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Goku

Step by step! Herl head

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Okay, then I will share you my techniques of tying a traditional head, this is how I believe to make it right. At least it looks right to me...

 

Step one: Tie down all materials before cutting the vast end; wing, cheeks/sides, horns and topping. No need to think about tapering the head, we are talking about tying traditional in the head using silk and wax, making sure that we can use it without worrying about that the wing will fall of in the water.. This is a fishing fly, right? It will be many wraps, and you can see the head is getting a little length that is not tapering... Horrible sight, huh?

 

Alright, lets move to next step:

 

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Step 2: Cut all the vast end straight of. Easily done, just watch the head, don't cut any of the wrap or the head will be a mess... Then put a good drop of varnish. Two or three times is good. Make sure the varnish (thin clear varnish is preferred) will sink into the head, so we can use the fly later..! Yup, all preparation is all done, let's move to next step.

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Step 3: Tie down a full, short fibered ostrich hackle with the rachis towards the wing and the fibers towards the gut (opposite of the direction when you make the butt). Before winding it backwards, add a few drop of varnish around the head, and let let it dry a little before you wind the herl backwards.. Don't let it dry totally before you start tying down the herl, it should stick to the varnish when you wrap it around the head, so it won't fall of later..

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Step 4: When you're done wrapping the herl, you just need to secure the hackle with two turn and then take a whip finish and cut of the silk thread. Add a tiny drop of varnish where the thread is, and you get a nice looking herl head :D Hope this will help a little..

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That's amazing Long. could we also get a front on shot, I'm just curious about how the butt ends are hidden in front? Do you use a black marker? or is the herl wrap over those exposed butt ends? This is one of the best step by steps I've seen. Looks like you did this all in hand too eh?

WoW!

 

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It looks like this:

 

I don't care doing anything with it, but of course, you can cover that part with black varnish if you want.. And thanks Damian, this fly is like the others tied in hand as usual.

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Hey Long, Thanks for taking that last shot. I was so curious about that.

I suppose back in the day that's exactly how it was done, the way you've done it is neat clean and asthetically pleasing to the eye.

 

It continues to amaze me how you can create such beautiful flies without the aide of a vise.

 

Thanks for taking the time to create and post this sbys, it really answered alot of questions I had on the subject.

 

What other well kept secrets you willing to share..LOL!! JK.

 

Damian.

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Thanks Long! This has always been a mystery.

To get that nice thick herl on the head, how many wraps did you take with the short bushy-fibered ostrich herl?

 

I'm assuming a tiny tiny drop of black laquer will color the wing butts?

-E

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Hey guys,

Was just speaking with Long and he said it was ok that I post this. I took the photo's and steps and put them in a word document so I could print off the step by step for future reference.

 

I'd insert a link for anyone who wants to print it off but it's 10mb and I think I'd get in trouble for posting it.

 

File is too big to send via email, tried to send to Mark just now and it bounced as it was too large for the server to handle.

 

Pretty easy to do, just copy and paste the text and pics in order as Long described in the post, size the photo's a bit so they fit on the pages nicely and you can print off your copy for easy reference.

 

Thank you again Long.

 

Damian.

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I take many wraps as the length of fiber and place on the head allows me to wrap.. I got super good herl right know, but often I do use two herls when the quality is poor and length is short.. The tiny drop of finishing varnish I use is clear (I haven't used black varnish for a while), so it isn't affecting the color of the rest of the fly..

 

Any more questions? :j_k: (not sure what j/k means, but I think this guy fits here..)

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j/k means just kidding Long. I don't have any questions right now but I am sure that I will have plenty when I actually try this technique.

 

Thank you for sharing this! :punk: :punk: You ROCK!

 

 

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Fantasticly helpful stuff Long.

 

I notice the pic of the 'real' Blacker fly - from the book with the step x step patterns in it - that the head looks almost identical in every respect (which I guess in justification in itself for leaving it finished like this) - must admit though I'd need to sort that stubby end myself - looks like a Radencich fly before it's been camouflaged with cheeks! (tin hats on awaiting the barage on that comment!)

 

Dave

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