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Bitzenburger Fletching Jig [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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Archery is one of those sports where if you have an addictive personality as I do then you’re screwed! I’ve become very involved in every aspect of archery. I’m always trying to find a way to improve my setup, learn more about tuning and different tuning methods and recently became interested in assembling my own arrows so I could control the weight variations from an arrow to arrow – which brings me to another point – purchase a digital scale that measures in grains so you can weigh everything, you’d be surprised how much your 100g broadheads really weigh.

Okay, so back to arrows. I used to fletch my own arrows with an Arizona EZ Fletch but wasn’t really too happy with it. The vanes aren’t always 120 degrees apart from each other and it was really hard to fit NAP QuickSpin vanes in the jig. I read up on jigs on various forums and consistently read that the Bitzenburger jig was “the best.” So I decided to pick one up and found a used one with a right helical clamp for about $55. I was fletching Easton Axis 400s with Blazer vanes and the right helical was not coming out well at all, but that was due to two things – the stiffness of the vanes and the slim diameter of the Axis shaft. Bohning also recommends fletching their Blazer vanes with an offset, not a helical. I was not able to fletch the Blazers without one side sticking up no matter how hard I played around with the jig, but there are people out there who have no problem doing it.

After finding out I was supposed to be fletching my Axis arrows with an offset for the Blazers using a straight clamp, I picked one up and started re-fletching my arrows. This time they came out perfect. It was super simple to use and the best part is that it makes it very easy to replace a single vane if one falls off. Yes, it is a bit time consuming gluing one vane on the shaft at a time, but the benefits outweigh the time it takes to fletch the arrow.

The clamp that the Bitzenburger jig uses allows you to place the vane at whatever distance you feel necessary. I prefer fletching my vanes as close to the nock as possible, but you can put them any distance from the nock and I’ve even seen people fletch their arrows with each vane 1/2″ farther from the last.

One thing I also noticed with Blazer vanes and Axis arrows, in particular, is that the vanes adhere much better when you use an arrow wrap than they do to the bare shaft. Learning how to fletch an arrow is a time-consuming trial and error game. Tiny adjustments are needed on the jig to get the perfect amount of offset for the vane to properly adhere to the arrow. However, once you get your jig set you’re off to the races and can crank out arrows pretty fast. If you are concerned about consistent arrow flight you can even take it one step further and index your broadheads to your fletching. While most people say there is no difference, I beg to differ. If every one of your arrows is built exactly the same way then you just eliminated one variable in the hunting game.

If you’re new to the fletching game, this is your jig. It’s built solid and will last a lifetime. If you do buy a used one, you may want to get a new clamp depending on how worn your used clamp is, but the clamp most likely will be fine. I clean my clamp with Goat Tuff Debonder (aka $8 nail polish remover – I won’t buy that again!) which removes all the glue residue that may have gotten on the clamp after I’ve fletched a dozen or so arrows. The best part about the jig is you have three different fletching patterns – standard 3 vanes 120 degrees, and two different four vane patterns – to choose from and can use a right, left or straight clamp so the fletching possibilities are endless. Just be warned once you start assembling and fletching your own arrows you won’t be able to stop!

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Product Reviews

Glider Gloves for Bowhunting Deer [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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PROS: touch screen smartphones (tested on iPhone) function with high degree of accuracy, comfortable lightweight material, long cuffs, 10 finger touch screen capability

CONS: fit was slightly off, fingers were a bit short on my pair, not durable enough for use as an active hunting glove, grip material on glove palm creates torque on the bow hand

MSRP: $24.99

Last season I was contacted by Glider Gloves to field test a pair of their Urban Style Touchscreen Gloves. I had previously reviewed a pair of similar gloves by a company called A glove so I welcomed the chance to review these.

Compared to the Agloves, these gloves were higher quality and had a much longer cuff which is something I always look for in a hunting glove. As social media becomes a larger part of hunting and a growing part of NYBowhunter.com I welcomed the chance to be able to easily send updated to my Facebook fans from the tree stand. The Glider Gloves made it easy to text and check email while keeping my hands warm and concealed from the eyes of any nearby whitetail deer.

