Rollin Bohning founded the Bohning Company in 1946. He was a chemist working in the burgeoning auto industry, but he always nurtured a strong passion for archery.
“Well, it was post-World War II, and many people were looking for new things. At the time, Fred Bear, Howard Hill, and others were bringing archery to a new level of consciousness,” said Dale Voice, marketing director at Bohning.
Voice related that Rollin and Fred Bear eventually struck up a friendship. Fred knew that Rollin was a chemist and eventually approached him to develop a product to glue metal points to cedar arrow shafts—a problem that plagued the industry at the time. “Rollin got to work and came up with a liquid glue he called Ferr-L-Tite. Later he reformulated Ferr-L-Tite into the hot melt version we still sell today.”
Voice continued, “Ferr-L-Tite was such a success that Fred came back to Rollin and asked if he could come up with a new glue with better adhesion properties for gluing feathers to the arrows.” Fletch-Tite soon followed and became Rollin’s second successful product. Looking for the triple play, Rollin followed this with a new bow wax he dubbed Tex-Tite. “There have been a few minor changes [Fletch-Tite was tweaked to adhere better to carbon shafts] to reflect changes in the market, but all three of those original products are still in Bohning’s line 65 years after Rollin Bohning first created them,” Voice explained.
“We have always had a strong presence in the traditional market. Of course, when Rollin started the company, traditional archery was the only market,” accorded Voice. Over the next 20 years or so, paints and coatings to crest and seal arrows accounted for the majority of the changes to Bohning’s product line. “In the late 1970s we delved into making vanes and even a few bow quivers. However, it wasn’t until the mid-’80s that the decision was made that we really needed to expand into new markets. Our focus on vanes really increased at that point,” recalled Voice.
At the beginning of the century Bohning really turned the archery industry on its ear with the development of the Blazer vane. “While everyone was touting long vanes with a low profile, we went short and high. A decade or so later, I think it’s safe to say the Blazer is still the most popular vane being sold,” Voice said.
Bohning’s latest product is the Bark Shark—in fact it’s so new, it didn’t even make it into the current catalog. The Bark Shark is a device to mount a quiver to a tree without having to screw anything into the tree. “What we have found in the places we hunted was that it was very much frowned upon—if not downright outlawed—to screw anything into a tree,” Voice explained. “To circumvent this problem we created a molded plastic device with a cord that wraps around the tree to lock the Bark Shark into place. You can Rolthen mount whatever bow-mounting device you normally use for your quiver to the Bark Shark. This makes it universal to almost any manufacturer’s quiver,” Voice continued. “It’s very secure and simple to use. It also has a few extra bells and whistles, such as accessory hooks to hang your binos, calls, or other accessories.”
Another new product, which recently started shipping, is the Chameleon quiver. “The Chameleon is available in either a three- or five-arrow configuration,” Voice said. “It’s kind of revolutionary in that the user can change the camo pattern. The faceplate snaps on or off, allowing the archer to change the camo pattern from APG to Break-Up or select a high-tech-looking carbon pattern if he simply wants to go with black. The Chameleon also has an incorporated hook to hang it in your tree or on the Bark Shark.” The rubber quiver hood of the Chameleon was designed to be durable and quiet. The incorporated system secures the arrows without using a liner. “By not using a liner, we avoided the problem of anything that would potentially dull broadheads or deploy the blades on a mechanical head.” The Chameleon is offered in Lost, Mossy Oak Pink, Break-Up, Infinity, Treestand, Realtree APG, HD, Next Vista, and a black carbon-fiber pattern.
Bohning’s new Tower Jig is a complete fletching system. “The Tower Jig fletches three vanes at once and comes with three different sets of arms,” Voice said. “The options allow you to fl etch a four-inch vane with a straight orientation, a two-degree offset or up to a 2.25-inch vane with a three-degree helical. The Tower will fletch anything from a crossbow arrow to a fat shaft to a target arrow with a pin nock.” Coolflex is a new low-temperature hot melt for carbon shafts. “In the past, use too much heat and you’ll ruin the carbon,” Voice explained.
“Coolflex has a very low melting point and is heat reversible. In fact, we have had reports of guys getting water hot from the tap and soaking the arrow to the point that they could index their broadheads.”
Bohning has also expanded its line of arrow wraps. “Dealers can now call us and order custom wraps with their name or logo. We also have an HD wrap where we can print color HD. Two other new products worth mentioning are our Blazer shrink-wrap—customers can now get real Blazer vanes with a shrink-wrap application—and Limoxyl, a citrus-based cleaning agent that makes cleaning the glue residue from an arrow wrap easy. It also works great as a shaft cleaner before fletching arrows.”
For more go to www.bohning.com