The pros and cons of arrow wraps

When you just got started with archery, you probably didn’t even think about arrow wraps. You might not even know that they existed. But you may notice that a lot of archers start to use arrow wraps once they get more serious about archery.

Some archers believe that all archers should use arrow wraps while others think it’s a waste of money. Therefore, I will discuss the pros and cons of using arrow wraps. Which allows you to draw your own informed opinion about arrow wraps.

At the end of this article, I will summarize the most important reasons why you might want to consider arrow wraps.

The pros of arrow wraps

Alright, let’s first discuss some reasons why some archers use arrow wraps.

Allows you to mark which arrows are yours

The first reason why a lot of archers like to use arrow wraps is because they allow you to mark your arrows. If you are always shooting your bow in your backyard this might not make sense to you. But if you shoot at a club, it is very useful. If you ever lose an arrow, other archers can easily see whose arrow it is.

Additionally, if you shoot in competitions you need to have either your name or your initials marked on your arrow. If you have ever tried writing a name on your shafts, you will notice that it’s near impossible. Also, you are not allowed to write your name on the fletching because they can come loose when the arrow is shot.

Therefore, arrow wraps make it a whole lot easier to mark your arrows. You just write your name or initials on the arrow wraps before you stick them on. Some arrow wrap companies allow you to input your name which will be printed on the wraps.

You can also improvise your arrow wraps with a piece of paper and some scotch tape. But in my experience they aren’t secure and don’t last long.

Easier to remove all fletching

Even if you don’t need to mark your arrows, there are some benefits of using arrow wraps. One of the advantages is that you don’t glue the vanes directly to the shaft. Instead, you glue it on the arrow wrap that you placed earlier.

So, if you ever want to remove the vanes, you can simply pull the arrow wrap off. All the vanes and the fletching glue will come with it. If you don’t have arrow wraps, you need to use a knife. This can cause you to damage the arrow, therefore, it’s recommended to use a fletching tool.

Arrow wraps make repairing your fletching more difficult though, which I will explain in more detail later in the article.

Some archers don’t like to glue the vanes directly onto their expensive shafts.

Improves arrow visibility

If you shoot at short range, you can probably see perfectly where the arrow hits even without binoculars. At longer ranges that is near impossible. Therefore, a lot of archers use binoculars.

But even with binoculars, it can be very difficult to see where your arrows hit the target. Especially because the arrow is black, it can be extremely difficult to see even with high-powered binoculars. Brightly colored arrow wraps can be rather useful if you find it important to see where you have hit your target.

It makes your arrows easier to find

Arrows are often very difficult to find. Especially when you shot them under grass or deep into the woods. Since most arrows are black or wood color they blend in the environment. Therefore, some brightly colored arrow wraps can prove quite useful.

The best color to use is pink since this color is rarely found in nature. But bright yellow, orange, red, or purple are also some great options.

If you often lose arrows, I highly recommend reading the article below. In that article, I give a lot of tips on how to avoid your arrows.

9 tips to avoid losing arrows

In addition to having a brightly colored nock and vanes, a brightly colored arrow wrap can increase the visibility of the arrow.

You can customize your arrows

Most carbon and aluminum arrows look quite dull. They are basically black or silver sticks. Some archers are okay with that and don’t care about the looks of their arrows at all. Other archers like to customize their arrows and always have them in perfect shape.

There is nothing wrong with either of these two. If you like to customize your arrows, arrow wraps are a great option. Some manufacturers allow you to completely customize your arrow wraps to make sure that it fits your overall style. One archer at my local club even made arrow wraps with our club logo and colors.

The cons of arrow wraps

Although there are some clear advantages of arrow wraps, there are also some disadvantages. That is why they sometimes cause a bit of discussion in the archery community. Let’s discuss them one by one.

They are pricy

The first reason why a lot of archers don’t use arrow wraps is because they are rather pricy. If you buy some custom-made arrow wraps, you might pay anywhere from $0,50 or more per arrow wrap. And since you must often replace arrow wraps (read next con) this can make your hobby a lot more expensive.

Therefore, custom-made arrow wraps are not a good idea if you are on a tight budget. But you can of course always buy some cheap arrow wraps from Amazon. They might not allow you to fully customize your arrow, but they still allow you to easily mark your arrows and improves their visibility.

