Wrapping Hackle

Feathers are often wrapped around the hook to imitate legs, provide additional movement to the fly, or aid in floatation. This technique is commonly referred to as hackling

Hackling Instruction 1 Hackling Instruction 2 Hackling Instruction 3
Prepare the feather (hackle) by shortening some fibers along the base of the stem. The trimmed fibers will stay in place once tied down. Tie the hackle in over the prepared area. Make a few wraps of thread to secure the hackle and trim off the unwanted tag of material. Take your hackle pliers and grasp the hackle. Pull the hackle so it is pointing upwards.
Hackling Instruction 4 Hackling Instruction 5 Palmering
Wrap the hackle forward (clockwise) in two to three tight turns. Each wrap should be directly in front of the previous wrap without any gaps. Secure the hackle tip with several thread wraps and trim off the excess hackle. One variaion of this techinque, called palmering, occurs when you start at the back and wrap the hackle forward in evenly spaced turns.