How To Choose Arrows? Selecting Tips & Suggestions]




Ever since I was younger, I loved archery. My grandfather was a master of an archery club.

He introduced me to archery. One day, I went market with him to buy a set of arrows for myself. He asked me, do you know how to choose arrows? I answered no.

How To Choose Arrows

Choose Arrows

He told me that, to choose an arrow, I have to consider many factors such as arrow material, spine, length, draw length, draw weight, arrow nock, diameter, straightness, and arrow tip. You have to choose an arrow that is compatible with your specific purposes, such as hunting or target shooting.

Are interested to know more deeply? Don’t know how to choose arrows for archery?  To know the step-by-step process to choose an arrow, read this article. So, let’s dive into deep-

Key Info.

  • The perfect arrow length should be 1 to 2 inches longer than your draw length.
  • The correct arrow length influences its dynamic spine. It means how much an arrow can flex during a shot.
  • Bow type, arrow length, and game type greatly influence choosing an arrow.

What are The Characteristics Of The Best Kind Of Arrow

The length, weight, materials, straightness, spine, and nock type of the arrow determine the characteristics of the best kind of arrow. Here are the characteristics of the best kind of arrow:

Arrow Length

The arrow length is the most important. It impacts their performance. The most comfortable arrow length is between  28.5 to 31 inches. The arrow length is sufficient as long as the arrow sits comfortably beyond the arrow rest. Too long or too short an arrow length can cause serious hazards.

For example, If your draw length is 28 inches, you shouldn’t shoot 24-inch arrows. Because it would be too short.

So, you should choose the arrow length by adding 1 to 2 inches to the draw length. If the arrow length becomes compatible with your arrow, it will be the best kind of arrow for you.

Arrow Weight

The safe grain weight is 5 and 8 grains per pound. For better penetration, heavier arrows can be the best kind of ideal arrows. So, if you are wondering  how to choose arrows for compound bow? Then, arrow weight matters the most. The light arrow has a finished GPP of 5 to 6.5 grains for each pound of draw weight. A midweight arrow weighs between 6.5 and 8 grains. Heavy arrows weigh over 8 grains.

So, an arrow’s weight is crucial when selecting your type of bow, such as recurve bow, longbow, etc. Arrows which are between 6 and 8 grains for each pound of draw weight are suitable for recurve bow. Don’t forget to use above 5 lb of draw weight, because it can damage your bow.


You know that the arrow is made of different materials, such as carbon, aluminum, wood, and fiberglass. Some shafts are made from aluminum, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, or a combination of materials. Such shafts are typically made from an aluminum core wrapped with a carbon fiber outer.

But, which type of material offers the best arrow, right? I always suggest carbon arrows because of their lightweight and durability. Their lightweight carbon shafts offer more speed and accuracy than other arrows.


The best kind of arrow should be straight enough. A straight arrow ensures consistent flight and accuracy. Straightness plays a crucial role in archery performance.

If your arrow is straight, it helps to fly the arrow with more accuracy, especially at longer distances. On the other hand, a bent arrow leads to poor grouping. As a result, it leads to inconsistent arrow flight and erratic flight of the arrow.

Arrow Spine

The arrow spine refers to its stiffness and flexibility. In archery, 300-spine arrows are the stiffest arrows. However, manufacturers recommend which spine should work best for various draw weights. 

Arrows that are too stiff or too flexible may not fly correctly. Typically, the higher the number, the weaker the spine. Common spine ratings are 300, 400, 500, and 600, with 300-spine arrows being the stiffest. For a 60-pound bow, a 400 to 500 spine is suggested to use.

Now, the question is: how to choose arrow spine? To choose an arrow spine, you just need to know your arrow length, broadhead weight, and bow weight.

For example, if your arrow length is 29 inches, your point weight is 125 grains, and 50 lb recurve bow, then the suitable arrow spine for your arrow is 340.

Arrow Nock Type

A slotted plastic tip located on the rear end of the arrow snaps onto the string and holds the arrow in position. There is a certain point on the bowstring called the nocking point. There are different types of nocks, including pin nocks, throat nocks, and push-in nocks.

Different types of nock are compatible with different shooting styles. If you want to go for competition shooting, pin nock will provide you with the best work. If the nock type matches your specific needs, then it will be the best for you.

How Does Arrow Length Affect Performance?

