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Feathers v. Vanes?

1150 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Nitro1970
I'm sure this has been beaten to death, but can someone give me the cliff notes version? I like the looks of some of the feathers I've seen lately, I assume they weigh less, but do they also have more drag causing the arrow to lose additional velocity at longer yardages?
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yes, more drag at longer distances. They stabilize and arrow better, but you pay for it with the drag, and they can be quite noisey at first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yes, more drag at longer distances. They stabilize and arrow better, but you pay for it with the drag, and they can be quite noisey at first.
Not really worried about the noise, I don't hunt, shoot mostly 3D with my GF and son as a fun activity. We do have some fairly long 3D shots (70+ Yards) so I was curious about the extra drag. Thanks.
 

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In the words of some of the top shooters, there is still nothing better to stabilize arrow flight than helical feathers!!
 

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Feathers:

stabilize better (i.e. more quickly)
more forgiving of fletch contact
weigh less but produce more drag, which translate to loss in speed
still fly well even after fletch has been damaged slightly (i.e. notched out)

Vanes:

lower drag equals more speed
not affected by elements such as rain or extreme cold temps
fletch contact of any kind will destroy accuracy
once damaged, they usually will not group with other arrows and begin making noise
 

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I'd say you oughta' at least try them. What's to lose?

I prefer them. They look great, they stabilize better than plastic of equal size, weigh about 1/4 of what comparable sized vanes do, improve FOC, set straight still produce spin, hold up rather well (torn vanes fly worse than destroyed feathers do), no louder than Blazers, may slow down an arrow more on long shots than vanes (never been an issue for any of my setups, though, since I generally still reach far beyond 100 yards), tune easier, more forgiving of contact.......and did I mention how nice they look? :lol:

Weather and durability are the only negatives you ever hear. And durability is a wash if you shoot groups since feathers survive tight groups better, and a vane with a tiny tear flies far worse than a totally worn out feather does. I don't hunt in downpours, either, since rain creates horrible blood trails, but you can waterproof them if you want to hunt in downpours. :confused:

So for me the advantage far outweigh the disadvantages....if there really are any disadvantages. :cool:
 

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Lancaster Archery has a pretty good selection of fedders. They even custom choppers to make your own from full length feathers in almost any shape and size you want to make. Fun stuff if you're into that sort of thing.
 

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Feathers

I have taken a ton of deer using feathers and dont think the heard em coming anymore then anything else. I did try Blazers for a year in 3d and hunting and just dont think they flew as good as feathers. Ebay is a great place to pick them and wraps up.
 

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I keep going back, and fourth between feather's and vane's:confused: but for some reason I keep leaning towards feather's, they work great for broadheads, yes downrange past say 40yds you start to lose some speed but it's a trade off IMHO.
 

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If you have a fletching jig, and a place to shoot out to at least 70-80 yds, you can make up a set with both and shoot them for a few days. I've done this on and off for the last 35 years, and still do from time to time.

There seems to be a correlation between length/size, more than plastic or Mother Nature. 4" vanes and feathers shoot nearly the same out to as far as most shooters need a comparison. Heavier arrows will lose less than light arrows with feathers, very fast arrows will lose more speed with feathers, than a slower arrow. In both cases, it takes a few arrows from a good shot to see the difference. And with my bows, it takes about 65yds to find the difference.

Except for heavy rain, and the noise factor, feathers don't lose a lot to plastic. That said, I have transitioned to Speed Hunters and Twisters completely.

Forgiving? Tuning and setup is the essence of forgiving, fletching material won't make up for a lousy job of either.
 

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I switched to hunting with feathers last year. I shot all spring and summer with both in my quiver. With field points they groups together out to 50 yards, no noticable difference.

When I put BH on is when I saw the difference. Feathers grouped tighter and much more consistent than vanes (bohning 4 inch vanes vs 4 inch feathers, fletched offset, not helical).

the one downside I noticed in feathers: durability when dragging em through brush and up/down trees. they can however take a beating and still fly very tight.
 

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I just picked up some of the Rayzr Feathers that are like blazer size and i dropped 15 grains and gained about 5fps. And since they are the same size as blazers there is minimal drag. The arrows with Rayzrs shot 1 1/2 inches lower at 40 yards then my blazers.
 

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Newbie chiming in (please be gentle), but don't feathers tend to work better with recurve bows? Or maybe it depends on the rest? I thought feathers would flatten out with a simple rest (not sure what that's called exactly) but vanes would be better with something like a drop away. Am I totally off base?

I was going to say you could always carry some arrows with feathers for short targets and arrows with vanes for long range, but that would probably mess with your consistancy, huh?
 

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Feathers tend to be more forgiving with all bows. The biggest deciding factor should be what type of shooting you do and the environment you're going to use feathers in. Wet weather isn't the best, but that can be fixed with DryTite.
 

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I've tried every vane out there and always go back to feathers. They simply stabilize arrows better. That is what I'm looking for.
 
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