Field Evaluation - Octane Hostage Pro Capture Rest By Keith Dunlap - Field Evaluator
Jun 25, 2008 - 6:29:42 AM
In 2007, BowTech acquired the manufacturing and licensing rights to the Still Shot Capture Arrow Rest, which was originally developed by Catawba Archery. The rest was renamed "Hostage" and distributed from BowTech's Eugene, OR headquarters under the Diamond Archery brand. Now, the new and improved Hostage and Hostage Pro capture rests are included in BowTech's new line of OCTANE high performance archery accessories.
The product I received from BowTech to evaluate, the Hostage Pro capture arrow rest, includes some improvements over the original Hostage rest. These include a rugged CNC machined aluminum body, fully adjustable brushes, narrow and improved-formula nylon brushes reducing noise and friction, improved arrow fletch clearance, and improved vertical and horizontal center shot adjustments and markings. I have grown accustomed to quality from BowTech and Diamond, and now I expect the same from the new line of Octane accessories from BowTech. Let's take a closer look at the Hostage Pro arrow rest and see how it measures up to the high standards at BowTech.
The Hostage Pro arrow rest firmly holds the arrow in place.
The Octane Hostage Pro arrow rest arrived in an eye-catching package, and included a right-handed rest, installation instructions, and the mounting screw required for installation. Upon initial inspection, I found no visible defects in workmanship or appearance of the Hostage Pro rest. The body of the rest is made from CNC-machined 6061 aluminum. 6061 is an aluminium alloy, with magnesium and silicon as the alloying elements. It has good mechanical properties and is heat treatable and weldable. It is one of the most common alloys of aluminum for general purpose use. It has been used for construction of aircraft structures, such as wings and fuselages, and for bicycle frames and yachts (gives you an idea of the strength of 6061). I noticed right away that this rest is very light weight, weighing just 3 ounces.
The red-colored nylon brushes are adjustable to fit the diameter of the arrow you are using. To make this adjustment, there is a small screw for each brush that, when removed, allows the brushes to be repositioned within the ring of the rest for varying diameter arrows. The brush adjustment capabilities of the Hostage Pro allow this rest to work with any arrow diameter. The horizontal and vertical center shot adjustments are very simple, yet effective. There are button-head screws which allow for slot-type center shot adjustments for both vertical and horizontal tuning.
Works with both carbon and aluminum arrows
Available in right or left handed rest
Adjustable brushes - allows the appropriate amount of brush tension against any arrow diameter
Narrow brushes - fletch damage, noise, and arrow speed loss are eliminated or reduced
Open circuit design - opening at the top of the rest allows for arrow insertion
Vertical and horizontal adjustments - tuning for vertical and horizontal center shot adjustment
Vane clearance - there is a large capture area on this rest to allow for large arrows and extended height vanes without any fletch contact with the rest
The brushes on the Hostage Pro are adjustable to the diameter of your arrows.
Mounting the Hostage Pro to my Darton Avalanche rig was quick and easy. One mounting screw attaches the rest to your riser, and there is ample front-to-rear adjustment to suit your setup. In addition, the Hostage Pro rest has three holes available for the initial horizontal center-shot adjustment. Once I had the rest installed and the center-shot dialed in, I was ready to evaluate the performance of the Hostage Pro rest.
The vertical and horizontal center shot adjustments are simple, yet adequate for full adjustability.
To test the performance of the Hostage Pro rest, I concentrated my testing on function, noise level, and shot accuracy.
FUNCTION: I began my performance evaluation with a thorough review of the functionality and adjustability of the Hostage Pro. The mounting and initial setup of the rest was very simple, and it took very little time and effort to adjust for center shot and complete the paper tuning. I should mention that I had to adjust the brushes slightly to accommodate my 0.294" diameter Carbon Express Maxima shafts. To do this, I had to use a small allen wrench to remove the three small brush screws, then I removed the brush units from the center of the ring. Once removed, I reinstalled the brushes placing them in the machined slot that matched my arrow diameter (closer to the string for smaller diameters, further away for larger diameter arrows). I confirmed that all three brush units were positioned in the same slot, and reinserted and tightened the small brush screws into the ring. I found the center shot adjustments and paper tuning to be simple with the Hostage Pro. Overall, the adjustments were easy to make and the function of the Hostage Pro rest was adequate. My arrows slipped easily and quietly into the Hostage Pro, and were held firmly in place regardless of the angle at which I held my bow. Next, we will evaluate noise level using the Hostage Pro rest.
Sufficient clearance between the brushes for these 4-degree offset vanes to pass through.
NOISE LEVEL: To evaluate noise level, I used several comparison rests with the same Maxima arrows for each. I won't mention the competitors, but suffice it to say I used at least one fall-away, one fork-type, and one other capture-type rest for the noise comparison when drawing the arrow. There was no science involved with this test, just drawing the same arrow through several types of rests several times and noting the noise level during the draw and during the shot. I solicited the help of my wife and kids for this test. I found that the Hostage Pro made some noise during the draw while the arrow was rubbing against the brushes, but nothing I would consider noticeable from a normal shooting distance. There are trade-offs with regards to noise from a rest. Some rests, like fall-aways, make very little noise during the draw, but they tend to slap the riser (or a foam pad on the riser) when you release the arrow. Some rests, like capture-types or fork-types, make a little noise during the drawing of the arrow, but not as much when you release the arrow. The noise from the Hostage Pro during the draw cycle was comparable to my comparison fork rest, but more quiet than the comparison capture rest. I found the fall-away rest to be the most quiet during the draw cycle. Noise during the arrow release was difficult to evaluate due to the speed of the shots, but my personal opinion is that the Hostage Pro was more quiet than the fall-away and the competitor's capture rest, but not quite as quiet as the fork-type rest I used for comparison purposes. Overall, I felt that the Hostage Pro performed with better than average result with regards to noise level.
SHOT ACCURACY: The final phase of my evaluation included testing for shot accuracy using the Octane Hostage Pro rest. I shot an end of three arrows from the Hostage Pro and then from a major competitor's capture-type arrow rest. I performed this trial ten times for a total of 30 arrows shot from each arrow rest. Each shot was taken from the same sport and from a distance of twenty yards into a block style target. Each grouping of three arrows was measured for accuracy and comparative purposes. The competitor's capture-type rest performed with average results ranging from 2 ¼ -inch to 3 ½-inch groupings. The Hostage Pro performed with improved results ranging from 1 ½-inch to 2 ½-inch groupings. While I would expect slightly better accuracy results from a fall-away style arrow rest, the results of my Hostage Pro evaluation for accuracy were more than satisfactory. It is my opinion that the Hostage Pro rest performs better than other capture style rests because the arrow vanes do not contact the brushes during the shot.
SPECIFICATIONS AS TESTED:
Overall length: 3.25 inches
Weight: 3.043 oz.
Main body material: CNC machined 6061 aluminum
Brush material: nylon
Finish/Camo Pattern: matte black with red brushes
Available in RH or LH applications
Retail Price: $69.99
Overall rating for the Octane Hostage Pro capture arrow rest: "A -"
PROS: excellent value for the price, easy to use, very light weight, holds arrow in place firmly (regardless of shot angle)
CONS: fletching can contact the brushes during the shot if you use vanes with severe twist, minimal arrow noise when drawing the bow. For more go to: Octane, Fuel the Hunt