From track shoes to hockey pads, gear matters in virtually any type of competitive sport. Few sports, however, rely on the right gear as much as archery. The type of shaft you use has a massive impact on your speed, knockdown power, wind drag, penetration and more. Although usurped by modern carbon and aluminum shafts, fiberglass still has plenty to offer for budget-conscious archers. Choosing the type of shaft is just the tip of the iceberg -- once you've settled on a material, you still need to choose the right spine and length.
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Fiberglass is one of the toughest and most durable arrow shaft materials. Outside of loosing arrows, there's little chance that archers -- especially young archers -- will unintentionally break a fiberglass shaft. Fiberglass arrows are the heaviest type of shafts, which contributes to their strength but makes them a bit slower than other options. A heavier shaft, however, makes for deeper penetration than a lighter shaft.
Although wooden arrow shafts are also affordable, fiberglass shafts offer greater durability for a lower price. Typically, fiberglass shafts cost about half that of wooden shafts, and they offer greater uniformity and consistency. But they often sell for higher prices than aluminum shafts or roughly the same price as carbon shafts. Carbon shafts, made from tiny fiberglass fibers, are essentially the modern evolution of fiberglass shafts.
The advantages of fiberglass arrow shafts truly shine in two different arenas: youth archery and bow fishing. In fact, they commonly come in sizes suited to these two sports -- 1/4 inch for youth archery and 5/16 inch for bow fishing. In the case of youth archery, the combination of affordability and extreme durability makes fiberglass shafts ideal for beginners.
Fiberglass arrows are a bit less common than other types of shafts, so you may not find this type of arrow in certain spine and size options. Wood and aluminum shafts, on the other hand, commonly offer a wider range of options. You can, however, size fiberglass shafts to suit your preferences and arm length. For the most part, fiberglass arrows only come in black, while other shaft materials feature stains, colors, carbon weaves or patterns, such as camouflage.