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It's just...a little crush... - Review of the JX3 Hybrid Saddle

ImThere

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Oct 20, 2015
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Lewisburg, TN
Are you wondering about the shoulder straps effecting the feel of the rifle with shoulder straps on incase a shot opportunity happens while packing out?
I've tried this without actually making a shot but yes the rifle settles at shoulder just a little different. To see through a clear scope, you will have to stretch your neck forward on rifle stock.
No I was wondering how the straps affected shooting. Do you wear them while in the tree? It seem restrictive


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Ontariofarmer

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I do not find the straps restrictive in the tree. I remove at least one sometimes two because I am worried about noise with a cross bow or shotgun I do not want the weapon to hit a buckle. Your weapon could hit a buckle which is why I remove the shoulder straps.
I never use a rifle where I hunt.
You only need the shoulder straps on while climbing the tree. If you have the leg straps and waist belt on while hunting and stand and lean back a bit the JX 3 will not move and you are not restricted when you shoot. I think the guidos web is more restrictive than the JX 3. Why? I am not sure.
I am sure it is way easier to carry than a Lone wolf hang on or a climber stand and more comfortable than a hang on but equal to a good climber in comfort.
Honestly, I like the JX 3 much better than the guidos and used it more than twice as often as my old guidos. It is a great option among many options.
To be clear I say this with no personal gain for me from John. Late season, I used it often, despite the extra weight over my other saddles because I could carry my extra clothes and sticks easily and it felt light and comfortable on the back. It was warmer because it protected my back from teh wind. For all day sits, or shotgun or rifle season or for just plain comfort, I prefer it over my mantis or kestrel. If I want to climb fast and hunt for a short time I will reach for the mantis or kestrel.
It takes slightly longer to get in a tree with the hybrid because I have to take it off my back and unpack what I carry between it such as heavy winter clothes.
As far as shooting difficulty. It is not hard but there is a short learning curve to know how to handle the weapon with the tree, bridge, and straps potentially interfering with shots. I can shoot in a sitting position but if possible I prefer to push back and stand and rotate my body to take a shot because I can take a greater range of shots while standing. To have the same range of shots while sitting I have to slowly move around the tree which means more potential noise and movements.
I have taken steps and or the predator while using it. Is it necessary, NO. But the predator packs well on the hybrid and I do not notice the extra weight or bulk when it is packed away. It seems to add to the ability to shoot with minimal movement.
I guess I like it better than any pack I own. I do not own any fancy $300 pack so I cannot compare it. If I wanted an expensive pack and a saddle and super comfort and a way to carry sticks - I would buy a JX3.
The biggest down side is that it takes a bit longer to climb when you reach the tree as you get organized. Also it is obviously bulkier than a kestrel, or mantis and heavier. As far as walking through thick stuff. It is about as wide as my shoulders and hips and does not really catch on much stuff but is obviously not as good as a minimalist saddle and small pack.
The hybrid has a place if you can afford it and for those who want comfort and a great way to pack gear.
 

kyler1945

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Also, people keep saying that the JX3 hybrid is expensive. I just priced an AH Kestrel Lit, and a Tethrd Mantis kit, and added a back band, and it came to 350.00. The hybrid is 375.00. Why does everyone keep saying it’s expensive? It’s priced within 7% of other commercially available saddles. And when you see the level of detail that goes into it, it won’t feel like it’s not a good value.

Maybe it is a good idea for John to break down the components of the “kit” he sells. But really, you’re within a few dollars of any other saddle available once you factor in the adders required to hunt.

But we should dispel with the notion that the hybrid is too expensive or more expensive. Compared to what? If you’d like to say generally saddles are too expensive, sure. That’s your opinion.

Pointed at no one directly, I just wanted to clear the air for someone who may be interested in the hybrid, but see 200.00 for a minimal saddle versus 375.0 for the hybrid. You’re not comparing apples to apples - Johns price includes everything, just like their 350.00 price tag once you finish adding everything in needed to hunt.
 

ImThere

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Oct 20, 2015
Messages
6,361
Location
Lewisburg, TN
Also, people keep saying that the JX3 hybrid is expensive. I just priced an AH Kestrel Lit, and a Tethrd Mantis kit, and added a back band, and it came to 350.00. The hybrid is 375.00. Why does everyone keep saying it’s expensive? It’s priced within 7% of other commercially available saddles. And when you see the level of detail that goes into it, it won’t feel like it’s not a good value.

