Definition above: "......It is easy to tell the biots apart from the rear fibers, as they are shorter, stiffer, and lay closer to the quill stem
Biots are nothing more or less than Barbs. They do lay closer to the stem (Quill) than the barbs on the back side. We should not confuse Biots, Barbs, Quill.
Term "rear Fibers" above are Barbs. Should not be confused. Our term Biots are one of the names given by tiers to front, stiffer (Plus many different qualities) from biots on other feathers. You can strip the front barbs off any stem (Quill) and use them as biots. Just would not get the same results because they are different. I suggest you try different feathers to obtain and use for biots on different flies. Might surprise you!
One needs to know what the feather we are talking about as to what is it's purpose to the bird. Is it for insulation? help in flight? helpful in incubation? Each feather on a bird has a specific usage, placed there by the Creator. I find it very interesting.
Due to marketing, $$$ etc, we find it confusing as tiers. Many terms thrown out and used improperly by those that want to sell us materials. Not always marketers but some tiers wanting to promote themselves or say a fly. I personally find no fault with this but it does get confusing. The article you posted the URL to is an excellent one on Biots but they call the Biot "nothing more than a fiber". It should be called a barb because that is what it is. Obviously the person that wrote the explanation was not up to speed on Prober nomenclature of a feather. Just a word game? Who really cares?
I'd say it really makes no difference, just tie and go Fishin.
Quills ? Feathers?
In looking back at all of the above I see where both packages list the product as Turkey Quills. (not so) I would call neither of those products as Quills. They are Turkey Primary or secondary flight feathers. Biots could be stripped from the Quill on either of them. Then the Quilll could be turned into a Pen or whatever.
If I want to buy a feather for stripping my own biots, I would want either the 2nd, 3rd or 4th Primary flight feather from a male Turkey. Maybe I am getting too specific? I feel we tiers do not need to put up with mislabeling. Maybe they should employ and train the employees more fully.
If I wanted to buy a Turkey round I would specify, the 2nd,3rd or 4th secondary flight feather from a male turkey.
My personal preferance for biots is to obtain both wings from a hen Pea fowl. The first 4 primary flight feathers from both wings yield what I consider the best biots. Having raised lots of them and having the opportunity to harvest them for myself, I have a specific opinion on biots. Again, Who cares.
Rachis = Stem, Quill (normally hollow from the wings of the larger birds)
Herlis = barbs, biots
Barbules = little velcro like projections off both sides of the Herlis, except in the Genetic dry fly roosters we tie dries with.
This is a simple description of all feathers on all birds.
Here is a link to a site which sells various colored turkey feathers containing "turkey rounds".
Last edited by Byron haugh; 05-13-2013 at 02:55 AM.
Thank you Byron. Exactly what I said above. Here is what the Tony Hill site says about "Turkey Rounds"
Turkey feather rounds are the secondary flight feathers from domestic turkeys. (The primaries are stiffer and more pointed). The feathers are about 10-12 inches in length. This is a versatile larger feather for a variety of craft applications. The shaft can be carved into a quill pen nib. The colorful feathers are also popular with children and can be incorporated into a number of costumes and play activity.
So, unless you can find someone marketing secondary flight feathers from wild turkeys, I would suggest looking for wings from wild turkeys. Then you can obtain your "Rounds". The term is only one attached to these flight feathers for marketing.
Thanks for adding to the proof of what I said.
I posted that in case someone was looking for a source.
The turkey "Round" is the secondary wing feather most commonly sold as the Mottled Turkey Quills as shown above. I just "gathered" a few 2 weeks ago...I'll try to get some pics.
"Biots" are gathered from primary wing feathers.
Denny?.....I always understood that the "biots" were referring to the leading edge of the wing primaries which are shorter and much more stiff, and the "Quills" as many refer to within the tying community are the longer "trailing" side of the primary wing where they are much longer and softer? Do I have that correct?
You are correct on the Biots. They are harvested from the outside of a Primary wing feather.
The herlis (barbs) on the inside are called just that.
The Quill is the stem or proper name is the Rachis.
Gotcha.....I know the Quill. Just referring to what the industry calls the "quill". Thanks Denny.
Above are examples from my Eastern Wild Turkey of 2 weeks ago.
Left: Primary Wing Feather
Middle: Secondary Wing Feather, commonly referred to as a "Round"
Right: A Mottled "Round". Commonly referred to as a "Mottled Quill". Same as the round but lacking the defined natural barring.
Domestic birds are the same, but are all white and dyed their desired colors, including imitation "barring" & "mottling".