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A modern arrow can be described as the delivery system for the arrow’s point. Arrows have four main parts: the shaft, fletching, the nock, and the arrow points.

The body of an arrow is called the shaft. Arrow shafts are made from wood, aluminum, carbon-fiber, fiberglass, or a combination of aluminum and carbon-fiber.


  • These arrow shafts often are made from cedar, pine, or spruce.
  • Finished arrows are fletched with feathers and are sometimes brightly painted (referred to as “dipped and crested”) in matched dozens.
  • The shafts are usually tipped with glue-on target or hunting points. However, they may have a glue-on adapter that accepts a screw-on practice tip or broadhead.
  • Wooden arrows are preferred by many archers who shoot a traditional recurve bow or longbow.
  • Wooden arrow shafts are not suitable or safe for use with modern compound bows or crossbows.

Tubular Aluminum

  • Made from specially formulated alloys, these shafts are shaped into a wide variety of sizes, colors, and spines for virtually every need.
  • The hollow shafts are lightweight and can be manufactured to precise specifications.
  • Most aluminum shafts are equipped with internal bushings, called inserts, that can accept screw-in points.
  • These shafts may be fletched with feathers or plastic vanes, depending on the archer’s personal preference.

Tubular Carbon-Fiber

  • The three types of carbon-fiber shafts are 100% carbon, carbon composite, and carbon/aluminum.
  • Fast and accurate, this design represents the leading edge of modern arrow shaft technology.
  • This shaft is extremely strong and lightweight.
  • Carbon-fiber shafts are available in a variety of diameters, each with specific options for inserts and points.
  • Carbon-fiber shafts may be fletched with feathers or plastic vanes, depending on the archer’s personal preference.

Tubular Fiberglass

  • Inexpensive and durable, these shafts possess adequate straightness for non-hunting archery shooting fun.
  • They are good for beginning archers, clubs, schools, and low-poundage equipment.

Solid Fiberglass

  • Commonly used in bowfishing, these shafts are extremely durable and heavy. Their weight and mass allow them to penetrate below the surface of the water for shooting carp, gar, and other rough fish.
  • Attached to a bowfishing reel by high-strength line, the bowfishing reel is mounted on the bow near the sight window.
  • These shafts may be fletched with a “slip-on” style of plastic fletching because of their exposure to water. Many times, however, these arrows are not fletched because they fly such a short distance.
Arrow Parts: bullet point, shaft, fletching, nock
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