MarkNY

Tips for tying with EP and SF fibers?

21 posts in this topic

I've been playing around with EP and SF synthetic fibers recently for streamers. Most of the videos I've watched on this use tying techniques that I don't have alot of experience with. I've seen some neat stuff using this type of material. Wondering if you have some tips for using this stuff? Thanks, Mark

IMG_1618.JPG

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Hello Mark, 

As you are discovering there are many different techniques to use when tying with EP and SF synthetic fibers. I think the community here at SOL could better answer your question if you would take a moment to answer a few yourself? It would help us refine what type of tips to focus on.

The materials you mention are not suited for all tying applications or patterns. I believe they are best used in instances where they may be a substitute for natural hair, particularly when needed in longer lengths (as in bucktail). There are also many streamers that call for this material specifically in the recipes. I have little experience tying with EP fibers so I will allow others to comment on that and will instead keep my comments focused on SF blends.

 

1) Don't be afraid of the material. By that I mean don't try to conserve every little strand. When you use this stuff it can get messy, particularly as a first time user. 

2) When pulling it from the sleeve, it is best to tap the material out of the top of the bag a slight bit, then "pinch" a small hank for your tie in. Once pinched, hold the bag firmly in your other hand with only the amount of pressure to keep the other fibers in the bag, while only pulling the materials out with the pinched hand.This is tricky at first but, remember No. 1.

3). If you are looking for a good tying technique to learn to use with this material, and you don't already know it or how to do it, look up the "High-Tie Method" for attaching materials. It is a great method to use when creating baitfish patterns that are compressed laterally (like a sunfish, or a herring as opposed to a mullet or eel).

4). When using the high-tie method for making streamers, don't worry about tapering the length of your material ends when tying in, this can be accomplished with cutting and trimming the fly with scissors to get the desired profile. If you do this, always, always, always trim the fly from the back to the front.  

5) Different that #5, if you want to use this in a streamer, for example a variant of a deceiver, it would be good to taper the ends of the material hank that you've pulled out of the package. 

6) Buy yourself an inexpensive pair of thinning shears at a local beauty supply store. Good for thinning the finished fly. Plenty of videos out there demonstrating this.

7) Most importantly, experiment. See what works, what doesn't. Try using the material as a substitute for some of the patterns requiring hair that you tie now. 

8) If you like the SF blends but can't seem to find just the right color, consider blending your own. The way to do this is with a mixture of 3 packs of Angel Hair flash and one pack of slinky/kinky fiber.

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M. Saxatilis  pretty much hit most of the major points.  I do not use EP fibers, I just think they're too coarse.  These days I use either Mirror Image(made by the same company that makes SF Blend) or Senyo Lazer Dub, depending on the size fly I'm tying.   Mirror image for flies longer than 3 inches and the Lazer Dub for flies 3 inches and down.  I high tie all my bait fish patterns whether they be Peanut Bunker or Silversides.  Sometimes I mix in a bit of V-tying with it if I want thicker profile in the head area.  I'm not a big fan of trimming my flies to shape, probably the result of working with deer hair.  I like my material to be self tapering.  The Senyo Lazer Dub is self tapering but the Mirror Image comes out of the pack just like the SF Blend.  Easiest way to taper it is the same way you add flash or create your own colors.  Flash Blending.  There's an excellent explanation by Steve Farrar on the Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodders  home page on flash blending.  It's under fly tying.  He recommends three packs of flash for each pack of hair.  All my bait fish patterns are cross over patterns I use the same ones in saltwater and freshwater and in fresh water you need a more subtle flash.  I normally use a pack to a pack and a half of flash material when I blend my materials.  I also high tie my minnow/silverside patterns.  Not sure if a lot of folks do that.   Pretty simple pattern, takes 3, maybe 4 pieces of material all tied in at the front of the hook.  Here's what a couple look like.   Top one is tie with Mirror Image, bottom one is tied with Senyo Lazer Dub.

59569905e5a04_P2290285(1).JPG.3962c8141df7ee48d3403a7fb41ec744.JPGJust keep experimenting with the patterns and the colors. 

 

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Thanks for the replies and info. I'll check that high tie method out....I think that's part of my problem, I'm using too much material. I seem to get too much material in the tail area. I'll keep experimenting! Mark

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A coupe years ago I started a convo with Enrico at the Somerset show. I told him and had just started tieing and using his material. Before I could finish my initial question, he politely said: "Stop!... I guarantee you are using too much. When you pull out a hank of fiber to tie in, it should be not thicker then a wood match stick." This was in relation to the peanut butter bait fish he tied. 

The first thing you will have to get a feel for is the amount of EP fiber you tie in. Then it will be getting comfortable with trimming the fly to shape. 

 

IMG_0548.JPG

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Pretty ties on here. I like to tie SF blend around an EZ Body center or spreader cone (à la Rich Murphy), as it gives volume without a big mass of material. The other technique already mentioned is V-tying, of which there are many videos.

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On Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 3:06 PM, MarkNY said:

I've been playing around with EP and SF synthetic fibers recently for streamers. Most of the videos I've watched on this use tying techniques that I don't have alot of experience with. I've seen some neat stuff using this type of material. Wondering if you have some tips for using this stuff? Thanks, Mark

IMG_1618.JPG

Go to the ASWF website and look up some of the instructional fly tying videos by Steve Farrar using his SF Blend.

