Why Your Bow Sucks: Prime Inline

Welcome to this week’s installation of “Why Your Bow Sucks,” an ongoing series of bow reviews.

What Sucks

From the company known for its unnecessarily complicated bow designs, G5 Prime now presents…drumroll…a normal(ish) option: the Inline series. It’s about f**king time you weirdos.

Unless you have a Jeffrey Dahmer poster hanging in your bedroom, you won’t miss the idiocy of Prime’s Parallel Cam system. Just the thought of those seven strings and cables would routinely cause string makers to consider suck-starting a shotgun. Fortunately those days are now behind us – the Inline series of bows feature a more traditional binary cam system that falls in line at full draw. Creative naming, G5. Creative. The cams are designed to “catch” the cable as you draw the bow back – let’s all pray this thing doesn’t chew through cables like a rescue dog that chews through your neighbor’s cat.

Of course, if the cams fall in line at full draw, it means they’re very much not in line at rest. The result is a bow that, to the trained eye, looks more f**ked up than a football bat. But, if you’re going for a bow that features Kings Camo, you probably don’t care about looks anyway. The riser’s design appears to draw inspiration from warped plywood.

The Inline series consists of the 1 (31″ axle-to-axle), 3 (33″) and 5 (35″), which makes complete sense until it doesn’t. As the axle-to-axle length gets longer, the brace height gets shorter, which means you get a 35-inch ATA bow with all of the perceived downsides (larger and heavier) and perhaps none of the benefits (accuracy and forgiveness). Each bow in the series maxes out at 30.5 inches of draw length, so if you’re a long-draw guy this ain’t the bow for you.

Before I was able to get my own hands on this bow, I made the mistake of looking it up on Prime’s YouTube channel. I’d rather be held captive at Guantanamo Bay than watch another video featuring the teenage jackasses Prime has decided to trot out in front of the camera. If you want to watch a failed Disney Channel actor lose his shit over a wasp’s nest be my guest. You’ll probably also see these bows featured on upcoming MeatBeater episodes, thanks to Prime’s partnership with Steve and the gang.

F**k you if you’re shooting a pink Montec.

What Doesn’t Suck

There’s a lot to like about the Inline series, starting with the new cam system. Prime’s newest offerings are noticeably quieter than previous dual-cam models and they produce a lot less vibration. The bows feel well-balanced and, while this is a matter of personal preference, I’m glad the limb stops are back to provide a firm back wall. The draw cycle is a bit heavy on the front end but incredibly smooth. I felt like I could hold this thing at full-draw for hours.

Inline bows should be fairly easy to tune given Prime’s c-clasp shims that don’t require the user to take off the cams and axels. If there’s a potential pitfall with this, it’s that Prime is only providing dealers with the shimming tool. Don’t be stingy, P.

I chrono’d the Inline 5 (I did not have a 1 or 3 available) at a 30.5 inch draw with my 547 grain hunting arrow and it registered 278 feet per second. I slapped on a d-loop and whisker biscuit for the test. That’s pretty good for a 35-inch axle-to-axle bow, and I figure that puts it around a true 335-336 IBO (it’s advertised at 340). I’m happy with any manufacturer that comes within five to eight feet-per-second of their advertised speeds, so kudos to you, Prime.

I’ve always been a fan of Prime’s grips, and the Inline is the latest offering to feature their patented “Nanogrip.” It’s not offensively obtrusive like something you’d find from PSE, and while I have questions about the efficacy of the “Aerogel” they place underneath it, I’m excited to see how it performs in the varying temperatures of the Mountain West.

Final Thoughts

Like any newly engineered bow, time will tell if the Inline series suffers from any sort of manufacturer’s defects. But, for now, it looks like a solid system that should be worthy of any bowhunter’s consideration. In fact, I’m probably going to give the Inline 5 a shot as my personal hunting bow this year. While I had my concerns about a six-inch brace height, I didn’t get that “speed bow” feeling from the 5, and I suspect it’ll be plenty forgiving for what I need it to do.

I’ll also give the 5 a chance to be my outdoor 3-D bow since I prefer to use my hunting setup in those situations. For treestand hunters, the 1 is a great fit and the 3 might be one of the better do-it-all options on the market.

The Inline series doesn’t feature any accommodations for the Integrate System and there isn’t fancy machining for dovetail sights or picatinny rails, but I like that about it. It’s a bow’s bow, and I’m excited to see how she’ll hold up in the coming months.

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