In the foregoing description, for the sake of clarity, I purposely omitted mention of the com pensating whip the feathered end of the arrow receives just following the return of the spring to tension. This throws the arrow back on its true course.
There is no known way other than by shooting, to determine whether an arrow be of good spine.
The length of an arrow is, as previously stated (in connection with bow making), fixed by the draw of the bow, the standard length for men being 28 inches, that for women 25 inches. As to weight, this is determined by what the arrow is wanted for. Thus an arrow weighing 4/6 (four shillings 6 pence in silver, English money, the avoirdupois weight of the coins; see Chapter VIII, on weighing) with a bow of 50 lbs. or over, will be found weak in the spine, consequently wobbly and useless for fine work; but the addition of 3d in weight (silver) will mean a thicker shaft and accordingly better spine. I have watched the varying moods of the best archers for over thirty years, and find to-day that the old-time 4/3 arrow has been superseded by a demand for an arrow of 4/9 to 5/— for the heavy bows, and even for the shorter ranges where the bows are lighter. Out of 168 dozen arrows made in 1925 there were 92 dozen 4/9, 69 dozen of 5/—, 7 dozen of 4/6, and not a single arrow of 4/3. All arrows of the standard 28-inch length.