Selecting the right fletchings for your arrows depends upon what you plan on doing with the arrows. Are you shooting indoors? Outdoors? Long distances? With or without broadheads? Considering all of these factors will help you decide which type of arrow vane is right for your setup.
In the video below, professional archer, David Houser, explains three different types of arrow vanes and when it’s best to use one over the other.
The purpose of fletching is to stabilize an arrow in flight. The amount of stabilization needed will ultimately determine what vanes you should select. If you’re shooting indoors you’ll want a longer vane with a high profile and a strong helical. Since there’s no wind, you don’t have to worry about it pushing the big long fletching around and creating unnecessary drag. The helical will correct the arrow in the shortest amount of time, which is key when you’re shooting indoors at 20 yards.
The center arrow is fletched with 4 inch, high-profile vanes with a strong helical for indoor use.
When you’re shooting outdoors at long distances you’ll want to stick with a short and low profile fletching to minimize the drag from wind or other factors. You’ll still want a helical fletching as this provides the greatest accuracy at long distances because the spin corrects the arrows flight path. When you think about helical fletching, just think about how much straighter and accurate a spiral football travels compared to a ball with no spin.
An arrow fletched with low profile vanes for long distance shooting.
Now if you’re the typical whitetail deer hunter, you’ll likely want something that falls in between the two vane types mentioned above. Having a vane that can correct a broadhead tipped arrow is the main goal of a hunter. Expandable broadheads will fly more like a field tip right out of the package simply because they have less wind drag than a fixed blade. This doesn’t necessarily mean expandables are more accurate, it simply means you may have to do more to your set up to achieve perfect flight with a fixed blade. Regardless, a broadhead will have more drag than a field tip and you’ll be shooting in all sorts of conditions, meaning you’ll want a vane that can correct the arrow quickly. This is where the “Blazer” type vanes have gained their popularity. A Blazer style vane is short, but has a high profile, giving it more leverage to correct the arrow quickly.
An arrow fletched with blazer vanes for hunting.