Getting ready for a hunting trip is almost as much fun as the hunts itself. Part of my process is fletching my arrows with my preference for vanes and vane angles. I want to give you an idea of how I use the Goat Tuff products to fletch this year’s arsenal of arrow shafts.
The first step in fletching is to make sure your shafts are clean so the vanes adhere properly. Goat Tuff has a kit that includes a shaft cleaning concentrate and microfiber cloth. When you apply the cleaner you remove any oils or residue that may have been part of the shaft production process. This is an important step and shouldn’t be skipped. Of course, you can use denatured alcohol and some other chemicals, but the GT cleaner was specifically made for cleaning shafts and does a great job.
Goat Tuff has some vanes that I have used in the past and really like their sturdiness and ability to withstand abuse in hunting situations. I’ve used the Opti-Vane, a 2” vane, in the past, but this year I will be using the Opti-Vane II. It is 2.75” long and .5” tall. I expect the additional length will provide greater arrow stability and the shorter height will give more arrow clearance.
The next thing is the GT arrow glue. This stuff is impressive. It adheres quickly and firmly. You won’t have to worry about the vanes coming off your shafts. The Goat Tuff website http://www.goattuffproducts.com has more information on how to use it. One thing I learned is “Less is better than more”. It doesn’t take a lot of glue to adhere the vanes to the shaft. Jerry Smith, the owner of GT, showed me at the Pope & Young Convention this year, that I should apply small dabs of glue and then smooth it out over the vane. Previously I tried to run a line of glue down the vane and usually applied too much.
The GT arrow fletcher comes with a three fletch and a four fletch indexer. It also has four vane nests (where the vane rests in the application process). The nests allow you to apply .5 to 3 degrees of offset (twist) in your vanes.
So here we go. First step choose the indexer and vane nest you want to use. I chose the three vane indexer with the 2 degree offset. Then place the vane in the nest.
Next apply the glue to the vane. Remember a little goes a long way. If you apply too much and the glue adheres to the nest you can remove it with acetone. Put the acetone on a cloth and wipe the nest clean. If excessive amounts of glue are on the shaft, just wipe it off with a cloth.
Next, place the shaft on the base and press down onto the v-blocks located at each end of the base. The glue dries quickly. I count down to 10 and release the pressure. You can also use the two clamps included in the kit to hold down the shaft, but I didn’t find that necessary. Lift up the shaft and one vane is complete. Repeat the process to the other two vanes.
If the shaft sticks to the nest, which happens if you have too much glue, gently pull the nest from one end and it will come off the shaft.
There you have it. It pretty simple to use the fletcher, but you might practice on an old arrow to get the knack of it. Once you’ve mastered the process I think you’ll like it.
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