original word doc

For the target archery disciplines that dominate Sagittarius, fletching pretty much means Spin Wings.  Beyond that, however, there has been endless debate, fueled in part by the small and reclusive nature of the company that produces Spin Wings. The issue of the characteristics of the different types and especially colors of Spin Wings remains unsettled. There is also continued debate about whether they should be straight or helical, and about how best, mechanically, to align and attach them.

The information on fletching is divided into the following topics:
General Fletching Choices2
Elite vs. Regular SpinWings17
Vane Size21
Vane Positioning25
Straight vs. Helical28
Other Topics30
Left-hand vs. Right-hand41
SpinWing Colors44
Tape, Glue and Jigs50

Updated through bulletin board page 196, April 10, 2001.


General Fletching Choices

{Thursday, 18 March 1999 at 23:39 MET}
Chris Shull:

Ok, so we have found out that many, or even most of the worlds tops recurve shooters used carbon indoors. We have not yet mentioned what type of FLETCHING they were shooting however! Spin Wings? Vanes? Feathers? This would have a great affect on the arrow.

{Thursday, 18 March 1999 at 23:55 MET}
Vittorio Frangilli:

...Spin Wing.....

{Friday, 19 March 1999 at 1:32 MET}

In the Men's recurve division at the W.I.C., of 33 men (of 53)surveyed, 13 used Spin Wing Vanes, 6 used plastic vanes, and 13 used feather fletching. 14 of these 33 surveyed men used A/C/E or X10 shafts, 1 used ACC. Magnus Petersson (1st) used Spin Wing Vanes and X10's with Beiter nocks, Markian Ivashko (2nd) used A/C/E's and plastic vanes with Easton nocks, and Chung Jae Hun (3rd) used X10's and Spin Wings with Easton nocks.

In the Women's recurve division of all 41 women surveyed, 22 used Spin Wing Vanes, 11 used feathers, 1 used Kurly Vanes (finishing 40th of 41), and 7 used plastic vanes. 20 of the 41 women used A/C/E or X10 shafts. Natalia Valeeva (1st) used plastic vanes on an Easton XX75 shaft with Bjorn nocks, Svitlana Bard (2nd) used plastic vanes on an Easton XX75 shaft with Bjorn nocks, and Agata Bulwa (3rd) used feathers on an Easton X7 shaft with Easton nocks.

In the compound men's division two of the three medalists (GBR teammates Mynott and Tarplee)used Spin Wing Vanes, the third used plastic vanes (Butts, USA, 1st place). Only 6 men used Spin Wing Vanes. All of the rest used either feathers or plastic vanes. None of the men used Kurly Vanes.

In the compound women's division two of the three medalists used feathers (Kamuf, USA, 1st, Trenaman, GBR, 3rd), the third used plastic vanes (Palazzini, ITA, 2nd). Three women used Spin Wing Vanes(8th, 12th, 15th) , one used Kurly Vanes (17th).

To summarize, the Spin Wing Vane was dominant in the Men's recurve and Compound divisions, while the top recurve and compound women used feathers and plastic vanes.

{Monday, 3 Januari 2000 at 19:33 MET}

Vane tests. Well guys, here goes: Several years back I ran a ton of tests on vanes, including mylar straight (two thicknesses), spin wings (2 15/16's, 2 3/16's, 2", 1 3/4", 1 9/16's) with all types of drag angels. There were two thicknesses at the time (remember the old clear color ones? Those were super thin), AAE's, Flex Fletch, MyroVanes, and K-Vanes (sorry Curly, I don't think you were around at the time). I checked for grouping on calm days, windy days in different directions and days that I was shooting poorly. Anybody can shoot good groups on a good day with virtually anything. It is more important finding what is the most forgiving. Problems to be aware of: clearance is the most critical factor. If your fletch touches anything, then you will not group well. I have always had critical clearance issues, so the K, AAE, Myro and other straight vanes did not group so well. This left me with Spin Wings. I found that the slower the arrow the larger the vane I needed. Guys shooting compounds with 275 fps plus can usually use a smaller vane than the 1 9/16". A good example of this is to look at the jets. The larger the plane the larger the wing surface. Thus, the Concord has a very small wing design. Now, obviously arrows do not go that fast, but you get the idea of what I am alluding to.

Another point to realize is the length of the arrow. The shorter the arrow the harder it is to get clearance, thus the height of the vane becomes critical. If you get too high of a vane it touches and causes your arrow to go crazy. But....you need to make sure you do not get too small of a height! There is a lot of turbulence near the shaft and the top of the vane has to be out of that turbulence in order to stabilizer the flight. If your vane does not get out of that turbulence it will be very inconsistent in your grouping. Now that I have muddied the waters a bit, don't forget the thickness of the vane. If it is too thick or stiff, it will cause poor flight on bad shots since the vane may touch the rest or plunger as it leaves. Also, it may flutter if the wind catches it just right. This will cause more inconsistency. Although this testing does cost some money, you can see why it is so important for you to do the testing. If you feel the cost is too prohibitive, then get a group of people together and share vanes. It may take more time to run these tests, but you will be more the richer.

I found the super thin vanes such as the transparent mylars to drift horribly in certain wind directions. Thus they were eliminated. I found that the small 1 9/16's vanes did not give me the stability in competitions as I like, thus they were eliminated. I found with my old ACE's that the best vane was the 1 3/4" very light drag set up. I found with my CT Royals that 1 3/4" regular drag was best for me. Now, I am using the CTMcKinney shafts and find that the 2 3/16" vane works great.

Rubber fletching. These vanes work if you put a very radical helical to them (recurve). 98% of the top archers of the world use Spin Wing type vanes at International, World or Olympic events (recurve). And no...spin wing does not sponsor all of them!

AAE vanes and easton vanes are one and the same. The only difference is the stamp put on for the easton vane. It causes a little distortion, but it is doubtful that it causes anything else. The Flex Fletch vane is very popular with the compound group. I used their vanes some time ago and liked them, but I could not get my carbons to work as well with them.

The final say is that you need to run some tests in order to find what works best for you. Be careful when listening to top archers 100%. After all, sponsorships are floating around and this may distort the truth somewhat.

Final say on weights. The mylar vanes (including Spin Wings and Curly's) are very light on a ratio of 3 vanes equal 1 rubber fletch in weight. This will do two things. The first is the lighter the arrow the faster, but this will not be too noticable. The second is spine reaction. Adding weight to the back of the shaft will stiffen the spine, thus when switching from rubber to mylar or mylar to rubber, retune your setup!

{Monday, 3 Januari 2000 at 23:26 MET}
Vittorio Frangilli:

Just my small piece..
98 percent of top recurve archers use spin wing, and this is a god number to trust to this solution.
I do not agree about the easy maintenance... They break easily, they bend easily, it is difficult to stick them properly and at the end you will pass your life adjusting them... but they do their job very well.
Michele uses 2 3/16 ( hey, Rick... something in common..) on a 29 2/3 arrow with 125 grains point, and they are perfectly straight, so the spin effect is given by their shape, only.
Use a smaller size for a shorter length as well as for a lighter points... Bigger size is good, but only in no-wind condition......Be careful about rest clearance, as it is very critical with this kind of vanes, and the best angle on the rest is never the most obvious.
As of myself, I use old FFP vanes, as they are so easy to glue and to maintain, that I see no reason to complicate my life. But, I don't have to go to the Olympics....
I think Mr. Carella will ever be remembered for his vanes.... They have changed archery a lot.... ( oh, well , Mr. Carella has also to be remebered for his training device... Foremaster is the name ?)

{Tuesday, 4 Januari 2000 at 6:34 MET}
Don Branson:

Vane question:

Thanks to everyone for their input, very informative. You learn something new every time you ask a question. I believe I will offer spinwings to some of the ladies shooting 28-29lbs but stick with the Elite vanes for the rest.

One comment on the spinning effect on arrow stability. My reasoning for using the straight clamp with the Elite 1.6 vanes was to retain the speed at the longer distances. DK mentioned that he had put a radical helical on the vanes and they worked well until the longer distances. I believe others have had the same results.

My theory on fletching in general is to use the smallest which will stabilize the arrow the quickest and yet afford the least surface area for crosswind interference. I have also found that even though you can put the vanes on extremely straight the arrow will still rotate. I have experimented with cutting down the height of 1.6 Elite vanes and they still stabilize in flight but a little form break and they fly like a bareshaft with a bad release.

IMHO using spinwings on aluminum arrows is a waste of time and money.

{Sunday, 2 Januari 2000 at 15:41 MET}
Don Branson`:

Question on vanes:

Our group has been using Elite Plastifletch 1.6 and 2.3" vanes for several years with a limited few using spin wings. The question becomes at what poundage/speed setup do spinwings or curly vanes offer an advantage. I fletch vanes with a straight Bitzenburger clamp, use the smallest vane the archer is capable of shooting and concentrating on bareshaft tuning the arrow. I do not offset or use a helical clamp. Most of the youth shoot between 20 and 30lbs, Four of the boys shooting the adult distances shoot between 35 and 40. Three shoot spinwings. About half, including the higher poundages shoot ACE or X10s, the rest shoot ACCs from 2-00 to 3X-04s

Do spingwings/curly vanes offer any appreciable advantage over 30 lbs? Advantage/disadvantage with light arrows?

{Sunday, 2 Januari 2000 at 17:20 MET}

Kurly vanes are much lighter than Plastifletch, eg. for a 40mm Kurly vane it is only 1.5 grains in weight, where as a 1 3/4" Plastifletch (I think nearest equivalent) is over 8 grains in weight. Apparently an average of about 6 m/s increase in speed is found using kurly vanes over plastifletch using a range of different bows, arrows, lengths, poundages etc... Increase in speed may be due to reduced weight, less front surface area etc...
From experience curled type vanes mantain there shape and finish better than the straight plastic alternative, ie giving more consistency.
Some people say they get better results from one type of curled vane over another (Kurly vanes vs Spin wing). For me... ...I just like the pretty colors!!! ;o)

{Sunday, 2 Januari 2000 at 17:42 MET}
Rob DiStefano:

After nearly three decades of using soft plastic vanes I tested and made the switch to mylar vanes (Spin Wings and Kurly Vanes) last year. I use them (45mm to 50mm) on 29" alums from 1616 thru 2013 (and soon on carbons), and bow weights from 20# through 36#.

Why the switch? I seem to get a tad better performance with mylars; they're easier for me to tune and they're SO simple & fast to fletch and to make field repairs. Their extra lightness ever-so-slightly improves the arrow FOC, and I've picked up some yards at the long marks, too.

{Sunday, 2 Januari 2000 at 17:50 MET}

1.75" Elite Plastifletch are 3.3 grains each
40 MM K-Vanes are 1.1 grains each
1.75" Spin-Wings (Yellow) are 0.8 grain each

You stated that the 40 MM Kurly Vane is 1.5 grains. I do not have one to measure.

When you say you gain 6 m/s that = 19.7 feet/sec, from a change of 7.5 grains. (weight of 3 Plastifletch minus weight of 3 Spin Wing Vanes)

On most setups 7.5 grains weight reduction adds at most 1.5-1.7 feet/sec or 0.45-0.51 m/s so you are off by a factor of more than 10.

Curled vanes also have more proportional drag on light arrows and light poundage so even with the slight speed increase, the arrow may be slower and more unstable at the target.

{Monday, 3 Januari 2000 at 0:32 MET}

All the info on K vanes is from the Kurly vane website, the figure I quoted is an average of all test results by the manufacturer. I can only speculate on drag etc... unless the correct equipment is used (ie. a wind tunnel). IMO, the more consistent surface and effect the vane has on the arrow flight would make it go faster.
Has there been any proper studies been carried out by makers of Spin Wings on effect of arrow flight, the theory of a curled vane making the arrow spin hence improving flight, is this true? This has probably already been discussed at some point on these pages.

Thanks for your input Konrad, could I ask where your info is sourced from? Apols, I should have stated in my earlier message of the location of my info.

{Saturday, 20 March 1999 at 20:34 MET}
Federico Vera ( Argentine):

For gt:

Simon Tarple are using Kurly Vanes not Sping Wing...

{Monday, 22 March 1999 at 20:42 MET}
Tony Goodwin, Alternative Sporting Services:

for gt & Murray

Simon Tarplee WAS using Kurly Vanes in Cuba. In fact he was using a four fletch, 70mm Holographic vane on Easton X7 2613 supplied by ourselves because Eastons could not get the sponsored shafts to him in time for the event!

