Stripped Quill Feathers For Fly Tying
Stripped Quills for fly tying - Stripped Quill produces a flat, tapering banding effect which offers detailed segments and a lifelike imitation. Perfect for Buzzers, Nymphs and Dry flies. There are quite few myths and questions about using Stripped Quills. We regularly get asked:
1) Should you soak quills in hair softener or a mixture of glycerin and water to prevent cracking and splitting?
2) Should you coat the finished body with head cement or Zap-A-Gap, or reverse-wrap the body with fine gold or silver wire to increase durability?
No with Stripped Quills you do not need to do any of these things.
Before tying, soak the quill in water for 15 minutes. After tying the fly, the water in the quill will evaporate and leave these chemicals. DO NOT use hair softener or glycerin as these chemicals take up space inside the center of the quill and prevent fly flotant from penetrating fully into the body. Additionally, they mix with water and the fly will become waterlogged on the first or second cast.
There is a perceived fragility associated with quill-body flies not from people using stripped quill from a rooster quill, however, but stripped peacock herl that does require some reinforcement. When properly prepared, a rooster hackle quill needs no reinforcement, and it will not crack or split.