Arrow Fletching/Making

Shot

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I wanted to start fletching/making my own arrows (sense of pride) and had a few questions.

Whats a good fletching jig? Heard the bitz is great, but ran across the Arizona EZ fletcher, looks good, but is it any good?

I will be using 2 " blazer vanes but what degree twist do I want? Maximum twist the vanes will allow?

Will probably use CT whitetail 65/80 arrows, what inserts, nocks, and wraps should I use?

Another question, the current arrows I am shooting have FOC of 10.3%, I have read different opinions on this, some say anywhere for 7-15% is ok, some say 12-15%, whats the deal here?

My current setup is an 07 Allegiance, at 60Lbs (soon to bump up to 70lbs), at 27inch draw, shooting CT 65/80.

I understand opinions will vary but I just wanted to see what the pros were using.

 

BDB

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I bought one that wasn't a Bitz. After about a dozen or 2 I bought the Bitz. The quality differnce is amazing. My advice, spend the few bucks more now and save having one sitting around collecting dust later!

I use a right helical jig and use the Blazers (Flex Fletch prior to Blazers). Works great. If you use a straight jig I am assuming enough offset so that the fletching still connects and adhere's right should be fine for spin. Yes, I'd go for the most twist you can get on them and still have contact all the way. It won't be that much of a twist but should work just fine.

I always stay around 11-12% FOC. The experts say you go with more with carbon arrows (12-15%). I have never exceeded 12 on either carbon or aluminum. If they fly great at 10%, I'd say your good to go.

Not sure on your arrows, inserts or nocks. I now use just a plain white wrap, cheap easy and works great. I found a block of about 250 on ebay dirt cheap. Eeven cheaper if you can find scraps at a local store that uses the material but I never could. You can buy fancy ones at about $10 or more per dozen but for me, I like the price of something like this:

http://tinyurl.com/5wbuoa


 

Zbearclaw

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I stopped wrapping, unlike Vanilla Ices reasons, mine were because I got better adhesion without them, and it was much easier to remove old fletchings without the wrap than with one.

I use blazers with Right helical as much as I can get, and I actually fudge it a tad and just use more glue to hold them on, but they fly like I want them to.

FOC is one of many things that can send you to the archery shop, tell Don I said hi, and to the nut house if you give it too much thought. If they fly well out as far as you can hold a decent group with a fixed head, they are good to go. Real light FOC, that under 7% or so, can have real issues at long distances because the arse end of the arrow is leading almost as much as the front. Kinda like dropping a POS plastic dart versus a brass tipped dart, the POS plastic one may land tip first, it may slide to it's side. But that heavier tipped dart will be a half inch into your toe, with the full length of the shaft pushing behind it.

That is what you don't want even if you can get good groups. Another reason some folks use mechs is they can get a lighter arrow and get decent groups with a way too light FOC because the smaller diameter tip isn't fighting the fletchings, but on anything bigger than a house cat I want the whole plane of KE directly behind the tip of that Montec, so if it hits bone it breaks bone, and not deflects only God knows where.

10% should be fine if they fly like they want to. I believe mine is a tad above 12% but don't remember as they do what I tell them to, when they listen.

Be prepared to fiddle with glues as well, different folks swear by different stuff. I have had the best luck with Pine Ridge cyano type glue. They don't give it away, but sets up faster and better for me than Platinum.

Also arrows fletched in UGA Red and Black always find their mark, in case you were undecided on colors.

Oh yeah, unless you want to buy twice, get a bitz and know you have the best out there, bar none.

Also run the numbers for that shaft with the higher draw weight, that Ally doesn't mess around and @#70 with the same head weight it may make your arrows underspined, then you will need to worry about FOC because you will have to lower head weight to stiffen the shaft. In that case keep the draw weight where it is unless you have real good reasons to raise it. If I wasn't a knucklehead I would be pulling #60 instead of #73 or so as I do now, but I admit I have problems and that's the first step. To bad I don't dance, otherwise I should probably try the second step(two step).
 

Rancho Loco

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The bitz is working great for me.

Tried Blazers, didn't see what the hype is all about. Now using Vanetecs, very tough, and no clearance issues. Most of these guys use blazers because of insecurity issues.

I make my own wraps out of 1" 3m white reflective tape from Kragen auto parts. I get six 6" wraps out of a $3.99 roll. And they look cool. And they shine bright when hit with a flashlight. Glue sticks like mad, and if you need to replace them - scrape with an exacto and wipe down with rubbing alcohol. I'm able to deal with simple tasks, unlike others.

I use Ace hardware yellow hot melt glue sticks for inserts, and Loctite gel super glu for the vanes. Cheeper than fancy archery brand stuff, virtually the same thing. Once again, I rock.

I went with Unibushings and G-nocks from Easton - I hate blowing up nocks and robin hoods. Unibushings + reflective wraps pushed my FOC back, so I added insert weights up fron to get about 11%. My arrows fly great out to 50 yards, and dead critters haven't asked me what my FOC was. I understand Zeke's issues with killing undersized animals. Poor boy will never be the same after shooting the Taco Bell Chihuahua at Tejon.
 

SDHNTR

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If you can read beyond the schoolyard trash talk, there is some good info here.

Get the Bitz and dry run it until your vane gets complete contact with the shaft. I use a right helical clamp and can get maybe a couple degrees of offset.

