Tuning Broadheads for Most Effective Bowhunting
Bob McNally 08.12.15
Choosing broadheads is a uniquely personal decision among veteran bowhunters. And while there are several criteria for picking a head, one of the most essential is “how it flies.”
Not every broadhead design, style, and weight flies well from every bow. It’s up to an archer to pick a durable, proven head manufacturer, then fine-tune a brand model to his equipment and shooting style.
Usually, the lighter the arrow shaft or faster the arrow speed, the smaller and lighter the broadhead needed.
Sometimes, from some bows, two-blade heads fly better than three-blade or four-blade models. Often the opposite is true. Low-profile design heads may be desirable, or even mechanical-blade models needed for optimum arrow flight, particularly with fast arrow speeds over 300 feet per second.
Only by testing broadheads on a range can this be learned, and it’s essential to check them at distances you’ll be shooting at game.
“Spinning” a broadhead attached to an arrow helps insure its “tuned” correctly. Position an arrow nock up, broadhead down on a hard, flat surface like a table. Now spin it quickly using your finger tips, so the arrow on its broadhead tip rotates like a top spinning at high speed.
This simulates the shaft in flight, and if it wobbles during a table test, it will do the same when it leaves your bow.
Without perfect broadhead/shaft balance, you can’t be sure your bow is the culprit if there’s a tuning problem.
If an arrow wobbles during a table test, the broadhead may be attached to a shaft improperly, the insert or nock damaged, even the broadhead threads could be out of alignment.
This also is the best check for damaged arrows, particularly aluminum shafts. Sometimes re-gluing inserts onto different shafts or even rotating heads on the same shaft and re-gluing helps align them so they then table spin properly.
If that doesn’t work, try different broadheads on different shafts, change blades, or try a different model broadhead or weight.
If your broadheads don’t spin true, they can’t fly true, no matter how well tuned your bow may be.