the Reverse Hackling technique

by Hans Weilenmann

i originally learned this technique of hackling flies from several Oliver Edwards fly tying video where he uses it mostly for North Country Spiders but Han’s brilliant demonstration here shows us the finer points to consider when doing this, whether it be for dries or hackled wets. there are several aspects that make this a very good, if not better method than the usual ‘back-to-front, the more important in my eye being simply that it’s easier to get a great result without any chance of bulking up the fly specially behind the hook eye, something we all can have difficulties with.
on dry flies this reduced bulk means less place for water to get in and bog the whole fly down and on wet flies, less place for trapped air to keep it from going under.
i’ve put up several of Hans’ videos recently and apart from the fantastic flies produced, what really stands out is his technique, most notably the all-important thread control and even what i like to call ‘thread confidence’.
his minimal use of thread wraps amply demonstrates this confidence and is an important part of any fly tier’s development, something we should all strive for.
every wrap of thread should contribute to the fly. if it doesn’t it’s either superfluous or can have an unwanted effect.
this is one of the best technique tutorials i’ve seen. i hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from it.