Compound Bow – Arrow Fletching Types

Compound Bow – Arrow Fletching Types

In the last articles I was talking about choosing arrow and Which Arrow Materials are for your Compound Bow. Today, I will discuss about the Arrow Fletching Types. After you have decided on an arrow material, select a suitable broadhead type. The last but not least issue that could not be left out is how to fletch your arrow by choosing a fletching style considering the style of hunting you do and the distance that counts.

Most bowhunters tuning up their bow will normally do not have a clue why the pro archery shop may put certain vanes on their arrows, but there is always a reason.

What is fletching

For an arrow to cleanly fly through the air, arrow fletchings is to steer the arrow into a straight flight by creating balanced forces around the shaft. Fletchings create additional spin to the arrow, using the rotational inertia to stabilize the arrow (in the case of offset or helical fletchings).

Fletching length and height

Fletching length and height is determined by the vane size (in length and surface area). It plays an important role in the amount of stabilization the arrow will receive. Large high profile vanes stabilize the arrow greater than that of small low profile vanes. The more or less contact a vane will have with the air depending on the more or less surface area it has.

Arrow Fletching Types

There are 3 types of fletching to select and the Pros and Cons of each as below:

Straight fletch

Vane is straight with the arrow shaft – Does Not Rotate in Flight

Pros:

  • Creates the fastest flying arrow
  • Suits for closer distance due to no additional spin available
  • Least air resistance
  • Works with any arrow rest

Cons:

  • Requires Well-Tuned Bow
  • Less stable for long distances
  • Less broadhead stabilization
  • Chances for arrow that wind can affect

Offset fletch

Vanes are straight on arrow shaft, but are offset when tune from the front to the back of the fletching – Rotates Slightly in Flight

Offset fletch

Image source: s189.photobucket.com

Pros:

  • Increased arrow stability (when shooting broadheads)
  • Little loss of arrow velocity
  • Works with most arrow rests
  • Better for longer range shots

Cons:

  • Slight air resistance in flight
  • Some loss of arrow speed

Helical fletch

Vanes are fletched with a slight curve – Rotates Dramatically in Flight

Helical vs. Straight Fletch

Image source: archeryreport.com

Pros:

  • Maximum arrow stability (prefer for shooting broadheads)
  • Least affected by wind
  • Highest accuracy at longer distance due to the arrow spin

Cons:

  • Loss of arrow speed
  • Fletching Clearance Challenging
  • Potential to contact some fixed blade/prong arrow rests

Overall, choosing how to fletch your arrows and selecting Arrow fletching types whether straight, offet, or helical vanes have a lot to do with the style of hunting you do. When selecting a vane, there are trade-offs, higher profile vanes stabilize the arrow greater but will slow the arrow down, whereas small low profile vanes having least air resistance and are faster in flight. Bow hunters should consider choosing a fletching setup that will come with higher accuracy rather than more speed since speed is hard to tame.

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