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Tip of the Day for Aug 16, 2003


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#1 Big Daddy Hubbard

Big Daddy Hubbard

    President of the North Alabama Steelhead Assoc., Hogswaller, KY

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Posted 15 August 2003 - 02:48 PM

Feathers tend to dry and the stems become brittle and hard to work with. If you happen to have an old saddle or neck crammed into a box somewhere, try this trick and you may be pleasantly suprised...

Bring the hackle back to life with a little conditioner. I have used a lot of name brand conditioners, but have had great results with old reliables like VO5, Prell, and Mane & Tail. Apply the conditioner with the flow of the saddle or neck. Gently and gingerly work the conditoner into the entire peice. Put it in a paper bag, and store it over night in a cool dry place (I use the top shelf of my closet). Next, rinse the hackle thoroughly by hand. Rinse gently and work the water into the piece to make sure you rinse away any remaining residue. Allow the piece to drain by either hanging it vertically or by placing it onto of several layers of paper towels or other absorbent material. After any excess water has been removed, piece the piece into a paper bag and use a hair dryer to dry the entire piece. Use the lowest setting possible or you may cause heat damage to the more delicate feathers. To use the hairdryer effectively, insert it into the top of the bag, and secure the bag around the dryer with a rubberband.


The key is a little patience and a gentle touch. The end result should be a very usable and rejuvinated hackle.

I tried this technique with a fellow tier just last week. We successfully reconditioned a hackle he had stored in a foot locker since 1993. It turned out beautifully!!!!!