My Turn: Making 5 Arrows In 7 Minutes

 

BOWHUNTING for DEER 2013 is Sponsored by, ThermaCELL, ACCESS Original Roll-Up Cover, Bowhunting Adventures Magazine and BowTube.com.

I got my arrow making tools out and went to work.

First thing, I drew my bow with a shaft in it and Gene Curry measured my arrow length. Then Jimmy Mitchell cut them to that exact length with his arrow cutter. Then he used a buffer gadget to get the cut off shaft perfectly smooth and free from any carbon powder or grit.

Then I wiped my new arrow shafts with the Goat Tuff Arrow Shaft Cleaner. It’s specifically for cleaning and degreasing arrow shafts before fletching them. The Cleaner is pH balanced so it enhances the gluing ability of carbon arrows. This product is a big improvement because carbon arrows are noted for having gluing issues with vanes.

Managing a shot arrow in flight is the key to arrow accuracy and no one does this better than Carbon Express®. The new Maxima® RED™ is a breakthrough in hi-tech carbon arrow design. It has stiffer ends to contain the arrow’s flex to what is called the “RED ZONE”™, the section of the arrow shaft that flexes during a shot. The high tech design of the Maxima Red Zone makes broadheads shoot more consistently.

Arrows-EZ-Closed-All
The arrow making components and tools; Goat Tuff High Performance Glue, florescent yellow Opti-Vanes by Goat Tuff Products, florescent yellow Bohning Blazer Arrow Wraps, Carbon Express Maxima Red size 350 carbon arrow shafts and nocks. Fletched with the Arizona E-Z-Fletch Mini for 2-inch vanes.

Cresting my arrows with Arrow Wraps. The shafts were clean in seconds and, one at a time, I laid out the yellow, 4″ Bohning Blazer Arrow Wraps and rolled one wrap on each of the 5 shafts. I used the “eyeball” method to line up the shaft properly with the wrap and did this on the flat surface on Jimmy Mitchell’s work bench. Easy to do and fast too.

Bohning Archery has a nice selection of Arrow Wraps in different widths, colors and designs. They look great and are easy to put on your arrow shafts. They offer 7″ Wraps ones for 4″ and 5″ length fletchings, as well as the 2″ vanes called Blazer Arrow Wraps.

Next step, fletching the arrows. Three unique things about this line up of arrow making components make it extremely fast and accurate; the Goat Tuff glue, the Opti-Vanes and the E-Z-Fletch Mini. This glue is the fastest drying available for arrow making. The Opti-Vanes are easier to glue than most vanes and the E-Z-Fletch Mini puts 3 vanes on at a time.

The first thing is to push the nocked arrow shaft into the notch in the bottom of the E-Z Fletch. There is a groove that automatically secured and indexes the arrow for perfect vane/feather alignment.  E-Z-Fletch Mini has a slit in each of it’s 3 arms and I slid an Opti-Vane in each slit. Then I put a light coat of Goat Tuff glue in each vane’s glue groove, closed the arms of the E-Z-Fletch Mini and put the cap on the end that holds the arms perfectly in place.

EZ-Mini-Fletcher
The Arizona E-Z-Fletch Mini in closed position for glue drying. When you use this Goat Tuff glue you will not believe how fast it dries.

I brought two E-Z-Fletch Mini’s along and inserted 3 Opti-Vanes in the second one and applied a light coat of glue to the vane. Then I closed the Mini’s arm’s and put on the Cap. In the short time it took me to do this the glue on the first arrow was totally set and I removed the E-Z Fletch’s Cap, pulled down the arms and removed my newly fletched arrow.

Arrows-EZ-Done
Each arrow was assembled and completed in less than a minute.

I repeated this process for the remaining 3 arrows, totaling 5 new arrows. Total time, 7 minutes. Heck, I remember when it took three times that for one feather to dry. Bye, bye to that.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

The Goat Tuff glue and Opti-Vanes are a match made in arrow heaven. They compliment each other so well. Together they give you the optimum adhesion and durability, as well as the all important, consistent broadhead flight.

Opti-Vane fuses two different materials into a single vane, which optimizes adhesion, durability and arrow flight. The base material is softer and gives optimum adhesion so every vane is easier to glue and secures to the arrow shaft with greater strength. The blade material is stiffer which provides optimum reliability and durability. It’s unaffected by extreme shooting conditions and holds up to Shoot-Thru Arrow Rests.

Gold-Tuff-Glue-OptiVanes

The Arizona E-Z-Fletch Mini is perfect for the popular short, high profile vanes. It lets you fletch 3 vanes up to 2 ¼” with a maximum helical for carbon hunting arrows. This gives you more accurate arrow flight. The Mini’s exacting helical gives you faster broadhead stabilization too. It’s extremely easy to use and I find I shoot tighter groups with the E-Z-Fletch Mini.

You can fletch arrows anywhere with these products, for example I’ve fletched arrows right in my ground blind during a wild turkey bowhunt. Something else is I can customize my arrow fletching, for instance I use the same color for all 3 vanes. Although that is unpopular I find it works fine for me. Making sure the cock feather is pointed the right way has a calming effect on me when it looks like a chance for a shot might come down. If I already have an arrow nocked I always check for that as well as check the nock to be 100% certain that it is seated properly. Particularly if I am nervous or anxious when a shot opportunity happens, checking these two things bring me back into the moment and I’m all about making an accurate shot.

Years ago I made my own arrows. I crested my shafts meticulously and fletched them with a popular fletching jig. Truthfully, as far as I was concerned, it became a miserable, time consuming process, sticking one feather at a time on my arrow shafts and then waiting half an hour for every single feather to dry. Wheeeew!

But, again truthfully, I got a kick out of cresting and making my own arrows. So when Bohning began offering Arrow Wraps and the Arizona E-Z-Fletch came around I was definitely interested. So I gave them a try and was definitely pleased. And I’ve been making my own arrows since.

Next up, I can’t wait to put these new Maxima Red arrows to the real test in the field.

But I digress, when my arrows were done Gene Curry took two and shot them from my bow through his paper tuning rig. He looked at the tears and looked at me.

“We have big problems,” he said.

CONTINUED: Gene Curry Fixes What I Messed Up On My Bow 

BOWHUNTING FOR DEER 2013 is Sponsored by, ThermaCELL, ACCESS Original Roll-Up Cover, Bowhunting Adventures Magazine and BowTube.com.