Home Forums Bows and Equipment Wood Types for Light Weight Arrows (30-35 Spine)?

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  • Kristin Fleetwood
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    Post count: 11

    Hello, everyone,

    Been doing some more research into making my own wood arrows at some point. My draw length is only 23″ and 1/4 and, as I mentioned in another post, I am using a 58″ 32# @24″ Ragim Matrix J. takedown recurve bow and slowly working up to being able to draw at 40#. Based on those specifics, someone I spoke to at 3 Rivers Archery said I should look for shafts that are 5/16th in diameter and 30-35# in spine and to cut them to around 27″. The only type of wood that I have seen so far that comes in that is POC. Does anyone know if there are any other types of wood out there that can also come in 30-35# spine at 5/16th in diameter? I’ve heard of yellow cedar/southeast Alaskan cedar, but I’m not sure if it is available in that light of a spine. Any help greatly appreciated!

  • aeronut
    Member
    Post count: 156

    Poplar or Lodgepole Pine.  I shoot a lot of Poplar and they have a lot of the same characteristics as POC.  They just don’t smell as nice as POC when you break one.

    I lean toward disagreeing with 3 Rivers on the spine selection for your draw length on your 32# bow.  If you are shooting 40# then the 30-35# would be good.  I shoot 40-45# and have a draw length of around 26″  I shoot 35# spine shafts with a 125 grain head.

    Dennis

    • Kristin Fleetwood
      Member
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      Post count: 11

      Thank you! What spine would you recommend for the 32# bow? I already went ahead and ordered some 30-35# POC shafts just to get started, but would be happy to try other spines that would work for my bow.  I’ve seen lodgepole pine mentioned in a few places, but not poplar. What is poplar like? Is it more durable than POC?

  • RalphRalph
    Moderator
    Post count: 2483

    I’m curious to know what weight points your planning on using on the arrows.

    It’s easy with glue on points to play (experiment with) the 75 gr., 100 gr., and 125 gr. points that are available for the 5/16″ shafts.

    There may be more options but these are all that I’ve diddled with.

    The below I copied and pasted. It has been a tried and true method of at least where to start when selecting wood spine.

    Of course the the figures are way different than being discussed here but the principal is the same.

    “To get arrows with the correct spine for your bow, you first need to know your exact draw length and the weight that you are pulling from your bow. The standard measurement for a bow is based on 28″, but many of us fail to draw to that length; most of the time we draw less. A rule of thumb is to add five pounds of spine for each inch over 28″ as well as an additional five pounds for the broadhead. For each inch under 28″, you will subtract five pounds. For example, if you are drawing 65 pounds at 29″ you would add five pounds for the inch over 28″ and another five pounds for the broadhead, ending up needing an arrow spined at 75#. I would also err on the high side, adding another five pounds. In this case, I would opt for shafting that is spined 75# to 80#.”

    The “most of the time we draw less”…………..important……………………it’s easy to draw less than what we believe is our draw length.

    Good luck…Have fun….don’t overthink it.

    P.S. It’s easier to tune and mess with wood arrows a bit over spined than under spined….

     

  • Kristin Fleetwood
    Member
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Thank you for the info, Ralph! To answer your question, the guy I talked to at 3 Rivers suggested 125 gr points, so I have ordered some 125 gr field points and I’ve managed to acquire some old Bear Razorhead broadheads off of Ebay that are 125 gr. (at least, I assume they are, since they seem to be the regular Razorheads, not S/S or Lite). Sounds like I may need to do some experimenting on my own with different weight points. I’m so new to everything, including the experimentation. Will try not to overthink it. 🙂

  • aeronut
    Member
    Post count: 156

    I’ve been making arrows for over 30 years starting out with multiple recommendations from a lot of different people and mainly just experimenting on my own.  We didn’t have something called internet back then.

    My routine is what Ralph pointed out only I use 3# per inch, not 5.  First you need to know your actual draw length.  When I set up as a vendor at a lot of the 3D shoots it was fun to see the reaction of people when we did an actual measurement of their draw length.  A good 85% of those claimed a longer draw length than what we measured and most all of them were going by what they drew as a compound shooter.

    The spine of an arrow is measured on a span of 26″ and that measured spine is figured with a 125 grain point as a standard.  If you use a lighter point the shaft will react as a stiffer spine.  Using a heavier point the spine is weaker.  Arrow length also has an affect on spine.  A shorter shaft is stiffer in spine.  Anything over 28″ will be weaker spine.

    I have a hard time agreeing with the 3 Rivers recommendation of cutting the shafts to 27″ BOP.  That would stiffen the shaft.  Best bet is to start with a full length shaft and work back from that.  If they show too stiff at full length step up to a heavier point.  If they show a weak spine shorten the shaft in 1/2″ increments until they fly better.

    As an added item to confuse people even further the size and shape of your fletching will also affect the flight of the arrow.  Short parabolic cut feathers are a little faster.  Shield cut are a tad slower but stabilize the arrow quicker.  A flat Cherokee cut will stabilize even quicker since there is no slope to the front of the fletch.

    Now to answer your question about Poplar shafts Kristin.  Poplar is a lesser hardwood and is close to the same weight as a POC.  Maybe a tad heavier.  They take stain and seal well and I have made and sold a lot of them.  I would go with trying a 30# 5/16″ shaft.   Like I said, leave them full length to start.  You can always remove wood but it’s danged hard to put it back on.  Start out with the 125 grain points.  If they show too stiff for your setup find some 100 grain points.

    I will look through my boxes of shafting and see if I have some 30#.  If I do we can probably do a deal.

  • Kristin Fleetwood
    Member
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Serves me right for going off of one person’s recommendation. Thank you for all the info, aeronaut! Still have a lot to learn, but I’ll get there. Next time I will go with full length wood shafts and experiment from there.

    As far as the cut goes, I think I’d like to do a traditional cut. I just like the look better. I know a lot people seem to go with shield or parabolic. How does a traditional cut affect the flight, just out of curiosity?

    If you do find any 30# poplar shafts, I’d be happy to see about doing a deal.

  • aeronut
    Member
    Post count: 156

    Traditional and shield cut is the same.  What I and a lot of people call Cherokee cut is Cut Section in this link from Gateway.

    And then there is this little How-to-d-it here.

  • Kristin Fleetwood
    Member
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Thank you!

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