By Josh Boyd
Since 2006, Feradyne Outdoors has been manufacturing and marketing its well-known line of Rage Broadheads. After 14 years, total annual sales of Rage Broadheads remain high, with a number of unique models in two, three, and four-blade configurations now available.
Feradyne has never been shy to tout the lethality of their famed broadheads, nor to reference Rage as the top-selling broadhead in the world. It seems as if every Rage advertisement exhibits images of red carpet-like blood trails, and promises of little need for tracking. However, this leaves one to question whether the true performance of Rage Broadheads can possibly come close to substantiating the hype.
Rage Broadhead Overview
Upon their initial release, Rage Broadheads were offered in only two models. These included 2 and 3 blade offerings, of a similar design. Both of these heads featured a Leading Edge Blade, which is intended to initiate penetration upon contact. Upon striking game, the Rage’s slip-cam expandable blades slide rearward into the fully deployed position.
In the early days of Rage Broadheads, these expandable blades were held in the rest position by a small O-ring. Each blade featured a lip that notched over this o-ring, until the force of impact dislodged them. During this era, some critics cited difficulty with blade retention, and claimed that premature deployment upon release could lead to errant arrow flight.
Feradyne subsequently revised the Rage Broadhead’s blade retention system to include a twistable plastic shock collar. When in place, this shock collar locks the head’s blades in place until reaching the target.
One of the Rage Broadhead’s most significant selling points has always been the manner in which its blades are deployed. Rather than pivoting reward in a 180-degree fashion, as is common with numerous other mechanical broadheads, each blade features a blunt contact shoulder that is forced rearward upon making contact with a target. As this occurs, the blades slide rearward into the fully deployed position, as they ride along a centralized fixed pin.
According to Rage, this eliminates concerns over deflection, as well as that over the loss of kinetic energy upon blade deployment. This manner of operation is also said to be foolproof in nature, making it impossible for the head’s blades to not deploy upon contact.
Throughout the years, Rage has expanded its product line to include a number of specialized broadhead models, though all function in a similar manner and utilize the company’s proprietary slip-cam technology. These models include the Chisel-Tip, Hypodermic, X-treme, and Trypan, along with crossbow and turkey hunting specific heads as well.
The cutting diameter of Rage Broadheads vary by model, but range anywhere from 1.5” to 2.3”. Rage Broadheads are also offered in both 100-grain, and 125-grain weights, depending upon the particular model that is chosen.
In the Field Testing
To preface, I have used Rage Broadheads almost exclusively for the past 10 years. This is not because I harbor any type of loyalty to one particular brand of gear, as this could not be any further from the truth. On the contrary, I prefer to find what works for me, and take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” type of approach thereafter.
I first began shooting Rage Broadheads in the fall of 2010. I was looking to venture into the world of mechanical broadheads, and after some research, Rage is where I landed. I initially started out shooting original 2-blade Rage heads, and was impressed right out of the gate. A 20-yard shot at a doe yielded a recovery that was absent of any need for tracking. This particular doe expired only 30 yards from where she was shot.
A quick glance at what blood was left behind in the seconds leading up to the doe’s expiration, was like nothing I had seen up to that point, and both the entry and exit wounds were massive. However, always the skeptic, I chalked this performance up to little more than the result of a well-placed arrow.
The following year, I took two more does using Rage Broadheads. Again, both fell within sight, and there was no shortage of trackable blood, should it have been needed for recovery. Also in a similar fashion to the year prior, the wound channels left in each shot’s wake were undeniably impressive. It was at this point that I truly felt as if I was onto something.
A defining moment came in 2014 when I arrowed a velvet-clad buck on the opening weekend of Kentucky’s archery season. As I released the shot, I instantly realized that my placement was off. I watched as the buck in question barreled across a bean field and into the nearest stand of timber. My heart sank, as I came to terms with the fact that my arrow had stuck further back than intended.
Expecting a lengthy tracking job, I backed out, grabbed several flashlights as darkness began to fall, and recruited the help of my brother. After a couple of hours, we took up the trail, and I was quite surprised at what I found. Despite my arrow’s less than ideal placement, blood was plentiful, and we were able to proceed along at a brisk walk.
Within a matter of five minutes, we had located the downed buck, only 200 yards away from where the shot had taken place. Upon conducting field dressing duties, it was discovered that the broadhead had pierced the liver, and clipped the rear of both lungs. Had I not had the Rage’s 2” cutting diameter on my side, I would have almost certainly been in for a much longer tracking job.
In the years since, I have used Rage Broadheads to take a number of deer, with shots ranging from broadside, to rather steeply quartered in nature. Time after time, the story remains the same. Deer expire quickly, with most never leaving sight. Those that do are easily tracked by the significant amount of blood left behind in the seconds following the shot.
Shorten Your Blood Trails
In the ten years since I first began shooting Rage Broadheads, I have used the original, Chisel-Tip, and Hypodermic models, all to the same degree of success. While I am all for trying out new gear that comes onto the market, my selection of broadheads is not an area where I like to make changes when all is going as I would hope. As long as my blood trails continue to be brief, Rage Broadheads will remain a constant in my quiver.