Arrow Fletching: To Glue or to Tape?
Specific recommendations from arrow manufacturers vary as to the best method to adhere fletchings. From personal experience and building hundreds of dozens of arrows over the past 25 years for friends, family and archers I coach, my preferences evolved over decades as I jumped on different archery fletching fads. Passing my techniques along to you will jumpstart your archery ability and to maximize your time in the field.
The criteria to decide if glue or tape is the right option to use is so simple. Ordinary vanes, 90% of all vanes fall into this category, are glued to the arrow shaft. When you plan on utilizing feathers the option to tape is available as well as glue, while those archers choosing specialized vanes such as x-wings, spider vanes or EliVanes, definitely, must use tape.
Tape? Are you serious, I can use TAPE?
The most common way to fletch arrows is with glue, though the trend for the latest recurve vanes and for indoor archers using feathers is to utilize tape. Most frequently the specialized vane purchase includes tape to fletch the arrows, while feathers typically require the purchase of feather fletching tape. Bohning makes the most frequently used tape in my archery circles, and the only tape easily found on Amazon. I can fletch an arrow with tape in about two minutes, including a small dot of glue on the front of the fletch to insure the feather stays down. I do not put glue on specialty vanes.
Which Glue to use?
Each arrow shaft has a recommendation… I generally ignore the advice of the manufacturer, instead opting to purchase a generic glue instead of several different glues that each arrow company recommends. The glue I use is Loctite Blue and it is easily purchased at most stores, including Wal-Mart. Below is a link for all you Amazon aficionados.
What do the Arrow Manufacturers Recommend?
From an Easton Archery Frequently asked Question, Easton doesn’t recommend anything other than Easton Quick Set glue type adhesives for vanes. As a result I am glad to see in the FAQ the mention of AAE FastSet in the Easton web site, though their commitment to using the best archery product shows even when the product is not necessarily theirs. I typically use Loctite Blue
on all my carbon Easton Shafts at the recommendation of Crystal Gauvin in her FaceBook post on the topic. I, successfully, extended the practice of using Loctite Blue on my 23 and 27 aluminum Easton shafts. Because of less mess and faster application, I do prefer tape and small dab of glue on the front of the fletching.
Admittedly, I have not used Carbon Express’ glue product, though many of my archery peers have with fantastic results and additionally impressive tournament scores. Expecially refreshing to see in their web site, is no plug for their product, though just the basic recommendation of using glue on their carbon shafts.
Sorry no guidance was easily found on the Goldtip web site. I’ll send them a question and post a response at some point in the future.