When you want to be an expert in hunting, it is essential to know the details of your equipment.
The crossbow has various components that perform specific functions— Knowing what you can do with your weapon gives you the power to succeed.
Similarly, your knowledge of the arrows and bolts will help achieve better results! If you think we are complicating the game, the spine is not a part of the arrow, but it is a feature that will help you buy better equipment and add value to your game.
Here’s a crash course of arrow spine that can get you on top of your game. No notes needed: just read on, and you will know how to maximize your shooting success and teach others a thing or two!
Also Read: Best Arrow Rest
What is an arrow spine?
While buying arrows, you need to take a few features into account: the fletching, point weight, length, and spine. The spine is the measure of flexibility in the arrow.
Arrows are available in various spine measurements, and a number is given to understand the scale of flex or bend in the arrow. Ever wondered why the arrow’s label reads numbers like 600, 500, 400, or 350? That is the spine measurement given by the manufacturer.
Manufacturers follow the method prescribed by the Archery Trade Association to measure the spine. This process involves a hanging weight of about 1.94 pounds to the center of the arrow shaft to see how much it bends.
The deflection is measured in inches, and the results vary according to the material of the arrow. Some typical deflection readings are 0.6 inches, 0.5 inches, translated to 600, or 500 spine sizes—always mentioned on the labels.
The numerical deflection is a physical measurement that is also the arrow’s resistance to any static force. This means that if you have a stiff arrow spine, the deflection number will be smaller.
Similarly, a soft arrow spine will mean a higher deflection measurement. The most common measurements are between 500 and 300 ranging from soft to stiff arrows.
Why do I need to consider the spine of an arrow?
The spine, or stiffness of the arrow must be considered before purchase, and here’s the simple reason why. As you shoot the arrow, it flexes a little and then becomes straight as it flies.
This flexing is referred to as the hunter’s paradox, and if this flex is too great or very little, it impacts the arrow’s flight and of course, our concern is to see a target hit, which doesn’t happen due to this disproportionate flex.
The transfer of energy from your crossbow to the arrow will impact the flex. If the draw weight of your arrow is less and it shoots out the arrow with a higher dynamic force, the arrow receives a surge of energy that makes it flex and bend.
This energy is important but if the spine is soft and the bending is more, you can imagine where the arrow will fly, and it certainly will not be towards the target!
How to find the right spine?
Finding the right spine involves the bow draw weight, arrow length, and bolt point weight. The stiff arrows option is not good because stiff arrows do not bend for a balanced shot.
However, if the arrow is very flexible, imagine the softness will result in a dancing shot that will make the arrow jiggle as it flies out of the bow. A vibrating, bending arrow does not come out of the paradox, and keeps bending all its way to the target! Here’s a quick pointer in finding the right arrow spine
• Short arrows will require a weaker spine as the length will not be able to take a lot of deflection. Imagine a short arrow bending more as it leaves the bow. The paradox will be too great for the arrow to overcome.
• A heavier arrow point will need stiff spines. Again, visualize a heavy arrow that dilly-dallies its way out! The target will be missed every time!
• Bows with a higher draw weight work best with stiffer spines than bows with lesser draw weights. The above two factors will help you select the right arrow for the hunt or shooting range success you desire.
The right spine for your bow:
Don’t worry about calculations and assessments of your crossbow to decide the best arrow for you.
Every arrow manufacturer provides a chart that will help you see which arrow spine will suit your crossbow and of course, the hunting style that you have acquired.
You can visit an archery store and shoot arrows with various spines to understand each one. The best arrow would be the one that works in coordination with the crossbow to deliver a good hit.
An archery assistant can help you find the best fit for your bow and hunt. Once you find the best arrow spine for yourself, stick with it until you make changes in the crossbow that will impact the spine required.
As we sum it up
When you pick out a crossbow, you consider some features to suit your hunting style or shooting aim. An arrow also has some features that must be considered before buying a set for your upcoming shooting adventure.
Arrow spine is the agility or the flex that helps give force to the shot. Understanding the need for the right spine measurement is also essential so that you buy the best set to meet your requirements. This article is to help you find better arrows and become a pro!