Maybe it is a good idea for John to break down the components of the “kit” he sells. But really, you’re within a few dollars of any other saddle available once you factor in the adders required to hunt.

But we should dispel with the notion that the hybrid is too expensive or more expensive. Compared to what? If you’d like to say generally saddles are too expensive, sure. That’s your opinion.

Pointed at no one directly, I just wanted to clear the air for someone who may be interested in the hybrid, but see 200.00 for a minimal saddle versus 375.0 for the hybrid. You’re not comparing apples to apples - Johns price includes everything, just like their 350.00 price tag once you finish adding everything in needed to hunt.
You are correct but and I think this is where everyone gets hung up. If I have already been using a linesman and rc for stand hunting, I only need to spend $200 for a Mantis or $200 for a Kestrel.
But complete set up to complete set up they are comparable for sure.


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Ontariofarmer

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Messages
5,142
Also, people keep saying that the JX3 hybrid is expensive. I just priced an AH Kestrel Lit, and a Tethrd Mantis kit, and added a back band, and it came to 350.00. The hybrid is 375.00. Why does everyone keep saying it’s expensive? It’s priced within 7% of other commercially available saddles. And when you see the level of detail that goes into it, it won’t feel like it’s not a good value.

Maybe it is a good idea for John to break down the components of the “kit” he sells. But really, you’re within a few dollars of any other saddle available once you factor in the adders required to hunt.

But we should dispel with the notion that the hybrid is too expensive or more expensive. Compared to what? If you’d like to say generally saddles are too expensive, sure. That’s your opinion.

Pointed at no one directly, I just wanted to clear the air for someone who may be interested in the hybrid, but see 200.00 for a minimal saddle versus 375.0 for the hybrid. You’re not comparing apples to apples - Johns price includes everything, just like their 350.00 price tag once you finish adding everything in needed to hunt.
You get a saddle and a pack with a hybrid... A good deal. I totally agree. I mentioned the cost which I did not say was too high... but did say if you can afford it because we are all in different situations. I can afford to buy it ... but when I was 26 years old and starting to farm.... no way. I give grace to the thrifty people on this site because I am not in their shoes but I used to be.

Trying to build a JX 3 is not for me. I want to support a small innovative business and I doubt you really save much money in the end and I expect you get an inferior build and my time is valuable to me. For me it is a definite losing proposition to try and build it. ... IMO.
 
Last edited:

ImThere

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Oct 20, 2015
Messages
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Location
Lewisburg, TN
You get a saddle and a pack with a hybrid... A good deal. I totally agree. I mentioned the cost which I did not say was too high... but did say if you can afford it because we are all in different situations. I can afford to buy it ... but when I was 26 years old and starting to farm.... no way. I give grace to the thrifty people on this site because I am not in their shoes but I used to be.

Trying to build a JX 3 is not for me. I want to support a small innovative business and I doubt you really save much money in the end and I expect you get an inferior build and my time is valuable to me. For me it is a definite losing proposition to try and build it. ... IMO.
Trying to build one isn’t about saving money. You have been here long enough to know that.



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kyler1945

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Dec 4, 2016
Messages
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Baton Rouge, La.
You are correct but and I think this is where everyone gets hung up. If I have already been using a linesman and rc for stand hunting, I only need to spend $200 for a Mantis or $200 for a Kestrel.
But complete set up to complete set up they are comparable for sure.


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I've mentioned to him looking into the possibility of splitting it up, or at the very least, denoting the cost of each component.

I wonder what insurance looks like if you sell a saddle without the linemans and tether, as compared to selling an entire kit.

With how robust the classified are here, you could buy the kit, sell the ropes that come with it, and be in the same position. Hell, you could be a crazy person and have a spare linemans and tether!

You're right though, a subset of buyers just want the saddle a la carte. I felt it needed to be cleared up, as it can be misleading.
 

ImThere

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Oct 20, 2015
Messages
6,361
Location
Lewisburg, TN
I've mentioned to him looking into the possibility of splitting it up, or at the very least, denoting the cost of each component.

I wonder what insurance looks like if you sell a saddle without the linemans and tether, as compared to selling an entire kit.

With how robust the classified are here, you could buy the kit, sell the ropes that come with it, and be in the same position. Hell, you could be a crazy person and have a spare linemans and tether!

You're right though, a subset of buyers just want the saddle a la carte. I felt it needed to be cleared up, as it can be misleading.
First i want to mention I don’t have a problem with the price. I didn’t bring it up.
But al la carte looks good
If you look at the members here, how many do you think don’t have 2,3 or 10 tethers, lineman ropes and what not sitting around? I have 3 complete saddle set ups plus backup ropes in the tote.


