Hook I

Bucktail selection

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Can someone post up a good picture explaining the different parts of an average Bucktail used for different presentations . Some hairs are long,  some are shorter & some just not as good as the other section of the BT .thanks 

 

FYI I have used the flip side hairs ( dark ) for some fresh water very small flies like a Caddis , Black Nose Dace . Hope I explained it right & hope it helps learning . 

Edited by Hook I

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Tail fibers at the base are coarse and a bit hollow like belly hair so tend to flair after you yank down on it. Try to use light turns as you get close to base as this decreases degree of flair. As the hair goes to the up it losses that characteristic and becomes more subtle for winging.  Sometimes, like in a base bug tail or support under flatwing saddle that is desired effect but in most applications, the upper tail is better.  Applications also dictate hair length. I always buy tails in stores so I can pick out ones I want. Always cut close to hide and get rid of fluff and shorts. I hardly ever stack hair just tap it on my palm to get base straight(but I'm lazy).Rule of thumb on deer hair.... cut what u need and use half of it.

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Hook

 

It helps to calibrate what’s good and bad in a BT if you can be shown and feel a really good one.

Good ones are not that common. Best ones for me have long soft fine hair.. Wavey hair If softish is also good.

Soft hair has great movement in the water and you get better tyes to.

 

For most patterns we use only the top one third of the BT.  Sometimes half is ok but not often. I have no use for the coarse hollow lower hairs.

 

If you buy by mail order it is a massive gamble and often you waste your money.

 

Many Tiers I know have a habit of routinely inspecting  BT  when in a shop or at a show. If they find a good tail they buy it even if they don’t need it.

 

 Good BT is almost as hard as finding good cork.

 

It is my favourite material.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Hello Hook,

 

Really recommend Bob Pop's newest Fleye Design book.   If you're going to the NJ show in a week I'm sure you can pick one up there, maybe even on sale.    This is just a small snip from the book, and there's much more about how to properly select and use materials.      A great read even for a lousy tier like myself.

 

HT

 

hair1.thumb.jpg.a3b307856fe1db1d91d671e48979a303.jpg

 

 

hair2.thumb.jpg.76519f5f7a8c589788ee33c157e9bfb3.jpg

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Bob Pop's book is a great source on info on many things. Bucktail is one of them.

 

First of all I would like to start off by saying that every bucktail is different. Sure there are common nominators in most, but every tail is a bit different then the next one. Look for hair that feels soft to the touch. If your Hollow tying a lot, hair that is a bit hollow at the stem is great as it's easy to manipulate and flares nicely. You don't want to use hair that's hollow all the way to the tip, unless your doing BULKheads etc. I personally mostly use the mid section of my tails. That's usually where the best hair is, but as said it differs from tail to tail. The top is usually full of thinner and stiffer hair and the bottom hollow and coarser hair. However many tails have that super soft short hair at the bottom and that's perfect material for the last super short tie you want to tie in your smaller hollow deceivers that are tied on short shank hooks.

 

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16 undyed bucktails in my bucktail drawer and if I see another nice natural I'll probably buy it too.1/3 are long and soft ,another 1/3 short to medium and soft(which you will likely end up using more of) but there are other textures as well depending upon purpose.

I will often use the hair from more than one or several bucktails on a fly to achieve a particular effect,ie,a long straight ,soft tail ,working in  coarser/kinkier for volume mid to front...a large BTD may have 6-8  or more "wings" layered in.

Pay heed to the advice not to trim down long fibers for short flies,buy a nice tail w/ mid to short hair.

You'll probably want to get several different ones to cover all your bases.

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Hook I, these folks have provided excellent comments & advice. I tend to look for bucktail as Mike Oliver suggested, with finer, softer textured hair, regardless of the actual size of the tail. With that idea, I don't mind buying "medium" or even "small" tails if the price is good and I go thru 300 to 500 a year. Often those smaller size tails has more usable hair than a large tail, at least for the tying I do. 

 

For that hair closer to the base of a tail that tends to flare, I use it for tying large jigs, in combination with hair from other sections of a tail. It may not be desirable on a fly, but works fine on those large jigs so I don't have any waste. This is jigs generally 3 oz or heavier and used for trolling. 

 

I very much agree with what Slip n Slide has said about trimming down hair. Never trim the tip ends, and by obtaining tails with hair of various length, you can get what you need for any size fly, or jig if you tie them. It means you have to spend more, but you're likely going to do that anyway. Tails with long hair is harder to find as it is, so cutting it shorter is where you really make waste!  I have some tails with 6" to 7" hair on them, and you can bet it won't get cut shorter to tie a fly that only needs 3" or 4" hair. :)

Edited by tidewaterfly

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BTW, you mentioned using the hair from the back side! Awesome for many flies, and for jigs too. I hate wasting anything! 

 

I tie these primarily for both Bass & Redfish. The hair is from the back side of tails! :)

100_6353.JPG

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4 hours ago, tidewaterfly said:

BTW, you mentioned using the hair from the back side! Awesome for many flies, and for jigs too. I hate wasting anything! 

 

I tie these primarily for both Bass & Redfish. The hair is from the back side of tails! :)

100_6353.JPG

being diverse in fishing , when the time is right the use of Hair Jigs for Smallmouth Bass also , As for the Red fish presentations that's another great idea from the board here .  I do send some of the back sides to an old bass buddy from NJ in the mail , He really appreciates the stuff .     GREAT looking jigs !   thanks for sharing  

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On 1/16/2018 at 7:42 PM, HillTop said:

Hello Hook,

 

Really recommend Bob Pop's newest Fleye Design book.   If you're going to the NJ show in a week I'm sure you can pick one up there, maybe even on sale.    This is just a small snip from the book, and there's much more about how to properly select and use materials.      A great read even for a lousy tier like myself.

 

HT

 

hair1.thumb.jpg.a3b307856fe1db1d91d671e48979a303.jpg

 

 

hair2.thumb.jpg.76519f5f7a8c589788ee33c157e9bfb3.jpg

Chuck  Hope all is well    I'll be on the lookout Friday  thanks for sharing  

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Hook I  -  Stop at  my table this weekend at the Edison Show (formally the Somerset Show).  I will have a few hundred for you to go through.  Just introduce your self to me and tell me you are on SOL.  I will make some time if I can and give you a crash course on Bucktails.  Should be a great weekend.....

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7 hours ago, bbuzzi said:

Hook I  -  Stop at  my table this weekend at the Edison Show (formally the Somerset Show).  I will have a few hundred for you to go through.  Just introduce your self to me and tell me you are on SOL.  I will make some time if I can and give you a crash course on Bucktails.  Should be a great weekend.....

thank you i will stop by 

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