Introduction: How to Re-Fletch a Three-Vane Carbon Arrow
Archery is a technical sport with many disciplines such as 3d target, competition, and hunting. As a beginner in the sport, you can go to any retail store that sells archery equipment and buy a dozen low-grade carbon arrow shafts that are pre-fletched. Those arrows will get the job done in terms of developing your form and technique, but they are limited in accuracy because of the straightness of the shaft and fletching. A dozen high-end carbon arrows can range from 100 to 200 dollars depending on the brand and greatly improve your accuracy. With use over time, vanes will begin to peel off, get sliced by broadheads, and become deformed. These accidents have a huge impact on arrow flight and should be fixed immediately. Replacing a perfectly good arrow because of damaged fletching isn’t cost effective. Fletching your own arrow is a cost-effective process that will save money in the long term and increase accuracy. The instructions below are a platform for beginners to get started on how to re-fletch a three-vane carbon arrow.
The materials needed are:
· Carbon arrow shaft (any brand)
· Arrow fletching tool (Bitzenburger, EZ Fletch)
· Vane stripper (Dull box cutter, dull razor blades)
· Vanes (any brand)
· Super glue (any brand)
· Q tips
· Alcohol wipes (rubbing alcohol, acetone with a clean paper towel will work too)
· Clean surface to work on (mouse pad, bench)
Step 1: Stripping the Shaft
a. Grip the end of the shaft close to the base of the vanes with your palms facing up. (the working end with the vanes should be on the same side as your thumb)
b. Firmly grasp the vane stripper in your free hand.
c. Place the vane stripper at the base of the vane and drive it away from your body while applying a little downward pressure. (be careful not to damage the carbon)
d. Continue this process until all vanes on the shaft are completely removed.
Step 2: Prepping the Arrow Shaft
a. Use the alcohol wipes to clean the working end of the shaft where the vanes were stripped off. (do not touch the cleaned part of the shaft after cleaning)
Step 3: Prepping the Arrow Fletching Jig
a. Place the shaft, with the nock first, firmly into the base of the arrow jig. (nock allows the shaft to be turned to accept the next vane)
b. Place the bigger end of a single vane at the black mark. (ensure vane is flush against the clamp edge like the picture)
c. Slide it onto the jig to ensure complete vane to shaft contact.
Step 4: Prepping the Vanes
a. Apply some rubbing alcohol on a clean paper towel.
b. With the paper towel/alcohol wipes, clean the entire base of the vane from end to end. (creates a better surface for adhesion)
Step 5: Fletching the Shaft
a. Remove the vane clamp from the jig.
b. Insert a cleaned vane into the vane clamp so it is completely flush. (Reference step 3b)
c. Apply a thin, continuous strip of glue along the entire length of the vane. (a little glue goes a long way)
d. Place the vane clamp back on the jig. (Ensure the bottom of the clamp is on top of the nock receiving base)
e. Ensure complete vane to shaft contact. (use both hands to keep the jig from moving)
f. Wipe off access glue with Q-tip.
g. Let the glue set for 15 to 20 seconds.
h. Carefully remove the clamp.
i. Turn the nob at the base of the jig counter clockwise to accept the next vane.
j. Repeat steps A through H until the shaft is completely fletched. (3, 4, 6 vane possibility depending on the archer)
Step 6: Tipping and Tailing
a. Place a dab of super glue on the front and rear of all the vanes where it contacts the arrow shaft. (this prevents vanes from peeling when passing through objects)
b. Allow the glue to cure for 15 to 20 seconds.
Step 7: Inspect Completed Arrow
a. Remove the finished shaft from the fletching jig.
b. Ensure all vanes are flush against the shaft without any gaps or lifting.
c. Gently lift the arrow a couple of inches by each individual vane to confirm adhesion. (the whole arrow doesn’t have to be suspended in air)
Step 8: Completely Fletched Arrows
These steps are the basics of re-fletching a three-vane carbon arrow. In the beginning, re-fletching a carbon arrow shaft can take between 5-10 minutes. With practice, a shaft can be re-fletched in under 5 minutes. Not only will money be saved in the long term, but accuracy will also be improved. Whatever your discipline in archery is; be safe, have fun, and keep on flinging arrows.