Recurve archers use various fletchings, depending on many factors, but Mylar vanes are among the most versatile. These vanes are excellent for indoor, outdoor and other disciplines when shooting small-diameter arrows.
The vane’s length and profile should match your equipment and competitive discipline. Mylar vanes are easily fletched at the range, which means you can experiment with several vanes to see what works best for your bow setup.
Experimenting is important because many factors affect a vane’s performance. In general, longer and taller vanes cause more drag and wind drift. Also consider Mylar’s stiffness. Vanes from some manufacturers are stiffer than others; and some manufacturers offer vanes in soft, medium and stiff options. Softer, more flexible vanes increase drag, a feature many archers prefer. Softer vanes, however, are usually less durable. Stiffer vanes last longer and usually work best for archers shooting recurves with higher draw weights.
Mylar vanes are easy to fletch. Once your shafts are prepped, you can fletch Mylar vanes without a jig. That means you can quickly refletch arrows at the range without losing much practice time.
For strong adhesion, you must remove oil and dirt from the shaft. Dampen a paper towel with rubbing alcohol and rub the rear of the shaft to clean it.
For this step, use a fletching jig or a jig for drawing lines like the Beiter Tri Liner. If using a fletching jig, choose a straight clamp set with a slight offset. To draw the lines, use a pencil, Sharpie (gold or silver) or paint pen. Using the fletching clamp as a guide, draw three even lines.
Your package of Mylar vanes includes double-sided tape and striping tape. Cut the double-sided tape to size, and peel off one side. Stick the tape along the edge of your prepared lines. If you shoot right-handed, look at the arrow from the rear and place the double-sided tape right of your line. Once all three pieces of tape are on the shaft, peel off the other side of the tape. Stick a vane onto the tape using the line as a guide. For extra security, wrap black striping tape on the front and rear of the vanes.
Visit an archery shop to buy some vanes and try Mylar. Find a nearby archery club here.