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  1. #1

    Default Classic wet fly quill ?

    I've been really getting into tying the classic quill wing wets lately and am having a problem in sourcing good quality duck quills. Problem with the ones I get from spirit river is they seem to be too short. In short I mean the length of the wings they produce, not the full length of the feather. Maybe a better description would be they are not wide enough for good wing material to make the length of the hook shank.
    Question I have is, would goose quills be better for this, are they longer making it possible to reach the bend of a standard length hook and are they an appropriate feather for this type of fly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Norwich, CT
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    Yes, goose can be substituted

    Good duck wing feathers are hard to find. A trip to your local fly shop to weed out the garbage is a must
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    Okay thanks. I have been to the local shops of which I have two good ones. Unfortunately both tie there but do not stock to much in the way of duck quills saying that it's just not in that much demand for them. One of them also said the same thing you have, that good full duck quills are hard to find.
    If it's not against the rules I'd like to post this link to what I'm thinking of buying. If I'm on the right path with this feather or should I keep looking.
    JS Fly Fishing: Rod Building, Fly Tying: Wapsi Goose Quill Pair
    Or am I looking for goose shoulder feather.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Grand canyon of Pa.

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    goose quill, shoulder is to long. shoulder is used for married wing salmon flies.
    sandfly/ bob
    N.J.B.B.A. #2215

    I did not escape.....they gave me a day pass!
    from the outer edge of nowhere
    fly tying and fishing Gillie..

  5. #5

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    Okay thanks. I just don't want to keep buying material that I don't really need.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Philadelphia Pa

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    The best duck quills you'll ever find are by natures spirit, and available to buy from hook and hackle
    Goose quills are good too, but only if you're tying on hooks bigger than size 4.

    My initial impression is you are using hooks which are too big. Try size 6 or 8. Quill winged wets can be tied down as small as size 16 (in my experience) and probably smaller.
    Goose and duck quills will give you nice splayed wings on the flies if you tie them in with the matte side ( the top of the quill) facing out.
    When you use goose shoulder, the matte side out gives wings that are flat.

    Its entirely up to you how and what quills you use...
    I've been tying winged wets for over a year now, not that i've tied many lately.
    There is a thread in the fly tying forum here that has many patterns and some tips for tying the flies. Have a read through it.

    Addicted To Vise Flies

  7. #7

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    Hey Eunan, I've been following your tying and thank you for your opinion. I don't use larger that #6 and usually tie on #8 #10. The natures spirit is what I have but the yield that I get on these feathers isn't much. In other words the usable portion of the feather is really small, that's why I was in search for maybe another type of feather or source. I am after the splayed feather look also and if what you're saying is that the goose feather is going to be straight than maybe I should just stick with duck.

    edit to add. I've just re-read your post and yous state the goose QUILLS do splay like the duck but it's the goose SHOULDERS that lay flat. still drinking my first cup of coffee.

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  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Northern California, USA

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    Have you considered either buying a matched pair of wings or do you know any hunters? With a pair, you'll get both primary and secondary flight feathers, as well as some coverts.

    What you're getting may be primaries (which is where you get the biots from the leading edge of) but it's the secondaries that have the widest sections which would yield the types of feathers you may be looking for.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    This is what I am getting, looks like primary's from your description. They are a packaged pair of "Nature's Spirit Duck Quills" package does not distinguish primary or secondary, nor does the website where I ordered them from.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Northern California, USA

    Default Re: Classic wet fly quill ?

    yep, looks like primaries... save your biot strips!!

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