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resize your hackles for soft hackle patterns

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  • resize your hackles for soft hackle patterns

    Here's how to use those partridge, starling and other soft hackles that you thought were to big to use.

    The hook is a Mustad 94840 size 20, the thread is 8/0, a little big for this size fly but it shows up better in the pics.

    First put your hook in the vise and start your thread.

    Here is a small partridge hackle. We've stripped down one side, but as you see the barbs are way to long for this size hook, in fact its about the shank length of the hook to long.

    So what we need to do is shorten the barbs by that length. So we will tie the hackle in at the end of the hook shank by the tip of the hackle. If the hackle were only half the shank to long then we would tie it in the middle.

    Next is to wrap your hackle like you would for a collar.

    Bring your thread up towards the eye of the hook. Grab the hackles and draw them forward with your fingers and make a thread wrap to keep them forward. If need be you can adjust the barbs so they are still even around the hook.

    Make your body with what ever you like and stop just a little behind the eye of the hook.

    Take a half hitch tool and slip it over the eye of the hook and push back the barbs. Hold them back with your left hand and then with your right grab your bobbin and make a couple thread wraps behind the eye.

    Add a couple half hitches and cut away your thread. You now have a size 20 soft hackle.

    Last edited by 94840; 09-10-08, 06:03 AM.

  • #2
    COOL! I learned something new already today. Guess I can go back to bed now.

    Exodus 29:18
    Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!


    • #3
      i like it...
      I use dry flies...why just for the chance of the perfect cast, perfect drift, just to see it disappear...and then FISH ON!!!!

      2010 Fall Fling Hero Shot Winner - 73'
      2011 Spring Fling Hero Shot Winner - 84' (91' Practice)

      Southern Fly Fishing


      • #4
        Thank you for showing us this method very clearly, both in words and pictures. I have been using this method for quite a while, and it has not been explained as clearly as you have presented.
        It is appreciated.
        ??? 94840 or 94842 ???
        I don't fish to live, but I live to fish.
        I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong.


        • #5
          Thanks. I think this is a lot better than the cut-a-V-and-spin method I've used. I can never get it to spin and give the real spider-fly look.


          • #6
            Thanks for posting that method as a tutorial. I guess the link I provided from SEFFF is no longer valid. I'll ad this link to my March Brown Spider Thread.
            ad illudendum , et in sibilum

            "Laughter is my drug of choice"
            - B. Nelson, HSD, AA, BS, MS, LPC, LMHC, NCC, FFF CCI, ACI, PADI AD, OPP, OCD, ADHD, ODD, PIB, MIB, PBR, PB & J, General Manager of the World, Fluent in Sarcasm

            TBoy to GB: "An education doesn't fix stupid, you're living proof of that "

            "Your a Idiott" - RScott

            I Beat Tommy King in a Spelling Bee.


            • #7
              Wow, what a great trick!!! I have half a partridge skin just sitting in my drawer that I've stopped using cuz the only remaining feathers are too it looks like I have some soft hackles to tie.

              Thanks for that

              "Fish hard or go home!!!"