{Monday, 22 March 1999 at 20:57 MET}
Rik Meucci:

To get back to the statistics as supplied by GT:
of the medalists;
4 used bent plastic (of whatever flavour)
5 used straight plastic
3 used feathers

I'd say this pretty much stomps on the idea of one kind of fletching being superior to another under ideal (indoor) conditions.
(I wonder if anyone out there could come up with a way to make bent feathers... ;-})

{Monday, 22 March 1999 at 21:22 MET}

Tony said:

As for me being "on your case" be assured that I have nothing against you or your product except the fact that it is a shameless (but pretty) attempt to copy the patented Spin Wing vane design and Richard Carella is no longer around to take you to task for it.

{Thursday, 29 July 1999 at 4:23 MET}


In the just-completed individual portion of the World Championships, all the gold medal winners in the recurve division used Spin Wing Vanes on X10 shafts. All the medalists and top 10 finishers in both recurve divisions used Spin Wings on A/C shafts, in fact. The only top archer I know currently using a hard vane is Jay Barrs. They work quite well for him, as you may know he was the top US archer at the event by far.

Spin Wing Vanes have unique and useful stabilization properties in windy weather. They have a limited capability to compensate for side or tail wind. This is not true of all of the "bent vanes" as Rik refers to the genre.

Experience has shown them to be the best choice for most top shooters. Also, Flonite vanes in particular are even more high maintenance than Spin Wings. Just ask Hiroshi Matsushita sometime. He'll tell you he spends every night in front of the TV with a fletching jig. The slightest wrinkle on the back of a Flonite and you're looking at an arrow in the blue.

By the way, Ambo vanes are made in Germany, not Asia. I experimented with them about 3 years ago. They were OK but a little more tedious to fletch than Spin Wings in my experience. They rotate at about 1/3rd lower rate and cause less drag.

I would not consider Spin Wings or Ambo vanes to be hard vanes in the sense of Flonite (K) vanes. In fact, flex-fletch vanes, which are popular with pulley bow shooters, are stiffer than Spin Wings and Ambo Vanes, but are considered a 'soft' vane.

If the top Koreans could get hard vanes to work demonstrably beter, I guarantee you they would be using them. They use Spin Wing Vanes.

I would love to see what would be possible if Werner Beiter set his mind to making vanes...

{Friday, 30 July 1999 at 2:18 MET}
Steve Ellison:

Fletchings and vanes: Spin wings are, I'd say, soft. Certainly not rigid, like the earliest plastic vanes and (about 10 years on) flonites. They're certainly more forgiving for side contact with the bow than most, though on the whole I arrange for that not to happen at all (any contact is bad contact!). I had poor experience with the earlier, large spin-wings in side winds (they pulled the tail over badly), so used smaller conventional vanes on another set of shafts for crosswind shooting. I've also used flonite for the same reason. Flonite are sharp (mind fingers! but not that bad really), light and fast, and they are a bit flexible, but they do indeed take a permanent bend. They also used to break occasionally along the foot sometimes, leaving the back third of the fletching flexing like a loose aileron, though it rarely had a noticeable effect except for a buzz on landing. The best thing about them was that by flexing them and letting them go, you got a really sharp 'click' out of them; great fun at parties for the clicker-shy... but not really PC on the line :o).

{Friday, 30 July 1999 at 21:32 MET}
Chris Shull:

I shot Flex Fletch Vanes about four years ago, but back then I wasn't good enough to know if they made a difference. I've been using spin wings for all of my real successes in the game, but I think I'll play around with some other vanes. I'm using Elite Spin Wings now, but I think I'll fiddle around with the regulars a little bit before the Olympic Trials. I did some basic testing with each Spin Wing Style early this year in some good winds at school and found no real difference, but I probably only shot 200 shots. I'll play with it more in the future.

{Monday, 22 March 1999 at 21:48 MET}
Tom Woodley:

Kurly Vanes, Spin Wings etc - who cares? I've come up with the greatest little vane which outperforms them all. I got sick of destroying my 50c per vane Spin Wings and was looking around for a solution. I had a drink at a restaurant recently and they supplied one of those plastic straws with it and since I hate straws I tried to scrunch it up but it wouldn't scrunch. After reflecting on this fact for a while I decided to try making up some tubular vanes by angle cutting the straws to 1.75 inch lengths. I glued these onto the shafts at a 5 degree fletch angle using Spin Wing glue strips and applied the lining tape to each end as usual. When I tried them out of my bow, the bloody things grouped on top of each other at 30m!!!! They are amazingly accurate. So I'm thinking of marketing them under the name of Vector Tubes. They even come in a variety of colours. Hell, I'll even send some to Alternative Sporting Services and Easton for free. :)
Lighten up, guys

{Tuesday, 23 March 1999 at 0:15 MET}
Tom Woodley:

Dear Chris
Great to find another archer with a sense of adventure. Actually, and I'm a bit ashamed to admit it but the drinking straw vanes really do work and work well. I'm trying them out at 90m this Sat just out of curiosity. The one major disappointment with them is that I was hoping they'd make a whistling or a moaning sound when they flew but they don't. They're really very quiet, dammit. I was going to call them Tom's Tooty Tubes but that isn't possible now.

{Tuesday, 23 March 1999 at 2:42 MET}
Steve Ellison:

Well, I was talking to this really amazing guy with loads of 1300 stars and he said he'd tried 'most ev'ry kinda fletching money could buy. I say, hey, this woodley man reckons drinking straws are the best thing since sliced bread. He said, "well, I never tried sliced bread. But I reckon Straws suck".

(Sorry, couldn't resist that one...:)

PS; I quite like spin wings, myself. They always seemed to steady things up more than 1-2degree angled dumpy vanes. Not much fun when they start to crease, though. Went back to dumpies for a while, but back on spin-wings on the ace's. Might be trying Kurly vanes yet, particularly on my alloy shafts as spin-wings don't come big enough any more.
But has anyone found a really good end tape for spin-wings and kurlys? The spin-wing stuff is OK, and vehicle trim tape pretty good (and you can get it in 5m lengths and loads of colours), but neither quite stick 100%; the end pops up after a while.

{Tuesday, 23 March 1999 at 8:07 MET}
Tom Woodley:

Really, Steven, your levity is the last straw - but I forgive you.
I use Spin Wings all the time and they're great. I also use them on my alloys for indoor. The ones I use for this are the 5 inch Hunter Spin Wings (they are labelled "Hunter" on the pack and the Vane No. is 5-62RH). They are really great and impart great stability to the arrows and result in great accuracy. However this is out of my Indoor compound, a Hoyt Oasis, fitted with a Barner Inertia rest. I don't know how they go off a normal rest or out of a recurve but they might be worth a try.

{Tuesday, 23 March 1999 at 9:31 MET}

I am not shooting good enough anymore to be able to get free Kurlys for testing (it is a long time that I won the World Championships), and I never shot good with Spin Wings.
So I am still using FFP's, and I am sure that they are not the reason for my bad shooting!

{Tuesday, 23 March 1999 at 14:07 MET}

Your straws sound excellent! Keep us informed... If you want to make them whistle, how's about cuting holes in the tube at strategic places... Of course, they'd have to be "tuned" :o)

{Thursday, 29 July 1999 at 2:04 MET}
Chris Shull:

Ok, new topic... There seems to be a lot of shooters going back to stiff vanes. In particular a lot of Asian made vanes like Ambo and K Vanes. Do these stiffer vanes give any REAL advantage over Spin Wings? Would shooting a higher drag Spin Wing (i.e. Black or Red) have the same effect? Dig into this one guys!

{Thursday, 29 July 1999 at 3:55 MET}

I'm sorry, but I thought spin wings were a stiff vane. They certainly aren't a soft vane! I think this is more a matter of taste than anything else. The only reason I haven't used "bent vanes" of any sort just recently is that it's so much easier to apply normal vanes. Drag is just a function of fletching angle on most vanes. Bottom line is: use what works for you, but experiment to find out what works! Don't mistake fashion for science.

{Tuesday, 26 May 1998 at 6:15 MET}
FRED (recurve):

My other question is about Spinwing. I'm actually shooting with Curly Vanes and some guys just told me that SpinWing are better. So with my new ACE, i want to buy myself some spinwings and compare them with Curly Vanes. But I heard that there is different type of spinwing ( stiff or less stiff, depending of the color you choose.). I just want to know if that's true, and if yes, witch color will be the best for my setup:

{Monday, 1 June 1998 at 5:37 MET}
Chris Shull:

As far as Spinwings are concerned, yes, different colors do have different stiffnesses.. For your setup I would avoid as much drag as possible, so use white vanes set on the shaft straight. If your groups open up at the short distances try a small drag angle of about a degree. Also, go for a 1.75 inch vane. Longer vanes will just add more drag.

{Thursday, 5 Februari 1998 at 17:49 MET}


Kurly Vanes

When I tried Kurly Vanes a while back I hated them. For starters I couldn't get them to stay on the shafts. The tape that was supplied was rubbish and even the spin wing tape was not entirely successful (I'd been shooting Spin Wings with no trouble for years!)

Once I did get them to stay on I found that I couldn't get them to group at all well at 90m and 70m was not so hot. I moved back to spin wings and everything was fine again (all be they a boring selection of colours in those days)

I did check clearance etc and that was all fine. I put it down to the vane being a different profile and a different rigidity which affected the drag causing my arrows to parachute.

Having said all of this I know of plenty of people shooting them now including some top level compound shooters.

{Saturday, 26 September 1998 at 0:31 MET}

I terminated my sponsorship with Kurly Vanes. I used their vanes only for indoors, but for outdoors my Spin wings worked a lot better. I have always used Spin Wings for outdoors before I tried Kurly's.

{Tuesday, 29 September 1998 at 17:41 MET}

Berg: Flonite vanes; I shot them years ago, then went on to spin wings. Now I'm currently back to using flonites. This isn't because I think they're any better than spin wings, I just got fed up with all that sticky tape.
Flonites are a rigid plastic vane. Some people think they are fragile but they don't seem any worse than spin wings. If they fold over then they can usually be straightened with a thumbnail. Dents in the edge tend to lead to permanent distortion. I suppose it might be possible to correct this by applying heat (a cool iron perhaps) but I haven't been bothered enough to try this.
Fletching with them is easy, they have a V-shaped foot which holds the glue quite well. Top and tail them with glue or tape and they won't easily come off.
As for how they perform, I don't know. One fletching is pretty much like another, unless you're obsessed with speed/optimum theoretical performance.
If you want a fletching you can shoot through a target and still use afterwards, I wouldn't choose a flonite. On the other hand the colours are good and bright, they're light in weight, they seem to shoot reasonably well and make a nice musical 'ping' when you hit them with a fingernail. What more could you want? And if you're having clearance problems flonites will show this up quite well... through strange arrow flight, damaged fletchings, lower scores...

{Thursday, 3 April '97 at 15:34 MET}

Actually I must not miss out fletchings. Last year I tried Easton Diamond vanes on my ACEs (1 3/4"). As normal outside at the beginning of the season you put all the time in at 90m and 70m hoping that 50 and 30m would take care of itself. My groups at 90m were great and 70m was solid too so I reckoned all was Ok (I'd bare shaft tuned at 10m and although a tad stiff it seemed *OK*). When it came to shooting in tournaments... :o( My 90m was very good, my 70m was good, my 50m was average and my 30m was poor. At first I wrote this off as fatigue, lacking fitness to shoot in windy weather etc. 2 months later (by which time I was shooting a lot of 30m!) I tried a bare shaft tune at 30m... the arrow was so stiff it nearly missed the boss! Further investigation revealed a clearance problem (rather than stiffness). Presumable caused by the Diamond vanes stiffening the arrow. Anyway, I changed back to Spin Wings which immediately added 15 points to my 30m, 10 to my 50m, 5 to my 70m and my 90 remained the same(ish). Stupid!

{Tuesday, 4 Januari 2000 at 12:53 MET}
Rob DiStefano:

Don Branson, could you expand on your statement "IMHO using spinwings on aluminum arrows is a waste of time and money."?

I find the complete opposite, in that SW's or KV's are extremely easy and fast to fletch on alums and at a cost of $9 complete for 50 KV's, not expensive at all. I choose mylar vanes not out of convenience or cost, but because of their good performance. They work for me, and therein must lie the moral: use what works best for you.

{Tuesday, 4 Januari 2000 at 15:11 MET}

Rob, I think Don Branson sentence was related to the fact that mylar vanes are the ideal match for thin and light arrows, while to well balance an aluminum shaft soft vanes or natural feathers are usually the best ( not ever cheaper) solution.... as you usually shoot them indoor, only, and then it supposed you will need comparatively a very large tail wing to get them flying properly....
I have never seen people shooting indoor aluminum shafts with 4" SW, but often 4" feathers...

