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skunkworx

Bucktail Smell?

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I recently decided to start tying my own Bucktails and teasers, and noticed that the Bucktails smell kind of like deer ass. It's not really a surprise because they pretty much are, but does that smell matter? Do you guys do anything to treat them?

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I've washed tails with whatever conditioner was laying around the house, they still catch fish.  Has the added bonus of making the hair nice and smooth and untangling too.

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Thanks guys. Initially I did a search for " bucktail smell" that didn't really give much info. I tried searching " washing bucktails" after reading StriperTC's reply and got a bunch of information. I think I'm going to try boiling one with a little white vinegar then putting it in a pillow case with an unscented dryer sheet. I just have to wait until my wife is out of the house.

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I would have to say don't boil it. If you keep that tail in boiling water to long, it can result in hair falling off the skin. I do mine at 180 when I dye them, and never had a problem there. Had the water temp get away from me 1 time, and it looked like hair soup in the pan lol.

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It supposed to make the hair easier to work with and " breath" better in the water. I'll try it on one tail. If it fails it's not a big loss. It's a small price to pay to avoid smelling like a veterinary proctologist.

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All natural materials start to decompose as soon as the animal it came from dies. No way around it. So, we try to preserve it as best we can. There's always going to be some odor to them, which is also natural. Whenever you get raw tails you want to wash them to remove dirt, oils & any other contamination that might be present. I use Dawn dish washing detergent in warm water for this. You can use a cheap hair conditioner too if you like after they've been cleaned. There are some that don't have fragrance if you're concerned about it. I've done this too as well, and it does help with keeping the hair from sticking together so it will breath better in the water. The most important thing is having them clean!

 

The question of odors & scents on tying materials being deterrents to catching fish comes up occasionally on fishing forums. We still catch fish with flies & everything has some "scent" or odor to it, whether we can smell it or not. Even your own scent will get on the materials as you handle them. IMO, it's not a factor at all as far as catching fish. If you feel otherwise, then keep your hands clean when tying & keep anything else you feel might cause an issue away from your materials. It's that simple. 

 

No matter what you do, bacteria & mold will cause an odor from materials. The thing is to limit both of them by limiting moisture. They both need moisture. Bacteria, mold spores & moisture are always present no matter how clean you keep things around you, especially in areas of higher humidity. To limit them, you want the tails to be as clean as possible & as dry as possible. Once you get them clean, air dry them thoroughly & put them in zip lock type bags. I keep some of mine in a freezer, but there is moisture present there too. However, that limits the bacteria & mold. This is fine for longer term storage if you can do it. Otherwise get some silica desiccant packs & put them in the bags with the tails. It absorbs moisture so helps limit it. Keep your bags sealed until you wish to do your tying.

 

I've been preparing bucktails & many other raw materials for a long time this way & as long as I keep them sealed up, never had a issue. 

 

One other thing to mention. Vermin, such as moths can be a problem too with tying materials. They're attracted to the protein which in many cases is the "dirt" that gets on materials. If your materials are clean, you'll have less problems. Also keep the bags you store your materials in clean too. I've had moths eat thru plastic bags because of the "dirt" on the bags from repeated handling & of course once inside the bag they destroy the materials. If the bag has any holes in it, even staple holes or any soiling on it, replace it. It's cheaper to replace the bags than to replace the materials. I learned that lesson many, many years ago & it was an expensive one. Have not had that problem since. 

Edited by tidewaterfly

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I wouldn't go through the hassle of washing, it's all part of using and tying bucktails.  We keep ours in plastic totes with lids that we affectionately call ass boxes... cause they smell like ass.   :D

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   Keep one of those air fresheners plugged into the outlet lol.

   My wife complains almost every time she walks into the garage. I'm not as big as some tackle makers here, but I go through over 500 tails a year, and keep most in the freezer. I get out 100 at a time to either use plain, or to dye.

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