By Todd Davis
Like many hunters, I use a soft case to transport my bow from time to time. I often find my arrow fletchings have gotten bent from coming into contact with the sides of the soft case.
What's really frustrating is when I find a bent fletching not long after having built it.
Cutting the damaged fletch off and replacing it can be a time consuming and expensive way to fix the problem. But replacing a vane is better than wondering if an occasional stray arrow was caused by it being bent. If I have a flier, I can rule out that problem if my fletches are straight.
After taking time to rebuild several bent fletches, I was visiting an archery shop and noticed one of the guys using a heat gun on a bent fletching. After heating it, he gently slid his thumb and forefinger down the vane and straightened it out.
In just a minute or two, like magic, the fletching was nice and straight. I couldn't believe my eyes!
I asked him if that trick works with glue-on fletching like it did with shrink-fit fletching. He assured me he uses this method all the time with either type of fletching.
He also told me a good hair dryer would suffice, and that I really didn't need to invest in a heat gun.
When I got home, I used my wife's hair dryer on a couple of bent fletch arrows to test the hair dryer trick. In just a couple minutes the fletching was straightened as if it was brand new.
My wife was not thrilled to find her hair dryer had become a dual-purpose fletching straightener, but the fact that I didn't have to buy new vanes got me out of the dog house.
Of course, all of this could have been avoided if I'd kept my arrows in a hard case, but if you ever need to straighten a fletching, the hair dryer trick is quick and easy.