Making Cheap Spey (ala Rhea) Hackle

Discussion in 'Fly Tying Step by Step / Video' started by Big E, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
    Varying from normal format, here's a new twist to the SBS section. In this SBS, I'll show you how to get psuedo spey hackle from a much cheaper Ostrich plume.

    Here's our patient. Rather long, full barbs, that aren't really useful for much except room decoration.
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    Rinse the feather in cold water.
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    Pick it out of the cold water and let most of the water drip off.
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    Apply a dallop of hair conditioner.
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    Spread it on both sides of the feather. Let it sit for a minute or two.
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    Rinse the feather well in the cold water.
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    After rinsing, pull the feather out and let it dry on some paper towels. A sunny spot (if there ever was such a thing) would be a good spot to let it dry naturally.
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    End result, not just a nice smelling feather...
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    Here's the before and after. Now your feather is usable for those intruders or other flies that call for Rhea.
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    Enjoy!
  2. Speyrod GB Member

    Posts: 50
    Tumwater, WA
    Ratings: +21 / 0
    Thanks for the tip. Very nice. I have used the conditioner on yak hair before and it took out some of the excess color and straightened the hair nicely. Does not look like you lost any color either.
  3. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
    There was a slight pink tint to the water when I rinsed it out but nothing too bad. Afterall, I did use a color shield conditioner...
  4. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 690
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +265 / 3
    Wow, thats awesome Eric, thanks! I've got several giant plumes that are about to go to the salon!
  5. Blake Harmon Active Member

    Posts: 1,044
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +154 / 0
    This is genius. Thanks Big!
  6. Richard Torres Active Member

    Posts: 1,355
    Mill Creek
    Ratings: +79 / 0
    "Gee your ostrich plume smells terrific!"
    Excellent idea Eric, i'll have to give it a shot.
  7. Rob Ast Active Member

    Posts: 1,919
    West Pugetopolis WA
    Ratings: +238 / 3
    But now that your feather is scented, isn't this considered using bait ?!?! I keed, thanks for the awesome tip.
    JesseCFowl likes this.
  8. flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    Interesting, but I wonder if the scent is a good or bad thing? I know some materials have quite a smell, like bucktail, so maybe it doesn't matter... I also wonder if my cigar smoking imparts a scent that is bad when I'm fishing, but not enough to stop! ;)
  9. speyfisher Active Member

    Posts: 1,067
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ratings: +139 / 3
    Color shield conditioner??? So that's what turned my hair gray? And all this time I thought it was from fighting the IRS and raising two good looking girls on my own. LOL Seriously, what is this stuff?
  10. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,997
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +774 / 0
    I use shrimp scent herbal essences. Don't you? Geeeez.
  11. Cruncher -

    Posts: 215
    Marquette Park Lagoon
    Ratings: +4 / 3
    I heard the Spawn Bag Herbal Essence smells mighty fine too
  12. Tacoma Red Active Member

    Posts: 681
    Kitsap
    Ratings: +338 / 0
    Thanks for the very nice tip. I'm curious if the material reverts to its natural form after fishing for some time or since its been looped into the fly its unable to. What's been your experience?
  13. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
    While I don't have much experience fishing flies tied with plumes treated in this manner, I did contact one who has and he remarked that "I haven't had any issues of that sort...If anything they tend to thin out more as they are fished."