Vanes and related
Had this person question me on vanes. If by him you "have to have" or your arrow won't fly or fly as well as they should.
Well, me gots this in my head. First, use your head. I'll use any dang vane I want and I will get good arrow flight. About the only vane I haven't tried is the Bohning Micro Blazer. Doesn't any difference the game either, not for me. I used Mini Blazers for indoors and long range. I've used Blazers fletched full helical out the 80 yards and no issues whatsoever. I've 4 and 5" vanes for indoors, Outdoor target, and Field. They both performed like magic.
Not wanting over steer and what I would call a unbalanced arrow, I do watch FOC. But! I've never seen the time I needed anything over 10% FOC for target or hunting. Some of my most accurate target arrows have FOC down to about 6%.
Actually, if the bow is set up correctly, it will fling a mulitude of arrows and different vanes with no effect or dang little. And I even tried that staggered stuff and different placement other than factory.
And then he related that I hadn't fletched a lot or I'd known better. Well, since I returned archery and started fletching for myself and at the shop....So for about 3 years straight I fletched a dozen arrows a week average and myself, there's a couple thousand. And then figure 7 years on my own and my testing, probably total around 5,000.
So I combined some pics to give some that I've done... You have to sort them out.
Vanes and related
Again, use your head. I like full helical. However, full helical isn't necessary the vast majority of times, whether target or hunting. And if anything helical isn't all well and good for vanes like NAP Quick Spins.
I hear helical spouted so much I can puke and love helical when appropriate and when I plain just want helical. When Blazers first came out 2 and no more than 3 degrees of offset was best and shouldn't be exceeded. The biggest factor was down range speed loss. So like I really care. I mean, if I'm sighted in for 80 yards then my arrows will hit 80 yards...and accurately. Basically, the Blazer was the deemed thee short hunting vane for fixed broadheads. Hunting yardage to me is a good 40 yards and a lot less. So speed really isn't a factor.
NAP 2" Twisters, twin of the 2" Blazer, comes with a schematic, a diagram. Call it want you want, but 2 to 3 degrees and NAP states for best performance. The diagram shows the center line of the arrow and one front corner of the vane touching the center line of the arrow and the opposing back corner of the vane touching the center line of the arrow. And I've fletched Twisters full helical with no ill effects.
My target vane used today is the Bohning X vane 1 3/4" Shield cut fletched full helical. And then my perferred hunting vane, a Bohning 4" low profile, is slightly offset, 2 degrees of there of.
JoJan is the only one to advertise their full helical clamp. 11 degrees of helix per inch. Their multi-fetcher is my choice for straight, offset or full helical. I use them whether 1 arrow or 6 arrows is the call. Short vanes, I use one matching vane in the opposite end of the clamp to help seat the vane being glued.
Bitzenbeger. I do not agree that it is the premier fletching jig on the market. At best it is no better than another jig on the market. IF equiped with the Zenith Kit then I'll agree it's the best. I own one and it sits in it's box and has so for several years. So I blowed about $70.00. My inexpensive Martin jig fletchs just as well if not better (cause I'm use to it). The shop also has one and it's collected dust every day since I can remember.
Bohning has their Helix fletcher that is said to give a true 3 degree helical for 2 inch vanes. I had the stand along, one vane at a time. Tried it once to take pictures, saw what I had to do and shoved it off on someone real quick - like I gave it away, brand new. Tried the Bohning Tower and found it less than desireable. And even with the clamp extensions available the fletching was to factory length from the nock, too close. Brand new, all new accessories and ball hat, sold it for $25.00.
Haven't tried the Arizona and for the price I don't care to. It's plastic and surely moves around just like Bohning Tower.
Sonny; I've fletched alot of arrows on the Arizona Mini and it does a very good job. Fast and compact to use, only downfall is it is plastic and will break, one of mine did. Moved on to a Blitz and am happy I did. Bought a right helical clamp and really like the way my 4" Shieldcut feathers fly, I tried to fletch feathers with the Arizona and it just made a mess out of the feathers trying to get them in it. Have started fletching my Blazers on the Bitz. and I don't know how much helical they are but they seem to fly just as good as the Mini ones. The time spent fletching is time spent away from the TV, and that's a good thing for me. If someone could make the Arizona out of metal I'd have another one.
