Arrow making tips and advice


Okay so as many of you know I make a lot of arrows and if truith be known I quite like it. I find the process of making them relaxing a lot of the time. The thing is I tend to make wooden arrows and not many with aluminium or carbon shafts these days since Sharon swapped back from shooting barebow to shooting woods.

Well I’ve been making up some club training arrows in readiness for some new courses we are running in January. They are Mybow Cadets from Merlin Archery and I’ll be posting a review of the arrows in a few months, but in the meantime I thought I’d share this tip. It was one given to me by Steve a fellow Briar Rose club member who is very experienced in shooting barebow and making up such arrows.

When making them I noticed the nock tends to rotate in the shaft, making it a bit tricky at times when mounting them on the fletching jig. Now you could add a drop of glue to secure them, but Steve suggested using cling film. Yes, the stuff that normally covers your supermarket produce.

If you wrap the end of the nock that fits into the shaft with a little film and then insert the nock it provides a tighter fit whilst still allowing some movement for alignment purposes.

The amount required varies but with a little trial and error I found a length of 5 to 6 cm and about 12 mm wide worked best. Wrapped tightly round the end that fits in the shaft and it seems to work pretty well.

Well I hope this helps, let me know how it works for you or if you have any other advice or such fixes. My thanks to Steve for the tip.

Thanks for reading.

What arrows for beginner?

Early this week Sharon was asked by an archery friend what arrows she thought would be good for her brother. What an easy question to answer … NOT 😉

She asked me and my response was to suggest she found out some more information first

The type of arrow is dependent on numerous factors many of which I’ve covered but in short

  • Draw Length
  • Bow weight
  • Club rules
  • Bow Style – compound, recurve, longbow etc
  • Purpose – hunting/target/field etc

Shooting an arrow that is not matched to your draw length and poundage can be dangerous as it may snap under the pressure if the wrong poundage, or you might draw it off the arrow rest if too short. Beginners often find their draw length increases as they get more used to shooting, so make sure any arrows allow for this.

Likewise too light an arrow can damage your bow as there is insufficient strength and weight in the arrow to cope with the energy from the limbs, resulting in damaged limbs.

General rule of thumb is the longer the draw length and the heavier the bow draw weight you end up going for stronger arrows ie the numbers higher. This is explained best here, taken from the Easton Arrow site

The four-digit number refers to the outside diameter and wall thickness of the shaft. The first two numbers are the outside diameter in 64ths of an inch. The second two numbers are the wall thickness in thousands of an inch.

For example, a 2514 shaft would be 25/64th of an inch in diameter and .014 of an inch wall thickness. OD and wall thickness are the two variables in controlling spine for aluminum arrows.

Quick point on club rules. Some clubs do not allow archers to use carbon arrows, others ban beginners from using them. Personally I am not a fan of beginners using carbon arrows simply because I prefer them to use alloys. Alloys are easier to find if lost, if they glance off a tree they might be slightly bent but can’t be straightened, they don’t break / shatter leaving carbon shards. This topic is covered in the recent stick and string podcast

For complete beginners I tend to use Easton Neo alloy shafts, they are 1618 and at full length 32 inches. They are great arrows for low poundage bows, up to about 24-26lb at 28″ above that they get a bit whippy.

Easton Neo

Easton Neo

Another good arrow for a slightly more experienced archer is the Easton Jazz.  They range from 14130  to 1916. I tend to find most beginners find the 1816 work well from their first bows that come in about 26lb-30lb.

Easton Jazz

Easton Jazz

Here is a link to Easton Arrows selection chart  this will help work out whats best for your bow.

As the archer progress good alloy arrows are the Easton x7  (think they are 1614 going from memory) which Sharon uses (recurve 38lbs and 26″, yes 26″ not 28″) and work well for the field archery we do. I’ve got some XX75 that are pretty robust too, but I tend to shoot wooden arrows more.

