Are You Using the Right One?
Walk into any archery pro shop and look at the arrows that are available, you'll notice nearly all of them are fletched with the same type of vane. The 2-inch Blazer Vane has become the industry standard for good reason, its short stature makes it more forgiving in windy conditions than traditional 4-inch vanes, while still providing plenty of stability when shooting fixed-blade broadheads. However, with more vane options available today than ever before the question is raised, are Blazer Vanes the best fletching option for your hunting setup?
Through plenty of backyard experimenting I've found that the way an arrow is fletched can be just as, if not more critical, to achieving precision accuracy than the vane type used. For example, fletching an arrow with vanes on a helical will cause the arrow to spin at a faster rate, stabilizing it sooner, resulting in better broadhead flight. However, shooting feathers, long vanes, or vanes fletched in a four-fletch configuration will cause the arrow to slow considerably past 30 or 40 yards. Choosing which is best for your hunting setup depends on the type of broadhead you want to shoot, the conditions you typically encounter and the type of hunting you'll be doing.
If you're hunting with mechanical or low-profile fixed-blade broadheads and don't have a need to shoot in windy conditions, you can use nearly any fletching available. If you choose to shoot a larger fixed-blade broadhead you may find that going with a bit longer vane or four-fletch configuration on a helical to be better suited for superior flight. When hunting in windy conditions, a vane with low surface area fletched on a helical will typically perform best. I've found my preferred combination to be a 3-inch vane fletched at a right helical but what works best for one bowhunter isn't always best for another.
Editor's note: This was originally published October 3, 2016.
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