Split-thread hackle SBS

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by ScottP, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +813 / 0
    Another way to use those big feathers for soft hackles.


    tied here on a basic Pheasant Tail

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    this feather would be perfect for a #8 but I'm interested in something more like a #18

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    insert the barbs in clip (extend about shank length); Petijean's is a nice tool, and makes it easy to show the process in photos, but any clip will do the job

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    trim the butt ends close, but leave enough to grab with the thread

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    split thread (UTC 70 used here)

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    insert clip

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    slide thread down till it captures the barbs and release clip

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    spin bobbin to lock in feather barbs

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    wet fingers, stroke fibers back while wrapping "hackle"

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    half hitch, SHHAN

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    Craig Mathews and Walter Wiese have put together excellent instructions using oversize feathers, but for the life of me, I can't spin one like Mathews and when I use Walter's method, I often get uneven distribution around the fly (more a matter of lack of ability on my part). Using the split-thread really doesn't take much longer and I've found it produces consistent results for me; YMMV.

    Regards,
    Scott
  2. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +813 / 0
    This one with an aftershaft (pheasant)

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    insert feather in split thread

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    try to capture it close to quill

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    trim quill side away

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    spin bobbin to trap fibers

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    wet fingers, stroke fibers back

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    although fibers are a bit matted here, they get real buggy in the water

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    Nice thing about the aftershaft feathers is they work just as well on even smaller hooks. This one's a #16, but I can go down to a #22 scud hook easily; just a matter of adjusting how far they protrude.

    Regards,
    Scott
  3. NCL Member

    Posts: 349
    Northern California
    Ratings: +24 / 2
    Scott,

    Thanks for the alternative method (Walter), I have been using the Mathews method but they are not coming out to my liking for the exact reason you mentioned.
  4. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Awesome! Where can I get one of those clear clips
  5. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +813 / 0
    It came as part of a Petitjean Magic Tool kit; unfortunately, I don't know anywhere that sells them separately.

    Regards,
    Scott
  6. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,486
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 0
    I learned the method that Walter Wiese demonstrates. It works, but does have the problem of not usually giving uniform distribution of hackle barbs, but as he points out, that doesn't matter to the fish. A modification of the method he shows is to nip the stem of the feather back down a bit from the tip, leaving a 'V', then pinch the barbs together pointing forward and tie it down as he does with a clump of barbs pulled from one side.

    I bought a Pettijean kit several years ago and played with it a bit, but haven't used it much. I think it affords some really creative possibilities, if one experiments with it for a while.

    D
  7. Ron McNeal Turtles or universes? I can't decide....

    Posts: 226
    Poulsbo, WA
    Ratings: +145 / 0
    Wonderful thread!! Fantastic camera work and great tying tips. Thanks!