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Thread: to tape or not to tape?

  1. #1
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    to tape or not to tape?

    Hi folks, sorry I know these potatoes have been boiled already - but I would welcome your views... (and sorry it's long)

    For donkey's years I tuned bare-shaft vs fletched without tape to replicate vane-weight - it worked well enough.

    But more recently there is advice to add tape to simulate the weight of the fletching - and this seems totally logical - so I have dabbled with that over past few years.

    I shoot formula and have owned and tuned : excel, quattros, F4s and UUkha x-curves - plus old Yammy carbon ceramics. I have had various spines of Aces, X7s and X-busters - with every conceivable fletching, insert and point etc.

    For me, adding the tape universally makes the bare shaft immensely stiff - even cranking limbs up to around 7lb over that recommended for a given arrow spine - still stiff! Going from 70 up to 200 grain points - still stiff.

    For example, 29.5 inch X7 2114s with 47-48lb on my fingers and 150 grain points come out stiff - and I have a good strong release.

    and I am talking 12 inches or so to left of group and tail to right at an angle of 30 degrees at 20yds.

    Have checked bow weight on 4-5 different scales to check (wow how those vary too!) confirms that I am selecting the theoretically correct spine of arrows

    As soon as i remove the tape - the results improve - then have to un-crank the bow and go for lighter points etc - but tuning is easy again

    I want to ask Easton directly but can't find an email - It's not covered in their tuning guide or web-pages - or the FITA tuning manual.

    I goes against logic, but I think i will go back to how I used to tune, otherwise I would end-up choosing arrows with spines 2 or even 3 levels weaker than expected to get a decent tune using tape. - and that has me concerned that it may not be giving good results.

    I guess 'just shoot' will be the advice - and that is what i am doing - but it would be great to track down some evidential/science based advice from manufacturers on this issue - so any guidance or pointers to robust text is welcomed.

    FYI I have a pretty good grasp on the theory about adjusting the dynamic spine of an arrow via measures like brace-height, arrow length and nodes etc, string weight and type, bow weight, weight at front and back of arrow, release quality, finger tension distribution etc plus relationship to tiller and nocking point etc. so no need to cover that...

    I am more interested in other's experience in using tape - have any had similar or different experience?

    cheers

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  3. #2
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    I read about using tape about 25 years ago. I tried it and found that the nocking point could be raised a little as the bare shafts did not dive so readily with that little extra weight on the back. I had no changes in spine that I could tell.
    Just to clarify; so hope you are not offended, I put on just enough tape to keep the FOC in the same place; and added it in the same position along the shaft that the fletchings fit onto.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffretired View Post
    I read about using tape about 25 years ago. I tried it and found that the nocking point could be raised a little as the bare shafts did not dive so readily with that little extra weight on the back. I had no changes in spine that I could tell.
    Just to clarify; so hope you are not offended, I put on just enough tape to keep the FOC in the same place; and added it in the same position along the shaft that the fletchings fit onto.
    Thanks Geoff - Yes, tape only in same place as fletchings (thicker at back where fletching is widest - and only the precise (within 0.2 grain) of the weight of difference between fletched and unfletched - FOC is spot on identical.

    Hmmm.. no change ins spine? interesting... now i'm wondering if I am getting a clearance issue - would be difficult to track since rear end contact would likely be on rest or button - but it would be weird to get clearance issue on bare-shaft and none on fully fletched. Also it would be super-weird to get clearance issue on 3 bows and 4 sets of limbs and 4 different arrow specs

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    It would be worth painting something like lipstick on the rest and looking for marks on the tape; and on the fletched arrows. It would sound odd to get clearance with fletchings and contact with bareshafts. But there may be clearence issues with fletchings that are going undetected; while the bareshafts clear.
    How difficult would it be to push three fletchings up inside the shaft , or the equivalent in weight and length?
    Is there any chance the bareshaft or its nock are damaged in some way?

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    How heavy are the vanes that you're replicating? the heavier the vane the greater the stiffening effect and weight at the back seems to have much more effect on behaviour than weight at the front.
    I've seen a lot of opinion that with spinnies there's not much point in taping because they're so light - but I still routinely add the few grains of tape because I've seen an obvious but less extreme effect when compensating for heavier vanes.
    Like you, I thought taping sounded logical so I tried it when I was shooting 3" impulse vanes. About 12 grains of tape per bare-shaft later and I was seeing the bare-shafts maybe 4 or 5 inches stiffer at 30m - so a much maller effect than you're seeing, but it was definitely there - I've been taping since.

    Similarly my wife's just upgraded her bow, and we're also messing about with strings - a change to one that was about 14 grains heavier (so more weight at the back again) made the bare shafts shift from the gold to around the 4/5 boundary on a 40cm face at 18m (stiffer).

    So whilst I'm a believer in taping, your results sound excessive just for tape unless you've got some very heavy fletchings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smoothound View Post
    Thanks Geoff - Yes, tape only in same place as fletchings (thicker at back where fletching is widest - and only the precise (within 0.2 grain) of the weight of difference between fletched and unfletched - FOC is spot on identical.

    Hmmm.. no change ins spine? interesting... now i'm wondering if I am getting a clearance issue - would be difficult to track since rear end contact would likely be on rest or button - but it would be weird to get clearance issue on bare-shaft and none on fully fletched. Also it would be super-weird to get clearance issue on 3 bows and 4 sets of limbs and 4 different arrow specs

    When I tried taping using enough 2" masking tape to match the weight of vanes it had a significant thickness and I could see it was hitting something at the front edge. I assumed it was the button. This would be consistent with a fletched arrow not having contact problems. I did not investigate further but just ditched the tape.

    - Bill

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