Col, do you wax your thread heavily?
I saw a couple of people hand tying classic salmon flies at last years BFFI. Neither used bobbin holders, but both waxed their threads really heavily...
Here's a link to a YouTube video of the Ekich bobbin holder.
I use bobbin holders, but can't get on with the automatic ones.......
Guy's not going to win any prizes for neatness!
So, by 'automatic', does that mean spring-loaded - like the old Mitchell fly reel?
Spot he had the same issue as Davie M in that when he was hackling, the thing was getting in the way of the hackle turns. He could have swung it forwards like he did when winding the body? Anyroad, I wouldn't wind a hackle that way. I would start nearest the head, with the thread behind the hackle - at the front of the body. Wind the turns of hackle going from head to body to reach where the thread is lying. Then bring turns of thread forwards through the hackle to the head. That way, the turns of hackle are X-crossed and locked down by the thread. So, even if a fish's tooth cuts the hackle stalk, or pulls the end out, it can't unwind.