A modern arrow can be described as the delivery system for the arrow's point. Arrows have four 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 adaptor 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Commonly used in bowfishing, these shafts are extremely durable, heavy, and deep-penetrating 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.