How to Fletch Arrows
Fletchings are small elements found at the back of an arrow shaft that serve to increase the accuracy of the arrow by adding a bit of drag to the arrow's flight. Traditionally made from feathers, fletchings today are produced from a wide array of natural products, plastics, and metals. Besides serving an important utilitarian purpose, fletchings also serve as decorations used to distinguish one batch of arrows from another. Straight fletchings are those which sit on a straight line along the arrow shaft. Off-set or helical fletchings grasp the shaft at an angle or twist along the shaft, introducing torque in the arrow's flight for increased range. Whatever your preferred type of fletching, you can learn how to fletch arrows at home without too much time or trouble.
Rub down the arrow shaft with denatured alcohol on a clean rag.
Decide whether you want straight fletchings, off-set fletchings, or helical fletchings and adjust your jig accordingly.
Position the arrow shaft in the fletching jig.Adjust its position depending on the type of fletching you've decided to use.
Measure 1 1/2 inches (or 35 mm) in from the end of the arrow shaft.
Position the fletching in the jig.Use the jig's measurement feature to line up the fletching with how far it will be from the end of the arrow shaft.
Position the arrow shaft in the jig.Take particular care to line it up evenly and at the appropriate measurements so that the fletching will adhere evenly and in the right spot.
Apply glue from the spot you measured toward the opposite end of the arrow shaft in a line equal to the length of your type of fletching.Adjust the direction of your glue line for off-set or helical fletchings.
Apply glue to the edge of the fletching.Do not use too much glue, as this will spill out and affect the flight of your arrow.
Lower the clamp onto the jig and the arrow.A magnet built into the jig should keep the clamp tight without you having to hold it.
Let the clamp sit for about 5 minutes.
Remove the arrow and test the strength of the fletching by gently pushing on it.
Add a small drop of glue to the front end of each "feather", ie.the end towards the arrow tip.
Wait several hours before shooting the arrow.
QuestionFor a right handed shooter, should the helical be on the left or right?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt shouldn't matter, as the helical is a curved fletching, just so long as you have the one fletching pointing away from the bow.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I determine if you should shoot right or left helical?Jerzy „Xinef” RedlarskiCommunity AnswerYou can choose either, there's no right or wrong choice here, since all it affects is whether the arrow will turn clockwise or counterclockwise in flight. Your handedness and shooting style doesn't matter, you can choose either left or right helical just fine. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind: Use only left-wing feathers for left helical and right-wing for right helical. Vanes are neutral and can go both ways. For screw-in arrowheads, some people recommend right helical because when the arrow is spinning fast when it hits the target, left-helical arrows may loosen the screw, while right-helical will tighten it. Other people just add glue/wax to secure the screws.Thanks!
- It is possible to fletch by hand without a fletching jig, but this is not recommended to anyone without extensive experience, as proper fletching is essential to having accurate arrows.
- Straight fletchings are most often spaced around the arrow shaft at angles of 120 degrees.
- After rubbing the shaft down with alcohol, refrain from touching the area of the shaft where you will be applying the fletching. Skin oils can cause your fletching to adhere unevenly.
- Only attempt to fletch an arrow with off-set or helical fletchings if you have been instructed beforehand in how to operate your specific jig for that purpose. An inaccurately measured or positioned off-set or helical fletching can impede your arrow's progress rather than improve it.
Video: How To Fletch Arrows
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