Spot Hogg Wiseguy Review
They may not be the best-known company in archery and bow hunting, but Spot Hogg has a really broad product list, from sights to rests to targets and even apparel, and we've had some good experiences with their bow releases.
Here, we'll talk about the Wiseguy wrist release, and detail what we like about it (and what we think is a little less-than-perfect, although there’s not too much of that). Hopefully it'll help you get a clear picture of how the release works, and whether or not it's a good fit for your own draw cycle. Alrighty, let's get to it:
SUMMARY: SPOT HOGG WISEGUY REVIEW
The Spot Hogg Wiseguy meets all the expectations we have for a high-end bow release. It's got a lot going for it, including a fold-back option that allows you to use your draw hand in your hunting environment without the release getting in the way of your movements, various adjustability options so you can tweak it to meet your preferences, and an open-hook design to allow you to clasp the D-loop on your draw string without taking your eyes off your quarry (which can be really valuable when it's go-time). All that is great, but the Wiseguy's true stand-out features are 1) a super-duper light trigger, designed to loose arrows at the slightest touch, and 2) length adjustability, which can save you a lot of headaches if you ever need to change your D-loop (if that doesn't make sense to you, read below). There are some "deluxe" upgrades (the Spot Hogg Wise Guy Release with Boa Strap / Cameron Hanes "Keep Hammering" Signature Series is probably the most popular), but the basic Wiseguy model gets is plenty enough, in our opinion, and gets two thumbs up.
What We Like About the Wiseguy
We'll start out with what is perhaps the biggest "pro":
It's Got a *Really* Light Trigger. If you've ever used a "no frills" bow release that had a sticky trigger that you really need to hammer down on, you may have experienced the frustration of swearing you were on target... while your arrow goes elsewhere.
If your aim is true, a light trigger can help, especially when you're aiming at far-off targets—when you find that millisecond where your bow sight pin hovers right where you want it, it can be very satisfying to know that you will release your arrow without too much bow travel away from your target.
And, before we go on, we do NOT intend to imply that a light trigger will make you more accurate. If you have bad aim, or if your bow sight needs to be tuned, or if you’re experiencing any other common aiming problem, loosing your arrows quicker won't help you in the slightest. However, if all else is right, and you are accurately aiming at the target, a quick release can help you launch your arrow before you have a chance to move the bow off the target.
If you do decide to use this bow release, and it's an upgrade from your last bow release, we'd urge you to be *very present* during your first couple of shots. The quickness at which you launch your arrows may be a little bit surprising—especially if you've been using a release that you had to hammer down on. So be careful.
It Folds Back onto Your Wrist. You wouldn't think this is such an incredible feature, but there are a ton of otherwise fantastic wrist release that don't have this feature. Basically, the fold-back function allows you to take the release machinery—that is, the entire thing, from the hook to where it attaches to the wrist strap—and fold it backwards so that it's no longer dangling around when it's attached to your wrist but not attached to the D-loop on your bow string.
That can save you a tremendous amount of grief when you're moving around your hunting environment. If you're spot-and-stalk hunting, or climbing a tree stand, or even just moving around your ground blind and you don't want to have the release clanging into things, that can be a load off your mind.
By the way—if you ultimately decide against the Wiseguy but want to take a look at another wrist-strap release with that fold-back feature, the Tru Ball Assassin (review) is a comparable model that we also recommend.
It Features Length Adjustability. This is another feature which seems unimpressive but means a lot to us: you can move the head of the release—the part that holds the hook—forward and backwards.
That's a great thing because it allows you to adjust the "reach" of the bow release, and we hear complaint after complain from taller archers / archers with big hands that they can't find a release that fits them. And we're not saying that this release will fit you if you've got large hands—you'll have to do your own sizing—but that adjustability can be a good thing, especially if you've ever bought a single-size, non-adjustable wrist release and found it didn't fit.
But there's another reason why we absolutely love the adjustable length feature, and that's because it makes managing a new D-loop a lot easier. This gets a little technical, so bear with us:
When you remove a D-loop to your string and then add a new one, it's very difficult to get that D-loop the same length from the bow string as the last D-loop you just took off. That difference in length can cause a slight change in your draw length, and that can throw off your aim, so you want to maintain a consistent length in your D-loop.
Attaching a D-loop can be a delicate process, and if your D-loop is, say, 5 millimeters from your bow string, it's very difficult to remove that D-loop and then put on another D-loop that's ALSO 5 millimeters away from the bow string (and by the way, if there's some gear-lover out there who wants to create a machine that attaches a D-loop to the bow string with a high degree of precision... please invent it! And remember us when the archery world gives you praise!).
So that's what's so neat about that adjustability feature—if your new D-loop is further away from the string, you can adjust the head on the Wiseguy so that it's shorter, to make up for the difference and maintain your draw length. Conversely, if your new D-loop is closer to the string, you can adjust the head on the Wiseguy so that it's longer, so that you can maintain your draw length.
It doesn't seem like a huge deal, but keeping your draw length the same—especially when you're aiming at targets far off in the distance—can be a big deal, so we really like that feature.
It's Got an Open Hook Design. It seems like the majority of wrist releases are closed-jaw models—they feature a caliper at the head of the release, that fully surrounds the bow string. That style of release has a lot of fans, because it's perceived as safer—the only way that your bow string will come off the release is when you pull the trigger. That’s true, for the most part—although we have seen some closed-jaw models let loose an arrow before the shooter meant to.
With that said, open hooks are becoming more popular, and we think there's two reasons why:
1) They're easier on your D-loop. If you took a close-up look at a caliper release letting go of a D-loop you, you can see that the D-loop scrapes on both sides of the calipers. It doesn't happen overnight, but repeated usage of a caliper-style wrist release can definitely wear down your D-loop, and a hook avoids that issue—it allows the D-loop to roll of it, instead of scraping against it; and
2) If you're using your wrist-release to bow hunt, you can attach a hook to your D-loop without taking your eyes of your quarry. It takes a little practice, sure, but you can feel your way to attaching your hook to the D-loop. That's not really possible with a caliper-style wrist release, because you need visually see the calipers separate and then come together to clasp the bow string. At go time, when you've got game sitting right in front of you, it's definitely a good thing to keep your eyes on the prize.
It's Made in Velcro. The Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release with Velcro. Some people really like a Velcro option, because they can fasten it to their wrist as tight as they please. We actually *dislike* that option, and we'll explain why below, but we listed it in our "Pros" section because we know some folks appreciate it.
Alright, so, there you have it: our Spot Hogg Wiseguy review. We think the Boss Hogg Wiseguy has a lot of great features, and it actually makes our list of the best bow releases.
It's not perfect, though, and here's why:
What We Find to Be Less-Than-Perfect
The Wiseguy is offered with...
No Variations. In some of their other product offerings, Spot Hogg offers a wide range of the same product. For example, the Boss Hogg Whipper Snapper is a hand-held thumb-barrel release offered in four different types: there's the 3-finger open-jaw version, the 3-finger closed-jaw version, the 4-finger open-jaw version, and the 4-finger closed-jaw version. They made a wide variety of the same product in order to meet everyone's needs. There aren't as many varieties you can get on a wrist release, but it would be nice to see a closed-jaw/caliper version.
Not the Most Comfortable Strap. We know a lot of people who might say, "Toughen up, buttercup" at the complaint of an uncomfortable wrist strap—and this isn't the worst thing in the world; it's just not the most comfortable we've felt—but to that, we would counter that comfort in a wrist strap is very important. If you use the fold-back feature, you'll probably be wearing the bow release for hours at a time, and that's a lot time to be wearing a piece of equipment. Again, it's not terrible; there are just more comfortable options out there (TruFire seems to do a good job with that). If you like to DIY things, you can add some fabric to it. Or... toughen up, buttercup!
The Trigger is Very Light! In so many of the reviews we write, we'll say that "Feature X" is a good thing... but we also have to mention it in the cons, because every person's tastes are unique, and sure-as-shootin,' every person's shot cycle is unique. So that crisp trigger which we praised above can be too much for some people. It can be a little unnerving to see your arrows jump so quickly. If that's the sort of thing that bothers you, this may not be the right release for you.
Be Careful with the Velcro Option. We mentioned above that there's a Velcro option that Spot Hogg manufactures, and some people love it. That's great, but we'd urge you to make some sort of demarcation on the strap so that you're fastening it the same way every time. If you're not, your draw length could be different every time you shoot, and it's no use having a well-tuned bow if your draw length is going to be different every time you draw.
It's Hard to Talk About Spot Hogg and Not Say Boss Hogg. That's neither here nor there, but we thought we'd mention it.
Before we close up, there are two things we should mention:
Noteworthy: There's a Cameron Hanes Version
Spot Hogg also makes the Spot Hogg Wise Guy Release with Boa Strap / Cameron Hanes "Keep Hammering" Signature Series. Basically, it's the Wiseguy release with a BOA strap, which is a lot more comfy that the original strap. "BOA" is such a great name, by the way—it's designed to wrap around your wrist snug-like, as a boa constrictor would. Very clever.
We're All a Bunch of Wiseguys
OK! That about wraps it up for our Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release review. We like it a great deal, and we think it's a great option for bow hunting and target shooting. If you're not a fan of hair-trigger releases, this probably isn't a good option for you, but for everyone else, we think it's definitely worth a look. Good luck, have fun, and God bless!