Q: I am looking to buy some new arrows, but my length and draw weight combination has me right between 450s and 500s on the charts. Which spine should I go for?
A: In my experience, it’s always a better idea to go with the stiffer option. Arrows that are slightly too stiff for the bow tend to perform reasonably well, but on the other hand, arrows that are even just slightly weak will perform badly. Weak arrows tend to give you a number of issues with left and rights, and will be almost impossible to get good arrow flight with.
I shoot a 400 spine arrow, and I recently tested sets of 350s and 450s. The 350s performed reasonably well – though the core group was not quite as tight as it was when I shot the 400s, they still shot well enough. On the other hand, the 450s were much more erratic; the central group was quite good, but my bad shots went much further away than a bad shot with a 350. A poor shot with a 400 spine arrow may just clip the 10 or be a solid 9, but the 450s really increased the number of 8s I had in a round. A weak arrow just seems to lack the forgiveness of an arrow that is slightly stiffer, and this is even more apparent at shorter distances like 50m.