I prefer feathers, but because I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for me. The only real downside I can find is wet weather. But for me shooting in the range, rain isn't an issue at all. And I tend to not hunt in downpours because blood trails tend to get washed away all too quickly. So the many benefits of feathers work great for me.....they're light (giving more FOC with the same weight head) and fast, offer more steering than a vane of equal size, weigh 1/3 - 1/4 of that of a vane of equal size, they are forgiving of rest contact (and obstacles like mentioned above) and last, but not least, they look way, way better than plastic.
All this said, any fletching can be made to work and work well. For me, I just prefer feathers for my shooting needs. Others' needs will vary.
i use feathers, 4 degree right hand offset. ive tried other stuff but i figured why change my setup when what i have already works. plus the feather is thicker, therefor they have more drag, and with broadheads drag is our friend. and just to save you some time if you do chose feathers, do not get gateway's! they take there feathers from any point on the uncut feather. true flight does not, all the 4 inchers come from the exact same spot on the uncut feathers. this is important because the bases on the gateways are always slightly off shape, either to tall or to wide. the true flights are always the same. and if you are really willing to throw some money away get pip bickerstaffe from bickerstaffe longbows to make you some feathers, he is the only guy who i know that grinds the base to true them up.
4" feathers with offset, through a whisker biscuit and in the rain,,, down here its been hurricanes in a couple of the last few years, feathers DO hold up in a biscuit, but not as well with helical as an offset which has never failed to stabalize the large fixed broadheads i use and dont worry about the powder, i use camp dry spray from walmart, or any silicone based spray and they dont even mat down covered with blood,, it does smell so spray them a couple weeks before you plan on useing them, otherwise use the powder...
The feathers I posted in the pic above have been shot through a Whisker Biscuit more than 100 shots. They are showing a little sign of wear on the outer tips as they are getting thin. Accuracy has not been affected, they still fly like new.
Feathers, 4'' Gateway parabolic rightwing, fletched helical.
WB on Parker, as long as I keep the speed to max 230fps (585gr arrows) wear is almost non existant.
Quicktune dropaway on Hoyt, no speed restriction so whatever I can get out of it.
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