Author Topic: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?  (Read 858 times)

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Offline 240m3srt

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Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« on: January 07, 2018, 07:54:53 pm »
Hey guys there is a question ive had for a while and cant really seem to find a definitive answer.  Im aware that the most important thing is that you match all your right wing or left wing feathers on the same arrow.  But what about the other side of the feather or the "off" side as i call it.  In particular, when you take the primary or secondary feather of a turkey and split it, you have left over a very long and somewhat thin feather on the other side.  The shape is a bit odd yes(thicker at the front and tapers toward the rear), but I got to thinking...can you just match these up and fletch an arrow and expect decent flight.  Has anyone tried this and how did it go?

Offline jeffp51

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 09:16:32 pm »
For primaries, it seems like only one side is usable--the other is too thin.  for secondaries, I think you can use both sides, as both sides are about equal in size.  keep in mind that a feather has curve in three dimensions, so for any given arrow, all the fletches have to match.  That is, if you decide to use the "off side" of a left wing secondary feather, then all three fletches should be "off side" secondaries from the left wing.  Then mount them on the shaft so that the feathers create a rotational force on your arrow so it will spin. I have used both sides, but I am not a great shot, so it is hard for me to say if an arrow shoots bad because of a fletch, or because I have a horrible release.  Someone else with more experience can perhaps chime in.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 05:08:30 am »
Both sides of the feather can be used if big enough. One thing to remember the off side is opposite the primary side so don't mix them either.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Del the cat

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 06:17:58 am »
Yes... its fine, I've used the "low side" for flight arrow fletchings.
As long as all 3 feathers are matched it's fine...
I've even put 'em on backwards ;)... just kidding ::)
Del
Health warning, these posts may contain traces of nut.

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 10:25:14 am »
I famously saved a bunch of turkey secondaries and fletched up an entire dozen arrows with left wing "off sides" with a left wing EZ-Fletch jig.  And they flew fine. 

Someone pointed out to me the fletching looked slightly different and when he looked closer he was able to point out what I had done. He could not see any odd characteristics in flight and since he has more experience than me, I trusted his judgement.

On the other hand, as crappy as I shoot, I am not sure it matters.
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline DC

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 11:48:31 am »
I treat left wing offsides as right wing fletches and vice versa. I mix them together and haven't seen a problem but I'm with JW as far as shooting goes.
Vancouver Island

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 01:55:35 pm »
I treat left wing offsides as right wing fletches and vice versa. I mix them together and haven't seen a problem but I'm with JW as far as shooting goes.

The problem is when you have conflicting curvatures, like fletching with right wing primary and right wing secondary "off sides".  That's like fletching with a left hand feather with the right hand feathers. If you are gonna fletch like that, you might as well start using horse feathers.
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline DC

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 03:19:51 pm »
I looked at them very closely and the offside of one looked just like the good side of the other. The only difference is the curve of the rachis and that straightens when you clamp it in the jig. But you're right and from now on I will separate my feathers into four bags instead of two.
Vancouver Island

Offline 240m3srt

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 03:44:48 pm »
Appreciate the input guys.  Im probably gonna make some native american style arrows with the off sides.  Not sure what tribe im referring to but the type that are made with feathers which are very looooong and somewhat thin.  Im not sure how the long thin feather will affect flight with a broadhead or arrowhead, and im not even sure i can get past the fact of the feather running along the grip area and possibly "catching" as i draw back.  But i guess i wont know till i try!

Offline penderbender

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 04:05:07 pm »
I do like DC, and have not noticed a difference. But I ain't robin hood neither. Cheers- Brendan

Offline Buck67

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Re: Regarding the "off" side of the feather...?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 10:18:26 am »
I have made a lot of arrows with the Off side of feathers.  They work fine and seem to hold up well.  Sometimes the off side of a large feather will be stiffer than the "Correct" side of a smaller feather.  Just make sure to match your feathers up.