Category B - Bowhunters who
have shown Excellence in the Design and Manufacturing of Archery Equipment
“Behind the successful use of aluminum shafts, there must be
cements and finishes for making the arrow.
Like the saying goes, “For the lack of a horse shoe nail, the battle was lost” ,
… we provide the nails.”
Rollin A. Bohning
The modern arrow that we know today is comprised of 4 parts. A shaft, a point or broadhead,
fletching and the glue that holds them all together. Rollin Bohning is solely responsible for the adesives
that brought these 4 parts together, forming what we know as the modern arrow.
Archery was a very small industry in the late 1940’s. The nucleus of this fledgling industry was
Chuck Saunders, Earl Hoyt, Fred Bear, Doug Easton and Rollin Bohning.
Archery had always been a passion for Rollin. As a boy, his outdoor skills were honed in the Boy
Scouts, where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He eventually brought his love of the outdoors and his
passion for Archery together and taught archery to his fellow Boy Scouts. These passions set the course
of Rollin Bohnings’ life.
A chemical engineer by profession and a bowhunter by avocation, Rollin A. Bohning founded
The Bohning Company, Ltd., in Detroit Michigan, in 1946. While making a set of hunting arrows for the
upcoming deer season in Michigan, Rollin could find no cement suitable to hold a broadhead on to his
arrows. Rollin began using an adhesive he originally developed for the auto industry to attach his metal
points on to wood shafts. He called the arrow point adhesive Ferr-L-Tite. Under the name, R.A. Bohning
Adhesive Company, he set out to solve the problems common to all archers. Before Rollins’ adhesive
was introduced to archery, archers used everything from hide glues to a paste made from flour and water
to keep points on, and in most cases, they would pin them on besides gluing them.
In 1948 another archery industry standard was introduced and another problem solved when
Doug Easton, a close friend of Rollins’, asked if Bohning could develop a fletching adhesive that would
work with aluminum shafts. Fletch-Tite fletching adhesive was born. This helped Doug Easton realize
his dream of making aluminum shafts the first choice of the worlds archers. Rollin was always happy to
help fellow archers, who he viewed as extended family members.
Rollin, never the type to rest on his accomplishments, was in the process of improving on the
beeswax used to waterproof the then new Dacron bowstrings. Beeswax had been the standard used with
linen strings, but beeswax just flaked off the new man made string material. Rollins’ answer was to mix
beeswax with other waxes and oils to form a stickier compound we now know as Tex-Tite, another
industry standard and another problem solved for archers everywhere.
In 1952, Rollin left the auto industry to fully devote his time to his young archery company, the
R.A. Bohning Adhesive Company. His first factory was the basement of his Lake City Michigan
farmhouse. Here he developed products like, hot melt Ferr-L-Tite, a safer version of his original liquid
Ferr-L-Tite and Dri-Tite, a water-proofing compound for feathers.
In the late 1950’s Easton found that aluminum oxidizes and they had to come up with a coating
that would seal their aluminum shafts. The answer was a hard-coating of nickel acetate that produced a
nice clean, aluminum color. The surface of these shafts were so slick, paints would not adhere to them.
At that time people either made their own arrows or they were made by a local arrow maker. It seemed
that everyone shot crested arrows and most had their own personal crest. Rollin again went to work
developing a lacquer that would rely on adhesion through electro-chemical bond, instead of the
traditional mechanical bond. The first step was to reformulate Fletch-Tite, making sure it would adhere to
the new anodized shafts. This provided a base to make a new lacquer, and in 1958 Fletch-Lac finishes
were born. One more industry standard and yet another problem solved for archery.
In the early 70’s, Rollin decided to semi-retire, but like any true pioneer, his creative intellect
constantly lead him to new areas of discovery. He introduced the feeding of yeast with ascorbic acid
(vitamin C) to decrease the time required for bread to raise. He innovated a more efficient way to thread
looms. He perfected the raising of Orchids from seed. But he was just getting started.
1 9 0 8 - 1 9 9 1In his retirement, he developed a high-lysine corn that could be grown in the drought stricken
areas of Africa, in an effort to help eliminate world hunger. Using his knowledge of chemistry and health
sciences, he also developed a non-medical dietary method to control diabetes. The Mayo clinic of
Rochester, Minnesota uses his dietary method in place of painful and costly injections.
Rollin A. Bohnings’ memory continues to inspire young scientists today in the form of a
scholarship that bears his name. Established in 1992, this scholarship has helped 11 young men and
women in their educational pursuits.
As was his way, once he solved a problem, perfected or improved something, Rollin published
his findings in the appropriate journals and moved quickly to his next exciting challenge.
Rollin exemplified honesty, integrity, dedication and concern for his fellow man.
Each time an archer attaches a nock, feather, vane or point to an arrow shaft, it is largely due to
the research and development efforts of Rollin Bohning. Rollin was an archery industry pioneer, a credit
to humanity and an inspiration to us all.
Rollin Bohning and his adhesives are the “glue” that held the modern arrow and thus, the archery
industry together in the early days. Of the 3 individuals responsible for the modern arrow, Rollin
Bohning is the only name absent alongside his friends and fellow archers in the Archery Hall Of Fame.
List Of Accomplishments
• In 1946 developed Ferr-L-Tite
• In 1948 developed Tex-Tite
• In 1948 developed Fletch-Tite
• In 1952 developed Dry-Tite
• In the late 1950’s developed Fletch-Lac Finishes
• During retirement, developed a process to decrease the time
required for bread to raise.
• During retirement, developed a dietary method of treating diabetes.
• During retirement, developed a high-lysine corn, able to grow in arid conditions
to combat world hunger.
• During retirement, developed a more efficient way to thread looms.