Published by archerchick on 19 Feb 2010
MAKE FLU-FLU ARROWS EASILY -by Carroll Holl
Carroll Holl has been published in several outdoor magazines, belongs to the Colorado Bowhunters Associations, and is a Bowhunter member of the NFAA
When Game Takes To Trees Or Air, Flu-Flu Arrows Are A Necessity. Here’s How To Make Them With A Minimum Of Effort And Equipment
- Whole Turkey Feathers (one for each arrow)
- Nail Clippers
- Small Electrical Clips (with teeth filed into a concave surface)
- Fine Tooth Comb
- Shaft Material
- Fletching Cement (use cement normally used on shaft material of your choice)
WHEN BIG-GAME seasons close, many bowhunters hang up their sticks for another year. This is unfortunate since one must use the bow regularly to become really proficient with it. The big-game seasons themselves do not provide us with an overabundance of practice at all. Even punching a stationary target does not make us skillful with the bow – but it does develop aiming and release techniques that are definitely valuable to the hunter. In order to become skilled one must develop these techniques in conjunction with in-the-field situations such as moving targets and spur of the moment decisions.
Opportunities to develop these skills exist throughout the year in the form of small-game hunting and novelty shooting in the form of Aeriel targets requires a special arrow – the flu-flu. Standard fletched arrows can be used on game that is on the ground, but when that game takes to the trees or the air, flu-flu arrows are, for the sake of safety and saved time in pursuing wayward arrows a necessity.
Flu-flu arrows are of various designs but all have a common function. The fletching is oversize so the range of the arrow will be curtailed after the initial thrust out to thirty or forty yards. Maximum range of a flu-flu would fall in the sixty to seventy yard range. Compared to a standard hunting arrow which has a range out to two hundred yards, the advantages of shooting a flu-flu arrow for aerial shooting can easily be appreciated.
The simplest and, I believe, most economical flu-flu can be constructed as opposed to multiple feathers for the other styles, Interested? Read on. The following will eliminate the mysteries of making flu-flu arrows.
The first step is to procure suitable feathers since the ground-base feathers used in standard fletching aren’t satisfactory. The logical place to obtain whole feathers is, of all places, a turkey ranch. When the birds are loaded out in the Fall they lose some of the pointer quills which we use for fletching. Last Fall my son and I gathered a grocery sackful in a very short time. We had no problem getting permission; in fact, the manager even went out and showed us the most likely places to find the feathers we were seeking. If a turkey ranch is not available, the better archery shops should be able to supply them or direct you to a supplier.
The reason for acquiring whole feathers is so the feather can be stripped from the quill leaving a thin
skinlike base rather than the thick bulky base of ground-base -.feathers. This thin base allows for ease of wrapping, neatness, and durability since there is no bulky base to catch on targets, etc.
To strip the feather grasp the quill in one hand and, with the other, bull the feather in a steady, sharp angle towards the base of the quill. Always begin at the tip of the feather pulling downward toward the base of the quill. The tip is the easiest end to start the stripping process and, as the stripped portion gets longer, the base gets wider – lessening the possibility of breakage during the process. With a sufficient supply stripped, cut them all to a uniform length and, with nail clippers, cut approximately one-eighth inch of feather from each end leaving the thin, skinlike base
extending beyond the feather.
Before proceeding any further, assemble all of the necessary equipment and supplies so everything will be ready when you need it. Equipment for this process is minimal, which places this type of arrow making within the grasp of everyone. In addition to the nail clippers mentioned earlier,
you’ll need several small electrical clips from which the teeth have been filed into a concave surface, a fine-tooth comb for separating the vanes and your shaft material. Use the same fletching cement you would normally use for the type of shaft material being used.
First of all, make a dry run by wrapping the feather around the shaft without cement and, using the comb, separate the vanes. Once the cement has been applied to the feather it
becomes a messy project if the vanes don’t separate during the wrapping process. Proper feather placement is of primary importance. Always place the end of the feather that came from the heavy end of.the quill near the nock with the cupped or shiny side towards the nock. If this sounds confusing, turn the feather over, base up, and you’ll notice that one end of the base is much wider than the other. It is this wide end that is placed nearest the nock. Using one of the electrical clips,
clip the feather to the shaft about one-half inch from the nock and, holding the tip of the feather in one hand, rotate the shaft allowing about one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch between spirals. When the end of the feather is reached slip the second clamp over the tip of the base and the
shaft, and comb the vanes apart.
Having completed the dry run, apply the fletching cement and follow the same procedure. After the cement has set firmly remove the clamps and apply a dab of cement at each end of the fletching to lessen the possibility of unwrapping. Recomb the feather to separate the vanes and the arrow is
A variation of this style utilizes a regular fletched arow with a short length of feather wrapped around the shaft between the fletching and the nock. The length of feather to be used will vary depending on the diameter of the shaft. An approximately 2-3 18- inch feather will fit the space on an 11/32-inch shaft. Because of the limited space involved, I find that contact cement works best for this style.
This variation will not slow the arrow as much as the full wraparound,but it does restrain it enough for some types of aerial shooting *here open space exists and the location of the arrow is not difficult to spot. This is the route to go if you have no flu-flus on hand and need some quickly. The
wraparound can be easily removed later to return the arrow to its original status.
There are a lot of possibilities for flu-flu shooting – waterfowl over decoys, upland birds, squirrels or just plain fun shooting at targets thrown into the air. A little imagination – a lot of fun.<–<<
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