Whichever bow you shoot, making wise choices in other areas of gear selection will help you achieve better arrow performance.
By Bill Winke
Other than the bows themselves, no archery products receive as much attention as rests, arrows and broadheads -- and rightfully so. After all, the arrow is the part of your setup that actually does the work of harvesting game, and your rest is the one part of the system that positions the arrow for accurate delivery. If the rest doesn't function well, you'll never need to worry about whether or not the arrow and head were well chosen; your shot will hit nothing but dirt.
CARBON ARROWS I have hunted with the BEMAN Carbonmetal Matrix the last two years, because it's the perfect weight for my goal of achieving 6.5 to 7 grains of finished arrow weight for each pound of my draw weight. This shaft is straight and durable.
The design is the same as that of the Easton ACC -- an aluminum core tube surrounded by carbon -- but is slightly heavier, making it ideal for whitetail hunting. The Matrix has the straightness of aluminum (the core tube can be straightened) with the durability of carbon. It uses the same inserts as the ICS Hunter and ICS Camo Hunter and accepts the Super Nock right into the end of the shaft, with no bushing required.
All shafts in the Carbonmetal Matrix line (there are four sizes) fall into the ideal weight range for whitetail hunting. The shaft features a straightness of +/- .003 inch and a black polished finish.
There are six all-carbon internal-component arrows in the EASTON CarbonAeros line. All but the Redline utilize Easton's Super Nock and RPS aluminum inserts.
The new Buck Eye is the most affordable hunting shaft in this line. It comes in four popular sizes geared toward the needs of bowhunters, with the heaviest weighing 10 grains per inch. The shaft that fits most bowhunters weighs 9 grains per inch. For most bowhunters, this translates into a finished arrow weight of roughly 6 grains per pound of draw force. Straightness is +/- .004 inch.
The Epic also comes in the same four sizes but is slightly lighter and has a straightness of +/- .005 inch. Meanwhile, the Evolution is comparable to the Buck Eye in every way but one: It has a camouflage coating.
The Kinetic II is very similar in design to the Beman Carbon-metal Matrix but is marketed under the Easton line. (Easton owns Beman USA, so there's some crossover in technology between the two.)
The Kinetic II uses the same .010-inch-thick aluminum-core tube as the Matrix (as opposed to a .008-inch wall thickness in the aluminum-core tubes used in Easton ACCs). The Kinetic is slightly heavier than the Carbonmetal Matrix, as it incorporates an extra Photo-Fusion camo layer to give the shaft a durable, well-protected camo covering. Like the Matrix, the Kinetic II has a straightness of +/- .003 inches and is ideal for tree-stand hunting.
SUPER CARBON ARROWS is a new player on the scene, but the company already has attracted some impressive talent. Noted bowhunter Myles Keller uses and endorses this line of products.
Super Carbon Supreme, Magnum and Hunter
The company's internal-component arrows come in three grades, based on straightness. The Supreme is the straightest at +/- .001 inches; the Magnum is +/- .003 inches; and the more affordable Hunter is +/- .006 inches. All are straight and light enough to be accurate and fast.
ALUMINUM ARROWS For the ultimate in straightness and economy, aluminum is a great shaft material. Here are several new aluminum arrows from which to choose:
EASTON Maxum shafts feature a new aluminum process that permit the production of excellent shafts at a very good price. The only difference among the three new Maxum shafts is the number of colors represented in the anodized finish. The Solo is bronze; the Deuce is bronze and brown, and the Quattro is four-color camo. Maxum shafts have the Super Nock and UNI Bushing system, aluminum RPS inserts and excellent durability. Straightness is +/- .003 inch. Maxum shafts are available in four sizes.
The bronze Yukon, recently added to the Easton line, is an upgrade to the popular Gamegetter II. It features the Super Uni-Bushing and Super Nock system and a straightness tolerance of +/- .002 inches.
FLETCHING JIG You don't need much to build your own arrows; about the only upfront expenditure is a good fletching jig. You buy the adhesives, fletching and shafts as you need them. ARIZONA RIM COUNTRY PRODUCTS makes two fletching jigs that will help you enjoy the benefits of building your own arrows.
