How To Tie Crackleback

What You’ll Need


Dai-riki 300, Daiichi 1170, Mustad 94840, TMC 100 — Size 12-16


UTC 70


same as thread


4 strands of peacock herl, pulled full length over top of body.


Metz brown/furnace to match hook size

Step 1

Start the thread at the front of the hook. Once you have it locked in go ahead and tie in four strands of peacock herl. Note: Always remember that if your tying a fly that is showing a thread body make sure you keep an even and smooth thread base.

Step 2

Tie the peacock herl all the way to the bend. There is a lot of bad herl on the market so make sure you find some that has a lot of the greenish herl on the stem.

Step 3

This is how the hackle should look after you prep it.

Step 4

Repeat the same step you did when tying in the herl. Make sure you don’t tie any of the hackle in that is at the start of the stem when you go to wind it forward. The hackle should flare the first turn. You will notice if you did the step wrong because the hackle will look like you tied it down on the shank.

Step 5

Your thread should be at the front when you tie the floss in. This will also be tied the whole length of the hook shank. If you notice by repeating the same step with all three materials up at the eye you have built a nice foundation of thread along the shank. I’m using a white in 1x. Wrap the thread back up to the eye.

Step 6

Wrap the floss side by side all the way up to the eye. I like to overlap the wraps a little.

Step 7

What I do before I pull the strands of peacock herl over the top of the body is run my fingers up and down the herl to create a rougher look. You can also twist the herl to make it more durable. Fold it over and trim the excess off. Remember not to crowd the eye.

Step 8

Grab the tip of the stem with the hackle pliers. When you grab the hackle with the hackle pliers make sure it’s not at an angle (aligned with the hackle). This will prevent any twist in the hackle while winding it forward. The hackle cannot twist are you will have hackle in every direction and that’s what you don’t want. The more wraps you do the higher the fly will sit on the water. Whip finish the fly and treat the hackle with water shed. I would let it dry over night and this fly is ready to fish. Keynotes: Make sure your holding the hackle up when you cut it. If you get hackles going forward or crowding the eyes it is probably created by the way you cut and tied off your material. What ever you do don’t cut the hackle stem on the underside of the eye.