{Tuesday, 4 Januari 2000 at 19:21 MET}
Rob DiStefano:

Ah Vittorio! - yes, for indoor I used 5" full helical feathers (I custom burnt them long and low)! Flexible mylar vanes have been around for a long time and have proven themith alums.

I suppose it's just that carbon shafting dominates the target scene these dayze.

I use 45mm KV's on 29" xx75 2013 shaft, Sky Medalist 66", 35# @ 30". They are NOT like the performance of carbons but they do go fast and they do go straight! :-)

{Tuesday, 4 Januari 2000 at 20:06 MET}
Don Branson:

Rob: Not to criticize your choice of vanes for aluminums but over the years several top archers tried to shoot large spinwings on aluminum (I recall Darrell Pace, I think at an indoor) and most found that clearance was too critical with the large size needed to stabilize the arrow the same as large feathers or vanes. Maybe Rick can relate some of those experiments. If it works for you more power to you. In your setup you mention a 30" draw and 66" Sky Medalist. You probably should shoot at least a 68".

{Tuesday, 4 Januari 2000 at 20:33 MET}
Rob DiStefano:

Don - I shoot 45mm (1-3/4") mylars, that's not large at all for outdoors. In my post to Vittorio I mentioned using 5" feathers indoors. I've never used mylars indoors and have no intention going down that road - like you said, too many tuning problems, and that's just what I encountered. Besides, indoors is one of the very few venues you can shoot big, heavy, clunky shafts and get away with it! :-)

{Wednesday, 5 Januari 2000 at 5:51 MET}

Spin Wings vs. Feathers on Aluminums. I used 4" spin wings to win Vegas one year. They work, but it does take some effort. Feathers are by far easier to set up and less critical. I used Shig Honda's MyroVane on my aluminums outdoors. They worked great.

{Monday, 3 Januari 2000 at 12:15 MET}
Tuomas Polvi:

About spin vanes:
Last summer I shot recurve with about 34# and 27" draw. My arrows were Diva S 18 with 66 grain points. Kurly vanes gave about 40cm higher group than straight vanes at 90m and 15cm higher at 70m. I tested both types for a little while and felt that kurlys were also little more stable and forgiving. Because difference in sight marks increased during last 20 meters it doesn't seem that arrows were parachuting. It seems to me that spin wings are little more curled than Kurly vanes but I'm not sure if that affects to wind resistance.

{Monday, 3 Januari 2000 at 17:14 MET}

Since you were referring to 40 MM and 1.75" vanes, I used actual measurements of these parts taken from a precision electronic balance. The K Vanes I refer to are NOT "Kurly" vanes they are K vanes from Japan. These are also known as "Flonite".

I do not think the reference you made to an "average" applies to target archery because very few target archers use 5" fletching.

{Monday, 10 July 2000 at 23:43 MET}

I looked at the latest copy of the German magazine BOGENSPORT and could not find an AMBO (Amerika Bogen) ad, so I will e-mail you an address where you can write for information. The gentleman you are looking for is Herr Fritz Hoffman.

I have found installation of AMBO vanes can be about twice as time-consuming as Spin Wing vanes. They do have decent durability, and come in some bright colors. I have tested them extensively and my data do not show any real advantage over a Spin Wing except they are easier to get clearance from if that is an issue.

{Friday, 29 September 2000 at 22:54 MET}

Some hopefully interesting equipment statistics from the Olympic Games in the individual competition (hope the formatting is legible !):

All individual medalists and all but 7 competitors used Spin Wing Vanes.

Other vanes- AMBO 1, Kurly Vane 1, Diamond Vane 3, Flex Fletch 2.

{Tuesday, 3 October 2000 at 20:17 MET}

GT: Actually your a little of in your equipment list, Simon Needham was using "Right Flight Vanes" manufactured by quicks (UK). Sorry for being pedantic.

{Sunday, 22 October 2000 at 22:58 MET}

I think the vast majority agree that a Spin Wing (or similar) vane is superior for outdoor shooting. I shoot Spin Wings exclusively outdoors. I have shot the Ambo Spiral Fletch as well. I just thought they were a bear to put on. I have not shot the Kurly Vane, but they are very similar to the Spin Wing. Within reason, the Spin Wing, Kurly, and similar mylar vanes should shoot similarly. I didn't work enough with the Ambo to really know because I didn't like putting them on. For indoors I think you will see a mix. especially now that more people are shooting their outdoor setup indoors. I know that Magnus Petersen won the world indoor with x10s. GT posted a listing after the last indoor worlds with what the medalists shot. I have shot feathers and Spin Wings on my aluminums for indoors. My results were similar once I found a good tune on both. They are not interchangeable setups due to the weight of the fletching. I only shoot plastic vanes on my 3D bow. I don't get good enough clearance with them on my recurve. I think that has a lot to due with my arrows being pretty short (27 1/4"). Hope this helps.

{Monday, 23 October 2000 at 0:13 MET}
Steve E.:

Feathers are forgiving, and fine indoors, with heavy point weights, but wear fast and are rather slow outdoors, as well as getting really soggy in the wet. They are not actually lighter than vanes, either.
nearly all top scores are shot with spin-wings or equivalent, nowadays. IMHO, you also need something straight for a windy day if you can afford the extra set of arrows. Also, you'll need to replace spinwings more often- they are certainly no more rugged than feathers.
Best thing is to give it a try. Spin-wings are easy to take off if you don't like them, whereas ordinary vanes are rather harder to remove - at least if you stick 'em on properly. Try a spin-wing or kurly vane and if you find they don't last you well enough, try a low vane (eastons or similar). Nearly all fletchings work pretty well anyway if they're on consistently, so you won't actually be losing much unless you actually start hitting your bow with them - and that's not a fletching problem, but a tuning problem.

{Monday, 23 October 2000 at 10:34 MET}
John K:

Jimbow - I've seen a technical report on feathers which shows that they are lighter than vanes (plastic rather than spin-type vanes, I think). IIRC, it said that feather fletched arrows have a higher velocity than arrows with vanes to about 65 metres, and identical velocity thereafter. I'm afraid I can't remember if the report compared them to plastic vanes or spin-type vanes.

However, feathers require a fair amount of maintenance and collapse when wet. Generally speaking, they're good for target shooters indoors but not outdoors.

This technical report should be available somewhere. I last saw it when I visited a professional fletcher.


Elite vs. Regular Spin Wings

{Saturday, 13 June 1998 at 4:25 MET}
Chris Shull:

What do you guys know about the new Elite Spin Wings? I'm using them now, and I like them, but everybody seems to have different opinions. One person says they shoot great in the wind, another says they shoot worse!

{Friday, 17 September 1999 at 10:19 MET}

I don't have much experience with Elite, as they were tested by Michele when they appeared, and then found without advantage and with problems of clearance. I think that going to 100 grains point is a solution that surely helps in the wind, provided that the shafts does not become too week..

{Friday, 17 September 1999 at 14:33 MET}

Elite Vanes:

+ : Straighten up your arrows real quickly out of the bow, spinning the arrow very fast, very stable.

- : On some bows (not necessarily slow) the speed of spin seems to cause problems at longer distance and the arrow flight goes haywire.

So to conclude, if you don't fall into the latter category and you don't get clearance problems they work very well indeed. If you come into the former category then original spin wings work great too :o)

{Friday, 17 September 1999 at 16:27 MET}

Elite Spin Wings:
I tried them, but found them to be drifty. I have a short draw and was shooting fairly light weight. I discussed them with Vic Wunderle, who is about the only recurve shooter in the U.S. that is shooting them (GT, Rick, feel free to correct). He said that they work well for him but he draws fairly long (30+") and pulls a good deal of weight. I think they are work the $12 to try them, and if they don't work, go back to regulars. I have never found vane to work better for me than the standard spin wings. I might try the Elite vanes on my 3D bow. They should be fine at 280 f.p.s.

{Tuesday, 4 Januari 2000 at 6:56 MET}

I've been using Elite Spin Wings for two years, but I'm not convinced that the extra spin is all that helpful, and they definitely are harder to get good clearance with.

{Tuesday, 4 April 2000 at 0:07 MET}

Regular Spin Wings versus Elite Spine Wings. Dick Carella developed the Elite SW for the Compound archer. He knew that the regular vanes did not offer enough clearance for the arrow rests. With a straight fletch and a little hook at the end of the fletch, the clearance problem was solved. The Elite is also a higher spin fletch.

There are some top archers who like the Elite and others who do not. They seem to group really well at some distances and not group well at the other distances. When I shot them I liked the performance at the closer distances, but had a difficult time with them at the longer distance. However, I heard just the opposite with some other archers. Unfortunately, these vanes are going to take some time to learn more about their grouping pattern. I would set up two groups of arrows (4 each?). Use the Elite and Regular and see how they perform in good weather, windy weather, rainy weather, cold and hot weather. Testing the two side by side will give you the best understanding of which vane performs well overall.

{Tuesday, 4 April 2000 at 2:52 MET}
Mike Gerard:

Regular Vs. Elite Spin Wings.
I have enjoyed the Elite Spin Wings on several Occasions and offer some advise:
They have a larger front pocket that is tougher to get clearance on if you have a stiff spined arrow. You must really take care in locating the nock in this instance. I had the ability to clip my clicker blade with the top vane much easier than with regular Spin Wings. I did not notice the short distance long distance issues that many people I talked to have had. I think because the arrow I used was so heavy, that for me it did not show up as much. ( I was shooting an arrow that was 370 grains ). I did shoot some great groups with the Elite vane and thought they had a nice looking flight to them. With a weaker spined arrow, I did not have the clearance problems I had with a stiff arrow. Because I choose a stiffer arrow and need all the clearance I can get, I am shooting the regular Spin Wing these days.

day, 1 October 2000 at 5:27 MET}

Most of the Olympic competitors using Spin Wings chose the standard 1.75" model, but IIRC, Victor Wunderle shoots the Elite 1.75" model. All of the Korean team members used the standard Spin Wing 1.75" in Sydney.

{Sunday, 11 June 2000 at 0:49 MET}

Spinwing Info - I was curious about the performance of spinwing elites versus regular spinwings, so I got Lindsey to shoot 10 or so ends of 12 ACE shafts at 50 meters in litte or no wind. 8 of the shafts were fletched with elites and 4 were fletched with WHITE spinwings (the least resistant spinwing color). I was not able to find any difference in either grouping or accuracy. In short the arrows all grouped together. She was shooting with 30# Winact limbs using a Hoyt GM riser, at click she reaches 33#. So the arrows are not going all that fast relative to say, a man pulling 40 - 50 # and so I expected that the arrows' flight would be more sensitive to loss of energy. If the elites do result in double the spin (any documentation of that at say, Beiter Labs?<G>) then I figured there would be some parachuting or dropping down the target by the elites. Another thought is that Lindsey is not (yet) that consistent - her grouping ws around 6 of 12 in the gold at 50 meters during these ends. Someone with a higher accuracy might be able to prove a pattern that we cannot see.
Has anyone else done anything similar to test these?

{Sunday, 11 June 2000 at 2:47 MET}

Ron, That is funny b/c I was playing with some national flag Kurly vanes versus my regular yellow spin wing vanes yesterday at 50m & 70m. I consistently saw the KV hit about 3-5 inches lower than my SW, and about 4 inches to the left. The distances minimized the closer I got, to where they hit only 1 inch low at 18m. I tried the elites last year, and did not get any parachuting until maybe 90m. I wasn't convinced that it was just the spin wing and not a difference in tune, as I was initially set up for regular SW.

{Sunday, 11 June 2000 at 8:29 MET}

Spin wing...
Test done with 37# at 26.5" at 70 mt. with 2" SW says that thee is no significant difference between white and blue color in height or side drifts, while blue grouping seems slightly more consistent.
Same test done with 50# at 29.6" with 2" 3/16 says the same , but difference in grouping is clearly evident.
I don't have figures about direct comparison of regular to Elite SW, but as an average they give lower arrows and are more sensitive to lateral wind, plus slightly more clearing problems...
As of the average result, I usually do not suggest to use white SW to archers shooting high poundages... And I have not seen any reason up to now to suggest to use Elite SW to anyone. As a matter of fact, Elite SW are almost unexisting at top level...
As usual, just my personal opinion ....


Vane Size

{Wednesday, 15 September 1999 at 11:26 MET}

George, Michele has experimented with many sizes of spin wing, and the one he uses today ( and I think is the same you have) has been found to be the best compromise.
Of course, with very strong lateral wind, you need a certain amount of wing to compensate the flight with heavy points... smaller vanes were giving instability, bigger too much drift....

