Hackle Pliers

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dj1212
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Hackle Pliers

Post by dj1212 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:58 pm

Having some troubles with the hackle pliers I have. Anyone have a good recommendation for hackle pliers that hold the feather and won't cut delicate ones? Thanks
Last edited by dj1212 on Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tie2fish
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Re: Hckle Pliers

Post by tie2fish » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:19 am

Image
Some of the same morons who throw their trash around in National parks also vote. That alone would explain the state of American politics. ~ John Gierach, "Still Life with Brook Trout"
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Theroe
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by Theroe » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:02 am

dj1212 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:58 pm
Having some troubles with the hackle pliers I have. Anyone have a good recommendation for hackle pliers that hold the feather and won't cut delicate ones? Thanks
dj1212
I probably have 30 or so hackle pliers, running the gamut: English, American, rotating, an arterial hemostat Winnie Dette gave me in the early 1980's, etc. Recently however, I have started using just my fingers, possibly as homage to those greats who came before us: Pritt, Edwards & Lee, etc.
I will tell you this: once you get the hang of it, you will not go back...

Side note - a small piece of heat shrink on the jaws of English type pliers works wonders at preventing cut hackle!

Dana
Soft and wet - the only way....
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tie2fish
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by tie2fish » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:44 am

Theroe wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:02 am
dj1212 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:58 pm
Having some troubles with the hackle pliers I have. Anyone have a good recommendation for hackle pliers that hold the feather and won't cut delicate ones? Thanks
dj1212
I probably have 30 or so hackle pliers, running the gamut: English, American, rotating, an arterial hemostat Winnie Dette gave me in the early 1980's, etc. Recently however, I have started using just my fingers, possibly as homage to those greats who came before us: Pritt, Edwards & Lee, etc.
I will tell you this: once you get the hang of it, you will not go back...

Side note - a small piece of heat shrink on the jaws of English type pliers works wonders at preventing cut hackle!

Dana
Friend Dana ~ Please post some photos of the Size #20 soft hackled flies you tie using just your fingers. You are a better man than I, Gunga Din.
Some of the same morons who throw their trash around in National parks also vote. That alone would explain the state of American politics. ~ John Gierach, "Still Life with Brook Trout"
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Theroe
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by Theroe » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:37 am

....err a size #16 is my smallest "preferred" size.

Since my cat brought me home a MOST excellent treat last night - a vole! A woodland vole to be exact....the pelt looks like a cross between a gerbil, and a late winter mole(with the rusty tips).
This evening, I will try a few "mano a mano"... pictures to follow!

Dana
Soft and wet - the only way....
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dj1212
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by dj1212 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:47 am

I should add I've been tying flies for many years and always liked the English hackle pliers the best but it's hard sometimes to find one that the jaws are tight when closed. If they're made well they work great. Helps if you can go through some to find a good pair.
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tie2fish
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by tie2fish » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:11 am

dj1212 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:47 am
I should add I've been tying flies for many years and always liked the English hackle pliers the best but it's hard sometimes to find one that the jaws are tight when closed. If they're made well they work great. Helps if you can go through some to find a good pair.
If the jaws are not properly aligned you can bend them to fit with pliers.

Also, Dana's suggestion of a piece of shrink tubing on one jaw really helps ensure a good grip and prevent cutting. (I use a small length of silicon tubing.)
Some of the same morons who throw their trash around in National parks also vote. That alone would explain the state of American politics. ~ John Gierach, "Still Life with Brook Trout"
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chase creek
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by chase creek » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:21 pm

That piece of shrink tubing on the English hackle pliers works really well. BUT be sure you leave about 1/16(or 1/8) inch or so beyond the tip when putting on. That will keep the tip of the plier from cutting the stem of your feather. :D
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beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise"
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Greenwell
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by Greenwell » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:12 pm

Hackles pliers go far back in fly tying history. I can't recall the first references to them in the literature but I am certain that they were in common use at least by the mid 19th century if not a lot earlier. James Ogden in his "Ogden on Fly Tying," 1879, clearly shows two pairs of pliers along with a fly vise. In my collection I have two pairs of very fine and modern looking hackle pliers that belonged to Henry Walbran Cooper that fit snugly into purpose made loops in his fly wallet, which is signed and dated 1880. HWC was a friend and contemporary of thomas Pritt so their use would by inference have been well known to Pritt. By the time Edmonds and Lee published "Brook and River Trouting" in 1916 hackle pliers had been in use for a long time.

When I learned to tie flies more than 50 years ago my father bought me two pairs of English hackle pliers from Veniards. There was a small and a large pair and I'm proud to say that I still have and use both pairs to this day. I own and have tried many styles over the years and I do like the flat black teardrop ones, I forget the maker, especially on some of the harder to grip feathers. But I've dressed the majority of my flies with those little English pliers that my dad gave me over a half century ago.
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redietz
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Re: Hackle Pliers

Post by redietz » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:13 pm

Theroe wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:02 am

I probably have 30 or so hackle pliers, running the gamut: English, American, rotating, an arterial hemostat Winnie Dette gave me in the early 1980's, etc. ...

Side note - a small piece of heat shrink on the jaws of English type pliers works wonders at preventing cut hackle!
I likewise own that many hackle pliers. Some of them are test clips for electrical work that cost $5.00 a pop in a fly shop and are two for buck from electronics supply store. Here's another side note for those types: a bit of dubbing wax in the clip itself will really prevent slipping.
Bob
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