Mathews Monster Wake Specs and Review

Mathews Monster Wake

The Mathews Monster Wake debuted in 2015 into a slew of controversy. At the time, many people considered this to be the worst Mathews bow ever made. A little harsh, but consider the circumstances surrounding the bow’s release.

It was 2015 and Mathews Solo Cams had been the rage for decades. A sudden departure from their tried and true compound bow design resulted in both the Mathews Wake and the Mathews No Cam.

Neither was looked on very favorably at the time and critics were quick to claim Mathews Archery was done. What were they thinking?

Compound bow design has changed a good bit since 2015. See how the Mathews Monster Wake stacks up in today’s archery landscape.

Mathews Wake Specs

IBO Speed352 FPS
Brace Height5 Inches
Axle to Axle Length35 Inches
Let Off85%
Draw Length25 to 30 Inches
Draw Weight30 to 80 Pounds
Bow Weight5.38 Pounds

Mathews Monster Wake Specs

Mathews Wake Overview

Despite being a bit of an oddball bow, the Mathews Monster Wake has grown to be one of our favorite bows.

It’s big, black and it’s beautiful. With it’s 35 inch ATA length, it’s a menacing looking bow truly deserving of its name.

The fully anodized riser is an absolute work of art. Someone always asks what bow I am shooting when they see it in the wild.

Add in the fact that the Mathews Monster Wake is one of the few bows that can come with 80 lb limbs and you’ve created quite the beast.

Today, Mathews finishes their compound bows with a color dip film. It’s not uncommon to see imperfections in your riser as the finish chips off. It’s a common complaint on archery forums about the lack of a durable finish.

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to baby a hunting bow and eventually the imperfections will occur.

However, the finish on the Mathews Wake – available in black only – is incredibly durable. Much like the finish on the old Mathews solo cam bows we’ve loved in the past.

A compound bow’s grip is a somewhat controversial topic. Archers are particular and everyone has their favorite. It’s no surprise though as your grip on the bow is an important aspect of your accuracy. Torqueing your riser leads to erratic and imperfect arrow flight.

The grip on the Mathews Wake is machined into the riser. It’s slender and repeatable and minimizes torque on the release from improper hand placement.

The only complaint I have about it is it can get slick at times in hot weather. This can be easily remedied with a thin layer of athletic tape which adds some friction but won’t damage the finish when you remove it.

If I knew I was going to be shooting a long 3D course in very hot weather I’d apply a thin layer and remove it afterwards. The Mathews Wake grip looks too good to leave covered up.

Mathews Wake For 3D Archery

A big question when the Mathews Wake was released was “What do you use this bow for?”

The 35 inch axle to axle length was dubbed too long for hunting. The short 5 inch brace height was less than ideal for target archery. At 5.38 pounds the bow was too heavy for a mortal human to shoot.

Where did this bow fit? Would it work better as a club to hunt animals with? It was a major departure from the Mathews solo cam bows produced at that time.

This year, we have our Mathews Wake set up for one specific purpose. Long range 3D archery. With the increasing popularity of events like the Total Archery Challenge, we have put our hunting bows down and dedicated a specific bow for the event.

The Total Archery Challenge in PA happens once a year and the Mathews Wake with its 352 feet per second IBO speed is perfect for slinging light arrows long distances.

Typically, when someone thinks about the Mathews Wake the first thing that comes to mind are 80 pound limbs. While this may be common configuration, we took the opposite approach.

Our Monster Wake sports some light 50 pound limbs which makes it an absolute breeze to draw back.

The solid back wall and 85% letoff makes shooting this compound bow a real joy for long practice sessions. The 5 inch brace height is more forgiving than you’d expect. Don’t be put off by the specs without shooting one first.

Arrow Build for 3D Archery

To prepare for the Total Archery Challenge we built some 350 spine arrows with a total weight of 380 grains.

Because we are shooting with 50 lb limbs on our Wake, we wanted to keep the arrow weight as light as possible.

Speed was the name of the game to shoot out to 90 yards on the RMEF course. The 350 spine arrows bareshaft tuned with minimal adjustment and flew great out of the bow.

