5 Best Fletching Jig for DIY
Instead of you spending some extra amount of money for someone to re-fletch or use shrink tube, do you know that you can DIY with your best fletching jig and save money?
To have a better grip on how to DIY, I have highlighted some important aspects of a fletching jig you should know. I even give you alternative solution which save your time latter in this guide.
What Is a Fletching Jig ?
When you need to attach vanes to the shaft of your arrow, a fletching jig holds the arrow shaft steady so you can apply glue to the vanes at precise locations in a configuration you have selected.
Its main purpose is to ensure that the pattern formed, may be helical, offset, or straight, or the vanes do not change, and the spacing between them remain intact until the glue applied properly dries.
Different Types of Fletching
The configuration of your fletch usually determines the type of jig you will need. There are lots of configurations, and not all fletching jigs can handle all these configurations. Although you may be able to customize the jig by changing some of the parts to those that can support the spacing of fletches, number, and style you prefer.
Below is a brief outline of the types of fletching you will have the opportunity to see more often:
Straight fletching is the simplest type of jig you can find on the market currently. This type of fletching has the vanes aligned with the arrow. One of the main functions of this vane type is to cause the arrow to spin while it’s in flight.
When you decide to make an offset fletching, you will be setting the vane to form an angle with the arrow line. The angle can be to the right or left to give you an increase in the rotation from the arrow while in flight. Depending on the jig you get, you might be able to make minor adjustments to support your offset angle accurately.
Helical (Left or Right)
To get a better understanding of the helical fletching, you should imagine making your vane in the form of a plane fan blade. It may be a left or right helical. Setting the vane at an offset and then twisting the vane slightly, you can get the helical fletch.
If you want the direction and rotation of the vane to be in a clockwise position, you will need a left helical while a right helical will cause the direction of rotation to be in the anti-clockwise. Depending on the fletching, right or left, the jig you need will be specific to the direction.
Number of Fletchings and Spacing
The number of vanes used in fletching will vary according to each user. There are those that use 2, 3, 4, 6, or 8 fletches. Here are the common configurations you will find:
- 2 @ 105 degree spacing
- 3 fletches @ 120-degree spacing
- 4 fletches @ 90-degree spacing
- 4 fletches, 2 @ 75 degree
Materials of a Jig
The material used in the construction of the jig will play a vital role when determining how easy it will be to clean and how long it will last. Materials that can be used include metal and plastic.
How to Fletch an Arrow
Fletching an arrow may depend on the type of jig you use. Regardless of this, the basic steps to follow are the same. Our tutorial on how to fletch an arrow is made using a Bitzenburger fletching jig.
Follow the steps below:
- Step 1: Set the arrow shaft in the jig
- Step 2: Your vane clamp should be aligned with the arrow shaft
- Step 3: Prepare the vane you wish to use and then set it in the clamp
- Step 4: Place the glue on the vane
- Step 5: Set the clamp back into position on the jig
- Step 6: Leave to dry and then un-clamp
- Step 7: The vane remains on the arrow in the position you set it, and the process above is repeated until you have attached the number of vanes you need.
How Many Vanes Do You Want To Fletch Simultaneously?
The number of vanes that can be fletched at the same time may vary for different jigs. While some allow you to fletch up to three vanes at a time, for others, you may need to fletch the vanes one after the other. Most of archery fletching jigs allow all vanes to be fletched simultaneously to save time.
I will give you a fletching method which is faster than a jig in Pro Tip below ? Keep reading:
5 Best Fletching Jigs for DIY
1. Arizona Rim EZ Fletch Mini
The E-Z mini is a plastic fletch, which is suitable for your right helical fletch. It can be used on fletching arrows with a length of 2.25 inches.
The best part ?
The E-Z mini offers great advantages as it is quite easy to use and also convenient. By allowing you to fletch three vanes simultaneously, you can save a lot of time when using this jig.
