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Old 03-09-2005, 12:21 PM
M. saxatilis M. saxatilis is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NJ
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Saltwater saddle hackle

Fellow fly folk,

I am relatively new to fly tying and my question(s) are regarding saddle hackle for use in tying saltwater flies.

When I tie using saddle hackles I usually end up searching through the bundle of tied material in search of a few feathers that are not too damaged. However, I find it is like peeling Brussels sprouts trying to get to their core. There are none!

My question(s): Do tiers use hackles in less than perfect condition? That is, is it ok to use a few hackles with a few barbs missing their tips? What about a crimped rachis (quill portion)? How will these imperfections impede the natural fluid motion of my fly in the the water? If I am tying a fly with several hackles (i.e. Popovics Full dress pop lip or Semper Fleye) does this really matter?

If the answer to these questions fall under the “...individual preference of the fly tier” category as my local fly shop owner likes to say, I fear I will be lost on the ebb and flow of my meticulousness and confusion forever.

Even a fish would stay out of trouble if it kept it's mouth shut.
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