{Wednesday, 15 September 1999 at 23:26 MET}
Tom Woodley:

Currently, the thing that is puzzling me is the recent threads on point weights, spin wing size and arrow stability in wind. I was under the impression that a heavy point imparts stability to an arrow and that the heavier the point the less additional stabilising required via the fletchings because the shaft itself acts as a stabiliser (???). IF this is so, then it would seem to me that only a relatively small fletching is needed for stabilisation (???) and that a small spin wing should impart all the residual stabilisation necessary. I would have thought, too, that arrow velocity would have an effect on stability - the faster the arrow, the more stable.

{Thursday, 16 September 1999 at 0:27 MET}

The faster the arrow the smaller the fletch can be (usually). There appears to be some turbulence near the shaft as it travels to the target. In order to keep the arrow stable, it is important to have the fletching profile high enough in order to catch stable air. That is why some archers cannot shoot the 1 and 9/16" spin wings. The most common is the 1 and 3/4" vanes with a higher profile. If you have a clearance problem, the 1 and 1/16" vanes will work better.
I am currently using some 2 and 3/16" vanes and love them. I am shooting a slower set up than when I was shooting that 49# bow. The arrows are heavier and slower as well. I am averaging right at 300 at 90 meters which I consider very good for me now since I train once every two weeks whether I need it or not! ;) The closer distance scores are not so great which leads me to believe I have a clearance problem. I plan to address that one of these months.

The bottom line is that you try to test different set ups and find which works best for you at all conditions. Which ever works for you may not work for someone else. Do not be swayed by someone else who is shooting something totally off the wall and that you may have tried before and it did not work. Stick with what works.

{Thursday, 16 September 1999 at 8:56 MET}

Tom, as we do not have a wind tunnel for testing, what we do is to compare average results in windy condition between different set up's. What sorts out is ever a compromise... Anyhow, we have found (and it sounds logical) that an arrows that flies clean is less sensitive to the wind than an arrow that flies with tail movements. That means that the size of the (spin) wing has to be adjusted to get a clean flight (in constant wind you should see the arrow tail in the same position ... stable... relative to the point during all the flight), and this some times means to increase the its size, not to decrease it...

{Monday, 19 March 2001 at 2:45 MET}
Dave L:

Regarding your search for Spinwing vane sizes. If it's any help the Kurly vane catalogue I have in front of me at present gives a "Guide" as to what length vane to use on what arrow type and spine ie Easton, CarbonTech & Beman. I'm pretty sure the same information is available at the link below but if not I'd be happy to send you the details when I've a little more time.

{Monday, 29 Januari 2001 at 17:30 MET}
Matt Z:

Vittorio - I do not know if this question has been brought up before but . . . On the carbon shafts, what fletching is Michele using. I'v been told that small vanes on carbons indoor are useless(due to recovery factor). I assume with Michele's form and near perfect tuning, he could shoot bare shafts for indoor.


Matt, Michele's only using Spinwing on AC or C arrows. He uses 2 3/16" size, indoor and outdoor as well (only for Sydney size was reduced to 2" ).
Anyhow, this story of the "recovery" of the shafts is quite common around, but totally without sense. John Taplee. can explain much better than me, but the static stability factor of an arrow is binded to the distance from the center of gravity to the fletching, multiplied by the fletching total area. To this, you have to add spinning speed, that also increases stability and grouping between intrinsically different shafts. Therefore, adding a large wing (feathers)to the AC or C shafts decreases their stability factor as they spin less, as well as they get a worse center of gravity. From the other end, adding large feathers to alu arrows increases their stability factor, as the weight of the feathers is not significant in relationship to the total weight of the shaft, and the speed does not change in percentage so much (if you fletch them almost straight). There are several "break even" points in this concepts, to be carefully considered in real applications, but this is , more or less.
Yes, you can also shoot bare shaft, only. But, their stability factor goes to nothing, they do not spin, and they can group only in relationship to real mechanical tolerance spread of the set used.

As far as the so said "recovery" is concerned, I have already mentioned somewere in these pages that a well tuned arrow should be able to hit perfectly and constantly a target of the size of a dime at 5 mt. Or, better to retune your stuff...

{Monday, 29 Januari 2001 at 23:50 MET}

I was interested to see that he use's 2 3/16" spinwings, a couple of things that I've wondered, does he have them fletched straight? and has he played around with fletchings at different distances down the shaft, if what conclusions were made.

I realise that these are normally a personal setup that suits one but not another but not all of us have the resources or the ability to try and find these things out.

{Wednesday, 31 Januari 2001 at 0:05 MET}
Mika Savola:


About Michele's ACE arrows: You mentioned earlier that he uses 125 grain points. Now that he has a bit large Spin Wings, is the point weight necessary because of that ? I realize everything has to be tested personally, and this setup fits for him, but have you tested how much the wind-drift would increase when using about 5-10 grains lighter points with 2 3/16" Spin Wings ? Just curious.

{Monday, 12 March 2001 at 5:49 MET}
James K.:

What size spin wings are good for A/C shafts? I'm using 1 3/4" but would 2" be better? At 90m and 70m my shafts swing from side to side.

{Wednesday, 7 March 2001 at 15:32 MET}

Technical Question:

How do you decide what size vanes (i.e. spin wings) to use? Is it a simple matter of trial and error or is there a method involved? I read in an earlier post from Vittorio that Michelle change the spin wing size of his arrows for the Olympics. What should you look for to assess whether the spin wing size is correct?

{Wednesday, 7 March 2001 at 20:13 MET}

Baz - grouping, plain and simple. Depends on the conditions. Indoors, the bigger the better. Outdoors and shooting under 1200 recurve, I'd suggest simply sticking to the 1 3/4" SWVs, they do the job admirably. I suspect Michelle's draw weight and awesome skill make him the exception rather than the rule...


Vane Positioning

{Thursday, 8 March 2001 at 12:13 MET}
Michael C.:

Hello everyone..:)... i use CT's with K-vanes... and have noticed that fellow archers using similar setups (ie. carbons with curlies) positioning their vanes differently... some are (downshaft) as far away as an inch from the nock grooves...while I usually like them as far back towards the nock as I can...usually leaving a comfortable margin so that my fingers are well clear of them at full draw... are there significant effects i wonder?.. as far as I'm concerned, my arrows seem to look better the way i fletch them!!...and hell...that's good enough for me (for now...unless the more experience archers here have other thoughts about this!)

{Thursday, 8 March 2001 at 12:33 MET}

Distance of vanes from the nock should be the minimum not giving any interference to the fingers (or face, in case of compound). Vanes closer to the nock increase the stability factor of the arrow, and vice versa.

{Thursday, 8 March 2001 at 18:16 MET}

I agree that the vanes should be as close to the nock as possible without creating any interference.

One other question. I have seen certain people shooting very small vanes (not Spin Wing type) on carbon arrows, with the three vanes at different distances along the shaft. The pattern looked like each vane moved further down the shaft by about 1/2 the length of the vane. Does anyone know what the theory is behind this, or if it works?

{Thursday, 8 March 2001 at 18:41 MET}


re: staggered vanes, I'll email you some info. Quick answer is "don't bother".

{Friday, 9 March 2001 at 0:41 MET}

Staggered vanes. I just had a lengthy conversation with a gentleman in Canada who explained some of the theory behind this phenomenon. It appears that Ed Eliason has been explaining that if you staggered your vanes about 5/16" forward from the first one and then the next you will pick up some serious distance on your arrow flight. It has something to do with drag and turbulence. Anyway, this Canadian stated that it really works and he has tried it with several people. I have not tried so am not sure of the true results, but if Ed is behind it, there usually is some validity with it.

{Sunday, 1 April 2001 at 3:19 MET}

Ed Eliason is still playing with his offset fletchings... shooting some nice groups with them too (but then I'd expect someone who was US national champ 3 years running, and another 4 times to boot to shoot nice groups :o)

{Monday, 2 April 2001 at 19:22 MET}

To back up Murray's industrial espionage report from ARCO, Ed's staggered vanes were AAE plastic vanes cut down to a diamond shape about 25mm long and perhaps 12mm tall. The staggering was 25% of the vane length. Ed claimed that the staggering resulted not so much in better sight marks but rather in greatly improved crosswind stability. He has been working on the concept for 2 years. The skeptic in me asks: If it really works, why did nobody used this system at Homebush, after it had been tested for 18 months?

{Monday, 2 April 2001 at 21:02 MET}

PBM: ESPIONAGE??? Merely observation my dear boy. Ed did suggest that it was only good in some conditions. I guess he's still working on it.

{Tuesday, 3 April 2001 at 16:48 MET}

The straight vanes with the bifurcated mounting that Guy Gerig shoots are called AMBRO - made by one guy named Fritz Hoffman, in Germany at Amerika Bogen. It's taken me two days of searching the archives here on Sag to find the message, but find it I did - GT was kind enough to respond to that message and that's how I know the name. Back in Sag 114 I asked about these vanes - the upshot was that the guy no longer makes them. When psychocop's stash of them is gone, that is it I think. :)
The vanes are straight and shaped ellipsoidally (is that a real word?) but the base is cut twice, so that there are three separate mounting flaps instead of the usual single. He alternates the flaps to each side of the longitudinal axis of the vane, so that the vane stands straight up. Uses fletching tape to attach them, I think. They look pretty neat, whatever.


Straight vs. Helical

{Friday, 23 Januari 1998 at 1:39 MET}
Vittorio Frangilli:

Simple question about arrows spinning and Spin Wings.
As of the shape of these vanes, even if fletched on the shaft at 0 degrees they are creating an equivalent fletching angle that makes the arrow spinning. Anybody have an idea about that equivalent angle ? As a matter of fact, spin wings fletched at 0 degrees group very well at any distance and it is really difficult (at least for me) to find a valid different angle of fletching for them ....
Opinions welcome.

{Thursday, 8 March 2001 at 18:16 MET}

I have always fletched my Spin Wings straight on the shaft, but have been told recently that some angle might be helpful. Does anyone have any data to back that up? If so, how much angle?

{Saturday, 27 Januari 2001 at 5:21 MET}
James K.:

I have a question about vanes. Is there an advantage to helical or offset vanes compared to straight? I'm using 3" feathers right now that are fletched straight. But I'm thinking about fletching them helical. Would it be better? Should I also use a longer feather? I'm using 28" 1914 X10's with 90grn points and I'm pulling 40#

{Sunday, 28 Januari 2001 at 1:29 MET}
Steve E:

James K:
No real advantage in setting feathers up with much helical; they already cause spin 'cos they have a smooth and rough side. Angling them significantly will probably just slow you down (that could be an advantage, but I'm not sure where, unless you shoot popinjay).

Plastic vanes - 1-1.5 degrees is supposed to give smaller groups (someone tried it carefully a while back). Spinwings; mixed accounts. They spin even if they're on straight; they certainly don't seem to need 1.5 degrees and more. I use about half to 1 degree on small ones.

{Monday, 20 December 1999 at 19:10 MET}

Andreas, I fletch Kurly Vanes straight, with the flat (shaft) part of one vane against the button.

{Monday, 3 Januari 2000 at 6:34 MET}

Spins vs. Straight Fletch: I have experimented a great deal with straight vanes and mylar curled vanes (mostly AAE vs Spin Wing). For me, the Spin Wings make the arrow a little easier to tune. I get clearance issues with the AAE vanes. I think it has something to do with my short draw, but I don't know. I generally steer clear of them because they also make my arrows really stiff. Again, I think an anomaly of the short arrow. When I tested the MAC system for Rick, I got almost double the results that he did for a given weight. The physics of the sport say that long arrows are better. I did set up some ACE's with AAE 160s on a helical clamp with my Bitzenburger cranked as far as it would go. Very stable, even at long distance. However, they lost their oomph at about 80 meters. Similarly, I set up some Spin Wings with a large offset. Same problems. I think it is a personal thing (like everything else) and requires much testing.

{Wednesday, 7 March 2001 at 16:19 MET}

On another note we used a helical fletched vane on our ACE's outdoors. I found excellent results grouping at 70m. Now I would not recommend it at 90m because we never tested it for groups. There comes a point at long distance that the helical starts increasing the size of the groups. There was a article in the past which GT commented on the different fletching used by top archers and he commented on that a certain top archer used a helical fletch which was ours.


Other Topics

{Sunday, 18 March 2001 at 0:46 MET}

I saw yesterday at our club that one of the compound archers has a set of arrows that he has fletched with just two vanes, opposite each other. I haven't seen him shoot them, but he says they shoot as well as the normal three vane arrows.

