6 Reasons Your Broadheads Aren’t Flying With Your Field Points
If you’ve ever had your bow perfectly sighted in, and then went to test out some new broadheads just to find that they don’t fly at all like your field points, you know that it is one of the most frustrating feelings in the world.
There are several reasons why this can happen, and thankfully they are all quite easy to fix. Here are six reasons why your broadheads aren’t flying like field points.
What does it mean if your arrows are not square?
Having squared arrows that spin true is crucial, and this is the most common problem when it comes to broadhead flight issues. If your local pro shop built your arrows, you may have never checked their spin. To do this, you need an arrow spinner which is an inexpensive and essential tool in any bowhunters shop.
Put a broadhead on your arrow and place it on the spinner. Spin the arrow and look for wobble in the tip of the broadhead. It will be very easy to read the results.
A perfectly spinning broadhead will have no movement, it will look like a spinning top. A broadhead with wobble will be noticeable immediately, and it will not fly properly.
If your arrows are not spinning, it is most likely that they were never squared off while they were being built. Unfortunately, since the insert will already have been glued into the shaft, there is nothing that can be done about this. You need new arrows.
When building arrows, it is crucial to dry fit each component before gluing. You need to square your arrow shafts using an arrow squaring tool, dry fit each insert with a good broadhead and spin it. Once you get it spinning well, go ahead and glue your components!
When an arrow isn’t spinning properly, the same thing that you see when spinning the arrow is happening during flight. There is no consistency in the way that the broadhead will cut wind, and it will fly with very little consistency. Field points fly well even if the arrow is not squared, but this is because there are no blades to cut wind!
So, your arrow shafts may not be square but what if they are? What if one broadhead you put on your arrow spins well but another doesn’t? This leads us right to the second reason your broadheads might not be flying like field points.
How can you tell if your archery components are low quality?
Sadly, more and more companies are moving their production overseas into Asia to cut costs. This naturally comes with lower quality control, and often lower quality materials.
If a broadhead is not made to be square out of the factory, there is nothing that can be done to ever make it spin properly regardless of how well built your arrows are.
The same is true for inserts. Poor quality inserts may not have perfectly squared ends. So, even if you square off your shafts to perfection, the insert may turn the arrow into a wobbler regardless.
At Tooth of the Arrow, we have always and will always manufacture our broadheads 100% in the USA so that this is never an issue for you. Our steel is sourced from Chicago, and our manufacturing is done in Minnesota. Even the plastic packaging is sourced from the USA!
Quality components can make or break the flight of your arrow, and ultimately your success as a bowhunter.
Do you need to paper tune?
If you’ve followed my writing or videos on YouTube, you know that I am a huge fan of paper tuning. Paper tuning is how you can read your arrow flight, and see exactly what your arrow is doing as it comes off your bow.
If your bow is not paper tuned. There is a good chance that your arrow is not flying as well as it can.
Success in paper tuning means that you have made your bow shoot in such a way that the back of your arrow perfectly follows the front of the arrow in flight.
The alternative is an arrow which is pointing up, down, left or right as it comes off your bow and then the back of the arrow is going to try to stabilize itself during flight. If you’ve ever noticed a ‘fishtailing’ arrow in flight, that is what is happening.
I am often asked about bare shaft tuning, which is essentially the same thing but you are shooting arrows which have no vanes on them through paper. My thoughts on this are simple. I never shoot arrows without vanes, so I don’t care how they fly without vanes.
Bare shaft tuning can work very well, but I believe it is an unnecessary step. Even with perfect bare shaft results, I would still want to see what my arrow is doing with vanes on it.
As with the issue of squaring, you may find that your field points fly fine without having paper tuned your bow. The same truth comes out in this problem. Broadheads will bring out issues in your bow that you didn’t know you have. They are far less forgiving than field points. (Want to learn more about tuning? Check out this blog all about broadhead tuning)
How to tell if your arrows are spined correctly.
