What is the right arrow for my bow? I get this question a lot; as a matter of fact it’s from people that do not even bow hunt surprisingly enough. I think that most people are genuinely interested in knowing more about the overall idea of bow hunting but still a fair question. This is definitely a highly debated topic amongst bow hunters. As it should, it happens to be a very important piece to the whole process, right??
So, let me walk you through my process and hopefully shed some light on a few of the things I find important to me in selecting the right arrow. I recently went through this process with my buddy Eddy, who is far more knowledgeable on the process and draws from many years of experience shooting archery tournaments and bow hunting. My goal was to get the best arrow to fit my shooting style and set up of my Mathews Z7 hunting bow. DISCLAIMER: This is strictly a hunting conversation, so I am not getting into the craziness that is tournament shooting and types of material, etc. Also, there are many ways to go about selecting the right arrow. This is just a little insight to what I do. With all that out of the way, the three main things I am thinking about when selecting my arrow is straightness, weight, and spine not necessarily in that order. It’s easy enough to argue that any of the three can be more important to the hunter vs. the other. I will also give you the specs of what I am shooting along the way as well.
Lets start with the basics, I feel the straighter the better. To me, this is where getting your set up right starts. If your arrow is not straight, the arrow just won’t perform at the level hunters and shooters will be comfortable and will lead to poor placement and ultimately makes you less accurate. With all things being equal I try and find the straightest shaft I can to start with. Be warned though, this is typically when the manufacturers start getting proud of their pricing! Find an arrow that is in your price range and work from there with the idea being to find the straightest option at your price point. All arrows are rated for their straightness from the factory – my current arrow is rated at +/- .001 in straightness.
So why does weight matter? For me, it’s about penetration on impact. I want as much kinetic energy working in my favor as possible. To achieve this you need some weight. I am more interested in making a humane shot on an animal and a fast recovery over shooting an arrow at 350 fps. Just my opinion, and I think this comes in to play more when you are hunting larger big animals, i.e. Midwest whitetails or elk out west. I would consider my current selection a medium weight at about 8.2 grams per inch.
Last but definitely least is spine; this is essentially the amount of flex in the arrow shaft. When the arrow is released there is a large amount of energy flowing through the arrow cause it to flex this is a very important to consider when selecting your arrow, if you have too much flex or not enough you will just not got the consistency out of your set up. The good thing about this as all manufacturers of arrows give you a chart that helps you select that right arrow based on certain factors, including draw weight and draw length.
At the end of the day I went the Gold Tip Pro Hunter 5575 fletched with 4-inch helical feathers, tipped with Rage 2 Blade broad heads, and orange Lumenoks. This arrow provided me all the technical aspects that I discussed earlier and performs at the top of the chart vs. the competition. I am more confident than ever before with my ability to make more consistent shots and look forward to taking this arrow to the field with me this year. Now I just need to get out of the office and get in the woods, it’s almost October so I plan to get a lot of time in shortly. Good luck and shoot straight!