"Simple, nicely made hackle pliers."
A simple spring presses one fairly broad, smooth metal surface against a plastic covered surface. Hackles are pressed into the rubbery plastic, grip is fairly good, hackles are very well protected. To my mind hackle-pliers should grip well enough, without crushing or breaking the stem – these simple pliers balance grip and delicacy rather well.
For my own tying, when hackles are robust I prefer heavier pliers with harder grip, the weight lets me hang the hackle if I want. For smaller more delicate feathers, eg. partridge hackles, I use Soft-tip pliers (I own a couple of pairs) the grip is more than adequate and I want light-weight pliers which are big enough for my hands. Note, Soft-tip pliers come in two sizes, these are the small version
Simple, nicely made hackle pliers.
From Semperfli stockists.