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ImThere

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Ok back to the saddle it’s self. Do you rotate through the carabiner and are sitting at an angle for shots or do you stand up to take the shot? This is with the bow?


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Ontariofarmer

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Trying to build one isn’t about saving money. You have been here long enough to know that.



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I know it is not about saving money all the time. Just sometimes. It is about making it better. Or sooner. Or different. Or lighter.
If you just want to copy it and do a poorer job... ??? Or supporting the innovator.
If you develop and sell a superior stick... and I think you have considered marketing a stick - I may buy it. To support you an innovator.

I tried to make a lighter better stick than Dan Infalt's before it came out for fun. I really think his stick is better than anything I made. It is more expensive, than anything I made. It is better built than anything I made. It stacks better and grabs the tree better but is slightly heavier. The weight makes it better built and slightly safer.

The hybrid... I am not sure what I would improve... likely is something I have not thought of or maybe you have some ideas.
Less expensive... It is a reasonable price.... You go with a simple preachers seat and a cheap molle frame.
Better... I doubt it.

One thing I know from being a farmer and farmers are very creative and innovative and cheap... if we do not support innovators we will get less innovation in an industry. Hybrid seed for instance is expensive but allows for big investment and large improvements in productivity and a protected investment. It is hard to copy so we get big dollars invested to make me more money.

That is why we get a lot of genetic improvement in corn and not much in wheat. Corn seed is a hybrid and the seed cannot be saved and used again.
I gain and the company gains. I get a more profitable product they get profits.
Wheat is not hybridized yet. I get slower genetic gains and I can copy the product one year after I buy it so there is less incentive to investment in research and development because copy right infringement is legal and easy.
I suppose that is one reason I bought the Infalt sticks. Do I need them ... not really. Do I use them yes. Do I like them yes. Can I afford them yes. Infalt is a small time investor. I did the same for Ernie and G2. Do I like the mantis better... I am not sure. The predator is great.

I guess we all have our reasons for what we do.

I really am answering a few questions. Is the hybrid JX3 expensive no. Can we make it better - maybe. Can we make it cheaper maybe. Can we get it sooner. Maybe. Is it alright to want to support an innovative small business... Yes. Should I Yes if I can afford it. Should I buy it... Well, can I afford to buy it is the first question. Put food on the table first. Care for your family next. Set your priorities. Make your decisions.
I hope I do not sound hostile. I am not. In our great free countries we can do whatever we wish within the law. So do whatever you wish. I am just expressing an opinion. We are all entitled to an opinion when we have free speech. I am looking forward to what you might come up with despite my comments.
 

Ontariofarmer

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Back to the Hybrid. With the straps off you can shoot like any other saddle, I don't see much difference. The bridge attachment points are slightly higher than the mantis or kestrel but not as high as a guidos. That is a plus.
I like to push away from the tree to shoot. Is that necessary, certainly not with a crossbow or gun but with a compound I am not sure what is best.
 

kyler1945

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Messages
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Baton Rouge, La.
Ok back to the saddle it’s self. Do you rotate through the carabiner and are sitting at an angle for shots or do you stand up to take the shot? This is with the bow?


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I agree. I have been doing my best to keep this thread as my review on my experience with the hybrid, while also dropping useful factual information in it that may help people looking to learn about it, and compare it to other options. Somehow the internet makes things take a life of their own. Oh well.

Back on topic. I do all of the things you mentioned. Like any other saddle it takes practice. If you're on a big tree, you'll be forced to go over the bridge and rotate because you don't have enough tether to go around the tree - just like any other saddle. On a leaner, you'll be forced to go over the bridge because of gravity, just like any other saddle. If you're on a smaller, straight tree, you'll be able to go all the way around the tree - just like any other saddle.

I personally wouldn't use a platform with it, unless I'm going to be sitting daylight to dark. In this situation it's nice to just stand up for 5 or 10 minutes here and there. I haven't used one yet - it's been ring of stepps or steps. Honestly, the only value in the platform with it is to be able to stand straight up, or to shoot weak side by standing like you would on a hangon. When you sit in the hybrid - your feet are on either side of the tree, not in front of it. You'd just be using the couple inches on either side of the platform post when seated. It's not worth carrying the weight to me to be able to make one shot slightly easier.

