Above image credit: Brett Seng for Mathews
The Mathews Vertix is one of our Best Bows of 2019. We put this compound bow through its paces for this review and came away impressed.
Last year’s Mathews Triax was one killer bow. It was smooth, quiet, and accurate. My one complaint was the bow’s diminutive size. At 28 inches axle-to-axle, the bow was compact, but it also felt short and shifty at full draw. If only Mathews could blend the stealth and buttery draw of the Triax with a model that was just a smidge longer …
Hallelujah! Enter the Mathews Vertix, which measures 30 inches from axle to axle.
Like the Triax, the Vertix boasts Mathews’ noise- and vibration-killing 3D Damping Technology. The rig also has Crosscentric Cam Technology, which promises a smooth draw, pinpoint accuracy, and speeds up to 343 fps.
The new Engage Grip reduces torque. Switchweight modules allow you to change peak draw weight in 5-pound increments. The bow has a fighting weight of 4.67 pounds and is available in peak draw weights of 60, 65, 70 and 75 pounds. There are numerous color options, and the Vertix has a brace height of 6 inches and fits draw lengths from 26 to 30.5 inches.
Let’s get this sweet shooting bow to the range!
Mathews Vertix: Setup and Tune
My Vertix came in attractive Subalpine Optifade camo by Sitka Gear. I looked it over and noticed no scratches or dings. The limb bolts turned without chatter, suggesting a perfect limb-to-riser marriage. The split limbs pressed with ease, and it took me only a few minutes to install my peep and drop-away cord. Draw weight on my digital scale showed 70.52 pounds, and the labeled 29-inch draw length was accurate.
The Engage Grip is a win. Period. It’s thin, flat-backed, and melts into the palm-swell area. Plus, it’s got a bit of tackiness to it, which I really like. Draw weight builds evenly throughout the draw cycle. When the Crosscentric Cams break over, two draw-stop arms (one on each cam) engage the inner cable. The back wall is firm, and the bow holds like a rock.
My first shot through paper showed a slight nock-left tear. I moved the rest toward the riser, and two arrows later I had a perfect tear. This bow was a breeze to tune.
Backyard Arrows and Speed Test
Moving to my backyard range, I dialed in my sight at 20 yards and resumed the tuning process. A few micro-adjustments to my QAD Integrate MX rest put a fletched shaft and a bare shaft side by side. With each shot I took, my smile widened. The bow is just flat-out fun to shoot.
I also tested the bow’s speed inside my local archery shop. I like a heavy hunting arrow, and the Vertix powered my 28.75-inch, 476-grain Easton 5MM FMJ’s at 275 fps. To see how the bow would handle a lighter arrow, I fired a 395-grain Easton Flatline through it and got a readout of 303 fps. The bow proved church-mouse quiet — even indoors.
Mathews Vertix on the Range
I spent the next week getting to know the bow. We became instant friends, and my arrows routinely found their mark at distances of 20 to 100 yards.
With a bow like this, the more you shoot, the more confident you become. It’s balanced and forgiving. The draw cycle is smooth, and the Crossenctric Cams are not at all jumpy. I hate shooting a bow with cams that seem to want to pull your arms through the riser. At the shot, the Vertix is whisper quiet. No doubt my heavy hunting arrows help in that regard, but the 3D Dampening Technology is simply amazing.
I shot the bow from standing, kneeling, and sitting positions and was able to maintain precision accuracy. I pounded dots and shot 3D targets. At a distance of 60 yards, I had no trouble producing sub-2-inch groups.
Finally, I set up my Spot-Hogg Hooter Shooter and sent shafts downrange. The wind was light and fickle, pushing between 4 and 7 mph from the north. This provided a slight crosswind, but at 40 yards I was still breaking shafts.
By the time I adjusted the range to 80, 90, and 100 yards, the north breeze was pushing at 10 to 12 mph, with gusts up to 16 mph. Still, the Vertix continued to stack arrows on top of each other when fired from the Hooter Shooter.
The Switchweight Technology proved easy and effective. To free the modules, you just remove a pair of screws. Then all you have to do is replace the removed mod with a new one. This allows shooters to increase or decrease draw weight in 5-pound increments without the use of a bow press or need of a pro shop.
On the face of the riser is a pair of slits. This dovetail design is an industry first and, for 2019, a Mathews exclusive. Its purpose is to allow perfect leveling and mounting of Quality Archery Design’s Integrate MX rest. A first of its kind, the MX mounts to the riser’s face instead of the Berger hole. Two clamps lock the rest into the dovetail. This design — which doesn’t require mounting blocks — reduces weight. The rest offers micro-adjust (0.019 inches) windage and elevation via a pair of easily identifiable knobs.
I’ve shot QAD rests for years, and this design is truly revolutionary. It must be purchased as an added accessory, but it’s one you want to add. Pass on the rest, and you won’t be taking advantage of the dovetail design. Plus, you’ll miss out on a true drop-away marvel.
Mathews Vertix in the Field
Tuned and ready, I took my bow to the woods in late November 2018. The bow carried well, and the rubberized ergonomic grip beats a freezing aluminum riser any day. I found the bow easily maneuverable from a treestand and a ground blind. Although I’ve yet to take it on a spot-and-stalk mission, I have no doubts it will perform flawlessly.
Four hours into my first sit with the Vertix, I loosed an arrow. The buck was only 20 yards away. My arrow passed completely through both lungs, and the buck’s death sprint was short.
My only knock on the bow is its length. While it’s longer than the Triax, I’d love to see Mathews offer the same bow with the same 4.67-pound weight rating in a 33- or 34-inch axle-to-axle model. Besides that, though, I have zero complaints.
If you’re in the market for a solid 2019 vertical bow, don’t overlook the Vertix.