Archery is all about confidence. Confidence must extend not only to your ability but to your equipment as well. For some archers, this means traditional equipment. For others it means a compound all decked out. When it comes to compound bows, there are several decisions everyone has to make. Choosing what accessories mount on their shooting rig constitute some of those choices. One choice every compound archer faces is what arrow rest they trust at the moment of truth. If you prefer a rest that provides zero impact on arrow flight, you might take a closer look at the G5 CMAX drop away arrow rest.
Things to consider before buying an arrow rest
Before buying any arrow rest it is important to answer a few important questions. For starters, do you favor gear with few moving parts, or does high-tech gear whet your appetite? If you prefer to keep it simple, a capture rest, like a whisker biscuit, may be up your alley. However, if added complexity doesn’t scare you away from a drop away rest may be a good fit. Drop away rests offer one great advantage. Upon release of the bow string, there is zero contact between the rest and the arrow since the rest “drops away”. This is believed to improve accuracy by some. Some of the most accomplished archers, including Randy Ulmer, choose drop away rests for this advantage.
The second major factor you will likely take into account with your next arrow rest purchase is the cost of the item. When browsing a lineup of arrow rests the drop away variety typically costs noticeably more than containment rests. If you want the most advanced engineering out there, you generally have to pay for it, no matter your purchase. For some, the added cost may outweigh potential gains. Others will gladly cough up the extra cash if it equals added confidence when it matters most.
G5 Arrow Rest – State of The Art Arrow Rest
That being said, if you are looking for a state of the art arrow rest, and don’t mind paying a little more, the G5 CMAX drop away arrow rest may be for you. G5 introduced this cutting-edge arrow rest in 2014 and it has been endorsed by well-known hunters such as Michael Waddell. The CMAX is touted by G5 to be one of the most durable drop away rests on the market. One test performed by the G5 staff highlighted this claim by successfully cycling one CMAX rest over 1 million times without fail. G5 also promotes this product as “virtually silent in the field.” Most seasoned bowhunters realize how even slight noises at bowhunting ranges can spook skittish animals of all kinds. Now in its third year of production, the G5 CMAX is still an eye-catching drop away arrow rest for many reasons. Here are some of the most prominent features and benefits:
Full Containment Drop Away Design
While the G5 CMAX has several features that appeal to a variety of shooters, one is the full containment drop away design. In the past, many of the old drop away rests would simply lift the arrow off the shelf using a prong design SAS Drop Away Arrow Rest Right Hand. When the bowstring was pulled back the ripcord would elevate the prong and thus elevate the arrow as well. Upon the release of the bowstring, the arrow would fly straight while the rest dropped away. These old rests had a major drawback, however. If you did a lot of spot and stalk hunting, such as myself, your arrow had a tendency to bounce off the rest and cause some real frustration. The G5 CMAX tried to address that issue with their design.
The CMAX was engineered to be a full containment drop away rest. When you push the G5 button on the rest, a launcher arm lifts up the arrow. The launcher arm is the component in the center of the rest that really pops out in photos you see. With the launcher arm engaged your arrow is now fully captured between the top arm of the arrow rest and the launcher arm. You can watch Michael Waddell showcase this feature in this brief G5 commercial. With this rest, you get the best of both worlds. You get the zero contact arrow flight a drop away rest provides as well as the certainty of a capture rest. It is one of the features that makes this rest so appealing.
Another advantage this arrow rest has is the ease of setting it up. Many other types of drop away rests require tying your drop cord during installation and quite a bit of time. This isn’t a huge hurdle, but for it can take some practice, or a bowpress, to get done. The G5 CMAX is different. In less than 10 minutes can you take this rest out of the box and have it mounted on your bow ready for fine tuning. G5 put out a great video describing the installation process. A basic Allen wrench, simple cutting tool, and lighter are the only tools you need. It is important to note installing this rest is easy, but paying attention to the details is important.
