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Plastic Feathers vs Real Feathers?

8819 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  martha j
I have been shooting compound for few years now but just started traditional shooting and it is so much more fun. I shoot a few times a week and the fake feathers seem to be warping and wavy.

I shoot off the shelf and the arrows aren't noticeably flying erratically but the OCD side of me is getting annoyed and I'm tired of reflecting every few weeks.

Is there a difference between using artificial feathers or using real Turkey feathers (or real feathers in general)?
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Feathers are much more forgiving than plastic vanes, especially when you are starting out. Feathers also will still fly well even though they are all bedraggled and look like crap, vanes not so much. A couple of my daily arrows are missing a portion of at least one feather yet they still fly great. I like vanes for some things but get a little tear in one and they can be very loud in flight.
 

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"but the OCD side of me is getting annoyed and I'm tired of reflecting every few weeks." What's OCD? You must be totally out of tune to fletch arrows every few weeks. I shoot more than you and my feathers last over 2 years.

You have to have a few years of experience to get vanes to fly out of a BOW.

Bowmania
 

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GM -

For a trained shooter with a well tuned rig, you're not going to beat vanes for durability and consistency - hands down.
For a new shooter with iffy form and a more iffy tune, feathers are the way to go.

Yes, in the first scenario vanes CAN be shot off the shelf, but you need the right arrows, a correct tune and consistent form.

Viper1 out.
 

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Before I got my first woodies, I had to shoot vanes off the shelf with a longbow. I found that with vanes, shooting cock feather in, worked best with the bow I was shooting at the time. You can experiment and see which works best for you. Given the choice, I shoot vanes off elevated rests, and feathers off the shelf, or when I want a slow arrow for indoor shooting.
 

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Since I got back into archery, I've been shooting carbon w/ vanes off of my arrow rest. Why? Because that was recommended for my 30# bow. After about 800 trips to the target for each of them, they are holding up very well. Looks-wise, I'd prefer hand-crafted wood with feathers and beautiful crest designs...but breaking one would ruin my day.
 

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Has anyone had any experience using wing feathers from Canadian Geese? We have a 15 bird limit in NJ for September and I saved some feathers. They look good. Just wonder if anyone has tried this. I wonder if they will adhere with Fletchtite Platinum. I'm gonna try them. Just wonder if anyone who has been there has any advice?
 

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I've never used goose feathers but I've read several posts of people who like them. They are a little oilier than real turkey feathers, and significantly oilier than domestic turkey feathers so they are good for wet conditions. The only downside is they would be tough to see in flight, but then so are the real barred turkey feathers I prefer.

I have no idea on the glue issue, but with turkey feathers Fletch Tite Platinum works great for me but I'm always putting fletching on over paint or wraps. Some people report less satisfaction with FT on bare carbon or aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the help everyone but my question isn't vanes vs feathers.

I am asking about if it is better to use real feathers from a living animal like a turkey or if artificial feathers feathers are more durable?
 

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There really is nothing mysterious to getting vaned arrows to fly perfectly off recurves.........just put an elevated rest on your bow and tune slightly weak. Trying this off the shelf, especially a flat one, can be an effort in futility. A radiused shelf or raised shelf(an add on that acts in the same way as a raised rest) on the other hand can help greatly. Why anyone puts up with feather fletching contact just because they're shooting "off the shelf" is beyond me - it still causes poor flight even though the feather has resilience.
 

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Thanks for the help everyone but my question isn't vanes vs feathers.

I am asking about if it is better to use real feathers from a living animal like a turkey or if artificial feathers feathers are more durable?
Where are you finding these artificial feathers? There once was a poster on here who thought feathers such as you get from TrueFlight or Gateway were artificial.
 

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there is no such thing as artificial feathers,,,,,,,,,,, it's either wild turkey feathers or domestic slaughter house turkey feathers,,,,,,,,,,,which are white to begin with & then died to different colors.



plastic is plastic, petroleum base.
 

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So i have some arrows with goos. They fly well, for me they cause a flight to the left and whistle a little more though. A natural flight sound albeit.

has anyone had any experience using wing feathers from canadian geese? We have a 15 bird limit in nj for september and i saved some feathers. They look good. Just wonder if anyone has tried this. I wonder if they will adhere with fletchtite platinum. I'm gonna try them. Just wonder if anyone who has been there has any advice?
 

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Thanks for the help everyone but my question isn't vanes vs feathers.

I am asking about if it is better to use real feathers from a living animal like a turkey or if artificial feathers feathers are more durable?
Sorry for the misunderstanding, I assumed you meant between vanes and feathers. People new to archery occasionally refer to vanes as plastic or artificial feathers.

I know there are artificial feathers used in decorating or fashion applications, but I've never seen them made into fletching. Do you have a link to what you are referring too?
 

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All "artificial" feathers I have seen are real feathers died a different color (vivid colors for decoration or to make a domestic fowl feather resemble an Eagle one, etc.).

Bottom line (even if someone has figured out how to do real artificial ones - which world be a very good trick) - use the real ones !!!
 

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Are there such things as artificial feathers? Feathers are incredibly complex structures that would be really hard to make. And it would be hard to compete with the millions of feathers that are the byproduct of thanksgiving, cost wise.

Most feathers used on arrows are heavily processed domestic turkey feathers, that is what I use but have been thinking of stopping at every road kill turkey I see and cutting his wings off for some wild turkey feathers.
 

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is my previous post invisible or what?

turkey feathers from farm raised turkeys for commercial use are white [aka] honey suckle white that my fatherinlaw grew by about a quarter million a year for several years.

the feathers are a by product from the purpose of the bird.

there are no artificial feathers but there is plastic vanes.
 
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