Taking the curl out of goose secondaries

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by zen leecher aka bill w, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I wanted to take the curl our of goose quills and also make the edges a tad more uniform. I tried using the steam of a tea pot but it didn't take much of the curl out. Getting my wife's steam iron out and putting the quills between two towels.... now that worked. One word to the wise, dyed quills bleed onto the towels so don't use good ones.
     
  2. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Bill,

    Goose secondaries aren't the best goose quills to use. The best goose feather for wings is the shoulder feather, which is why it is used as a substitute for European Mute Swan on married wing flies. The shoulder feathers have longer fibers, have uniform fibers, marry easily, have nice, fine diameter fibers all the way down to the center quill. The secondaries don't have these characteristics. Granted secondaries are better than the nearly worthless primaries (unless you use the trailing edge of the primary feathers - known to most tyers as goose biots - for things like stonefly nymph tails or as a body on small flies).

    This is also one of the, if not the main reason, the old quill wing wet flies for trout were tied with duck quill instead of goose quill. The duck quill is thinner, although shorter.
     
  3. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    FT, I haven't found any goose shoulder for sale anywhere. I'm trying to make due with what I have and not buy much more components. The goose I do have is more slender than the duck secondaries I have.
     
  4. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I'm tying with the duck secondaries now and found out one really needs to inspect the barb ends to see what sort of shape they are in. It appears it's easy to get secondaries with the barbs frayed, unless that's a product of bleaching them and the subsequent dying of them.
     
  5. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Get your good quality goose shoulder right here.

    http://www.feathersmc.com/

    TC
     
  6. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I bought my schlappin from them but didn't see the goose shoulder at the time. I'm now using duck quill which doesn't have the curl to it.
     
  7. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Bill,

    Angler's Workshop has good goose quill. Dave Steinberg at Waters West has good goose shoulder as well. And any fly shop that sells Hairline Dubbing or Spirit River products can get it for you.
     

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