Other than arrow squaring issues, this is the biggest problem I see when it comes to solving issues with arrow flight.
Arrow spining is a deep topic, and one which I will not fully be able to cover in this blog. Check out this video for an in-depth explanation of the topic and how to do it yourself.
In short, we tend to think that arrow spine is like a t-shirt size. You and I both may wear a large even though we don’t have the same exact height and body weight. A large might fit a little bit differently on you than on me, but we both wear a large and are comfortable.
Arrow spine is like this.
Your bow has an exact amount of energy which it produces on a shot. Arrow spines are essentially different stiffnesses of arrows, which are designed to take a certain amount of energy. A high-powered bow will need a stiff arrow to absorb that energy, but it isn’t just that simple.
The smallest changes to anything on your setup will impact the spine that your bow requires.
If you increase the draw weight, you need a stiffer spine. If you go from a 125 grain head to a 175 grain head, you are changing the spine characteristics of that arrow. If you cut even ¼ of an inch off the shaft, you are stiffening that arrow. The list goes on.
Spine matching is the mathematical process of designing an arrow build which is mathematically perfect for your bow.
We can use the t-shirt analogy again to think about this. Shooting an arrow which is not spine matched to your bow is like wearing a large t-shirt. Every shirt brand’s large might be slightly different, but they are all close enough and fit you pretty good.
Would you use the same approach when picking out a tuxedo for your wedding? No, you need to have a suit that is perfectly tailored to you and your dimensions.
This is the difference that spine matching makes, and it is a huge factor in broadhead flight.
I have never had issues getting my fixed blades to fly with my field points out to 100 yards using any bow I have ever owned.
How do I do it? I spine match all my arrows before I build them. I build arrows that are mathematically perfect for my bow.
What does it mean if my bow cams are not in time?
Cam timing is essentially the process of making sure that your cams are working perfectly in sync with each other. If your cams are out of time, that means that one cam is trying to fire before the other. When you shoot your bow, one cam will have completed the shot before the other has. This happens on an extremely fine scale, but it makes a massive difference in accuracy.
Let’s say your top cam is firing before your bottom cam. As your arrow leaves the bow, the top of the arrow will have been propelled at a different rate than the bottom of the arrow.
It can be a hard concept to visualize, but trust me when I say it makes a big difference.
If your cams are not in sync, it would be sort of like trying to drive a car with smaller tires on the left side of the vehicle than the right. Good luck.
Cam timing is an extremely simple fix, but it requires a bow press. (Learn everything you need to setup a budget friendly home bow shop here).
If you have gone through everything on this list and your fixed blades still are not flying like field points, take your bow down to the local pro shop and ask them to time your bow for you.
The smallest of adjustment could make a world of difference.
How can I improve my archery form?
Lastly, bad form can have a huge impact on arrow flight. As mentioned before, broadheads are far less forgiving than field points so any issues in your bow, arrow, or shooting form will come out.
Many people have a habit of dropping their bow arm after a shot. It is a natural thing to do, because we want to watch our arrow. This movement can cause big issues in arrow flight.
If you are moving your arm before your arrow completely leaves the bow, the effect is a lot like shooting your bow if it isn’t paper tuned. It would be like if a quarterback gets hit as he is throwing the ball. His throw may have been on course to be perfect, but the hit will override that.
This can happen if you drop your bow arm after a shot, if you flinch at all after the shot, if your front shoulder drops during a shot, or if your hand position is bad and causes the bow to torque as it is being released.
Human nature is such that we always want to blame our equipment when things are not working in our favor. But, there are so many times I have been coaching or giving lessons to guys who have issues that ‘must be the bow’, and a simple change in their hand position, or making them aware of their front arm being tense, can fix an issue.
Always be willing to look at what YOU may be doing wrong too! I am often humbled.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the topic further, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always more than happy to talk arrows and broadheads with fellow bowhunters!
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