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Fletching an Arrow with Duct Tape

December 4, 2011

Yes, there is yet another reason to keep duct tape around. You can actually make some pretty descent arrow fletchings out of duct tape. I was reading a survival chat the other day and someone wrote in asking about if you could fletch arrows with duct tape. Several responders were quick to deride the questioner. Obviously these guys practice most of there wilderness survival skills with a keyboard because I have been fletching survival arrows with duct tape for years. It’s not pretty, but if it will put meat in the pot, who cares about pretty?

It’s so simple to do that the pictures alone would probably show you how to make these fletchings, but just in case I will include a brief how-to description. I’m using dark red tape in the demonstration below because it’s easier to see against the background; but, of course, you can use any color that you have available. As far as that goes, you can use about any kind of tape that you have available as long as it is wide enough.

First, cut two strips of duct tape about five inches long.

Second, lay one of the pieces of tape down with the sticky side facing up.

Third, press your arrow shaft down onto the tape.

Fourth, lay the other piece of duct tape down on top of the arrow shaft

Fifth, stick the point of the arrow into the ground and use your fingers to pinch the two pieces of duct tape together.

Sixth, trim the fletching to the desired shape.

That’s all there is to it. Here’s your finished arrow with a surprisingly durable fletching.

  1. james permalink

    Ah, duct tape! There’s nothing it can’t do at least to some degree!

  2. Richard permalink

    Can we find anything other than d tape?not saying its a bad idea but pretty sure our ancesters didnt have this in their back pocket.i have ideas but they are untested,and looking for insight.again,not a thing wrong with d works.

    • Richard,
      Our ancestors used feathers, leaves, and many of them used no fletchings at all. To make various kinds of feather fletchings see my several posts on this topic. For leaves, you have given me a good idea for a future post. The no fletching method is best done with a cane arrow with a hardwood fore-shaft. Trial and error is the only way I’ve ever made this work and the arrows end up being longer than you would think.

      As for modern materials, what ever works is the rule. Remember, it must be durable and flexible. Anything that is not flexible will tear the heck out of you hand which will also deflect the arrow from a straight path. You can make fletchings from paper, but they are pretty much a one shot deal.

      If anybody has any info on other natural fletchings, I would like to hear them.


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