If you're an archery enthusiast, one day you'll find yourself unsatisfied by the available selection 'ready fletched, off the shelf' arrows and you're going to want to try fletching them yourself. When you do this you're going to want the best fletching jig to hold the shafts and apply the vanes consistently at the same spacing and offset. Just which jig is best can depend on a few factors like whether you want to fletch straight, offset, left or right helical, and the type and number of vanes you'll use. You'll also need t consider how quick and easy you want the process to be and how long you may want your jig to last. This guide outlines the common styles of fletching, introduces you to the art of fletching your own arrows, and our top picks in the jig market today.
Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices.
A fletching jig is simply a device to hold an arrow shaft in place and allow you to accurately and repeatably glue vanes to that shaft in a pre-determined configuration. It won't do the work for you, all it will do is make sure that your vanes are spaced correctly around the shaft and hold them accurately at a given offset or in a helical pattern whilst the glue dries.
When you're looking for a fletching jig, ideally you need to know what type of fletching you want to apply to your arrow. There are not only lots of different fletching styles, but different numbers and spacing of fletches. Not all jigs will support all types of fletching by default. You may have to buy a specific clamp or insert to support for a specific type of fletching or spacing. Here are some of the common fletching types:
Simple enough, vanes sit straight in-line with the arrow. This imparts little or no spin onto the arrow in flight.
Vanes are applied at a slight angle to the line of the arrow, either left or right. Offset fletchings increase arrow rotation during flight. Good jigs will support adjustment to give you the angle of offset you require.
Helical vanes are applied in a slightly twisted way, usually at an offset. This gives them the appearance of the fan blade on a plane. Helical fletching can be left helical or right helical. Left helical will cause the arrow to spin clockwise and right helical will impart counter-clockwise spin. Both left and right helical fletchings normally require a specific type of jig or clamp for a jig.
Spin wings are a type of vane that are curled and designed to impart even more spin than other types. Due to the nature of these vanes you'll often find them not supported out of the box by many fletching jigs. In fact none of the jigs in this roundup has a clamp for spin wings. You can however use any of the listed jigs to give you correct spacing an alignment for your spin wing, you'll just have to improvise with the clamp by taping the wing onto it instead of clamping it.
Flu-flu fletchings are comprised of many independent vanes used to cause maximum drag on the arrow and limit its flight distance. Flu-flu fletchings can usually be applied using a standard arrow fletching jig and a repetition of the spacing on the indexer for the multiple vanes.
Commonly arrows are fletched with 3 or 4 vanes. However there are no hard and fast rules and more can be applied depending on the amount of stability required. Some arrows will have 2, 6 or 8 fletches but commonly you'll find these configurations:
What is the jig constructed from? How long will it last? Aluminium construction will last forever (pretty much). It's also easy to clean. Fletching jigs will get glue deposits on them, it's a fact of their life. Plastic, whilst cheap to produce, isn't going to be easy to remove dried on superglue from without damaging or scratching the surface. If you pick a plastic jig, make sure you have some acetate handy to allow you to quickly clean off any surplus glue.
Arrow length is not usually an issue with fletching jigs. It may only come into play when the shaft is heavy and possibly tipped with a broadhead and would run the risk of tipping the jig over. If this is the case look for a jig that you can mount to a solid base or something constructed of heavy material itself. Most jigs you'll see hold the arrow at a 45 degree angle to minimize the tipping effect it would have on the jig base.
Arrow diameter and nock type however can be something to look out for. You need to be sure that the jig you are looking for will securely hold the diameter of shaft you want to use. You don't want small and micro-diameter arrow shafts moving around in the jig because the jig or nock receiver doesn't support them.
Crossbow bolts can often be supported by fletching jigs either out of the box or with either a replacement nock receiver designed to fit crossbow nocks.
The main job of a jig is to hold an arrow shaft in place, normally by the nock end. A good jig will support fletching any type of shaft material you throw at it and there is usually no need to concern yourself with specifics on this front.
Step by step fletching using a Bitzenburger goes like this. Put an arrow shaft into the jig. Check and align your vane clamp to the arrow shaft. Remove the vane clamp from the jig. Prime a vane. Put a vane in the clamp. Apply glue to the vane. Put the clamp back onto the jig. Wait a few seconds for the glue to set. Un-clamp the vane and remove remove the clamp from the jig leaving the vane attached to the arrow shaft. Rotate the arrow and repeat the process!
Sound easy doesn't it? Much easier to take that in when you watch it happen. In the video below Spencer Greene takes you through fletching some Gold Tip XXX shafts using the Bitzenburger right helical clamp with Blazer Vanes.
If you don't want to shell out on a professional fletching jig. After all, the principle is relatively simple, a jig is something to hold your arrow shaft whilst you glue the vanes on. Maybe you're just a DIY enthusiast or you're remote and you don't have access to Amazon Prime deliveries! Well the good news is there are a bunch of videos and how to's out there on the web on how to make something that will hold your arrows whilst you fletch them using nothing more than stuff you'll find around your house. You've been warned however that these probably aren't going to give you the quality or speed you'll get fletching with any of the jigs in our roundup reviews below.
Depending on what you're doing you make have to make arrow repairs in the field when you're without a jig. Being able to apply vanes by hand is a useful skill to have if you need to make a repair.
It's possible, of course. Primitive archers didn't have fletching jigs. You can mark your arrow, hold it by hand and just apply fletches using glue. The issue is going to be with the accuracy of your application. A jig will be on the money 100% of the time with your 3 right helical fletch 120 degree spacings, I'm doubting you will be so accurate, so often, without one.
