Fletching help - thoughts

Gman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
551
Location
Colorado baby!
Been fletching my own arrows but I can't seem to get the top right edge (when upside down in the jig) to lay down correctly. It's as if it always wants to peel. Not sure if this is my arrow, too much offset, fletching, jig, etc.

I'm using:
Bitzberger straight jig
3" fusion vanes (also have same problem with 2")
Goat Tuff glue or platinum fletchtite - the GT is by far a stronger bond but I like working with the fletchtite better.
Bohning wraps
Gold Tip Kinetic XT arrow
I'm letting each vane set for up to a couple of hours at a time to make sure they bond but I'm still getting lift on the vane base corner.

Any thoughts on what I need to do to get a nice smooth bond with the vane? I took a pic to try and show what's happening I hope described it clearly. Hopefully someone can tell me if it's a combination of my materials/tools or if I need to change the offset on my jig - which was set to match my buddy's who been fetching with these settings for years.

Thanks for any and all help.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1339960174.396339.jpg
 

OR Archer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
2,301
Location
Eugene, OR
It's not the materials you are using. It would be in how you have your jig set up. When I was first starting out on fletching arrows I would take a piece of an old broken arrow with some cheap vanes and practice on that. I played with my jig settings and with different glues as well.
 
OP
Gman

Gman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
551
Location
Colorado baby!
Thanks OR Archer -

How much offset with the straight jig is ideal? I did dial it down a bit but am still getting the problem.
 

OR Archer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
2,301
Location
Eugene, OR
Id get a helical clamp for it as well. A good helical will help stabilize a fixed blade broadhead a little quicker than a straight offset in my opinion.

And to answer your previous question its going to depend on the size of the shaft you are fletching with the amount of offset you will be able to achieve. Obviously the GT Kinetics are a smaller diameter shaft so you wont be able to run quite as much offset with those.
 

Titaniumman

Senior Member
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
251
Location
N.W.Montana
I have a Bitzenburger and have used it for feathers on traditional arrows using both wood and aluminum shafts and Blazer vanes for my compound bow carbons. The guy who taught me how to fletch arrows always put a drop of glue on the leading edge of his feathers/vanes as a final step. I have done the same. I have not experienced the problem you are having but I use the helical clamp too.
 

dcestnik

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
162
Location
Helena, MT
Bitzenburger was hard for me to set up on fmjs. Helical clamp did help getting solid contact but not as easy as something like an ez-fletch or helix tower.
 
OP
Gman

Gman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
551
Location
Colorado baby!
Okay I'm opening my mind.... What's the benefit of helical over straight offset? When I did initial research it seemed like a tossup. And the guy who taught me to fletch uses straight offset and is a pretty good hunter.

Can I simply get a helical clamp for my straight jig or is it not that simple?
 

dcestnik

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
162
Location
Helena, MT
Helical stabilizes better at the cost of noisy flight. You can get a helical clamp for your jig without changing anything else. Try both out and see if there is a difference with broadheads.
 

Segan

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
61
Location
Utah
Try to lightly sand the base of the vanes. My buddy was using those vanes and was having troubles, the guys at are pro-shop told us to lightly sand them and it worked for him. Not to say your Jig is set right or wrong. I use Bitzenburger as well with no problems.
 

Nick Muche

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
3,329
Location
Alaska
I had the same problem as you describe several years ago when I began using the Bitz. What I did to fix it was to not put the vane all the way into the clamp, leave a 1/4" or so sticking out on the bottom. Then try and seat it to the arrow several times WITHOUT the glue on it. Once you figure out how exactly it needs to seat to get contact all the way throughout the vane, you are ready to apply glue. Take your time, go slow and you should be fine.

PS.. Leaving each vane on there for several hours is not neccessary... I have used both glues you are talking about and 10 mins max is all I let them. Also, regular old gorrila glue works just fine as well, but the best I found is the stuff at a hobby shop, Dave something or another is the brand, small blue bottle, dries in Seconds! Which is not good until you know exactly how to get perfect contact with the vane to the arrow...

Like I said, I had the same issue, and going through the motions without the glue on it helped me out the most. I have done 30 - 40 dozen sets of arrows on my bitz in the last 5-6 years, for me, my family and friends... Just takes some practice!

I have fletched many different kinds of arrows, FMJs, Kinetics, all sorts of Gold Tips, Eastons, Bemans, Carbon Express, Carbon Tech.... the list goes on... My point is that each arrow requires a little tweaking of the jig to make sure you get good contact... Just play around with it and you will figure it out.

You can buy the other clamp and try it out, but it shouldn't matter on the clamp at all, just practice without glue.

Good luck!!
 
Last edited:

GRAYLIGHT

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
61
Much more than a 3 degree offset will have your vane lead edge coming up from the shaft... A 2 degree offset will stabilize your arrow fine for most applications. Helical and offset straight are personal preferences... I have not seen much of a difference with 2" blazers straight or helical. Downrange accuracy does not appear to suffer from either method.
 
OP
Gman

Gman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
551
Location
Colorado baby!
Thanks guys really appreciate it. I'll try the suggestions mentioned and let you know how it turns out.
 

larryschwartz

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,099
Location
Annapolis, MD
Gman,

A helical clamp will often have a curved bottom edge which allows it to press the fletch (feather or vane) down on to the arrow more when you have a lot of offset. So, that might solve the issue you are having.

Also, as mentioned above, putting a lot of offset on the fletch could be the problem since your straight clamp is still trying to push down on a straight line along the arrow shaft, which will get shorter and shorter as you apply more offset. Easing back on the offset and trying it without glue (as mentioned above) to see what amount of offset causes the front end of the fletch to not fully contact the arrow shaft will probably be your best approach.
 

Brandon Pattison

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
2,829
Location
Michigan
Sorry, Gman. I was on my phone. These are all good points. I used the straight fletch for a while but it had to go. Big fat arrows from the 90s allowed you to use the straight but only with short fletching. Keep the vane out of the clamp a bit and a drop of glue on each end. I am so anal about it that I won't even use more than one clamp because I want them all exactly uniform with zero chance of any difference. Guys that have a dozen clamps, no offense and they can probably shoot just as accurately but for me it is a confidence thing. Once I got it in my thick skull I have to do it one fletching at a time.
 
Top