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Rusty Shackleford

Brittle Pheasant Tail Feathers?

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I have tied quite a lot of pheasant tails now and I have had the occasional fiber break while wrapping but today I pulled out a new ginger color feather and I couldn't make it through a #16 pheasant tail to save my life, every fiber kept consistently breaking off, tried the other feather from the package with the same results. Have any of y'all had this problem? if so is there a work around or should I just throw them in the trash? I know some say they soak biots in water before tying them in to make them less brittle, I don't know if that would help with a pheasant feather or not though. I am open to suggestions and curious to hear if anyone else has had this happen.

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39 minutes ago, SilverCreek said:

Sounds like bleaching the feather to a ginger color made it brittle.

That was my first thought also. 

I have heard other tyers say soaking feathers in a water/glycerin solution will soften the stems.  I have  never done it, though, and do not know the procedure.  

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3 hours ago, SilverCreek said:

Sounds like bleaching the feather to a ginger color made it brittle. I don't know of a way to correct that.

I figured as much, how unfortunate :(

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Try soaking first, then send them to me if that don't work. No seriously, I love to fiddle with stuff to see if they can be brought back. If I was successful I'd send them back. Of course, you could just bring them back where you got them and see if you can have them replaced.

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try hair conditioner it helps me with brittle stems and quills, worth a try, my wife doesn't know how her conditioner bottle gets empty before the shampoo its obvious to her I don't use it  I'm bald 👴 (she gets it at my sisters hair salon)

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I would echo the previous thread .... soak them in water for a couple of minutes then apply some hair conditioner ....... let set for 3-4 minutes then rinse.  Worth a try before throwing the feathers away.

 

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i have dyed pheasant tails and have no problems wrapping the the fibers

if you want ginger/tan fibers try using the hen feathers

8407.Jpg

or golden pheasant tails

Golden Pheasant Tail Feather

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17 minutes ago, RickZieger said:

I would contact who you got them from and see if you can return them.

 

Rick 

I did and they have already mailed out replacements, I tried a conditioner soak/wash which did seem to slightly improve things but in the end most of the fibers ended up breaking, I just made it a little farther haha.

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were are you tying in the fibers at? the very tip? tying in the tips are going to break

cut off about 1/4 inch from the tip to get into much heavier fiber. tie in the fibers on top of the hook. then make a wrap away from you (or towards you if you prefer that direction) and then twists the fibers and wrap forward

this helps with wrapping peacock herls as well

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17 minutes ago, flytire said:

were are you tying in the fibers at? the very tip? tying in the tips are going to break

cut off about 1/4 inch from the tip to get into much heavier fiber. tie in the fibers on top of the hook. then make a wrap away from you (or towards you if you prefer that direction) and then twists the fibers and wrap forward

this helps with wrapping peacock herls as well

I have tried removing most of and all of the tips with no success, I have not tried spinning them though, I always try to keep mine flat when I lay them down. I will try one last time this afternoon using this method and let you know how it goes but I am not hopeful haha. I have never had much issues with peacock breaking on me but I also always snip out the very tip first but stopped twisting them a while ago. I now almost always use one strand and wind it in like any other hackle with the shiny side facing away from the shank and I haven't found them to be any more delicate than those that I used to twist 2-3 together and imo gives a fuller better look and uses less materials.

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