Blazers, whilst probably one of the most popular vanes out there, are just that, another type of vane. Any jig will work just as well as any other. The best jig for your money is the best jig for Blazers. The same applies to feathers!
One of the most popular and respected jigs on the market the Bitzenburger has stood the test of time. You can probably tell from the fact it's called a 'Dial-O-Fletch'. The marketing dept haven't had their way with the name on this for some time.
The Bitz is used by archers of all types and experience levels. This isn't the cheapest jig on the market, it's one of the most pricey. But it does pretty much everything and the aluminium construction means it will last a lifetime of fletching and still be of use to your next of kin. That die cast aluminium is also handy when covered in glue. You can scrape it off and clean this jig up without fear of scratching or damaging anything. This jig is the industry standard and you'll find them everywhere, including your local pro shop.
If you're interested in this one, make sure you get the correct kit. The jig is sometimes supplied without a clamp and you need to order one of 3 different clamps (straight, left helical or right helical) in order to use it.
The clamps on the jig are secured by magnets and you have adjustment dials to allow you to adjust the offset of both front and back of the fletch. One of the nice things about this is that the nock receiver (the piece of the jig that holds the arrow nock) once configured to your preferred fletching angle, gives you a satisfying mechanical thunk for each rotation of the arrow shaft. You can also upgrade the jig with different nock receivers to give you different 4 fletch options and crossbow compatibility.
The BPE PRO series usually comes with a specific clamp. Either straight, left or right helical. You can buy replacement clamps or additional clamps if you need to support several different styles of fletching. This jig is constructed from aluminium and glass-filled nylon which makes it durable and suitable for personal or commercial use. It's isn't 100% aluminium construction however, so it's possible to get glue on those nylon parts. Make sure to have that acetate handy.
The angle of the jig helps to support long arrow shafts without tipping it over, but it does dis-assemble for storage.
A beauty of the BPE and the reason it makes an appearance in this lineup is the versatility you get at a great price. This will go 3, 4 5 and 6 fletch arrows at varying degrees plus other combinations you've not even thought about yet. It will do this without purchasing any additional components or upgrades.
The Bohning pro class takes the form of the well respected Bitzenburger and does many of the same jobs for a fraction of the price. The format and function is very similar with magnets being used to hold the clamp in place whilst the glue dries. This will accomodate shafts of all sizes and allow you to set your own degree of fletching offset.
You're limited to fletching 3 vanes @ 120 degree or 4 vanes @ 90 degrees, but the jig will support vanes or feathers upto 5.5" in length. This jig comes supplied with either a left, right or straight clamp and you can purchase additional clamps should you want to fletch multiple styles.
The downside with this comes in the form of plastic construction. The clamp and the unit itself are plastic which has drawbacks when it comes to removing glue and durability. Unless you're using a glue you know you can dissolve, you'll have to be careful with this one.
The Arizona Rim is a highly rated fletching jig. That's no doubt down to the fact that it's quick to fletch an entire arrow using one. The main benefit of this jig is the abaility to fletch 3 vanes at a time. The downsides are that it's fixed to one particular style of fletching and whilst offering a large degree of arrow compatibility you're stuck with that single type of fletching unless you get yourself a different EZ fletch with a different configuration.
You can make a mess of the arms on these if you're a little slap happy with the fletching glue. The plastic construction doesn't allow for much abuse when you need to remove a large amount of said glue either. However spare arms are available and you can replace them so all isn't lost.
Whilst we've listed the Mini that only supports helical fletching of upto 2.25" vanes and carbon shafts from ultra-micro upto 5/16". Other E-Z fletch models are available that support offset, straight fletching and crossbow bolts and larger upto 5" vanes or aluminium shafts. These are however separate units, so make sure you get the right one.
If you want to fletch 3 vanes @ 120 degrees with a 3 degree right helical configuration, this is just the job. The Bohning helix tower holds any length of shaft and won't topple over even when holding the heaviest of hunting arrows as the shaft is held vertically. Once you've set the shaft in the jig, you open the arms and set vanes in those arms. Apply glue, lift the arms to the shaft and secure in place with one of 2 clamps designed to impart just the correct amount of pressure from the vane to the shaft.
The process is quick and easy, but there are a few drawbacks. Those arms are plastic, if you aren't careful with your glue or don't use the protective tape supplied you run the risk of a cleanup job on those plastic arms and you may ruin one.
If you want to fletch a lot of arrows quickly this is the kit you need. The multi fletcher will hold 6 shafts at a time allowing you to continually work and fletch without having to wait for glue to try. By the time the last shaft is setup the first will likely be ready to remove. You can fletch a dozen arrows or more in 30 minutes with one of these.
You either get this supplied with straight or helical clamps so make sure you get the correct one. You can purchase replacement clamps, however you'll find just purchasing a whole new rig to probably be cheaper than buying 6 more clamps.
We've not had the pleasure of trying one of these, so can't vouch for the speed. One thing we did notice is that the manufacturer isn't entirely clear on the supported shaft sizes and that you'll need to make sure you're happy with 4 @ 90 or 3 @ 120 spacings and a maxiumum of 2 degrees of standard offset with the standard fletcher.
I hope this roundup was useful and led you in the direction of a quality component for your setup. Please let us know if we're missing your favorite and need to add it to this review, or if there are any aspects of any of the above we've not covered correctly! Either leave a comment or send us some feedback!
Hi there! I'm Dave, the founder of targetcrazy.com. I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. I created this site to share my knowledge with you and help you make more informed choices! Please let me know what you think of my work, comment, like, rant, speak up!