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BobPop

Making the best out of old bucktails!

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I am constantly asked where do I get my long BT's. I simply keep looking around fly shops wherever I go and often some long ones appear! Right off the rack. Rare, but it does happen. Brad Buzzy has a bunch usually, and you just never know when a good one shows up. When it does, GET IT! Even if you do not need it.

Another trick is to go through many of your older tails. The ones you stopped using because the remaining hair is too wild to tie with. These fibers are usually at the bottom of the tail. BUT, this is where most of the longest hair is. If you only use smaller amounts of fibers, remove ALL the short hairs, the remaining fibers tie down rather easily. You only need a few fibers to establish the fleyes length. Maybe takes two ties from same tail to achieve a gradual taper from step to step, but sometimes only one. Then you go up the tail or get another tail to complete the BTD. The collar is achieved with the last three ties. These fibers are just normal SW size.

I do not have the pictures on my computer but I will follow up with a post from my phone so you can see the pics here. I posted on Facebook but I think some of you do not use Facebook. The pix show a couple BTs. One ratty looking one that possessed ridiculously long fibers. 8" to be EXACT! I was able to get 13 BTDs from the base hairs in the picture(longest fibers). The white fibers were used only for the wing and the collars were from other tails.

Here is my point: Many of you have some long fibers at home already. Search them out. The fibers, even though they come from the bottom of the tail, can be easily controlled with the correct preparation of the fibers. DO NOT WASTE any long hairs either. They are very hard to come by. Use the very judiciously. Good luck.

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Thanks Bob for pointing that out .I really enjoy your work those big flies are absolutely beautiful. Like yourself I search out ways to use all of the hair on the Bucktail . You probably already know this but a much unmentioned use of the backside of the tail . Especially the hair at the base this hollow hair makes for some of the nicest hair and longest for spinning I've ever seen. I've gotten some of the nicest colours from dyed bucktails that one wouldn't normally think of just by looking at the darkside of a dyed tail.


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Mr. Pop:  Those flies, as usual, are terrific.  I am looking through my stuff as we speak.  I should keep in touch with my deer hunting friends and ask to keep an eye out if they harvest a large tailed deer.


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Bob, great post & info as always! I've done as you've mentioned for many years, using sparse amounts of the longest hair from a tail & shorter hair from other tails. It's a harder thing to do for folks with very limited budgets to stock pile those long hair tails, but as you've said, they're limited in supply. Get um when you can! :th:

 

I also don't like wasting anything, so even if I'm not happy with the hair for flies, it'll work fine on jigs! I've yet to find a tail I couldn't use for tying something! :D

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Quote:

Originally Posted by flyrodder44 View Post

 

Mr. Pop:  Those flies, as usual, are terrific.  I am looking through my stuff as we speak.  I should keep in touch with my deer hunting friends and ask to keep an eye out if they harvest a large tailed deer.







The later in the year the longer the hair gets.


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Bucktails are actually really cheap on the auction site. To the tune of I just bought 20 assorted natural white tails for $20. About 17 of them are very long haired and could have been $5-10+ if properly processed.

 

The only problem is you must wash the heck out of the tails with a mild shampoo and dry them before use as most bags smell like a taxidermy shop. This is my second shipment from the same seller and I am pretty much set for a LOOOOONG time.

 

I think the prices for a single large white saltwater bucktail are ridiculous. Especially when I am tying 1-6 oz jigs with them! They use alot of hair.

 

 

JC

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For tying hollows, I have only used store bought tails.  I have heard that boiling them breaks down the protein in the hair and makes them softer, and easier for the reverse tying style.  I am not sure about the whole breaking down proteins, but I have found it does make them softer and prefer to do it for all of my hollow tying tails.


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