Having shot an arrow through a whisker biscuit, you may have wondered if the whiskers on the biscuit will have an impact on the fletching of your arrows. You may have even heard this. I’ve seen this many times and can talk about it in depth.
Do whisker biscuits ruin fletching? You could estimate that 300 to 500 shots in the whisker biscuit will start to damage fletching on an arrow. You need high-quality vanes to keep the biscuit from eating your fletching. A few factors determine how fast whisker biscuits ruin the fletching, but they will all impact them eventually.
As I mentioned, different factors will impact how badly the whisker biscuit ruins the fletching. If you’d like to learn more about that, keep reading because we will cover the factors that impact this.
Have a Professional Tune the Whisker Biscuit
Not having the whisker biscuit tuned on your bow properly will lead to it eating the fletching of your arrows faster. In fact, I would recommend that you take your bow to an outdoor sports shop and have them tune it. You could do this yourself, but the issue is that if you mess it up, the fletching will be eaten by the biscuit faster than they would, otherwise.
Because it’s so simple to do, it doesn’t make sense not to have a professional tune the biscuit. It won’t cost that much. A lot of archery shops talk about how many people have their whisker biscuits taken into the shop for tuning. It’s very common, and it will save the fletching on your arrows.
Use a Tough Vane
The second biggest factor that determines how fast a whisker biscuit will ruin fletching is the toughness of your vanes. You must use high-quality vanes. The blazers work especially well with the whisker biscuit, and some bowhunters say to either use blazers with the whisker biscuit or don’t use it at all. Blazers will greatly reduce the amount of damage that happens to your fletching.
The Size of the Whisker Biscuit Hurts Fletching?
This could be one of the factors that will impact the arrows. The size of the whisker biscuit could hurt the fletching faster. Choosing the right size will keep the arrow balanced between the bow and the bowstring. In addition, the right size lets the arrow pass through the whiskers without interference, which would have the fletching hit the whiskers hard and damage them over time.
Expert Tip: You can fit a small arrow in a large arrow rest much easier than what you can a large arrow in a small arrow rest. When in doubt, go with the larger arrow rest or ask a friend.
You can buy the whisker biscuit in three sizes. The smallest has a 0.30-inch inside diameter. It works well for A/C/C carbon arrows. The medium-sized whisker biscuit has a size of a 0.320-inch inside diameter. This handles the 19XX or smaller arrows.
Your largest whisker biscuit has a 0.395-inch inside diameter, which holds 23XX or arrows smaller than that. You also have a bowfishing whisker biscuit with a 0.360-inch inside diameter, but it only works for unfletched arrows made for bowfishing. If you’d like to learn more about what makes bowfishing arrows special, check out this article that I wrote here.
Put the Blazers on Correctly
In some cases, blazers can be a pain, but if you glue them on right, they guard the fletching against the whisker biscuit. Keep in mind, blazer vanes are noisy when you shoot them, but they’re especially noisy with the helical on them. Blazers were designed so that they can steer a broadhead, and at the same time, they will protect your fletching from the whisker biscuit.
Continuous Shooting Wears down the Fletching
You need to understand the context of the whisker biscuit to know how to keep it from ruining the fletching on your arrows. When they first invented the whisker biscuit, two friends, who had a passion for bowhunting, invented the whisker biscuit as a way to hold the arrows over long periods. They never invented the whisker biscuit to handle continuous shooting for the arrows. That will wear down the fletching on your arrows much faster.
Perhaps you’re saying, “What about bowfishing? You shoot a lot in bowfishing.” The biggest thing here is that bowfishing arrows don’t have fletching to ruin. They’re special arrows that are much heavier and designed to penetrate the water more easily. Still, if you want to use a whisker biscuit for a bowfishing adventure, I would advise choosing the size of whisker biscuit designed for bowfishing.
You never see competition archers using whisker biscuits because it wasn’t designed for that. They made it mainly for bowhunting where you take one or two shots at a deer, and that many shots won’t have a strong impact on your arrows, especially if you tuned it right and chose the right size of whisker biscuit.
Whisker Biscuit Not the Only Arrow Rest
I’d like to highlight now how you don’t necessarily need to use a whisker biscuit if you don’t want it to hurt the fletching on your arrows. You might choose a drop-away arrow rest. If you’re curious about that, I wrote an article on the whisker biscuit versus the drop-away arrow rest here.
Which one you should choose comes down to personal preference. Some people don’t even mind if the whisker biscuit ruins their fletching as long as it doesn’t happen too quickly. You can also refletch your own arrows, which some people do and don’t see it as a big deal. It costs anywhere from $3 to $6 to refletch an arrow, so it isn’t the end of the world even if the whisker biscuit ruins the fletching as long as it doesn’t happen every 20 to 30 shots.
The whisker biscuit also has the advantage over the drop-away arrow rest in some regards. For example, the simplicity of it means that you can trust it in terms of reliability more than you could the drop away.
How Fast a Whisker Biscuit Ruins the Fletching Will Depend
You have a broad range for how fast a whisker biscuit will ruin the fletching on the arrows. It could be anywhere from just 20 to 30 shots if you choose the wrong size or don’t tune the biscuit correctly. A lot of people take their bow in to have it tuned with the biscuit on because it eliminates the issues with having it tuned. You have other people who say that they took 300 to 500 shots, and they noticed no difference in their fletching. These are the people who have the bow tuned right, they chose the right size and they put the blazers on the arrows.
Whisker Biscuits in Cold Weather
Shooting the whisker biscuit in below freezing temperature, it can freeze the whiskers and make them harder on the arrow fletching. For that reason, you may want to exercise caution when you take shots with the biscuit in cold weather. That’s not to say that you can’t shoot with it in cold weather, but you may want to keep the shots to a minimum to keep the frozen and hard whiskers from damaging your fletching. In Minnesota, we experience some of the coldest weather next to Alaska, so I’ve had to take those precautions.
It would be a big mistake to say that the whisker biscuit won’t have an impact on the fletching of your arrows sooner or later. If you keep shooting arrows a lot with the biscuit, it will eventually hurt the fletching. With that said, you can refletch arrows for between $3 to $6. It doesn’t cost that much even on the most pressing of budgets. As long as the fletching lasts for between 500 to 2,500 shots, it shouldn’t be seen as a big deal. In fact, you can learn how to refletch the arrows yourself to lower the cost even more.