How to Choose Arrows: A Guide

When it comes to archery, it is important to learn the basics of the arrow.
This is because the bows are an important aspect of archery. As a new
archer, the most baffling thing apart from the selection of the bow is
choosing an arrow.

Before looking at them, you need to know the parts of a bow:

  • The shaft: This is the length of the arrow and can be made of different
    materials such as carbon, wood, aluminum, etc.
  • The arrow (points): The sharp point of the arrow
  • The fletching: These are the vanes at the back of the arrow and are
    usually made of feathers and plastic.
  • The Nock: It is at the tip at the back of the arrow. It is usually
    plastic and fits snugly on the bow.

Factors to consider when selecting arrows:

Under Spine:

The arrow is one of the most important too when it comes to archery. Arrows
tend to wiggle when taking a shot. This kind of wiggle is normal. This kind
of wiggle is also normal, and it is important to factor that determines why
to buy an arrow. This is called a spine.

Different arrows have been manufactured with different spines and you will
need to find an arrow with the perfect amount of spine. You need to find
the perfect balance so that you do not have the spine being too little that
it collapses on itself and wiggles all the way to the target or the arrow
is too stiff.

The bendability of the arrow is called the spine. An arrow that bends a lot
is referred to as weak and one that does not bend a lot is called stiff.

What factors affect the spine?

  • The weight of the bow: if your bow has a very high draw weight, you
    need a much stiffer arrow and vice versa.
  • The length of the arrow: the longer the arrow, the stiffer the arrow.
  • The weight of the point and arrow end:
  • The material and size of the arrow
  • The cam when using compound bows: you will need stiffer arrows for very
    aggressive cams.

Under Length

When it comes to arrow selection, you will need to know what length you
will need to use. Find your draw length and know that the arrows that you
need to be longer than that. If you are a beginner, you can get an arrow
that is 9.5 cm longer than our draw length. And as you progress you can go
to about 2.5cm longer.

To determine your draw length, you can use a tool called draw length
indicator. This is basically an arrow with measurements on it and you put the
low length indicator into the bow and draw it out to your anchor point.
That will give you the draw length. Add the 9.5cm to it.

The whole reason for this is purely for safety reasons. If the arrow is too
short, it can be dangerous. So when it comes to arrow length:

  • The shafts might be longer hence you might need to consider having them
    professionally cut.
  • If you are using a clicker your arrow needs to be short enough so that the
    arrowhead clears the clicker at a full draw.

Under Diameter:

It is another important factor in that:

  • Target archers will need to have a much wider diameter because this
    helps connect with the lines on a target and get higher scores.
  • Outdoor archers such as hunters go for smaller diameters as they are
    less affected by the wind due to its small surface area and they are
    much better at penetrating the target/game.

Under Straightness:

The straighter the arrow, the better. Most producers or arrows give a
“straightness tolerance” of +/-. For example, an arrow with a straightness
tolerance of +/-0.001 inch is straighter than that of say +/-0.003. The
straighter an arrow is the more expensive.

This factor is considered less important in comparison to the spine of
an arrow. So it’s a matter of having an arrow with a good spine than how
straight an arrow is.

Under Weight:

Arrows are measured in either grain or grain per inch (GPI). This weight
can be determined by:

  • The arrow diameter
  • The thickness of the arrow walls
  • The material used in making the arrow.

The weight of your arrow is determined by the bow poundage. The lighter the
bow, the lighter the arrow and vice versa. Hunters prefer heavy arrows
because it has more kinetic energy and the more this energy is, the more it
is to penetrate the target/game.

As a beginner, consider having all your arrows be the same weight then
switch to lighter or heavier arrows and notice the difference.

Under The Tip:

This will purely be determined by how you want your arrow to behave.
Generally, a bow with lighter poundage will require arrows with lighter
tips and vice versa. Hunters will also need arrows with heavier tips
compared to target archers.

You can also buy different arrows with different tip weights and see the
difference for yourself. If you worried about the tip selection, most
arrows have a pre-fletched, pre-notched and screw in the tip and you will
only need to determine the right length and weight.

So, when it comes to arrow selection, don’t be scared to do the selection,
let’s go out there and get on with archery.