Salty Fly Tying - A Fly Tying Blog

Salty Fly Tying

A Fly Tying Blog

Fly Tying Tips – Feather Application

Posted by Drew Chicone On May 11th

Fly Tying Tips for Feathers 

This is the ninth installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Married Hackles – Feather Curve Together

“Marrying the hackles” refers to placing the concave or undersides of the feathers together.  Another common term for this technique is “Praying Hands.”  When wet, all the feathers come together and look as one. This technique is often used on classic patterns such as Lefty’s Deceiver or Stu Apte’s Apte II.

 

Splayed Hackles – Feather Curve Apart

The opposite of praying hands is splayed hackle.  This means that the feathers are lined up at the tips and tied onto the hook so the convex sides of the feathers are facing each other.  When wet the 2 pairs of feathers separate and appear to “kick” when stripped. This technique is often used for crab claws or on Keys Style Tarpon Flies.

 

 

 

Tented Hackles – Feather Curve Together But Open At Bottom

Tented hackles are married hackles that are slightly opened at the bottom and touching at the top, to create tent shape.   This technique is often used to emulate the V shaped back of a baitfish. When wet, the two pairs of hackles swim as one, and create a wider more cylindrical-shaped profile.  Johnny King uses this technique when tying his Kinky Muddler patterns.

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, tricks & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – Matching Feathers

Posted by Drew Chicone On April 13th

Fly Tying Tips for Feathers

This is the seventh installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Match Width and Tapper

When choosing feathers from the cape, try and choose like sizes.  Feather from the same general vicinity on the cape will typically be the same size.  You do not want one wide webby feather and one thin skinny feather paired together.  Mismatching the  width or tapper of paired feathers may not effect the action of the fly in the water, but it makes your flies look awful.

Correctly Matched Size, Width and Tapper

Try and keep all of the feathers as uniform as possible.  Length is less important since you will be lining up the feathers at the tips, but they should be nearly identical in width and taper.  It is also important to choose feathers that have similar shapes at their points.  (Rooster Feathers tend to be narrower and come to an thin point at the tips, while Hen Feathers are typically more fat and rounded)

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, trick’s & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – Feathers

Posted by Drew Chicone On March 31st

 Fly Tying Tips for Feathers

 This is the seventh installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Mismatched Tips

A dead giveaway to a poorly tied fly or an inexperienced tier is mismatched hackles. Lining up the tips of the feathers is essential not only for esthetic reasons, but also for the fly to track correctly in the water.

Mismatched Pairs

Most flies utilize two pairs of matched feathers, one on either side of the fly. If one pair of feathers is longer, the fly will have more water resistance on that side and most likely cause the fly to track on it’s side or spin.   I find it is easiest to do by laying the feather out in 2 piles, and then matching the piles up.  Once you are close, pinch just below the tips of the feathers and pull the butts of the feathers with your opposite hand to get the tips in line.

 

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, tricks & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – Thread Pressure

Posted by Drew Chicone On March 18th

Thread Pressure

 This is the sixth installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Applying Thread Pressure Away From You Will Roll The Feathers

Inexperienced and even some intermediate tiers have a tendency to use the same amount of thread pressure for every wrap or only apply pressure to the thread away from their body. This causes the materials to roll or shift to the far side of the hook. If you want your materials to stay on top of the hook you need to apply thread pressure up!  This pinches the thread against the underside of the hook shank and forces the materials up.

Cover Up the Butts

Once the feathers have been cinched down make four of five tighter wraps to secure. Cover the butts of the feathers where they were cut to create a smooth transition to the shank of the hook.

 

 

 

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, trick’s & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – Thread Control

Posted by Drew Chicone On March 3rd

Fly Tying Tips

 This is the Fifth installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Cinch Down Buy Pulling UP

The direction and amount of thread pressure applied is very important when it comes to controlling the material and achieving  the desired result.  By pulling UP, you are applying pressure on the bottom of the hook shank and pinching the thread against  the underside of the of the hook.

