Bohning Blazer Shrink Fletch Review

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Recently Bohning teamed up with Extreme Archery to produce a line of their very popular two inch Blazer vanes in a heat set fletching. Since being introduced four years ago the heat set fletching market has been steadily growing. The ability to quickly fletch bare shafts or re-fletch some ragged vanes is appealing to a lot of archers experienced or new to the sport.

The basic idea behind heat set fletching is a shrink wrap tubing when heated tightly wraps and binds to whatever its wrapped around. Heat set shrink wrap is nothing new and has been around for many decades. However applying it to archery fletching in a consistent manner is new and catching on.

The process for completing a shrink fletch is pretty simple. First clean up the shafts as best as possible using a vane stripper and then removing as much left over glue as possible. Then place the new shrink fletch over the shaft. Boil some water, then let it cool, and let it settle into the 160-175 Fahrenheit range. Lastly completely submerge the shrink fletch in the hot water, wait about 10 seconds and then remove.

In our tests the process worked well. It's critical that you completely submerge the shrink fletch and do not twist or otherwise move the fletching around in the water. One shaft we spun in the water and it warped the vanes. This property probably could be used to put a helical twist on the vanes, but reproducing the twist accurately over a dozen arrows would be tricky at best or impossible at worst. So for a simple straight fletching, simply dip it into the water and watch as the tubing shrinks around the shaft and then withdraw the arrow.

Shrink fletch costs 18-19 dollars for six, which works out to around $40 (if you have to pay shipping and/or tax) to fletch a dozen arrows. Over enough arrows, a fletching jig, glue, bulk vanes, and your time will probably work out to cost less, but traditional fletching takes time, so depending on how you value your time shrink fletch could be cost competitive with traditional methods. If you have a pro shop re-fletch your arrows the cost could be roughly the same.


Shrink fletch have two vanes on one side and the last vane on the other side.


The "tube" is actually folded in half and grips the arrow.


Easton 340 ST Excel shafts need some fletching.


Be sure to clean up the shaft as much as possible before fletching.


The "tube" is actually folded in half and grips the arrow.


Our fletching "jig." A two quart mixing bowl with a candy
thermometer. Water was brought to near boiling using a microwave.


Bohning recommends a water temperature between 160 and 175 Fahrenheit.


Dip, completely submerge, and then remove after tubing is completely shrunk,
which takes about 10-15 seconds. The tubing shrinks slowly enough to watch it set.


Don't twirl or move the tubing in the water! The vanes
warped and twisted. Simply dip, watch it shrink, and then remove.


New fletching ready to go shoot!

A downside to shrink fletch is the inability to consistently put a helical turn on each vane. For those that like a slight cant to their vanes, heat set fletching is not a solution. There are also not as many vane options available with shrink fletch. Currently Bohning is only offering the Blazer vanes in their Neon and Tiger stripe versions in two inch only.

If you don't have access to a fletching jig or don't want to pay someone else to fletch your arrows, heat set fletching is a great solution. The shrink fletch holds up well and is simple to strip off after you've torn up another set of vanes. Finally shrink fletch allows you to re-fletch wherever you can produce boiling water. This can be an advantage in the back country where a jig and glue may not be available. It's worth noting as well that New Archery Products (NAP) also offers their competing line of Quikfletch products. The Quikfletch line continues to expand and is offered in a variety of Quikspin and Twister vanes.

For more information visit Bohning at www.bohning.com.

Comments

niceshot_smitty's picture

i have use this product and i

i have use this product and i am not sure if it was that easy for me.  but if you ask my wife she just thinks i am a idiot.  i had some trouble getting them to stay on, when shooting my step up.  my wife on the other hand had no trouble and like i said she just called me a idiot and from now on she is putting them on instead of me.  they work great for her set up!

WishIWasHunting's picture

I noticed these in a store

I noticed these in a store about a month ago for the first time, and I did not pay much attention because the idea almost seemed comical.  However, after reading this, I might give them a try.  I definitely need to have my arrows refletched, so maybe I give this a try instead.  Has anybody else tried them out?

hunter25's picture

Although I would not consider

Although I would not consider these cheap by any means they do sound perfect for an idiot like me that does not have the tolls to fletch them myself. I have not used a bow for a long time and due to an injury may be a lot longer before I can again but my son is starting to get into it and these might be a viable option to repairing his arrows as most shops around here would be even more expensive. I'll have to give these a try as soon as we need to get some fixed up. Sound like a great idea to me.