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Evaluations : Jason Balazs
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Arrow Building 101 - pt 3
By Jason Balazs
Apr 21, 2006, 00:10

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To Jason Balazs web site Blazin Arrows.

To Part One, and Part Two

Welcome to part three of arrow building, start to finish.  In the last chapter, Part Two, we went through the process of fletching our arrows with Flex Fletch Vanes and Gateway Feathers using the E-Z Fletch from Arizona Rim.  Then we finished it up, by cutting the shafts to length and installing the inserts.  During this last installment I have a few tips for you on aligning your arrows for proper vane clearance, test the arrows for speed; using the Pro-Chrono PAL from Competition Electronics, and finish it all off with a pass through test.

Proper Alignment

 One of the most common mistakes that people make when shooting newly fletched arrows is they do not “tune” the arrow for the rest that they are shooting.  I know you might be thinking, “Did he say tune?”  More like spin testing the arrow and alignment of the nock.  First, screw in a field point.  Once that is done, find a hard surface and spin the arrow on the tip, almost like it was a top.  Pay close attention to the area where the insert meets the arrow.  What you are looking for is a wobble.  Let’s rephrase that.  You don’t want to see a wobble.  If you do notice one, it means that your insert is not set squarely in the arrow and you might have to re-install it again.  This is important because if there is a wobble, it will cause poor arrow flight with broad heads.  Now to align the nock, simply turn the nock , using your nock tool, so that there is proper vane clearance through your rest.  Once you have it where you think it needs to be, shoot all the arrows at least 4 times each.  After you shoot inspect the fletching for any kind of contact.  If there is contact, you might want to turn the nock just a little bit more.  Continue this until you have achieved zero contact with the fletching.
Nock Tool

Arrow speed

Shooting through chonograph

Now there are a lot of people out there who have excuses for not wanting to shoot certain types of vanes, arrows, or nocks.  I have heard them all, “Feathers slow your arrow,” or how bout this,  “You need to use a small nock.” With the bows that are manufactured today, I don’t think that you need to worry about any of these.  For this test I used my Diamond Liberty set at 70 pounds with a 29” draw length, and a Trophy Ridge Drop zone rest.  I shot an average of 10 shots per each arrow through my chronograph, and the funny thing is, the feathers were two feet per second faster than the vanes.  That was 60 shots with the vane-fletched arrows, and 60 shots with the feather-fletched arrows.  Next, I inserted new nocks that are 30 grains heavier than normal nocks.  Those proved only to decrease the speed by one foot per second average.  On average all my shots were ranging 263 fps.  I don’t think that anyone would complain about their hunting bow shooting that fast.

Pass Thru Test
Through the box into the target

This was conducted by shooting the arrows that we just fletched through a box (with a target behind it) that I filled with tightly packed paper. Now when I say tightly packed, I mean tightly packed.  I was jumping on the paper I was putting in there and filled it completely.  I then grabbed an arrow from each lot.  First I shot the feather-fletched arrow through the box and then the vane fletched one through.  The arrows went completely through the box and stuck into my field point target.  You couldn’t tell they had even gone through the box, so I shot them both 10 more times through.  Even after ten times through, they did not rip or tear off of the arrows.  Now that my friends is 100% vane adhesion!

Everything still in place and looking good


I hope that I have been able to help you learn a few tips and tricks from these last three installments of arrow building, start to finish.   As I stated in Part One, it was my pleasure to take on this project for If one thing is true, this process has proven that using the best equipment made, like the E-Z Fletch, to fletch the top of the line fletching and feathers to your arrows, is worth every penny.  I look forward to seeing you at the range, or in the woods!!

Visit Jason’s homepage:

Below are the links for the products I used for this project.


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