Trapping hackle on whip finish?

LimerickShaw

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I practiced my whip finish to try and get the hang of it and have it down better than I did but still have problems here and there. Most recently I’m having trouble as it relates to my hackle. My fly looks good (good for me at least lol) and as I go to whip finish it’s very difficult for me not to “trap” my hackle and it kind of ruins what it looked like before. Am I simply trying to tie my hackle in too close to the eye and therefore when I whip finish its snagging it? Or does this happen to most and you just trim after? A lot of the videos I’ve watched don’t seem to have similar problems. Any thoughts?

I also feel like maybe my hackles are a little too big? I’m tying with size 10 hooks and looking for pretty skinny hackle but still seems like it’s too crowded.

Imgur: The magic of the Internet
 

Ard

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Without a picture I can't say too close or not but...........Make yourself a Hackle Guard, find a business card - cut in half or into quarters - about 1/4 inch from the edge punch a nice neat hole large enough to slip over a hook eye - not use your tying sinips to cut a neat slot to meat the punched hole. When ready to finish you slip the thread through the cut and then push the card back over the head against the hackle. Now whip the knot, clip the thread and remove the piece of card.

One business card will do a lotta heads.
 

scotty macfly

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Looking at your fly, I'd say for certain that you are bringing your hackle too close to the eye. When starting the fly, back off the eye about 2mm. Do not cross that line with any material. That 2mm is the forbidden zone.

Also, if you do get too close, and you will, we all do from time to time, but when you do, if you take an old BIC pen, take the tube of ink out along with the tip. All you need is the outer part. Push the tip of the pen over the eye of the hook and push the fibers back. Then do your whip finish around the pen, but it helps if you cut the pen down to an inch and a half in length.

There are tools also you can find, hackle guards can be found a J. Stockard.
Wapsi Hackle GUARD | J. Stockard Fly Fishing
 

LimerickShaw

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Without a picture I can't say too close or not but...........Make yourself a Hackle Guard, find a business card - cut in half or into quarters - about 1/4 inch from the edge punch a nice neat hole large enough to slip over a hook eye - not use your tying sinips to cut a neat slot to meat the punched hole. When ready to finish you slip the thread through the cut and then push the card back over the head against the hackle. Now whip the knot, clip the thread and remove the piece of card.

One business card will do a lotta heads.
Should be a picture in imugr link. Not sure how to embed it directly.
 

Ard

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Even without a picture what I suggested works like a charm, another thing that works are match book covers, remember them? These things used to be sold in fly tying shops but I've always made my own when needed.

OK, I missed the link, you are leaving zero room for the head or knot to be formed.
 

silver creek

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I practiced my whip finish to try and get the hang of it and have it down better than I did but still have problems here and there. Most recently I’m having trouble as it relates to my hackle. My fly looks good (good for me at least lol) and as I go to whip finish it’s very difficult for me not to “trap” my hackle and it kind of ruins what it looked like before. Am I simply trying to tie my hackle in too close to the eye and therefore when I whip finish its snagging it? Or does this happen to most and you just trim after? A lot of the videos I’ve watched don’t seem to have similar problems. Any thoughts?

I also feel like maybe my hackles are a little too big? I’m tying with size 10 hooks and looking for pretty skinny hackle but still seems like it’s too crowded.
Hi LimerickShaw,

In my opinion, there are three things you could do to improve your fly below.

1. As to your question, you have wrapped the hackle too close to the hook eye. You need to leave some to tie the fly off.

2. The hackle should be a bit shorter.

3. The hackle wraps on the fly body are too close together. Did you use 2 hackles on that fly It looks like there may be a "break" in the hackle length at the arrow. Try your next one with 40% the number of wraps.

4. Too much marabou. Try using 1/3 less on the next fly.

5. Everyone makes mistakes when first tying. Your fly will catch fish. So the suggestions above are about making the next one a bit better.


Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 5.53.15 PM.jpg


Here is one for comparison tied by Tim Flagler of Orvis.


YouTube
 
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bigjim5589

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Although it doesn't change anything that's already been said, nor apply to your whip finish & hackle trapping problem, it also appears that you've tied the tail, and some of the body materials down the bend too. For a bugger, try to keep it all on the straight section the shank.

The wrap density with the hackle that you've done would have worked well on a Seaducer Streamer. ;)
 

LimerickShaw

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2. The hackle should be a bit shorter.

3. The hackle wraps on the fly body are too close together. Did you use 2 hackles on that fly It looks like there may be a "break" in the hackle length at the arrow. Try your next one with 40% the number of wraps.
So my hackle doesn’t get much thinner/shorter. I’ve been trying to get small thin pieces. Do you just chop a little bit off a much longer piece toward the top that is more narrow and just leave the rest for other tied? I’ve been trying not to waste materials so maybe I’m just picking more full feathers. Should I just be cutting some of the top and only using that and leave others for larger flies?

It was just one bit of hackle in that tie.
 

silver creek

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So my hackle doesn’t get much thinner/shorter. I’ve been trying to get small thin pieces. Do you just chop a little bit off a much longer piece toward the top that is more narrow and just leave the rest for other tied? I’ve been trying not to waste materials so maybe I’m just picking more full feathers. Should I just be cutting some of the top and only using that and leave others for larger flies?

It was just one bit of hackle in that tie.
You should not cut the tips of the hackle down. Better to be too long than clipped.

