Attaching Hackle

Wet hackle – 1

  • Select a hen hackle. Grasp the feather by the tip using the fingers of one hand. The butt is the thicker end that was attached to the cape.

Wet hackle – 2

  • Use your other hand to stroke the hackle towards the stem (butt end of the feather), leaving a “V”.

Wet hackle – 3

  • You will attach the prepared hen feather using the same technique used to attach the peacock herl body.
  • Tie the tip end of the feather so the “V” sits right in front of the body.
  • Slip off the excess material from the tip of the feather.

Wet hackle – 4

  • Move the thread right up behind the eye of the hook.

Wet hackle – 5

  • Gently brush all the fibers so they point to the same side of the quill. It may help if you moisten your fingers.

Wet hackle – 6

  • Wrap 3 or 4 turns of hackle around the hook. Carefully brush back the fibers as you wind the feather around the hook so you don’t crush them under each new layer.
  • The wraps should be kept very close together, with each successive wrap tight against the previous one.

Wet hackle – 7

  • Tie off the hackle up near the eye (leaving a little space). Clip off any excess fibers.

Wet hackle – 8

  • Gently brush back the hackle so they are leaning toward the back of the hook.
  • You may optionally put 1 or 2 wraps of thread just barely back onto the hackle to force it to lie back over the body.