There are loads of really useful sites out there and a wealth of help in local clubs, so do a few searches and if you can try different arrows before you buy. Jordan Sequillion blog site covers this well as do others like Charlies

Please note I have no alliance or connection with any of the shops or manufacturers I mention here, other than being a customer. So I have no vested interest in this other that trying to help an offer my opinion.

I hope this is of interest and if you have any questions drop me a line. Always happy to help if I can. Thanks for reading.

Buying equipment – first bits and pieces part 1

Having been inspired by some of the recent articles on here, including ones by Jordan Sequillion I thought I would put a posting together on buying equipment as a newbie. The only problem is it grew longer and longer, so I thought I would do a couple of postings, so here goes.

This is very much an overview and I’ll go into more details in future postings.

As a coach I often get asked by students about buying a bow, how much do they cost, what should I got for, where can I get one, I’ve seen one on ebay,etc. I always reply by saying wait a few weeks or couple of months, use the club equipment for now until you have a better idea of what is a good buy.

But sooner or later your students will want to purchase their own bow (which is great don’t get me wrong) but there are a few things that might be worth getting first. So I have put this post together to offer some advice

First things for any new archer to buy (before a bow) should be

  • A tab or glove of their own, normally I recommend a beginner starts with a tab, it’s easier on their fingers and promotes good finger position on the string
Simple finger tab

Simple finger tab

  • Belt quiver, you can pay a small fortune for some quivers, but when you are starting go for something simple.

    simple belt quiver

    simple belt quiver

  • Arrow puller, makes life easier for drawing arrows
  • Whistle (for safety calls and is a necessity for insurance on some sites)
  • An arm bracer or arm guard that fits (doesn’t fall down the arm or is too tight and cuts off circulation, and they like, there are loads of different designs, some that go all the way up the arm some that only cover the forearm.
Leather arm guard

Leather arm guard

  • Arrow rake for finding those arrows that fall short (a cheap decorating roller can be used, once modified for the purpose )

What kind of bow should I buy?

As a first bow the best is the take down recurve practise bow in my view.

They are relatively cheap (£55-£75 depending on where you get them), so if they don’t stick with it it’s not such a huge investment. Also you might be able to pick one up from club member who has progressed.

The limbs can be upgraded to heavier poundage as archer develop their strength and skill (I did this after a few months myself, with some shops giving a discount if you trade your old limbs in )

They are forgiving to use which is what you want as a beginner.

They come in a vast variety of sizes, shapes, poundage so good for all abilities, heights, draw lengths etc so are easy to find one suitable for all shapes and sizes of archer.

A basic beginners recurve doesn’t require as much maintenance as a longbow,  compound or performance recurve. Sharon still has her first bow and we use it for coaching all the time and its over 4 years old.

Arrows – for arrows I tend to recommend aluminium arrows for a beginner, they are durable and cheap. Easton Neos Beginners Alloy Arrow work well and come in variety of lengths and spines.

I tend to recommend avoiding carbon arrows at this stage even though you can get them for less than aluminium. There tend not to be as durable if they catch the side of a target or branch and some clubs don’t allow beginners to use them. They are also harder to find in the undergrowth with a metal detector.

Where should I buy my first bow from?

  • NOT eBay – there is nothing wrong with eBay before anyone says anything. I simple would not advise anyone to buy their first bow off it, as you don’t know the history or condition of the bow.
  • Try before you buy –  really important, try bows of different draw weights, bow lengths and manufacturers. You will find that some limbs will feel harder to draw than others
  • Visit local shop – There are a number of archery shops (Quicks, Merlin etc) round the country and all quality ones will give you the opportunity to try first and spend time with you. My first bow was bought from Quicks Archery and they were very helpful and spent time explaining everything. (If possible take an experienced person with you when looking to buy one ideally your coach or fellow club member)

Ok that is a start, I’ll add more and another post on other facts to consider like draw weights, measuring exact draw length for arrows etc, comfort and bow lengths etc next week

Thanks for  reading, let me know what you think.