Sitka Mountain Gear
helical vs. straight vanes
Contributors to this thread:
Still_Learnin' 26-Jun-09
JTV 26-Jun-09
huntforever 26-Jun-09
chip 26-Jun-09
Still_Learnin' 26-Jun-09
RNO 26-Jun-09
Quinn007 29-Jun-09
Matt 30-Jun-09
Ole Coyote 30-Jun-09
steve 30-Jun-09
Whip 30-Jun-09
swede 30-Jun-09
Bou'bound 01-Jul-09
I have always had straight vanes on all of my arrows and hunted with only mechanical heads. When I did try a couple different types of fixed blades last year I was all over the target. I was wondering if having the arrows fletched helical would help stabilize the arrow and fly straighter. I know this is going to make someone on here mad but I don't have a clue what actually goes into tuning a bow so I have never done it.

From: JTV
Yes, a helical is needed for the "best" stabilization with most set ups, at the bare minimum is straight offset....even with Mech's or the shorter BH's like Slick there any place you can go to for tuning help and bow set up ??.....Jeff

From: huntforever
There was a very helpful video posted by Woody Sandford(not sure if I spelled it right) on this site. Search bow tuning. I think the video was posted under a topic like that. Good luck!

From: chip
Do a search on tuning, there are many of them, and you will learn the ABC's of how to do it right. The guys on this site are some of the best in the business and you will learn a lot from them. Good luck!

After I posted on here I stopped by the local archery shop to pick up my new arrows and spoke with the owner about tuning. He said that my bow is what he calls gauge tuned, meaning the bow and the arrows have all been set up to fit me. He said that my form is good and I can paper tune at the shop if I like but where I run into my main problem is that he does not allow broadheads on the range. As an additional question, I don't have a lot of knowledge (as you can probably tell, the handle says it all) with fixed blades. Do the smaller diameter BHs like Slick Tricks fly mor like field points?

From: RNO
"Do the smaller diameter BHs like Slick Tricks fly mor like field points?"

I wouldn't say that. My Magnus Stingers are much longer when compared to a Slick Trick, but I like the flight of the Magnus Stinger better. Its also a cut on contact (COC) head.

From: Quinn007
When you paper tune your arrow it should be w/ field points. If properly tuned you should be shooting at or right at the same spot w/ broadheads. I also like the way my stingers fly...

I've seen a lot of consistency problems with people who shoot straight fletch. I can't imagine using straight, even with field points.

I'm not sure what "guage tuned" means, but I would guess that he means he got it close by making measurements and it will probably group field points or mechanicals fine. However, the bow may still be slightly out of tune and will not be shooting up to it's maximum potential.

In my opinion there's no substitute for tuning your bow by shooting fixed blade broadheads and field points at the same time to get them to group together and then move your sight to match the group. This tuning will require minor adjustments to your rest and probably your nock point on the string.

This will also guarantee that your bow is as fine tuned as possible and you are getting maximum efficiency and maximum performance out of it.

From: Matt
Refletch with helical. Download the Easton Tuning Guide. Read said tuning guide. Check out Woody's video. Get to tuning.

From: Ole Coyote
Hi; The first thing you need to do is go to the Easton Arrow site and print out the tuning guide. It should not take you more than an hour or two to read thru the guide, you need to understand a great deal more about your bow and how it works and why. You owe that much to yourself not to mention the animals you plan to hunt. The bow is a simple tool and you need to know exactly how to use that tool, not only will you shoot better and with more confidence you will also get some personal satisfaction out of it.

Stay well!!

From: steve
It is going to get down to when you shoot your fp and then shoot a bh they hit in the same place you will find out that there are a lot of things that you can ajust to have that happen that is what tuning is all about it is not that hard an you can do it yourslf .Things like spine center shot are the things the bow shop must of done for you already you should only have to do some rest or knock ajustments now . STEVE

Straight with offset is the more common method as a true helical fletching jig is hard to find. Also true Helical not possible with most fletching that I have used...feathered fletching is needed.

Agree with those above who have suggested more tuning. I find that when my bow is well tuned the offset (or amount of "helical") is not that critical. I shoot just a small offset...too much and I get contact on my shoot through rest.

If you bow is not tuned well...which it sounds like it may not amount of helical will correct your arrow flight.

From: Whip
Tuning a bow properly should be a requirement before ever putting broadheads on your arrows. Once it is tuned properly the broadheads should fly just like field points of the same grain weight. Take advantage of the shop owners offer to tune your bow on his range using field points and then double check your results with broadheads somewhere else. If the broadheads don't hit the same spot as the field points you still have a little work to do.

From: swede
I do not know the bow shop referred to, but I sure question a shop that would sent out a new hunter with straight fletched arrows. I don't paper tune much any more. I do what Mike the Cheesehead recommends. If your broadhead is hitting in a different location than your field point, then move your rest so the BH moves towards the FP. If that does not fix your problem make sure you have competant help dealing with the entire situation. Know this for certain, not everyone who owns or works in a bow shop is worth the cost they charge. That applys even if they are free.

A lot of people think that they can paper tune with field points and they are done. In my opinion, they're just getting started. I can get a bow shooting pretty well just by eyeballing things and then I tune using broadheads and fieldpoints. I really don't even bother to paper tune anymore, to me it's an unnecessary step if your going to broadhead tune anyway.

From: Bou'bound
why in the heck do nearly all factory made arrows come with straight fletch vanes when helical is so much better.

You'd think they would just mass fletch in helical vs. straight.

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