Need to rejuvinate feathered tarpon flies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Need to rejuvinate feathered tarpon flies

07-12-2006, 07:55 AM
Got a tarpon trip coming up and I have several flies (tied with feathers) from previous trips that were never used. However, after lying around for several years, they need a little perking up. Any suggestions on how to

1.Get feathers to lie right along their spines

2. Straighten out slightly mis-shapen feathers

3. Put back the curve in splayed feathers

I think I may have read somewheres that wetting them between paper towels and placing them in the wanted position will do the trick, but I'm open to any improvement on this method or any other methods. Thanks

07-12-2006, 09:56 AM
Try hot water first. Hold them in a vertical position by the hook head first and run them under the hottest tap water you can and lay them flat on a paper towel. That should do the trick in most cases.

Steam will work as well but I only use that as a last resort because sometimes it will splay the feathers into all kinds of unwanted directions that are impossible to fix.


07-12-2006, 10:26 AM
Sound advice from Sean.

The problem with steam is feathers are basically made up of protiens and if the steam gets too hot it can "cook" the feather into a permanent unwanted shape.

Slightly off-topic but this property can also be used to advantage. If you have a feather that just won't tie in correctly, squeezing the shaft with flatnose pliers and applying heat can do the trick. Without heat the stalk will eventually return to its original shape after being 'cold-squeezed'.