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Omnes homines resurgere
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Discussion Starter #1
My birthday gift to myself this year was a Bohning Helix Tower fletching jig.

After an initial misfire with the wrong feathers, I finally fletched my first arrow using the jig. The feathers were quite a bit shorter than those on my store bought Gold Tips. With a since of foreboding I took the arrow out to my target to test it.

The results took me completely by surprise. The arrow covered the 10 yard distance in the blink of an eye and hit exactly where I aimed it. So I went to 20 yards and tried again.

Then 30 yards. 40 yards. Finally 50 yards, the max I can do on the field. The results were the same. The arrow is scary accurate, especially compared to my straight feathered originals. The original gold tips required a lot of focus and perfect form to put it on target; the helical almost seems to will itself there with no serious effort on my part.

The whole experience got me curious, so I started some research online. I found this article on the subject which confirm my own observation.

Another point of interest: the helical feathers are 2.5 inches (the maximum for the jig) while the straight are 4 inches. I have heard (though never experienced) that shorter feathers allow the arrow to move faster due to less resistance.

Does anyone have similar experiences? I'm seriously considering stripping the straight fletchings in favor of the helicals after this experiment.
 

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Knowledge is Power
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It makes sense to me from a firearms perspective. Some of the first rifling was straight grooves down the barrel. As tech progressed, rifling began to spiral and accuracy improved even more. I see the benefit to this and wonder why it's not more common
 

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Blazer are the name of the short stubby fletchings,,,,helical can be a right or left twist to the fletchings,, if your your jig does only short fletching a it is a blazer only jig, but short or long fletchings a can be helical or straight,,, a helical ads accuracy because it twists the arrow in flight similar to the twist in barrel does to a bullet.
 

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Omnes homines resurgere
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Discussion Starter #5
Blazer are the name of the short stubby fletchings,,,,helical can be a right or left twist to the fletchings,, if your your jig does only short fletching a it is a blazer only jig, but short or long fletchings a can be helical or straight,,, a helical ads accuracy because it twists the arrow in flight similar to the twist in barrel does to a bullet.
The jig only allows for a right twist.

Interesting.
Does it add a lot of accuracy or is this something only a pro would notice?
I think the better word to use instead of accuracy is stability. Accuracy comes from the shooter, but the spin makes the projectile more stable in flight.

I have only been shooting regularly again for a year and I noticed the difference immediately.
 

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statists' be statin'
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There is no way that helical fletching impart enough spin on the arrow to improve it's stability. Bullets typically spin at speeds of hundreds of thousands of RPMs.

If there really is an increase in accuracy, I would venture a guess that the angled fletching causes slightly more drag and helps to keep the back in the back.

Curious: do you know the angle of the helix? I'd like to do some math.
 

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Omnes homines resurgere
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Discussion Starter #7
There is no way that helical fletching impart enough spin on the arrow to improve it's stability. Bullets typically spin at speeds of hundreds of thousands of RPMs.

If there really is an increase in accuracy, I would venture a guess that the angled fletching causes slightly more drag and helps to keep the back in the back.

Curious: do you know the angle of the helix? I'd like to do some math.
Bohning website says 3 degrees.

Maybe you're correct. I don't know enough to say one way or another.

I do know this: a bullet spins at a faster rate in part because it is moving faster to begin with. It will also travel a far greater distance than an arrow.

Another point to consider is the article I posted, where the groups seemed to be tighter with the helical. The second part of the article tracked arrow speeds, which showed that the helicals were slightly slower, but barely enough to notice.

I can't say for sure that the arrow was spinning in flight; my eyes can't track that fast. But it seemed to me to make a difference. It certainly was interesting shooting from beyond my usual maximum "safe" distance and hitting my target where I wanted to.
 

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statists' be statin'
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Another theory:
All fletchings are imperfect and therefore cause an arrow to go off course a little. Maybe, by spinning the arrow, those flight errors are cancelled out because it wanders off in all directions equally.

For some reason I find this fascinating.
 

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Omnes homines resurgere
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Discussion Starter #9
Another theory:
All fletchings are imperfect and therefore cause an arrow to go off course a little. Maybe, by spinning the arrow, those flight errors are cancelled out because it wanders off in all directions equally.

For some reason I find this fascinating.
Okay sorry that one I can't buy. Because if it was the fletching that caused the arrow to go slightly off course, then it would be impossible to accurately place any arrow where you want it to be. If that were to be true then the multiple 10 ring shots in the 2012 Olympic Finals for Men's archery would be statistically impossible.

Fletchings create drag, which helps an arrow steer itself along the path you want it to go upon release. And, when fletched in an offset or helical, it imparts spin to the arrow shaft, further enhancing stabilization, and minimizing "archers paradox", which is the inherent shaft flex or whip caused by the energy transfer from the string to the arrow.
 

