable Target Bow Sight is a fine option—it's easy to assemble, easy to use, and will introduce you to the concept of sights (while also leaving you an opportunity to get fancier sights when you graduate to using them!).
A Few String Silencers
This is another non-essential, but it can be a great add-on nonetheless. If you look at the top limb of your Samick Sage and the bottom limb, you'll see that the bow string touches the actual limb (and that's not the case with compound bows and traditional bows). Sometimes, when you release the bow string during a shot, the bow string will smack the top and bottom limb and cause a loud TWANG sound. It'll also cause some serious vibrations throughout your bow.
A bow string silencer helps curb that sound and vibration. There are plenty of different types of bow string silencers (all with fantastic names, like "cat's whiskers"), but I think the Mountain Man String Silencers are a fantastic option. They're easy to apply, and they actually work pretty well—if your bow is waking the neighbors, the silencer will hopefully calm it down a bit.
Good to Go on Gear
So, there you have it! Those are, I think, some of the best Samick Sage items for your bow. The fantastic thing about the Samick Sage is that it's a pretty simple bow, but with a couple of additions, it's a high-functioning bow that you can use as you gain skill and ability.