Seven of The Best Gold Tip Arrows
We're big fans of Gold Tip. There are a lot of players in the game—Easton, Carbon Express, Bohning, and so on—and they all make some pretty terrific arrows, but Gold Tip has a couple of models that really set the high-water mark.
So here are, in our opinion, a few of the best Gold Tip arrows that stand out from the crowd, why we think they're great, and a tip about an extra piece of gear you may want to think about if you want to switch things up a bit.
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 known to have the straightest arrows—but that's still pretty darn straight, 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 between models.
These puppies come in a range of spines, usually from 300 to 340 to 400 to 500. 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—that's a pretty serious bow!
I've found these to be durable arrows, and I've had some that have lasted a long time. The vanes on these arrows are 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 another great 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 too much. These are actually manufactured 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 in the 40-pound range. So, good on Gold Tip for figuring that out.
These are also manufactured 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 made. 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 hunt and the straightness of your arrows, lay those fears to rest, because that's one incredibly straight arrow.
The other aspect of these I like are the Raptor Vanes. At 2 inches, they're just long enough to provide some flight stability, but they're not so long that they'll 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.
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 idea 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-vaned 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—there's one item you may want to look into: Gold Tip Arrow Adhesive. Many archers choose to fletch their own arrows, and to do that, you need a very reliable glue. We've found this to be 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!