I had a wonderful few days trying to decide on a Fletch for the arrows I will be using during this hunting season… 4 days of shooting arrows to measure grouping sizes in light wind, heavy wind, inconsistent wind, and no wind.
Definitely not definitive, my test was a simple one: Fletch a few arrows with different fletches. Set up a plain paper target at 50m (55yds) and plot & measure the groupings. Not scientific, but it did give me a very good indication of what to expect under various conditions with the different fletches.
The first shot had to count, but i allowed myself to kick out one “flyer” (my 95% grouping) and rated the average on my 80% grouping – why did I do this? The first arrow on a hunt should also be your last arrow… so that one matters. The flyers come from lack of concentration, and is generally my fault, and does not indicate what the arrows will do. The 95% grouping shows what the error will be on my mistakes or bad shots, and the 80% grouping will give me a fair indication of my good shots and how the arrows are likely to perform when I am performing as I should.
Lastly, I did the test at 50m because I wanted a more clearly defined pattern and more of the wind effect. Up to about 30yds, all I got was a big hole in the paper and a bunch of torn off fletches and broken nocks.
Off course… all my results could be different with another spine or another arrow, or a different bow, so please dont take my results as the difinitive answer for what is better and what is worse, simply take it for what it is: my best solution with the resources currently available to me.
As you know, I decided earlier on using the GoldTip Kinetic arrows (standard, red label) this year for my hunting. My bow is the marvelous new Bowtech Reign6 set up to about 70lbs and 29,5″ draw.
The fletches I tested was the following:
Yes, I know there are hundreds of options more, but i wanted to stick to what the average joe you would typically get over the counter.
Not surprising, but not all the way what I expected either.
A few preconceived ideas:
- Smaller fletches will have less noise and less wind effect, but also less drag to correct arrow flight
- Larger fletches will be more “forgiving” but slower (drag) and will be bugged by the wind
in actual fact, the following observations was made:
- The smaller High Profile fletches were the noisiest (especially the flash vanes) and the noise was worse in the wind
- Up to 30yds or so, accuracy was impeccable regardless of choice
- The small fletches tended to shoot high right, the larger vanes, low and left-ish (I suspect this is a spine reaction + more/less drag)
- On longer distances, fletch integrity started making a difference, especially on the larger fletch sizes.
The 80% grouping sizes were as follows:
#1 Vantech HP 2″ – 128mm (5.1 inches)
#2 Vanetech 3″ V-Max – 130mm (5.1 inches)
#4 Flexfletch 3.6″ FFP 360 extreme – 136mm (5.3 inches)
#3 Flexfletch 2″ Flash Vane – 141mm (5.5 inches)
#5 Vantech 4″ V-Max – 173mm (6.8 inches)
The 95% grouping sizes were as follows:
#1 Vantech HP 2″ – 145mm (5.7 inches)
#2 Vanetech 3″ V-Max – 153mm (6 inches)
#3 Flexfletch 2″ Flash Vane – 195mm (7.6 inches)
#5 Vantech 4″ V-Max – 207mm (8.1 inches)
#4 Flexfletch 3.6″ FFP 360 extreme – 214mm (8.4 inches)
Currently I am leaning to the number 2 fletch choice… the Vanetech 3″ V-Max… Seems to be the best at solid groupings over distance vs noise vs efficiency. Maybe I will still try the Vanetech 2.88 Shield Cut before I make my final decission… Just to be sure!
Thank You to Archer’s Edge for supplying the fletches for testing!