Sitka Mountain Gear
Bare shaft tuning
Contributors to this thread:
Fuzz 16-Oct-18
Hawkeye 16-Oct-18
Bowfreak 16-Oct-18
Tilzbow 16-Oct-18
c3 16-Oct-18
Tilzbow 16-Oct-18
Fuzz 17-Oct-18
carcus 17-Oct-18
12yards 17-Oct-18
Buglmin 17-Oct-18
Ironbow 17-Oct-18
DMTJAGER 17-Oct-18
GF 17-Oct-18
skipmaster1 17-Oct-18
TD 18-Oct-18
x-man 18-Oct-18
Russell 18-Oct-18
From: Fuzz
When bare shaft tuning, is it imperative to use the exact shafts that will be used for hunting? Or can I use just any shafts as long as they're somewhat similar in weight/spine? Not that I'm doing this in the middle of the season... I am just wondering if I should buy my next dozen as bare shafts. Thanks.


From: Hawkeye
Fuzz-I would say having the same shaft is important as nothing is more finicky that a bareshaft. However, similar weight and spine should be 'close' with other brands.

When I get new shafts I just leave two unfletched or strip them myself. You can also simply cut the fletching off near the base and get close.


Straight —» Arrow's Link
Just don't loose sight of what the bareshaft tuning is's primarily for trad bows those who shoot compound bows with fingers. It is primarily a test of spine showing if your arrow is too weak or too stiff. Decent discussion here:

From: Bowfreak
I think it is a waste of time. It is a proven tuning technique but I can achieve the same results faster with fletching. :)

From: Tilzbow
Bareshaft is great for compounds with drop away rests and releases if you know what to look for and you’ve got a bow with yokes. It’s equally valuable with traditional bows.

I fletch all my own arrows but I’ll strip fletches to bareshaft when necessary. It’s important to use the identical shafts you’ll ultimately use.

From: c3
You must use the exact arrows your are going to shoot. If you have a consistent grip you can nearly eliminate any need for tuning fixed blade bh's vs field points. When your bare shafts fly exactly with your field points to 30 or 40 yards, your fixed blades will be right in there all the way to 60 yards or more.

Cheers, Pete

From: Tilzbow
X2 on the importance of proper grip.

From: Fuzz
Thanks for the input!


From: carcus
Never had a issue with paper tuning then bh tuning

From: 12yards
I've had the same experience as c3. It works great to get your rest set just right.

From: Buglmin
Bare shaft tuning shows a lot in arrow selection. If more people spent time bare shaft tuning, we wouldn't see these posts about broad heads impacting differently then broad heads. Everyone thinks bare shaft tuning is only for stick bows, but truth be told, bare shaft tuning is only to show you issues in arrow spine. Like a modern bow, with a stick bow, we can mess with center shot, nock height, and brace height and even bow strings effect arrow spine. Learn to mess with tip weight instead of just moving the arrow rest or sight over. Paper tuning is ok if you want to see what fletched arrows do, but bare shafts show you more because the fletching is already controlling the arrow.

From: Ironbow
Buglmin X2!!

My personal experience was this. Tried bare shaft tuning and was getting no where. Went to fletched arrows and had no problem tuning and then getting both my FP's and BH's to hit a 3" target consistently at 40 yards and under. Will admit my FP's and BH's never hit closer together than 2.5-3", at 30 and 40 and suspect it was more my form than the bow, but no BS I could put my FPs very near or in the same holes and BHs near the same hole or blade cuts would over lap. At 25 and under I wouldn't dare shoot BH's and FPs at the same target. I wont bare shaft tune anymore because I don't think my form is good enough as if what I have read is correct, shooting form is EVERYTHING, and to get accurate feed back from bare shaft paper tears your form must be as close to flawless as possible, and with my shoulder issues my form is anything but flawless after a few shots.

From: GF
It has been working for me with my one-strings...

One thing I did figure out that might interest the mech users; the more resistance to penetration, the more critical it is for the shaft to be flying completely trued up. So mechanicals MAY be able to mask a problem in flight, but they’ll exact a heavy toll when it comes to penetration.

Just a thought...,

Paper tune then bare shaft to 20 yards then broadhead tune. Minimal tuning should be needed once bare shaft is done.. the thing about bare shaft tuning is it will tell you where the arrows want to go without correction (fletchings). So with small adjustments to the rest to get bare shafts hitting right with fletched arrows and then same for broadheads, only then will your bow be super tuned

From: skipmaster1
I prefer just walk back tuning to 80 or 90 yards. You do that and your broadheads will fly great.

From: TD
Bare shaft is a good tuning method...... IMO a step over paper.... a step under broadhead. One thing it won't show is fletch contact issues. Some like it, to me it's an unnecessary step.

Tuning a modern compound by adjusting tip weight....... why? The shaft is not purposed with correcting bad launch and flight. The bow and rest are there to do that. And do it far better. If tuning a compound by spine you're chasing your tail.... literally.....

From: x-man
When I set up a new combination or new bow I'll shoot a bare shaft through paper. I'll rest and yoke tune until I have perfect bullet holes at all distances from 1-10 yards. There is zero flex in my shafts. My first hole comes as the nock leaves the string and I get a snap-shot of the arrow at all distances out to 10 yards (indoors). There is no flex...doesn't need to be any flex. I shoot 300's out of a 52# bow at 27" with 27" shafts & 100 grain heads. I would use stiffer shafts if they were readily available.

If my paper holes get funky after fletching, then I know there is contact somewhere. So far every setup has shot BH's and FP's to same POI with this tuning method. When I had my archery shop open I very often had to tune and set up bows long after dark. This tuning method allowed me to do 95-100% of the tuning indoors at short range. I would have rather had a nice 40 yard well lit indoor range for broadhead tuning, but I didn't so I developed a system that worked with my conditions.

So that is my take on bare shaft tuning... I find it hard to believe that some folks still think they [need] to tune for spine (flex) when shooting a modern compound bow. Granted, some bow/cam designs are problematic to tune, and in some cases one can compensate for poor design and/or hand torque issues by inducing flex into the arrow shaft essentially treating it like a trad bow. Unfortunately going that route robs the arrow of a great deal of it's energy.

From: Russell

Once again, you provide outstanding guidance. I (we) appreciate your contributions.


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