I have been practicing as much as I can with it, and feel much more comfortable. I hunted out of a web for a few years, and it's better for shooting a bow than the web. The deer just seem to not like the smell of it or something - all my opportunities this year have come from the ground or the kestrel. I have been using only the hybrid for a few weeks, and will continue to end of season.

It definitely requires some practice. I do my best to keep the tree between me and an approaching deer. What I have had happen before is i'll try to swing behind the tree in the kestrel at an awkward angle, then the deer hangs up. Now I'm stuck in an uncomfortable position. With the hybrid, if I can get around the tree seated with the fork dug in the tree, All I'm doing is propping a foot against the step that's now in front of me to hold still. It is much more comfortable in more positions. The difference is in the margins.

I honestly don't think I could choose between a Kestrel and the Hybrid at this point. Both have advantages and make me a better hunter.
 

ImThere

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Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
6,361
Location
Lewisburg, TN
I know it is not about saving money all the time. Just sometimes. It is about making it better. Or sooner. Or different. Or lighter.
If you just want to copy it and do a poorer job... ??? Or supporting the innovator.
If you develop and sell a superior stick... and I think you have considered marketing a stick - I may buy it. To support you an innovator.

I tried to make a lighter better stick than Dan Infalt's before it came out for fun. I really think his stick is better than anything I made. It is more expensive, than anything I made. It is better built than anything I made. It stacks better and grabs the tree better but is slightly heavier. The weight makes it better built and slightly safer.

The hybrid... I am not sure what I would improve... likely is something I have not thought of or maybe you have some ideas.
Less expensive... It is a reasonable price.... You go with a simple preachers seat and a cheap molle frame.
Better... I doubt it.

One thing I know from being a farmer and farmers are very creative and innovative and cheap... if we do not support innovators we will get less innovation in an industry. Hybrid seed for instance is expensive but allows for big investment and large improvements in productivity and a protected investment. It is hard to copy so we get big dollars invested to make me more money.

That is why we get a lot of genetic improvement in corn and not much in wheat. Corn seed is a hybrid and the seed cannot be saved and used again.
I gain and the company gains. I get a more profitable product they get profits.
Wheat is not hybridized yet. I get slower genetic gains and I can copy the product one year after I buy it so there is less incentive to investment in research and development because copy right infringement is legal and easy.
I suppose that is one reason I bought the Infalt sticks. Do I need them ... not really. Do I use them yes. Do I like them yes. Can I afford them yes. Infalt is a small time investor. I did the same for Ernie and G2. Do I like the mantis better... I am not sure. The predator is great.

I guess we all have our reasons for what we do.

I really am answering a few questions. Is the hybrid JX3 expensive no. Can we make it better - maybe. Can we make it cheaper maybe. Can we get it sooner. Maybe. Is it alright to want to support an innovative small business... Yes. Should I Yes if I can afford it. Should I buy it... Well, can I afford to buy it is the first question. Put food on the table first. Care for your family next. Set your priorities. Make your decisions.
I hope I do not sound hostile. I am not. In our great free countries we can do whatever we wish within the law. So do whatever you wish. I am just expressing an opinion. We are all entitled to an opinion when we have free speech. I am looking forward to what you might come up with despite my comments.
I hear you.
If we would all have been happy with the Evo and not made sitdrag we wouldn’t have the Kestrel. If we would have been happy with the Kestrel we wouldn’t have the Kite or the Mantis. Maybe what I build ain’t better or and good in any measure but if it pushes John to improve the JX3? what will we see then? There is not limit to the saddle unless we limit ourselves?


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Ontariofarmer

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Dec 25, 2015
Messages
5,142
Back to the Hybrid. With the straps off you can shoot like any other saddle, I don't see much difference. The bridge attachment points are slightly higher than the mantis or kestrel but not as high as a guidos. That is a plus.
I like to push away from the tree to shoot. Is that necessary certainly not with a crossbow or gun but with a compound I am not sure what is best.
 

ImThere

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Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
6,361
Location
Lewisburg, TN
I agree. I have been doing my best to keep this thread as my review on my experience with the hybrid, while also dropping useful factual information in it that may help people looking to learn about it, and compare it to other options. Somehow the internet makes things take a life of their own. Oh well.

Back on topic. I do all of the things you mentioned. Like any other saddle it takes practice. If you're on a big tree, you'll be forced to go over the bridge and rotate because you don't have enough tether to go around the tree - just like any other saddle. On a leaner, you'll be forced to go over the bridge because of gravity, just like any other saddle. If you're on a smaller, straight tree, you'll be able to go all the way around the tree - just like any other saddle.

