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 Post subject: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:34 am 
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Brown Trout
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In my semi-successful attempt to learn to tie something that looks remotely like a fly, I've come across the "how do I get rid of the wire once I have what I want on the hook" problem. Your comments are appreciated.

Note: I tried biting the wire off, but I ended up tying off some nose hairs along with the soft hackle.

And speaking of 'soft hackle', what's the difference between that and hard hackle? What is hard hackle and how is it used? So many questions...and so little knowledge. This is a challenge.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:41 am 
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Brown Trout
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Location: Marshall NC
Pull and lite wiggle works pretty good. Also a cheap bobbin that's not ceramic lined can be slid down to the fly and used to shear the lead or non-lead wire.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:11 am 
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Brown Trout
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Geezer..while wrapping lead...make sure to position your thread so that it is where you will be finishing the lead wraps...simply wrap over it ...under it ...over it again...then as Brad mentioned a few wiggles back and forth and it'll break off clean.

Should'nt have been any problem with those nose hairs...they look like soft hackles...I've tied some killer nymphs with nose hair. Hard hackle has been treated with liqour....use it when you don't care about the results.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:30 am 
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Brown Trout
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Location: Cary, N.C.
You can use your scissors, but use the deeper edge of the blades and not the tips.

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Streamer

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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:25 am 
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Brook Trout

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:11 am
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I always used a thumb-nail to cut lead wire. Soft hackle usually comes from partridge or very webby hen feathers, hard hackle comes from not-very-webby saddle or neck hackle usually obtained from roosters. Don't MAKE me come over there...


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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:30 am 
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Brown Trout
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I keep a small pair of diagonal cutters near the tying desk. I cut all wire, including lead, with the dyks. When tying off wire ribbing, though, I do what Brand does. Bind it down tight, and just fatigue the wire. With lead under wraps, I cut the lead close to the hook, and push the sharp edge over with my thumb nail. Surprisingly, a sharp edge on lead can cut your tying thread.

As for hackles, that's a major discussion thread by itself. Generally, soft hackles are neck feathers from hens and various game birds, such as partridge and ducks. The barbs are very soft and bend easily.

The opposite of soft hackle, though, is dry fly hackle. These are the feathers from the back and neck of a rooster. The barbs are much more stiff, and tend to stand straight out when wound around a hook. The size and quality, of course, varies considerably depending on the type of chicken. The best dry fly hackles come from gamecocks or banty roosters, and even there, there are special "fancy" strains that have been developed to have very long, very narrow, very still hackles. These are called "genetic" hackles.

Roosters of other chickens, such as Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, White Leghorns, etc., have much larger feathers that just won't tie small flies, but are useful for feather streamers. They aren't exactly dry fly quality, but the barbs are too stiff for soft hackles. These are usually used for bass flies and millinery.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:01 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Finger nail clippers work well for cutting lead wire etc and then you don't need to worry about dulling your scissors. That or the wiggle method.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:38 pm 
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Warpaint Shiner
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:27 pm
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Location: Kannapolis, NC
Scissors, finger nail clippers, and even pinching your finger nails will cut lead.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:38 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Anybody else find it amusing that a question about how to cut wire resulted in 6 different answers? :D


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 Post subject: Re: How do you break off or cut the lead wire?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:39 am 
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Brown Trout
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Posts: 368
JFey wrote:
Anybody else find it amusing that a question about how to cut wire resulted in 6 different answers? :D

Amusing? Amusing? Jeffrey, this wire stuff is serious business. I am now using an acetylene torch to decoriously melt the lead around the hook shank.

phg wrote:
These are usually used for bass flies and millinery.

Pardon my lack of pescine knowledge, but....I have caught bass with bass flies, but not only have I not caught a 'millinery', I don't even know what a 'millinery' is. Perhaps it's one of those yankee fish that live in deep water in alpine lakes. I do learn so much on this forum.


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