Home Forums Bows and Equipment Straight Fletch Article

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  • richard roop
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    Post count: 38

    Very well written article in the Feb / Mar Traditional Bowhunter by Stephen Graf.

    Much food for thought.  I’m still not ready to strip off all of my proven helical fletch, but I’m keeping an open mind and plan on setting up a half dozen straight fletch to compare with my helicals.  Issues that I want to look at are change in point on distance and broadhead flight in a crosswind, headwind and a tailwind. Also the effect on a broadhead that’s mounted slightly less than perfect.

    A lot of shooting to do. I may need some new bales.

     

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    We all need to shoot more — haha —

    Richard , after you test the straight fletch arrows let us know what you think . I have not got around to making any arrows with straight fletch myself.

    Scout

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    It may be a month or so before I get into it.

    Right now, I’m getting ready for the Calif. State Trad Championship and don’t want to confuse my tiny little brain any more than it already is.

    Pointy end of the arrow goes toward the target. Need to remember that.

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Richard

    Good luck at the competition – I hope you “smoke em”!

    Where is it held?

    Scout

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    It’s going to be at the Verdugo Archers Range in Sunland Calif.  Kinda the Northern end of Los Angles.

    You mentioned in another post that you collect Ben Pearson bows. I’m currently shooting a Sovereign Mecury Hunter with a matching Ben Pearson bow quiver filled with hardwood footed cedars that have 1957 barbed Pearson broadheads mounted.  It’s a pretty package, if I may be allowed to gloat a bit. Shoots 2213s  pretty good, too.

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    Okey… Dokey.

    Had a couple of arrows in the rack in need of a re-fletch so I drug out a couple of older Bitzenberger jigs and set them up to straight fletch.  5 1/4″ by 5/8″ shield cut.  Arrows are 2213s 29″ w/125 grn points & 40 grn inserts.  FOC is just over 12%. End cap white & crested. Pretty much ‘old school’ all the way.

    After a bit of warm-up I went to my point on at 55 yards shooting ends of 5……. 2 straight and 3 helical.  To my surprise, they grouped together.  I had expected them to either group higher due to less drag or lower due to not flying cleanly & more drag.  They flew fine at all distances from 10 to 65 yards and produced 5 shot groups unless I dropped my bow-arm & peeked to admire my ‘fine’ shot.

    Noise was about the same with either but then large shield cut fletch isn’t know to be the quietest anyway.

    One test does not a semester make, and I still want to see what broadheads do in the wind, but so far it looks pretty good.

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Richard

    Ok – “going in amongst em” –i hav’nt driven thru LA since 2011 and it was too crowded for me then. The traffic has become exponential—Good luck.

    I didn’t explain myself very well – I am definitely becoming the “ol geezer” part, but don’t collect old bows anymore. I still have my Shakespeare Ocala ( 1st bow) but that’s it for old ones. The bows I shoot now, I had made to fit my likes and shooting style. That Pearson Mercury Hunter sounds like a great bow.

    I am going to try the straight fletch with my next batch of arrows just to see what happens .

    Scout

     

  • RalphRalph
    Member
    Post count: 2455

    I wonder if one needs to be on “the straight and arrow :=)) path” for them to work for them?

    Just wandering…:-)))))

     

    R2 had a good day and now he’s being ornery.

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    Gasp !!!! …………………. Don’t collect old bows ?????

    I have a few. Some of them can hold their own with some of the new stuff.  Had a rosewood / black glass Super Diablo that recently failed. Stunningly beautiful bow.  Like to broke my heart when it underwent explosive disassembly.  That was the first bow that I’ve ever had that was strickly my tournament bow.  Always competed with my regular hunting bows before.  The Pearson only lacks some camo & hunting arrows in the bow quiver to be a hunting bow but it’s such a neat package I’m leaving it high gloss.  It’s the bow I’m taking to the Calif. State Traditional shoot next month.

    Question;  Have there been any studies done regarding tissue penetration comparing straight fletch / slow spin with helical / faster spin that would stop suddenly as penetration begins ???  Or am I thinking too much ???

