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Rusty Shackleford

Soft Hackle Partridge body?

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I want to tie some soft hackles up, specifically partridge and orange but all the recipes I've seen call for floss which as a beginner I have no experience with and from what I've heard, can be difficult to work with. Is there a simple substitute? all I really have at the moment in the proper color is 70D ultra thread.

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I say tie it up with what you have.  While floss is relatively inexpensive ($.59 at the local Wal-Mart) a smooth underbody is what you are going for, I wouldn't not tie a pattern just because you don't have the "right" material..  If you chose to go the route there are a vast number of colors available to you.

DMC Floss is available at most craft stores in the embroidery section.  Beware, it's easy to end up with far more than you will ever use!  DMC Color chart below. Oh and they come in satin too.

Image result for embroidery floss color chart

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There are many things you can use for bodies. Silk thread is the traditional body, but that's not the only thing that will  fish for you. Try flex floss, tying thread, Veevus sells floss on a spool, there's sexi-floss, which I assume is the same as flex floss, etc. Your confidence in the fly and the fish will guide you. Also, Noahguide has a good idea.

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20 minutes ago, feathers5 said:

There are many things you can use for bodies. Silk floss is the traditional body, but that's not the only thing that will  fish for you. Try flex floss, tying thread, Veevus sells floss on a spool, there's sexi-floss, which I assume is the same as flex floss, etc. Your confidence in the fly and the fish will guide you. Also, Noahguide has a good idea.

I was thinking UNI nylon stretch, seems fairly inexpensive and maybe not as difficult as traditional silk. Next time I get near a craft store I'll walk in and see what they have as well. 

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I've used the DMC floss in place of spooled floss.  Like @Noahguide says, I would get the 'satin' which is made of rayon, and not the all cotton version.  It's a 12 strand floss, I usually break it down into just one or two strands.  I have found it difficult to get a smooth body with it though, unless I'm using a single stand.  It certainly is cheap with a large variety of colors.     

For a P&O, I would certainly use the UTC thread you have on hand.  Unwind it after once you get it tied on to get a smoother body. 

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3 minutes ago, niveker said:

I've used the DMC floss in place of spooled floss.  Like @Noahguide says, I would get the 'satin' which is made of rayon, and not the all cotton version.  It's a 12 strand floss, I usually break it down into just one or two strands.  I have found it difficult to get a smooth body with it though, unless I'm using a single stand.  It certainly is cheap with a large variety of colors.     

For a P&O, I would certainly use the UTC thread you have on hand.  Unwind it after once you get it tied on to get a smoother body. 

How do you mean, unwind? like just unwrap your last layer at the end to expose the compressed thread underneath? 

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Spin the bobbin holder counter-clockwise while it hangs free off the hook. The thread will unwind and flatten. .  

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2 hours ago, feathers5 said:

 Silk floss is the traditional body,

Silk thread is the traditional body, not floss.

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I've never tied a wet fly, or any fly, with floss.  I believe when a pattern calls for floss it is referring to silk thread which is rich in fly tying history. Any other type of floss or thread is a substitution.  Since historical accuracy  and silk properties are meaningless to me I just use whatever thread I have laying around in the color I'm looking for. Ultra thread is a fine choice. Don't get wrapped around the axle on the myriad of materials that have ever been tied to a hook unless your into the art and historical accuracy of fly tying. 

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When DRY you can use any orange substitute for silk floss.  The difference is when the fly is WET!  Silk material will change color and this color change is different than other materials that is substituted.

Stating that you can successfully tie flies using these substitutes.  I like UNI-Stretch myself and when I do use silk I use silk THREAD and not floss.

Kim

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2 hours ago, WWKimba said:

When DRY you can use any orange substitute for silk floss.  The difference is when the fly is WET!  Silk material will change color and this color change is different than other materials that is substituted.

Stating that you can successfully tie flies using these substitutes.  I like UNI-Stretch myself and when I do use silk I use silk THREAD and not floss.

Kim

I've heard that it's more translucent. I'm okay with my orange thread looking orange wet or dry. Not getting wrapped around the axle has many layers to it. 

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Not only is silk is translucent when wet but in addition, the silk floss in the original pattern is Pearsals which is no longer available. The Partridge and Orange is one of those pattern that depends on the genuine materials being used.

Not only is the floss no longer available, so is the thread. The other colors are going for $25 a spool for the thread.

https://jimsflyco.com/ECommerce/Pearsall-Thread/Pearsall-Gossamer-Silk-Thread?bId=12

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