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How do you guys manage your hackle on seaducers?

FreeFlyFreeFreeFlyFree Posts: 121 Deckhand
Hello, any tips to making the perfect Seaducer?, how do you keep the tail hackles together? I strugle every time to have them look like a pair of kicking legs, instead the tail of my seaducers look like a Duster




  • One more castOne more cast Posts: 145 Officer
    Pair them up when you tie them on. You can match them and then tie the flared side inwards so they push against each other. I hope that makes sense
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,517 Captain
    This is something that every tyer runs into and there's an easy fix. It's much easier to demonstrate but I'll try to describe how to set up your feather tails... Remember first that you can make your tails out of either saddle or neck hackles - but never mix the two since they have different characteristics.... Every feather has a natural curve to it (if your feathers have been pressed flat in the package a little time over a steaming tea kettle will sort them out. If you're going to steam feathers keep them away from the hottest part of the steam (I hold them in my hands to make sure they're not in really hot steam...). Once they're steamed allow them to dry on a paper towel and you're in business as far as using them for tying purposes (any old fly will perk up at bit if it's steamed as well...).

    There are two tricks to getting really good looking tails for Seaducers and other patterns -the first is mating them up. I usually use three feathers per side and start with the hackle that has the most curve inside and each one with a lesser curve outside.... You'll find that they marry up perfectly that way (and they'll generally stay that way once they're tied in place. The second trick is how you set them up for tying into place - only tie in one side at a time and onto the side of the hook shank - not the top... To prep them for tying into place don't strip any fibers away from the feather shafts at all... just cut them straight across leaving every bit of the fibers still attached. When you tie each side into place the fibers will help keep the feathers in place perfectly.

    Let me back up a moment and point out that I usually marry up two sides of the tail then hold them together as a unit (ends even, etc) then make one single cut across all six feathers to get a tail that's perfectly uniform. Once that's done then I move one side out of the way in my serving hand (the hand that's not holding the bobbin or scissors...) and only tie in one side at a time...

    Like I said all of this is much easier to show than to describe in words... Here's some pics of the results...

    These Seaducers are done entirely with saddle hackles for tail and body. I do them in three colors and two sizes for my local shop

    The tails on these Speed Bugs are done with neck hackle instead of saddles -note the difference in appearance... The collar is done with a single wide, webby saddle hackle.

    This Silhouette is one of my signature patterns (and I've been tying it since the early eighties...). Like the Seaducer it's an all saddle pattern but unlike the Seaducer the tail isn't splayed apart -it's deliberately turned inward "Deceiver style". I use the same tying techniques already described but get a very different result by turning each side with the curve inward...

    Hope this helps. If anyone wonders I used to teach this stuff at a local junior college in the early eighties...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Capt Bob Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • FreeFlyFreeFreeFlyFree Posts: 121 Deckhand
    Thanks for the tips, Cap Bob, and One more Cast!
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