Vanes and related
Bob, I did note the Arizona had less...moving parts than the Bohning Tower. I do mean actual moving parts. The Bohning has this little lever you push sideways and moves the vane clamps back, So pivot point of the lever, 3 clamps able to move in and out, and the clamps themselves angle out to load the vanes. That particular Bohning Tower sat in the shop, brand new, since I began working there. No one wanted it. Bohning very graciously sent new parts, free, to upgrade the Tower, extensions for the clamps and the new cut out ring to seat the clamps and still no one wanted it. List was $50.00 and I kept marking it down until it sold, $25.00.
I believe the Arizona is like the Bohning, remove the nock and the shaft centers on a post. This correct?
The Bohning Helix is listed for $43.00 and it's all plastic. I had to press the vane plate (really can't call it a clamp) to seat the vane and saw the plate flex - 4 tabs fit over the body and to "fit" the plate you have to press down and then the plate flex. Sure, the plate straightened afte removal, but still.....
The Bitz is one solid fletching jig. It, though, suffers like other jigs. It centers the arrow through the arrow nock in the nock reciever of the jig. The "V" guide is not adjustable...In other words, rotate the nock reciever to turn the arrow and movement/mis-alignment can occur and does quite often and due to the "V" wedge the arrow nock fits on.
The Zenith kit uses a collet that fits inside the shaft to center the arrow, much like the Tower's post. The "V" guide of the Bitz is simply modified to add a adjustable "V" guide. When both are properly adjusted the arrow is perfect straight through out fletching. Actually, I'm surprised the Zenith Kit is not available through Lancasters.
My Martin jig suffers like others for keeping the arrow properly aligned during fletching. BUT! I took a piece of stiff plastic and fashioned a "V" and glued it in position for one arrow diameter. I thought to make groove plate so insert different "V" for different diameter arrows, but I've never got around to it.
The Martin is much like the Grayling and lists for $30.00. I think someone gave me the one I have and then I gave $5.00 for the odd ball helical clamp - looks full helical, but I can shoot the fletched arrows through a shoot through prong rest.
The JoJan, while not perfect it's the next thing to it. Both the nock reciever and "V" are adjustable. I have scribed lines for both in the aluminum frame just in case someone messes it up. Ahhh! Doing 6 vanes at a time sure quickens fletching a dozen arrows and more. Figure 2 minutes set up (vane to clamp & glue), 5 to 7 minutes for Platinum glue to set times 3 comes out right at 21 to 27 minutes for 6 arrows...if I'm not doing something else. If using fast set glues by the time you seat the 6th clamp the first arrow is ready to be turned and then fletching time is virtually cut in half.
JoJans still list for $100.00 - no cost increase in some 3 or 4 years.
The Arzonia does have a nock fit so there's no need to remove the nock. What I like about my Blitz is I shoot cock vane out away from the riser and it's very easy for me to fletch an arrow with my fixed blade Muzzy Phantoms or Magnus stingers with the same blade orientation every time. I shoot nothing but Ripcord arrow rests and IQ bowsights, so I can pick up anyone of my bows and keep it consistant with my two Martins, a Bengal and Onza. I stuggled with getting a JoJan mulitifletcher but don't need that kind of speed, Hands down the Arizona fletchers are very quick to fletch a dozen arrows in an hour is relativly simple. With the costs of everything going up and being on a not so fixed income I bought a Blitz after one of the Arozona's broke while I was cleaning it, wanted something I could pass on when I do, not too soon I hope. I am sill kicking my self for not bidding on a white risered Onza, I am pretty good at spray painting camo, used to do alot of guns for smacking coyotes. There's just something about watching those white feathers arching down range.
That white Onza was sweeeeeeet looking right? I saw it the other day. Made me think about my northern Martin friends hunting in the snow.