Any reason why the standard is three vanes? Anyone done controlled experiments? (I'm not thinking of changing to three, just curious)

{Sunday, 18 March 2001 at 1:16 MET}

Ian: More fletchings, mean more surface area, which implies (to me) more stability, but faster deceleration. I've seen arrows fletched with three and four vanes, but never two. I guess on a compound with a drop-away rest you can shoot pretty much any configuration that's to your taste (providing the angles are equal);

{Tuesday, 14 November 2000 at 20:27 MET}

All of this brings to mind another topic that might prove to be an interesting thread (maybe not, but here goes anyway!): fletchings/vanes and directional stability. At its simplest, I've always thought of fletchings/vanes having only one real purpose: to minimize the oscillations about the nodes as the arrow travels toward the target, after having completed its "paradox action". To put it another way, the purpose of fletchings/vanes is not to "straighten out" a weak or stiff arrow, proper spine selection should do that. Do fletchings/vanes, in a practical sense, help do that? Of course. But if you rely on fletchings/vanes alone, and don't have properly spined arrows, are't you asking fletchings/vanes to work much harder than necessary? The proposition is this: ceterus paribus, will larger fletchings/vanes on weak or stiff arrows result in arrows that group as well as properly spined arrows with smaller fletchings/vanes???

{Friday, 17 November 2000 at 12:54 MET}

Don, the clearing of the rest is one of the most important factors, that means that there is no sense, imho, to tune for an arrow that does NOT clear from the rest.

Then, the fletching area is directly proportional to the stability factor of the arrow, that means that larger vanes/feathers gives more stability. But, they also give more drag as well as more clearance problems. So, outdoor they can not be used, but also, why to use them indoor ?

The main difference between a fletched and unfletched arrow is that the fletched ones spins, thus reducing the physical differences between the phisical arrows of a same group and making them "grouping". That means that you can not get unfletched arrows grouping, by definition, as they are all "different".
A good grouping at 70 mt from unfletched arrows made from "off the shelves" shafts is around 30 cm in diameter, while you expect to get your arrows all in the inner 10, that is 6 cm only..... But, if shafts and other accessories are perfectly matched, you can expect to get may be around 10 cm grouping at 70 mt without fletching. These kind of things exist, but they are not for the human buyers... so let's forget them.
Back to indoor, even not so well matched shafts can get good grouping at 18 mt, so we must expect all of them in the inner ten at 18 mt. Michele has shot several time the bare shaft during local indoor competitions, just to check the tuning. The average result is anyhow a 10. So, he can shoot even only unfletched arrows. but the expectation is in the 570 to 580 score, surely not >590 ......
Of course, at fixed distance you can also tune for "super stiff" arrows, were the bare shaft goes on the left of the butt at 18 mt, but are you sure that your set up will give better grouping in this case? And will it be "forgiving"?

{Tuesday, 4 April 2000 at 19:16 MET}

Regarding spinwings and SW elite - the packaging says that the shafts spin more/faster. Does this higher spinning mean that more energy is being lost to spinning, and that the arrow will then not fly as far? If so, is it a "significant" amount as in feet or meters shorter?

{Thursday, 6 April 2000 at 12:59 MET}

arc: reading back to your spin-wing question: yes the energy for spinning the shaft comes out of the forward motion of the arrow. This can have a significant effect at longer distances - people refer to the problem as "parachuting", where groups open up more than you would expect at the longer distances as the arrow loses energy. But this can happen with any sort of fletching, if they are too large/too angled, it's not unique to bent vanes. Early on, spinwings picked up a reputation for it (at the grass roots end of archery at least), I think largely because people were treating them like ordinary vanes and fletching them up with strong offset angles, and too large sizes on carbon shafts.

{Monday, 8 May 2000 at 21:22 MET}

The maker of Spin-wings changed hands but they are not discontinued.

Click the link below.


{Monday, 8 May 2000 at 23:05 MET}

I would like to volunteer that the guy that took on SpinWings is very friendly and service-oriented - I've talked with him on several occasions and he's been both cordial, offering information freely, and generally very good to deal with. I had a formaster snap its band shortly after buying one (through LAS), and he was prompt, courteous in honoring a warranty on the product. (and no, I'm not an employee!<G>)
GT: Thanks for the link - I didn't know they were up on the web!


{Monday, 3 Januari 2000 at 1:01 MET}

Tim: So far as I know, spinning an arrow does not improve it's flight. Spinning does help to iron out errors, by averaging out their direction (so to speak). For example if an "un-spun" arrow would veer off to one side, then spinning it will turn that motion into a spiral around the correct line of flight. So spinning an arrow faster should make that spiral tighter, hence the shot a little more accurate (does this make sense? Comments welcome from any engineers out there). But any spin put on the shaft is at the expense of forward velocity. Slow the arrow down too much and it loses accuracy - "parachutes". I think that the design of bent vanes spins the shaft more efficiently than a simple angled or helical vane, so you can get a higher spin rate, for a similar sacrifice of forward speed... If it were just their weight, then you'd get similar results from sharply angled feathers.
This is all just speculation, of course, can anyone confirm my surmise?

{Tuesday, 12 March at 5:22 MET}
Les Potter :

Could someone tell me if there is any advantages/disadvantages in a four fletched arrow as opposed to a three fletch? Thank You.

{Monday, 25 March at 23:14 MET}
Marcelo :

Regarding four fletch arrows.

For a while I shot four-fletch arrows indoors. I feel I didn't shoot long enough with them to give a conclusive answer, but here are some random remarks:

Four fletch arrows have more drag. This will reduce arrow speed, so I think it is not suitable for longer distances.

Because of the larger drag, four fletches probably will stabilise more than three. On shorter distances, this might be an advantage. However, three-fletch large feathers can also give good stabilisation. If you have trouble with clearance with high three-fletch feathers, you might want to try lower four-fletches. On the other hand, the four fletches are placed under another angle than three-fletch, 60 vs 120/60 degrees, I believe. This could also create new clearance problems.

Finally, four fletches cost more than three and it takes longer to fletch your arrow.

{Saturday, 20 December 1997 at 9:20 MET}
G. Tekmitchov:

Separate topic- Just completed some spin rate studies on various fletch options on various shafts... You would not believe some of the data if you measured it yourself. One combination yielded up to 12,000 RPM at 50M. pretty amazing. One of these days I'll post specifics, just to scare the hell out of some of you. :)

{Saturday, 20 December 1997 at 14:10 MET}
Simon Stepto:

Reading G. Tekmitchov's post with regards spin rate studies, I am sorry, but a rate of 12000 RPM seems a little high. I was told once that on average, an arrow takes about 18m to complete one revolution. People may think that this is extremely low, but if you can, get a copy of a video produced by Beiter which shows actual arrow flight, taken using high speed photography.

Digressing slightly, the video is amazing and it shows the difference in the recurve and compound paradoxes (sp?) perfectly. Also, watching how the bows behave when the archers loose and then seeing how the arrows hit the target is also very surprising.

{Monday, 22 December 1997 at 18:37 MET}
G. Tekmitchov:

Well, Simon, the whole point of testing something is to replace opinion with hard facts. Beiter's "way to the center" tape is very interesting, but does nothing to address vane rotation issues at downrange distances such as 50M. I agree 12000 RPM "seems a little high" compared with "what yoy were once told", but I have more faith in physically measured phenomena than opinion. No, it isn't a typical rate, but it is a physically measured rate for one specific combination at a specific distance.

{Tuesday, 23 December 1997 at 8:10 MET}
Steven Bressan:

In regards to arrow spinning a simple test proved to me the effectiveness of Kurly Vanes. I grabbed one of my old arrows with my favorite AAE 1.6" vane and threw it. It only gave one rotation at the short distance. The same shaft with Kurly Vanes was witnessed to spin many times. I did not count them. Everyone that saw the demonstration tried it themselves and proved that the vanes did increase rotation of the shaft. My scores have also gone up since using these vanes. My FITA scores have increase about 20 points and my indoor Vegas scores have improved from 430s to the 440s.
I shoot compound and use 2613s for Vegas, or three spot target shooting. The large arrows help with line-cutters and improve scores out of the compound. On the recurve I have always found that the best arrow is the one that is spined correctly for that bow. With centershots you can get away with a little more but a slightly stiff arrow seems to work best for me and for the bows I have tuned over the years.

I always believed in large feathers for indoors. I mean large. Balloon Fletch. 1 1/4 inches high and 5" long. They will stabilize anything. But the 2 13/16 kurly Vanes, or other brands are working good for me now. I use the state flag of Arizona on my outdoor setup and camo vanes indoors.

{Wednesday, 31 December 1997 at 20:19 MET}
G. Tekmitchov:

I mentioned recently I would post some spin rate information, as I have had a few questions on the subject.

Here's some spin rate data for X10 .410 shafts with 6 degree helical 1.75" hard vanes, shot from a 49# Avalon. (This is a lot of helical).

BTW, these numbers are physical measurements, not estimates.

Distance     Arrow Speed (FPS)  RPM

5M           206                2884

20M          201                4840

25M          199.3              7307 (1st peak)

35M          197.6              6191

45M          194.8             10357 (2nd peak)

55M          192.2              7688

65M          189.7              7193

Interestingly, the arrow spins up to a first peak rate, slows down a bit, then spins up to a maximum rate of
more than 10,000 RPM at about 45 meters. The reason for this involves a complex interaction of arrow frequency and
spin rate, along with drag.

{Wednesday, 7 Januari 1998 at 18:59 MET}
Steve Ellison:

Some pretty sad back-of-envelope calculations on arrow rotation rate for you, re George Tekmitchov's studies. If we take a typical ACE shaft at around 2cm circumference (an X10 is smaller, so spins faster) you can calculate a quick 'pitch' for its equilibrium rotation at a given speed (ie the fastest you'd expect). I got the following:

FletchPitchRotation rate









6.0019323.4   19404

Practical conclusion - George's results are pretty much consistent with what you might expect, allowing for some losses.

BTW, 1-2 degrees angle used to be recommended - enough to spin, but not too much speed loss. Tests with standard fletchings tended to show that group size improvemnent stopped about there - big improvement from 0 degrees to 1.5, then not much change thereafter. Any other data welcome, by the way - specially on spin-wings. They seem to work pretty well, even mounted 'straight', but I've no idea what their real 'angle' is, given that they flatten out a lot in flight.

{Saturday, 18 September 1999 at 8:21 MET}
Marty Sasaki:


Spin Wings don't work well with crosswind because they are spinning, but because part of the force pushing the fletch end sideways is used to cause the arrow to spin faster, so less of the force goes into pushing the arrow sideways.

Spin Wings can also make an arrow more stable, partly because the spinning helps to stabilize the arrow after the gyrations of the release, but also because they are lighter than similar sized fletching. The center of gravity is moved forward which also helps with stability

{Saturday, 18 September 1999 at 19:51 MET}
Samuel S. Arcure:

An arrow that spins is more aerodynamic because the spin cuts trhough the wind. The more spin the better the arrow will shoot in the wind. Especially with a cross wind. An arrow that spins less will not cut through the air the same and it will drift further off course. Too much spin on an arrow will cause it to fall to the ground faster.
This is known for a lot of sports such as MotorCross.

As far as elite spinwings are concerned: They were developed to help stabilize the carbon arrows. The carbon arrows were having problems with over gyration. The correction was to come out with the elite spinwings.

Go to the link below regarding archery patents which talks about the problems with the older spinwings.


{Saturday, 18 September 1999 at 23:24 MET}

Sam: I'd heard about that effect of negative lift on a rotating cylinder, but doesn't it depend on wind direction compared to rotational direction? Wind from one side should cause highs and from the other side lows, for a fast rotating shaft shouldn't it?

{Sunday, 19 September 1999 at 0:10 MET}
Tom Woodley:

Yep. A clockwise spinning shaft experiencing a wind flow from the left will generate downward lift and vice versa. However the effect is not huge. Whether this means one should change spin wings from R hand to L hand to match the wind conditions is an argument I have no desire to get involved in - I have quite enough problems with my shooting but for the purists............??? :)
Best regards

{Sunday, 19 September 1999 at 5:20 MET}
Marty Sasaki:

I know that I'm going to regret this, but...


"An arrow that spins is more aerodynamic because the spin cuts trhough the wind."

This statement is meaningless.

First of all, any solid object in a liquid (and aerodynamicists consider air to be a liquid) has aerodynamic forces acting on it if the liquid is moving or the object is moving through the liquid, or both are happening.

