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SMH
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the field/FITA archery game and I have a question for those who use a blade rest with skinny shafts.

Do you trim the blade to minimize fletching contact?

Do you use an un-modified blade that is narrower at the tip?

Do you use a softer blade than your indoor setup?

The reason I ask is that I see a lot of shooters using blades and skinnies with vane residue all over the blade tip. Some are so-so shooters and some are the guys that shoot better than me in my class. I look at my arrows and there is not a blade made that would avoid fletching contact. (I'm not helping things either with 3 degrees helical but they fly real nice)

I installed a drop away on my bow and even with a limb clamp I have to maintain it regularly and it's becoming kind of a PIA.

I've shot other bows with fletching contact and accuracy out to 50yds seemed unaffected but one would assume that any contact is detrimental to consistent accuracy, right? What do you use and what is your experience?
 

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I shoot Carbon Ones from an AAE ProBlade with .008" Freak width (.150") blade. There is no vane residue on my blade, but slight wear at the edges of the blade where the black finish has begun to fade. The vanes do touch the blade (which is normal) which flexes out of the way.
Blades.jpg

Provided you don't have an overly stiff blade, you'll get tens of thousands of shots from the blade (only blades I've ever heard of breaking were due to getting bent while handling the bow) and the tiny amount of vane to blade contact has no measurable effect on arrow flight. Proper set up is important here. At full draw the blade should have almost no deflection. My bow vise allows me to rotate the bow so that the string is level (I clip on a carpenters string level to ensure level) whereupon I nock an arrow so that it acts as a string bob, pointing straight down. Next I adjust my nocking points so that the arrow just sits in the blade's V. Fine adjustments to your personal "nock-neutral" or "nock-high" can be made with the rest's micro elevation adjustment.

Here are photos from my indoor bow using .225" blade width, but set up sequence is the same.
DSC_1023 (Copy).jpg DSC_1023a (Copy).JPG

Carry a spare blade and it will bolt right on (with the AAE launcher's hex hole) without any change in point of impact. It would be difficult to get more reliable than that.

As for the usual bogies about blade rests, if you arrows are falling off you are either shooting in gale force winds, your nocking points are too tight and pinch the nock at full draw, or you are otherwise doing some serious twisting or bouncing in the draw cycle.
 

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I pose a question here. It just so happens that I have broken three blades in the past month . They were all .010 blades , the ones with the two bolts holes. They broke right where the bolt pattern starts to make the ramp. I've used this rest since it came out ,all of a sudden this. Just to mention ,I'm set up just like the article here and a might higher. Bare shaft at 20 yds., no problem. Has anyone else heard of this?I now carry spares cause I'm "blade shy".
 

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It is possible your blades had some degree of metal fatigue introduced during manufacture, or a bad batch of spring steel. Three broken blades in one month seems improbable, but clearly it happened. Were all three blades from the same source or a mix?
 

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Maybe the hole kicked up a burr or the bottom of screw is giving a point load.
Check to be sure you have a nice flat sandwich on the blade.
 

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SMH
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maybe the hole kicked up a burr or the bottom of screw is giving a point load.
Check to be sure you have a nice flat sandwich on the blade.
Excellent suggestion. I have seen many "white-box" fasteners with concave surfaces underneath the head. That causes "line-contact" at the outer edge of the head and inputs all the clamp force thru a tiny, tiny area which drives up stresses well past the material limit. Even so, a quick call to the mfr and the issue should be resolved without hi-jacking my thread. :)

Back on topic. I went back to a blade on my field rig and POI due to fletch contact is currently unchanged out to 30yds. I'll see how it does out to 60yds tonite.
 

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The key here is CONSISTENT contact with EVERY arrow you have on hand. This takes some time to get the nock rotation properly set so that every single arrow is in as close to exactly the same orientation as possible.
SOME people can tune to a bullet hole and get great groups; others, such as myself have to tune to a slightly nock high right (for a lefty) or nock high left (for a righty) about 1/2" to 3/4" at 11 o-clock to get tighter groupings.
Years ago, we shot the 17, 18, or 19 diameter aluminum arrows off of an UNTRIMMED Pacesetter blade and shot just fine with them!
I've shot with a top pro a few years back. We were shooting indoors for quarters per end. We shot from around 10AM in the morning until 4 PM in the afternoon, and this shooter never missed a 10-ring on the Vegas face and most of those were in the 'baby-x'...I could not believe it when I looked at his launcher blade and saw vane residue on it! BUT...every single arrow was contacting the blade in exactly the same manner.

NOCK ROTATION is critical on any shoot around arrow rest, and the nock is so much ignored. Try shooting EVERY arrow you own through the paper when setting up the bow, instead of just one and "calling it good." You are in for a surprise. The top pros that use a hooter shooter aren't tuning the BOW...they are tuning the nock rotation/arrow so that every ARROW hits in the same hole!
Too many shooters grab a shaft, tune that shaft to a "bullet hole" and call it all good. Then wonder why other arrows won't stay with that one, or some of the others are fliers? There are almost always one or two out of a dozen that just won't tune and stay with the rest of the others in that set. Sometimes, you get lucky and get a set that will stay together, but it doesn't happen often!
Just like with FORM, consistency is the key. Do NOT try to get the blade so narrow that the arrow falls off the launcher as you draw the bow, or worse yet a slight wind blows it off the launcher blade! You WILL get wild fliers if your blade is too narrow for your shooting style/shaft diameter!

field14 (Tom D.)
 

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I pose a question here. It just so happens that I have broken three blades in the past month . They were all .010 blades , the ones with the two bolts holes. They broke right where the bolt pattern starts to make the ramp. I've used this rest since it came out ,all of a sudden this. Just to mention ,I'm set up just like the article here and a might higher. Bare shaft at 20 yds., no problem. Has anyone else heard of this?I now carry spares cause I'm "blade shy".
"ProActive Archery"? You should ALWAYS carry spare blades that, if you trim 'em, are also trimmed to match what is on the bow. This is done for WHEN a blade breaks or gets bent. I have seen top pros get nailed because they left a spare blade back in the car/truck and had to leave the course. Then, they came to find out that they hadn't taken the time for match up several spare blades for replacements...and find themself with and UNTRIMMED blade to try to get shooting the same as the broken blade? NEVER go into battle without a backup plan!
field14 (Tom D.)
 
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