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Tip-tied Hackle

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12 replies to this topic

#1 SBPatt


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Posted 27 October 2019 - 08:08 AM

Watching a lot of Davie McPhail and Ryan Houston videos; each uses a different way to tie in hackle by the tip.

I was more familiar with McPhails method; tying in with the tip forward and hackle to the rear (out side, or "show" side, of hackle towards the tyer), then folding the tip back and tying it down to lock it in place




Houston trims the tip, ties it in by the stub, hackle facing forward (in side of hackle towards the tyer), then fold it back and ties it down, locking the hackle in place





Both work well, but I've turned toward Houston's method; for me, it locks the hackle in place securely and I use fewer wraps, creating less thread build up. What do you folks do?

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#2 Poopdeck


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Posted 27 October 2019 - 08:56 AM

I lock it in almost always. If it's a small fly I won't but I prefer locking everything in where I can.

#3 Piker20


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Posted 27 October 2019 - 08:56 AM

It depends on the feather I'm using. Good quality genetic chicken has narrow stem for a good length of it and I typically use stem end tied in.
Feathers like guinea fowl or pheasant or any with a rapidly thickening stem I tie tip first and often you're only adding a turn or two of these so bulk does not add up.
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

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#4 Jaydub


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Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:27 AM

Maybe 10 years ago, I got frustrated with hackles pulling out when I started to wrap. So, for wet fly collars, soft hackles etc., I started using the second method on my own. For Palmered hackles I use the first method.

#5 chugbug27


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Posted 27 October 2019 - 11:43 AM

I've only ever used the first and find it a pain to trim the tip after folding back except on the biggest flies. I'll try the second, never thought of it, much more efficient, same basic result, thanks for posting.

"Fly tying is replete with unproven theories and contradictions and therein lies much of it's charm and fascination." George F. Grant, The Master Fly Weaver

#6 mikechell



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Posted 27 October 2019 - 12:09 PM

Growing up with sci-fi and science progress ... I learned about superglue before I truly got into tying flies.

On those occasions when I am using hackle, I tie it in, put a small drop of superglue on the tip and thread and cut off the excess tip.  A few seconds to dry and the hackle stays in place with very few turns of thread.

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#7 tjm


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Posted 27 October 2019 - 12:48 PM

Well, neither of those. I usually trim the tip and tie in with the feather to the rear, The trimming before tie in lets the thread work between the barbs is usually all the lock-in needed, but after taking a few turns the thread can be passed under the stub a few times and back over it without the folding of the stem. When I used the pre-genetic hackle, the stems didn't fold well. Also use Mike's CA solution sometimes. The feather is sometimes dull side out and sometimes dull side  in for different effects, I guess I have no rules to follow. They are just fish bait.

#8 RickZieger


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Posted 27 October 2019 - 02:57 PM

Have always done the first method.  Will have to try the second.

Will also try the superglue.



#9 flytire


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Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:18 AM

ryan houston also ties in feathers with the tip facing towards the bend on a number of his videos

Respect someones else's ideas. We are all different people. Your way is not the only way.

Never argue with a self proclaimed expert

#10 Dave G.

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 05:49 AM

I always fold back the fibers of a tip tie regardless which direction it's facing and put down a couple of wraps to lock it in, then snip the excess. You don't have to lock it down on full 180deg fold but at least get a couple wraps under the fibers which will push them vertical for the snip. That makes for less bulk on small flies. I've used Mikes superglue idea too, about ten years ago I was placing a drop on with a pin at each stage of a fly build lol. Now I don't use much, I do like superglue for the squirrel tail on Muddlers. But I use a lot more stem locking method now than I did ten years ago.

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#11 walpy


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Posted 29 October 2019 - 09:51 AM

Whoa - Houston's way is new to me! Can't wait to give that a try

#12 vicrider


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Posted 29 October 2019 - 10:35 AM

I use the McPhail tie in but you're not showing that after you tie in you lift the tip sticking out and put a couple of wraps in front of tip. Some touched on this in comments. It lifts the tip for easy trimming. I have also learned to cut that tip without cutting off the good hackle too but that took awhile to get it down. Nothing like having the hackle tied in and then snipping off the whole thing when you go to trim the tip. Almost as fun as cutting the thread by mistake, hearing that thud of bobbin hitting the deck and watching the hackle spin back off the carefully tied wrap. Always good for a laugh........

#13 BobHRAH


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Posted 29 October 2019 - 05:54 PM

Anyone tie in at the butt or base of the fibers ala Davy Wotton?  Pull the feather straight up before wrapping, and do not fold as you wrap.   This method results in the fibers sticking out perpendicular to the hook, rather than leaning rearward.  Gives a different look and action.



Thanks, Bob H