Matching Arrows to Your Compound Bow is Important

 By: Alan P Hunter
No matter how powerful the compound bow you've bought is, it is the arrow that will make the difference. Even though you may have bought a bow with an advertised IBO speed of more than 300 fps, there is no way it will shoot at that speed if you use a heavy fiberglass arrow. That being said, different arrows are made for different circumstances and you will have a need for each at some point or another.

There are a few features that are important in what makes an accurate arrow, namely straightness, weight and spine. Weight and straightness virtually speak for themselves, as for the spine, it needs a little more explanation. The spine talks about the amount of displacement of the center point as it is launched. An arrow with a high spine will not flex as much as an arrow with a low spine. The amount of spine that an arrow has depends on the stiffness of the materials in the shaft as well as the geometery of the shaft. Ideally you want this flex to be the same each time you shoot an arrow, but this is difficult to achieve.

The key to shooting accuracy isn't so much in the type of compound bow you use because most contain similar features. Where you will really find your edge is in a judicious use of arrows, both in the quality of manufacture and the materials they are made from. Make sure the arrows you buy suit the bow and the type of shooting you will be doing and are straight. The length of the arrow you need will also be influenced by your draw length.

You usually buy arrows made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum and carbon. We will look at the pros and cons of each as well as the uses for each.

Wood is traditionally the material of choice for arrows when bows were first invented and wooden arrows are still used today. Wood is an easy medium to work with, it's reasonably durable and flexible, they are also cheap. It has only been in more recent times that wooden arrows have been replaced with other materials. Wooden arrows can be used for indoor or outdoor shooting with equal performance. They can have a tendency to warp or bend making their flight less true.

Carbon arrows are fast through the air, strong and lightweight. They are designed for modern bows that can handle the lighter weighted arrows. Although they are called carbon arrows, and pure carbon arrows are available, the most common kind of carbon arrow is an aluminum/carbon mix that gives the arrow extra strength and durability. Carbon arrows are not as long than aluminum arrows which give them their greater speed. They are for long distance shooting and maintain their shape well. The downside to using carbon arrows is in the price because they are indeed quite expensive.

Aluminum arrows are popular with indoor target archery with many archers preferring the thicker aluminum shafts to the thinner carbon arrows. They are also used for archery tournaments. Inexperienced archers are advised to use aluminum arrows due to their resilience if the target is missed. The aluminum arrows are not as expensive as other types and can be easily replaced if they are damaged, lost or broken. There is also a consistency in their manufacture so you are less likely to get a bent or warped shaft. It's easy to replace the arrow tips in aluminum arrows allowing you to keep the arrows for a long time

Fiberglass arrows are heavier than other arrows and are usually used as a training arrow. Although they are more durable than wooden arrows and can be made to differing sizes to match the archer, they still tend to break quite easily and people tend to prefer aluminum arrows. Fiberglass comes into its own through the fact that the arrows can be made more consistent from one arrow to the next making their flight more reliable.

Undoubtedly buying a compound bow is crucial when taking up the sport of archery, but as we have seen, just as important are the arrows you use. Buying cheap or unsuitable arrows may negate many of the key features of your compound bow.
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