One thing bowhunters should note is the gloves have a grip on the palm. Some bowhunters, including myself, prefer not to have any grip on their gloves as it helps create torque which lead to less accurate shooting.

These gloves are great at what they were designed to do – be a comfortable touchscreen glove. However, for hunting purposes, you have to remember what these gloves were designed to do. If you plan on wearing these in the field and climbing up to your tree stand day in and day out you’ll rip through these knit gloves in about a month. If you want these gloves to last as a hunting glove you’re better off waiting until you’re settled in the stand before putting them on so there’s less wear and tear on the gloves.

Overall, I’d recommend these gloves if you’re looking for a true touch screen glove. They’re way nicer to use than similar hunting gloves with a silver pad on the pointer finger and thumb. Just remember, they’re not made for hunting, so don’t expect them to last you for several seasons if you’re rough with them.

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Product Reviews

Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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Last spring I was contacted by Paul at Fuse to try out a new case they had for the iPhone called the Mossy Oak Rugged Orange iPhone 4/4S Shell Case. It combined my two favorite colors – hunter orange and camo – so I gave the case a try.

The case is made up of an inner soft rubber case that acts as a shock absorber and a rigid polycarbonate frame on the out side for added protection.

What I really liked about this case was the fact that it wasn’t covered in a sticky rubber like some of my other iPhone cases so it didn’t pull my pocket out of my pants every time I reached for my phone. Another nice feature is the size of the case, it’s not oversized so you still feel like you have a slim smartphone.

My only complaint about the case was that it didn’t come with a screen protector. It wasn’t hard to find a stick on screen protector online, but it would have been nice if the case included one for 360 degree protection.

This iPhone case travelled with me on scouting missions, spring turkey hunts and fall deer hunts. I really liked the phone case and never had any issues with it coming apart on me, in fact I was really impressed on how well it stayed together. One of my previous cases from another manufacturer used to come apart all the time, but the Fuse case just stayed together.

So how did the case hold up? My phone survived a few drops off of the counter top in my kitchen, it slipped out of my hand and dropped on the floor outside several times and I dropped it in the woods more times than I care to remember, but the case took the brunt of all of the hits and the phone didn’t get a scratch. Had I dropped the phone out of the tree stand it would have been a different story, I think only a fully enclosed phone case would really protect in the event of a 20 foot fall (which I’ve done with a previous case and my phone survived).

Overall this is a quality case for the iPhone. Add a clear antiglare screen protector and you’re set. If you’re looking for a stylish phone case give the Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case a try.

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Product Reviews

Bowtech Releases its First Carbon Riser Bow the Carbon Knight

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Bowtech Archery has released it’s first carbon riser bow – the Carbon Knight. Following the lead of Hoyt with the Carbon Matrix back in 2010, the new Carbon Knight from Bowtech weighs in at just 3.2 pounds (compared to 3.6 pounds for Hoyt’s Carbon Element G3).

Most manufacturers launch their new bows in the early fall (Bowtech usually launches their new bows at the ATA Show), but this one was “just too good to hold any longer,” says Samuel Coalson, Director of Marketing for Bowtech.

The Carbon Knight is said to have a smooth draw and plenty of speed at 330 feet per second. The Carbon Knight features Bowtech’s binary cam design, the Knight Riser constructed from durable carbon, a 7-inch brace height for forgiveness and a 32-inch axle-to-axle length. Draw lengths range from 26.5″ to 30.5″ and draw weights from 50 to 70 pounds in ten pound increments.

The bow is available in Black Ops and retails for $849 (Hoyt’s carbon bows are in the $1,200 range).

The new Carbon Knight definitely looks like an interesting bow and it’s a bow I’d like to try out and compare to some of the other carbon bows currently on the market. If you get a chance to shoot one leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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