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I've been shooting traditional bows for over 45 years. I fletch my own arrows and have been doing it the same way for most of that time, left wing helical.

I embarrassed to say that I have no rationale on why I fletch with that orientation other than that is the Bitz jig I've owned forever. Left wing feathers seem easier to find so maybe that's why I started like that.

So, since turkeys have two wings, is there a reason to use a right vs a left wing feather and is helical an improvement over an offset fletch?
Is the helical more stable at longer distances? I can see where that might be an issue at Olympic distances but not my sub-25yd hunting shots.

I don't know if it's a wives' tale but I always heard that pen raised turkeys had their right wing clipped so there were more left wing feathers available for arrows. (?)

Somebody school me.

Thanks (I learn a lot here)
 

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To the best of my knowledge there isn't any difference in fletching with either RW or LW just don't mix the two together on the same shaft.
I've heard that LW fletching loosens screw-in points I fletch with RW feathers and for the majority on my arrows (woodies) I use glue-on points.
I do have some aluminum arrows but use those hardly at all.
 

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I have shot both left and right wing feathers and never noticed any difference between the two, other than I had to use the correct clamp for the feather. In my experience, fletching with more helical stabilizes the arrow better and sooner, but it creates more drag and you may have more difficulty reaching longer distances. I have heard some say a right handed archer should use left wing feathers and vice versa, but I have never found any definitive evidence proving why. Something about the feathers spinning away from the riser for better clearance, but AFAIK, the arrow doesn't start spinning until a ways out from the bow.
 

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I play around a lot with fletching...lengths, profiles, and helical. I've heard the same as Cyrille, ie, right wing will keep points tight.. but in my experience that's bunk and I use all the helical that my shafts will allow. I still tighten periodically but running the threads across my string wax helps a bit. They stay tight longer but still loosen eventually.

I prefer a lot of helical and it does seem to drive the arrow straighter out as far as my hunting and 3D distances are concerned....
 

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Over the years I've shot all of em' lw,rw,helical in both and straight offset and found I favor the straight offset over the others. Doesn't matter if its right or left, they just fly well and stabilize broadheads for me. Try them all and see what you like, you know; different stokes for different folks!
 

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Like you I bought my first Bitz jig many years ago and it came with a left helical clamp. It's all I've every used except for the occasional times I got a deal on pre-fletched arrows. I heard the same story you did about clipping the right wing on domestic turkeys being the reason left with was the standard.

I don't think it matters, right helical or left helical. Probably doesn't even have to be helical, but I do think a spinning arrow is desirable so I would use offset with a straight clamp. Helical just means you can get a little more offset and still get a good mate between the quill and shaft.

I keep my tips tight with a little string wax and a twist with a pliers...;)
 

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I use left wing for a couple of reasons. Back in the later 70's when I wanted to start fletching left was all I could get. Seems in those days they used to clip the right wing to keep birds from flying away. I bought a Jo Jan multi fletcher and except for replacing the spring clips about 5 years ago the darn thing won't break. I also have a straight multi fletcher for vanes. I do have a right wing and a straight Blitz jigs as well.
Another reason one might choose left over right is if the bow or the shooter are not tuned right it is possible to catch a quill in your hand shooting off the shelf. It doesn't make sense to me if you look at the feather alignment. This may be an old wives tale but one I have heard repeated over the years.
 

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The only reason I ever heard to choose one over the other (could be a wives tale too) is if you are using an old English style bow, and using the top of your hand instead of a rest or shelf.

In that case a Right handed archer should use Left wing - evidently if you have some fletching coming up, the quill doesn't drive so deeply into you hand as the arrow flings away from the riser, instead of bracing into it.

Cheers,
Dave
 

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If we all used left wing, 50% of all the feathers would go to waste!

Seems that locally it's easier to find right wing feathers. I buy all my left wing feathers at the trad events I attend. IMO, just get the correct feather(s) for whatever jig you have and you're good to go.
 
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