I have not gotten a chance to shoot the Mathews Wake through a chronograph to test the arrow speeds. However, a conservative estimate with 50 lb limbs and a 28 inch draw has the arrows flying around 280 feet per second.

Instead of our typical Whisker Biscuit for bowhunting, we chose a limb driven rest for our TAC bow. The arrow is in contact with the rest for less total time and because of this we should experience more accuracy when shooting arrows long distances.

There are many great options for limb driven rests on the market. Today we chose the Trophy Taker Smackdown Pro. Installation of a limb driven rest is much simpler than cable driven rest. Additionally, it can be modified and repaired in the field with only an allen wrench if something goes wrong.

Mathews Wake Specs
The Mathews Wake grip is machined into the riser. An impressive work of art that has a great feel when shooting the bow.

Mathews Wake For Hunting

I’ll admit it, this bow less than ideal in certain scenarios. For instance, it’s slightly unwieldy when hunting from a tree saddle.

That’s about the only knock I have on the bow.

However, if I am hunting from my Lone Wolf Hand Climber I have zero complaints. It’s big, but plenty of people have killed deer with longer axle to axle bows from a treestand.

The smooth draw with 50 pound limbs make it easy to come to full draw without alerting the deer in range. At full draw 85% letoff equals only 7.5 pounds of holding weight.

You can hold full draw for an eternity with minimal effort if the buck of a lifetime hangs up behind a tree trunk. You might not say the same thing for an 80 lb Wake, though.

Mathews Monster Wake

Arrow Build for Deer Hunting

Like I mentioned above, I’ve shot a 300 spine arrow from the Mathews Wake when deer hunting. That arrow weighed 505 grains with a 100 grain brass insert and 100 grain broadhead.

With no adjustments when switching from the lightweight arrow, it too shot perfect bullet holes through paper.

I have never had another bow shoot multiple bare shafts so well that were so different. This bow just flat out shoots.

In contrast to the 380 grain arrow for 3D archery, the 505 grain arrow is most likely traveling between 215 and 225 feet per second.

For the sake of comparison, that’s roughly the same speed as my 65 pound Mathews Switchback XT. Additionally, the Switchback XT was shooting a slightly lighter arrow coming in at only 480 grains. Pretty impressive speeds coming from the 50 pound Mathews Wake.

Tipped with a fixed blade Magnus Stinger, these arrows are sure to provide ample penetration when deer hunting in WV despite being only a 50 lb bow.

Final Thoughts

In 2015, many people thought this was the worst Mathews bow ever. It was a vast departure from their signature solo cam bows that left people scratching their heads. Was Mathews Archery done for?

Or was this all part of a carefully crafted plan to transition into their new line of bows? Since 2016, the year following the release of the Mathews Monster Wake, all Mathews Archery flagship bows have sported the Crosscentric Cam.

Up until that point the Mathews Solo Cam was a major part of their marketing strategy. Mathews bows were solo cams. Now, however, in 2022 Mathews doesn’t even offer a solo cam bow. Considered outdated technology, there are only a few companies that still produce a solo cam bow.

In 2015 the Mathews Wake may have been considered an outlandish bow. Today, it doesn’t seem quite so different. Gone are the days of lightweight solid limb solo cam bows. Everything is bigger, wider, faster and more stable than ever before.

The Mathews Traverse, highly regarded as one of Mathews Archery’s best bows, is 4.7 pounds. In fact, many bows are inching closer to the 5 pound mark – something that caused quite a stir when the Wake was released.

If you are considering buying a used Mathews Wake, ignore the old reviews. It’s not uncommon to see them selling second hand for a third of the original sale price. At under $700 it is sure to impress you. It’s not 2016 anymore, but that’s a good thing because this bow is even more relevant than ever before.

What should I expect for a used Mathews Monster Wake price?

You should be able to find a used Mathews Monster Wake in the $600 to $700 price range.

Where can I find Mathews Wake 80 lb limbs for sale?

Mathews Archery is only company that still produces parts for every bow it has made. Your nearest Mathews dealer can order you a set of Wake limbs. You can also find a good used set for sale online.

Can I put Monster Wake 80 lb limbs on other bows?

You can use Wake limbs on the Mathews Triax, Traverse and others to build high poundage frankenbows.

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