Secondly, what do you mean cut through the air? Do you mean it has less wind resistance?

If it does have less resistance, then the center of pressure will move forward towards the center of gravity. As this distance becomes smaller and smaller, the arrow becomes less and less stable.

In a cross wind the spin wings spin faster. The shape of the vanes causes the arrow to spin faster, sort of like wind on the face of those toy pinwheels. Because some of the force is being redirected into the spinning, less of it remains to blow the arrow to the side.

A rotating object does generate lift. This is called the magnus effect. The effect is really low because an arrow, has a very small cross section. It's probably a measurable force for the fletching end, but I'm sure this is small as well.

{Sunday, 19 September 1999 at 7:49 MET}


I was strictly speaking about how side wind effects the arrow's flight. I wasn't thinking about the magnus effect but you are right about this point. Let me not forget the fact that the arrow is a projectile.

Your point: "As this distance becomes smaller and smaller, the arrow becomes less and less stable" explains to us why the elite spinwings were developed, which was to reduce the over gyration of the ever so thin "carbon arrows."

{Tuesday, 21 September 1999 at 23:01 MET}

Marty: I've been thinking about your comment about spinwings taking some of the energy out of a side wind. I'm not sure it works that way. You'd need at least a 20 MPH side wind to add to the spin imparted by the vanes (from a very back-of-the-fag-packet calculation), but more importantly, most of the area the wind acts on is provided by the shaft, not the fletchings. Assuming 20% of the sideways drag is down to the fletchings (probably a high estimate) how much of this would spinwings take away?

{Wednesday, 22 September 1999 at 2:25 MET}
Steve Ellison:

Rick: don't be too hard on Rik and Marty. Half the fun of it is trying to work out Why!! And it's nice to have a good theory of why things happen, 'cos that guides experiment.
But I've said before, even though the basic physics is simple, the dynamic action of the bow and arrow is very complicated, so it's hard to apply the physics properly.
On spin and crosswinds, the last conversation i had (last Sunday, actually) was with a man who designs missiles. Turns out that first, any slender body is intrinsically unstable traveling point first (it's as if it's balanced on its point - think about it, and then watch them when that crosswind over the hedge hits them...) but the airflow tends to correct deviations once it is off line. Second, there is an optimum fletch size for minimum lateral disturbance, but it's different for every lateral wind speed. And third, it's bad enough with a metastable object behaving as an ill-damped oscillatory feedback system BEFORE you start to think about the spin...
So the theory is fun, but won't beat experiment for a while yet.
For me, big spinwings parachuted on Aly shafts, so I shot vanes in a crosswind and spinwings in a light breeze or calm air. On ACES, I shoot small spinwings, but they don't like crosswinds much. Somehow, though, I doubt that that explains my group size - some of the best groups I ever shot at 90m were with shafts travelling like corkscrews. Hell, the point only waggles about a 5" circle - I got FAR bigger problems than that in a crosswind....;-)

One thing; I've been working consistently on some old info from back in the 70's that said a bit of spin measurably improves groups (equiv 1 to 1.1/2 degrees on vanes). My own arrow flight with spin has always seemed visibly better, but that's on going from vanes to spinwings. I've never really done a direct comparison. Does anyone happen to know of a direct comparison of straight versus angled for straight vanes?

{Wednesday, 22 September 1999 at 3:21 MET}

I'm still waiting for the humidity to drop enough to dip and crest my arrows..... we have had the longest monsoon season in many, many years and I sure wish it would end. I think I used to live in the desert..... *lol* btw - someone commented to me, since I like to crest my arrows and dip the ends white for better visibility and identification, that that would change the weight and flight characteristics. Seems like it wouldn't be enough to worry about.... any thoughts?

{Wednesday, 22 September 1999 at 16:36 MET}

Sally, you mention you dip your arrows in white paint? Carbon Tech has a white mylar that wraps around the shaft. Very easy to apply, easy to fletch arrows on, very easy to clean and you can see it from far away. As a matter of fact, you do not need to dip it in any solvent nor do you need to take a knife to it. You just peel it off when you want to re-fletch. I use the Flou. Orange (silly me) and it works like a charm. The weight is a few grains more which may stiffen the shaft a little. It would probably react similar to a 5 grain MAC system or changing from spin wings to rubber vanes.

{Wednesday, 22 September 1999 at 18:24 MET}
Marty Sasaki:

Spin Wings:

My information about SW and arrow flight come from playing with model rockets and with kites. The relationship between the center of pressure and the center of gravity is one of the key design points with a rocket.

There are kites that use the magnus effect to produce lift. Several airplanes have been constructed that do this, as well as a sailing ship.

Okay, if the CP is close to, but behind the CG, then the arrow is less stable. As you increase this distance, you gain stability. A rocket without fins has a very forward CP and is unstable.

I bet there hasn't been any real testing done with rockets and funny shaped fins.

If anyone is interested, I've found that SW work great for me. I've shot them out of my recurve and my compound with good results. I've lapsed back to regular vanes and feathers because they are easier to deal with, much less maintenance.

{Friday, 24 September 1999 at 16:41 MET}

Sally. I presume you can paint or crest on the mylar material. I write on it with my ink pin which sure makes it much easier to have lines for my spin wings, my numbers and initials.

{Sunday, 12 September 1999 at 2:14 MET}
Marty Sasaki:

Badman, I don't have the patience to carefully print my name on the shaft and I don't put lines on my shafts either. I use a fletching jig for my spin wings. It does mean that doing a field repair is really impossible, but I find that I get more consistant results using a jig rather than by doing things by hand.

{Sunday, 12 September 1999 at 19:40 MET}

i use the fletching jig too, but only for drawing the lines. i put the double-sided tapes & spin vanes by hand. as for the name, any mark/initials will do, as long as it refers to you.


Left-Hand versus Right-Hand

{Monday, 23 November 1998 at 17:23 MET}
Chris Shull:

Hey, for a right handed shooter I should use left wing vanes on my aluminums, right? I'm putting them on straight if that has anything to do with it.

{Tuesday, 24 November 1998 at 12:49 MET}
Steve Ellison:

Chris S.
Conventional wisdom says the arrow should turn clockwise if shooting right handed. I think that's 'cos the button/rest area is lower right, and people don't want the bottom fletching moving into that corner (a 15 degree anticlockwise rotation puts it right in the corner between bow and rest, if you imagine it all without a button). That means point the vanes right a bit, not left.
As for whether there should be some angle; Yes. Ancient research i've never been able to track down says groups get better with some spin; 1-1.5 degrees angle with vanes is said to be about optimum. Spin-wings are often seen as over-angled if put on that way, so many people put them on straight (the natural curl leaves a good bit of spin). Feathers are left straight because they impart spin anyway (surface roughness etc differs on each side of feathers; If I recall the mechanism and the anatomy of birds well enough, one uses right wing feathers for r/h archers - I'm open to correction there as I've not checked).
It's not quite clear why spin works; gyrostabilisation is apparently not massive on arrows; the main effect seems to be in reducing fishtailing errors quickly (ever seen a spinning fish?). Probably a mix of that and other things.

{Tuesday, 24 November 1998 at 16:50 MET}

I never heard about the story that left handed vanes are performing better on aluminum shafts for right handed. But I heard from a lot of archers using right handed vanes performing extremely well!!!

{Wednesday, 25 November 1998 at 6:01 MET}
Chris Shull:

Hey thanks for the nice scientific analysis of the vanes Steve. I've been shooting left wing vanes fletched straight on the shaft and they've been pounding the ten ring pretty well all week. They are four inch fletch too, and the seem to shoot a bit better than the three inch vanes right wing (still fletched straight) I was using earlier. It seems to me that it doesn't really matter which type of feather you would use as long as you get the proper drag angle, (or none in my case...)I think I'll get some right wing fletching and test them next.

{Sunday, 18 March 2001 at 14:57 MET}

At the risk of rehashing an old topic (I did do a brief search on the Sag archives) I have a question on helical mounts.
I've reviewed the Beiter video tape at great length, and cannot for the life of me detect even the slightest rotation of the shaft from the time it leaves the bowstring till it gets PAST the riser. There are several instances where the shaft has rotated noticeably (say, 1/3 of a rotation) prior to leaving the camera frame. But NOT in that brief instant between leaving the nock and passing the rest/riser. So WHY then is it important to have either right- or left-handed vanes or spinwings, or to use a helical mount at all?
I found a great review on various fletchings on archive 66 by Rick M., but not a definitive "WHY" on the right-vs-left hand thang.

{Monday, 12 March 2001 at 15:47 MET}
Len G.:

Marty M,
The simple answer would be that the arrow doesn't know which way it's spinning. So long as all the spinwings are either right or left on the same shaft. A clearence problem may be an issue with some windows and rests that might constitute the use of one or the other, but other than that the arrow doesn't spin until after it leaves the sting and clears the bow.

{Monday, 19 March 2001 at 2:45 MET}
Dave L:

What I have found from personal experience is that I've encountered NO problems whatsoever when using the "wrong" type of vane.
This "experience" came about purely by accident when I ordered some new Kurly vanes for myself and my wife. In my haste I forgot to mention that my wife is a left hander and her original vanes had a left hand helix i.e. "correct" for her. When the new vanes arrived they were all right hand helix which were, I assumed, fine for me but no good for her. After receiving some tongue pie from the wife I hastily phoned Alt Services (who I had purchased the Kurly vanes from) and spoke to Tony Goodwin regarding my oversight. He assured me it would not be a problem using either left or right handed vanes on either a left or right handed bow as arrow rotation only starts (as you mentioned)after the shaft is clear of the riser. I was not entirely convinced at the time but we tried them and.... no problem!
Although as I say, my experience has been with Kurly vanes and not Spinwings, I suspect the outcome would be the same.
It still doesn't answer your original question as to "why" you should use a left or right hand vane dependant on your being a right or left handed archer, although I'm sure there may(?) be some reason as to why we should. I assume there must be some logical reason??


Spin-Wing Colors

{Monday, 19 March 2001 at 16:40 MET}

{Tuesday, 8 June 1999 at 16:47 MET}

The metallic green Elite SW Vanes are about twice as stiff as any other color. The rest of the colors vary in stiffness as do regular SW-Vanes.


Goncalo: I've tried both yellow (middle) and black (stiffest) and found almost no noticeable difference in their performance.

{Monday, 19 March 2001 at 22:10 MET}
Mike Gerard:

Spin Wings: I have used white, blue, black , yellow and red of various lengths and designs over the years and am sorry to report that they are like shoes, you need to try them on! I know I prefer the stiffer less drag variety ( especially for longer distance shooting) but others have different preferences.

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 7:44 MET}

arc: Two colours of spin wings on a shaft? Don't the colours denote different rates of drag? I've tried different colours and certainly the red are more draggy than the white, grouping at about 6-8" lower on the target at 70m.

Don't know about your knocks, but it might be worth fletching in one colour and using a pen to mark the cock fletching.

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 12:36 MET}
Dean :

Shirley: Yes there are different drag from the different colours, but there are two or three colours in each thickness. I used to have some transparent red ones which where 0.001" thick which were like paper ( and lasted just as well ).

Tim. 6-8" at 70m is significant if that is the difference in the set of arrows that you are shooting.

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 14:41 MET}

Lets put this into some sort of perspective. If the 'dragginess' of different colors of vanes can make 6" -8" difference at 70m, what would an over generous application of fletching glue on a set of straight vanes cause the arrow to do? You would be missing low all the time, but we don't.
Last season I shot a knackered set of ACE's which had some 10 grains difference i total arrow weight, with tatty kurly vanes, inconsistent nock fitting and different shaped points (ie. some slightly bulged, some not) and yet I was able to consistently shoot high 330's at 70m (compound). Frankly I would not put this down to luck!!! I apologise I don't see this sort of disparity from vane dragginess, there are parameters which would have much more variability!!!

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 16:07 MET}

Tim, I'm gonna have to call you on that one. I have played with trying to shoot two different (even three different) color spin wings on a shaft. They definitely fly poorly when you do that. Kind of round and round. It has been some time since I shot another color spin wing other than white, so I don't know what exactly would happen. With a recurve bow, 6-8" group movement at long yardage could definitely occur with a change in vane. Remember, a recurve, especially a light weight one, or short draw, will have much less energy than your compound. So variations will start to come out. Again, we are talking Spin Wing brand mylar vanes. I have not shot the Kurlys, so they may be different. In fact, I have not even seen the Kurlys up close and personal, so I have no experience there. If you say that they don't have different drag coefficients in different colors, I will believe you. But with Spin Wings the results Shirley says are possible.

