A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a post over at The Will to Hunt that mentioned Norway Industries was giving away from samples of their new Zeon Fusion Vanes. Even though I wasn’t interested in changing my arrow setup, it is hard to turn down an offer to try out some new gear for free.
I was surprised when the vanes showed up just a few days after filling out the request. Honestly, my first impression of the vanes were that they were a bit cheesy. I didn’t really think the semi-translucent color would be beneficial, and I didn’t see how the vanes would help visualize arrow flight. However, I really liked the stiffness of the vanes, as well as their shape with the shield-cut on the rear. My initial plan was to toss them into the archery box, and get to them someday. However, curiosity got the best of me and I used the vanes to fletch up three arrows. I chose to mock up some Gold Tip XT Hunters with the Zeon Fusions, and forgoing field points I opted to get straight to the point (horrible pun, unintended) and shoot G5 Montec CS Broadheads. In the end, I don’t really care how an arrow performs with a field point, or a mechanical broadhead. I shoot fixed-blade heads exclusively, and I won’t use any vane that won’t stabilize and steer them well.
In the past I had tried smaller vanes (such as Blazers), and I found that a 4″ VaneTec or Duravane performed much better in my setup. I was skeptical of how the 2.1″ Zeon Fusion would perform, but as it turns out, I was in for a surprise. My first set of arrows flew like darts. I continued to shoot that evening, not focusing on the most advertised feature of the Zeon Fusion, its brightness, but instead focusing on how well the vane would perform in terms of consistency and accuracy. I must say the Fusion performed extremely well, and comparing it with my other arrow setups, it was just as accurate.
My shooting proved that the Zeon Fusion was just as accurate as my other arrow setups, but how about its most marketed feature, brightness? The Zeon Fusion is marketed as being an alternative to lighted nocks. Lighted nocks do have disadvantages, they are heavy (which can throw off FOC), they are illegal in some states, they can be unreliable or inconsistent, and they are not legal equipment to enter a harvest into the Pope & Young books. The Zeon Fusion looks to meet the main advantages of a lighted nock, without the drawbacks that come with using one – by using a Zeon Fusion your FOC will not change, they are legal in all states, and they are P&Y legal as well.
All of that is well and good, but none of it really appealed to me. I have never really been interested in using a lighted nock, so I wasn’t interested in an alternative to them either. That said, the more I thought about why I didn’t use a lighted nock, the more I realized that it wasn’t because I didn’t want better arrow visualization, it was because I didn’t want the hassle that came with them. What if I could get improved arrow visualization with none of the drawbacks?
So, let me answer the big question…Are the Zeon Fusion Vanes bright? Yes, absolutely. Do they replace a lighted nock? No, not really.
The Fusions are bright. When comparing them against my “regular” vanes you could definitely visualize arrow flight much easier, and you could also pick up the arrow in the target easier, especially at longer (40+ yards) distances. Even though I didn’t think the brightness feature would appeal to me, I really grew to appreciate it. Now when I shoot either of my regular vanes, I find myself struggling to see the arrow flight. That said, if you are someone who shoots lighted nocks and you are expecting the Zeon Fusion to compare, you will likely be somewhat disappointed. The way the Zeon Fusion works is very similar to how a fiber optic sight works. The vane collects light throughout its surface, and channels that light to the rear of the vane, making the vane appear to glow. The major drawback in this method is that there has to be light in the atmosphere for the vane to collect and reflect. The great thing about a lighted nock is that it is its own light source, whereas the Zeon Fusion vanes are dependent upon an outside light source, namely the sun.
What Do I Like?
- Stiffness & Durability – They are standing up to a Whicker Biscuit very well.
- Ribbed Design – I think these help with reinforcement, but I also think they improve flight dynamics.
- Easy To Fletch – Using my Bitzenburger, getting a helical was easy, and adhesion was superb.
- Flight Visualization – The brightness of these vanes isn’t a gimmick. They do help visualize arrow flight.
- Accurate – They are very consistent and accurate, even shooting fixed-blade heads with a 70lb draw.
What Would I Change?
Not much really. But, that isn’t to say they are perfect. When viewing the vanes from the side (such as in the photos below), I almost think that “regular” vanes would be easier to find when you arrow in on the ground, and potentially in brush or leaves.
Will I Switch?
I don’t think I will be selling off all of my other vanes, but I will be picking up more Zeon Fusions. If continued shooting shows the durability, accuracy, and brightness that my initial tests have, then I will be transitioning over to the Zeon Fusions.
The Zeon Fusions currently come in four colors: Pink, Green, Orange, & Yellow. You can see the pink vanes in the first image of this post; the other colors are featured below, next to the sibling color from other manufacturers.