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Third World'er Lunatic
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I was going to mention the flex.

Okay sorry that one I can't buy. Because if it was the fletching that caused the arrow to go slightly off course, then it would be impossible to accurately place any arrow where you want it to be. If that were to be true then the multiple 10 ring shots in the 2012 Olympic Finals for Men's archery would be statistically impossible.

Fletchings create drag, which helps an arrow steer itself along the path you want it to go upon release. And, when fletched in an offset or helical, it imparts spin to the arrow shaft, further enhancing stabilization, and minimizing "archers paradox", which is the inherent shaft flex or whip caused by the energy transfer from the string to the arrow.
ya beat me to it. watch a time lapse of a fired arrow sometime. any hand/cheek whip with the shorter helical?
 

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what pirate's?
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To me this is one of those things along the lines of,

1. Bumble bee's are not supposed to be able to fly, but they do.
2. The led round balls are not supposed to kill big game efficiently, but they do.

I'm told all the time that I am not supposed to be able to shoot as good as I do with 5in feathers and a straight fletch, but I do. And my broad heads are supposed to have an aggressive helical so that they stabilize in flight. At most, I only ever use a 2 degree offset and they shoot awesome.

As to OP's post, let feather in back means more weight in front= decent FOC if your into that. One thing I know for sure, helical fletch will hide bad arrow flight.
 

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Hillbilly By***!
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Research arrow front of center and build your arrows around that premise.
I shoot straight blazers out to 100 yards and have zero issues with flight.
FOC and bare shaft tune to 20 yards then Straight fletch. Helical just robs arrow speed.
I have a buddy that has shot out to 275 yards with straight blazers and a bare shaft tune.
I sling a lot of arrows with a lot of factory sponsored pros and They all do what I'm saying.
Good luck and have fun!
 

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what pirate's?
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Research arrow front of center and build your arrows around that premise.
I shoot straight blazers out to 100 yards and have zero issues with flight.
FOC and bare shaft tune to 20 yards then Straight fletch. Helical just robs arrow speed.
I have a buddy that has shot out to 275 yards with straight blazers and a bare shaft tune.
I sling a lot of arrows with a lot of factory sponsored pros and They all do what I'm saying.
Good luck and have fun!
Forgot that. I don't know anyone who shoots blazers that uses helical. Not one.
 

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what pirate's?
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#1 son feather slashed his hand ( too higher grip on the PG) to the point had to dig feather stubs out. been using a string loop on the flemish twist string, starting to build callus up finally.
That hurts. Poor guy. I would get that now and then with my self bows. I started sanding my quill's thinner before I glued them up then I go head and ad the big drop at the end. Have not had any issues with that yet. Still get cut, just not stuck.
 

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Omnes homines resurgere
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Discussion Starter #17
ya beat me to it. watch a time lapse of a fired arrow sometime. any hand/cheek whip with the shorter helical?
I haven't any issues so far.

Research arrow front of center and build your arrows around that premise.
I shoot straight blazers out to 100 yards and have zero issues with flight.
FOC and bare shaft tune to 20 yards then Straight fletch. Helical just robs arrow speed.
I have a buddy that has shot out to 275 yards with straight blazers and a bare shaft tune.
I sling a lot of arrows with a lot of factory sponsored pros and They all do what I'm saying.
Good luck and have fun!
The article I posted above did a speed comparison in the second part. While the helical did fly slower, it was marginal. He said in his conclusions that he'd keep with helicals because of the tighter group with the minimal speed trade-off.

I don't have the equipment to do speed tests but I didn't notice an appreciable difference in speed to target.
 

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Hillbilly By***!
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I haven't any issues so far.



The article I posted above did a speed comparison in the second part. While the helical did fly slower, it was marginal. He said in his conclusions that he'd keep with helicals because of the tighter group with the minimal speed trade-off.

I don't have the equipment to do speed tests but I didn't notice an appreciable difference in speed to target.
It's a marginal speed loss under 35 yards but past that helical fletching drops off like a rock.
If you're a under 30 yard shooter and never venture outside of that range then do what ya want.. I shoot at animals out at 60 plus yards helicals don't work for me, I've tried em..
 

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Hillbilly By***!
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Forgot that. I don't know anyone who shoots blazers that uses helical. Not one.
I have 6 Gold Tip XT Hunters in Lost Camo at 10.2gpi and I have them fletched with Blazers at a 3 degree right Helical. They finished at 457 grains with a 100 gr tip.
They hit hard under 30 but fly like crap past that.. I agree no one should use helical on Blazer vanes.. They were given to me to try and I'm gonna strip em and refletch em straight...
 
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