Sitka Mountain Gear
Four fletch
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
ironhunter 17-Dec-19
ESP 17-Dec-19
Russell 17-Dec-19
JL 17-Dec-19
Ambush 17-Dec-19
yeager 17-Dec-19
Dale06 17-Dec-19
chasintheslam 17-Dec-19
BTM 18-Dec-19
Russell 18-Dec-19
goyt 18-Dec-19
elkmtngear 18-Dec-19
midwest 18-Dec-19
MtnHunter 18-Dec-19
Ambush 18-Dec-19
Russell 18-Dec-19
Buffalo1 18-Dec-19
altitude sick 18-Dec-19
Ambush 18-Dec-19
GLP 18-Dec-19
GLP 18-Dec-19
Joe Holden 18-Dec-19
lewis 18-Dec-19
GF 18-Dec-19
Ambush 18-Dec-19
APauls 18-Dec-19
RT 18-Dec-19
altitude sick 18-Dec-19
Redheadtwo 18-Dec-19
ground hunter 18-Dec-19
Bowmania 18-Dec-19
GF 18-Dec-19
Ermine 18-Dec-19
midwest 18-Dec-19
ground hunter 18-Dec-19
Ambush 18-Dec-19
GF 18-Dec-19
JL 18-Dec-19
Joe Holden 19-Dec-19
GF 19-Dec-19
From: ironhunter
17-Dec-19
I've noticed an increased availability of factory four fletched arrows and am seeing some good TV personalities use them...I bought a few to try. They seem to fly at least as well as my three vane helical fletched arrows . The four fletched have much less helical and have a flatter trajectory at the same weight. Anyone else here try or use four Fletch ?

From: ESP
17-Dec-19
I fletch 4 fletch on both my compound and stick bow arrows. Never had an issue with anything. It does add more visibility when you don’t use a lighted nock.

From: Russell
17-Dec-19
I shoot 4 fletch arrows for increased stability, especially during windy conditions.

From: JL
17-Dec-19
Why can't you do a two fletch with a mild helicoil? Less drag.

From: Ambush
17-Dec-19
Four fletch here too. 2.10" long by .40" tall in the old 75-105 degree pattern. Helical.

From: yeager
17-Dec-19
I switched to 4 fletch earlier this year and like them......use the Pine Ridge Archery Nitro 2.2 low profile vanes with 2 degree left offset.

From: Dale06
17-Dec-19
Years ago, I used 75/105 four fletch. They worked just fine. But I compared them to traditional three fletch and really did not see a detriment or advantage. So I went to three fletch.

17-Dec-19
Always 4 fletch I can shoot almost any head I want and since I dont use lighted nocks the extra white helps stand out after the shot

From: BTM
18-Dec-19
I like four fletch because I can nock an arrow without looking down. One less distraction at the moment of truth.

From: Russell
18-Dec-19
BTM,

As you know, all arrows aren't created equal. (stiff side)

I always index my arrows marking the stiffest side. That mark is orientated up.

Had an arrow that would shoot differently from the rest (broadhead tuning). Noticed that arrow's index was 45 degrees off. Reflected and it hit with the rest.

From: goyt
18-Dec-19
I also used 4 fletch if I am shooting Blazers for hunting. I use 3 for practice. I put the same helical on the 4 fletch as I do the 3 fletch. I like to hunt with 3 5" feathers. They collapse if they touch the bow, my face, or a limb and stabilize extremely well. I can shoot broadheads with 3 blazers just fine but stuff happens while hunting so I like the added control. I shoot 175 grain heads w/o a lighted nock so FOC is not a concern for me.

From: elkmtngear
18-Dec-19
Been using 4 fletch for decades. Nock an arrow, basically without looking. One less thing to think about.

From: midwest
18-Dec-19
4 AAE Max Stealth vanes. Love it!

From: MtnHunter
18-Dec-19

MtnHunter's embedded Photo
MtnHunter's embedded Photo
Been doing four fletch for a few years now. AAE plastifletch max 2.3. I will never go back to 3 fletch. Broadhead fly so much better.

From: Ambush
18-Dec-19
Russel, what method do you use to determine the stiff side?

From: Russell
18-Dec-19
I use a Ram Arrow Spine Tester. Cry once, but valuable to me. I try to build arrows as precise as possible.

From: Buffalo1
18-Dec-19
Been using 4 fletch for years. Lots better flight stability.

18-Dec-19
Normally you hang a small weight in the center of the arrow. slowly turn the arrow. Look for a change in deflection. Or more or less bow or bend. There is always a more stiff side. If they are not all indexed the same, they will impact slightly different. Opening the group a hair.

From: Ambush
18-Dec-19
K thanks. For years I marked the stiff side of static spine when I was shooting ICS Hunter shafts. I had built a very accurate static spine checker.

From: GLP
18-Dec-19
I switched to four fletch about 10 years ago and probably not going back. I too like it for visibility (don’t use lighted nocks). I use 4 in feathers, Or 4 blazers. Can’t tell any difference in flight or point of impact out to 50 yds. Use the same helical on both. 3 fletch flys great for me , but my perspective is 4 fletch flys better in wind. Also don’t have to give thought to nocking an arrow.

