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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In years past whenever I got arrows for a bow the first thing I did was cut them 1" longer than my draw. I tried to make them work with std insert, points etc. I never was " really good" with a recurve but just ok and I eventually went to compounds. A few months ago my interest in recuve shooting was rekindled and I bought 4 bows and made up some arrows.. of course I cut them down as I always did.. But they just weren't flying as good as I thought they should be. As I was reading on here I noticed a lot of guys/gals were not cutting their arrows and were using insert weight and point weight to adjust them. So I bought more arrows and components and started experimenting.
It seems I have an easier time getting full length arrows to tune than the cut down ones even thought they should be similar in spine for my weight.
Now I know there are a lot of variables at work here such as centershot or not, shelf or rest, even tiller or positive/negative, brace height and on and on.
Just curious if others have found it easier to tune full length shafts with tip and insert weight instead of cutting them down.
 

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others might have a REAL GOOD reason why the longer arrow tunes easier.
I don't.
I'll say a 17 foot canoe goes down river with far less steering correction than a 12 footer.
 
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Length of arrow is just one of several factors in terms of tuning. There are non-tuning reasons for the tip of the arrow to protrude past the back of the riser, e.g.: broadhead clearance; gap aiming. But for tuning, arrow length is not a magic bullet :D It must be considered along with the other factors such as static spine, point & nock weight, draw weight, etc.

I've had good luck with the 3 Rivers Dynamic Spine Chart once I corrected for my fudge factor at the bottom of that page.

Unlike compounds with a clear draw length, for recurves you yourself must be consistent, or arrow flight might be inconsistent.
 

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Bart Harmeling
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Steve, I think your canoe analogy is spot on. Length provides stability. Think back to when we were kids and would throw cane spears. A nice long cane like 6' would throw pretty nicely, but cut it in half and it starts to tumble.
 

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I’ve never noticed a difference tuning short and long shafts. Nowadays I normally shoot them at ~28”, but used to shoot much longer. The only variable I’ve found to make tuning more difficult is high FOC.

I’m pretty sure most people are shooting full length shafts to keep their point-on low and to shoot stiffer shafts, which have higher GPI and allows for higher weight up front.
 

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Long shafts have naturally lower frequency that they are going to vibrate with... and the wavelengths are going to be longer. Seems like that might make it easier to tune, and that once you were "about right" small variations in tip weight might not matter as much.
 

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It's possible that folks are over complicating this. I think that there is a stiff arrow bias in traditional archery. 700 spine and higher shafts are common in Olympic archery where shafts are cut back to the clicker. I remember when a buddy was unable to get the 700's he needed in a common Olympic style shaft because they were popular and sold out. Traditional archers tend to shoot 500 and below, but shoot them full length. Using the ratio of cubes approach, a 32 inch, 500 shaft, such as a Goldtip Traditional 3555, is actually a 746 at full length. That's a 2 1/2 size change if you are using shafts that are spined on the century marks. Also, keep in mind that a person with a 28 inch draw length is going to put considerably less energy into the 32 inch shaft than I will with my 32 inch draw. This all points to the supposition that maybe the problem is that folks aren't using weak enough arrows when they are cutting them back. Maybe you need to try a 700 shaft instead of a 500 if you are planning on cutting. This could be a classic example of Occam's razor.
 

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Steve, I think your canoe analogy is spot on. Length provides stability. Think back to when we were kids and would throw cane spears. A nice long cane like 6' would throw pretty nicely, but cut it in half and it starts to tumble.
I respectfully disagree with this entire train of thought. An unfletched shaft, be it an arrow or a spear, will fly with stability, provided that it is weight forward, and long enough. It is long enough if it has enough surface area such that air resistance keeps it on track if tries to wobble or go astray. But, the shaft can be made shorter if vanes are added to the rear. The surface area of the vanes makes up for the loss of surface area of the too-short shaft.

Except for the atlatl spears are not generally launched from behind, which is a different application of force. I submit that comparing spears to arrows introduces unnecessary variables which muddle the topic.

As to rate of vibration, high frequencies are easier to damp, and will expire sooner, than low frequencies, because low frequencies have more energy. (Anybody build speaker enclosures out there?). But both long and short arrows can be made to fly correctly, so long as proper dynamic spine can be achieved.

Any arrow which can reach a bow's arrow rest at full draw is long enough to fly true without fletching. That's why a proper tune has bare shafts impacting with fletched arrows.

The important thing is correct dynamic spine, not one of the elements thereof in isolation. I do not see -- objectively -- how the process of achieving proper dynamic spine gets easier with shaft length.
 

