Blazing Bolts – Fletch those bolts with Blazer vanes for increased accuracy

Let’s face it, everyone who is serious about bowhunting today is using Bohning Blazer vanes, or some kind of copy. I have used nothing but Blazers for the past several years and am 100-percent sold on them for performance. I’ll admit that growing up in the same neck of the woods as Bohning might make me a tiny bit biased, but they just happen to make the best archery products available. Makes it convenient for me!

The hottest trend in archery right now is the crossbow. Just about every company that makes a bow, is now making or soon to be making a crossbow and there are several companies that make just crossbows and make them very well. I first got to play with some crossbows and thought they were cool, but I didn’t need one. The next thing I knew, however, was that more states were allowing them for hunting. Guess I needed one now!

If you have a crossbow and are like me, you shoot a lot. When I was shooting, I was really wreaking havoc on the 4″ vanes that had come standard on the different bolts I was using. When it came time to refletch them, I thought it a good time to experiment with Blazers. I tried several ways of mounting them and found the the Bohning Fletching Tower Jig to be the easiest and best way to go about it. The Tower doesn’t allow for a nock, which fits the bolt of a crossbow perfectly. The design of the Tower allows you to adjust the location of the Blazer to fit your needs.

Shooting them

Do I even have to say it? Yes, my accuracy increased dramatically. My first couple of shots were impressive enough to me that I got out a solid rest and grabbed a few bolts with standard vanes to compare. The difference was enough that I won’t use standard vanes again with anything. At 30 yards, I was seeing an decrease in the distance between shots. At 40 yards, that decrease held true. How much better? I was seeing roughly an inch tighter groups.

You may be thinking that an inch doesn’t make all the difference. What if that inch was the difference between retrieving that monster buck you shot, or losing him to the coyotes? Yeah, it makes a difference.

One reason why

Due to the fact that crossbows don’t use a rest like a regular bow, the arrow front of center ratio (FOC) can play a huge factor with crossbow arrows. Having a good FOC ratio can dramatically increase accuracy. There are ways to increase FOC by either adding weight to the tip of the arrow, or removing weight from the rear of the shaft. The shorter length of the Blazers compared to the 4-5 inch vanes, lets you eliminate some of the weight from the rear of the shaft. Resulting in an increased FOC.


My Tower is set to a 3-degree twist ratio, meaning that it helps my arrows spin in flight. As we all know from basic physics, an object that spins is inherently more accurate. Think of rifling in the barrel of a gun.

The Outwrite Truth

I want to say that while I experienced a dramatic increase in accuracy, I can’t say for sure you will. Your crossbow set up may be different than mine. Your arrow may be different than mine. What I will say is this. Do yourself a favor and try Blazing your bolts when it comes time for a refletch. Until the manufacturers wise up and start producing bolts with Blazers, it is your only option but it is one you’ll like if you try it!