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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    A Scot in Naas, Co. Kildare, ROI

    Default Black Quill Spider

    Setting the Quill Bodied Swap on UK Fly Dressing came about when I purchased the Whiting Bronze Grade Saddle shown below, it was cheap for the quality - 8! I had to find a use for it and a supply of quality quills came to mind for the larger feathers.

    Contributions to the swap from the other forum members are proving to be of very high quality indeed and I went for this simple pattern with a slight twist in the construction to make it more interesting as an SBS.

    If you have not stripped a quill before then take a look

    This is the saddle I used for this SBS, it has a great iridescence to it and gives added attraction to the fly.


    Hook - Fulling Mill 31550 all purpose medium size 12
    Thread - Bennechi 12/0 Black
    Body / Hackle - stripped Iridescent Black cock saddle feather

    Modus Operandi

    Firstly, prepare your hackle stalks! When you strip the hackle stalks aim to leave the fibres roughly 1.5 to 2 times the length of your quill body to give a nice webby look to the finished fly. (A genuine Tupster tip)
    I have saved the stripping from the hackle stalks as no doubt I will find a use for it in the future!

    Step 1.

    Mount your hook level in your vice

    Step 2.

    Run your thread in tight touching turns to a point level with the hook to give the desired body length. My thanks to Tango for simplifying this for me.

    Step 3.

    Secure your quill stalk at this point, note how the start of the hackle fibres are back from the eye to prevent crowding when wrapping it.

    Step 4.

    Wrap your thread back to the start of the hackle fibres in tight touching turns again, keeping the stalk on top of the hook shank to give a nice even base for the quill

    Step 5.

    The first turn of the hackle stalk should be on the bare metal of the hook and the next on the thread butted against this. Doing this gives a more rounded appearance to the butt of the body.

    Step 6.

    Secure the hackle stalk with a few turns of thread and trim as closely to the body as possible without cutting the thread as I did twice! I use a scalpel to get as close as possible.

    Step 7.

    Take the tip of the hackle in your hackle pliers and carefully wind on 2 - 3 turns depending on your preference for hackle density. Less is more in the case of spiders and you can accomplish this by stripping off one side of the remaining hackle fibres to make it even more sparse.

    Step 8.

    Secure the hackle carefully as you do not have too many fibres to play with and trim the excess hackle point off

    Step 9.

    Whip finish with a small neat head and apply sparingly a small drop of varnish making sure that it only goes on the threads.
    Note - a lot of tyers prefer to leave the quill body as it is and some prefer to varnish or cover with brushable superglue, I leave this option open to your own discretion.

    Step 10.

    Admire from the top.......

    Step 11.

    ..........and the front!


    "Sod it! I am going out to sink a klink!" Hidden Content

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Sunny Stoke


    Nice fly (and great quill stripping instructions!).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    Your step by steps are getting better. Thanks for sharing how you tie your quill in and wind it up the hookshank. There is something i learn everyday

  4. #4
    fossil-fish Guest


    That is a seriously clever fly. Looks brilliant.

  5. #5


    Nice fly AC !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    On the Edge


    Love the simplicity.

    Thanks for sharing.

    [COLOR="Blue"]"A fish seen is a fish nearly caught"[/COLOR]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Cracking simple spider pattern, just tied 3 each with black and red hackles (the only colours I had in my box) I love the results, the more so because they come from just 3 ingredients hook, single feather and thread. They'll be getting a soaking tommorow night if I'm feeling a bit better.

    Have to say I tie most of my spider patterns on grubber hooks B110 I like the curve in the body looks more insect like to me... Is this heresey?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

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