Re: peacock herl streamer
Sounds like one of two things may be happening here, or maybe BOTH.
1) this herl may be old and dry (brittle) from being in too dry an environment or exposed to high heat or sunlight
2) you may be using too fine a thread or wrapping too tight on your initial "capture" wraps when tying it in
If the herl is old or dry, not much you can do except maybe try stripping it and using the base for quill bodied flies. You can revitalize these by soaking them in a mixture of glycerine and water (see the other thread about "quills")
As for the tying issue, if you're using an 8/0 thread or gel spun and bearing down HARD on it when you're tying in the herl, it could compromise the quills. If your thread is like Flymaster and you can counter spin the bobbin to "flatten" the thread as you tie in herl, or if you take two loose turns, THEN take tighter turns over the top, you'll still lock the herl in well, but won't cut through it.