First, I used OnTarget2 software to pick some shafts and components. I found from shooting several bare shafts that the Victory RIP .204” ID shot best so then I conducted this brief fletching test.
I’ve shot 4 fletch feathers from my recurve for 15+ years so I wanted to try 4 fletch vanes. Also, I listened to a podcast where Randy Ulmer said that he shoots 6 fletch. He explained that he wants his arrow to spin as quickly as possible to minimize his form errors. In order to get the steepest angle on his vanes he uses short vanes (because a long vane can’t be glued on as steep, it’s too long to fit). So I bought the short vanes and did the experiment.
Here are the details. Bow is almost tuned, but not quite. So look at the size of the group and not where the group hit. Two identical individual shafts were used, shaft A and shaft B. Same insert and broadhead. The broadhead is an unvented 3 blade VPA, which should exaggerate flight problems due to being unvented. I hoped this would test the fletching’s ability to control the arrow.
Shaft A was fletched with 4 fletch at a reasonably steep angle and shaft B was fletched with 6 fletch at a steep angle. About 8 shots were taken with the same arrow into the same target. These are the top two pieces of paper. Winds were gusting from the side at about 5-10 mph.
Then I refletched shaft A with 6 and shaft B with 4. Winds were calm. These shots are the bottom two pieces of paper.
The distance was 55 yards.
I marked each shot with an orange marker and circled the group. In the top pieces of paper there are three shots circled by black pen. Ignore those shots. Two were from the night before when it was too dark to shoot and one was when I shot the wrong arrow at the wrong piece of paper.
Sixlomaz: I wish I could measure the noise. The 6 vanes have less surface area and shorter height. I’ve heard that fletching height is what creates the noise. If it’s true than the 6 should be quieter but I don’t know for sure. Have you tested the noise?
It looks to me that the 6 fletch controlled shafts A and B better because they grouped in almost the place. The 4 fletch looks to me like shafts A and B are in different groups.
I am not an expert in fine tuning compound bows, my experience is mostly with recurves. I did this experiment because it didn’t cost much time or money. I’m posting here in hopes that others will do their own experiments and share them.
What fletching jig did you use and how did you use it to fletch 6 vanes? I have a Bitzenburger and it only has 3 and 4 fletching settings.