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Haybale Hunter
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I go along with Hank's way of thinking. Arrows are spined at 28", so anything longer has a weaker spine than advertised. Therefore, if longer arrows are shooting better for you it might simply mean that you were over spined to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I go along with Hank's way of thinking. Arrows are spined at 28", so anything longer has a weaker spine than advertised. Therefore, if longer arrows are shooting better for you it might simply mean that you were over spined to begin with.
I agree with Hank and Kirk on this. I think by cutting my 500"s down to 29" they were too stiff for my setup. When I went to 400's at full length it was easy to get them tuned and shooting great with 150 gr point and 50 gr insert on one bow and 150 gr point with std insert on my other one. Since my heaviest point is 150 gr it may not have been enough for the cut 500. I think I need to try some heavier points and or inserts in my shorter arrows and see how it goes.
I have been using the 3Rivers spine calculator and it comes up real close on the 400 for my setup. the 500 is close too but they don't fly as good and consistent.
I was mainly asking out of curiosity since I have always cut my shafts .
 

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I agree with Hank and Kirk on this. I think by cutting my 500"s down to 29" they were too stiff for my setup. When I went to 400's at full length it was easy to get them tuned and shooting great with 150 gr point and 50 gr insert on one bow and 150 gr point with std insert on my other one. Since my heaviest point is 150 gr it may not have been enough for the cut 500. I think I need to try some heavier points and or inserts in my shorter arrows and see how it goes.
I have been using the 3Rivers spine calculator and it comes up real close on the 400 for my setup. the 500 is close too but they don't fly as good and consistent.
I was mainly asking out of curiosity since I have always cut my shafts .
But this doesn't mean that longer shafts are easier to tune. Rather it shows that it takes experimentation to find the correct parameters of dynamic spine for that make and model of shaft. It might mean sacrificing a couple cut shafts during the tuning process. A different model shaft with the same spine, but different gpi might tune at a different length with the same point, nock, inserts & fletching.

The thing is: by happenstance if your cut shaft happened to tune well with your chosen point, nock & inserts, you would now be claiming that cut shafts tune more easily! I think your generalization is invalid, and that arrow tuning can be a b#$%ch; though sometimes it just falls into place.
 

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I agree with Hank. There's a lot of stiff out there. I even got a PM that was borderline rude about me suggesting I was telling people to go too light.

The real truth is that a bow can shoot and tune .300's of different spine. Meaning for a 50 at 28 bow you could shoot .600, .500 and .400. You might have 360 grains on the .400 for tip weight and 125 on the .600 but you should be able to tune them all. Of course it depends on what you know about tuning.

Everything you need to know about tuning is in www.fenderarchery.com/blogs/archery-info/basic-tuning.

Bowmania
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
But this doesn't mean that longer shafts are easier to tune. Rather it shows that it takes experimentation to find the correct parameters of dynamic spine for that make and model of shaft. It might mean sacrificing a couple cut shafts during the tuning process. A different model shaft with the same spine, but different gpi might tune at a different length with the same point, nock, inserts & fletching.

The thing is: by happenstance if your cut shaft happened to tune well with your chosen point, nock & inserts, you would now be claiming that cut shafts tune more easily! I think your generalization is invalid, and that arrow tuning can be a b#$%ch; though sometimes it just falls into place.
Thank you for the great replies everyone. And jjasilli, your last sentence sums it up nicely. You have all given me some great info to work with. Now if the weather would ever straighten up so I can shoot some more that would be nice.
 

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Bowmania: good article and a great way to tune.

But note: According to your own source, the easiest way to tune is to first adjust nock height, then change point weight.

Earlier he states: "Finished hunting arrows should be at least 3/4" longer than your draw length to provide clearance for your broadhead. A little extra length doesn't hurt anything at hunting ranges and can help in the tuning process later."

So a little extra length is optional & not necessary to good tuning.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, so I'll stop now.
 

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The first thought that came to my mind is that changing point weight has a greater effect with each step on a longer shaft than it will on a shorter shaft. Or to put it another way, the effects are more obvious to the eye with each change in point weight, considering that point are manufactured roughly in twenty-five grain steps.
 

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I was able to tune arrows very easily using full length arrows and point weight. I can also shoot different poundage bows by changing point weights. I think the longer arrow seem to have a wider range and not as critical. Also, the longer arrow (leverage) seems to stabilizes quicker.
 

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I have shot arrows cut back to my rest, as well as shafts that stick a few inches beyond the back of my bow. I have not noticed any difference in difficulty tuning them. You have to ask, what is long when it comes to tuning. Is it long compared to a crossbow bolt? Is an inch longer really so much more intrinsically stable in flight that you can tell in the tuning process? The key to successful tuning is starting with the right shafts. If you are tuning longer shafts, they need to be stiffer. If you are tuning shorter shafts, they need to be weaker. If you don't make that adjustment in the beginning, then tuning will be difficult. You don't need complex theories to explain why it is difficult to tune when you start with the wrong shafts.

Also, don't discount that a short shaft may impact your aiming method by changing the site picture you are accustomed to. The first time I shot arrows cut back to the rest I had difficulty. Years later, when I tried it again, I did not. The arrow tip moves more when the tip is further from the pivot point. If you have better form you will raise your arm rather than pivot. That could be why I didn't have a problem the second time around. Another possibility is that the first time I was using large diameter 2312 aluminum, and the second time skinny Victory VAP. The smaller diameter shafts are better pointers.
 
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