Home Forums Bows and Equipment Fletching application order

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    • Guy Seniceros
      Member
      Post count: 16

      Hello Again,

      I just recieved my new fletching jig yesterday and after fooling with it a little, a question comes to mind. Should I apply feathers in any particular order or does it matter ? Hen,Hen,Cock. Hen,Cock,Hen. Cock,Hen,Hen ? Also I noticed that none of my already applied feathers line up with the “notches” when I rotate the knob to the next feather placement location. Is this because my arrows were fletched using a different jig ? My currently mounted cock feathers are 90 degrees to the nock, So I don’t get it. Thanks again.

      Guy   (Bladeswell)

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2548

      I have my cock feathers 90* but neither of my jigs fletch that way. They’re a bit out of whack. Maybe some shoot aligned as such but that’s not my choice. So I never glue my nocks on permanent to start with, I use just a touch of glue to keep them in place during the fletching process.

      When I’m, thru I pop the nocks off and then glue them to the alignment I prefer.

      As far as first goes, I see no reason as to which, I just always start with the cock feather so I don’t get confused when fletching different colors of feathers.

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 206

      What kind of fletching jig did you get ???

    • Stephen Graf
      Member
      Post count: 2342

      I just never got into making, having, or shooting fancy arrows.  I don’t crest or otherwise decorate the cartridges I use in my deer rifle, and I don’t think about or miss the bullets when they are gone.  I try to have the same attitude about my arrows.

      With that in mind, I don’t spend money on different colored feathers.  I use bohning classic nocks which have a nice big nock index that allows me to grab my arrow from the quiver and affix it to the string without ever looking at the arrow.  I twist the arrow between my thumb and index finger until the index is under my thumb and that orients the arrow correctly.

      If you use 1 color of feather, then you can buy feathers in quantity to save money.

      Bohning Classic Nocks are for wood arrows.  If you are shooting carbon, I don’t know if you can get nocks with big indexers.  From what I’ve seen of carbon nocks, the indexers are mostly for show.

      As for using jigs…  I made the switch to using fletching tape some years ago and really like it.  A single arrow jig like the bitzenburger jig works well with tape.

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 206

      I’m the complete opposite of Stephen on this one. Dipped end caps, cresting, mega-crest / bare shaft under the feathers,  spliced feathers, cresting under the feather splice or prismatic tape wraps (Bad idea for hunting arrows but really cool at flashlight shoots.)  Even my bowfishing arrows are dipped, crested and spiral camo-ed Making inside barreled aluminum shafts back in the compound days was a hoot.  Wood shafts ?? Tapered w/ purple heart footings. Then there’s the physical arrow itself; F.O.C. % over-all weight and spine considerations.  I just really enjoy building arrows.

      Sign in my work-shop …………….. Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Over-Doing.

    • Guy Seniceros
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 16

      Thanks Again Guys,

      Okay ,to start with, I bought an MS Jummper jig sold on Amazon. But in after thought, I wish I had bought the Bohning Pro jig for about the same money. The only reason I bought the one I did was because it included a straight clamp as well as a helical clamp. I haven’t actually used it yet, but after unpacking it and fooling with it a bit I think it is well made and will do the job it was made for. It seems though that until every fletch on each arrow is replaced using this jig, I wont have an easy time replacing just one feather.  Almost forgot to mention, either clamp can also be adjusted for dead straight or offset quite easily.

      I will probably be following Stephen’s example with my arrows being efficient but not necessarily pretty. I want them to be right but without the extra money. And thanks Stephen for clearing up one more thing for me. While shopping around 3Rivers for arrow building supplies, I saw nocks with a big bulge on one side. I didn’t click on them to read about them but I did wonder why they would have that bulge on one side. So now I know. Thanks again everyone.

      Guy     (Bladeswell)

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 978

      Guy

      What jig? ( we posted at the same time lol)A reason why your current arrows don’t line up, could be as you surmised – different jigs / fetching techniques by the manufacturer. You might have to redo the nock to get those feathers to line up on your new jig … if you have to replace one. I use a bitzenberger, and start with the cock feather,  and when I follow the directions it works great. I also have switched to fetching tape and much prefer that method. You can also buy all white feathers and dye ( marker/ notch ) the cock feather….

      I am somewhere in the middle on decoration—

      My practice arrows ( especially stumping) aren’t embellished much. However I have been known to have pretty fancy ( colorful) hunting arrows. Mostly so I can see and find them. Sometimes decorated for a little more mojo! I usually personally mark ( one way or another) most of my arrows. That way while on the Buffalo Hunt with the tribe, I know which animals taken, belong to me … haha or actually whos arrows are whos if shooting with a group…

      Like Steve, I like to shoot by feel rather than look at the arrow (hunting). The carbon arrow nock indexers are very small. You can build them up with a little glue. Not a problem with wood arrows as mentioned.

