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Does Bent Fletching Affect Arrow Flight? [How to Fix]

Arrow fetching contributes a great deal to the arrow’s flight. But what happens if your arrow has bent fletching?

Then, does bent fletching affect arrow flight?

Yes, bent fletching can affect the arrow’s flight. But that depends on how much the fletching has bent. A little bending can be negligible, but too much bending can have a bit of an impact. With bent fletching, your arrow will not fly as straight, but the difference is not that big. 

In the upcoming sections, we will have a detailed discussion on this topic. So, have a read to find the exact answer.

how to fix bent arrow fletching
Source: Field and Stream

Does Bent Fletching Affect Arrow Flight?

Basically, fletchings can improve your arrow’s flight, meaning they can help your arrows to fly straight. Depending on the type, it can also add spins to your fletching.

A bent fletching can have little or no impact on your arrow’s flight, depending on how severe it is. A small amount of bend can be negligible as it does not manipulate the arrow’s flight. It can only affect the flight if it’s bent too much, but not significantly. 

A severely bent arrow fletching can deviate the arrow from its path by only a couple of degrees. But there are more important factors that can cause a wobbly arrow.

However, it’s possible to straighten the fletching back to where it was supposed to be.

How To Straighten a Bent Arrow Fletching?

If you find your arrow fletching bent, don’t worry; you can easily fix it all by yourself. There are a number of methods that you can use; all of them use the same basic principle. 

You can straighten your fletching by simply applying heat to it. But you have to be careful here because applying too much heat can damage your fletching. 

Fletchings are usually made from plastic or feathers; both of these materials are vulnerable to heat. So, you have to make sure you are not applying too much heat to them.

This is why there are a number of techniques that archers use to fix their fletchings safely. Let us check out some of them so you can implement them when needed.

How To Straighten a Bent Arrow Fletching
Source: Go Hunt


Vanes or feathers, it doesn’t matter; steaming is the most popular method to get your bent fletching back into shape. The method is very safe and simple, too. All you need is a water heater.

To do this, you need to fill the heater to at least 50% of its capacity. Then turn the power on. Remember to keep the lid open; that way, you can steam your fletchings as long as you need to. Closing the lid will turn off the heater after the water reaches boiling temperature.

Now, as the water is heating, there will be steam coming up. Hold your arrow in such a way that the fletching gets in the way of the steam. Remember to rotate the arrow so that all the fletchings get the same amount of heat.

After a couple of minutes, the fletching’s shape should be good as new. If not, hold it for another minute or so.  

After the steaming process is over, put your arrows down gently. Also, the fletchings would get wet. You do not need to wipe or dry them; it would be better to let them dry naturally.

If you do not own a water heater, you can use a pan or bowl to boil water. 

Just Dip It!:

Instead of steaming, you can just dip the fletchings in boiling water. This way is faster as it only needs a couple of seconds, at most ten. If the fletchings are made of plastic, then make sure you do not overdip them. There might be a chance that your vanes might melt.

After you are done, dry them, and your fletchings should be good.

Using Gas Lights:

Another low-effort method of applying heat to your fletching is to use a gaslight. This is a high-risk, high-reward method because it involves the risk of burning your fletchings.  So, if your fletchings are made of feathers, we would suggest you refrain from using this method. 

The process is very simple: just take a gaslight and slowly apply heat over the vanes. It’s important to move the gaslight all over the vanes for an even distribution of heat.   

If you hold the gaslight in one spot for too long, your vanes will surely melt. 

Hair Dryer:

If you own a hair dryer, you could use it to apply heat to your bent fletching. Similar to using a lighter to apply heat, turn your hair dryer on and blow dry it for a couple of seconds; that should fix the bent fletchings.  

When Should You Replace Arrow Fletching?

There might be a time when your fletchings get bent or damaged beyond repair. That’s when you should replace your fletchings. 

There is no fixed or definite time period to get the fletchings replaced. Just replace them wherever needed. The amount of abuse they receive is directly disproportionate to the time you can use them.  

That means you can use them for a long time without having to replace them if you take proper care of them. When you have damaged them, make sure you replace your arrow fletching ASAP.

How Can You Take Proper Care of Your Fletching?

If you were not taking fletchings up until now, you should start doing it right now. That applies strongly if you have fletching made of feathers. 

So, we present to you three tips. By following these, you can use your fletchings for a long time.

Store Your Arrows Properly:

When you store your arrows, make sure the fletchings do not rub against each other. Feathers and vanes are not “heavy-duty,” but they sure are strong. 

So, make sure you store and carry your arrows the way they should be carried.
So, it’s important to know how to properly ship your bows and arrows.

Store Your Arrows Properly
Source: Archers hub

Steam Them Regularly:

Whenever you see any sign of distress or damage, steam your fletchings. The steam treatment will recondition your fletchings and keep them great for a long time.

If you don’t want to apply steam, use any other method to apply heat to the fletchings.

Waterproof Them:

It’s not a bad idea if you want to waterproof them. The process is simple: obtain a waterproofing powder and apply it to your fetchings. 

To apply the powder, you put it in a little plastic bag and insert the fletched end of the arrow. Then conceal the bag, push it into the barbules, and then shake it out. 

This will keep the fletchings waterproof for months. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What causes erratic arrow flight?

Erratic arrow flight is caused by arrows that weren’t spined correctly. The arrows need to be spined based on the draw weight, length, and arrow weight. You might not notice the erratic arrow flight when using field points. However, when using broadheads, it can be significantly amplified.

Why are my arrows fishtailing?

A bad release is the reason behind the fishtailing of your arrows. If you let the string drag off during release, it might cause your arrows to roll off and fishtail.

Why do my arrows hit the target at an angle?

If your arrows are hitting the target at an angle, that means there is something wrong with your arrow’s spine. The arrow’s spine should depend on the bow’s draw weight. The higher the draw weight is, the stiffer the arrow should be


Fletchings are important as they stabilize the flight of your arrow. That makes ”Does bent fletching affect arrow flight?” a valid question.

Well, unless the fletching is severely damaged, it shouldn’t affect the flight. Even if it is, that impact is still not significant. But you should still maintain and take good care of your fletchings.

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