The first secret when designing a perfectly
tapered set of wedded feather wings is in the selection of feathers and barbs.
Use matched sets of feathers that are similar
in size and barb length. The barbs should be
married all the way to the tips
feathers used for a set of wedded
feather wings should be similar in size and barb lengths. These
feathers will need to be great quality with the barbs married all the
way to the tips. Good quality feathers can be hard to find. With goose
shoulder for example, you might have to buy a couple packages of each
color in order to find a couple fairly decent pairs.
Notice the taper of the barb tips are different
throughout the length of the feather. Barbs near
the mid-section of the feather have the best taper
and the near the top the barbs will be less tapered.
TAPER OF THE SELECTED BARBS
When constructing a set of wedded wings you will want to cut barbs from
the same location from the feather stems. The slip of barbs should have
similar tapers, which will flow together when married to other barbs.
Selected Barbs to be used when constructing
a set of Wedded Feather Wings.
slips of barbs need to be tapered at the
same angles and married all the way to the tips. Searching for the best
feathers and barbs will probably take more time than it will to
actually construct the set of wedded feather wings.
Set of Wedded Feather Wings with a
Traditional Taper. This style of taper is
the most common and flows with the
natural taper of the barbs. The barbs
are married to the tips and the wing
tip has a smooth edge.
TRADITIONAL WING TAPER
might be referred to as "Traditional Style" could also be called
"Natural" with equal validity. The traditional style taper flows with
the natural taper of the feather barbs. This is the most common style
of taper used when fly tying.
Wedded Feather Wing With a Sweeping Taper
There is a long and sweeping flow in the shape
of the taper. Every barb is married all the way to
the tips and they create a perfectly smooth line.
SWEEPING STYLE TAPER
We don't use this style of taper often, but it
does give a sleek appearance to the fly.
This set of wedded feather wings were
designed with a crescent shaped taper.
CRESCENT SHAPE TAPER
crescent shaped wedded feather wing taper on this set of wings looks
like a speedster and with the arch of the complete wing makes a happy
combination. When we put a dark roof over part of the wing, it looked
slower, but still had that sports look.
An example of a set of wedded feather
wings with a straight or flat taper.
STRAIGHT OR FLAT TAPER
style of wedded feather wing taper is less common, but with anything to
do with fly tying, there are many different opinions as to the best
REPAIRING WING TIPS THAT ARE NOT ALIGNED
is a relatively simple matter to separate the barbs on a wedded feather
wing and realign the barb tips to create a smoother taper. Use a needle
to separate the barbs and marry them back together paying extra
attention to making sure the tips are in proper alignment Repeat this
procedure with any other barbs that are out of alignment.
Set of Wedded Feather Wings that had
ragged edges and the tips trimmed using
a pair of scissors. When you cut the barb
tips, it can be very obvious.
CUTTING THE RAGGED TIPS OFF A FEATHER WING
sounds pretty straight forward until you try cutting the wing tips to
create a smooth taper. When you cut the tips of feather wings with
scissors, it will be obvious. In some cases you can cut the tip of
single barb without it being noticed. The secret is to pay attention
during the constrution process and
This was one of our first attempts at building
a set of wedded wings. At the time thought
it looked amazing and very proud. We didn't
know anything about tapers and look how
ragged the wing tips are constructed.
When tying your first set of wedded feather
wings, it is natural to be proud... we sure were.