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Thread: gluing quills

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
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    Default gluing quills

    I did a quick search about using glue to make quills more robust yet keeping them flexible.....and found almost nothing on this matter.

    For many years now, I have been applying rubber cement (the stuff to repair inner tubes) to my turkey quills, crow quills, etc.

    I buy the glue in the small metal container that also sports a brush to apply the glue. I apply the glue to the inside portion of the quill until the quill is well soaked.

    I then let each quill dry separately buy sticking the quill in a block of styrofoam. Unfortunately, the glue never really dries out because if you accidentally touch the quills together, they will immediately stick to each other. However, for hoppers and many other flies, quill sections can be applied in such a way that they do not come in contact with one another.

    The nice thing about using rubber cement is the fact that the quill stays flexible but the fibers of each quill section will not separate.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: gluing quills



    in the past ive used the spray fixative like that shown above but no longer bother

    daves flexament would be good too

    eventually the fibers are going to separate no matter what might be used. fish teeth will tear them up
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

    Norm

    http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Akron Ohio (don't let that fool you)
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    Default Re: gluing quills

    Which is why I don't bother with married wings or the overly fancy salmon flies unless I tie them mixed wing style.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Northern California, USA
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    Default Re: gluing quills

    One of the big problems is when you cast a fly with any type of "fixatiff" sprayed/brushed on the wing, it ends up twisting your tippet because air can't pass through the fibers- it's too solid.

    If you're using this on a wet fly, it's a bit less of a problem because the wing/wingcase it tighter to the body of the fly, so it doesn't catch as much air on the cast.

    I treat the reverse side of turkey and duck quills used for wingcases on nymphs and for wet flies like the Leadwing Coachman and McGinty by spraying them with good 'ol cheap Aqua Net hairspray =)

    Use a clothespin to attach a few quills to a wire hanger, hang them up outside, give them a couple of sprays on the reverse side and let them air dry. Only problem I've had is explaining to my daughters why I had a can of hair spray on the shelf near my tying desk

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Grand canyon of Pa.
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    Default Re: gluing quills

    improperly tied fly will spin, not because of a spray or thin glue. if quills alowed air to pass through birds could not fly !!
    sandfly/ bob
    (www.bigmeadowsflyshop.com)
    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..

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Re: gluing quills

    ummm not exactly =) they have a sort of 'velcro' type deal going on that allows the fibers to join, but not rigidly. That's how you're able to produce married wings from varied segments. But if you look *CLOSELY* at the fibers, air does get through them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
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    Default Re: gluing quills

    Before using rubber cement, I tried many different glues and sprays. The reason for this is that I make a lot of flies like muddlers, hoppers and caddis flies and also to repair split jungle cock. My first attempts were just with fly tying cement (lacquer). The stuff was just too brittle and the quills did quickly split anyway. I tried spray type glues for paper....just not strong enough.

    BTW, hairspray gets quickly dissolved in water.

    Contact cement is pretty good and is great for repairing jungle cock but takes longer to dry than rubber cement.

    Anyway, rubber cement for repairing inner tubes has been the best stuff I have used so far. The quills and feathers remain flexible and if someone does handle the quills, they do not at first realize that the quills have been treated.

    This coming summer, I will post photos of some flies tied with quills after they have caught 3 or 4 dozen trout.

    ---------- Post added at 10:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:42 PM ----------

    Before using rubber cement, I tried many different glues and sprays. The reason for this is that I make a lot of flies like muddlers, hoppers and caddis flies and also to repair split jungle cock. My first attempts were just with fly tying cement (lacquer). The stuff was just too brittle and the quills did quickly split anyway. I tried spray type glues for paper....just not strong enough.

    BTW, hairspray gets quickly dissolved in water.

    Contact cement is pretty good and is great for repairing jungle cock but takes longer to dry than rubber cement.

    Anyway, rubber cement for repairing inner tubes has been the best stuff I have used so far. The quills and feathers remain flexible and if someone does handle the quills, they do not at first realize that the quills have been treated.

    This coming summer, I will post photos of some flies tied with quills after they have caught 3 or 4 dozen trout.

    I've never noticed any problems with my flies twisting my leaders.

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