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Discussion Starter #1
How do I determine the optimum arrow length for my setup? I have a 26" draw and can pull up to 63lbs comfortably. I want a high FOC and KE so do I go with a longer heavier arrow to achieve this? Since I have a shorter draw, thus shorter arrows, do I need to stick with stiffer spines to achieve heavier arrows?

I am using a Mission Craze, please do not judge me as I am getting started and have not worked up to the BIG boy bows yet. It has a short axle to axle of 28". I typically hunt in dense east Texas forest so the compact, light-weight bow is convenient for me at this stage.

I am curious if I just lower my poundage to something even more comfortable, like 55lbs, what I should do as far as arrow length? Just looking for some honest feedback if anyone is willing to throw some information my way. I have been using some 27-28" arrows (Mayhems, Gold Tips, Beamen ICS Hunters) and have laid down two javelinas, a couple of does, and some varmit. I just want to start getting the most out of my setup by learning the more technical stuff. Any advice at all is appreciated.
 

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Arrow length is kind of a personal preference. Some go 1 inch past the riser, some are even with the riser, some go 1 inch past the rest, etc... I would worry more about total arrow weight and FOC. I would get some heavy arrows like FMJs or something of that nature. I assume you are using fixed heads. Most go 1 inch past the riser with fixed heads so there is less chance of them cutting their finger accidentally. I would not use a mechanical head with your lower draw weight and shorter DL.
 

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Go Bucks
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Spine is measured by deflecting the arrow with a weight and measuring the deflection across a 29" gap. So all arrows are spine rated at 29" so if you go with a stiffer arrow be careful of how short you cut it because you will stiffen the arrow even more taking below 29". As wy will said a heavy gpi arrow like a fmj about an inch past the riser in a 400 spine would probably cover your 55-63lb range.

When you start talking target shooting, you can really fine tune your set-up by changing arrow length.
 

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The Impartial Archer
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There is no optimal arrow length........just too short or un-safe. The rest is personal preference.
 

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I used to shoot over draws back in the day and noticed the shorter I cut my arrows the harder my bow was to tune and it was also more unforgiving.

I have a 28" draw length and shoot ALL my arrows, target and hunting, at 28" long with a 12-15% FOC. With my overdraw arrows being 26-26.5" one would not think a 1.5-2" gain in arrow would make much difference...but I has.

Better KE, better momentum, better penetration, better flight and easier to tune. Definitely more forgiving.

With that being said I shoot arrows on the heavier spines end anyway. Example: I could shoot an ACC 3-49 or and ACC 3-60. I choose the 3-60.

With your draw length being 26" I would recommend the lighter spines so when/if you cut them to 26" they won't get to stiff on you. That was the issue with the overdraw and the 26.5" ACC 3-60 for me. I was able to get it to work great but it needed to be precisely tuned. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for the quick replies.

wy will - I do shoot fixed QAD Exodus broadheads. I was afraid of mechanical issues for the same reasons you stated, my shorter draw length and lighter draw weight.

Ohbowhunter815 - I plan to purchase some FMJ and I will start with them at 29" with your information about the spine being rated at 29". Thanks for this insight!

Deadquiet - I like your philosophy, safety comes first. I plan to always avoid having arrows that are two short or un-safe.

QS34Reaper - thank you for sharing this insight on your past experiences, your details really helped me

I was offered a brand new dozen FMJ with wraps for $120 delivered to my door but they are 340. Do you or anyone else think I am going too stiff with the 340, particularly when I cut them down to 29"? I may need to just pass on this deal and pay for the right arrow as to not waste money or miss (or even worse, just wound) an animal. The more I think about it the more I understand that I should stay with a 400 spine so when I do cut it down it will be about as stiff as I need it versus cutting down an already stiff arrow like a 340 (thanks again QS34Reaper).

I suppose I could step up to a 125 grain fixed broadhead instead of the 100 grain I currently use. I believe this should help me achieve a higher F.O.C. Any thoughts or feedback on this?
 

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The optimum arrow length is the one that given your setup (draw length, draw weight, arrow configuration, etc.) gives you the best tune for your setup and the best accuracy. Of course you don't want some arrow hanging 6" past the rest at full draw or one so short that safety becomes an issue!
 

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I like mine about 1" past the arrow rest. My set up is 29" DL, 56# DW, and 27.5" 400 spine arrow with a 100 grain tip.
 

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You can use a heavy brass insert and 125 grain head and you might be close on spine with the 340 shafts. I think the full brass inserts weigh 75 grains. This will also help give you higher FOC.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is a good idea wy will, I just learned that those brass inserts are that heavy. This is somewhat fun to figure out but definitely not cheap...
 

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Flatwoodshunter, so your draw is longer than your arrows? I am not shooting a Z7 by any means but I am using the Mission Craze...my draw is 3 inches less than yours but I am very comfortable with 55-60 lbs of draw weight....seems like I could be close to what you are doing then again 3 inches is a lot in this world of archery
 

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That is a good idea wy will, I just learned that those brass inserts are that heavy. This is somewhat fun to figure out but definitely not cheap...
Just trying to help. I know what it is like to be new at archery. Most will tell you that it is better to be over spine than under spine. I'm sure you will be fine. Plus, if you want to crank the weight up higher on your bow for a different hunt or something, you won't need new arrows. That 340 spine, even with a very high FOC, should be fine past 70 lbs.
 

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I always cut mine an inch past my rest which still leaves me with a 30" arrow.
 

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I like to think of that extra .5 inch as "insurance". last thing I want is for my arrow to be over drawn and fall behind my rest. I would rather not have to pull carbon splinters out of my hand. when I shoot I pull hard into the wall. so even after my draw stops hit, my arrow still moves backwards on my rest a bit. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
 

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i like to have my broadheads out in front of my hand. i noticed while shooting field tips that i don't always get my bow hand fingers tucked out of the way which is a habit i need to break. can't say i'll always remember in the heat of the moment to check that.
 

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THE ORIGINAL
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Don't cut your arrows under 27"...
 
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