What do you use for hackle pliers?
I have used, and made quite a few, some from a large safety pin bent, and hammered to shape. I have found that a pair of electronic resistor holders to be the best. They are very cheap, and last a long time, I have some that are over 25 years old, and still work. They are between 2 and 3 inches long, and have a smooth hook on one end, with a knob with a button on the other, which has a spring which retracts the hook into the end of a plastic stem. They have just about the right tension to hold hackles, while winding without breaking. Works great