Designed for aluminum shafts, the E-Z Fletch Pro automatically adjusts to every size arrow from 2013 to 2613 and applies all three fletchings at the same time. When used with fast-setting super-glue-based adhesives, the jig will produce a dozen arrows in only a few minutes. It's also highly portable.
The Carbon E-Z Fletch jig is very similar to the original Arizona E-Z Fletch Pro but is sized to handle carbon arrows. It automatically adjusts to fletch all diameters, from the smallest pultruded shafts popular in the early 1990s to today's internal-component shafts. Like the Pro, it applies all three fletchings at once and can apply either 6-degree right helical or 1-degree straight offset.
BROADHEADS The broadhead is a hunting arrow's most critical component. You'll never be disappointed if you buy based on quality.
John Musacchia Jr. makes few changes in the MUZZY product line. When he does, it's to improve the strength and sharpness of the blades, ferrule and tips. He says he feels Muzzy heads are already the ultimate design and are made as well as current technology will allow. This is why you don't see mechanical broadheads in the line and why the only recent change was very minor: applying a Team Realtree finish to the ferrules of selected heads.
John says any decent broadhead
will do an adequate job on soft-tissue hits. He claims the real test comes when the head hits bone. I agree. All Muzzy heads have a super-sharp, hardened Trocar tip that breaks through bone, along with blades that fit solidly into slotted ferrules. Muzzy makes a wide selection of 3- and 4-blade heads featuring this design.
NOCKING SYSTEMS Release shooters who use a nocking loop like the fact that it pulls evenly above and below the nock to ensure that the arrow stays on the string at full draw and that the serving is protected from the release's jaws. Many also believe a loop makes bow tuning easier.
The original loop was the aluminum Ultra-Nok that's still available, along with two other models from QUALITY ARCHERY DESIGNS. The Ultra-Nok II changed the way many thousands of bowhunters attach arrow to string, and it's still the loop of choice for those who use standard nocks and releases with short jaws. The Ultra-Nok XL works with releases needing more room to engage.
QAD has introduced the Ultra-Nok II Micro, a shallow loop made specifically for use with its patented Tune-A-Nock and certain release aids with short jaws. Tune-A-Nocks were designed for use with nocking loops. They have very shallow throats to make more room within the loop for releases with jaws taking up a lot of room.
These lightweight nocks snap onto the string in the same way as other models, and they come in three styles to accommodate every arrow design. The nocks can boost arrow speed up to 4 feet per second.
Muzzy Zero Effect
ARROW RESTS Two major trends in the design of arrow rests have surfaced in the last three years: rests that eliminate fletching contact, and those that cradle the arrow sufficiently so that it won't bobble off the rest before or during the draw. Some models now are designed to solve both of these problems.
Drop-away rests are made to snap downward out of the path of the fletching within a controlled amount of time after the string is released. Bowhunters tend to be most interested in this rest style as a way to beat fletching contact with the rest, which is among the most common bow-tuning problems.
Drop-away rests are of their greatest benefit to shooters who use carbon arrows. With these thin shafts, the support arms of a conventional rest must be so close together that it's difficult to slip one of the shaft's fletchings through the gap. A drop-away rest can eliminate all fletching contact. It also lets you use a very aggressive helical offset angle for a faster-spinning, more stable arrow.
I remember when I first saw the MUZZY Zero Effect at the archery trade show a few years back. This drop-away rest has a hook-shaped Ãƒ'fingerÃƒ" that captures and centers the arrow regardless of where it lays. The hook connects to the bow's cable slide; as the string is released, the cable slide pushes the launcher out from under the shaft.
The Drop-Away 4000, by NEW ARCHERY PRODUCTS, uses the same basic design as its popular Quik-Tune 3000 conventional rest. The 4000 is micro-adjustable both vertically and horizontally and is solid. A thin steel cable attaches the launcher arm to the included cable guard slide that raises and lowers the rest.
NAP also now has the Drop-Away 2000RG, made for use with several Mathews bows.
CONCLUSION Today's archery accessories are the best-designed gear components ever. If you want to make your bow more efficient and trouble free before hunting season arrives, these products are the place to start.
2003 WEB DIRECTORY -- ARCHERY ACCESSORIES Arizona Rim E-Z Fletch
New Archery Products
Quality Archery Design
Super Carbon Arrows