SBS Making Cheap Spey (ala Rhea) Hackle

Big E

Active Member
#1
Varying from normal format, here's a new twist to the SBS section. In this SBS, I'll show you how to get psuedo spey hackle from a much cheaper Ostrich plume.

Here's our patient. Rather long, full barbs, that aren't really useful for much except room decoration.


Rinse the feather in cold water.


Pick it out of the cold water and let most of the water drip off.


Apply a dallop of hair conditioner.


Spread it on both sides of the feather. Let it sit for a minute or two.


Rinse the feather well in the cold water.


After rinsing, pull the feather out and let it dry on some paper towels. A sunny spot (if there ever was such a thing) would be a good spot to let it dry naturally.


End result, not just a nice smelling feather...


Here's the before and after. Now your feather is usable for those intruders or other flies that call for Rhea.


Enjoy!
 

Speyrod GB

Active Member
#2
Thanks for the tip. Very nice. I have used the conditioner on yak hair before and it took out some of the excess color and straightened the hair nicely. Does not look like you lost any color either.
 

Big E

Active Member
#3
Thanks for the tip. Very nice. I have used the conditioner on yak hair before and it took out some of the excess color and straightened the hair nicely. Does not look like you lost any color either.
There was a slight pink tint to the water when I rinsed it out but nothing too bad. Afterall, I did use a color shield conditioner...
 

flybill

Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
#8
Interesting, but I wonder if the scent is a good or bad thing? I know some materials have quite a smell, like bucktail, so maybe it doesn't matter... I also wonder if my cigar smoking imparts a scent that is bad when I'm fishing, but not enough to stop! ;)
 

speyfisher

Active Member
#9
Color shield conditioner??? So that's what turned my hair gray? And all this time I thought it was from fighting the IRS and raising two good looking girls on my own. LOL Seriously, what is this stuff?
 
#12
Thanks for the very nice tip. I'm curious if the material reverts to its natural form after fishing for some time or since its been looped into the fly its unable to. What's been your experience?
 

Big E

Active Member
#13
Thanks for the very nice tip. I'm curious if the material reverts to its natural form after fishing for some time or since its been looped into the fly its unable to. What's been your experience?
While I don't have much experience fishing flies tied with plumes treated in this manner, I did contact one who has and he remarked that "I haven't had any issues of that sort...If anything they tend to thin out more as they are fished."
 

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