How Bone Collector's Michael Waddell FINE TUNES ARROWS

Bow season is right around the corner and now is a great time to fine tune your arrows. Not all arrows are created equal and not all arrow shafts fly true. After interviewing many pro archers over the years, I have determined that out of 12 arrows in a box, typically about eight of them fly the same. If you are a person who wants to be able to split hairs at 40 yards or more, all the arrows in your quiver must fly the same. To test new arrows, I shoot them all at 50 or 60 yards several times.  Typically the arrows that have some minor defect won’t stay in a tight group like the others. Once I determine what arrows are the best, I fine tune them even more.


I typically weigh every arrow I plan to put in my hunting quiver. Many hunters are surprised to find out that all their arrows don’t weigh exactly the same. Some bare shafts weigh five or ten grains more or less than the others.


After all my arrow shafts are weighed, I weigh each broadhead I plan to use. It isn’t uncommon for each broadhead in a three pack to each have a different weight.  If a broadhead is a few grains on the heavy side, I match it up with an arrow that is a little light. I mix and match broadheads and arrows until all of my arrows are within five grains of each other. 


When my broadheads are fine tuned, I spin test each arrow on a spin tester. Even when both my broadheads and arrows are matched, sometimes my spinner will indicate that an arrow is slightly wobbly. Sometimes this is caused by a broadhead; sometimes it is caused by the arrow itself and in other cases the insert isn’t square. I have re-glued inserts many times over the years and corrected the problem.

If you want to be able to drive tacks at any reasonable distance, you need to be shooting arrows that all fly the same. Every arrow in your quiver should fly the same. In order for each arrow to fly the same, they must all weigh the same. 

To perform the above tasks, you will need an inexpensive grain scale and arrow spinner. Performing these tasks may take a little extra time and effort, but the extra effort is worth it if you want consistent arrow flight.

By Tracy Breen