When you buy hackle, buy it with a purpose and not by mail order. I never buy hackle mailorder. It is one of the items that varies in quality and size so buy with a purpose.
 

coug

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Another option to the whip finish is to use a few half-hitches. You can search on youtube and see several nice videos. Many bodkins are hollow on the end for this purpose. You just start the half-hitch on the handle, push the hollow end over the eye of the hook, then pull tight. The videos will show you what to do. I use a few of these rather than whip finish on parachutes, smaller flies, and many dry fly patterns. I do not use cement and they hold just fine.
 

bumble54

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Stiff hackles stand out from the hook shank if they have been wound correctly ( if wound in the traditional manner), soft or poor quality hackles are more likely to become wayward and get trapped.
Poor technique in winding the hackle is the usual cause and only practice and care will solve that problem.
for wet flies I have found dampening the fingers that are used to hold back the hackle for the final turns of thread helps keep strays in their place.
If tying a traditional dry fly a touch of Gink on the fingers works even better and helps waterproof the fly at the same time.
 

Gimmeslack

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Another option to the whip finish is to use a few half-hitches. You can search on youtube and see several nice videos. Many bodkins are hollow on the end for this purpose. You just start the half-hitch on the handle, push the hollow end over the eye of the hook, then pull tight. The videos will show you what to do. I use a few of these rather than whip finish on parachutes, smaller flies, and many dry fly patterns. I do not use cement and they hold just fine.
What he said ;-) I still use a whip finisher, but if feisty fibers at eye, I'll use the half-hitch tool (on end of my bodkin) to push the fibers back and the one or two hitches keep them there. Makes whip finishing much easier. I also occasionally put in a half hitch elsewhere, to lock down the thread - e.g. when struggling to get some wings right. Helps keep materials from moving or starting to unwind.

As some others have also added, I have found my biggest noob error tying is to crowd the eye. If I stay waaay far back from it, by the time I'm done, head is about right :-}
 

moucheur2003

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Looking at your fly, I'd say for certain that you are bringing your hackle too close to the eye. When starting the fly, back off the eye about 2mm. Do not cross that line with any material. That 2mm is the forbidden zone.
An easy way to eyeball this is to leave a gap of bare hook shank about the same length as the hook eye when you first tie on your thread. All your materials go on the part of the shank behind the tie-on point. The bare shank between the tie-on point and the eye is only for the head once you've finished everything else.
 

LimerickShaw

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So throwing this in here too in hopes maybe some of you guys have some tips. I have some 5/32 tungsten beads and I CANNOT get them on any of my hooks. I have size 10 & 12 Mustad R74-9672 hooks and cannot get them to go around the bend. I also have some size 8 Gunnison River hooks that I got in a kit that I cannot get them on.

I've tried using some pliers to get it around and I simply cannot. Am I doing something wrong here or did I maybe just get unlucky and the style hook don't match up with my beads? I had done some research before I bought the beads and it seemed like this would be the right size.
 

bocianka1

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For the beads, I have found the best solution is to buy only "slotted" beads. The have a slotted end that allows them to fit around the curve in any hook. To make my reg. beads fit I've had to use pliers to force the bead round the curve on a few hooks. But be careful, you can bend, weaken, and even break your hooks. Use larger sizes in your beads for a bigger hole that can get around the bend a little easier.


A tip for hackle trapping that I learned here. Cut a 1/4 in. piece of straw from plastic drinking straws. Slit your straw piece lengthwise. You can now place your straw piece onto your tying thread and slide it up and over the front of your hook head. As you slide it on, it will push back and hold back most or all of your hackle so that you can whip finish easier.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

flytire

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i just use a half hitch tool to push any stray fibers backwards out of the way and do a double half hitch

i never could get used to a whip finish tool whether its a metal one or my fingers
 

ts47

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So throwing this in here too in hopes maybe some of you guys have some tips. I have some 5/32 tungsten beads and I CANNOT get them on any of my hooks. I have size 10 & 12 Mustad R74-9672 hooks and cannot get them to go around the bend. I also have some size 8 Gunnison River hooks that I got in a kit that I cannot get them on.

I've tried using some pliers to get it around and I simply cannot. Am I doing something wrong here or did I maybe just get unlucky and the style hook don't match up with my beads? I had done some research before I bought the beads and it seemed like this would be the right size.
Go to this link and look at the photos. Hareline Cyclops Brass Bead Eyes | J. Stockard Fly Fishing

If you look closely at the beads, the small hole is the front. The wide hole is the back. The wide part makes it easier to get the bead around the bend. It also leaves a spot for material and your final thread wraps to get tucked into.

The second photo is a chart showing what size bead fits what size hook. For a bead to fit on a hook, the hook needs a round bend (which yours should have). I also noticed that your hooks are "2X strong wire", which means a thicker wire and might require a slightly larger bead.

If your beads look like the photo and what I described, and the hook has a round bend, you need bigger beads. If you got a cheap fly tying kit, the beads could also be mislabeled. You could take your beads to a fly shop and compare them with another set in the same size. This would tell you if the problem is your beads.

BTW... If you don't have a local fly shop and need to order online, the company in the link above is one of the many good sources for ordering fly tying supplies and tools.
 
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dennyk

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Here you go Limerick:



To address your picture issue, click on the picture in imjur.

it will open in a separate window-then click on BBCode, 2nd from the bottom on the list. That will copy the image.

Then paste it into your thread/post. My computer it's Ctrl V

Denny
 
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