C&F Design Hackle Pliers

A Pansy Tool?

On more than once occasion I've been accused of being a pansy for using hackle pliers because we all know real tyers use their fingers. Now, while that pansy description is certainly accurate on many counts -- especially my propensity to carry a bottle of lotion in all my fishing bags and packs (I'll take crap for that one, but damn it  my hands must remain "burr-free" in order to not catch on my tying thread), I'll stand by my C&F Design hackle pliers. 

Just like scissors, I went through a number of different types and styles of hackle pliers over the years. Some of them worked better than others, but they overall lacked grabbing power or were more difficult to handle. Material slippage, material breakage (too strong on the grips or not enough "give" when the wrap starts) and tool slippage are some of the problems I've run into. I'm sure it's also cuz of my ungangly fingers and the fact I can't really tie flies all that well, but there had to be something more my style out there...

Then a couple of years ago, I found the "ones". C&F Designs puts out the best (IMO) hackle pliers on the market. Now, fair warning, the price on these bad boys might cost you a day's pay but they'll hopefully be the last ones you buy.

Here's why I like 'em:
  • They won't slip. The jaws are precision made and quite strong.
  • They have "give". If you look closely at the pictures here, you'll see a small joint just above the finger holder ring thingy that acts as a sort of cushion or shock absorber. So when you start to wrap your material, it has a much lighter touch and is less likely to pull the material out of its wraps or break it entirely.
  • They're easy to handle. The small size fits nicely into your hand and the pinchers are easy to grip.
  • You look much cooler using these manly tools than you would say using your overworked fingers or other pliers.

FlyFishFood  Review
Hackle Pliers
C&F Design

Well built and designed
At $30, you might want to save up a bit for these pliers.
Hackle pliers are mostly optional, but these are useful for the purpose intended.