The Fundamentals of Bowhunting Arrow Shafts
For bowhunting, arrow shafts have been used from the beginning of time, and with success. Hunters made shafts from bamboo, then came aluminum, and now we are dealing with carbon as the main material used for arrow shafts. But do you know what it takes to have a well-made arrow shaft?
Today we are diving into episode #12 of The Deer Gear Podcast. "The Fundamentals of Arrow Shafts with Dorge Huang." The conversation gets pretty technical, but there are some key factors we want to focus on for understanding the basics of what makes a great bowhunting arrow shaft.
Listen to the full podcast here:
#1. Spine Location is the KEY to Consistency
There are 3 common techniques used to construct an arrow shaft: extrusion, multi-directional lay, and the patented Firenock Weave Construction. All three of these techniques will result in an arrow shaft that is sufficient for bowhunting, but all three of them yield very different results when it comes to dynamic spine consistency and in our opinion, the dynamic spine consistency of your arrow shaft is the most critical factor to getting a dozen arrow shafts that you can trust.
It is critical to understand that the dynamic spine of a carbon arrow shaft is not linear, it is more of a spiral, or helix. As you move down the carbon shaft, the spine of the shaft is rotating and It is not uncommon for extruded shafts and multi-directional lay shafts to have upwards of 6 or 7 "weak spine" locations which is cause for concern when trying to locate the first dynamic bend of the shaft.
Without getting too far into the weeds with this, the first dynamic bend of the shaft is simply the resulting bend of how the shaft reacts to being shot. Which direction the arrow shaft bend initially at launch? If you locate that point, and fletch your arrows with the cock vane on the first dynamic bend of the shaft, you can then guarantee all of your arrows will react the same way when launched from your bow.
#2. Straightness Tolerance is Irrelevant?
Arrow Straightness is one of those genius marketing buzzwords that make consumers spend more money than they really need to. Here is the truth about arrow straightness.
In the carbon arrow shaft manufacturing process, the way straightenss is measured takes a 28" shaft and a laser and when the shaft is rotated, if the variance is less than .001" that shaft is considered .001" straightness.
That shaft can be bent like an S in the middle, but as long as two points are within .001" then you can consider than shaft within that tolerance. However, that is only one of the flaws with arrow straightness.
Think critically with me. When the arrow is shot, when is your arrow ever straight? The arrow is flexing in multiple directions, something we call controlled chaos. A tolerance between .003" and .006" is the thickness of a human hair. A HUMAN HAIR!
Lastly, all arrow shafts from different manufactures are made the same way, on the same machine, with the same materials and are batched by "straightness." Meaning, that shaft that is .006" is the same exact arrow as the .001." You are just paying a lot more money for the .001" that quite frankly, we aren't good enough to notice the difference.
#3. Not All Carbon is Created Equal
Outside of the manufacturing process, the quality of the material can differ substantially. Carbon fiber quality is measured by the "bending strength" of the material. How much force can it withstand before bending? The higher the "modulation" the less material you can use. Meaning the carbon is stronger and the end result is lighter. However, as the modulation of the carbon increases, the brittleness of the process and material also increases.
Here lies the benefit of a "weaved shaft." The Exodus MMT features Firenocks' 4k outer layer weave at a 1:1 ratio for increased torsion strength and durability while eliminating weave gaps. This offers balanced strength from all sides of the shaft and identical shaft diameters - meaning unmatched accuracy and performance.
At the end of the day, you can get from point A to point B in a Chevy Cavalier, or a Chevy Corvette. But when performance matters, which one would you rather drive?
Written By: The Exodus Team