How To Use Hackle Pliers in Fly Tying

Fly fishing is a method of fishing which engages the use of an artificial fly. The fly anglers throw hooks, which have materials attached to it such as feathers, foam, fur, and other similar types to take the place of the more traditional baits of worms and others.

It has become a very popular sport more recently, where fly anglers swear to how relaxing it is to indulge in. Fly tying is one of the basic things you need to do in fly fishing.

The process requires patience and time, but with efficient tools, you will be able to get things done much easier. Included in your list of necessary tools are a good quality vise, a pair of good scissors with sharp blades, and hackle pliers.

Although it is possible to use your fingers to hold on to materials as you do the process of wrapping around the hook shank, hackle pliers can do the job with much less effort and time.

There are a variety of styles available for you to choose from. One of the most commonly used is the standard hackle pliers. To use, you simply have to squeeze on both sides of the device to open up its jaws. Your materials can then be placed into these jaws before you let go of your grip, which locks the material in.

It features a cover made from plastic to avoid materials from escaping. Yet another type is the rotating hackle pliers, which features a rotary handle working its way around an attached wire on the tool’s jaws. Here are the instructions on how to properly use hackle pliers.

Select the most suitable type for you

It is very important that you make use of good quality hackle pliers to ensure that your material is held onto securely without risk of breaking off its tip. For beginners, the ideal type would be the English hackle pliers. Those with rotating handles are able to keep the hackle in position as you wrap your chosen material around your hook. Also, make sure to consider the size of the finger opening. It must be able to allow your fingers to fit in comfortably.

Thread the bobbin

The first step is to place your bare hook onto the fly tying vise in a position that its curve is on the jaws of your vise. Now hold down your vise tightly so that your hook is securely in place. Load thread onto your bobbin, threading its loose end into the top area of the bobbin, starting beneath the hook’s eye and wrapping around the thread on the hook until you reach the hook’s bend.

Keep the bobbin hanging on the thread. Hold on to the fly’s tail material keeping it at the same level as the hook’s shank. Wrap the thread around it using your bobbin so that it is securely attached to the shank. You can add your fly’s body material following the same process.

Use the hackle pliers

The next step involves tying up the quill part of the feather you will be making use of on the shank, while you hold the opposite side of the feather with your hackle pliers. Turn the hackle pliers around the shank and allow its fibers to spread around your hook. Use some thread to secure the end of the feather in place.

Follow the same process you did with tying in the tail and the body of the fly, with the head. Use a whip finish knot to tie up the fly.

With the use of the basic tools in fly tying, you can create the best flies for your favorite sport of fly fishing.

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