From: GLP
18-Dec-19

GLP's embedded Photo
GLP's embedded Photo

From: Joe Holden
18-Dec-19
Love 4 fletch. Any time i change arrows, i play with 3 fletch and 4 fletch to see what shoots better. Offset and helical on both. Almost every time, it's been 4 fletch with an offset.

From: lewis
18-Dec-19

lewis's embedded Photo
lewis's embedded Photo
Pretty good bow hunter and buddy of mine got me to go to 4 fletch years ago never looked back good luck Lewis

From: GF
18-Dec-19
Maybe they use 4 because their fletching sponsors decided they’d see a 33% increase in sales if it caught on?

Pretty sure that it’s just a different way of increasing surface area to spin the arrow. Nothing magical about getting there with 4 vs 3. If you stabilize your arrow with more fletching, you get more forgiveness.

Maybe these guys just finally realized that they weren’t using enough fletching to do the job?

Maybe FPS isn’t the be-all, end-all after all?

And maybe mechanicals really ARE unnecessary after all???

From: Ambush
18-Dec-19
^^^ I switched to four lower profile vanes for better rest/sight/cable clearance. AND I shoot mechanicals from a "slow" bow. Got'er all covered!

From: APauls
18-Dec-19
I see no need. Where's all the Fixed blade heads guys yammering that 4 fletch is just covering up tuning errors??

From: RT
18-Dec-19
Never had an issue with 3 vanes using a helical. I only shoot fixed blade bh's.

18-Dec-19
I also use it for more clearance

From: Redheadtwo
18-Dec-19
I like 4 fletch. Don't have to look for the stiff side of my arrows as I use aluminum. 4" feathers (and sometimes 5" feathers) are used for 4 fletch.

18-Dec-19
I put on some arrows,,,, thought it looked cool................... fly well,,,, also coc head,,, used fusions, but going to try those Ace vanes

From: Bowmania
18-Dec-19
A bare shaft will fly straight if it's tuned. THe only reason you need four fletches is if your not tune, and like loud, slow arrows.

Bowmania

From: GF
18-Dec-19
“...not impressed with 4 fletch at all”

Nobody’s asking you to be impressed! Use what works for you.

Bowmania is correct; and now that I can shoot well enough to attempt it, I bare-shaft test to come up with THE Arrow for each of my bows.

Even though I know darn well that a 4” 3-fletch gives me quite good flight with FPS even when I’m spined #10-#15 too heavy. Matter o’ fact, 5” 3-fletch used to fly as well as I could shoot with BROADHEADS when comparably overspined.

But at the risk of disagreeing with Todd, there are worse things that arrows that make a little extra noise or give up a little velocity. Not hitting as well as they were shot is one. Not penetrating as well as they should (because they weren’t flying entirely point-on at impact) is another.

From: Ermine
18-Dec-19
Depends what size vanes. With bigger vanes or taller vanes 3 fletch is fine. With smaller vanes more fletch isn’t a bad thing. I’ve shot 6 fletch with tiny vanes with great success too

From: midwest
18-Dec-19
4 fletch allows you to use a smaller profile vane and get the same amount of control as 3 larger profile vanes. Lots of benefits to a lower profile vane. Speaking of noise, is there any fletching louder than a Blazer? Maybe 5" feathers.

18-Dec-19
loud arrows LOL I shot 3 deer with them this year, that never heard a sound

From: Ambush
18-Dec-19
Bowmania and JTV are both wrong. Four fletch can have the same surface area as three fletch. So why do you fletch at all? Do you need three fletches to overcome your inability to tune?

From: GF
18-Dec-19
I dunno about “wrong”. Overstated, maybe, in order to make a point. But Bowmania knows his apples...

From: JL
18-Dec-19
Talking shop for a second as Capt Obvious.....there is a trade off aerodynamically. Most things being equal...playing with the vanes/fletching should show higher speed from lower drag (3)....or lower speed from higher drag (4). That should hold true if you have (for example) 8 sqin of total airfoil surface (4) against 6 sqin of total airfoil surface (3). Me thinks if I wanted to go from 3 vanes to 4 vanes and not increase parasitic drag...or at least try to minimize the increase, I'd try to reduce the offset (to account for the 4th airfoil's additional impact) and keep the same total sq inches as the 3 vane setup. Of course that thought is only if you're concerned about your arrow's FPS. To me, this aerodynamic stuff is fun to talk about. The math wonks here might be able to work out a 4 vane combo (size and offset) whose drag would be equal to or be close to a 3 vane combo.

From: Joe Holden
19-Dec-19
"... I'd try to reduce the offset (to account for the 4th airfoil's additional impact..."

I agree wholeheartedly with this. This past spring, i was playing with arrows for this fall and testing at 100+ yards. My bow was dialed in originally with 4 fletch, strong helical. When i changed more of an offset fletched arrow, still 4 fletched, they impacted about 4-5" higher and made less sound. Still flew true with both fixed and mechanical (i like options).

I did not do any real testing with 3 fletch at these ranges since i had already confirmed i was shooting better with 4 at 60, 70, and 80.

Also to note, i had bareshafts hitting my desired point of impact at 50 yards.

From: GF
19-Dec-19
I dunno about “wrong”. Overstated, maybe, in order to make a point. But Bowmania knows his apples...

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