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Losing arrows since 1966
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... if there is no broad-head involved, go as small as you want to try...
... I use 4" shield cut because I like the appearance ... 3" parabolic are probably optimal for field point and the speeds we shoot ...
... just as an observation... slow heavy arrows like big feathers, and fast light arrows can use smaller feathers...
...and you can always shoot bare shaft if its tuned well...
 

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big feathers stabilize more, so you can hide tuning flaws. I'm running 2 inch rayzers in a 4 x 90 degree configuration, 0n a 530 gn taw with 75 gn insert and collar, and a 200 gn ft or cutthroat single bevel BH. Trad lab (Cody Greenwood) did a bunch of tests and found for arrows tunned to the bow. 2 inch in the 4 x 90 configuration had the least speed decay, and effect from wind, and water. he did two podcasts with the Push Archery explaining the results. Trad Lab -001 and Trad Lab - 002 That being said I know plenty of successful folks running 3 x 120 degree in 4 or 5 inch feathers. and the closer you are, and more consistent with your shot cycle the less any of it matters.
 

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in short, the better tuned and the better shooter you are, you can get away with smaller vanes and it only get worse when big broadheads are added. For casuals and amateurs like myself, I stick with as much forgiveness (currently running 5" feathers, will move to 4" when I run out!) as I can get since it's rare that I shoot more than 30 yards.

I also shoot Blazer vanes on my springy rests - if you have the clearance, they also work but not for off the shelf, and only if you have the clearance (and tuning.)
 

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I鈥檓 shooting Flex Fletch FF360 vanes, which are 3.6鈥 long, on my hunting arrows. I may eventually go shorter, but haven鈥檛 really found the need to. I鈥檇 have to shoot my broadheads a lot in windy conditions to be comfortable with shorter vanes and it鈥檚 not really convenient to do so.

On my target arrows I鈥檝e always shot around a 2鈥 vane.
 

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Target or hunting?
 

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I shoot 3x4" trad vanes off the shelf, but only for use in wet weather. Always have a couple in my quiver. Work fine but are loud and fragile, so prefer feathers.

Will switch from Trad Vanes to DragonFlight soon enough. They are supposedly quieter. Will try 3.5", for use with low profile broadheads.
 

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I'm running 4X 4 inch trad vanes I have found them plenty durable but the seem to kinda be a PITA to glue on. gonna try some 3 inch this week if I can find the time. I will always enjoy feathers more but wet weather plays havoc on them.
 

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I use 3 x 4 inch feathers, slight helical. Mostly because many IBO divisions require at least 4 inch fletchings, and also because I am just use to that look. I think 5 inch is overkill. 3 x 4 inch is also plenty of steering for broadheads.

I have tried 3 inch, and the 2 inch feathers, but came back to 4 inch since it was required for competition.

I think a fletching requirement is stupid anyways. If you want 5 inch feathers, more power to you. You shouldn't complain that 2 inch are not trad, and be confident your 5 inch feather will steer better anyways. I wouldn't care if a guy was shooting Blazer vanes off the shelf. He would probably get terrible arrow flight anyways, so why care, and for new guys getting into the game and don't know any better, those are the only type of arrows they can get at their local Walmart to shoot.
 

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I use 3 x 4 inch feathers, slight helical. Mostly because many IBO divisions require at least 4 inch fletchings, and also because I am just use to that look. I think 5 inch is overkill. 3 x 4 inch is also plenty of steering for broadheads.

I have tried 3 inch, and the 2 inch feathers, but came back to 4 inch since it was required for competition.

I think a fletching requirement is stupid anyways. If you want 5 inch feathers, more power to you. You shouldn't complain that 2 inch are not trad, and be confident your 5 inch feather will steer better anyways. I wouldn't care if a guy was shooting Blazer vanes off the shelf. He would probably get terrible arrow flight anyways, so why care, and for new guys getting into the game and don't know any better, those are the only type of arrows they can get at their local Walmart to shoot.
If we're going to get super technical about "what's the most traditional" then those arrows would look more like flu flu feathers. Ancient man didn't exactly have shield cut feathers with fletching jigs and they didn't spin or spine test their shafts. Most guys that are super antiquated about vanes are probably using a fiberglass limb bow shooting carbon shafts.

Last I checked what feathers, spine, and tip weight you used is perfectly dependant on your tune and personal preference. That's like Nascar regulating the way your car seat is adjusted.

PS. I'm pretty sure Kifaru came out with some vanes that can be shot off a trad bow, but tbh the only real benefit I see is durability and water resistance.
 

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I use three 5 inch vanes on my hunting arrows, and three 4 inch vanes on my practice arrows. Can't see any differences in arrow flight between the 4 inch and 5 inch vanes, at least out to 30 yards, but with broadheads up front, I prefer the bigger vanes because they reduce wind planing due to shooting errors or windy conditions.
 

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I鈥檓 shooting Flex Fletch FF360 vanes, which are 3.6鈥 long, on my hunting arrows. I may eventually go shorter, but haven鈥檛 really found the need to. I鈥檇 have to shoot my broadheads a lot in windy conditions to be comfortable with shorter vanes and it鈥檚 not really convenient to do so.

On my target arrows I鈥檝e always shot around a 2鈥 vane.
Best vane ever. I don鈥檛 understand why more dont love these. All I shoot if Im shooting plastic. Low profile quiet in flight and stability enough for any broadhead Ive shot.
3鈥 feathers parabolics seem a good compromise but I dont like the way they look
 

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Best vane ever. I don鈥檛 understand why more dont love these. All I shoot if Im shooting plastic. Low profile quiet in flight and stability enough for any broadhead Ive shot.
3鈥 feathers parabolics seem a good compromise but I dont like the way they look
The only issue I鈥檝e had with them in the past was getting them to stick, but the newer no-prep version seems to have resolved that problem. The shop I went to when I began archery said that FF were the best vanes out there, but too much of a pain to fletch so they didn鈥檛 push nor offer them. I eventually got tired of vanes falling off so I switched to feathers for a long time before coming back to FF.
 

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I'll add to this, target or hunting and what is the longest distance?

I am using 3-inch feathers for field archery and my arrows drop like a rock at long distance. I may go back to spin wings, or see if I can find shorter feathers.
FF187 are amazing if you can make the small surface area work.
 
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