Replacing fletching is more difficult

Most experienced archers start repairing their arrows. Throwing away a full arrow just because one vane is gone is such a waste. Especially since you start to shoot with more expensive shafts, it will cost a lot of money long term.

The most vulnerable part of the arrow is the fletching because this part is flexible and glued on. Therefore, fletching often comes loose or tears. That’s why I always have some spare vanes laying around.

If you need to replace one vane, you must remove them all. You can try to cut one vane off, but you will probably cut into the arrow wrap. That won’t hurt your arrows’ performance, but it won’t look great. In most cases, when you replace one vane, you must replace them all.

They are difficult to apply

Arrow wraps are quite finicky to apply. You must apply it straight to the arrow, and you must get it right in one try. Therefore, you might need some additional arrow wraps to practice how to apply them. Applying vanes directly to the shaft is just easier and requires less work.

Later in this article, I will show you how to apply arrow wraps to your shafts.

They add weight to the arrow

Although the difference is minor. The arrow wrap will make the arrow slightly heavier. In most cases, this won’t be even noticeable. Since the arrow wrap is applied to the back of the arrow, the forward of center (FOC) also changes slightly. Therefore, the arrow will have a slightly different flight pattern than normal.

You probably won’t notice this at all. But if you are experiencing clearance issues after you attached the arrow wraps, this might cause the issue.

When to use arrow wraps

Okay let’s summarize some reason when should consider using some arrow wraps:

  • You shoot in competitions where you must mark your arrows: you can also write your name or initials directly on the shaft, but that can be very difficult.
  • You often search for arrows: if you often shoot outdoors and spend a lot of time searching your arrows, you might want to consider some arrow wraps. Brightly colored arrow wraps make your arrows easier to find, especially when shot in the grass.
  • You have troubles seeing your arrows through binoculars: off-colored wraps are easier to see when looking through binoculars
  • You like to customize your arrows: most archers take pride in their gear. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make your arrows look a bit nicer.

Where to buy arrow wraps

If you want the cheapest arrow wraps available, I would take a look at this page on Amazon. They have a lot of different designs and are a lot cheaper than those you buy from archery stores.

If you don’t mind paying a bit more for some high-quality custom arrow wraps. You might want to consider ordering from This company makes your arrow wraps to order and allows you to place your name, club name, or other text on the arrow wraps.

Additionally, you can also number your arrow wraps, which is useful if you want to identify in what order you shot the arrows. has a huge assortment of different designs and styles, therefore you will always find an arrow wrap that fits your setup.

How to apply arrow wraps

If you bought some arrow wraps the next step is to apply them to your arrow. Generally, I would only apply arrow wraps to a new set of shafts. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to remove your vanes just to add some arrow wraps. Just follow the 5 steps below to apply the arrow wraps to your arrow.

1. Clean the arrow shaft with acetone: before you apply the wraps, make sure to clean the shafts thoroughly. If the arrow wraps are greasy the arrow wraps can start to peel off. I like to use acetone to degrease the shaft, but any degreaser works. Let acetone evaporate before applying the wraps.

2. Write your name or initials on the arrow wraps: if you haven’t bought custom arrow wraps, now is the name to write your name or initials on the arrow wraps. Once the wraps are applied to the arrow, this will be extremely difficult.

3. Align the sticker on the shaft: remove the backing from the arrow wrap and place it on the table. Place the shaft horizontally above the arrow wrap and make sure that both are exactly parallel.

4. Roll the shaft over the arrow wrap: roll the shaft over the sticky arrow wrap. Keep rolling until the wrap is around the arrow. Make sure that the end of the arrow wrap is snug on the shaft.

5. Attach your fletching: you can now attach your fletching to the arrow like normal. Read this article for more information on how to assemble an arrow including gluing on the fletching.

The video below shows how to apply arrow wraps in more detail.

Final words

Generally, I don’t use arrow wraps, for the simple reason that I don’t care how my arrows look. Also, I rarely lose my arrows and currently don’t shoot competitions. Therefore, there are little to no benefits to using arrow wraps for me.

But your situation might be different. Therefore, if you have any experiences or questions you would like to share, please leave them down below. I will respond to any comment as soon as possible and I will send you an email with my reply.

Tim van Rooijen

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by archery. First due to its historic significance but later because I like being outdoors. With this blog, I share my knowledge about Archery and how you can improve your shot. More about author…

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