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Toelke Chinook initial thoughts

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I’ll start by adding the disclaimer that this review is after only shooting the bow approximately 50 times since unpacking it today. I think this review will be easier if I break it into segments.

The Process:

Approximately 4 weeks ago I called Dan Toelke and placed an order for a 58” Chinook but our communication actually started a couple months ago. I called Dan up and told him I was interested in a super d longbow. He immediately inquired what my draw was and I told him 26”, to which he replied that the super d was not for me. Dan knows his bows way better than I do and he explained that each of his designs has a sweet spot where the bow really comes alive. And he continued that my short draw would not be doing me or that model any favors. I have always shot longer bows but I also believe he knows his bows way more than I do. Up until this point having ordered from 4 other bowyers I have always gotten replies like “yeah I can do that” or “ yeah that sounds good”. I was intrigued that here a bowyer is trying to let me know what’s best for me. He asked a few more questions about my shooting style and such and I told him I didn’t have a lefty recurve. Dan said that if I walked into his shop he would have put a pika or a chinook in my hands. On the recurve front he explained that the chinook 58” comes alive at 25 and would be perfect for me. I ended the conversation with dan after over an hour of talking and told him I’d call him in a couple months. The months drug by and I finally got the ok from the wifey to make the call. We talked through woods and he again openly made suggestions based on his experience. I was happy and he said that the bow would be about 5 weeks. Official time was right at 4. Under promised, over delivered. My last custom bow was promised in 8 weeks and was delivered nearly 6 months later.

The Packaging:

The bow was supremely packed and arrived without so much as a dent in the packaging. One of the best packaging jobs I’ve seen.

The Bow:

The bow and workmanship are incredible. Dan and Jared are true artists at work, I’ll let pictures do the talking on this one. What’s more he includes 2 strings (endless loop), leather sleeve, and a bow stringer. Bow initially strung right at recommended brace height and the included nocking point was right on the money. I ended up raising the brace 1/4 inch (still in recommended range) and added a second nocking point.

The Strings

Quite simply I didnt know how I'd like the endless loop being a Flemish string guy myself. After shooting, despite the fact that I have tied my own strings for years (even had a business) I have already decided that for 20 bucks I'll just by his. String has not stretched one bit after an afternoon of shooting and braced perfectly from the get go. 

The Grip

The classic grip is wonderful and I’m glad I went with it. It’s more bulbous than the pictures let on and is a pleasure to hold. Every detail was thought of.

I honestly cannot find a flaw in the bow and the process was a pleasure. We will revisit this bow down the line for a follow up. My last bow took me months of setting up and I just couldn’t get it where I wanted to. This bow took 25 minutes between unpacking a drilling bullseyes with both  bow and arrow adjustments. I will link a video of a few shots I took with it. Full speed and slow motion included and pay attention the little guy at the end (had no idea he was there till I watched it).

The Specs

50 lbs at 26” Dan hit my asking weight exactly. The fact that he guarantees within .5 lbs of draw weight should speak of their talent. 58” Chinook with quilted maple limbs, linen Micarta Riser with cocobola accents.  Bow was named shadowfax.


Bow is smooth and doesn’t have a normal recurve twang. Pleasant sounding and is one heck of a speed demon.

Highly recommend the bow and the bowyer.  Currently I have several custom bows and have shot quite a few (spent the day at RMS Gear two years ago).  So far this is simply the sweetest shooting recurve I have shot. It has a distinctive tink instead of twang and is pretty dang quiet.  Really digging it.  The crazy part is his prices are super reasonable compared to some. Also long wait times doesnt necessarily mean better bows. 5 weeks sure beats some of the wait times out there.


More photos

More photos.

Gorgeous bow and terrific review! Especially the family fun part! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


--- Quote from: Captain*Kirk on April 30, 2020, 10:15:00 PM ---Gorgeous bow and terrific review! Especially the family fun part! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

--- End quote ---

Thanks Kirk.


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