What Makes a Broadhead Fly Like a Field Point?
It is a phrase we hear time and time again as bowhunters from broadhead companies, and a question we should rightly be asking, “do these fly like field points”? We say it all the time here at Tooth, our broadheads provide unmatched field point accuracy, but we don’t expect you to take our word for it.
You deserve to understand what factors come into play when designing a broadhead that will fly like a field point, and what you can do with your own setup to help.
Nobody likes spending $45 or more on a pack of brand new shiny broadheads that are supposed to ‘fly like field points’, just to find that they fly nowhere near your field points impact.
Is it the broadheads fault? Is it my fault? Maybe, and also maybe. Let’s dig into what makes a broadhead fly true, so that you can make the call yourself before choosing your broadhead for this season.
As an archer trying to perfect your arrow flight before hitting the woods, there are important factors that will be totally in your control when selecting components and building your arrow, and factors that need to be assessed when you are in the broadhead aisle at your local pro shop making what sometimes feels like (and technically is) a life-or-death decision.
A broadhead will fly like a field point when the following factors are satisfied:
The broadheads design allows for field point flight, your arrow is matched perfectly with your bow, and your arrow is adequately built to shoot the broadhead.
It's all about weight distribution
When you are choosing a broadhead you need to know what features of a broadhead’s design allow it to fly like a field point.
The weight distribution is crucial. The reason a field point flies so perfectly is because the entire weight of the point is directly in line with the shaft of the arrow.
When you move some of the weight away from the center line of the arrow shaft by adding blades to a design, you are adding a steering factor to the front of your arrow.
When shooting a field point, the only thing controlling your arrows flight once it leaves your bow is the fletching, so when you add blades to the front of the arrow, it is almost like you are adding fletching to the front. You might think this sounds alright, like adding another steering factor to the arrow should improve flight, right?
Nope, I wish this was true. If both ends of the arrow are trying to steer their way through the air, they essentially end up fighting each other and causing erratic flight.
So, how do we choose a fixed blade broadhead that doesn’t steer the arrow from the front?
The answer is simple, you look for a broadhead that carries most of its weight in line with the arrow shaft. This part of the broadhead is called the ferrule and is the first thing that you should look at when selecting a broadhead.
You may see a big wide-blade broadhead that looks devastating, but there is a good chance that to achieve that impressive blade size they are foregoing ferrule weight and putting it into the blades, which now adds steering to the front of your arrow.
At Tooth of the Arrow, we have designed our vented broadheads to holds as much weight as possible directly in line with the arrow shaft, while still maintaining large enough blades to inflict devastating wound channels.
What is spine matching?
Once you have selected your broadhead, there are still two crucial things that are in your control as an archer that will determine whether or not the broadhead flies like a field point, regardless of how weight-centered the design is.
This first factor is spine matching. All too often, when someone brings their bow into the shop complaining about broadheads not flying with their field points, it comes down to having the wrong arrow for your bow.
You bow has a specific amount of energy that it outputs every time you take a shot, and your arrow needs to be built to accept that amount of energy perfectly.
If your arrow is too stiff or too weak, the energy transfer from your bow to your arrow cannot happen properly and can cause erratic flight. This poor flight is magnified when you add a broadhead into the equation.
You may shoot very well with field points, but no fixed blade broadhead seems to work. This is likely because your arrow is either too stiff or too weak, and field points are extremely forgiving to errors in setup.
So how can we make sure are arrows are spine matched with our bow? You may find a broadhead tuning chart online, and that can be a starting point, but our favorite way at Tooth is to let computers do the heavy lifting.
We are big fans of Archer's Advantage, an online software that allows you to input all of the information about your bow and arrow setup, and play around with different arrow lengths, point weights, draw weights, and many more variables so that you can build an arrow that is mathematically perfect for your bow.
A broadhead tuning chart can tell you why your broadheads may be hitting left or right of your field points, but a spine matching software will tell you how to create an arrow setup where that can’t happen. In our experience, when you spine match using software, field point accuracy with broadheads is almost a given.
What about building the arrow?
The last thing that will have a big impact on your arrows flight with a broadhead is the care and attention that is put into building your arrow. Simple details go a long way in this part.
You’ll want to take the time to ensure that your vanes are all applied perfectly, that one vane is not more offset than another. You’ll want to invest in an arrow squaring tool to get a perfect 90-degree edge before installing your insert.
Lastly, you will find that an arrow spinner is worth its weight in gold. After fletching, cutting, and squaring our arrows we always dry fit the insert with a broadhead and put it on a spinner.
If you see any wobble in the head, try to square off some more of the cut end of the arrow. If this just isn’t seeming to work, it may be the broadhead. Poor manufacturing practices can result in the broadhead itself being not square, and this is unfixable.
Putting it all together
It seems like a lot to take in, but the fundamentals of broadhead tuning a bow are really quite simple, and we should look at it more as arrow tuning versus broadhead or bow tuning.
Choose a broadhead with weight distribution in mind, as well as manufacturing quality. At Tooth of the Arrow, we source and manufacture our broadheads 100% in America for the highest quality. No wobbly, unsquared broadheads here, guaranteed.
Once you have your broadhead and take the time to chart out your ideal arrow using one of the many available arrow building software’s online, you can get to building. Putting adequate time and attention into each arrow will pay dividends, and let you draw back on that big bull or buck without any worries of where your broadhead might go.
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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