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Commercially available Schlappen Hackle
The feathers are strung together and sold in
packages. Strung feathers are individual
feathers that have been sorted according
to size and sewn together.
Schlappen Hackle Feather
This feather is about seven inches long
SCHLAPPEN HACKLE FEATHERS
Schlappen hackle feathers are available at
most fly tying shops and sold in a wide range of colors.
Schlappen hackle feathers sold commercially are usually sorted
according to length and strung together. The package will probably
state the length of the schlappen feathers on the label. Most fly tyers
have several packages of different colors, but a beginner will start
their favorite color and when tying new patterns can purchase
additional colors. Our local fly shop keeps over thirty different
colors in stock. The prices are reasonable per pack, but can add up
over time and with the wide selection of colors can prove tempting.
When choosing a schlappen hackle a simple inspection should quickly determine the feather suitability for the hook size and style of fly you are tying.
After selecting a suitable feather strip away the downy barbs from the lower section of the stem. You will notice the remaining barbs are longer towards the base and shorter towards the tip of the schlappen feather. To determine the proper length of the hackle barbs needed for the fly design and hook size, just stroke the barbs back so they stand straight out as in the above image, then hold the feather up to the hook and visually check the length of barbs. If they are too long, then use barbs closer towards the feather tip or a smaller feather.
Avoid feathers with stress marks or missing barbs. The above
feather is a worst case situation. Besides stress marks there are
missing barbs. The missing barbs could be from an insect infestation
Schlappen hackle and strung hackle are sometimes similar and could be confused by beginner fly tyers, but when compared side by side the differences are obvious. Strung hackle will generally be from the lower neck of a rooster, while schlappen is from the rump area of the rooster situated along both sides of the tail. Strung hackle feathers are generally more glossy and the barbs are stiffer and less clumpy than schlappen feathers.
STRUNG HACKLE FEATHERS
Schlappen hackle feathers are usually strung together and sold in packages, but you might find some schlappen hackle feathers when buying a complete rooster saddle. We have found schlappen feathers when buying complete rooster saddles that were over 12 inches long.
Schlappen feathers were considered garbage feathers in past generations, but have gained popularity and are available at most fly tying shops in a wide variety of colors.
With this design we wrapped and palmered schlappen hackle on the hook to serve both as a beard and as an under wing helping to support the main goose feather wings. Variants include stroking the schlappen downward as a dedicated beard and using purple squirrel tail for the under wings, while other variants include adding a hackle throat or a golden pheasant crest topping.
SOLSTICE STEELHEAD FLY
BLACKBIRD STEELHEAD FLY
Whiting 10-14 inch schlappen bundles are some of the longest and one of the few companies that offer grizzle schlappen feathers.
The term "Strung" is the process of somebody sitting there and sorting out the feathers according to length and sewing the base of the quills together.
OF A FEATHER
Modern day hackle feathers are almost exclusively from domestically raised birds that have been selectively bred for their color and characteristics. The fly tyers from fifty years ago would be amazed at the hackle available today.
TARZANA STEELHEAD FLY
Schlappen feathers could be used for wings on a streamer fly, but generally strung hackle is better suited for streamer wing applications.
When buying complete bird skins, the skin should be stretched flat and scrapped clean of any residue.
When buying complete bird skins, the skin should be stretched flat and scrapped clean of any residue.Commercially available bird skins and feathers bought in a fly tying shop will be clean and have uniform color when dyed. If acquiring bird skins and feathers from other sources then precautions should to be taken to avoid insects or other pests that could infest your fly tying supplies.
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.
SCHLAPPEN HACKLE FEATHERS