Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tying Flies with Palmered Hackles

Palmered Hackle Illustrations

A palmered saddle hackle is wrapped around a fly body to suggest various types of legs or body parts of certain insects. These hackles are softer and are mainly used to tie wet flies or streamers to create a soft, wavy motion in the water. Grade A rooster hackles are stiffer and primarily used to imitate an insect floating on top of the water. 

To palmer a hackle, grasp the tip of a saddle hackle with the thumb and forefinger and then gently stroke it down against the grain until all of the fibers are close to a 90 degree angle. Tie the palmered hackle tip onto the hook along with the body material and wind the hackle forward over the body so that the wraps are separated by about 1/8 inch intervals. The number of turns will depend on the size of the hook you use. The illustrations above show the process.  

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