I've used 11/32" Sitka spruce for several batches of specialty arrows. They are considerably lighter than POC, but seem to fly about the same. 3Rivers claims spruce is "stronger" than POC, but they don't explain this--less bendable, or harder to break? Spruce has a much more prominent grain, and will take more sanding to get it smooth. The grain opens back up with water-based sealants like Minwax Polycrylic. Always use polyurethane if you want a smooth shaft. Spruce costs more. While spruce has its uses, I still prefer POC.
And by the way, I've also tried ash, hickory, oak, pine, birch and poplar (or asp as the English called it). Ash is great, but heavy and my arrows sank after 20 yards. Pine is o.k., and I used it for bolts. I wouldn't buy the others again, except for making A&S arrows. POC is still the best choice.
And speaking of POC, I just obtained some Rose City/Acme shafts for the first time in several years. Like the current shafts from 3Rivers, they are bleeding pitch. Rose City always made a big thing about their shafts coming from sinker logs salvaged off the bottom of old mill pond, and being well seasoned. I don't know if this was a fluke, or if Rose City has run out of sinkers. I rate the quality the same as 3Rivers (could they be the same?), good, but not great.
Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge
Read "The Tale of Mungo Napier":
] On Behalf Of tomjulessca
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:59 AM
Subject: [SCA-Archery] Spruce vs. POC
I am looking to purchase 25-30 spine shafts. Does anyone have information, or opinion, on relative merits (weight, durability, grain straightness, ease to straighten) between cedar and spruce? Thanks.