Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Soft-hackle Materials & Tools

After I completed my last & biggest trip, I have to admit myself that I am in a mix of loose, depressed, relaxed, that sort of mental condition. Besides, happy holiday season is coming. In a good way, I am a bit away from my tying bench, instead enjoying good DVDs and thinking about what I have experienced this year........

Whatsoever, what I am always thinking (actually obcessed with) is soft-hackle flies. I am still tying to fill my box whenever I've got an urge!! I'd like to post my favorite materials and tools here.

These two always go with my traveling tying bag, Whiting hen cape in dun and partridge. They are so versatile as tail, hackle, and wing materials. I think these two simply seem to represent something "fishy" to our and trout's eyes.

One of my best buys for this year from Blue Ribbon Flies, a whole pheasant skin. Both top and

rear side, there's nothing useless among these lovely feathers.

Grouse skin is another good one to tie large to medium size soft-hackles.

Here are starling and mallard shoulder. Starling is what I need to tie small soft-hackles for midge and baetis patterns. A paired mallard wings are oftentimes used as wings for dry flies but they are so fragile. I didn't know what to do with what I bought but I learned that shoulder feathers can be used for soft-hackles. Nice coloration!!!

And there it is, a hook exclusively for soft-hackle flies...... I picked up at Blue Ribbon Flies from #9 to 17. Manufactured in Japan by Daiichi, it is 1X-fine & 2X-short.

Then, most of lovely and fishy soft-hackles can never ever be tied without Pearsall's Gossamer silk threads, made in England. They have to go with Matarelli's Midge bobbin.
I always start and end my soft-hackles with applying Lagartun's beeswax on my silk threads. When I pack materials to my traveling bag, I don't carry Dave's Flexament or Zap-a-Gap in case they break or blow up. So instead of the cement, this beeswax always go with me.

Finally this is a recent acquisition that I came to like immensely. Hook & hackle plier from Hareline. This one simply grabs soft-hackle feathers without breaking, that regular hackle pilers can't do especially with smaller feathers (starling and partridge). Also, as the name says, this can hold hooks very well when I slip beads to hooks, most likely #16 and smaller.

I have just purchased white and black Gossamer spools from Blue Ribbon Flies. During the winter, I am thinking to tie several variations of my Coyote with those colors.

If you are one of bird hunters, please give me skins after you secure your meat!!

Wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

I am working on my greeting card for this year. I think I will post around or after Christmas.

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