The lovely indoor season. If you’re reading this post, then it’s probably that time of year again to bust out the old fat boys and start hammering some Xs. But I always say indoors is a game of millimeters, and those few millimeters definitely come down to your setup.
So whether your setting up indoor arrows for the first time or maybe you just need a refresher on a few things, this post is for you.
The steps involved in building indoor arrows are as follows:
- Gathering Components
- Cutting arrows
- Pins and nocks
This is possibly one of the more confusing parts as it’s sometimes unclear as to what you should be buying. As a baseline, you’ll need 12 shafts, 12 points, 12 pins, and around 24 nocks. Arrow companies will try to make it simple for you.
If you have a particular brand in mind, go to their website, where there will be an arrow calculator. You’ll need the specs of your bow, simple things like draw length and poundage. Once you input your data, it will give you the spine arrow you should be shooting.
From there, you can then make a decision on what point weight you’d like to shoot. Again depending on different companies’ websites, they may already suggest a point weight. Realistically the point weight is up to you, but usually speaking, for compounders indoors, you’ll want something at least 120 grains or more. Next, you’ll need some pin nocks or some bushings.
This is totally a personal choice. I’ve shot both, and I see no difference. All you’ll need to note is with whatever one you get; you’ll need to get the nock it corresponds with.
Personally, I get pin nocks. That way, if I have nocks left over from the last outdoor season, I can just use them for my indoor season instead of ordering another dozen.
Now that you finally have all your components, it’s time to get building.
Some shops, when ordering arrows, will allow you to select a size you would like them cut to, but most shops will just ship the arrow shafts to you at factory length. This means you will have to cut them down yourself.
But don’t worry, cutting your arrows is easy; it’s finding an arrow cutter that’s the hard part. Once you have your hands on one, you’ll then need to decide what length you’re going to cut them to.
My rule of thumb is that they should be no more than an inch of your draw length, simply because next season, if you change bows or just want to change your draw length, you’ll have the room to play with your arrow so it won’t be falling off your rest.
Now for actually cutting your arrows! What we want to achieve is a nice clean cut all around the arrow. I want you to figure out which way the blade is spinning on your arrow saw before you cut your arrows.
Then simply place one end of the arrow into the arrow saw and slowly bring the other end to the blade (the blade should only cut the wall of the arrow). Next, spin the arrow the opposite way to which the blade is spinning. This will give you the cleanest cut possible. Once you’ve spun your arrow all around, the excess will fall off. Simply repeat this process for all your arrows.
Pins and Points
This step is nice and easy. It just takes a bit of time. You’ve now got to insert your pins and points, and we do this with hot glue and a blow torch.
If your arrow shafts are carbon, you need to be very careful not to heat up the carbon too much as this can damage them; the flame at no point should come in direct contact with the carbon shaft. What I like to do is have the flame on the lowest amount of heat possible, and I will also have an open beaker of cold water.
To insert either your point or pin, hold the point/pin with a set of pliers close to the flame so it gets hot. Then hold your hot glue stick close to the flame and then apply it to the point/pin. Then I like to heat the point/pin once more with the hot glue on it and then insert it into your arrow.
While the glue is hot, wipe away any excess that is left on the outside of the arrow; after you have done that, place the side you just glued your point/pin into the cold beaker of water. Then it’s rinse and repeat from there.
Famously renowned for being the most tedious part of archery. Fletching.. but once you get into the rhythm I’m about to teach you, it won’t seem so bad.
To fletch an arrow, you’ll need the following equipment;
- Fletching Jig
- Alcohol wipes
- Tissue paper
The steps to fletching an arrow are as follows:
- Prepping arrow
- Setting offset
- Applying glue and wiping
- Tipping and tailing
A lot of fletching arrows is repetition, so you’ll have plenty of fletches to practice on!
When getting arrows from a factory or even secondhand, it’s best always best practice to wipe down the area of the arrow you will be fletching with an alcoholic wipe as there are natural oils on the shaft of the arrow that, if kept there will reduce how well the fletch will stick to your arrow. I like only to wipe my arrow right before I fletch it, but you can wipe them all down simultaneously if you wish.
You just run the risk of handling your arrows and rubbing the natural oil from your hands onto your arrows. Once your arrow is wiped, you can place it in the fletching jig
Before we get gluing, it’s important to set your offset correctly. You will usually want as much offset as you can get while still maintaining full contact between the fletch and the arrow shaft. Tinker around with your fletching jig until you find an offset that satisfies this. It will be somewhere between 1-2 degrees.
However, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get full contact with your fletch and shaft, as you do not want to set it and then start fletching only to realize the tip of your fletch isn’t glued to the arrow. (trust me been there and done that)
Applying Glue and Wiping
When using glue, less is more. Just because you put more on doesn’t mean it will stick any better; it simply means you’ll have more residue. Neatness is rewarded by giving you more clearance. With that being said, decide on a position to put your fletch into the fletching clamp and mark on the clamp with a paint pen where the tail of the fletch sits in the clamp so you can have every fletch in the same position.
Now it’s time to apply the glue. Get a nice even coating along your fletch, making sure to get rid of any air bubbles along the fletch. Once satisfied, clamp it down onto your arrow.
Here’s a tip to help keep your fletching nice and neat, get a piece of tissue paper and run it alongside the fletch you just clamped down, collecting any residue on the arrow. Once that is collected, wait a couple of minutes for the glue to set, and the process will start again.
Tipping and Tailing
Now once all your arrows are fletched up, there’s only one more thing you need to do to ensure your fletches are foolproof. You’ve got to tip and tail them.
All this means is that you’ll put a pea-sized blob of glue on both ends of your fletch to truly ensure that they ain’t coming off. Ever since I’ve started doing that, I haven’t had a fletch fall off, indoor or outdoor. It’s a no-brainer.
And that’s it. That’s everything you need to know about setting up indoor arrows. Have a good three-spot season!
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