Left vs Right Helical

LK1037

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Listening to a pro talk fletchings — spoke of testing the natural rotation on a bare shaft arrow, then match your natural rotation to the helical. Is there any merit to this or is this just the stuff that separates the pro's from the rest of us?
 

Billy Goat

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Virtually all my bows rotate a bareshaft ccw, so left helical. I fletch everything in left helical. I don't think it makes one bit of difference. I just figured why not. I wouldn't worry about it at all. I just happened to find a good deal on a left bitz.
 
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LK1037

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According to this pro, one key indicator that of a wrong helical is the arrows will naturally drift to one side to the next.

My groups have always drifted to the left and had to compensate with the site/rest — most noticeable beyond 60 yards.

The theory does make sense. To his point, if the helical is wrong, the arrow has to fight against the natural twist out of the string, then switch directions once the fletchings catch wind and redirect.
 

Planopurist

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I clocked my shafts as rotating left coming off the string. I then fletched them left helical. At the time, that was the only clamp I had from back in the 90s. Back then, the theory was the arrows needed to rotate away from the shelf/riser for more clearance. I’d always stuck with that. It makes a lot of sense to me to clock them, but if you don’t I wouldn’t worry about it.


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Zac

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If your planning on putting your shafts through animals I would stay away from it. It is possible to unscrew your broadhead when pushing through dense mediums. However if you are shooting glue in points, or the Thorn glue in broadhead I would not hesitate to clock and fletch accordingly.
 

Planopurist

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I’ve never had one unscrew on deer or pigs.


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Billy Goat

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It would take an animal about 30' wide for my broadhead to unthread. I have yet to have one even loosen, tho it is a possibility. Target or animals.

I doubt the arrow has energy to really unthread, not enough rotational energy.
 

hunt-n-ski

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I tested a bare shaft and they rotate clockwise for my setup. But I shoot left handed so I don't know if that makes any difference. I shoot a right helical but mainly cause I hate my field tips unscrewing all the time when shooting at targets.

However, I do not believe the arrow could possibly rotate one way when coming off the string and then change to the other rotation. The arrow is going max velocity when it comes off the string and so the torque from the fletching is a maximum at that point. The tiny torque from the string or whatever could not be larger than the torque from the fletching. If it was then the rotation of a bare shaft would be really fast but that is not the case.
 

D.Rose

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The natural turn of the bareshaft has to do with how the strings were twisted when they were built. 90% of strings will spin the bareshaft naturally left. If you are extremely particular about your set up and it helps you mentally then go for the left helical. Most people will never shoot good enough to see the difference or benefits. For indoor shooting spots, pros will use the biggest vanes they can to steer the arrow as soon as it leaves the bow. So alot of times with very tall vanes you have to use a left helical to get the cable clearance you need. It only takes a foot or two for the arrow to stabilize out of the bow so I never seen the benefit other than if you have cable clearance issues.
 

justin davis

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I think there is some merit to natural spin of arrow and fletching with that natural spin.

majority shoot bareshafts with a left turn. That is because majority of string makers all twist their strings the same rotation.
 

Swampwise

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Tested this a few months ago and bare shaft and straight fletched arrows rotate left at 10', and of course left helical rotates left. Right helical rotate right at 10'. Helical in either direction will rotate more through the whisker biscuit. Arrows were shot with qad hdx and whisker biscuit pro. Personally didn't think it was worth it to refletch all my arrows or refletch the few that I fletched left. Apparently the 3° helical over matched the influence the string had on natural rotation.
 

Planopurist

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Tested this a few months ago and bare shaft and straight fletched arrows rotate left at 10', and of course left helical rotates left. Right helical rotate right at 10'. Helical in either direction will rotate more through the whisker biscuit. Arrows were shot with qad hdx and whisker biscuit pro. Personally didn't think it was worth it to refletch all my arrows or refletch the few that I fletched left. Apparently the 3° helical over matched the influence the string had on natural rotation.
Interestingly nice. Curious. Did you perform any other tests farther down range, like down range speed or drop?


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sndmn11

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Is rotation related to string twist, or serving twist? I am ignorant to string building and unaware if the two must rotate the same, or can be opposite of each other.
 

Billy Goat

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Is rotation related to string twist, or serving twist? I am ignorant to string building and unaware if the two must rotate the same, or can be opposite of each other.

I have a set of rogue strings in a bow (backwards of most) and it still puts a ccw rotation on my arrow, tho not as much as some of the others. Serving is backwards as well. So not positive it's direction of string or serving twist, might have more to do with loop twist while at anchor or something.

I have a friend that's says he has had them rotate in different directions within the same batch of arrows, I haven't experienced that.
 

sndmn11

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I have a set of rogue strings in a bow (backwards of most) and it still puts a ccw rotation on my arrow, tho not as much as some of the others. Serving is backwards as well. So not positive it's direction of string or serving twist, might have more to do with loop twist while at anchor or something.

I have a friend that's says he has had them rotate in different directions within the same batch of arrows, I haven't experienced that.
Is serving direction dictated by the string twist? Or can the same twist direction string have serving twisted either way?
 

Billy Goat

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Is serving direction dictated by the string twist? Or can the same twist direction string have serving twisted either way?
I think serving will loosen if it's not in same direction as the string twist, but I don't build strings. I know the serving is backwards on the rogue.
 

Swampwise

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Interestingly nice. Curious. Did you perform any other tests farther down range, like down range speed or drop?


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I've only tested speeds at point blank range and saw no difference between left or right helical through same rest but straight fletched was 2 fps faster through the whisker biscuit. As far as drop I don't see enough difference to matter personally but I don't shoot out to 100 yards. 5 pin fixed sights and 665 grain arrows I shoot at 65 yards with bottom pin.
 

Moneyball

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What about using a straight clamp with an offset to one side or the other? Anyone tried that?


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Billy Goat

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What about using a straight clamp with an offset to one side or the other? Anyone tried that?


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That's a straight offset and pretty common. I use one a good bit. I would never fletch arrows with a perfectly straight down the shaft Fletching.
 

bwlacy

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I've always been told if the serving is put on in the opposite twist as the string you will fight peep rotation. Never tried to serve one the other direction to find out.
 
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