Arrow length plays an important role in shot accuracy and performance in archery. Here’s how arrow length can impact performance:

How Does Arrow Length Affect Performance
  • The arrow length influences its dynamic spine. It means how much an arrow can flex during a shot. An arrow with too long or too short length for a specific bow’s draw length can lead to an erratic arrow in flight. 
  • Longer arrows can achieve a slower speed than shorter ones. However, the draw length and draw weight of the bow also play a role in arrow speed.
  • The arrow length should be correct for a stable and accurate shot. Too long or too short an arrow can lead to instability during flight, resulting in an inaccurate shot.
  • Arrow length also decides the penetration capabilities of an arrow. Shorter arrows can produce less momentum, which leads to less penetration than longer arrows.
  • Due to the increase in air resistance, a longer arrow can create more noise during flight. On the other hand, shorter arrows may produce less noise.
  • To avoid making contact, arrows must have sufficient clearance from the bowstring during the shot. Too short arrows could interfere and cause issues if they don’t clear the bowstring completely.

Things That Influence The Choice Arrow

The choice of an arrow is influenced by different types of things or factors. Here are some key things that influence the choice of arrow:

Bow TypeThere are different types of bows. These are recurve bow, compound bow, longbow, and traditional bow. 
Each bow has varying draw weights, draw lengths, and draw weights. So, Arrows need to match the bow’s specifications for maximum performance. 
Draw lengthDraw length is the distance from the bowstring at the full draw to the grip of the bow. 
The arrow length of your bow should correspond to your arrow length.
Draw WeightDraw weight is the force required to draw the bow to an anchor position. 
The higher the draw weight, the more energy is stored in the bow. It causes faster the arrow to travel.
Game-typeArrows used for target shooting style differ from hunting. 
For example, Broadhead arrows are commonly used for hunting. Field points and Judo points are great for target shooting. 
Arrow MaterialsDifferent types of arrows are made of different types of materials. Each material has its own set of characteristics. That can influence the choice of an arrow.
Carbon arrows are lightweight and provide more accuracy and durability. 
Aluminum is available with various options. Fiberglass arrows are cost-effective.
Arrow WeightHunters always prefer a higher arrow grain weight for deeper penetration. A heavier arrow may provide less speed and accuracy.
So, the arrow weight influence greatly your arrow speed and accuracy.
Arrow PenetrationArrow diameter for hunting is .246 micrometers. The diameter can affect penetration and the wound channel created upon impact.

What Might Happen If An Arrow Is Too Short For The Bow?

  • A shorter arrow may not stabilize properly during flight. 
  • It can not reach the bow’s rest or arrow shelf, causing the bowstring to hit the riser directly.
  • It has less surface area to contact with the bowstring. Resulting in the energy transfer from the bow to the arrow. Reduced energy means lower arrow speed.
  • A shorter arrow can cause hand shock due to the abrupt stop of the string. 
  • A shorter arrow can not flex correctly during the shot.
  • It helps to create more noise upon release. 
What Might Happen If An Arrow Is Too Short For The Bow

How To Choose Arrows? [Step By Step]

Wanna know how to choose arrows for beginners? The arrow material, arrow spine, arrow length, draw length, draw weight, arrow nock, and diameter play a crucial role in choosing an arrow. Here are the basic steps to choose arrows:

How To Choose Arrows.

Step 1: Determine Arrow Material

Different types of arrow materials like wood, aluminum, or fiberglass exist. Each materials have its own set of characteristics. So, how to choose arrows for recurve bow?

Wooden arrows are the oldest and most preferred by traditional archers and are usually used with a recurve bow. If you are a beginner fiberglass will be best for you because these are the cheapest arrows that you will find and are usually shot with low-power bows or even toys.

Aluminum arrows are a great value for their available option, cheap price tag, and performance.

Carbon arrows are lightweight and durable. These are commonly used with a compound bow. So, choose one of them as your personal preference.

Step 2: Select The Right Arrow Spine & Arrow Length

The arrow spine and length greatly influence to choice of an arrow. These depend on the bow from which the arrow is being shot. 

You should choose the arrow length by adding 1 to 2 inches to the draw length.

The draw length for a 28” arrow should be 29 to 30 inches.

Then by using an arrow selection chart, you have to find the proper arrow spine and arrow length of your bow.

Step 3: Select The Desired Shaft Pattern

The three most popular patterns for carbon arrow shafts are wood grain, camouflage, and black. 

For the most part, there are similar options for aluminum arrow shafts. Arrow shafts made of wood come in a variety of stain colors and accent colors, such as cresting and/or a crown dip.

Step 4: Determine Draw length

Draw length is the distance from the bowstring at the full draw to the grip of the bow. To determine your proper draw length, stand upright, and spread your arms out to the side. 

Then help someone measure your wingspan between the fingertips of your middle fingers. Then, divide that measurement by 2.5. Your wingspan typically is the same as your height in inches; So your height in inches minus 15 and then divided by 2.5 will be your draw length.

