Your accuracy is only as good as your ammunition, and today's arrow building materials leave you few excuses.
Many of today's fast-drying glues set up in less than a minute, which leaves little time to make sure the insert is in the shaft securely. Arizona Archery has a new insert glue called Max Impact ($11) that doesn't set up completely for several minutes, giving you time to align inserts properly.
Bohning has a new insert/outsert glue called Insert Iron ($14). Having tested this glue, I can verify that once it dries, only a gorilla could pull out the insert. Insert Iron takes 24 hours to cure, giving you plenty of time to ensure proper insert alignment.
Oil from your fingertips, and other contamination, can cause poor fletching adhesion. Arizona Archery's Max Clean ($7/bottle) solves the problem. Pour a capful of the concentrated Max Clean into some water and clean your arrow shafts with the water. One bottle cleans about 500 shafts.
Maybe you want to eliminate glue altogether. If so, look at Mega Thrust Archery's Arrow Kits ($150/12), which contain everything needed to build glueless arrows. At the heart of the system is a 400-spine shaft with a straightness of +/- .003". The nock end of the shaft has helical slits that accept a special four-fletch system called Mega Thrust Stabilizers. Insert the one-piece Stabilizers and then attach a fletch-lock nock. The arrow is now fletched. At the other end of the shaft, push in a special Mega Thrust insert and lock it into place with the included Allen screw. Screw in a Mega Thrust fieldtip or broadhead, and you're ready to shoot!
The NuFletch Spectrum ($40/3), a machined aluminum, slotted ferrule you screw into the nock end of the arrow, is another glueless fletching option. First cut your shaft 3½" shorter than normal and glue a threaded insert into the nock end of the shaft. Then screw the NuFletch aluminum ferrule into the insert, slide vanes into each slot in the ferrule, screw on a cap that comes complete with a nock, and you are ready to shoot. To change a vane, simply unscrew the cap, take out the old vane, and put in a new one. The NuFletch System is available for a variety of vanes, including Fusion and Blazer Vanes; and in a variety of sizes for different arrow shafts. It adds about 50 grains to your arrows but is also said to improve the dynamics of the arrows.
Arizona Rim Country Products' E-Z Fletch Mini ($47), a new fletching jig designed for shorter vanes like the Blazer and Fusion, gives vanes the maximum helical possible for tighter groups. Easy to use, the Mini will accept vanes as long as 2¼". Put one vane into each of the three arms, put a bead of glue on each vane, put the shaft into the fletching device, close the arms, screw on the top cap, and wait 10 minutes. VoilÃ¡! Your arrow is ready to hunt.
Another new fletching jig designed for maximum helical with short vanes is Bohning Archery's Helix Tower ($53), which can fletch vanes up to 2" in length with a 3-degree right helical. The Helix Tower is designed for shafts 17„64"-23„64" in diameter.
The Nockturnal ($23/3) lighted nock from DoubleTake Archery is simple to operate. Put the nock into the arrow shaft and shoot. A string-activated internal switch turns the nock on the moment the arrow is released and stays on until it is deactivated. The switch pops off by inserting a knife tip into a hole in the side of the nock and pushing up. This nock is up to 50% lighter than similar nocks, which reduces overall arrow weight.
For maximum accuracy, spin-test your arrows to make sure the shaft and components are in perfect alignment. The Arrow Inspector ($32) from Pine Ridge Archery will tell you whether your arrows are spinning true or wobbling slightly.
Arizona Archery Enterprises, (928) 772-9887, www.arizonaarchery.com
Bohning Archery, (231) 229-4247, www.bohning.com
Arizona Rim Country Products, (480) 961-7995, www.ezfletch.com
Mega Thrust Archery, 1-800-537-2164, www.megathrustarchery.com
NuFletch, 1-877-353-8244, www.nufletch.com
DoubleTake Archery, (830) 947-9744, www.doubletakearchery.com
Pine Ridge Archery Products, 1-877-746-7434, www.pineridgearchery.com.