TAPERING THE TIPS OF
WEDDED FEATHER WINGS

FLY TYING ADVICE AND TIPS
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FLY TYING TECHNIQUES
HOW TO MARRY FEATHER BARBS
AND DESIGN WEDDED WINGS

WEDDED AND MARRIED WINGS
Instruction and description involved in the construction of wedded feather wings for fly tying.

PHOTO HERE
Barbs are lined up creating a smooth
tapered edge and stylish design of the wing.

WING SHAPE AND TAPER
During the process of marrying the different fibers you want to align the tips to create a taper for the style of wing you are constructing. When marrying the barbs together your first concern will be that the tips are aligned with each other and the taper continues uninterrupted from one section to the next.

TAPER THE TIPS ON A SET OF WEDDED FEATHER WINGS
Marrying barbs from different feathers and building a set of wedded feather wings is considered an advanced technique, but it is not that difficult. It will take practice to perfect them, but a beginner should be able to build a decent set of wedded feather wings. The most challenging part involved with the construction of married feather wings will be trying to perfect the taper of the wing tips. When cutting barbs off the feather you will notice they have a natural taper. You will work with the natural taper of the barbs when marrying different sections of colors together to create a flowing shape of the wing tips.

PHOTO HERE
Set of Wedded Feathers Wings with
a Traditional Style Taper that flows with
the natural taper of the barbs.

The first secret when designing a perfectly tapered set of wedded feather wings is in the selection of feathers and barbs.

PHOTO HERE
Use matched sets of feathers that are similar
in size and barb length. The barbs should be
married all the way to the tips

All the feathers used for a set of wedded feather wings should be similar in size and barb lengths. These feathers will need to be great quality with the barbs married all the way to the tips. Good quality feathers can be hard to find. With goose shoulder for example, you might have to buy a couple packages of each color in order to find a couple fairly decent pairs.

Goose Shoulder Feather
Notice the taper of the barb tips are different
throughout the length of the feather. Barbs near
the mid-section of the feather have the best taper
and the near the top the barbs will be less tapered.

TAPER OF THE SELECTED BARBS
When constructing a set of wedded wings you will want to cut barbs from the same location from the feather stems. The slip of barbs should have similar tapers, which will flow together when married to other barbs.

Goose Shoulder Bards
Selected Barbs to be used when constructing
a set of Wedded Feather Wings.

The slips of barbs need to be tapered at the same angles and married all the way to the tips. Searching for the best feathers and barbs will probably take more time than it will to actually construct the set of wedded feather wings.

PHOTO HERE
Set of Wedded Feather Wings with a
Traditional Taper. This style of taper is
the most common and flows with the
natural taper of the barbs. The barbs
are married to the tips and the wing
tip has a smooth edge.

TRADITIONAL WING TAPER
What might be referred to as "Traditional Style" could also be called "Natural" with equal validity. The traditional style taper flows with the natural taper of the feather barbs. This is the most common style of taper used when fly tying.

Taper Wedded Wings
Wedded Feather Wing With a Sweeping Taper
There is a long and sweeping flow in the shape
of the taper. Every barb is married all the way to
the tips and they create a perfectly smooth line.

SWEEPING STYLE TAPER
We don't use this style of taper often, but it
does give a sleek appearance to the fly.

PHOTO HERE
This set of wedded feather wings were
designed with a crescent shaped taper.

CRESCENT SHAPE TAPER
The crescent shaped wedded feather wing taper on this set of wings looks like a speedster and with the arch of the complete wing makes a happy combination. When we put a dark roof over part of the wing, it looked slower, but still had that sports look.

PHOTO HERE
An example of a set of wedded feather
wings with a straight or flat taper.

STRAIGHT OR FLAT TAPER
This style of wedded feather wing taper is less common, but with anything to do with fly tying, there are many different opinions as to the best methods.

REPAIRING WING TIPS THAT ARE NOT ALIGNED
It is a relatively simple matter to separate the barbs on a wedded feather wing and realign the barb tips to create a smoother taper. Use a needle to separate the barbs and marry them back together paying extra attention to making sure the tips are in proper alignment Repeat this procedure with any other barbs that are out of alignment.

PHOTO HERE
Set of Wedded Feather Wings that had
ragged edges and the tips trimmed using
a pair of scissors. When you cut the barb
tips, it can be very obvious.

CUTTING THE RAGGED TIPS OFF A FEATHER WING
This sounds pretty straight forward until you try cutting the wing tips to create a smooth taper. When you cut the tips of feather wings with scissors, it will be obvious. In some cases you can cut the tip of single barb without it being noticed. The secret is to pay attention during the constrution process and

Wedded Feather Wing Taper
This was one of our first attempts at building
a set of wedded wings. At the time thought
it looked amazing and very proud. We didn't
know anything about tapers and look how
ragged the wing tips are constructed.

When tying your first set of wedded feather wings, it is natural to be proud... we sure were.

ACCESSORIES:
There are products designed to help hold the fibers of wedded wings together when tying them onto the hook of your fly. While it might be tempting and seems like a magic cure for all your problems, it is better to avoid all such products. To start with, you don't need it. If you reached the stage of tying feather wing flies, don't stop now. Every new set of wings tied will get easier and with improved quality. So with respect to these products... a true fly tier would never use any such products.

WEDDED AND MARRIED WINGS
Instruction and descriptions involved in the construction of wedded feather wings for fly tying.

VIDEO HERE
Video showing the manipulation
of the wing flow

MANIPULATING THE FLOW OF THE WING
You might want a wing that sits low and sweeps back or high and arched.

WEDDED FEATHER WING PATTERNS
More patterns of Wedded Feather Wings. We will keep adding more patterns for different wedded feather wing designs.

REMOVING BARBS FROM FEATHER WINGS
There have been times when constructing a set of wings that there were extra barbs. It is easy to add an extra barb and not notice until the wings are finished. It is easy to strip out extra barbs.

ADDING BARBS TO A FEATHER WING
Adding barbs to a feather wing can be a little more difficult than removing barbs, but should be an easy enough process.

MATCHING FEATHERS
In most cases the use of matched feathers will improve the appearance and structure of a fly and this is especially true when tying feather wings.

BUY AND SELECT FEATHERS
What to look for when buying feathers. As a beginner we bought a lot of worthless and damaged feathers. This page will help in the selection of good quality feathers.
 

FEATHER CARE AND STORAGE
Some general advice about cleaning and storage of feathers.

ANATOMY OF A FEATHER
Description and parts of a feather

 
FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

FLY TYING ADVICE AND TIPS
TAPER THE TIPS OF
WEDDED FEATHER WINGS