Step 5: Determine Draw Weight:

The draw weight is determined by combining the bow’s limbs and the bowstring. A bow’s draw weight is a measurement used to determine how much force is required to draw your specific type of archery bow

This measurement is taken in pounds. So, a bow with a 70-pound draw weight takes 70 pounds of force to completely draw back. For example, you have a 40-pound recurve bow. This means the draw weight will be 40 pounds when pulled back to 28 inches.

Step 6: Select A Proper Arrow Nock

The nock is the component that is attached to the bowstring. There are different types of nocks, including pin nocks, throat nocks, and push-in nocks. The nock of an arrow is made of plastic vanes and serves as the attachment point to place an arrow on a bowstring. 

Snap-on nocks lightly snap onto or grasp the bowstring to prevent unintentional separation of the arrow from the bowstring. So, based on your shooting style, choose a nock for your arrow. For example, field points are great for target shooting whereas broadhead is usually used for hunting.

Step 7: Consider Arrow Diameter

Take into account the arrow diameter, as this can impact penetration and wind drift resistance. So, how to choose arrows for hunting? Arrow diameter for hunting is .246 micrometers. The diameter can affect penetration and the wound channel created upon impact.

The most common diameter for target archery and hunting will fall between 5/16 inch and 9/32 inch. The diameter can vary depending on the type of arrow and its use.  The standard diameter for target archery is 6.5MM, the Micro Diameter is 5MM, and the reduced diameter is 6MM.

Step 8: Test & Adjust 

Once you’ve selected the perfect arrows, it’s essential to test them. Pay attention to factors like accuracy and consistency. If needed, make adjustments to your arrow setup.

Tips To Select The Right Arrow 

Selecting the right arrow is crucial for optimal performance in archery. Here are some tips to select the right arrow for you: 

Arrow Components

To choose the right arrow, it is important to understand the components that make up an arrow. 

  • Arrow shaft: The shaft is the main body of an arrow and is made of wood, carbon, or aluminum. The weight, stiffness, and diameter of the shaft can affect the performance of an arrow.
  • Arrowhead: The arrowhead is the part that hits the target. Various types of arrow tips come in various shapes and sizes and can be made of steel or aluminum. So, what determines the choice of arrow point? So, if you are a bowhunter, choose a blade-type arrow tip. If you are a competition shooter, select the tips for best accuracy and speed such as target point, field point, etc.
  • Fletching: The part of the arrow that stabilizes its flight. Feathers and vanes types of fletching arrows are available, and choose one of them according to your personal preferences.
  • Nock: The small piece that attaches the arrow to the bowstring is known as nock. Nocks can be of various shapes and sizes.


For the right arrow, consider some factors when selecting arrow materials:

  • Weight: Arrow weight affects speed, penetration, and trajectory. It greatly affects the uses of arrows, such as for hunting or target shooting.
  • Stiffness:  Stiffer arrows will flex less and provide more consistent flight. On the other hand, a more flexible arrow may be more forgiving of form errors.

Arrow Length and Weight

Choosing the right arrow length and weight is important for optimal performance and accuracy. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Draw length: The arrow length should correspond to your draw length. Draw length is the distance from the bowstring at the full draw to the grip of the bow. The arrow length of your bow should correspond to your arrow length
  • Bow weight: A stiffer and heavier arrow goes with a heavier bow, and lighter bows go with lighter arrows and more flexible arrows.
  • Arrow spine: The arrow spine refers to its stiffness. Choosing the right arrow spine is important for proper flexing during release and flight.

By considering all these factors you can select a right arrow. Which enhances accuracy, speed, and overall shooting style.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What Makes An Arrow Accurate?

Arrow accuracy is influenced by proper arrow length, spine alignment, and fletching configuration. Arrow length, point weight, spine weight, inner diameter, and nock size are all key factors to consider when choosing arrows to use with an archery bow.

Which Arrow Length Should I Choose?

A general rule of thumb,  your arrow should be  1″ – 2″ longer than your draw length.

What Is The Best Arrow Type?

Carbon arrows are probably the all-around best choice for the bow. These can be used for practice target shooting, competitions or even hunting. Carbon arrows are tend to more accurate, and durable.

Final Thoughts

The arrow is the most crucial part of archery. A right arrow can lead to more accuracy and consistency during the flight of the arrow. On the other hand, a wrong arrow can lead to erratic flight of the arrow and harm to you. Hopefully, the above discussion was helpful for you, and you have got a clear vision of how to choose arrows and that’s all for today!

Bob Magic

Written by

Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

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