How to Build Arrows for Bowhunting

BH101 Know-How Featured

Deer season is over for many bowhunters, and we’re stuck waiting for spring turkey season. If you need a fun way to pass the time between seasons, try building arrows.

It further engages your fascination with archery, and it’s a productive way to spend an evening while watching hunting films. Your efforts will be rewarded when you nail bull’s-eyes and harvest animals with your self-built arrows.

The fun starts at an archery shop, with staff helping you choose the right arrow shaft and components for your bow. Then they’ll cut the shafts to your draw length and install the inserts. The rest of the work is up to you. Let’s discuss how it’s done.

What You Need:

Arrow shafts

Fletching

Fletching jig

Fletching glue

Rubbing alcohol

Choose Your Fletching

When you visit the archery store, you must pick out fletching, which stabilize your arrows in flight. You can choose feathers or plastic vanes in different sizes, shapes and colors. Archers who shoot compound bows usually choose vanes, while those who shoot traditional bows usually choose feathers.

Although you can choose any fletching you like, some bowhunters prefer bright-colored vanes or feathers so they can find their arrows more easily after a shot. It’s also important to choose fletching that effectively stabilizes your broadhead. Talk to archery pros to get the right size and profile fletching for your broadheads.

Setting Up Your Jig

Jigs have a base that holds the arrow shaft and a clamp that holds the fletching against the shaft. Photo Credit: Bowhunting.com

To attach your fletching to the arrow shaft you’ll need a jig that aligns and positions each fletching precisely and consistently. Jigs have a base that holds the arrow shaft and a clamp that holds the fletching against the shaft.

Read the jig’s instructions to learn how to set it up for your arrows. If you have questions, ask the pros at your archery shop to teach you the process. They’ll even help you set up the jig.

Shaft Prep

To glue the fletching to the arrow shafts, first prepare the shafts by cleaning them with rubbing alcohol or special shaft-prep products sold by archery shops. These cleaners remove dirt, oils and films that hinder bonding or prevent glue from setting.

Stick it and Repeat

Place an arrow shaft in the jig and a fletching in the clamp. Then run a thin glue bead down the fletching’s length. Photo Credit: bowhunting.com

You’re now ready to fletch your arrows. Place an arrow shaft in the jig and a fletching in the clamp. Then run a thin glue bead down the fletching’s length. Place the clamp on the jig while applying slight pressure to seat the fletching against the shaft. Let the glue dry, and repeat the process with your next fletching.

Isn’t that easy? Your new arrows will look great, and you’ll get plenty of compliments at the 3-D range and hunting camp. If you’re ready to start making arrows, visit an archery retailer to get the supplies and instruction you need.


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