Fly Tying Feathers & Hackles

We have one of the largest ranges of the finest quality fly tying feathers available to buy online. Feathers are one of the most visible parts of your fly tying creation so finding the correct size, colour and quality is important. To help you we stock a wide selection from top producers like Keough, Metz, Natures Spirit, Semperfli, Turrall and Veniard. If you are looking to expand your fly tying material collection then our range of individual or bulk packs of loose feathers are a cost effective way to ensure you have the required feathers to hand, in every conceivable colour and size. For those who tie a large volume of flies, either commercially or as a hobby for your friends and family, then our full capes like the Veniard Premium Cock Capes, Metz Necks and Metz Saddles are your best choice as they offer the largest volume of usable feathers for the investment. We also import a wide range of feathers from the USA to ensure you have the highest quality, most vibrant feathers to enhance your fly tying patterns. You can shop with confidence when buying your feathers from Angling Active as we have live stock control on our website and our relationships with suppliers ensures we can keep our prices competitive. Our selection of Feathers, Capes and Saddles have been specially selected by our producers to offer fly tyers the most usable materials per purchase.

Feathers for fly tying overview

Feathers are a fundamental component in fly tying, providing the means to create lifelike movement for effective fly patterns. They are utilised to mimic various elements of aquatic and terrestrial prey, such as wings, bodies, legs and tails, which fish find irresistible.

What are feathers used for in fly tying?

Feathers serve multiple purposes in fly tying, enhancing the fly’s aesthetic and functional properties:

  • Mimicry: Feathers help to mimic the appearance of insects, baitfish and other prey items.
  • Movement: They provide a natural, enticing movement in the water that can trigger strikes from fish.
  • Form: They are used to build the overall shape and silhouette of the fly.
  • Color and Pattern: With a vast array of colors and patterns, feathers contribute to the visual appeal of the fly.
  • Buoyancy: Certain feathers can also influence the buoyancy of a fly, helping it to float or sink. Best example here is CDC feathers!

Popular Feathers for Fly Tying:

There is a wide range of feathers utilised in fly tying, each with unique characteristics:

  • Marabou: Known for its incredible movement in the water, marabou is often used for tails and bodies on lures and nymphs.
  • Hackle Feathers: Rooster and hen hackles are used for a myriad of purposes, from dry fly collars to wing cases on nymphs.
  • Pheasant Tail: Used in various nymph patterns, pheasant tail feathers provide a natural, mottled look.
  • Peacock Herl: Noted for its iridescence and allure, peacock herl is commonly used for bodies on both dry flies and nymphs.
  • Guinea Fowl: Recognised for its dotted appearance, guinea fowl is utilised for hackle, wings and accents.
  • Mallard Flank: Often used for wings and collars, mallard flank has a natural, variegated look.
  • Ostrich Herl: Prized for its length and movement, ostrich herl can be used for bodies and thoraxes.
  • Goose and Turkey: These feathers are often used for wings on traditional wet flies and segmented bodies on nymphs.

Choosing Feathers:

Selecting the right feather involves considering various aspects:

  • Pattern Requirements: Different fly patterns require specific feathers, so consult tying guides or recipes.
  • Quality: High-quality feathers are crucial for crafting durable and effective flies. Look for clean, undamaged feathers with vibrant colors and robust stems.
  • Color: Consider the desired coloration of your fly and choose feathers accordingly, remembering that some species are particularly selective about color.
  • Size: Ensure the feather is the appropriate size for the fly you are tying, considering aspects like hackle length and feather width.

Preserving and Storing Feathers:

Proper storage ensures that feathers maintain their quality:

  • Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.
  • Use sealable bags or specialty storage boxes to keep feathers safe and organised.
  • Consider using mothballs or cedar wood in storage areas to protect against pests.

In conclusion, feathers are an integral element of fly tying, providing the means to mimic various prey items convincingly. The diverse range of feathers available allows tyers to create an extensive array of patterns, each tailored to specific fishing scenarios. Whether crafting a delicate dry fly or a robust lure, selecting the appropriate feathers is essential to achieving a successful fly design.

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