With so many internet personalities pushing heavy arrow builds and high FOC people are coming back to fixed blade broadheads due to their durability and performance on impact. A decade ago, this certainly wasn't the case..
Whether you are a believer in extreme arrow builds or a bowhunter who maybe had a less than stellar experience with mechanicals, there's plenty of reasons to go back to fixed blade broadheads. The hang up is always around fixed blade broadhead flight. News flash it's probably not the broadhead and you have other issues within your bowhunting setup that need addressed.
Let's dive in and take a look at key points around switch from mechanical broadheads to fixed blade broadheads.
In a world that seems to be over complicated, keeping things simple in your archery setup allows you to focus on the biggest variable...YOU and your shot execution. Outside of a properly tuning your bow, focusing on getting better as an archer will always pay dividends in field. It allows you to become more consistent, it may extend your range, and help with confidence which all leads to becoming more aggressive with shot opportunities.
Just comparing broadhead types, without anything else, fixed blade broadheads eliminate any worry about performance and durability. There's no worry about mechanical failure upon impact. A sharp durable cut on contact fixed blade is going to do its job. There is less worry about shot angles that may cause deflection at impact. There's no wasted K.E. from blades opening when entering an animal. Any way you look at it, when switching from mechanicals to fixed blade broadheads you are taking variables out of the equation and in my mind that is an easy win.
One thing you can be sure of is that a fixed blade broadhead will expose any tuning issues you have with your bow and any issues with your arrow builds. This is the biggest hangup for most folks, they shoot field points all year and settle for mechanicals because they don't want to do the work to make sure their bow is within spec and properly tuned. The same goes on there arrow builds.
A properly tuned bow is something that should be the baseline standard for all hunters. Again, it's a variable we can take out of the equation and it's not all that hard to do. Make sure you cams are synced and in time. Make sure your center shot is on the money. Make sure your strings and cable are within specification along with your draw length.
Your arrow builds should be all about consistency. To start you need to have the correct static spine based around your draw weight, draw length/arrow length, and the desired broadhead weight. Being under spinned with fixed blade broadheads up front will cause the poor flight characteristics. With the arrow bending and oscillation more on the back end during flight, it's much more likely you will have errant flight with fixed blade broadheads planning. Once you have the static spine established and arrow purchased, it's best practice to build the front end. Be sure all components are installed square. Next you can spine index your arrows and finish the build. Spine indexing ensures every arrow reacts from the power stroke of the bow in the same manner. When you orient your fixed blade broadheads with your vane configuration built off the spine index you'll achieve more consistent flight arrow to arrow with fixed blade broadheads.
One thing to also note when it comes to marrying your arrow setup to your bow...Speed exposes flaws, the higher the velocity your arrow is traveling the more issues will appear. If you're a heavy arrow guy, your probably shooting below 250 FPS downrange so there's not much to worry about. When you get above 285 FPS is when we have started to see flaws appear. Sometimes it's the arrow, sometimes the bow, but more often than not it's you the shooter.
If you have to make any drastic adjustments, you know something is wrong. If the same arrow is giving you erratic flight, then you know it may be just that one arrow. If you find consistent flight issues then you need to check the bow and be honest about your shooting form.
At the end of the day broadhead choice is a personal decision, one that should add confidence to you as a bowhunter. If your broadhead selection isn't giving you that, maybe it's time for a change and there is zero reason to shy away from fixed blade broadheads.
Author: Chris Creed, Afflictor Broadheads