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Old 07-29-2012, 07:57 AM
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Default How do you hackle your buggers?

Traditionally I've alwaystied my hackles in on the back of my bugggers and wrapped forward. However, some of the recent tutorials I've looked at show hackles being tied in at the front and secured in th back with copper wire. My question is: does this technique really hold the hackle in place? It would seem to me that only securing with a copper wire would let the hackle come loose if a big fish got his teeth in there. Thoughts??
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: How do you hackle your buggers?

I've been tying buggers since the early 70's. I've also always tied the hackle in at the rear, by the tip first & wrapped forward. Never tried the other method. I've read posts by others who say the wire method works, so I guess you have to go with what you feel is best for you.

When I first started tying buggers, I did get some broken hackles upon use, which could have been lack of experience with the pattern. I now add copper wire or a mono rib counter wrapped over the hackle and have been doing so for many years. I'll use mono when I don't want to add extra weight. Both wire & mono have worked fine for me as I hardly ever have a problem with the palmered hackle coming loose, even if there is a break. Plus, I tie a lot of big buggers, on up to 2/0 size worm hooks for bass, which can get some extra abuse that you might not get with smaller sizes.

Again, I've read posts by others who say they do not use a rib over the hackle, tying in at the rear & wrapping forward and have no problems with broken hackles as the stem is down in the body material enough to prevent such breakage.

Any time you add a rib, whether wrapping hackle from the rear forward, or from the front to the rear, you'll add an extra tying step, so IMO, there should not be much difference time wise. Once you get used to tying a specific way, the time it takes becomes less of a factor anyway. If you add a rib, as long as you wrap it tight & secure it, either way should hold the hackle just fine. Either way, there is always the possibility of a fish getting a tooth in there & causing damage. It happens sometimes.

Therefore, whatever method you wish to use should be fine, and would just be a matter of personal preference. For me, I like the way mine turn out & have few issues with durability, so I'll keep doing what I do.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: How do you hackle your buggers?

I do both. It works but wrap the wire the opposite way you wrap the hackle. That way the hackle isn't only held in at one point but at multiple points up the body of the fly.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: How do you hackle your buggers?

I'm with bigjim, I start my hackle in the tail, tip first. Then wrap to the eye. Sometimes I add wire, sometimes a wrap of flashibou/krystal flash, etc. I never tried wrapping from the head back because I've always been pleased doing it as I am. Plus the hackles taper larger at the head to smaller at the bend of the hook.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: How do you hackle your buggers?

Well I tried a variation of Autumn splendor last night going front to back and securing with wire. I think its looks great, but the true test will be to see how well it holds up under stress. Looks like its off to some smallmouth infested tailwaters for me this weekend.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: How do you hackle your buggers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jor fly View Post
Traditionally I've alwaystied my hackles in on the back of my bugggers and wrapped forward. However, some of the recent tutorials I've looked at show hackles being tied in at the front and secured in th back with copper wire. My question is: does this technique really hold the hackle in place? It would seem to me that only securing with a copper wire would let the hackle come loose if a big fish got his teeth in there. Thoughts??
IMO, you're actually looking at it backwards. Copper wire is actually much tougher than a hackle stem, so as long as the wire's wrapped snugly and well secured at the front, buggers built that way are considerably tougher.

Also, when you tie the hackle in by the stem at the head of the fly and palmer it back, the hackle fibers are all pointing backwards. This makes it easier for the wire to over-wrap the hackle stem without laying fiber's down, as the fibers are more perpendicular to the wire as you're wrapping it.

Lastly, putting the stem of the hackle at the head of the fly means you've got longer fibers at the head that will better simulate the head of a sculpin, and also push more water.
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