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Old 05-25-2011, 01:29 PM
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Default using bucktail and a hair stacker....

I posted these questions on another site and got squat for an answer.. so figured Id try here.... probably should of done that in the first place.. anyway.. [/




I am in the middle of trying to copy the fly that I posted a few weeks ago looking for its name...

The beard on this fly is bucktail... which I have never tied with before.. I ran into a couple of problems (minor) that maybe someone here can help me with..

first.. hairstacker.. is that a necessary tool to have on hand and use when tying flies with bucktail? If so is there one that is better than the other or all they about the same..

now for the bucktail..

first time I tied in the beard the bucktail flared out on me.. not a huge mess but had to do a lot of cleanup to make it look right..

second time I tied it in a little looser to hold it in place and then came back over it to tighten it down.. but. .this time it seemed the hair was a little loose to the point of some of it slippling out.. I solved that with a drop of cement (at least I hope I did.. ),.,,,

so on the hair.. what is the best way to tie it in snugly without it flaring out on me??

MacFly
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

It sounds like you're using hair that is hollow, rather than solid.

Hollow hair flairs, solid doesn't, or barely does. Usually there's some of both on a bucktail, with the more thin solid stuff being closer to the tip, and thick hollow stuff near the base.

Try using the stuff from the tip.

Pro tip- when I get a new bucktail, I break the top third off from the rest and use that. The rest goes in a tub as "back stock" and the top third lasts for many dozens of flies.

A hair stacker is quite handy, but you could make something like a film canister work.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

Mac,

Cliff has you squared away on the 'why it flares' thing and as for to use or not to use a stacker................ Some hair is so uneven that you must do a little something to get them somewhat uniform for wings, beards, etc. My problem is that stacked hair looks 'Too' good! I'll post two pictures, one with a too good wing and one not so stacked. I'm sure the fish don't mind either way but I like the more natural vs. factory look.

Stacked Buck Tail Wing;

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Unstacked;

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

No matter how you chose to do it the drop of tying cement is key to hair wings and beards. You have the right idea,

Ard
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

Mac

I use bucktail a lot for SW flies and generally just roughly even the tips by hand after cutting a bunch rather than stacking-- like Ard I prefer a roughly evened wing (or throat) to a perfectly stacked wing that ends up looking like a paintbrush.

A couple tips--

a little goes a long way, don't cut too thick of a bunch-- 20-30 hairs or less is probably plenty.

Like Cliff said, use the hair from the tip, or upper 2/3 of the bucktail as opposed to the thicker hollow hair at the base of the bucktail, which will have a tendency to flare under thread tension. Here's an example of yellow hair cut from the tip of a bucktail and white hair cut from the base of a bucktail. Note how the solid yellow hair doesn't flare as much as the hollow white bucktail under thread tension?

Click the image to open in full size.

Using the hair from the tips of the bucktail is easiest for now. But you can also tame unruly bucktail that flares by adjusting the tension of your thread wraps. You'll still want to use tight wraps to bind the bucktail securely to the hook shank, but use a couple looser "gathering wraps" of thread under less tension as you move rearward to bring the strands of bucktail under control, then wrap forward again gradually increasing tension again. The looser wraps will help to reduce the angle that the bucktail flares from the shank.

And depending on what you're tying, you might also consider using calf tail for a beard. It's a lot shorter than bucktail, but might work for you. On this pattern, the orange throat and tail is calf tail, the white belly and yellow wing are bucktail
Click the image to open in full size.

Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

IMO a hair stacker is difficult, and frustrating to use with bucktail. Plus, it doesn't do all that good of job. The guy that taught me how to tie stacks his bucktail, but I use another method. I hold the butts lightly in my right hand; take the longest tips in my left hand; give them a jerk pull out of the clump; stack the hairs back in the clump with the tips as even as possible. I do this three to five times. The tips are fairly even. Quick and easy.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

I agree Jimmie....on Bucktail, I never use a stacker, easier to just pull on the long ones, then line another batch, pull again and keep doing that till you got the size of clump you want.

Same thing with Calftail.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

I think Ard's pics exemplify why NOT to use a stacker. I don't even use it for a striped hair like squirrel tail...I can pretty much even things up by hand if I have to.

Regarding bucktails, I steer WAY clear of those advertised a huge northern bucktails with 4 inch hair at least. I look for the little ones - maybe they are from does - that have nice straight hair - not like the crinkly stuff on those big bucktails.

You might look into something like kid goat hair for beards or throats. finer stuff than bucktail.

Bottom line: if it flares, its likely hollow, and not much good for a wet fly.

That might actually all be worth 3 cents.
Gary
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
It sounds like you're using hair that is hollow, rather than solid.

Hollow hair flairs, solid doesn't, or barely does. Usually there's some of both on a bucktail, with the more thin solid stuff being closer to the tip, and thick hollow stuff near the base.

Try using the stuff from the tip.

Pro tip- when I get a new bucktail, I break the top third off from the rest and use that. The rest goes in a tub as "back stock" and the top third lasts for many dozens of flies.

A hair stacker is quite handy, but you could make something like a film canister work.
ok Im little confused here.. so going to ask what is probably a dumb a$$ question.. tip and base of the tail... I first thought you meant tip as the part furthest away from what use to be the butt of the animal.. but then you say you break off the top third (part closest to the butt of the animal or base).. and toss the rest aside...

so.. in my case Id use the hair at the tip (part furtherst away from the butt of the animal) of the tail since it is more solid and easier to tie correct??
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

In a word, yes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: using bucktail and a hair stacker....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Mac,

Cliff has you squared away on the 'why it flares' thing and as for to use or not to use a stacker................ Some hair is so uneven that you must do a little something to get them somewhat uniform for wings, beards, etc. My problem is that stacked hair looks 'Too' good! I'll post two pictures, one with a too good wing and one not so stacked. I'm sure the fish don't mind either way but I like the more natural vs. factory look.

Stacked Buck Tail Wing;

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Unstacked;

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

No matter how you chose to do it the drop of tying cement is key to hair wings and beards. You have the right idea,

Ard
Ard... Id have to agree with you on the stacked or not... and tbh what I tied already is the unstacked and I think looks more natural.. not a factory finished look... Ill have to try to take some pics tonite of what I was trying to duplicate and post it and my result so far...

MacFly


---------- Post added at 04:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:55 PM ----------

thank you all for the excellent and quick feedback on this... it is appreciated... seems like all of you are awake here as compared to a different site... :-)

MacFly
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