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On 6/30/2017 at 2:35 PM, Philly said:

M. Saxatilis  pretty much hit most of the major points.  I do not use EP fibers, I just think they're too coarse.  These days I use either Mirror Image(made by the same company that makes SF Blend) or Senyo Lazer Dub, depending on the size fly I'm tying.   Mirror image for flies longer than 3 inches and the Lazer Dub for flies 3 inches and down.  I high tie all my bait fish patterns whether they be Peanut Bunker or Silversides.  Sometimes I mix in a bit of V-tying with it if I want thicker profile in the head area.  I'm not a big fan of trimming my flies to shape, probably the result of working with deer hair.  I like my material to be self tapering.  The Senyo Lazer Dub is self tapering but the Mirror Image comes out of the pack just like the SF Blend.  Easiest way to taper it is the same way you add flash or create your own colors.  Flash Blending.  There's an excellent explanation by Steve Farrar on the Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodders  home page on flash blending.  It's under fly tying.  He recommends three packs of flash for each pack of hair.  All my bait fish patterns are cross over patterns I use the same ones in saltwater and freshwater and in fresh water you need a more subtle flash.  I normally use a pack to a pack and a half of flash material when I blend my materials.  I also high tie my minnow/silverside patterns.  Not sure if a lot of folks do that.   Pretty simple pattern, takes 3, maybe 4 pieces of material all tied in at the front of the hook.  Here's what a couple look like.   Top one is tie with Mirror Image, bottom one is tied with Senyo Lazer Dub.

59569905e5a04_P2290285(1).JPG.3962c8141df7ee48d3403a7fb41ec744.JPGJust keep experimenting with the patterns and the colors. 

 

Philly those are really fine lookin' fleas.

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On 03/08/2017 at 10:49 PM, Sngl2th said:

Philly those are really fine lookin' fleas.

 

On 30/06/2017 at 2:35 PM, Philly said:

M. Saxatilis  pretty much hit most of the major points.  I do not use EP fibers, I just think they're too coarse.  These days I use either Mirror Image(made by the same company that makes SF Blend) or Senyo Lazer Dub, depending on the size fly I'm tying.   Mirror image for flies longer than 3 inches and the Lazer Dub for flies 3 inches and down.  I high tie all my bait fish patterns whether they be Peanut Bunker or Silversides.  Sometimes I mix in a bit of V-tying with it if I want thicker profile in the head area.  I'm not a big fan of trimming my flies to shape, probably the result of working with deer hair.  I like my material to be self tapering.  The Senyo Lazer Dub is self tapering but the Mirror Image comes out of the pack just like the SF Blend.  Easiest way to taper it is the same way you add flash or create your own colors.  Flash Blending.  There's an excellent explanation by Steve Farrar on the Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodders  home page on flash blending.  It's under fly tying.  He recommends three packs of flash for each pack of hair.  All my bait fish patterns are cross over patterns I use the same ones in saltwater and freshwater and in fresh water you need a more subtle flash.  I normally use a pack to a pack and a half of flash material when I blend my materials.  I also high tie my minnow/silverside patterns.  Not sure if a lot of folks do that.   Pretty simple pattern, takes 3, maybe 4 pieces of material all tied in at the front of the hook.  Here's what a couple look like.   Top one is tie with Mirror Image, bottom one is tied with Senyo Lazer Dub.

59569905e5a04_P2290285(1).JPG.3962c8141df7ee48d3403a7fb41ec744.JPGJust keep experimenting with the patterns and the colors. 

 

I agree.

These look awesome.

I tie similar patterns using EP fibers. The action in the water is great, it casts great, it catches fish, but after a few fish my flies are difficult to '' comb'' back in place...Seems like the fibers get all distorted or something...Any thoughts on that ?

Cheers

^..^

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, snapper1 said:

 

I agree.

These look awesome.

I tie similar patterns using EP fibers. The action in the water is great, it casts great, it catches fish, but after a few fish my flies are difficult to '' comb'' back in place...Seems like the fibers get all distorted or something...Any thoughts on that ?

Cheers

^..^

As Philly says it's coarse stuff. I will say that I try to avoid using any substantial amount of EP fiber for the reason you give, that it tends to ball and tangle. Even with crab flies you have to use some glue or resin to keep it in place. Here's a fly I tied last night that uses both EP and SF blend. I take a toothpick and brush a little Wapsi Flex-Seal into the fibers to keep them from fouling without killing all movement. It's particularly good to do this if you use a substantial amount of either type of fiber on the hook side of the shank:

5985ff9e8a53a_FullSizeRender2.thumb.jpg.7e7e485338b62d5a28eb50c9b0117445.jpg

 

Edited by Sngl2th

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Posted (edited)

Thanx, I'll remember that.

Here is what I'm tying and fishing with. Just started last winter with EP fibers so still a long way to go in the learning process...:)

Any comments welcome.

Cheers

^..^

P8050226.JPG

Edited by snapper1

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What brand and type of hook are you guys using?     

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20 hours ago, ccb said:

What brand and type of hook are you guys using?     

I like regular ''non-tarpon'' saltwater Gamakatsu SC15. Relatively short shank, wide gap, sharp.

^..^

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Like Sngl12th, I do a very light coat on the body of the fly back to the bend of the hook.  Right now I'm using CCG Hydro when that runs out I'll have to experiment with something else.   Not sure you can see it on this PB fly.  I've coated the head an eyes with thicker UV resin, and from there to the bend has that light coat of the Hydro.  It will hold the wide body shape when in the water with the back half providing the action.  

 

 

I like for hooks SC15 and it's freshwater equivalent or any round bend hook.  In the first picture I posted.  The larger fly is tied on a Varivas hook,  the smaller one on a  SC15  and the bunker fly is tied on a SC 15 

PBCU.jpg

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