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Evaluations : Dave Conrad
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Conrad Tests Bear Code
By Dave Conrad
Jun 21, 2006, 00:20

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Dave Conrad

See the Code at:  Fred Bear Outdoors

Growing in up in a hunting family gave me a head start over many of my friends.  Bowhunting was not very popular when my older brother and cousins introduced me to a slightly used Bear Recurve.  Like the gentleman whose name was printed on that bow I developed a passion that first year, even though my initial arrow sailed harmlessly over a mature doe’s back.  That bow became part of me for the next two seasons before I finally saved enough money to buy my own bow, a new Bear Whitetail.

 Many seasons have passed since that first arrow, and my passion for the sport has never wavered.  However those memories were relived as I opened a box containing a newly released Fred Bear bow for the 2006 season. 

Initial Thoughts

The Code is one of three new bows for 2006.  It is a medium axle-to-axle bow by today’s standards carrying a length of just over 34 inches.  The perimeter weighted single cam bow takes on a new look for Fred Bear with a more sweptback and parallel limb design.  The appearance is also enhanced by a flawless camo dipped surface in Realtree Hardwoods HD.

The beauty of the bow is enhanced further as the limb pockets, cam and idler wheel of the eccentrics take on a rich green hue.  Topping it off two Fred Bear nameplates can found just below and to the sides of the grip.  Overall this bow accentuates the new look of Bear with a premium bow for a reasonable price.


 The Riser as stated earlier is camoed in Realtree Hardwoods HD through a film dipping process.  This procedure requires a piece of film with the camo pattern printed on it to be placed on the water surface of a tank.  The film base dissolves on the surface and adheres to the riser as it is dipped and lowered into the tank until completely coated. The riser is then removed from the tank, rinsed and dried.  When completely dry a hardened protective coat is added.

The approximate 4.5” reflex design carries a 7.38” brace height and is capable of sending a 350 grain arrow 310 fps.  The close to 7-inch sight window should allow the archer to attach any of their preferred sites.  The Code’s wide shelf will handle a wide variety of rests.  The upward angle on the outside edge aids in keeping the arrow on the shelf with today’s ever-popular drop away rests.

The CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum riser is sculpted with 11 triangular cutouts that lends to an impressive overall look while keeping the weight just over 4 pounds.   AMO customary fittings are standard for the rest, sight as well as stabilizer.  On both ends are additional fittings for attaching a bolt on quiver.

The two-piece wood grip is separated by a piece of leather, which aids in handling as well as comfort.  A single threaded screw through the middle attaches it.  Above the grip and located midway through the sight window is a straight carbon rod.  A Teflon slide aids in a smooth draw and eliminates hang-ups during the draw cycle.

The string and cable are manufactured from Tech Twist Green And Brown BCY 8125 material.  Bear incorporates Sims String Leeches within the string to aid in vibration dampening.

Limbs/Limb Pockets

The Code is of a split limb design, meaning rather then two individual limbs, the set is comprised of “Compression Molded Quad Limbs”.  These camoed beauties feature Sims Vibration Dampeners and are secured in place via a combination machined 6061-T6 limb pockets and polycarbonate spacers.  The spacer surrounds the limbs within the Limb Pocket to insure tight tolerances as well as dampen vibration.  Cranking the Limb Pockets all the way down and backing off a quarter turn set the poundage right at 70.  The quad limbs are manufactured in house with Bear’s unique compression molded process.  This process utilizes carbon fibers and which are strictly used to further enhance strength and durability.


The Code comes with Fred Bear’s new perimeter weighted cam design for 2006.  This new design is forged from Bear’s innovative single cam patent.  The 70-pound model I received is capable of draw lengths of 28-30 inches.  This is accomplished through individual modules that incorporate a draw stop to reassure a solid back wall during the draw.  Every Bear Code is shipped with three modules that are easily changed out by two set screws.   The Perimeter Weighted Cam is elliptical shaped and makes for a smooth 75% transitional letoff.  Opposite the cam is a large 4” diameter idler wheel.  The internal ball bearing design guarantees a smooth consistent draw.  The idler wheel is accented by an eye appealing six-spoke design adding to the overall beauty of the bow.


The Bear Code I received was marked on the package as a 70 pound, 29” model and that is exactly what it measured.  Now I don’t claim to be the most accurate archer on the planet but this bow in the hands of a competent archer will not disappoint.  My comfortable range on Midwestern Whitetail falls in the 40-45 yard range and this bow is no exception.  I would also feel comfortable with this bow as that range increases 10 yards on Elk.

Chronoing the Code was done with the bow set at 70 pounds, 29” draw with 28.25”  ACC 360’ weighing in at approximately 410 grains.  The average for the shot cycle came in at 265 fps.  The bow was set up with a TM style Golden Key rest and on the string was the two factory supplied Sims Leeches as well as a string loop that I added.

The draw cycle came to poundage quickly and stayed through most of the cycle.  The 75% letoff came on close to the back wall, which by the way was very solid.  The draw cycle was very smooth, thanks to the perimeter weighted single cam.  The oblong shape made sure there was no abrupt rollover.  The grip was a little larger than I liked but the cutout made for a consistent grip shot after shot.

Upon release the bow felt very good with noticeable vibration and slight hand shock.  The addition of a stabilizer should tame these without a problem.  Overall I believe the long riser combined with the short and parallel limb design makes the Code an exceptional shooter at a reasonable price.


Design 8.5 of 10

The new design of the Code brings Bear Archery to the forefront of the archery world.  The parallel limb design puts an emphasis on Bear’s commitment to technology.  The fit and finish show a design of tight tolerances. 

Price 9.5 of 10

The Bear Code gives you a great deal of performance at a very affordable price.  An archer can expect to pay 150-200 more for other bows on the market offering similar features.  Also the bow comes with three draw length modules enabling the archer to customize their draw.  The 60-70 pound model ships with 28, 29 and 30 inch draw modules while the 50-60 pound ships with 27, 28 and 29 inch modules.

Shootability 8.5 of 10

The parallel limb design is a big plus in the Code.  It combines a draw cycle that comes to weight quickly, rolls over with a 75% letoff and a solid back wall which transcends into a bow that insures consistent feel. Minimal shock and vibration can be diminished/eliminated with a stabilizer.  The 34” axle to axle length makes this bow very maneuverable whether on the ground or in a treestand.


Something of importance to note is that all of Bear’s manufacturing is done in house at their Gainesville, Florida facility.  They are the holder of the single cam patent, which may be a little confusing base on other manufacturers claim.  The only royalty that is paid is to the camouflage company whose design they are using for a particular line of bow.

Finally I would like to commend Bear Archery on the very informative owner’s manual that is shipped with every bow.  Many of today’s bow companies take for granted the knowledge of tuning a bow or setup their customers encompass.  This manual will aid anyone especially those just getting the first couple seasons under their belt.  It has some very informative tips on bow setup, tuning and safety.


  • AMO Draw Length - 26 to 31 inches
  • Axle to Axle - 34”
  • Draw Weight - 50-60#, 60-70#
    String/Cables - Tech Twist Green and Brown BCY 812 material
  • Limbs - Compression Molded Quad Limbs
  • Riser - Machined Aluminum
  • Cable Guard - Straight Carbon Rod with Teflon Slide
  • Brace Height - 7.38”
  • Letoff - 75%
  • Grip - Two piece Wood with Leather Accent
  • Eccentrics - Perimeter Weighted Single Cam System
  • Camo/Color - Realtree Hardwoods HD Green
  • Bow Speed - IBO fps: 310
For the entire line:  Fred Bear Outdoors


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