Hackle quill weed guard - Fly Fishing Forum
Works for me! Tips and techniques worth sharing

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Old 06-28-2005, 11:45 AM
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Hackle quill weed guard

I struck upon this weed guard solution randomly one day because I didn't have anything else to use, and it turned out to work really well! I've never been a fan of mono weeds guards and I don't really think they work all that well. There's only one drawback I've found so far to my quill weed guard, which is that the quill can get kinked if it's bent too far and then it doesn't work as well. For this reason, I tend to use it on flies that aren't very labor intensive, like bucktail streamers.

I'll assume I'm tying a plain old bucktail streamer, though the same basic technique will work on other types too. Start out by selecting one medium hackle fiber from a rooster neck and trimming the hackle fibers off the quill. Then trim the quill, taking off ~1/2" of the thick end and enough of the thin end so the quill ends up twice the size of the hook gap. The quill should be about the thickness of the wire in a large paper clip. I've found that the thick end of the quill really doesn't work very well for this purpose so make sure to get all of the base off until you're at least into the part where it's hollow in the center.

Start the fly by putting the hook in the vise point side up and tying on the thread ~1/2 hook gap ahead of the hook gap. Create a lump of thread, then take the quill and with a couple of loose wraps, secure the end of it just ahead of the lump with the tail end pointing towards the hook bend. Now you're going to kink the quill at the point where the thread lump and hook shank meet. It's easy to do this by tightening up your thread and doing a couple of tight wraps right at this point while pulling on the tail end. Now the lump of thread should push the quill away from the hook shank. Depending on the size of the lump of thread and other factors, the quill may already be in a good position to serve as a weed guard. If it is, give it a few more wraps to secure it to the hook better. I like it to be ~1/4" away from the hook point and to protrude past it a little more than that. This allows for some flex when it hits weeds.

After this, tie on your other materials as you normally would. You can also use multiple quills instead of just one. Tying in two quills at a slight angle on each side of the hook point can also be very effective.
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Old 07-24-2005, 01:38 PM
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Do you know how well this stands up to being eaten by fish?
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:40 PM
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Why not just use a loop of medium or hard mono (such as Maxima) in the manner of Dave Whitlock for a weed guard? They are very easy and quick to tie while being extremely effective.
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:39 PM
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Hey bud, you'r last post has the idea however, I had problems (especially on hair bodies)
with the roundness of the monoline.

I was melting some mono for small weighted eyes, it leaves a small loop with two round
drops of the line the looks good on my small panfish flies.

Any way, as far as a week gard, it came together when I heated the ends of an old set
of forceps and clamped the ends of the line by about a quarter ench. This way the tied
on ends of the line that form the guard tie flat to the shank, and I think the wrinkled
ends of the line under the body help make the guard last longer than body of the fly on
a hard bitting day.

good luck at the vice.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:06 AM
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I just realized there were a couple of questions posted that I never saw. If anybody still cares I'll answer them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDHflyfisher
Do you know how well this stands up to being eaten by fish?
It can get kinked by fish, so I don't use this method in time-intensive flies. It'll usually work perfectly for at least a few fish, then after that slowly loses its effectiveness. When it wears out, I just clip it off and now I have a non-weedless version of the fly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flytyer
Why not just use a loop of medium or hard mono (such as Maxima) in the manner of Dave Whitlock for a weed guard? They are very easy and quick to tie while being extremely effective.
I don't find these to be effective. They usually don't align with the hook point well so you still end up getting weeds on them, and the gentle curve of them tends to allow weeds to deform them slightly and the weeds still find the hook point. I really think they make it more difficult to get good hooksets too. I have far better hook rates with these weed guards than with mono.
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