Western Hunter Magazine July/August 2019 #70 - Page 59

GEAR & PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS NEW GEAR AND PRODUCT INFORMATION Outdoorsmans BTX Balance Rail Outdoorsmans Fluid Head By Dave Bond, Field Editor By Chris Denham, Hunting Editor T he Outdoorsmans BTX Balance Rail was designed specifically for the Swarovski ATX/STX 85mm and 95mm objective lenses with the BTX dual eyepiece attached. It’s actually 3-D printed from a Kevlar-based compound and weighs only 2.75 oz.! The balance rail is right at 8" long with Arcus Swiss rail grooves over the entire length. Once mounted to the BTX, you can slide the system backward or forward over the tripod head until you find the perfect balance point. When properly balanced, you’ll notice that there is less vibration, especially with any wind. There are four threaded adapter holes in the bottom for standard adapter plates as well. If you’re hunting with a large spotting scope (80mm or larger) and a light- weight tripod, a balance rail will help. The Outdoorsmans has multiple options for any tripod/spotting scope combination. Cost: $149. Contact: www.outdoorsmans.com 800-291-8065 I ’ve been waiting almost a year to tell you about this new tripod head! I was fortunate enough to use a prototype during most of last hunting season and fell in love with it. As with all Outdoorsmans machined products, the Fluid Head is made in Arizona. Unlike any tripod head that I’m aware of, every single part is machined aluminum – no plastic parts anywhere. The modular design gives their engi- neers a great platform for creativity, so look for more options in the future. This is a large head similar in size to the Manfrotto 500 AH video head, but it’s a full half-pound lighter. It comes with two sets of jaws, one to accom- modate Arca Swiss adapter plates and the other for standard Manfrotto plates. As the name implies, this is a true fluid head, complete with fluid pockets for silky smooth pan and tilt motion. There are four separate threaded holes for the handle. The vertical adjustment has a full half turn until full lock- out, so even the largest spotting scope handles with ease. I used the new Fluid Head with a Swarovski BTX mounted to a 95mm objective lens. I liked this system on the smaller Outdoorsmans Pan Head, but it turned into a love affair with the Fluid Head. At $699.99, I get it; this is not a cheap head. However, it is extremely high quality and will serve you well for many, many years. Cost: $699.99. Contact: www.outdoorsmans.com. info@westernhunter.net WESTERN HUNTER 59