Seven of The Best Gold Tip Arrows
Gold Tip is widely known as *the* company for premier hunting arrows. There are a lot of players in the game—Easton, Carbon Express, Bohning, and so on—and all those companies have some pretty terrific products. But there are a lot of people who say that Gold Tip is the high-water mark when it comes to arrows.
That quality may come at a price—Gold Tip arrows may set you back some—but it's very rare that you hear a bad word said about one of their products. Here are a few of the best Gold Tip arrows that stand out, along with an extra piece of gear you may want to think about.
Hunter XT Arrows
The Hunter XT Arrows have a straightness tolerance of +/- .003 of an inch, and that's pretty darn good. It's not as good as Carbon Express—they're usually know to have the straightest arrows—but that's pretty darn good, and in my humble opinion, once you get to a straightness tolerance of +/- .006 (which most hunting arrows are), there's really not THAT much difference. That degree of straightness still puts you in the upper echelon of bow hunters throughout history.
These puppies come in a range of spines, usually from 300 to 340 to 400 to 500. You can determine which spine is right for you by looking at the following two charts—one for compound bows with IBO speed rating between 290-315 FPS, and one for compound bows with IBO speed rating between 315-350 FPS.
Gold Tips are for use with bows with draw weights ranging from 35 pounds all the way up to an unbelievable 100 pounds, which is rare. Most arrow manufacturers don't produce an arrow for bows with draw weights that high, and that's another aspect of Gold Tips that makes them stand out. By the way, if you're using a 100-pound bow, you are an absolute monster.
These are durable arrows that can last a very, very long time. The vanes on these arrows is a little tougher than on some other models, and that's a fantastic feature, as vanes usually the first thing to go when you use the same arrow over and over again.
Here's the last thing about the Hunter XTs—the version I just discussed comes pre-fletched with Raptor Vanes. You can also buy them "bare." Hunter XT Arrow Shafts are a dozen shaft-only arrows that allow you to dress them up any way you see fit. It always seems to me that the longer you're an archer, the more you like to do things your way—if that's you, then bare shafts may be the way to go!
Gold Tip Velocity
The Velocity Arrows are a more-affordable, but just as popular, option. The straightness tolerance on these is a little less than the Hunter XTs—+/- .006 vs. +/- .003—but again, in the grand scheme of things, that may not matter to much. These are actually available in a broader range of spine—300 on the low end, to 340, 400, 500, and all the way up to 600—so these may be a great option if you have a lower-poundage bow, as the 600 spines are for use with bows with a draw weight of 30 to 54 pounds. That's a nice option—very often, arrow manufacturers don't offer much to users of lower-pound bows, and that's a shame, because there are a lot of hunters out there using lower-pound bows! So, good on Gold Tip for figuring that out.
These are also available in a "shaft only" variety—the Velocity Shafts are bare as a newborn babe, and you can dress them up any way you like (although if I remember correctly, they do usually come with nocks and inserts).
There are many archers who think that Hunter PRO Arrows are the best Gold Tips available. They have an incredible straightness tolerance of +/- .001 of an inch, which, as I've written elsewhere, is a marvel of modern manufacturing. That's incredible. If you're worried about heading out on the hunting and the straightness of your arrows, lay those fears to rest, because that's one straight arrow.
The other aspect of these I like are the Raptor Vanes. At 2 inches, they're just long enough to provide flight stability, but they're not so long that they're produce unnecessary drag. There's a trend toward using larger vanes and increased drag at the back of arrows, so I'm glad that these have retained their smaller vanes.
My only gripe about these is that they're usually available in packs of six, and I'd love it if there were available in packs of 12. But that's not the end of the world. These are accurate, and DURABLE—it's not uncommon for these to last through months of target shooting and into hunting season. YMMV—your mileage may vary—but these are made to be durable, which is a fantastic thing for carbon arrows.
Last but not least:
Gold Tip Traditional Arrows
For all you longbow archers and traditionalists out there, the Traditional Arrows with 4-Inch Feathers are a sturdy, and gorgeous option. They're made out of carbon, but they look like wood. That may irk some traditionalists, but I bet there are some traditionalists who might like the of "an arrow in disguise"!
These sacrifice some straightness tolerance—they're +/- .006 of an inch—but that's still within the confines of a very straight arrow. They've got four-inch feathers, as opposed to the 2-inch feathers that most other GT arrows use, and that's fine—they're gorgeous feathers, which makes them a great fit for recurve bows (as most recurve bows don't perform well when the archer uses plastic arrows).
These are a great offering from Gold Tip, in my opinion—a lot of the wooden arrows you get are, for lack of a better term, "meh," so these are a nice option.
There's one last thing I want to mention:
Valkyrie Four-Fletch Arrows
I haven't tried the Valkyrie Four-Fletch Arrows yet—they're fairly new, and came out in early 2017—but I'm very curious about them. Most arrows—in fact, all arrows that I've ever seen—are fletched with three vanes: an index vane of one color and two vanes of another color. The Gold Tip Valkyries have four vanes, at 90 degrees of each other. This is a radical departure from the way that arrows are usually made.
I'm not sure what the fourth fletching will do, but I imagine it'll allow for quicker stabilization of the arrow upon release, which would be an advantage in close-range hunting situations? I'm not sure if that'll be a true advantage, given the extra drag a fourth vane would create—because the larger the fletching at the back of the arrow, the more resistance it experiences and the slower it goes and the less likely it is to penetrate game fully.
But what do I know? Gold Tip are the ones who spend all that money on R&D. I'll be curious to see what people say about it.
If You're Buying Shafts...
Above, I wrote about how the Hunter XTs, the Hunter PROs, and the Velocity arrows all have "shaft only" versions you can buy. If you decide to go that route—and many hunters and archers do, so you should definitely give it a shot—there's one item you should look into: Gold Tip Arrow Adhesive. Many archers choose to fletch their own arrows, and to do that, you need a very reliable glue. This is much, much stronger than regular super glue, and it dries VERY quickly. You can use it with inserts and fletchings. It's not perfect, but it's very strong.
Before You Go...
There's one last thing you should know about Gold Tip: they have a FANTASTIC YouTube page, where they include a bunch of videos called Gold Tip Arrow University. It's a truly helpful bunch of videos, that include instruction on how to:
- Read an arrow selection chart;
- Choose an effective arrow for hunting;
- Select the best arrow for 3D target shooting;
- Install the various component pieces that make up an arrow.
That video about reading an arrow selecting chart is particularly helpful. For newbies, it's a really, really difficult thing to learn about selecting arrows. After all, there's a lot that goes into it—measuring your draw length, getting the spine right, choosing an insert that weighs the right amount, and so on. It's easy if you've done it a few times, but it's baffling if it's your first time. These videos are a great intro, and I'm not sure why other companies (looking at you, Easton!) don't have something similar.
Tying it Together
Thanks for reading. Gold Tips are fantastic arrows, and there are plenty of folks who use them once and become "lifers." If that's you, or if you have any questions, leave a comment below. Happy Shooting!