This is one of those topics that I hear people debating from time to time. For me, I used to be one of the take my arrows to someone and let them fletch them and be done with it folks. Today, I fletch all my own and wouldn’t have it any other way. When was first debating whether or not to try it, I was worried about the time commitment. What I found was that it is something I really enjoy, is relaxing and with the tools available pretty easy to do well. My setup consists of a Bohning Blazer Helix Fletching Jig, your favorite fletch adhesive (I like Goat Tuff Glue and Steel Force Beyond Bond), Blazer Vanes, Blazer Carbon Arrow Wraps, an arrow stripper, arrow cleaner and Blazer Double Lock Nocks. I like to experiment with colors all the way down to the knock and I have grown to insist on using an arrow wrap because it always gives a perfectly clean surface for your vanes to adhere to and really enhances the look of the arrow in my opinion.
Here are the steps that I follow for re-fletching an arrow:
Step 1: Use the arrow stripper to get as much of the existing wrap and fletching adhesive off of the arrow as I can. The arrow will still be a little rough to the touch but there is usually nothing visual left on the arrow. Be careful not to angle the blade of the stripper too deep to scratch the actual arrow shaft (or camo coating if it has it).
Step 2: Clean the arrow with the adhesive removal solution to get rid of all the residue. Simply spray a little cleaner on a paper towel and rub the arrow shaft to remove the residue, then dry with a dry paper towel. After this step, the arrow should be as smooth as it was when it was brand new.
Step 3: Next, I pick out the color wrap that I want to use and take it off the paper backing and place sticky side up on a magazine on a flat surface. I love using my wife’s old decorating magazines. We have them everywhere. Holding the arrow shaft slightly above the wrap, I line up the arrow with the edge of the wrap closest to me and then line up the end of the arrow with the end of the wrap. Be sure everything is straight or the next step won’t work. Once lined up, I touch the arrow to the sticky side of wrap and roll it back towards me to ensure that is sticking well, then I roll the arrow away from me until the entire wrap is on the arrow. There should be a slight overlap where the trailing edge of the wrap overlaps the leading edge. Don’t worry, this will not effect arrow flight.
In Part 2 of this post, I will talk you through attaching the blazer vanes.