 

Feathers are Pinch in the Direction You Apply Pressure

This results in forcing the feather to be pushed up and secured tightly on the top of the hook, instead of rolling them to the far side of the hook.    You can see that the the sides and bottom of the hook are clearly exposed, the feather did not shift or roll at all.

 

 

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, trick’s & common mistakes.

 

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – Working with Feathers

Posted by Drew Chicone On February 17th

Fly Tying Tips

 This is the Forth installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

A Thread Bump Will Help Splay Feathers

If you are tying a fly with splayed hackles (like a Classic Keys Tarpon Pattern), start the thread on the hook and create a small bump of thread.  Flattening the thread and then making several consecutive wraps on top of each other will do this.   The bump will help separate the feathers.

2 Loose Wraps

Match the tips of each pair first, then match up the two pairs to one another and tie in all four at the same time.   To secure the feathers, start with two loose wraps around the feathers and then cinch down the feathers buy pulling your thread UP.  More fly tying tips on working with feathers in future posts…

 

 

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my Fly Tying Tips, Trick’s & Common Mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – Working with Feathers

Posted by Drew Chicone On February 3rd

Fly Tying Tips

This is the Forth installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Use a Small Amount of Glue for Extra Stability

Once you have the tips of your feathers lined up you can apply a small amount of glue to keep them from moving when you are tying them in.  The glue will also help keep the feathers from rolling and on top of the hook and as you secure them.  However, some types of glue become very hard and brittle and tend to glob up your flies, so test a few and see which one works best for you.  If you are going to use any kind of quick drying glue’s (like super glue) it is easier to lay down a thread base and paint a small amount of glue directly on the thread where the feathers will be tied in.  This technique works well, but requires you to work quickly.

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, trick’s & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – Working with Feathers 2

Posted by Drew Chicone On January 20th

 Fly Tying Tips

 This is the third installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Do Not Create a Gap Between Barbs

Often times it is advised to create a small gap or opening between the barbs for a clean tie in point, but I do not advise this technique.  Even stroking back a few of the barbules to create a small gap can cause problems.

 

Make Warps On Top of Folded Back Barbs

Your best bet is to fold back all the barbules, and make your wraps on top.  Even though they are slender, the extra bulk will help to fill in all the tiny gaps and make the bundle more stable.   Think of barbs like filler that can be compressed against the hook for added stability.

 

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, trick’s & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

 

 

 

Fly Tying Tips & Tricks – Working with Feathers

Posted by Drew Chicone On January 6th

 Fly Tying Tips

This is the second installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

If you are using really webbie feathers, you can trim a section of the quill, but make sure you leave some of the barbs attached to the stem of the feather. Although there is not a large volume of bars left attached, this added width will provide more surface area and help to keep the feather from sliding out of place or spinning when thread pressure is applied.

Often, beginners will strip away a section of barbs from the quill in order to make it easier to see their wraps when tying in a single or multiple feathers.  This exposes the bare quill or Richis of the feather.  Depending on what type of feather is being used, the round or triangular quill of the feather is cinched down against other round feathers and a round surface of the hook and you guessed it… the feathers roll every which way.  Keeping those barbules on the quill is crucial to securing the feathers in the position they were intended.

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, trick’s & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

Fly Tying Tips & Tricks – Fly Tying Thread

Posted by Drew Chicone On December 22nd

This is the first installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

 

Flatten Your Thread

First and foremost, when you are working with feathers, you need to make sure your thread is flat!  Fly tying thread is made up of multiple filaments or fibers that are twisted together.   There are situations for using a tightly twisted or compressed thread, but this is definitely not one of them.

Compressed Thread

If you are a right-handed tier, with each wrap you are twisting the thread, and eventually it becomes round like a rope.  For right-handed tiers, spinning the bobbin to the left will untwist it and cause the thread fibers to lay flat. Flattened thread has more surface area and is more efficient at gathering and locking materials in place. After every few wraps you make and before you add any new materials, it is very important that you spin your bobbin until your thread is flat.

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my tip’s, trick’s & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew