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  1. #1
    turbineblade Guest

    Default peacock herl streamer

    Hi - I've seen some bucktail streamer patterns that require a few herl feathers on the top (as a flowing wing part, like the bucktail). My experience with herl is that I can pretty much tear it off of any hook I tie it to at will, with only moderate effort.

    Is this normal for this material, or is there a way to make it more durable?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Akron Ohio (don't let that fool you)
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    Default Re: peacock herl streamer

    I dunno man I caught alot of fish on streamers with all herl wings and some with all peacock sword wings and never had an issue.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
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    Default Re: peacock herl streamer

    Most fish don't destroy it to bad. It is however, the first thing Pike chop off. It does not take teeth very well. Not much you can do about how tough or not tough a material is. Keep in mind that herl that has been laying around dry is not as bendable as herl that has soaked up water, so if you are yanking on a dry fly that it going to be less tough.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Prince Edward Island, Canada
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    862

    Default Re: peacock herl streamer

    Quote Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
    Hi - I've seen some bucktail streamer patterns that require a few herl feathers on the top (as a flowing wing part, like the bucktail). My experience with herl is that I can pretty much tear it off of any hook I tie it to at will, with only moderate effort.

    Is this normal for this material, or is there a way to make it more durable?

    Thanks,
    Nor really sure what to tell ya, but maybe shop around for different brands maybe. I have found that herl can be of varying degrees of durability. I am currently using some that are really long and sparse with fibers but it is really tough. Other shorter more full herl I have is very soft and easily breakable. Not sure if it has a shelf life but I bet if its stored for long periods in a dry environments it can probably get brittle.
    "Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fishermen saying

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  8. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: peacock herl streamer

    When ever I buy peacock herl I buy eyes. I get less but its way better. I use the herl along the lower part of the stem for bodies ad heads and then I use the stuff up around the eye. Here's one pretty well chewed, I know its taken a few fish over time and the wing and tail are still going strong.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

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  10. #6

    Default Re: peacock herl streamer

    Wt bash,

    Like the streamer and have a rookie questions. Wing looks different than the tail on my screen. Are they the same type of herl? Is the throat same material as the wing?

    Thanks

  11. #7
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    Default Re: peacock herl streamer

    The wing and tail came from the same feather or plume, the tail came from just below the eye with the wing coming right from the eye. The throat is dyed bronze hackle fibers.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

  12. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Northern California, USA
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    Default 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.

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