View Full Version : crooked feathers

03-14-2004, 01:36 PM
I took afew tying classes, but must not have been paying attention when the topic of feathers was discussed. The question I have is - how do you get the curve out of feathers - it's a real pain in the arse when trying to make decievers. I tried soaking them, but most still have the bend to them - thanks Punch

03-14-2004, 03:19 PM
I am assuming you are talking about feathers that are bent out of shape abnormally due to the way they have been packaged and /or stored. In this case you can steam and iron the feathers. Use a low heat setting as you can cause the stem to curl even worse with too much heat. That said, nearly all feathers have a natural curl to them. You should be working with this natural curl when tying flies. When picking feathers for winging applications, look for matching feathers; that is pairs of feathers with similar but opposite curls. That allows you tie a balanced fly with the matching curls in or out, up or down depending on the action or effect you want to acheive. A typical cape or saddle will have feathers with both left and right curls. I prefer feathers attached to the cape as it makes selecting the feathers for the correct curl easier as well as keeping the feathers better organized with less likelihood of twisting out of shape. So in a nutshell, some curl is good, too much curl is bad!

Hope this helps.


03-14-2004, 05:13 PM
Tying decievers I lay the saddle hackle on top of my thigh, side by side. Usually I use 3 pieces of hackle per side. You want them to end up attached to the hook like praying hands. So I lay 6 pieces on my thigh so the inside of the curve is down. Then stack three and pick them up and tie them on the hook. Tie the other three on the other side. Don't worry next year you'll look at them and toss in the bluefish box or give them to a spinfisherman for teasers. :brow

03-15-2004, 07:14 AM
Running feathers under warm water shapes them, steaming them returns them to their previous shape. Hope this helps.