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Check out Dr Ed Ashby’s studies here on the website

    Scout

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Your comment on the Super Diablo coming apart brings up an issue I am curious about.  In gunsmithing  — with really beautiful fancy wood —- the grain has to be properly “set up” ie laid out in the stock – to protect it from  cracking / breaking under recoil – I would think this would be an issue in bowbuilding ? Have not seen much comment about this.  Maybe Stephen Graf will Give us his thoughts —

    Scout

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2275

    Scout,

    All bows will eventually break.  It’s just the nature of the thing.

    As for grain orientation, about the only thing that should be avoided is grain run-off.  If the grain runs down the length of the limb, then all is well.  If the grain runs from side to side, that will lead to failure.

    Self bows are generally made by “following a ring”.  The layers of wood are oriented from back to belly, with the oldest wood on the belly side, and the youngest wood on the back side.  That said, you can make a self bow with “edge grain” meaning the wood is turned so that the layers of wood run side-to-side.  A backing for the edge grain design is recommended.  Edge grain self-bows tend to be less reliable and less accurate.

    Laminated bows are generally made with laminations of wood that are either edge-grain, or flat-grain.  Flat-grain being the orientation that would be used in a self-bow.  Because the laminations are thin and they are generally not put next to a sister lamination from the same tree in the same orientation in which they lay while in the tree, weak spots don’t line up.  This is the strength of a laminated bow.  The laminations of wood, glued together, makes a more homogenous and longer lasting bow.  Add fiberglass to the back and belly and you have a bow of modern design.

    A good bow is “90% broken” when drawn.  This means that the elastic limits of the materials are approached every time the bow is shot.  Getting this close to the limits of the materials is what guarantees a fast and efficient bow, but also guarantees its eventual failure.  A gun stock is never exposed to such high forces and should never fail under normal use.  That said, wood is sneaky.  There is always the chance that some past ice storm or beetle left its unseen affects in the wood and the stock will fail.  Or that the gun maker ran low on coffee one cold morning and didn’t notice how the grain was wandering as he made the stock.

    Speaking of coffee…

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Stephen

    Thank you – very informative . I figured ( haha ) it would have some effect.

    I like pretty wood , doesn’t have to be extravagant- but sometimes that’s nice too

    Scout

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    I believe that the Super Diablo failed for a combination of three reasons.

    (1) The bow was aprox. 50 years old.  A lot of years and a lot of arrows.                                                                                                  (2) The bow was an EBay purchase from ‘back East’ where the humidity tends to be higher than here in Arizona with low             humidity and high temps.                                                                                                                                                                             (3) And mostly, about three months before it failed I had waxed the entire bow with Lemon Pledge. It looked great but when I  strung it with bow-stringer. it slipped out of my hand and hit the concrete floor rather hard.  Seemed to be ok afterwards  but I still suspect that mishap was a factor.

    The failure notwithstanding I still believe that the Super Diablo is one of the classics. I have two others in zebra wood and a matching longbow.

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    Shooting in the wind;

    Helical and straight fletch still grouping together, such as I can group in the wind.

    Have noticed that when I find a soft spot in the bale that the straight fletch seems to be less ‘traumatized’ by pulling it out the back.

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Richard

    Interesting  — makes sense on less damage pulling thru the bale. ( easier penetration? )

    I am interested in trying the straight fletch for less drag effect. I got a feeling that there isn’t much practical difference between the 2 ( in any way) out to my hunting distance of 25yds max, imho. But it is fun to experiment and I’ll take any help (other than modern technology) I can get to make me and my equipment more efficient .

    Scout

  • Bob Jahnke
    Member
    Post count: 1

    Richard

    One thing I was interested in was the potential for less arrow drag and more speed which would need to be verified with a chronograph. However as you stated that your groups at 50 yards makes me think that your arrow trajectory was about the same with both arrows.

    That being said I’ll wait till we see more data on this before I strip all my arrows to re-fletch.

    Thanks for the info.

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