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Promoted item:Supreme Rotating Fly Tying Vise - Heavy Duty - FV2102

Supreme Rotating Fly Tying Vise - Heavy Duty - FV2102

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About Fly Tying

Saying there are anatomical similarities between all feathers would seem to be an obvious statement. However, if you've been reading various descriptions of feathers, flies, ties, and fly tying, then you must have noticed that there are a great many people out there (expert fly fishermen among them) who aren't exactly clear--and whose descriptions aren't exactly accurate--regarding which parts of the feather are which. So, for the new fan to fly fishing, here's a quick introduction to the anatomy of a feather, which should aid in your next fly tying attempts.The Quill: The quill is the very base of the feather that was once inserted into the skin follicle. Once 'barbs' (read: branches) begin to emerge, it's no longer the quill. The quill has no barbs of any kind. The quill is translucent and hollow. The quill may also be referred to as the 'calamus.'The Shaft: The point where the barbs begin is where the quill ends and the shaft starts. At this point this 'spine' of the feather narrows, becomes flatter and more opaque. The shaft may also be referred to as the 'rachis.'The Barb: The simplest way to explain a barb would be to ask you to imagine a tree. If the quill is the equivalent of roots, and the shaft is the trunk, then the barbs are the branches. Barbs may also be referred to as ramus (singular) or rami (plural).The Barbules: Continuing with the tree analogy, the barbules are the 'leaves' of the feather. Barbules may also be referred to as radii, or in the singular as radius.Needless to say, these definitions are limited. However, even these simple definitions will help you understand the catalogs and tying guides better. Happy tying, happy flying, and happy fishing!