How to Build a Hunting Arrow

Have you been searching for the perfect hunting arrow? One that’s perfectly matched to your bow, is the right length, has the fletchings you like and flies flawlessly?

Why not build your own?

We put together a four-part video series that walks you through the process of building an arrow, from picking the right shaft, to determining the proper length, to cutting it down and installing components to deciding how to fletch it and ultimately installing the fletchings.

Part One covers figuring out the right spine for your bow, deciding on the appropriate shaft weight and then figuring out how short to cut it down.

In Part Two, we review how to properly cut the shaft, and then demonstrate prepping it for installing components, before we actually install those inserts and nocks.

Part three covers arrow indexing. This involves shooting a bare shaft into a target to figure out which way arrows want to spin as they leave your bow, before fletchings are installed. This information is key in determining how to install fletchings to promote that natural spin.

Part Four, which is the last in the series, covers fletching selection, fletching jigs and a demonstration of installing wraps and fletchings on an arrow shaft.

The basics of bow-mounted quivers for bowhunting

You’ve seen the pictures of Robin Hood and his merry men running through the woods with quivers of arrows strapped to their backs.

robin hood

Errol Flynn as Robin Hood

That’s a nice look for Hollywood, and it’s cool for traditional archers shooting targets. But it’s not very practical for today’s bowhunters. Broadheads and back quivers aren’t a good combination.

Whoever invented the bow-mounted quiver deserves a medal. I mean, you have to carry your bow, and you have to carry arrows in a fashion so they don’t interfere with your shooting or staking. But yet, the arrows need to be handy for loading.

The bow-mounted quiver addresses all these issues.


For traditional archers, there are four basic types of bow-mounted quivers. There are two-piece quivers that slide over the limbs, two-piece quivers that strap to the limbs, two-piece quivers that attach via limb bolts and one-piece quivers that attach to special mounting holes.


Slide-on traditional quiver


Strap-on traditional quiver

The latter quiver can only be used with bows that have the appropriate mounting bushings or threaded holes. The strap-on and slide-on quivers can be used with any traditional bow, while the quivers that attach via limb bolts can only be used on non-ILF, takedown bows.

The one-piece quivers typically attach to the riser, which means an archer can remove the limbs from a takedown bow without having to remove the quiver. Any limb-mounted quiver must be removed to disassemble a takedown bow.


This traditional quiver mounts to the riser by bolts at the top and bottom.


All compound bows will have accessory holes for mounting quivers. Or, the sights mounted to these bows will have threaded holes for the quivers.


Many compound bow quivers are designed to remain affixed to the bow at all times, and can only be removed using a screwdriver or Allen wrench. But there are some that give the archer the option to remove the quiver in the field.


This Hoyt quiver cannot be detached in the field.

These are often favored by tree stand or ground blind hunters, who like the convenience of a bow-mounted quiver for carrying their arrows afield, but want to remove the quiver for taking a shot. Unless you shoot your compound bow with the quiver always attached, the addition of the quiver will change the balance of your bow.


Quick-detach quiver

Whether you hunt with traditional gear or with a compound bow, there are a few aspects of a bow-mounted quiver you’ll want to consider.

  1. How many arrows does it hold? There are quivers that hold anywhere from two to eight arrows. Think about how many arrows you want to have with you when you’re out hunting. Remember, the more you have, the more weight you have to carry.
  2. How does it keep the broadheads in place? There’s a variety of material used in quiver hoods to secure the business ends of your arrows. Some are sturdier than others. Take a look at what’s in the hood of the quiver you’re thinking about and imagine inserting and removing broadheads. Will the material hold your arrows firmly?
  3. Is the quiver made for your arrows? Small diameter arrows are becoming increasingly popular among bowhunters. Not all quivers are made to hold these tiny shafts. And the ones that are, don’t work well with normal shafts. Make sure the quiver you’re looking at is made for the shafts you shoot.
  4. Does it make the bow loud? The only way to figure this out is to shoot your bow with the quiver attached. Some will increase the bow noise at the shot. Is it too much for your taste?
  5. Can the quiver be removed in the field? As noted, only some offer this option. It’s up to you to determine if that’s a desirable feature.

Rubber in the hood of a quiver is durable and quiet.

Explained: Walk-Back Tuning

In this 13th and final installment of Nocked and Ready to Rock for 2016, John Dudley demonstrates walk-back tuning.

Dudley shoots his bow at 3 yards and then at 50 to determine if his rest is in perfect alignment with his sight. This is critical, he says, because it’s possible for archers to sight in at 20 yards, but then have their arrows drift left or right at longer distances, if their rests aren’t lined up properly.

Explained: Perfect Conditions for Testing Arrows

In this 11th installment of Nocked and Ready to Rock, host John Dudley describes the ideal conditions for testing different arrow configurations.

Dudley likes to shoot on flat ground on a calm day when he shoots arrows set up with different fletching configurations to determine which one(s) work best with a given bow setup.