Traditional wooden shafts are made from well-seasoned timber with a straight grain and size. Batch uniformity and stiffness are more important for arrow making.
Good quality wooden shafts are produced by timber mills from Port Orford cedar milled to 0.31 and.34 inches in diameter.
The wooden shafts are sorted into their stiffness or spines by the archery dealers and then sold.
Target arrows are usually aluminium tubes, carbon fibre or composites, some with parallel shafts and some with barrelled shafts.
Hunting arrows are generally heavy shafts with broad heads and long fletchings.
Flight arrows tend to be short and very- light with small fletchings of aluminium foil or even razor blades; they are often barrelled or chested, tapering to both pile and nock.
Another type of shaft is the bobtail, which is large at the nock and tapers down to the pile gaining high stiffness with the minimum arrow weight.