By Shane Chuning
Archery can be very enjoyable for a lot of us. For some it can be relaxing shooting by yourself and getting away from the business of everyday life. Then for others it might be the challenge of competition in your local 3D shoots and getting together with all your friends and family to have a great time. This will all lead into the anticipation of the upcoming hunting season for most of us; this part can be challenging for some. The bow that has been shooting so good for you might possibly give you fits when you stick a fixed blade broadhead on one of your arrows. Some of us will take the easy route and just stick with an expandable broadhead to eliminate this very problem of arrow flight and fixed blade broadheads. Others might still prefer the fixed blade broadheads and just move our sight to compensate for where they are impacting compared to our fieldpoints. All this is ok and there are plenty of guys and gals out there that have success going this route. However, I would like to cover some of the problems you might be having that will cause these issues with fixed blade broadheads. Then by applying these techniques you can achieve true arrow flight while not limiting your choices of broadheads . For those that don’t hunt and those that do, the benefit is the same; true arrow flight. This will make your shots much more forgiving; while providing you with equal results regardless if it’s for target shooting or hunting.
Let’s start with the proper arrow selection. A good number of us will walk into an archery shop, whether a box store or a dedicated archery shop, look at arrow charts to see where we land for the correct spine for our set up. Others will ask for this advice, then most of the time will be directed to a manufactures arrow chart on the back of an arrow box. Now sometimes these recommendations will be accurate, sometimes they will not. Why, you might ask? This is due to each bows performance factor, not based solely off of one’s poundage and draw length. With the bows out there today gaining in there IBO speeds this is not factored in to the equation and is the single biggest factor to your proper arrow selection. When making these decisions, I highly recommend an archery software program. The one I use the most is a program called On Target 2 (OT2). This will factor in each bow’s performance and then put you a lot closer to your optimal spine range for a given set up. These programs will run around $30 and are well worth the price if you are after true arrow flight. Now for those that don’t have access to these programs. I would consider with some of these IBO speeds that are at or above 330 fps to opt for the next stiffest choice when making your decisions when looking on a manufactures arrow selection chart and are borderline in your spine recommendation. What the right spine choice does is give you the least amount of flex in your arrow upon the shot and this is a key factor in achieving that true arrow flight that we are looking for.
Next is the tuning process. This includes the right draw length to help with form alignment. It is crucial as well to delivering true arrow flight down range and not to be overlooked. Whether you are to long of a draw or to short, this can throw your release off and impede true arrow flight down range. I highly recommend you seek advice and get fitted for your right draw length. There are different ways to get you close by measuring, like your wing span divided by 2.5. The one that puts me the closest to my true draw length is while in the wing span position measure from the center of your chest to your wrist, right at the base of your hand. Either way, do not over look being properly fitted for draw length, it is critical to true arrow flight.
Now let’s look at the basic center shot location, which is the measurement off the inside face of your riser to center of shaft. This can be looked up from any manufacture as to what they advise for a good starting point location. Generally they will range from 3/4 to 13/16 on most bows. When our bows are too far outside these manufacture recommendations we know that something is not quite right. One of these causes could just be pour set up to begin with or the wrong choice in our arrow spine selection. Either way this is a very important step in achieving true arrow flight. Another possible problem would be your nock height location. This is where your arrow is placed perpendicular to your string while sitting on your rest. Again, most manufactures will have recommendations regarding this according to certain cam designs. Some might be nock level, others might be 1/8” nock high and some in between. When we go outside these parameters this would be a very good indication that something is not right with our set up. Outside of just poor set up in general, the most likely thing would be the wrong choice in arrow spine.
The last thing I would like to bring up would be yoke tuning. This is probably the biggest thing that is overlooked by most and not even practiced in a good part of our archery shops. When you have a cam 1/2, hybrid cam or single cam bow you will have a yoke that is attached to your top cam, often referred to as your buss cable. It can be recognized by the Y shape coming off the top cam. When your spine is chosen correctly and your centershot is set at the manufactures recommendation, you can optimize the best possible lateral nock travel by applying a certain amount of pre lean into your top cam. Twisting or untwisting the right and left side of your yoke would accomplish this. One way to achieve the best possible lateral nock travel is to shoot a bareshaft (without fletching) at a target from 10 yards to start. Then shoot a fletched arrow at the same target at 10 yards. Let’s say your bareshaft hits right of your fletched arrow, you would then add one twist to the left side and one out of the right side of your yoke. Repeat this until the fletched and bareshaft impact the same left to right. By twisting one side and untwisting the other you keep your cams in synch. When a bareshaft and fletched arrow impact the same at even 10 yards you will find far better results getting your fieldpoints and broadheads impacting together.
I can go more in depth in regards to tuning to get true arrow flight out of your set up but this touches the basics on a few things to consider when looking for that true arrow flight out of your bow. In the future, if you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to get back with you. You can also visit sportsmansnews.com and view articles or send me a message in the forum section under my username ontarget7.