Years ago I shot feathers on wood shafts; then Feathers on aluminum shafts; then vanes on aluminum and then vanes on carbon shafts.
Recently I went back to feathers on carbon to compensate for the weight of Nocturnal nocks while maintaining same FOC balance.
The rap for vanes has always been more durable and weather resistant.
More durable? I have come to the conclusion vanes are less durable. Just touch one with another arrow and they are torn, nicked, or rippled. As such they fly like crap. Feathers take target/group crowding with no ill effects. Just fluff it back again. Even missing sections don't matter.
Weather? A quick shot of G96 weatherproofing and that is a non issue, too, No smell, no worry. ATSKO weatherproofing is good. The powder works; it's the same thing as used for dry flys. Feathers are feather...
Years ago we used paraffin dissolved in mineral spirits for both fletching and dry flys, just dip them and shake off the extra. The wax left on the feathers doesn't smell after the solvent evaporates off.
I've dusted off the Bitz Jig mounting 4" and 3" feathers, right helical. These arrows fly GREAT! Better than any vane I have tried. It's very noticable!
I was trying Gateway Rayzr's but I feel all the hype is BS. They are expensive and I feel they are no better than regular 3 or 4 inch parabolic feathers on a helical.
The vanes I've used are Blazers, Vane-tec HP-2, AAE PM-20 and PM-23.
Am I missing something? I'm finding it hard not to give up on vanes and just stick with 4" feathers.
Anyone else using feathers because they feel they are better?