      Scout aka Ray

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 206

      Somewhere, I seem to remember mention of Mr. Hill glueing a small white glass bead on or just above his nock back before index nocks.  Might work on carbons ??

      I’m shooting off of a Bear Weather Rest and have found that it don’t make no never-mind which way it’s nocked.

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 978

      Richard

      I stopped bothering/ worrying about where the cock feather was situated because in testing shooting the cock feather in one shot, and out the next — I couldn’t detect any differences in grouping ( at hunting ranges for me anyway). I shoot it out mostly from habit and to be consistent…..just in case it is a little more precise –haha….trying to keep that mojo on my side…

      Scout aka Ray

    • Stephen Graf
      Member
      Post count: 2342

      The value of the indexer on the nock is three fold…

      Firstly, for them that care (like me) where their cock feather ends up, it provides that alignment.  Secondly (and most importantly) it aligns the slot in a timely manner so that it may fit onto the string without fumbling. and thirdly, since I shoot wood arrows, I am concerned with orienting the arrow relative to the grain run-out.  Some see it as overly cautious, but I see it as  cost-free insurance against injury.  The indexer helps keep me safe from broken arrows.

      Big indexer, big value.  But it adds complication…

      I found that my bitz jig would not accommodate the big indexers on my arrows.  The fix was easy though.  I had to drill out the hole in the nock indexer at the bottom of the jig.  It was an easy task.  The trick (which I learned the hard way) is to take the jig apart in a box so the small indent balls and springs don’t get lost.  Disassembly, drilling, and reassembly are quick and easy.

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 206

      I had to do the same thing with all of my Bitzenberger Jigs. Never did understand why such a well designed tool would not accept an 11/32″ nock. A couple of passes with the Dremal and all is sunshine and lollipops again. Until I drilled them out, I would just twist on dry a 5/16″ nock, fletch the shaft and then swap the 5/16″ nock with an 11/32″ one & a spot of glue.

    • rgrist
      Member
      Post count: 38

      I have had several different jigs in the past, but have come to prefer the Bitz because of the quality and ability to do 3 fletch, 4 fletch at 90, and 4 fletch at 75 X 105. I went with smaller feathers and use 4 fletch at 90 because the bottom right feather at the 75 X 105 setting would wear out quickly. A number of people in the past preferred a 60 X 120 fletch and I’m going to give that a try on the next set. This can be done with the Bitz at the 3 fletch setting by putting on two feathers then pulling the arrow out and rotating the shaft 180 degrees, then applying the other two.

      I have both the helical and straight clamps and found the straight clamp set at a slight angle stabilizes fine with less noise. The arrow would be faster also, as any increase in rotational velocity would come at the expense of translational velocity.

      BTW: I’ve done many hundreds with the 11/32 nocks and never had any problems. I now use a tapered shaft and 5/16 nocks with equally good results.

       

       

    • Stephen Graf
      Member
      Post count: 2342

      When I used to shoot 4 feathers I tried the 60X120  fletching option.  Compared to the 90X90 option it was very noisy in flight.  I went back to the 90X90.

    • rgrist
      Member
      Post count: 38

      Thanks for the info regarding the 60×120 being noisy. I think I will just fletch a few and check the noise level as opposed to a dozen and have to re fletch. It would seem that if the feathers were the same length and height that there would be no difference. Probably since the 60 degree spacing is so close, that there is a change in location as to where the flow changes from laminar to turbulent with an interaction coming off of the two surfaces.

      BTW: I really enjoyed reading your book and learned quite a bit. For instance, since a bow tapers from handle to tip, I had always assumed that the bend would be parabolic each direction and not two different segments of a circular curve.

       

       

       

       

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 206

      rgrist;

      This whole straight fletch / helical fletch thing is one of those mysteries of archery.

      Spoiler alert; There’s no difference with field points and probably no difference with broadheads.  There’s a thread around here somewhere that covers it fairly well with reference to a couple of articles that cover it very well.

      It makes no sense but just to be sure, I took a matched set of 6 straight fletch / no off set and 6 helical / max twist and shot for distance.  At aprox. 180 yards they impacted into one mixed group.  At that point I got a head-ache thinking about it and went off to hunt dirt clods.

      I still use helical on my arrows, mainly because that’s just the way all of my jigs are set up and it just seems ‘right’ to put broadheads in front of helical.

      YMMV.

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