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 17:18 MET}


"6-8" is the size of the X" ??? What target are you shooting ? I want to shoot it too !

The Kurly Vanes do vary in drag by color a great deal, but the people who use them are probably more into fashion than function.

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 18:19 MET}

Thanks for the back-up, guys! I have a short draw and last season, when I found that my red spin wings tended to drop off I was pulling only about 32-33 lbs on my recurve. I now use the white and there is a huge difference - certainly enough to enable me to get a sight mark for the longer distances. Previously I'd had to aim at the top of the target to get near gold as my sight wouldn't go any lower.

I didn't say the size of the group was 6-8 inches, the difference in the positioning of the groups was, though.

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 20:45 MET}
Han Su Kim:

Spin Wings .. someone before I believe (either here or newsgroups) did have a color range from least amount of drag to most drag. I don't remember the list of colors myself

Someone also told me that Elites have the same drag from vane color to color is that true? Is there a list for them too?

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 21:59 MET}

I tried green spin wing elites - more draggy than the normal ones. There was nothing on the packet to suggest any order for the amount of drag according to colour. Don't know if anyone has ever tried different ones out and drawn up a list.

{Saturday, 25 March 2000 at 5:18 MET}

I have several packages of spin wings and on the back side of the card in the pack is a set of instructions on how to mount them, including using comet. <G>
The instructions do say that the colors have varying amounts of drag. BUT I distinctly recall reading a second insert from the spinwings package last summer that said to disregard the part about varying by color, that they no longer had that effect in them. Unfortunately I do not have that second page anymore. I do know that when I opened these last two packs, of red and white, I compared the specs on the card and they were the same size and thickness. Doesn't mean that they have the same drag, of course...

I called the phone number for spinwings mfr and they failed to return my call this PM, so I am clueless as to what is what.

{Sunday, 26 March 2000 at 1:21 MET}

With all due respect to Mr. Mike Gerard, the different colors of Spin Wing of any particular design DO have different drag, because they have different stiffness. He is confusing the effect of the color and the effect of the different designs such as very light drag vs. light drag vs. normal.

For stiffness, the least drag is black and white, these are the same. Then from least to most are yellow, blue, and red has the most drag within a specific design. On the elite vane the green is twice as stiff as any other color. These differences can and will make a difference in your arrow grouping and impact. You can read about this in the text on the back of Spin Wing packages. It was written by Mr. Carella who certainly knew what he was doing.

{Monday, 27 March 2000 at 4:52 MET}
Mike Gerard:

However, change to an Elite vane or a different drag rating ie. light drag, very light drag or normal drag and the impact does change a significant amount.
Anyone have some different findings or an insight to the color/drag chart?
I have not been able to get anything but normal drag latley and would like to find some light drag again. ( not normal drag in a color that has flex to it ).

{Monday, 27 March 2000 at 5:20 MET}

But most certainly I recall a second card in the spinwing packages I bought last summer, packs I personally picked up at LAS in PA. Now, if I recall properly this card stated that the colors no longer pertained to drag. When this thread appeared it was because I had resorted to a key fletch for some Beiter nocks that on first inspection didn't seem all that obviously biased. I did this because of my recollection of that card (which I no longer have). When I saw the responses I picked up the phone and called spinwings mfr (the proverbial horse's mouth) several times, and got only voicemail. I left an 800 number for them to call me back BUT never heard from them. If they ever return my call I will post their response to my question. <G> For now I maintain the conviction that the card I recall was indeed real. :)

{Monday, 27 March 2000 at 5:43 MET}

Don't know if this will be of any help but I just received 5 packs of spin wings that had been back ordered by Kinsey in PA so I presume they are of recent manufacture. The back of the instructions say:

"9. Use only one color on arrows. Drag coloration from the least to the most are: 1. Black & whie, 2. Yellow, 3. Blue and 4. Red has the most drag." the card has "revised 2-97" on the top.

{Monday, 27 March 2000 at 22:32 MET}

I spoke with the folks that make the spinwings.
SPINWING ELITES do not associate color with the amount of drag. (I guess that was the package I was reading last summer).
REGULAR SPINWINGS do associate color with drag.

{Tuesday, 28 March 2000 at 2:18 MET}

In regards to spin wings, I have always found the black ones to be more durable than white. I have experimented with the two by touch while keeping my eyes closed and could always tell the black from white as they feel thicker.

{Tuesday, 28 March 2000 at 3:30 MET}

Re the drag of various color spin wings.
Drag caused by vanes has been shown to be a function of vane surface area and angle to the direction of flight. Another factor that has also been identified is the degree with which the vanes flutter as they react to turbulent air flow. The more they flutter as they travel the more the drag. In spin wings I suspect that this is a function of the rigidity of the vane or its modulus. This suggest to me that the black vanes are more rigid than the red ones or in any event are more prone to fluttering during flight.

{Wednesday, 29 March 2000 at 11:36 MET}

Sam: Not wanting to get into a slanging match with you, I think we need to agree to disagree on the spin wing front, although I would be worried if spin wings made that much of a difference by colour. Also not wanting to harp on too much about it but you will find that Kurly Vanes are totally consistent finish and thickness (except maybe the florescent type which are made with a slightly different material but are consistent through that range). I have used KV's since their inception and have never experienced any sight mark differences due to the different colour vanes. I have also never sacrificed function for fashion, although they do look pretty. Finally just to hammer the final nail in the coffin (probably mine!!!!) If you ask Chris White (at the top of the list for scores at the Beiter centre with a compound) what his preferred vane is he will quite happily tell you ;o)

All the above is IMHO

{Friday, 31 March 2000 at 7:27 MET}

Spin wings colors. I would have to agree that there will be a drag difference since the stiffness of the vane will either generate more drag or give less. I always shot the white vane due to it's softness (I have to deal with poor clearance all the time and I would rather the vane move over the entire arrow).

{Tuesday, 9 June 1998 at 17:41 MET}

Yes, different colours of Spin Wings are actually different stiffnesses. It's really not something I'd get hung up about. Most archers notice when they use them. Certainly the difference between black and red is pretty obvious. Just flick the vane with your thumb and you can feel it!

I always preferred the stiffer vanes (white or black) more because they last longer than because they produce less drag. More importantly the difference in the stiffness means that you should NOT mix different colours on one arrow.

My understanding is that the difference is not significant and merely arises due to the nature a dyed Mylar. The combination of the dye an the Mylar produces variation in the stiffness of the vane. So it is not deliberate.

I'm pretty sure I had seen this information at least presented as if it came from Richard Carella.

{Wednesday, 10 June 1998 at 19:45 MET}

If I close my eyes and you put a white spin wing in one of my hands and a black one in the other hand I can always pick the black one because it feels stiffer. The black ones also last longer than do the whites. Try it yourself.

{Thursday, 11 June 1998 at 13:40 MET}
Vittorio Frangilli:

thanks to all the guys that have sent me advices about spin wings... I'm rather old but I see I have still a lot to learn. After receiving Jeff's E-mail I have immediately started looking for the sentence he was mentioning on spin wing packing, ant it is there !!!!
So, since so many years, I have never noticed this sentence......
All the people I know is usually choosing the color of the sw for cosmetic reason only, may be as only few speak english and fewer (like me) read instruction up to the end....
Well, anyhow it seems that as I did not know the problem, the problem has never influenced my tuning procedures........ ( ??? !!!)


Tape, Glue and Jigs

{Tuesday, 23 March 1999 at 14:07 MET}

Steve, Rik:
I've tried Spin Wing tape, 303 tape and Kurly Vanes tape...
Spin Wing tape, I love to bits. It sticks forever and never unrolls (only problem is getting it off again!)
303 tape - the gold stuff - Naff to the point of annoyance. I can't get it to stick no matter how hard I try.
Kurly Vanes tape: good adhesion, just a bit on the chunky side for my liking (nothing to do with performance on the arrow, I just like everything at the front end of the fletching to be as flat and smooth as possible.), so I use it for tailing only.

Note: I'm very careful not to touch either side of the tape in any way, to avoid greasing up the surfaces - perhaps that's the secret - Hold the tape by the edges only!!

{Thursday, 16 September 1999 at 23:25 MET}

Has anyone tried using glue on their spinwings and curly vanes. It was recommended in the latest Archery Focus. The author states that the vanes stay on longer this way. Anybody try this yet with good results?

{Friday, 17 September 1999 at 1:39 MET}


It might work but it sounds like a pain. Keep in mind that Mylar vanes need to be changed somewhat frequently if you get freaked out by an occasional wrinkle (I certainly don't). Removing a Cyanoacrylate glue joint from a shaft is a lot tougher than removing Spin Wing tape.

{Tuesday, 23 March 1999 at 10:53 MET}

I'd second Steve's request about top'n'tail tape, I can't get the stuff to stay in place for more than an end or two at a time. I'm seriously thinking about going back to glue!

I'm currently using Easton Diamond vanes, largely because I got hacked off with all the drawing lines and fiddling with tape that goes with the bent mylar vanes. I'd rather just spread on some glue and use a jig. BTW my best results have been using flonites, but they're irritatingly fragile and I had to discard a lot of them straight out of the packet (warped beyond my ability to straighten).

{Wednesday, 25 October 2000 at 8:24 MET}

With regard to spinwings/kurly vanes - I have used both and now use spinwings exclusively. It is not just the vanes themselves, although I have found them to be more durable than kurlys, but the tape that comes with them (especially the black edge tape) is SO MUCH better and easier to use, at least IMHO. I was getting a ridge with the kurlys, because the edge tape is narrow and thick, and the spinwings go on very smoothly with the same layering of edge tape.

{Wednesday, 25 October 2000 at 11:58 MET}

Sally: that's funny. I would have said I found the Kurly vane tape easier to use than the spinwing tape - as it's actually a double-sided tape, rather than a layer of glue. I more or less gave up on all the "top-n-tail" tapes - I couldn't find any that was willing to stay on long term, glue seemed the way to go. Not that I'm using "bent vanes" at the moment. I'm experimenting with using tape on Easton diamond vanes. The theory is that it should be easier to attach them to a narrow shaft (like an X10) using the tape, than with glue. It's certainly quicker, and I seem to be getting a more uniform vane position, but I haven't shot shafts fletched this way extensively outdoors yet.

{Tuesday, 23 Januari 2001 at 10:37 MET}

Laurent, Michele tapes SW on the front side, only. But, I do not reccomend to do like this, if you are not ready to replace your vanes quite often.

{Tuesday, 23 Januari 2001 at 6:45 MET}

Spin Wings: Just got my first set of Spinwings. I shoot ACEs. I was going to use tape on front and back-end, but alot of folks locally in Colorado Springs are telling me to put glue on front and back. What are the top archers doing with spinwings? Glue or all tape? Techniques or lessons learned anyone? I was using Duravanes, but it seemed that my arrows drifted quite a bit at 70mt+ in crosswinds -- wanted to try the spinwings.

{Tuesday, 23 Januari 2001 at 9:44 MET}
Laurent T:

Ken / tape on spin-wings:

Topic already covered earlier (I remind that Michele Frangilli puts tape on both ends).
I personally try to gain a little weight and aerodynamics in putting glue on the back, but I wouldn't risk on the front and use tape there...

{Friday, 24 March 2000 at 21:59 MET}

Spin wing tape is good, but you have to make sure the shafts are clean and press it down well. It's also good for sticking on limb savers which have flown off!

{Saturday, 25 March 2000 at 5:56 MET}
Mike Gerard:

Sorry for the double post, but for sticking Spin Wings down well, I have always had good luck with cleaning the shaft with a solvent to remove any greases and oils and using fresh new tape. Some of the really old tape I have seems to be firmer or has lost a bit of it's flexibility and is therefore less tenacious!

{Tuesday, 4 April 2000 at 19:16 MET}

I just got a Spigarelli spinwing jig. With no instructions (but a cute little bidness card in the package) I am guessing that one removes the knurled nut, inserts the shaft through the jig and through the hole in the non-removable end, REMOVES the nock that gets in the way, and then reattaches the nut to clamp down on the shaft, then uses a pen to mark the shaft. Does that about sum it up?
Surprised that one has to remove the nocks (Beiter outnocks in this particular example)

{Wednesday, 5 April 2000 at 6:20 MET}
Mike Gerard:

Hey Arc,
You will notice that the slot in your spin wing jig happens to be the same width as the tape! You can if you wish just make a mark at back end of the jig to line the tape up with ( so all three are the same distance from the nock )and lay the tape directly in the slot without having to draw lines. Also if you do not use the bulge points, you can slip it over the point end. It will also go over without having to remove the nut on the end. For doing X-10s with it I took a Beiter nock for X-10s and cut off the nock leaving on the outsert section. ( a hollow tube ). I reamed the inside diameter of it out a but and inserted it into the spin wing jig to make a bushing to take up the slop. It works pretty good. I also use a Beiter out nock on the back end ( must be a #1) to clamp the jig down onto. This makes the jig work good on X-10s as well.

