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Old 01-07-2013, 12:33 PM
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Default Rhea Feathers

Are they worth it. One feather for ~$7

Better than burn goose? softer or stiffer stems?

Know nothing about them other than they're popular for intruders. Will the work as well for spey and dee classics in the natural colors


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Old 01-07-2013, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Rhea Feathers

The way I understand it the fibers are a lot longer than Goose and the feathers are a lot bigger to. It seems that you could get a fair number of flies out of one feather. I have thought about it a lot of times and never jumped onboard with thm either. I saw one used in a you tube video a few years back. If I find it I'll post it. You can get a pretty good idea of the size of them from it.

Found it. You can see it's a lot longer than Goose.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Rhea Feathers

Worked on a crew in Red lion Pa next to a Rhea / Emu farm. The farmers son gave us a bunch of feathers no charge . Nice kid . Might be worth a road trip. As I remember small town main road ( Brownton Rd) farms on the right as you go through town. Not the friendliest birds as we found out!
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Rhea Feathers

so he doesnt wind it on? its cut from the stem and tied in....
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Rhea Feathers

For intruders and intruder style flies, they are wonderful. Good movement and pretty strong fibers. Much stronger than ostrich hurl, but most stuff is. You can use both sides of the feather, so they go further than you might think. I like to tie in a mix of Rhea, Lady Amherst and sometimes some flash to create contrast. You can also tie in a dubbing loop and spin them. I've done both, it just depends on how full you want to make the fly. With intruders, less is more with the rhea, so I often tie them in two fibers at a time. Some people even peel off a clump from the stem and wrap them in that way. Too much trouble for my taste.

I can't speak to how well they'd work on spey or dee flies, I'm not brave enough to tie them
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Rhea Feathers

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Originally Posted by s fontinalis View Post
so he doesnt wind it on? its cut from the stem and tied in....
Yup, but he does a dubbing ball and the best way is to spin a bunch of deer hair on where he does the dubbing ball. Get the thread on the hair with the tips pointing back. Make sure you get most of the fat part of the hair pointing forward. Cut the fat part down to a ball like the dubbing ball and leave the tips of the hair on. The reason I do it that way is that it won't make the fly more floatable. It stays stiffer than a dubbing ball does and the tips help flair the feathers better than dubbing balls do.

I got a bunch of really long Ostrich at a fabric store (Joanne's) that is really really long and that's what I have used instead of Rhea.
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The farmers son gave us a bunch of feathers no charge.
Score!
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Rhea Feathers

I'm not the intruder/intruder style expert, and watched a bunch of videos before getting to my current methods. After sitting with April for an evening I really improved on them and found what I consider a good foundation to start with. Sometimes I'll put a little dubbing ball, sometimes a few wraps of UV Estaz to build up a base to flare out the materials, sometimes not. Arctic Fox is a wonderful material to use then whatever feathers/flash you prefer over that.

Just got the link in my inbox this morning to this video, ironically enough.

April Vokey ties an Intruder style fly | | Hatches Fly Tying Magazine

Notice how she's tying in the rhea at about 7:00 into the video. That's how I like to tie mine in. You can also spin it like she's doing with the arctic fox. If you are lucky enough to sit with her for an evening, by all means, take some nail clippers and don't let her catch you using scissors to cut the rhea! Seriously though, clippers as she demonstrates do a wonderful job allowing you to cut close to the tube.
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