For the last few years I have been adding a touch of distinction to my fly rods. With a Feather Inlay. The idea is not new. I had heard of it a while back. Not sure from who, so I can not give the credit do. I tried several different ways and this is what works the best for me.
Here is how I do the feather inlay, I use hackle feathers* about 2-1/2 to 4 inches long and Color preserver (CP) I wet the blank with CP full strength lay the feather on/in the wet CP. Then use a brush damp with CP to get the feather positioned like I want them. Let dry 2 hr. Then recoat with a 75% CP to 25% water, this will let the CP penetrate the feather for a better seal. Let dry 8 hr.- 12 hr. Coat with Epoxy like U40 high build. I will add another coat when the first is well cured and I have removed any of the little stick-ups with a razor knife.
Here are some thing I have learned: Now I have tried wetting the feathers first that did not work at all I ended up with a string looking feather. Give you self some room to pull the feather toward the butt of the feather if you have to straighten it. Then brush the barbulets to the shape you want. I do have to use a dubbing needle to get the bottom feather straight. I wrap the butts down with “A” thread when the first coat of CP is dry. It gives it a finished look. Take your time and plan the look you want. Remember it is going on a round surface. It will have to be in a dryer for the cure time. The feathers that are dyed can make a great contrast to the blank. I like the reds, blues and chartrouses. Neck patch or saddles are the best to form sprays with. Short feathers are harder to work with. You can stack the feathers if you do it in steps and layers of CP. Do not try to do it all at once. This will also give it some depth.
Allen Crise FFF instructor
Hawk Ridge Tackle & Fly Casting School
Glen Rose Tx. 76043
Article originally from flyfishing123.com.
Image source – Dave.