{Thursday, 6 April 2000 at 10:24 MET}

arc: Normally the point will go to the left hand end. So you should have the point, the writing going left to right and then the nock. Although I did no somebody who made up there ACE's the wrong way round and were shooting perfectly well, that is until somebody pointed out she'd done it wrong and all of a sudden she started shooting badly!

{Monday, 8 May 2000 at 18:20 MET}

I was at a shoot this weekend and talking to someone about spin wings and the use of the tape. He told me that you only tape the front of the vane and not the back. I always thought you tape both ends.

Anyone have some info?

{Monday, 8 May 2000 at 19:00 MET}

Yes, you should tape both ends. This prevents the vane from possibly changing drag angle over time and provides an extra measure of security against a loose vane.

With that said, it is true that many shooters do not tape both ends. These same people can be found at the Roulette wheel and craps table in Vegas, if you get my meaning.

{Monday, 8 May 2000 at 20:26 MET}

I also bought a Spig spin wing jig and brought home to discover that there are no instructions (just the Arco Sport business card which I thought were instructions).
Any help there?

{Monday, 8 May 2000 at 21:12 MET}

Matt - I got one of those thangs (no instructions in mine, either) and struggle a little bit. Instead of marking the shaft with a pen, I have found that applying the tape through the 3 windows, using one edge of the frame as a guide, works better. I also have to remove the nock in order to get the spig cap over the shaft, and I HATE the scraping sound it makes as I remove the spig off the other end... even when I splay all three prongs away from the shaft....but other than that, it works GREAT and is easier than the bitzenberger....

{Tuesday, 9 May 2000 at 16:02 MET}

On that spin wing jig. . . Do I slide the round end on the back of the shaft first (making the line on the jig the front marker for the vane) or the threaded end (making the line the back of the vane)

Sorry for so many questions, I haven't had time to actually try the jig out. I want to make sure I understand what I'm doing before I dive into it.

{Tuesday, 9 May 2000 at 16:54 MET}

John - I don't know which way is "right", but I put the threaded end towards the nock end of the shaft, and align the shaft end with the screw-on end of the spiga. This leaves the fletchings about an inch - 1/2 from the nock.

ALSO, I think it is prudent to align the printing of the ACE the same so that all end up with fletchings (and nock) the same way. Don't know if they test the spines and label the shaft consistent with that test?? But since so many things in archery rely on consistency, I thought it would be a good idea. I also get the idea that some people actually TEST the spines of their shafts in order to insure maximum consistency. anyone comment that knows more on this?

{Tuesday, 9 May 2000 at 18:43 MET}

Incidentally, I always line my arrows up so the fletchings and nock are in roughly the same position relative to the printing :-) - not for consistencies sake, but so I can't see the arrow numbers when the shaft is nocked on the string. I don't want to let any sub-conscious assessment of the relative accuracy of each shaft affect the execution of the shot... (you know the sort of thing "last time I shot this one it went in the black").

{Tuesday, 24 June 1997 at 15:21 MET}
Gregg Bleier:

For those looking for a less expensive alternative for finishing tape for spin wings and curley vanes try detail
tape from auto parts stores. Huge rolls in 1/8 and 1/4 inch in different colors very cheap.

{Saturday, 18 September 1999 at 8:21 MET}
Marty Sasaki:

I think that most people use a fletching jig to draw the lines on the shafts. I don't draw lines, I've got a gadget to fletch ACE's. I use a modified clamp on an old JoJan fletching jig for other arrows.

I can't imagine gluing SW to the shaft. One of the consistancies of using the tape is that the width of the adhesive strip is a constant. With glue, it's hard for this to be consistant because it depends on the amount of glue, where it has been applied and the amount of pressure used until the glue has cured.

{Wednesday, 21 March 2001 at 17:26 MET}

Baz: by the looks of it, the triliner is set up to only do straight fletch, as it's really designed for spin-wings (or other bent vanes). If you're looking for something similar for normal vanes, then there's always the Arizona EZ-fletch, but I don't know if that handles angles either (I've never seen one, except in pictures).
I could imagine you could put together an adapter of some sort for the triliner, though - I'm picturing something like a bit of bent tin, which would slot over the ruler, to give an angled line...

{Wednesday, 21 March 2001 at 19:04 MET}

I use spin wings. As far as I can remember, they say that they should be placed at a slight angle. What I was looking for was some way of always fetching the spin wings with the same angle. I have a normal fletching "machine" which can be set this but its a bit messy drawing the lines with it. I say that the triliner has a dial at the end. I can't exactly understand its use when the nocks can be turned to align the vanes

{Wednesday, 21 March 2001 at 21:56 MET}
J M Robertson:

Baz... INHO the dial at the end looks to me as if it would be necessary in situations when you CANNOT turn the nocks to align the vanes. I think!

{Thursday, 22 March 2001 at 10:56 MET}

...finally the Tri Liner is on the Web!!!!
To the two questions:
- Straight vs. angled Spin Wings fletching... as far as I know angled fletched bent vanes let drag the arrow easier.
Most archers I know fletch the arrows straight.
- The dial on the back allows you to turn all nocks on the arrows in the same position towards the vanes...NO OTHER FLETCHING TOOL ALLOWS THAT!!! It is very important having the nocks placed at the same position towards the vanes for a maximum of clearance.

There will be a clamp in the future to make the scotching easier and the fletching more "handy"....Mr. Beiter is thinking,... ;-)

{Monday, 26 March 2001 at 16:29 MET}

I use a single vane fletching jig to line my shafts for stick-on mylar vanes. Aside from the Beiter and Spigarelli vane lining jigs, has anyone got a homebrew method or tool that works for just laying out three 120 degree jig lines on the shaft?

{Monday, 26 March 2001 at 18:10 MET}

Rob: I haven't tried this; but it struck me that the outside tube of a disposable ballpoint pen might work for lining a skinny shaft. They're generally hexagonal, so all you'd have to do is cut off both ends, then score a groove along three of the corners (maybe using a dremel tool). I've been using Easton vanes for a while now, so I've never got around to playing with this to see if it would actually work...

{Monday, 26 March 2001 at 22:10 MET}
Marty Sasaki:

Spin Wing jig:

I never got any good with drawing lines on the shaft and then putting the spin wings on. For me, it just increased the probability that something would go wrong.

I have a jig that I got from the UK that isn't much more than a tri-liner, but I use it a little differently. I put the vane in a bull-dog clip (It's used to clip several pieces of paper together), put the tape on the edge of the vane and then using the edge of one of the arms, place the vane on the arrow shaft. The clip holds things in place better than using my fingers alone.

This works okay, but the jig was made for ACE's, and since I shoot CT's these days, it isn't much use.

So, I modified a regular fletching jig. I use a bit of tape to hold the vane onto the clamp, apply the tape, and then use the jig to place the vane in place on the arrow. I realize that this isn't a very good explanation. I'll try to get some pictures of the jig posted somewhere...

The best way fletch your arrows is to find someone who can do a good job and pay them to do it for you!

{Wednesday, 28 March 2001 at 19:47 MET}
Tom L.:

Beiter Triliner- why use this instead of a Bitzenberger jig, I wonder ?

{Wednesday, 28 March 2001 at 23:07 MET}

Did you visit the Beiter website explaining the features...???
For me the most important is the nock positioning device, a sort of scale on the back (as far as I can see).

{Thursday, 29 March 2001 at 23:57 MET}

SpinWing Jig:
Rik, i found your idea about a basic "raw material" - hexagonal ball point pens - for making a homemade jig very interesting, as I have this problem at this moment and do not want to buy a jig right now.
I have been thinking about it ever since you posted it and I think I got to the essentials of a working design, although not on your line of thought (no need to cut slots). I am starting to work on the materials themselves.
I would like to know two things:
- Can a spinwing be clamped in a straight clamp without being damaged?
- How wide is the strip of adhesive on a spinwing (I still have none)



{Wednesday, 7 Januari 1998 at 19:32 MET}
Steve Ross:

Any compound shooters notice an improvement with groups
when using spin-wings? The top compound shooters I've seen,
(NFAA field tournaments), all use straight vanes.

{Saturday, 24 Januari 1998 at 20:22 MET}
Gregg Bleier:

I am a 3-D shooter who is considering switching from plastic vanes to spinwings and have several questions that perhaps could be answered in this forum.

I will be using the new GOLDTIP arrows that use internal components. They have a diameter equal to a 3-60 acc and wonder what would be the correct length to use.

I believe that using the lighter weight vanes will tend to weaken my shaft so I will be using a lighter head that will give me a greater than 8% FOC...will the lighter point offset the spine weakness caused by the lighter vanes?

How durable are the spinwings and do they require a lot of replacing, etc.?

How do the US made spinwings compare to the UK made Kurley vanes?

BTW...My set up is Mathews Conquest Pro, 29" draw, 52 lbs. draw weight.

Goldtip shaft 3550, 27" long.

{Sunday, 25 Januari 1998 at 18:24 MET}
Chris Shull:

In response to Gregg Bleier's questions about Spin Wings, for a larger diameter carbon arrow, such as the GOLDTIP you are shooting, you will want to go with a spin wing about 2 inches long. (I am from the US and am not familiar with GOLDTIP arrows, but if it is similar in diameter to an ACC, then this advice should hold true.) I have shot 2 inch and 1.75 inch spinwings outdoors on my 570 ACE shafts out of my recurve for years. Spin Wings are not too expensive, so you might want to purchase several different sizes and experiment. Just don't go too big. Spin Wing makes some really long spin wings that work great on aluminum arrows, but would make a carbon shaft fly like a dead duck.
As far as maintenance is concerned, Spin Wings are not very durable. I usually replace my once or twice in an outdoor season. If you shoot them through a bale they tend to get really ugly, or even rip off. One thing you will want to do is put some tape around the front and back of the vanes. There is more detail on this in the packaging. The good news is that spinwings are very easy to replace. They are put on with a double stick tape, so you don't have to wait for glue to dry!!
Yes, if you drop your point weight your arrow should regain the stiffness lost to a lighter vane. How much you drop it will be a matter of experimentation for you. I might start with five or ten grains, but that is just a pathetic guess.
Good Luck. Let us know how it works out.

{Thursday, 29 Januari 1998 at 6:33 MET}
Az Shooter:

I've tried spinwing vanes and Kurly Vanes and find the Kurly Vanes will stay on the shaft at faster speeds. I've shot them at over 300 fps and find no problems. With carbon shafts I use the 45 mm vanes. I also use the 70 mm on my indoor arrows including 2613's.

Before this I was using AAE vanes. They are great but I have to replace them too often. The spin Wings and Kurly Vanes last longer.

{Tuesday, 22 December 1998 at 7:27 MET}

I would say since you are using a drop-away rest, there should be no problem setting up Spin Wing Vanes with your compound. Clint Freeman used Spin Wing Vanes with a modified Spigarubberrest to set the 1409 FITA compound record.

Spin Wing Vanes and Kurly Vanes are not interchangeable in my experience. You will have to decide. I recommend the Spin Wing vane.

It is true that thin Mylar vanes will generally not last as long as rubber vanes when shot repeatedly into tight groups. Replacement is not difficult, and Spin Wing Vanes still perform very well even when quite tattered.

{Saturday, 15 November 1997 at 10:35 MET}
Robert N. Couillard:


I frequently shoot 20yrd indoor shoots. I have a PSE Dominator 3-D bow @ 70lbs. My arrows are Easton XX78 Super Slams 2312's, 27 3/4" long, 3" vanes (straight)glued as close to the nock as possible for better drag from a light fletch. 75gr tips with carbon inserts. The reason I have told you all of this is because this is what works for me. With this setup I get dangerously close groups that waist some expensive arrows in a hurry unless I use the 5 dot target. I use straight fletch because that's what I started out with and it works. I hear that helical fletch is used for hunting and works better with certain hunting tips. Happy testing.

{Friday, 6 April 2001 at 10:26 MET}

(Hi Koen!) I tried spinwings form my compound-arrows. They were very good and they kept grouping, even when they were damaged! I stoppt using them because I hade to change 60 % of my spinwings after every day of competition. In the end a day of training would always result in 45 minutes of re-feathering. That's what you get when one shoots tight groupings with a compound ;-) (brag, brag, brag)


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