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Thread: Stiffening a Hackle/Zonker Collar

  1. #1
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    Default Stiffening a Hackle/Zonker Collar

    Hi guys,

    Looking for a bit of advice here.

    When tying say a Semper, I can for the life of me not think why it would be a bad idea to stiffen the Hackle/Zonker collar so as to push more water and make for a bigger profile.

    I've seen this done before by a fellow angler.

    My question to you salty specialists is:

    What's the best stiffening agent to use?

    Superglue ?
    Epoxy ?
    Silicone ?

    I'm looking for something that will fulfill the intended purpose, but also still look neat and at the very least, be durable. I'd also like to know how you would go about applying it and 'working it in' to the Zonker/Hackle.

    Comments ?

    TIA,
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieŽ" - Ago 2014.

  2. #2
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    Why don't you spin a collar of deer hair before tying the Zonker or hackle in, to support it from behind ?

  3. #3
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    Default

    Suppose that idea ain't half bad ... not that I am prodigeous in the spinnng of DH ... but will give it a try.
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieŽ" - Ago 2014.

  4. #4
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    Default

    No, don't stiffen the collar.

    You are going to use soft collar material in order to retain some movement. By "fixing" it with any type of glue, you take away that movement. It is not just bulk that creates the "push" in the water. Simple soft movement will do the same.

    Try tying in a decent amount of chenille behind the collar. This will retain the profile and push the collar upright on each pause during the retrieve. The best collar material is Schlappen Hackles. They offer the perfect combination between durability and movement.

    Cheers
    MC

  5. #5
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    Default Availability of schlappen

    MC, is there anywhere local we can get schlappen feathers?
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Not sure.

    You can get the Hareline variegated hackles. These are actually marketed as normal strung saddles but they are not the greatest quality which gets them closer to schlappen.

    In JHB you do still get the Schlappen - try Flyfishers Unlimited or Laxtons.

    Originally these feathers were brought in for use on big saltwater streamers like the Sedotti Slammer. Since synthetics became so popular, the big and heavy natural materials fell away.

    Cheers
    MC

  7. #7

    Default

    MC is spot on about not 'fixing' the hackles, that is part of what makes the semper so successful, it allows good movement and also the appearance of a largish profile. I came up with the same system of using chenile but originally it was to make up for a shortage of good hackle and it has that effect of keeping the hackle upright. The best sclappen for sempers comes from the Whiting Rooster saddle capes usually brought in by Bluewater and distributed to various shops mostly in Gauteng. The last batch was selling at about R150.00 for a full saddle a month ago which is better than the R350.00 we used to pay. They don't stay on the shelves very long !
    Do not buy the Whiting hackle which is marked as 'Schlappen " as this is a long feather of 12 to 14 inches but too soft to make good sempers ( I'm sitting with several packs which are unusable )
    While there was a shortage we were importing them ourselves for a while.
    I reckon the semper is such a successful fly that it ranks among my 3 top GT flies both here at home and in Seychelles, in fact 30% of the flies I have tied for my Maldives trip are 6 and 8/0 sempers.
    I am wondering where the zonker comes in as it is not part of the original semper recipe.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCC View Post
    Not sure.

    You can get the Hareline variegated hackles. These are actually marketed as normal strung saddles but they are not the greatest quality which gets them closer to schlappen.

    In JHB you do still get the Schlappen - try Flyfishers Unlimited or Laxtons.

    Originally these feathers were brought in for use on big saltwater streamers like the Sedotti Slammer. Since synthetics became so popular, the big and heavy natural materials fell away.

    Cheers
    MC
    thanks mc
    when i saw mark sedotti pose with that big blue (elf) i quickly turned the page to see what his flies look like, spotted the sedotti slammer. since then i have alway been looking around if i see schlappen somewhere. A fish like that will put a serious smile on my face.
    cheers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Weingartz View Post
    I am wondering where the zonker comes in as it is not part of the original semper recipe.
    Thanks for the information regarding the hackles, I opted to use a bit of zonker as it's undeniably one of the best materials to suggest movement and aside from which I don't really have the 'right' hackles ddue to lack of availability at the shops i visited or for that matter the budget to go buy a task specific hackle for everything I need, so necessity forced me into a bit of invention

    MC, the chenile behind the zonker worked well, though it took a few turns to get layering each turn exactly right on top of the previous right. I then left a space between where I tied the chenile off and the eyes (Yes my semper has eyes too! What a heathen! )

    What I also ended up doing was to then tie in the zonker making each of my sucessive turns almost right on top of the previous one, taking care to push all the hair from the bottom layer back before winding the next layer over it and then repeating it about 5 times.

    I ended up with a MASSIVELY mobile fly, with a collar that has a great puffing action (ie: pulls down when being stripped, puffs back out when stopping)

    This thing is fantastic, it jigs, it moves, it dances and the extra big collar definately enhances the movement of the hackle tail. Not true to the original recipe for sure, but for the life of me I can't see how a big fish will look at that fly and not think ... hmmm ... YUM.

    I'll post a picture of it later, thanks for the tips guys.
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieŽ" - Ago 2014.

  10. #10
    Pheasant Tail Nymph Banned User

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Weingartz View Post
    Do not buy the Whiting hackle which is marked as 'Schlappen " as this is a long feather of 12 to 14 inches but too soft to make good sempers ( I'm sitting with several packs which are unusable )
    Paul, I just had a look at the soft hackle streamer in the fly archive. Wouldn't those packs of really soft "Schlappen" hackles work great for that fly? Otherwise, I wouldn't mind buying them from you. That's if I can afford them. I suppose that such Whiting hackles may run at quite a price.

    Thanks,
    PTN

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