Bow Review - 2018 Mathews TRIAX


As a very passionate bow hunter, one might say I am "picky" when it comes to my equipment.  I rely on my bow to be the most consistent, precise and finely tuned tool I carry in the woods.  If I miss a shot, I want to be 100% confident it was human error and not my equipment.  No excuses.  I am a bow hunter, and the only time you will ever catch me hunting with a rifle is under extreme circumstances when I have absolutely no other option.  I live for bow hunting.  It's my passion, my addiction, and my obsession.

I value high quality equipment.  I am also of the belief that if you are truly passionate about something, it's beneficial to wait a little longer, save a little more money, and invest in equipment that you can rely on for many years to come.  I worked for several years as a bow technician at an archery pro shop, and I saw it all.  Most consistently, the archers who were the happiest, and by far the best shooters were those who invested a little more time and money into their equipment.  That's what I have always encouraged, and that's what I personally have always done.

Before I go any further, let me establish that at this time I am in no way sponsored by, or have previously been sponsored by any of the brands that will be mentioned in this article.  Everything I have to say is purely based on my own experience and personal opinion.

Ever since day one of my archery and bow hunting career, I have shot Hoyt.  It has never been anything personal against other bow brands.  I believe there are a lot of great bows out there, across the board from different manufacturers and they all have their own pros and cons.  Hoyt is just what worked for me early on and what I found suited me best.  I started with an older 1990's Hoyt compound that was given to me by my dad.  Later, I upgraded to a 2012 Hoyt Carbon Element, followed by a 2013 Spyder 34, and finally my most recent hunting bow, a 2015 Nitrum Turbo.  

The Nitrum Turbo was one of Hoyt's very first speed bows.  Although it is very aggressive, I quickly became comfortable with it.  I worked at an archery shop, so shooting it every day and staying in practice was not difficult.  It was only when my work career changed and my shooting schedule went from regular to semi-regular that the Nitrum became too much bow for me to keep up with.

And this brings us to the Triax.  I apologize for taking so much time to "set the stage", but I felt it necessary in order to give you a good perspective of where I'm coming from as an archer and a bow hunter. 

When I began thinking about getting a new bow, something that was more forgiving and a little easier on the shoulder, I knew I wanted to begin my search with Mathews.  Their advancements in technology amidst the archery world over the past few years have been second to none, in my opinion.  Their NoCam is what really got my attention a couple years ago, along with their recent Halon models.  I liked the direction Mathews was going.  I still proceeded to do my research and check out/shoot multiple models from various manufacturers.  I like to have all my cards on the table.  But as I anticipated, Mathews won the race.  

The first time I shot the Triax, my first question was, "is this thing really set at 70 pounds?"  It felt like nothing!  Sure enough, it was maxed out at 70 lbs.  It was smooth, it was fast, it was quiet, and there was absolutely zero vibration felt during and after the shot.  I knew from my first shot that it was my next bow.

Now allow me to get more technical here and answer some more detailed, commonly asked questions...

The Triax is very small. How does this effect shooters with a longer draw length?

Yes, the Triax is very small.  28 inches axle-to-axle (ATA) with a 6 inch brace height to be exact.  It is by far the smallest bow I have ever shot.  But the ginormous cams on the Triax actually give the shooter a longer ATA, nearing 4 extra inches total at full draw.  This means a less-severe string angle and less nock pinch for the longer draw lengths out there.  My draw length is 29 inches, and my string angle and nocking points on my face are perfect.

Is Mathews' "Crosscentric" Cam System all it's cracked up to be?

In my opinion, yes.  Mathews claims that their Crosscentric Cam System, which is utilized on both the Triax and the Halon models, is one of the most efficient, and most accurate cam systems ever built.  I agree with this statement.  It is one of the smoothest draws I have ever felt, and the speed and energy they are able to capitalize on while utilizing an 85% let-off module is remarkable.  As for accuracy, their previous NoCam was claimed to be the most accurate bow on the market.  I believe the Triax has matched, if not exceeded to NoCam when it comes to accuracy.

How does it tune once set up?

It's one thing for a bow to feel good, but it can be completely different when it comes to shooting it through paper.  I set up my Triax with a QAD Ultrarest HDX arrow rest.  Once the rest was leveled and centered, fresh off the shelf and having never been shot before, the bow only took a few arrows and very minor adjustments before I was shooting perfect bullet holes through paper.  Every shooter is different.  We all have different draw lengths, different posture, and we torque a bow differently.  Always tune your bow to you.  Even if a technician shoots it for you and says it's tuned, make him let you shoot it through paper yourself. 

Sam Thrash (left) and CCR Bow Tech Michael Peterman

Sam Thrash (left) and CCR Bow Tech Michael Peterman

As I conclude, I would like to reiterate that none of Fall Obsession's Staff, including myself, are sponsored by Mathews.  I am not getting paid to write this, or to shoot the Triax.  This is a bow that I have done my own research on, shot first hand along with many of its competitors, and purchased out of my own pocket.  

Whichever bow or brand you may be interested in, I caution you to not get tunnel vision.  Do as I did and research it, then get out and shoot it alongside other bows and form your own opinions and thoughts.  If you're operating off of a smaller budget, that's fine.  Nothing wrong with that.  By no means put yourself in a financial bind over a bow.  But if you are truly passionate about archery and bow hunting and can exercise a little patience, my advice is to save some more money and upgrade.  It may suck waiting for the funds to trickle in, but you will end up with a bow you are much happier with, and will hopefully better meet your needs for years to come.

I hope this review was helpful to you.  If there are any topics or details that you believe I passed over, or did not cover sufficiently enough, feel free to reach out using the contact form at the bottom.  Or if you have any other questions regarding archery and/or bow hunting, I would be happy to answer them.

- Sam Thrash, Fall Obsession Administrative Staff