Schlappen [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Schlappen


Gillie
10-22-2004, 10:04 AM
I'm looking for how different tyers use schlappen for speys. Speciffically how they deal with the clumping. I have read Shewey's method for burning with bleach solution but am looking for alternatives.

Flytyer, if your out there, you wrote in aprevious post that Gobin had shown you a technique for dealing with this. Can you share or is it a closely guarded secret ?

Gillie

Charlie
10-22-2004, 11:02 AM
Gillie,

I use a simple method to do what you want to do. Put a solution of 50% warm water and 50% bleach in a small dish. Dip the schlappen feather in the solution and move it back and fourth until the fibers no longer stick together, this will only take a few seconds. Then rinse the feather in cold tap water. Very simple and it works good.

Charlie

flytyer
10-22-2004, 04:25 PM
Gillie,

Until Steve Gobin showed me how he did some 12 years ago, I used Charlie's method. However, the Gobin method can be done with no special tools or the need to soak the feathers at all.

This is how Steve showed me to do it: 1) take the feather in your fingers with the butt facing up toward the ceiling with the concave (dull side) side facing up; 2) using your thimb nail and middle finger pad of your right hand stroke the fibers on the right side of the feather by pressing your thumb nail into the finger pad; 3) do this on nearly all the fibers on the right side of the feather; and 4) then strip the left side of the feather and tie it in by the butt. When the feather is prepared and tied in this way, the fibers will be on the outside of the hackle stem and flow toward the rear of the fly.

The advantages of this method are many. You don't have to bother with preparing any solution to burn the fibers; you don't have to wait for feathers to dry; you don't have to worry about over-burning the feathers or making the stem brittle; you can do it as you tie the flies.

I almost never tie fewer than a dozen of a single pattern and size, so I use this method of breaking down the schallapen fibers to prepare a dozen or more schlappen feathers at a time and simply lay them on my tying table in a small pile. This way I already have the feathers prepared for tying the flies and don't have to break the tying rhythm; thus getting the fies tied more quickly and with more consistency.

Smolt
10-22-2004, 05:32 PM
Gillie,

2) using your thimb pad and middle finger's nail of your right hand stroke the fibers on the right side of the feather by pressing your finger nail into the thumb pad;.


Is that the tyer's right or the feather's right? Thanks

flytyer
10-22-2004, 09:05 PM
Smolt,

Both. If you are holding the feather with the butt pointing toward the ceiling while having the convex (dull side) pointing up, the side you mash the barbs with your middle finger's nail against your thumb pad is the right side of the feather, which is also your (the tyer's) right side.

Smolt
10-23-2004, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the description.

Philster
10-23-2004, 09:39 PM
Smolt,

Both. If you are holding the feather with the butt pointing toward the ceiling while having the convex (dull side) pointing up, the side you mash the barbs with your middle finger's nail against your thumb pad is the right side of the feather, which is also your (the tyer's) right side.


So then when you tie in the feather by the butt, is the convex/dull side facing forward. In other words the fibers are flowing towards the head of the fly, not back?

flytyer
10-24-2004, 04:15 PM
Philster,

No, In simple terms, when you tie the feather in by the butt, the hackle is reversed from how it was held in your hand when you perpared on side by mashing the barb and stripped the fibers from the other side. And because the feather is reversed, the bare side is against the body and the fibered side flows to the rear.

Philster
10-24-2004, 08:58 PM
Thanks flytier, just couldn't see it...

I used to test out 99th percentile mechanical reasoning. Now that I'm a stay at home dad, I have to say "Lefty Loosey, righty tighty" everytime I approach a screw :eek:

Philster
10-28-2004, 01:17 PM
Flytier you Dog! (meant in a good way)

The schlappen trick is OUTSTANDING! Looks great in the vise, but in the water the freedom of movement the individual fibers give is fabulous. I've been taking all my old speys out of my boxes and stroking the fibers that clump and it works on them to.

Thanks again.

flytyer
10-28-2004, 01:22 PM
Philster,

Glad you found it works so well! When I saw Gobin do this and and then saw how it looked in the vise, I knew it was the method I would use from then on for schlappen on a spey or dee fly. Like most good tying methods, it is elegant in its sumplicity.

SparseHairHackl
10-28-2004, 03:01 PM
Flytyer,

Forgive my denseness, but the phrase "butt facing up toward the ceiling with the convex (dull side) side facing up" has me confused. You describe 2 things facing UP. Can this also be described as the feather butt is toward the ceiling and the convex side is facing the tyer? So that the prepared side that is left after stripping will be on the outside as the feather is wrapped (when tied in by the butt)?

And, in the preparation, the thumbnail is pressing into the convex side of the feather, right?

Sorry for my confusion, but this is a very useful tip, and I like using schlappen!

--Bill

flytyer
10-28-2004, 03:14 PM
Bill--

You described it exactly in slightly different terminology than I did. If you do as you posted herein, you will have done what I do. And yes, your thumbnail is pressing on the convex side of the feather.

SparseHairHackl
10-28-2004, 03:36 PM
Thanks, flytyer! I'm at the bench today and looking forward to playing...

--Bill