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Why Do My Arrows Wobble In Flight: How To Fix It

Getting your arrow to be as straight as an arrow is not an easy undertaking. Wobbling, or fishtailing as it is known, is a common issue. Almost all archers at some point. or another have struggled with wobbling arrows.

So why do my arrows wobble in flight? 

Not releasing the arrow properly might be a reason for your arrow to wobble in flight. Spine match problem, sloppy shot, center shot match problem might also be causing the problem. The wobbling issue can be solved but you’ve to identify the proper issue.

So need help in identifying the problem and solving it? Then just follow us to the article.

What Causes The Wobbling?

The main reason for our arrow to wobble is the wrong approach to releasing the arrow. Not firing the arrow properly affects the course of the arrow and makes it wobble midair. 

Now we might have the right approach, but we may mess up at the last moment. A sloppy release can also make our arrow fishtail. 

If we pull the strings with high pressure, it may cause the arrow to wobble. The reason is excess strong pressure on the nose. Another reason may be the string wrapping around the cheek. 

The issue might be with the bow’s tuning as well. Improper tuning can cause our arrow to fishtail in the air.

Other reasons for our arrow to fishtail may include centershot being off, arrow spine mismatching etc. nock height and hand torque also might be the cause. 

Improper knock height is a key reason behind arrow porpoising. It makes the arrow move weirdly in upwards and downwards motion.

There is also a scientific explanation to why arrows wobble

How To Stop The Arrow From Wobbling?

We just discussed the causes behind our arrows wobbling. Now to stop our arrow from wobbling, we have to deal with the causes. 

Centershot Match Problem

Centershot means to align everything in line with the center of our bow. This helps us in following down the riser to the bow. This results in ensuring that the arrow aligns torquing strings and sights. 

Here are some ways we can centershot our arrows:

Step 1: Holding The Bow

By holding a bow with an open handed-grip. This will allow us to see the back of the handle line up with the string line of the sams. The lineup will continue to the centerline of the riser.

Step 2:  Noting The String’s Position

Now we have to take note of the arrow’s position in accordance with the string. We have to see if the arrow is to the left of the string or to the right.

Step 3: Adjusting The Centershot

If we see that the arrow is partially off to the left or right, we will have to adjust accordingly.

Step 4: Managing String

If our bow is fractured, we will have to manage a broken string. 

Matching Arrow Spine

The measurement of an arrow’s stiffness is what we call an arrow spine. So we can say that we use an arrow spine to see if our arrow is flexible or stiff. So we can know if an arrow will flex or bend using its spine number.

Arrow spine matching is really important for the stability of the arrow. Having the wrong number will make our arrow wobble in air or be too stiff.

Finding the right spine strength with the right draw weight is crucial. 

And here is how we can figure out the correct arrow spine number for ourselves: 

  • The longer the arrow is the higher the spine number it requires.
  • Arrows that have heavier arrow points need a higher arrow spine number.
  • Choosing a stiffer shaft is preferable for shooting a longer broadhead than a field point. 
  • Using a spine selector is recommended to find the exact size fit.

Dealing With Sloppy Releases

As we mentioned, not releasing the arrow properly is one of the main causes for wobbling. Not being able to pull back the bow’s string, misfiring are all very common in archery.

Even experienced archers have sloppy releases from time to time. Stopping sloppy releases should drastically reduce our arrows from wobbling.

Problems related to releasing the arrow differ from person to person. But here are some general tips that should help us out:

  • We should not release the arrow too fast.
  • We have to be sure that our brace height is appropriate. It should not be out of whack.
  • Release and follow through 
  • And of course, practice makes perfect. So practicing will overtime reduce our arrow’s wobbling

Solving Arrow Porpoising

Arrow porpoising affects the accuracy of the arrow heavily. It is different from fishtailing as the wobbling in this case happens vertically. 

Knock height is a key issue behind arrow porpoising. There may be other reasons behind it as well. Let’s see how we can fix our arrows’ porpoising:

Step 1: We have to take a few test shots using the arrows. The shots will allow us to see the direction the arrow is porpoising to.

Step 2: We have to then check the nock point. This will give us a clear idea of the direction of porpoising. 

Step 3: Depending on the direction we saw, we have to adjust the nock point in accordance. Usually small adjustments solve the problem. We have to be careful that we just adjust the nock, and not remove it.


What is Arrow Spine Matching?

The degree of stiffness of an arrow is measured using Spine. It is basically the resistance to bending. The spine of the arrow has to be matched with the bow draw weight. Mismatched arrow spine and bow draw back weight leads to the arrow wobbling during flight.

What Is Archer’s Paradox?

Archer’s paradox is the phenomenon of the arrow bending but eventually straightening out. Arrows bend.after being released from the bow. but they eventually straighten when they hit the target. The bending is also known as fishtailing. 

What Is Arrow Fishtailing?

Arrow fishtailing is basically the phenomenon of arrows wobbling mid flight. This is the sideways back and forth bending motion of the arrow. Arrow spine, bow drawback weight and other aspects may impact arrow fishtailing. Sloppy release may cause fishtailing. 


With that we know why do my arrows wobble in flight and how we can deal with the problem.

Arrows wobble midair due to arrow spine, centershot being off and other variables. The human cause in the phenomenon may be sloppy release or improper release. Fixing these issues can reduce wobbling of the arrow.

That’s it for today!

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