I have been struggling with my soft hackling. I seem to be getting a "twist" as I try to wrap. I'm stripping the bottom of the feather to get the webbies off, tieing in by the tip, trying get the dull side towards the hook shank. I also seem to be breaking the feather as I try to wrap. I get my hackle pliers on the tip, wrap carefully, I think, but keep breaking. This is all with partridge feathers as I have been working on some soft hackle flies. Thanks all!
Not certain but I think your feathers are dried out. Trying soaking the bottoms in a hint of water. I can't answer the twist thing as I seldom have that trouble.
As you wind stroke the fibres back with the index finger and thumb of your non tying hand. Its a technique from tying salmon flies called doubling. With game bird hackles it takes a deft touch to pull it off. If you do this, you can shape the hackle according to how you want it to be when finished. A little hair conditioner may help with the splitting of the stems.
You just woke me up. How do you tie in by the tip and then put the hackle pliers on the tip?
Partridge feathers are quite delicate you can't put much tension when you wrap.
There is another technique. You cut the tip out of the feather, place then feather over the eye pointing to the rear and , with your thread wrap, sort of spin it around the hook.
There appreciate videos on this technique. I think Craig Matthews has a video on the technique......
Originally Posted by Ray Kunz
I read and reread that twice. Just as confused as you and so I didn't answer the question.
Melk - Please clarify, maybe we'll understand your dilemma a little better and be able to respond.
agree that partridge hackles are very delicate. If you have a rotary vise, I sometimes tie in the hackle, clamp my hackle pliers onto the stem and let it hang then rotate the vise.