View Full Version : Soft Hackle, Hard Hackle (?)

08-21-2008, 06:40 PM
what's the difference?

08-22-2008, 12:00 PM
soft hackle is suitable for subsurface flies where it can have a pulsating effect underwater (may look like legs moving). Stiff hackle is suitable for dry flies. it creates a footprint on the surface which imitates legs and aids in the floatation of the fly.

08-22-2008, 05:48 PM

Yeah, that much I had figured out from Wiki :biggrin: I've been trying to research what hackels are considered soft vs which are considered hard. It's difficult to find any info on it. Thanks though.:smile:


08-22-2008, 06:09 PM

Soft hackles are "usually" Partridge, Pheasant, Starling and similar feathers that are supple and impart motion when fished subsurface. There are some types of rooster feathers that are considered soft hackles, but most "soft hackle" flies use non-rooster feathers (but there are always exceptions).

Hard hackle as you called it, or dry fly hackle comes from rooster capes and saddles. A good dry fly hackle has lots of uniform barbs packed into a small area that flare out very distinctively and are strong enough to support the weight of the fly on their own. The barbs on a Dry fly are usually 1x to 1.5x the hook gap.

A soft hackle will not support the weight of the fly and the barbs are usually tied to be just less than or slightly more than the hook shank.

There are all sorts of exceptions, but those are the general principles.

08-22-2008, 07:26 PM

Thanks fir the info! I suspected that since so many dry fly patterns called for rooster hackle. I knew hard hackle sounded wrong, but I didn't know exactly what to call dry fly hackle and it turns out, that was it.:biggrin: I think I am going to pick tree dry patterns that you guys fish and one soft hackle (probably the one Hugh Hartsell recoomends) and get to tyin'! Thanks again,