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Bucktail question

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few things(and i'm only amature)

 

shape-is it nice and flat and spread out, or is it twisted, bent, cracked and hanging by a sliver, etc

size-depending on what you're tying you'll want longer or shorter hairs.

fineness(made up word)-how fine or coarse are the hairs. coarser tends to flare out more(like body hair for spinning). fine tends to stay neatly packed, kinda like craft fur.

 

look at the tails and make sure theres no mold growing on the hide part. if there is, you oughtta be abel to swing a discount, take it home scrape it off and wipe it down with diluted bleach to kill the mold growth.

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Some things to look for when you check out tail---

 

For SW look for long hairs, at least four inches, and a long tail, maybe 10" over all length from tips of hair to back of hide where it's cut.

 

At the base of the tail, the hairs are thicker, coarser, hollow and will tend to flare like deer body hair. Ideally you want the least of this as possible and more of the finer hair for tying deceivers, clousers and dressing bucktails etc. But sometimes they extend up to a third of the tail, so you can get a lot of waste.

 

On dyed tails, look for hair that hasn't been beat up by the dying process- some times it can be brittle, or really fine and separates from the tail easily. For some reason I seem to find it happens more in chartreuse than any other color. When you bind down crappy hair like that, it tends to be cut by the thread and/or sheds from the hook as it moves around casting or in the water instead of more flexible less brittle hair.

 

When buying sight unseen online, look for stuff sold as SW Bucktail- it's a buck or so more than smaller tails and is usually pretty good.

 

peregrines

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Adding my .02 - There are many different characteristics that are associated with bucktails and any one, well defined, can make it a "good bucktail".

 

Aside from experience there is no short-cut to determine what makes a good bucktail. My criteria of a good bucktail consists of individual, or a combination of, characteristics found in varying degrees that I know work well for certain fly patterns. Mostly because others have selected for these traits in creating the fly. As for an answer, I offer the following:

 

Length of hairs- Self explanatory.

Length of tail- Hair located at different portions of the tail have different properties and will behave differently when tied on a hook, i.e. hollow fibers tend to flair out. A tail of a certain length will offer me more hairs with the desired characteristic from that particular part of the tail.

Kinky-ness/frequency or lack thereof- Wavy may create a larger profile with less material, conversely for straight.

Stiff/supple- Will it break? Stiff hairs tend to be hollow

Color- It's good to take the tail out of a package and feel it - is it oily? Rub it - does it leave dye traces on my hands?

 

These are just a few and other tiers can offer other characteristics that are important to them. You may chose to use these as a general guide when selecting materials but once more, this is what works for me. It may not work for you.

 

In short, collect them all, and figure it out later!

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Mike,

 

If you are in EG and have some free time you should come to the Saltwater Edge tying nights every other Wednesday in Middletown. Its free and the next one is next Wed. Starts around 6 and goes to 8-8:30. Not a formal class just some guys sharing stories and tying flies. Plenty of BT there to check out and I and the other guys would be more than happy to do a hands on demo.

 

Like others I don't think there is really any bad bucktail it just comes down to having the right one for what you are tying. Finding long haired supple tails has become a challenge so many will scour the inventory looking for any good ones regardless of whether they need it at the moment or not. Same thing goes for feathers etc...

 

Sean

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View PostMike,

 

If you are in EG and have some free time you should come to the Saltwater Edge tying nights every other Wednesday in Middletown. Its free and the next one is next Wed. Starts around 6 and goes to 8-8:30. Not a formal class just some guys sharing stories and tying flies. Plenty of BT there to check out and I and the other guys would be more than happy to do a hands on demo.

 

Like others I don't think there is really any bad bucktail it just comes down to having the right one for what you are tying. Finding long haired supple tails has become a challenge so many will scour the inventory looking for any good ones regardless of whether they need it at the moment or not. Same thing goes for feathers etc...

 

Sean

 

 

for those long supple hairs you speek of try finding skunk tail, most ot the time the short hairs on a skunk will be a s long as the longest hair on those bucktails you seek out, and the longest hairs ive gotten on a skunk have been over 10" tough to find bucktails like that, check in the bst there are a few fs for a pick of what the legnth that we are getting froma skunk, diferent then tying with a bucktail as you really only have to find the legnth you want as all the hairs are supple

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Great info guys clapping.gif

 

Never really knew why I cut from certain portions, just that when you see a vid it says "cut from this section". Good to know the makeup.

 

I do know that you need to pick it by hand. I've had certain bucktails that were too short for certain flys. So I ordered the "jumbo saltwater" Bucktail in that color.

Now I have 2 in that same color that are too short mad.gif

 

Somerset will fill a lot of holes. That list is getting longer cwm31.gif

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Clean is something I look at too. I prefer a buck tail to not have wavy or kinky type hair. The more smooth it is, the better I like it. I think it is best to look in person. I hesitate in ordering anymore, because quality is hard to find. SW buck tail would be ideal if you are ordering, as someone also mentioned. Straight and smooth. Thats the best to me.

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Something I havne't seen mentioned here - if you are hand picking, and have 3 or 4 that you think are good for what you want - flip them over to teh hide side - that darker "Vee" in teh middle is all waste. To get the fullest tail pick the one which has the most amount of "tan" or lighter hide. I no longer do this, but when you get home you can trace teh edge of that dark vee with a razor blade and throw it out, you'll be left with a solid white tail which is easier to trim clumps off to tie with, without worrying about picking the darker hairs.

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View PostGreat info guys clapping.gif

 

Never really knew why I cut from certain portions, just that when you see a vid it says "cut from this section". Good to know the makeup.

 

I do know that you need to pick it by hand. I've had certain bucktails that were too short for certain flys. So I ordered the "jumbo saltwater" Bucktail in that color.

Now I have 2 in that same color that are too short mad.gif

 

Somerset will fill a lot of holes. That list is getting longer cwm31.gif

 

AB,

 

I know exactly what you mean. Some things have to be picked by hand, and IMO bucktails and feathers are the materials I have to see before I buy. I think there are some on-line vendors who will look through their inventory while you are on the phone and put the items you specify into your order, but I have never tried this. I envy those who still have access to brick-and-mortar stores.

 

I have not been to a show in many years, but the next time I go, it will be straight to the purveyors of fine deer tail and feathers. I will avoid the siren call of yet more tinsel (I'm a sucker for any color of Krystal Flash/Flashabou/etc. that I don't already own) until I have everything I need of those materials. THEN if there is any money left I will look over the other stuff.

 

Maybe next year....

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