While the E-Z mini may offer you some great features for the price, it also comes with its limitations and downside. The first thing you may notice after using the jig is the glue it starts to build up at the bottom of the vane slot.
Another problem you may encounter is after cleaning the jig. Since it is made of a plastic material, it is easy to get scratches on the jig after cleaning. Also, the limit to the number of fletches you can perform on this jig is just three.
2. Bitzenburger Dial-O-Fletch Jig Right Helical Base
I'm not going to lie you:
My uncle had his first Bitzenburger jig in 1998 and was able to use it for a long period by simply by cleaning and storing after each use till he decided to move to a newer model.
With this jig, you can save yourself a ton of money since you won't be replacing it anytime soon. This jig allows you to make a right helical fletch or get another clamp with a different type of fletch. You can also use it in the making of up to 4 fletches.
There are a few downsides to the Bitzenburger jigs. One of the drawbacks that affect a lot of users is the cost of the jig and are also the problem of clamps.
You can get different clamps for a different fletch, but with the Dial-O-Fletch, you may need to get a clamp separately before you can use it. Another drawback you have to take note of is that the jig may be slow to use.
If you find yourself in a bit of a bind and you need something to make a quick fletch or arrow repairs, you should try the Quickfletch twister vanes. These do not require any glue only a bit of hot water. Check it here.
3. Bohning Helix Tower Fletching Jig
The Bohning Helix Tower Jig offers you a means to save time when you decide to fletch three vanes with 120-degree spacing. It produces a right helical vane and allows up to five different options for the arrow diameter:
- Xbow Bolt
- Standard Carbon (.240 id)
- A-Nock (.201 id)
- F-Nock (.164 id)
- Pin Nock
With protective tape on the jig, glue does not come in direct contact with the jig and cleaning the glue after use won’t be a serious issue since you can easily replace the tape.
However, one of the major drawbacks of this jig is its compatibility. The Bohning Helix tower only works with arrow shafts which have a push in nock. You can’t use it with feather vanes.
4. JoJan Standard Multi – Fletcher
The Jojan multi fletcher is built to last a long time. The aluminum material makes it very durable. There are lots of features which make this jig great. Of all the jigs which were able to make it through our selection process, the JoJan has proven to be the most efficient when you talk about how much time you save.
It allows you to fletch up to 6 arrows at the same time, and this also makes it a very economical option. This is if you consider how much you will need to get six jigs. You can also perform a straight fletch or an offset to the left or the right on this jig.
The jig also has accessories which can easily be replaced by using other JoJan parts. It also allows you to make up to 4 fletches on each arrow. The drawbacks of this product are that it can't be used to make a helical fletch on the arrow and also needs other accessories like the cross bow bolt. This means more money will be spent.
5. Last Chance Archery Last Chance Fletching Jig
The Last Chance Fletching jig is useful for making helical fletch of up to 5 degrees. It also allows the user to select if it is 3 or 4 vanes that will be attached. With the coated vane wires, we can safely say they do not retain glue after fletching.
The drawback to this device is the uneven pressure which is applied to the vane. This makes it difficult for the vane to stick to the shaft. It may fall off in some cases. This also causes excess glue that needs to be cleaned.
What's the Bottom Line ?
With that in mind, when selecting a best arrow fletcher, our pick from this list is the Bitzenburger jigs. Although they may be quite pricey, you can see it as a long term investment. The jigs offer a few great qualities which make it stand out from others. And such features include:
- Die cast alloy material which will last long
- Flexibility of the jig as you can get different clamps for different types of fletch
- Up to four fletches can be done
No doubt, these features give the Bitzenburger a better advantage over the other jigs on this list as some are made of plastic while others are limited to 3 vanes. Although the JoJan allows 6 arrows to be fletched, it still fails to get a helical fletch, and a loose grip, which may result in vanes falling off.
We have given insights to some of the best fletching jigs that we have been able to use, but our preferences may differ from yours. We would like to get your opinion, feel free to comment or share it if you see it helpful.