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  1. #1

    Default Palmering hackle?

    When I'm palmering hackle on a wet fly floss body it wants to roll or splay, what am I doing wrong. I believe my body to be flat and even, what else could cause it to splay.

  2. #2
    turbineblade Guest

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    Usually the first few fibers will get trapped and splay in every direction on the side you start palmering.

    What I do is strip some or all of the fibers on the far side getting wrapped down on the hook shank so none of the fibers get too funky. Sometimes I like to palmer the full feather though and you definitely do get a few fibers all over the place.

    That said, David Hughes in "Wet Flies" (great book) argues that having a few wet fly hackles splaying in strange directions probably makes no difference to the you can just leave them if you want. I tend to agree after fishing wet flies quite a bit the last few months.

    Or, you can just pull 'em back and wrap the thread over slightly to force them backwards. Like this:

    It depends on whether you're a "tip tie" or "stem tie" kind of guy. Hughes advocates the "stem tie" method, and I prefer it this way honestly....even though I learned to do it tip-first. I like winding thread through the entire hackle for stability.

    Here's the method I like (and Hughes advocates) -- scroll down and you'll see a picture of it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Beaumont, Alberta
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    What kind of quality are your feathers? Feathers that do not have a totally round stem will tend to roll as well. If you are using good quality stuff then I would go with turbineblade's suggestions.
    Each smallest act of kindness - even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile - reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    Thank you both for the responses. I tie in by the tips and have found what I was doing wrong. I turns out there were fibers getting caught up under the stem. I found Dons DVD to refresh my memory on how to do this, and I was not doing an important step of folding the fibers back as I wrap the hackle around the hook. Something simple like that and I cant remember, EOCRS strikes again. {early onset of cant remember shirt}

  5. Likes Kerry Pitt liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Akron Ohio (don't let that fool you)

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    Stripping one side will help too if you don't want a bushy hackled body.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

  7. Likes Ard liked this post
  8. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    On a trout stream/Suburban Pittsburgh
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    I tie mine in by the tip and just like Bash said, I'll usually remove one side of the hackle. Whether you use one side of hackle or two, I run a scissor blade across the stem to "fold" the hackle fibers back.
    ~*~Leave only your footprints~*~

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    Hi Bruce,

    Bill and Jay are both advocating the same method that I use but................. If you want a really full hackle you may want to take a look at the 'Salmon Fly Tie Along' thread in the Fly Tying Forums here. The very first pattern demoed there by 'Pocono' (Allan) is the 'Grub'. I am showing the picture of the one I tied as a participant in the tutorial below. The method for creating the very full and rearward slanting hackles is called 'folding' and it works quite well for the palmering of wets. The thread I will link here; . Within this thread which Allen put forth a Herculean effort in all of his demonstrations of tying technique and many can be adapted to other than salmon fly tying.

    One note if you go with stripping half the fibers from the feathers............ be careful when you start peeling hackles so that you choose the correct side You'll want to allow for the remaining fibers to be those that will have the convex or back side of the fibers facing the hook bend to provide for the rearward tilting fibers.

    Hope that adds to the already flourishing amount of advice you've already got here.


    Folded Hackles;

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  12. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    Ard: You sneaking into town without even letting anyone know, what's up with that, you need to properly introduce yourself!

    Good to see you posting, at least that means your alive and kicking.

    Edit: Disregard, I didn't see you other post updating everyone that you were back home!

    Last edited by mcnerney; 02-12-2013 at 02:02 PM.

  13. Likes Ard liked this post
  14. #9

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    I always seem to make a mess of hackle, too. One of the things that seem to happen to me is that it is too big. Not that it is too long (but that happens, too) but there simply too much hackle.

    I am still an infant at this and this is the first time I ever heard of stripping off on side of the hackle. I really think this will fix one of my biggest problems.

    I have also heard of folding the hackle, but I don't have much success in that area for some reason. I think both things sort of accomplish the same thing, in a way, I guess it depends o the situation.

    I always have trouble nestling in the wire as I go over the heckle, too. I am thinking the main reason is because I simply have too much hackle there a lot of times.

    Thanks for starting this post, Bruce!

  15. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Norwich, CT
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Palmering hackle?

    folding hackle
    Folding Hackle is really simple if you use the Joe Ayres foam block method. Start by getting a block of foam (the kind you find wrapped around computer equipment to protect it in shipping) about 3"x3"x10" long. Cut 1/2" deep slots in the foam -- you should be able to get about a dozen slots in a 10" piece of foam. To fold the hackle all you have to do is insert the feather's stem in the slot and the hackle is folded.


    wire through hackle
    wrap the wire through the hackle using speed wraps. the quick wrapping of the wire pushes the hackle fibers out of the way vs trapping the hackle fibers under the wire wraps.
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.


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