Quick Fletching Repair

At the Compton shoot last summer, we were shooting a round with some friends when one of them exclaimed, “Good grief, how long are you going to shoot this set of arrows? I remember them from five years ago!”

I have been known to carry the same set of cedar arrows for a long time. I cherish each one of them, build them with love and am careful what I try to shoot. When asked how I keep them so long, I simply reply, with tongue in cheek, “I don’t miss.” Anyone who knows me, knows that’s not entirely true. I do however shoot a lot, and repairs are inevitable.

When you experience a problem with feathers coming loose for whatever reason–hitting an object, shooting through a target or just the glue letting go–here is an easy way to fix it in short order. I use heavy duty industrial thread. It is less porous with a good finish. This process works best when part of the feather is still attached to the shaft.

  • Apply your favorite adhesive to the feather.
  • Wrap the thread around the arrow, taking care to make sure the angles are close to being the same where the thread enters each feather. Also, make sure the feather alignment is correct as sliding may occur.
  • Pull tight. There is no need for a knot; it will hold.
  • Let dry for 10 minutes and then remove the thread.
  • Put an extra spot of glue on the tip of the quill and you’re good to go!

Don’t leave the thread on too long, or the excess glue will cement the thread to the feather, and you will pull the feather off when trying to remove the thread.

This works great when you are in camp and don’t have your fletching equipment with you. All it takes is some glue and a piece of thread.


About the Author:

Bub Wells is well-known in the Michigan traditional archery community. He can be found volunteering at many shoots and clubs in the state. He is often accompanied by his beautiful wife, Caroline.

One Comment

  1. Gene P July 18, 2018 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I also love my dowel arrows and over the last four years they have bounced off of steel posts, concrete floors and block walls, and they’re still going strong. I’ve had to repair one nock, but the fletching is still going strong. Other than the shafts have greyed, they still look almost new. I’m close to a 1,000 shots a piece for them !!!

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