I shoot about 13% foc and it works for me. 10% might work for you. I do think that with broadheads, within reason, a bit more FOC is better than a bit less.

I use Goat Tuff glue on my Gold Tips becasue it sets up fast and holds strong. I've never had a vane come off.
 

myfriendis410

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I too got a Bitzenberger right helical with duravanes and goat tuff glue for my gold tips. I ran an experiment side by side using factory straight fletched arrows and re fletched with the d-vanes at 30 yards. Just as careful as I could shoot I shot two groups and no question the right helical put 'em in tighter. Same point of impact, just half the group size.
 

Zbearclaw

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Wow Rancho, let it go. It's ok you got skunked by Brent at Choppers, you didn't have the guide there pointing you to the tree he tied the cut boar off too. It's ok, deep breath, count to ten.

If you have a good shop and limited time it might be worth it to let them do it, if they take the time. I know I have never had a dozen arrows that someone else did that were half as well done as the ones I did. One mail order outfit in particular has a drunken billy goat fletching their arrows.
 

Rancho Loco

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Nice BC..
Good thing there aren't any pigs in Montana. I don't want to get embarrassed like that again.

But you are moving a bit slower these days. A lot actually. You need to get back into the PT bro. Get back up to speed.
 

Zbearclaw

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I am slower on the puter cause I am doing more pt these days.

So you officialy moving out there?

They got plenty of pigs, but the farmer would be pissed to see you whack his son's blue ribbon winner.
 

Rancho Loco

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House is going up for sale next month. Interested? You'd fit right into Santa Cruz.

As for pigs, Tejon will only be 17 hours away.
 

dwagoner

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just get the Bitz and youll never need another, I use wraps cuz it makes it easier to replace when its time or if you have a problem. You can get custom ones made from places like www.battledrumwraps.com or just use plain colors. No problems with adhesion and im using loctite get glue.
 

Shot

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Thanks guys for the info. I ended up getting the bitz jig. I actually already fletched a few arrows, fairly easy once you do one. I will be experimenting with a few different arrows, heads, and vanes to see which set-up I like best. Thanks again.

 

Zbearclaw

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Vane color is highly personal, but remember that the better you can see them buried in the grass the better they show up across canyon to the critters.

I have seen fellow JHOers from way too far off just because their bow moved and their fletchings were high viz.

I run red and black. I may lose one or two a year stump shooting or on a whiff, but I don't want my arrers lighting me up like a christmas tree.
 

Zbearclaw

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But the white combos and light fletchings many use are bright, read that easy to pick up when compared to trees and bushes.

But on second thought, ya'll fletch them up as bright and white as possible, then I won't have to work so hard.
 

fadetoblack76

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I know it's been covered before but I am debating using a right helical or not. The guy at the pro shop told me not to because of clearance issues. I am shooting fine now at 10 yards and will start shooting at 20 soon. 30 is as far as I think I need to shoot. The guy at the pro shop also told me that I should line my string up with my grip and that the arrow rest should be directly inline with the string. But as we all know with the cams of a compound bow, that may not be so true. Also is there much difference between say a 2" vane and a 4" one? I am shooting 4 inchers now and then seem to work fine. I'm always up for improvements though.

Thanks,
J
 

Zbearclaw

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I reckon there's about a 2" difference tween the two. Just funnin ya, but not sure what you mean.

The only reason a 2" is even an option for bowhunting, in my opinion, is their increased height and rigidity. Without those two additional factors there is no way a 2" vane would get enough drag to keep a fixed head straight.

Everyone torques their bow, and as long as you torque it the same every time you get the consistency you need. Saying that kinda means that as long as the bow throws the arrow straight with how you shoot is all that matters, but like you mentioned different type cams can tilt the cables and string a bit. Saying that just lining up A, B, and C and the bow is tuned is just not so, and borders the line where you stop listening to the person that said it.

I know I got some very capable buddies, and of the three or more that I have shot their bow, they shot like snot for me. Is that because They can't tune abow to save their lives, or because I got more torque than a Mach1 Mustang? No, because we grip them differently, and that is all.

Well I am better looking, if that matters.

Cam lean, idler lean, roller guards or not, angle of the cable guide, draw weight, and torque will determine where the rest is setup for you. That is what matters. Now recording where everything lines up for you is a good habit, in case something is off in the shooting you can look at the numbers and know if it is a bad day shooting, or if the bow has adjusted on it's own.

Good luck, shoot what makes you confident, and shoot it enough to know what's what.
 

Huntr Pat

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Bitz is the way to go. Totally adjustable. I like the 4"duravanes. I also shoot 2" blazers out my switchback. Becareful cleaning your arrows with solvents. I would recomend another wipe down with a wet paper towel.
I may switch back to 4 duravanes.
 

fadetoblack76

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Any tips on getting the right amount of glue on the vane? When I first had my arrows fletched at a shop it appears that they used a roller and put the glue on the shaft. Anyone know if one of these devices exists? Someone on here said not to use the super glue types of adhesive. Is that meacuase of the messy white crap that you get? Maybe I am using too much. Tried loctite super glue gel and goat tuff. Goat tuff seemes to make more "white" mess.
 

BoandME

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I use goat tuff on all my vanes and have never had a problem. It is for shure the best adhesive I have used. I put the glue right on the vane while it is in the clamp, then once I put the clamp onto the jig I wipe the excess off of the arrow shaft right away with a shop towel. Seems to work great for me, good luck!
 


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