Arrow Fletching

Arrow fletching refers to the components you see at the tail of an arrow shaft. These fletching’s can take various shapes and forms and are made from different materials. Let’s delve into the details:

  • Purpose of Fletching:
    • Stability in Flight: Fletching stabilizes the arrow during flight, ensuring it maintains a consistent speed and trajectory.
    • Spin and Accuracy: As the arrow leaves the bow, the fletching enables it to spin, reducing the “archer’s paradox” and improving accuracy.
    • Aesthetic Improvement: Beyond functionality, fletching can also enhance the arrow’s appearance.
  • Types of Fletching Configuration:
    • Straight Fletching:
      • The vanes are attached without turning, aligned straight into the arrow shaft.
      • Suitable for short-distance shooting.
      • Pros: Faster flying, less air resistance.
      • Cons: Less stable for long distances.
    • Offset Fletching:
      • Vanes are straight but slightly offset from front to back (like a bullet rotating upon release).
      • Provides stability to the arrow.
      • Pros: Better stability, consistent speed for immediate distances.
      • Cons: Slight velocity loss.
    • Helical Fletching:
      • Vanes spiral around the shaft.
      • Faster rotation, higher stability in flight.
      • Pros: Best stabilization, consistent accuracy even at long distances.
      • Cons: Slight velocity loss and not compatible with certain arrow rests.
  • Materials Used for Fletching:
    • Feathers Vanes:
      • Historically, feathers were the original fletching material.
      • Lightweight, allowing faster flight with minimal trajectory loss.
      • Ideal for stabilizing arrows with large broadheads due to their natural curvature.
    • Plastic Vanes:
      • Durable, and they are also resistant to water.
      • Another characteristic of a plastic vane is that it can go back to shape even when crumpled and abused.
      • Low maintenance
Arrow Fletching Types by Jake Kaminski

An arrow fletching jig is a valuable tool used in archery to ensure consistent and precise placement of fletching’s (feathers or vanes) on arrows. Let’s dive into the details:

  1. Types of Fletching Jigs:
    • Straight Jigs: These are ideal for attaching vanes like Bohning Blazer Vanes to arrows. When using a straight jig, slightly offset the fletching so it runs across the shaft. This helps the arrow spin quicker and faster out of the bow, resulting in improved accuracy.
    • Helical Jigs: Helical jigs are excellent for Trueflight Feathers and AAE vanes, both for target and hunting arrows. They align the fletch so it wraps slightly around the shaft. The increased spin from helical fletching enhances arrow stability and accuracy.
  2. Popular Fletching Jigs:
    • Bohning Pro Class Fletching Jig: A versatile jig suitable for both straight and helical fletching. It’s widely used by archers for its precision and durability.
    • Bitzenburger Fletching Jig: Known for its quality craftsmanship, the Bitzenburger jig allows precise adjustments for various fletching angles.
    • AAE Fletch III Fletching Jig: A straightforward straight fletching jig that gets the job done efficiently.
    • BPE Arrow Fletcher: A reliable and affordable option for arrow fletching.
  3. How to Use a Fletching Jig:
    • Prepare the arrow shaft by cleaning it thoroughly.
    • Attach the arrow to the jig securely.
    • Check the fletching angle (straight or helical).
    • Place the vane in the jig’s clap, aligning it according to your desired position on the arrow (a dry check of the vane’s position).
    • Apply adhesive to the vane base (plastic or feather) then replace the arrow back on to the jig.
    • Press the jig down to attach the fletching to the arrow shaft.
    • Repeat the process for all fletchings on the arrow.
Learn How to Re-Fletch Your Arrows by Michael Parente

Remember, consistent fletching placement contributes to arrow stability and accuracy. Whether you’re a seasoned archer or a beginner, a good fletching jig is an essential tool for crafting reliable arrows.

Bohning Pro Class Fletching Jig
AAE Fletch III Fletching Jig
Bitzenburger Fletching Jig