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GIS guy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, this may be a dumb question, but how do you determine what length vanes to use for shooting spots?

For instance, 3D Duravanes come in three lengths and are all nearly the same height. Easton Tite Flight vanes come in three lengths as well, all about the same height. Vane-Tec Super Spines come in four lengths, all the same height (except the FITA vanes, which are not as tall).

I realize more surface area (longer length) will give more steering ability, but when shooting spots, is this really much of an issue? I would think that reducing surface area would reduce drag, which I would think is the goal when making arrows for shooting spots.

In the context of shooting spots, do you use the shortest vane possible? How do you know if your vanes are too short or too long? What flight characteristics do you look for? Do you start with the shortest and increase length if needed or do you start the other way around?

Thanks for any opinions.
 

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Back Yard Champion
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You're looking at a personal perference issue. I've used assorted styles of vanes and feathers and in varying lengths to shoot indoor spots, 3D, and field, Mini Blazers to 5" vanes. I got away from feathers, almost - just picked up a 100 or so.

Spot shooting is all but a known yardage game. Indoors, 20 yards. Outdoor target, 60, 50 and 40 yards. Field, 20 feet to 80 yards. Speed is not all that critical. A well tuned bow will shoot outstandingly with super short vanes. You don't see a lot of longer vanes used, but then some like them. Drag can be a issue in windy conditions.

I tend to stay with 2" vanes. Bohning Blazers or NAP Twisters, but I recently picked up a couple hundred Bohning X vanes in 1.75" Shield cuts and a couple hundred Blazer X2s, a lower profile, shorter 2" Blazer. The X vane is said to be extremely accurate for target shooters and the Blazer Xs is said to be extremely accurate for both target and spot shooters. So I'll play with them.

In the nutshell, you do your job and whatever vane you choose will do it's job. That said, I once tried every vane in the shop, minis to 4" Quick Spins. For indoor spots I couldn't tell any accuracy improvement from Blazers or Twisters.

One thing about long vanes, 4" or more, they tend to get picked on a bit more when shooting with others.

You didn't mention degree of offset. Offset is a perference thing also. First, you don't need full helical and then some like full helical. Straight, 2, 3 and 5 degree has worked for me. I have tried full helical on vanes not recommended to exceed 3 degrees and found excellent accuracy at all distance out to 80 yards. It's said down range velocity is effected by exceeding the recommended 3 degrees. I couldn't tell, not out to 40 and 50 yards anyway.
 

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l stick with 2" vanes as well. I just feel like the fly better than longer vanes. I honestly can't tell you why aside from I am just more comfortable with the shorter ones.
 
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