I have been involved in both competitive archery and bowhunting since 1964 and have seen and experimented with many new innovations that have taken archery by storm. I have witnessed arrows from cedar shafts, to fiberglass, to aluminum and eventually carbon, bows transform from straight limb to recurve, to High-Tech compound bows and crossbows. I have seen fletching progress from feathers to plastic vanes and crude, home-made tree stands made from 2×4’s to today’s popular lightweight, portable tree stands and much more.
Throughout my fifty three years in archery, I have been a ‘hands on’ person. I started making my own bowstrings, doing my own bow set-up, making and repairing arrows and more. I began doing these things for myself but before long I was also doing these things for my wife, my two brothers, friends that lived close or I worked with or were members of the local indoor archery club. I really enjoyed making arrows.
I have used a variety of arrow fletchers from the old Thompson ‘Barrel’ Fletchers, Jo-Jan Multi-Fletchers, Bitzenburgers, Rhoades, Bohnings, and Arizona’s and a few I can’t remember but was never totally happy with any of them. Some were bulky, slow to work with, a few had too many parts and some of them were too expensive. All were adequate but all lacked something. I admit, much of it was personal preference but I feel I have finally found what I consider to be the ‘Perfect Arrow Fletcher’.
My good friend, Rich Walton, recently sent me a news release about a new fletcher the Goat Tuff Products company was coming out with. I watched the videos he sent discussing the Goat Tuff GT Arrow Fletcher and was immediately interested. It was small, compact and with it’s new innovative design extremely practical and easy to use. I liked that. It is made of durable plastic material and it is quite easy to store when not in use. Included in the package is the main base with two spring loaded V-blocks, one three fletch indexer, one four fletch indexer and two lockdown clips. (There is also a special nock indexer available for their newest offering this year, the GT Arrow Fletcher for Crossbows.) There is four vane nests for ½ degree, 1 degree and 3 degree. The 1 degree is for fletching up to 4”, the 2 degree is for fletching up to 3.25” and the 3 degree is for fletching up to 2.25” the ½ degree is for fletching up to 4” long.
This little fletcher is quite unique because with most fletchers, the arrow shaft is locked in to position and you move the fletching clamp to the shaft. With the GT Fletcher, the Vane is placed into the appropriate nest you secure inside the base. Once the adhesive is applied, you simply apply downward pressure to the shaft until the shaft and vane base make contact. Hold for approximately 6 seconds (if using the special Goat-Tuff Fletching Glues) and you are done. Then, you simply rotate the nock indexer to the next position and repeat the process until all Vanes are applied. Every vane, on every shaft is the same, every time due to a feature Goat Tuff President Jerry Smith calls ‘True Contact Design’ (TCD). This unique design concept ensures the shaft and vane mate together completely, consistently and accurately every time for a maximum bond regardless of the helical desired or the shaft size.
There are some great videos available their website and YouTube.com. You will be amazed at how simple the procedure of arrow fletching is and it is also fast and fun. This is by far, the best idea I have ever seen for fletching an arrow. Simple, Fast, Easy to Use, Compact, Easy to Store and Transport and Affordable. If you want to save money, enjoy doing things yourself I highly recommend the GT Arrow Fletcher. And it is now available for standard shafts and their new model for Crossbow arrows.