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Fishigan

Spliting hackles

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I have some good marabou hackle to us eon some spey flies. They are rather full so instead of folding I'd like to split them. I read about soaking them in water over night then pealing them? Sound like it can work very well or ruin a hackle. I think it was mentioned to do this more for spey cock type hackle though. Has anyone here done any spliting? Would an exacto knife and a steady hand work well enough?

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I've tried that method before, and after much frustration I just peeled one side and found virtually no difference if you are using blood quills, the larger quills with the huge rachis I haven't tried.

-Matt

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Is it just a matter of soaking it for X amount of hours then just be very careful in pealing it? I think in the book is states to soak it over night.

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spey type marabou is usually thin stemmed, don't use thick stemmed. save it for bass flies. strip one side and you are all set. splitting works best on thick stemmed feathers.

joelst

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Fishigan

 

Ronn Lucas is the "king of the split hackle". Maybe we can get him to post on here later. I have done it with turkey and it is not difficult, frustrating at first, but not difficult. In my opinion and with my experiences with the turkey you do not need the exacto knife.

 

Ronn has an article on FAOL on how to properly do it, but I do not remember which one it is.

 

Kyle

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Here's the link. http://flyanglersonline.com/flytying/atlan...speyhackle.html

 

Pretty easy really. I have found that a very few kinds of feathers don't like to be stripped this way. Blue Eared Pheasant is one that is difficult. You have to keep your focus while stripping them or the feather will break.

 

Marabou is also difficult but more because it is so soft and fluffy. Blood feathers make good Spey hackles and their shafts are quite fine.

 

Happy Trails!

Ronn

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