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Thread: Hackle Questions?

  1. Default Hackle Questions?

    Hey all,

    I was wondering how exactly to do hackle. It has been giving me problems lately and I am unsure why. It binds up as I wrap it around the body. I think I am doing it wrong, so I am curious as to the right way. Also, I am curious as to how to tell the difference between wet fly hackle and dry fly hackle on a big thing of hackle. Thanks for all input!

  2. Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    Hey man,

    Try not to let your hackle get twisted up while you are putting it on your fly. I think this is why it is bunching up on you. As far as a wet/dry hackle goes, any type of soft hackle will usually be used for your wet flies.

  3. Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    what is the difference between a soft hackle and other hackles? any suggestions on how to keep it from twisting? that is probably the reason, but I'm not sure why it is.

  4. Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    the only other advise that i may be able to give you would be to get some hackle pliers if you do not already have some. The other would be to purchase a beginner level fly tying book. This will clear up any complications that you might encounter while tying. Stay at it though!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by schlemoc View Post
    Hey all,

    I was wondering how exactly to do hackle. It has been giving me problems lately and I am unsure why. It binds up as I wrap it around the body. I think I am doing it wrong, so I am curious as to the right way. Also, I am curious as to how to tell the difference between wet fly hackle and dry fly hackle on a big thing of hackle. Thanks for all input!
    Hi schlemoc,

    I think we might need a little more information. I am not sure what you mean by "binding up". What type of fly are you tying?

    Dry fly hackle is stiff and has little or no web. Wet fly hackle is soft and has a lot of Web. Dry fly hackle is thin and long and wet fly hackle is shorter and wider.

    Here is a link showing how to wrap a dry fly hackle video.

    Here is a link showing how to wrap a wet fly hackle video

    Frank

  6. Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    Thanks for those videos. They helped a lot in showing what I was messing up. I think I am holding the hackle wrong when turning it around the body and it is thus twisting. This is causing the "bind" where the hackle doesnt open up the way it is supposed to. I'll try some more tonight and see if it is better. I've been working on a mini-trout pattern on a size 12 hook. When I get a digital camera I'll take some pics and post them. Tonight will hopefully be high visibility dry flies to use in place of an indicator.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    Dry fly hackles are from roosters, and wet hackles are from hens. There can
    be a huge difference in dry hackle quality, and it's best to take a look at what
    you're buying. Cheaper hackle can have fewer barbules and thicker stems.
    Thicker stems can be extra tough to work with, and I only made that mistake
    once. I bought a Rumpf rooster neck that looked great in the package,
    but the stems on the #14 and larger hackles were twice as thick as they
    should be (I paid $24, and have seen much better for that price). I use the neck for tying Wooly Buggers and other not-so-dry patterns. The thicker stems want to go the way they want to go, and trying to keep them from twisting is very difficult. This wasn't the first neck I bought, but it has caused
    me to open the packages of any neck I buy now.

    What pattern are you having problems with?

  8. Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    I am working on a self pattern, and probably a mosquito or cahill later tonight. I got my hackle from a kit or a fly shop up at erie. I honestly can not remember. I tied a lot a couple years ago, but between college and a job, I ran out of time. Now that I graduated, I'm getting back into it. I am partially experimenting with streamers, but I want to get some nice high floating dry flies. That was why I was asking. I just have a saddle (?) of feathers that you pluck off for your hackles.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    Here's a short article regarding hackle quality: choosing hackle for fly tying
    The "Turning Problems" section would seem to be the same issue addressed
    in Frank Whiton's first video link. You might also note that the author points
    out that some Metz necks have thick stems in smaller sizes, the same issue
    I pointed out earlier.

    If you have hen hackle, it won't float as well as rooster: fewer and softer
    barbules. On the other hand, if you put enough floatant on, any pattern will
    float like a cork bobber .

    When you need more hackle, look at the Whiting 100 packs. They are generally decent, and should be sorted by a specific hook size. Actually, there's a lot of decent rooster hackle available, and $25 will buy a nice
    neck. Most of my dry fly hackle is grizzly, dun, brown, and cream. I buy the
    cream in specific sizes, as I only use it for #10 and #12 flies.

  10. Default Re: Hackle Questions?

    I will have to look into that. I am using sizes 12-16 only. Right now I am using black, white, grizzly, and olive. The olive is working nicely, while the black is the saddle(?) I am having problems with. Thanks for all the input.

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