Making Arrows

Making your own arrows is part of archery. if it is just basic repairs or making olympic arrows there are basics you need to know.

Straight Vs Helical Fletching.
Most commerical arrows are made straight fletch, this is because the automatic machines used to make arrows are only availbe in straight fletch. Hunters generally prefer a helical fletch to get the arrow spinning out of the bow this stops the broadhead steering the arrow.  Generally the more spin on the arrow the straighter it will shoot.  Most Olympic recurve archers shoot spinwing vanes, the spin wing vane has two major advantages over normal vanes.  First it spins the arrow quicker than normal vanes and second the profile is lower than normal vanes so the arrow is less affected by wind.

Straight fletching is easier to stick on the shaft and easier to setup for compound shooting.  So for a compound shooter or recurve shooter they may prefer straight fletching.  Hunters can also try straight fletching due to the style of broadheads on the market..

In summary - Helical gives better stability, straight fletching is easier to put on and easier to tune.

Arrow Length

Standard is arrows are cut to the front of the bow.  But why?

It is really important for people shooting with fingers to have the arrow correctly spined for the bow.  The arrow needs to flex away from the riser on the bow and clear the arrow rest.  A arrow which is to stiff (most common) will strike the bow and arrow rest and result in poor arrow flight.  The longer the arrow the weaker or softer the spine of the arrow.  It is common now for recurve archers to use extension clickers to lengthen there arrows and soften the spine of the arrow.

Clout archery is shot at 180 metres and it is common for archers to shoot arrows that are significantly longer.  The main reason for this is to add weight to the arrow and soften the spine of the arrow.

The advantage of a shorter arrow is you can shoot a lighter spined arrow and reduce the weight of the arrow resulting in increased arrow speed.  So if speed is you game then an arrow cut right on the arrow rest is probably your go.

For hunting - people generally look for a heavier arrow for more hitting power so cutting the arrow shorter is reducing the weight.

Arrows today weight 8-9 grains per inch.  So if you thinking about cutting 1 inch or even 2 inches probably not much difference will be seen.  But if your a recurve archer then 1-2 inches may affect the spine enough to allow good arrow flight.

Choosing Vanes
There are so many vanes on the market - The only thing for certain is all vanes are sold and different people like different vanes for different reasons.  Hunters will try different vanes to reduce noise and different vanes will reduce noise and reduce the chance a deer will jump out the way of the arrow.
AAE Plastifletch - These are the most popular vanes sold.  They are the least expensive vanes on the market.  They stick to shafts really well, they have a coating on the base to react with instant glue.  They are soft.
Bohning Blazer - The most popular hunting vane on the market.  2" Stiff and high. Used by Target and hunters
Bohning X Vane - Similar to the blazer but lower profile than the blazer.  1.5 and 1.75 are the two popular target sizes
Bohning Killer Vane - 4" Hunting vane, stiffer than the AAE plastifletch.
Fusion Vanes - These are the latest vane.  Made of 2 parts the base is treated to have great adhesion.  The top of the Vane is very firm.  A expensive vane but durable.
Flex Fletch - Expensive vanes - tough.  Proven for target archery and silent for hunting.  You need to treat the base of the vane before sticking.
Spin Wings - These stick on by hand using 2 sided tape, They get arrow spinning fast, low profile so less affected by wind.  They are easily damaged.  Almost a must shoot for Olympic archers.

Adhesives
Three basic types exist - Plantium a slow setting glue, Instant liquid and instant Gel.  Instant glues are great because you can make arrows quickly.  Slow setting glue allows you to take time to setup the fletching.

Adhesion problems
Vanes not sticking to arrows has always been a major problem.  The first thing you need to work out is what the adhesive is not adhering to.  Either the shaft or vane.  The shaft or the vane then needs to be cleaned with an alcohol.  Puting a small drop of glue on the start and end of the vane will help the vane stay on the shaft.

Keys for Fletching arrows.
Vanes as close as possible to the nock
Use as little glue as possible.  It a big white mess is left on the shaft to much glue has been used.
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