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Archery Everybody Now! You’re So Vane…

Everybody Now! You’re So Vane…

arrow vanes lined up in a grid holder
Vanes, only a component.

Sing Along with Me

“YOU’RE SO VANE, YOU PROBABLY THINK THIS BLOG IS ABOUT YOU! DON’T YOU? DON’T YOU?” What, you don’t like my singing voice? Okay, I’ll be quiet but, not because you want me to, only because I have a blog to write.

This blog is not about you, it’s about the vane on your arrow. What exactly do the vanes do? No, they are not a means of transportation of blood to give the arrow life, though they do assist with accomplishing the stopping of that very thing in your target, if you’re a hunter, that is. 

Why? Does? Will?

If you’re new to archery, you may be faced with these questions; 

  • “Why plastic, rubber, or feathers?”
  • “Does one color fly better than another?” 
  • “Will I get better flight time if I use an eagle feather?” 
  • “Will goose feathers cause my arrow to migrate too far south?” (Okay that was silly).
  • “Why so little, big, short or long?”

There really are a lot of questions and even more variables to the right combination. Combination, yes, the vanes are only one component to the perfect flight of an arrow, after all the vanes are a part of the fletching which is part of the arrow. 

Variables Vary

They determine wind drift, consistency, drop, accuracy, noise, sight, and velocity and those are all a pretty big deal. It really is a science to achieve the perfect arrow for you, huh, I guess this blog is about you. 

The material of the vane, whether it’s a plastic configuration, rubber, or feathers, like the Gold Tip Traditional Classic Arrows, determines the appeal or lack thereof, stability, wind resistance, stealth or lack thereof, ease of maintaining or durability. A feather has all that, but durability is where it falls short. If you are finesse, that’s the opposite of rough or heavy handed, feathers may be the best choice for you. If not, let the turkey go and get some Easton Axis 2” Blazer Vane Arrows.

Really? Gray?

The question about the color affecting the flight, well, I highly doubt it! And here we are back to you, your eye may be convinced of it because you favor one color over the other. My favorite color is green and yours is…gray, WHAT? GRAY? Okay, I guess you’re allowed to like gray over all the many colors in the world. To me those green vanes are the cat’s meow, the tail’s wag, the…okay you get the point, but you like gray. 

And that’s a perfect place to transition into the next subject, which is flight. What is going to give the most consistent, and accurate flight? Oh the variables!! It’s not just about the vanes, the entire arrow needs to be clothed perfectly to work together in accomplishing that goal. A fletcher like Hank, I’m sure would agree, right Hank?

Size Is A Factor

The larger the vanes, like the ones on the Easton Carbon Legacy Arrows, the more options you have for broadheads because the larger vanes offer more surface area for a faster stability. But they also create more drag, meaning more wind drift and a quicker decrease in velocity. And they may give you limits on the sights and rests that will be compatible, and will cause no interference. 

Smaller vanes, like the ones on the Easton Sonic 6.0 2” Bully Vanes which require the shaft and tip to compensate in weight and “arrow dynamics” (haha that was good, did you see what I did there?) to make up the difference in stability. The smaller and lower profile vanes allow for more rest, sight and cable clearance. Hence giving more options to the archer. 

Let’s Get Personal

bearded man giving the "hang loose" sign
That’s right, the beard can be a factor too!

The final equation is you, again back to you. You are so vane, let’s make this blog about you, why don’t we! Your shooting style or type of archery you’re gearing up for, distance of shots, target shooting, hunting will help answer the question, “What vane style should I go with?” Be sure to give all the details of your desires, all of them!

On a more personal level the structure of your face, like, hmmm how do I say this nicely? Maybe you have a higher amount of facial tissue or hair, (no reason to take offense, I like ZZ Top and the beards may be a part of my decision) that will determine what works best for you as well. Whoever is helping you make your decision about the vanes you fletch, don’t let vanity hinder you from getting the most out of your equipment!

author avatar
The Bow Bully
The Bow Bully discusses a variety of archery topics and offers tips, advice and the occasional nudge to make you a better bowhunter. With years of experience, and an attitude to match, you'll find the Bully has something to offer both beginners and seasoned hunters.

4 thoughts on “Everybody Now! You’re So Vane…”

  1. In the past I spent many outings tuning and tinkering from aluminum to carbon fiber shafts to get the best accuracy and flight characteristics.

    And depending on the bow’s draw weight and arrow weight / head weight all appeared to have an effect on the flight.

    But the one thing I never dove too deep into was the rotational speed of the arrow.

    Some vanes are straight, while some have a twist built into their placement on the shaft.

    Long heavy bullets like a fast twist rate.

    Round ball projectiles like a slow twist rate.

    My questions are: is there a “Twist rate” that is better than others for arrows?
    Does that change with the weight or length and velocity of the arrow?

    Why would you use a straight vane setup over a twist setup?

    That may be a lot of information for an answer.

    Maybe the subject of a future blog?


  2. Hey Ian,

    There are so many variables to what is the best twist rate for an arrow. Weight, length, velocity, wind, distance of shot are all factors. Most archers prefer a slanted vane, right helical or left and a degree of angle. So many factors it really could be the subject for another blog if not a couple more.

    Thanks for your input and the start of another blog/conversation!

    All the best!

  3. “You’re So Vane…”

    The Bow Bully,
    Thanks, man; that cracked me up!
    You brought us all the way back to 1972!
    Great stuff by Carly. 🙂
    Anyway, back to vanes.
    I think I may have told you before, my wife’s granddad make each of his grandkids a longbow.
    And, he made them each 3 arrows.
    Each person’s arrows were fletched with vanes made from the feathers of a different duck.
    That way, no one could take someone else’s arrows if they lost one of their own…granddad would know.
    When you killed you first squirrel with your bow, you got your first .22LR rifle.
    My wife got her bow at age 3, and took down her first squirrel at age 5.
    This report dredged up some good memories; thank you! 🙂
    Blessings to you,

  4. Dave,

    I’m pleased to hear you were cracked up, in a good way that is. Those types of people are rare, sometimes I wonder if they’ve gone extinct! I wasn’t raised in a world like yours or your wife’s but I wish I were. Thanks for sharing and like I always say, please pass it on!!

    May blessing pour out on you as well!

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