Vanes feathers and fletchings

Fletchings are what many people know as feathers. Experienced archers know  that fletchings refer to both feathers and vanes.

Feathers differ from vanes because they are made of real feathers, while vanes are a plastic rubber mix.  

The advantage of a vane is that it is stronger, waterproof and has a longer useable life-span then a feather.  Most vanes with a few exceptions have much less drag than a feather of comparable size, making the vane a excellent choice of fletching for outdoor shooting.

A disadvantage of the vane is the inability to flex lengthwise as a feather can,(insert photo) that will cause any contact with the riser of the bow to send the arrow off course.  However it can flex side to side (insert photo) with next to no damage to the vane. So if you want to have a fletching that produces low drag, has a long life-span and is uniform in its shape, then the vane is for you.

The advantages of feathers are that they will slow the arrow down faster and are more forgiving of contact with the bow riser.  A feather can flex length-wise (insert photo) without sending the arrow off course. It is however highly susceptible to damage from flexing side to side, as that can break the quill leaving you with a now ineffective fletching.

Feathers have the disadvantage that due to coming from a live bird each is slightly different then the next. If a high quality feather is used it is usually not an issue.


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