I personally wouldn't use a platform with it, unless I'm going to be sitting daylight to dark. In this situation it's nice to just stand up for 5 or 10 minutes here and there. I haven't used one yet - it's been ring of stepps or steps. Honestly, the only value in the platform with it is to be able to stand straight up, or to shoot weak side by standing like you would on a hangon. When you sit in the hybrid - your feet are on either side of the tree, not in front of it. You'd just be using the couple inches on either side of the platform post when seated. It's not worth carrying the weight to me to be able to make one shot slightly easier.

I have been practicing as much as I can with it, and feel much more comfortable. I hunted out of a web for a few years, and it's better for shooting a bow than the web. The deer just seem to not like the smell of it or something - all my opportunities this year have come from the ground or the kestrel. I have been using only the hybrid for a few weeks, and will continue to end of season.

It definitely requires some practice. I do my best to keep the tree between me and an approaching deer. What I have had happen before is i'll try to swing behind the tree in the kestrel at an awkward angle, then the deer hangs up. Now I'm stuck in an uncomfortable position. With the hybrid, if I can get around the tree seated with the fork dug in the tree, All I'm doing is propping a foot against the step that's now in front of me to hold still. It is much more comfortable in more positions. The difference is in the margins.

I honestly don't think I could choose between a Kestrel and the Hybrid at this point. Both have advantages and make me a better hunter.
So you use a ROS to walk around the tree? I was curious about that. It seems like if sitting most of the time I would just use the top step on a stick or a single Wildedge step? Maybe I’m wrong in my thinking?


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kyler1945

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Dec 4, 2016
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Baton Rouge, La.
I hear you.
If we would all have been happy with the Evo and not made sitdrag we wouldn’t have the Kestrel. If we would have been happy with the Kestrel we wouldn’t have the Kite or the Mantis. Maybe what I build ain’t better or and good in any measure but if it pushes John to improve the JX3? what will we see then? There is not limit to the saddle unless we limit ourselves?


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@Nutterbuster made a good point the other day when we chatted - We need to just get raw materials, and all the available options in the hands of smart people who don't saddle hunt, or are new to it. Then just see what they come up with. We're literally hanging in the trees and can't see the forest. You're right - tinkering has led to some good ideas.
 

kyler1945

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Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
3,896
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
So you use a ROS to walk around the tree? I was curious about that. It seems like if sitting most of the time I would just use the top step on a stick or a single Wildedge step? Maybe I’m wrong in my thinking?


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I climb with stepps and bolts(titanium rods). If I'm using stepps, I use stepps as a platform. If I'm using rods, I use the ROS as a platform. You absolutely can use your top stick. Like everything else there are pros and cons.

You won't be able to get as high, and you won't be able to make certain shots with ease - just like any other saddle. If you add one stepp, you're now opening up all shot opportunities to be a little easier, but added weight and still same height limitations. If those things aren't enough of a drawback for you - then voila!

For me - I want the ability to get 30'. 90% of the time I end up much lower. But If I just carried 3 sticks, and 20' or so was my limit, it would hinder me.

But you are thinking right - you can comfortably, and easily, use the top step of a stick, and maybe one more stepp. Look at peter k's post on one stepp with one strap on step on the rope - it's nice. I do this often - two stepps, and one ameristep as a platform.
 

Ontariofarmer

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5,142
I hear you.
If we would all have been happy with the Evo and not made sitdrag we wouldn’t have the Kestrel. If we would have been happy with the Kestrel we wouldn’t have the Kite or the Mantis. Maybe what I build ain’t better or and good in any measure but if it pushes John to improve the JX3? what will we see then? There is not limit to the saddle unless we limit ourselves?


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Amen Friend
 

Ontariofarmer

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I have used just the top of a stick many times but because the predator is easy to carry with a hybrid I take it. I think a platform is better than a ROS with a hybrid only because it carries well. The top of a stick works well but not better than a platform. I think a platform or ROS is necessary for a kestrel or mantis but it is definitely not necessary for a hybrid.
Three sticks with a a six step aider get me over 25 feet with a predator. Sticks carry really well in a hybrid but I still hate the noise from sticks, I like the simplicity of set up but not the speed of set up. I want to use spurs... but they are not legal in many of the places I hunt which is dumb. Temptations @huck72412 keeps up the temptation to try them where I should not. I doubt spurs hurt a tree more than sticks.
I use bolts at home and where I can they are fantastic.
Really the hybrid carries sticks very very well. If you like sticks. And you can certainly hunt from the top of just one double step stick.
 
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