Tying in Partridge on soft hackles

J

JinxPA

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I have been searching the net for different soft hackle patterns and each one shows the partridge hackle being tied in by the hackle tip, but in Nemes The Soft-hackled Fly 2nd edition he clear shows and talks about tying it in by the stem end. I have tried by the tip method and find I break off a lot more hackles at the tip. I know there are no strict rules in tying but am curious as to how most folks do it and do you notice any difference as to how the hackle behaves if tied from tip or stem?
 
redietz

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I have been searching the net for different soft hackle patterns and each one shows the partridge hackle being tied in by the hackle tip, but in Nemes The Soft-hackled Fly 2nd edition he clear shows and talks about tying it in by the stem end. I have tried by the tip method and find I break off a lot more hackles at the tip. I know there are no strict rules in tying but am curious as to how most folks do it and do you notice any difference as to how the hackle behaves if tied from tip or stem?
Always by the tip, unless it needs shortening as shown in the second video.
 
Steeltrap

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I clip the tip fibers off and start with the tip of the stem. Seems to work fine for the 2-3 turns that are needed for a soft hackle.
 
nfrechet

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i tie in by the tip and dont usually break off. sometimes it does. not really a big deal. just tie back on and wrap
 
bigjohn358

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My biggest problem is finding feathers small enough for what I'm tying. Seems like everything I come across ends up being too long.
 
JackM

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Bigjohn. This may be hard to communicate, but I'll try.
Wind the soft hackle in the normal manner, but back a bit from the eye. Then stroke the fibers forward toward the fly and wrap a couple times from behind toward the eye, leaving the hackle at the desired length. then stroke back again. cinching from the eye backwards.
 
redietz

redietz

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What JackM describes works well if 1) the hackle is only a bit too long (say half the hook shank too long) and 2) it doesn't matter if you leave a lump at the front of the fly, for instance if you're going to dub a thorax over it.

If you can't meet both of these conditions, use the method shown in the 2nd video is this thread:

Tying in a Partridge Hackle

Using that method, you can tie a size 18 fly using a hackle that would fit a size 8 hook (I have) and there's no lump in the thorax area -- good if you're tying a slim bodied North Country Spider such as a Partridge and Orange.
 
bigjohn358

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What JackM describes works well if 1) the hackle is only a bit too long (say half the hook shank too long) and 2) it doesn't matter if you leave a lump at the front of the fly, for instance if you're going to dub a thorax over it.

If you can't meet both of these conditions, use the method shown in the 2nd video is this thread:

Tying in a Partridge Hackle

Using that method, you can tie a size 18 fly using a hackle that would fit a size 8 hook (I have) and there's no lump in the thorax area -- good if you're tying a slim bodied North Country Spider such as a Partridge and Orange.
Thanks...thats a great tip!
 
fritz

fritz

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Tying in by the tips for me. I read or saw somewhere, maybe on here that for small or fragile tips lay the hackle on your table and with a fingernail and some pressure run it up the stem toward and to the tip. If I remember what I read that maneuver flattens the tip a bit or something and may help make it less susceptible to breaking. It seems to work for me more than not.
 
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JeffK

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I tie in mostly by the tips - works well for hen and partridge hackles. Some wild bird feathers, like starling, have very weak tips and I tie them in by the stems. BTW, I find starling works very well for the small soft hackles I use for BWO's and midges. ( I think the body isn't that important with starling soft hackles as long as it is something dark). The old Stewart patterns strengthened weak feathers by twisting them with a thread and wrapping together. Works well with the very thin threads we have now.
 
Steeltrap

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The FO bead head soft hackle was the fly of the morning today!!
 
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