The number one complaint against the G5 CMAX seems to be that it will not consistently drop away like it is supposed to. This causes disastrous misses and can cause arrow damage as well. However, folks that have installed this rest properly, and retune it once the drop cord has stretched in, have very good things to say about it. As mentioned earlier, drop away rests to have the added benefit of zero arrow contact upon release, but the trade-off is added complexity. Complexity requires a watchful eye and more tuning to achieve the desired results. If tinkering with your bow isn’t up your alley, the CMAX may not be either. On the other hand, if you have a keen eye for details, and don’t mind fiddling with your bow it has the potential to be an awfully good option.
The second design feature you may find appealing of the CMAX is the limb driven nature of the rest. When comparing drop away arrow rests you’ll soon notice three different groups; cable driven rests, inertia driven rests, and limb driven rests. The basic difference between these groups is how they are triggered. With a cable driven rest, the drop cord is tied into the bow cable. When the bow is drawn the cable moves and the rest kicks into action. On the other hand, limb driven systems, like the CMAX, are attached to the limbs of the bow. As the limb flexes when the bow is drawn, the rest is triggered. One advantage a limb driven bow offers is increased time on the rest before falling away. This is believed by some to increase the accuracy of the rest, as the arrow will be at a faster speed and have a more definite trajectory before being turned loose. While to my knowledge the idea has never been put to the test, the basic concept seems to make sense.
The final aspect of the G5 CMAX drop away arrow rest that deserves added attention is the durability this rest has proven to provide. As mentioned earlier, G5 tested one of their rests with over one million test pulls. Why? So they could honestly advertise their product as the most durable on the market. It appears the folks at G5 realize the added complexity of a drop away rest discourages some people away from using them. If they can show potential buyers the rest can perform over one million uses, perhaps it not only allows them to advertise honestly but to attract those leery of the product as well. With this type of proven longevity, it’s likely your bow will give out before your arrow rest does.
After reviewing many many comments preparing this review it seems like folks who follow the installation process correctly have some good things to say. One positive review points to the fact the CMAX is a great rest, but that there is some stretch in time for the drop cord. Another member of a popular archery discussion board seems to have nothing but good things to say about this rest.
When you spend some time looking at the reviews it seems a good deal of folks has really been impressed by this full containment drop away rest. Not only does it function properly, but appears to meet its advertised claims.
If you are still not impressed, but still find the drop away rest appealing, there are a few other options on the market as well. One option that seems to be popular is the Ripcord Code Red Drop-Away Arrow rest. This rest although similar to the CMAX has a few key differences. For starters, it is a cable driven arrow rest. This will require a little more know-how during the installation process, but that doesn’t scare folks away from it. Like the G5 CMAX, the Ripcord Code Red is a full containment rest but is a fall away rest rather than a drop away rest. That means it will fall in the direction the arrow is traveling rather than straight down like the CMAX. This video shows the Ripcord Code Red in slow motion action.
Another drop away arrow rest you might find appealing is the Vapor Trail LimbDriver Pro V. Like the name indicates, this Vapor Trail arrow rest is attached to the limb similarly to the G5 CMAX. The folks at Vapor Trail also advertise this rest requiring simple and fast installation. One feature the Pro V doesn’t offer is the full containment attribute. As you can see in the Pro V photo there is a large opening at the top of the rest through which you load the arrow. While it is not a full containment arrow rest it may still offer enough containment for some shooters out there. It appears you would have to hold your bow at some serious angles to tip your arrow out of this Vapor Trail rest.
Finally, if you’ve scanned through the various drop away arrow rests out there, and still aren’t convinced about the high-tech nature of the these devices, a Whisker Biscuit may be your cup of tea. These simple full containment rests are appealing to some folks for a number of reasons. One, they generally retail for a bit less than drop away rests. Secondly, once your arrow is seated in the biscuit it simply won’t wiggle around or fall off. Even with a full containment rest like the CMAX, the arrow still has room to bounce around, though it won’t fall off. On the downside, a Whisker Biscuit does cause significant contact on the arrow fletchings as they pass through. While some believe this significantly causes altered arrow flight, others don’t seem to notice the effects.
Again, every archer faces the same problem when setting up their shooting rig. It is paramount they build a bow that gives them the confidence they need when crunch time hits. If an arrow rest that allows for unaltered arrow flight, fully contains the arrow and has proven itself worthy after one million shots sounds like a confidence booster the G5 CMAX drop away arrow rest may be a good fit for you.