What Are the Arrow Flight Problems [Reasons And Solutions]

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We all want our targets to be shot perfectly. But sometimes when the arrow does not hit the target, you can feel awful. 

To improve your arrow flight, you need to figure out the problems first.

Now, what are the arrow flight problems?

The basic and most common problems are arrow fishtailing and arrow porpoising. Arrow fishtailing is identified by a horizontal tear on a target paper. It wobbles sideways on the flight. On the contrary, an arrow porpoising is identified by a vertical tear on a target paper.

Well, now you know the basic arrow flight problems.But to overcome those problems, you need to have deep knowledge about them.

Keep reading to learn more about it!

What Do You Mean By Arrow Flight Problems?

While we all want to be very good archers, arrow flight problems hold us back. Arrow flight problems are the ones that keep your arrow from hitting its target. And also responsible for arrows going left-right. 

There can be a number of problems. But the basic ones are arrow fishtailing and arrow porpoising. 

Now, we will get into our next segment which is the most common arrow flight problem. Let us get into the discussion!

What is Arrow Fishtailing?

It means when the arrow is moving sideways on the fly. Arrow fishtailing is also called a wobbling movement. Fishtailing on the flight is a very common problem among archers. 

Arrow Fishtailing

Arrow fishtailing can be influenced by spring tension, arrow spine, and other factors. Also, fishtailing is represented by a horizontal tear on the paper. 

Furthermore, the main reasons for arrow fishtailing are given below. 


There can be a lot of reasons. But the common reason is an incorrect approach. It is in terms of releasing arrows. And, it also influences the wobbling of arrows on a flight. Some of the main reasons are 

  • Incorrect tuning. 
  • Creating excessive pressure on the strings. Pulling it with more pressure. 
  • Sometimes mistakenly assuming the wobbling of the arrow. 
  • Careless release of an arrow. 
  • Hand torque. 
  • Arrow spine match.
  • Centershot off

Now, we are going to talk about the solutions for major reasons. Such as solutions for arrow spine match, careless release, and center shot off. 

Solution 1: Matching Arrow Spine

It represents how flexible or stiff the arrow is. Simply, how much your arrow can bend.This is why it is very important for a stable and firm flight. You have to figure out a proper arrow spine. So, here are a few tips that you can use. 

  1. Lengthier arrows need a higher spine number than a short arrow. 
  2. If you are willing to go for shooting heavier points, get a high arrow spine. 
  3. Make good use of the spine selector. So that you can find the exact spine size that is fit for you. 
  4. If you want to shoot a lengthier broadhead, go for a stiffer shaft. However, in the case of a field point, go for a less stiff shaft. 
  5. If you want an accurate spine size, take the help of spine charts. 

Solution 2: Avoiding Careless Release of Arrows

You cannot identify your mistakes if you do not see them for yourself. To identify your mistakes, you can ask someone to tape your release. So that you can identify your errors. However, we can help you with a few useful tips. Thank us later!

  1.  Firstly, pull back the bowstring without excess pressure. Pull it back naturally. 
  2.  Secondly, gently release the tension from the bowstring.
  3.  Thirdly, avoid releasing the arrow quickly. 
  4.  Confirm that the brace height is accurate. 
  5.  Lastly, practice more and more. 

Solution 3: Going for Center Shot Match

The term center shot match refers to aiming the bow to hit the middle point. To elaborate, when you aim your bow in such a way so that it hits the middle point. To hit the middle point of your target, what you need is;

  • An arrow shaft that is flexible and stiff to hit the middle point. Try using arrow wraps. That will keep your arrows unique.

So, these are the reasons and solutions for arrow fishtailing. The main reasons are the arrow spine match, center shot off, and reckless release. 

Now, let us get to our next arrow flight problem. To know more and correct your mistakes, stay with us!

What is Arrow Porpoising? 

When your arrow is wobbling up and down reflecting a swimming porpoise, its arrow porpoise. In simple words, if the arrow tears vertically on a paper, it is an arrow porpoise. 

Arrow Porpoising

It changes the flight direction slightly, but it comes in the way of every archer. And, it can arise on both recurve and compound bow. 

Furthermore, the main causes for the porpoising to occur are given below. 


The main reason for porpoising is an inaccurate nocking point position. Especially when the nocking point position is too low. It changes the flight direction. To prevent this, you can use the tips given below, 


The solution is pretty simple. You’ll have to just follow the given steps.

  1. Test the direction of porpoising. 
  2. Try to shoot a few arrows first for trial. 
  3. Keep an eye on the end of the nock point. 
  4. If the arrow is high, move the nock set downward. 
  5. If the arrow is low, move the nock set upward. 

So these are the solutions and tips that you can use to fix arrow porpoising. Keeping these tips in mind while practicing will improve your skills. Also, it will make you a better and more skilled archer. 

Well, this article cannot be finished without suggesting to you the best bow set. These will work well for both beginners and skilled archers. 

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Getting these bow sets will be one of the best decisions for archery. Try these out!


Question: How often should a bow be tuned?

Answer: Tuning depends on the draw weight of the bow. But mainly it depends on the timespan, usage, and conditions usually it faces. Generally, bowstrings should be replaced after three years if properly maintained. If the bowstring is frayed or has a broken strand, it should be replaced.

Question: How to make archery groups tighter? 

Answer: You have to shoot straight. For that, you have to tune your gear. And, for this to happen, you have to make sure your arrow matches your bow.  For draw weights and arrow lengths, manufacturers provide a chart with the proper arrow spines.

Question: Can accuracy be affected by draw weight? 

Answer: Yes, it can. The spine of an arrow must be matched to the weight if it is altered. If the bow draw weight goes up, the existing arrow no longer matches the bow.


Finally, we have come to the end of this discussion. We hope now you can identify what arrow flight problems you have. Also, you can solve them with the help of the solutions given above. 

Good luck with archery and hit the bull's eye!

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