06-28-2010, 09:44 AM
Re: Animal Hair vs Synthetics
Both the bucktail and the synthetics are used extensively in saltwater style streamers and there are advantages and disadvantages
Bucktail is a natural material and may people like it just for that. It also has a natural taper and good action in the water. But bucktail also wears out/ breaks and the dyed color can fade.
Synthetics need to be tapered by hand, either by breaking, "stacking" or careful trimming. They can be too stiff or so flexible that they tangle and mat. The fibers are also longer than bucktai , have built in flash, and are nearly indestructible.
Take a basic fly like a Lefty's deceiver. 90% of my deceivers are tied with the traditional bucktail collar. The flies don't last forever but they have good action, the collar keeps the tail from fouling, and when tying the hair spins easily around the hook (synthetics can 'stick')
But I'll also tie some all synthetic deceivers if only for the reason that they're tough. When tied correctly, toothy fish cannot rip them apart like they can a bucktail deceiver.
With another SW staple, the Clouser deep minnow, the natural bulk, action, and tapered ends of the bucktail seem to be best, but drag a Clouser across the bottom a few times and half the bucktail is damaged or worn off. Also Clousers can often benefit from being longer and thinner than you can tie with bucktail.
So, like you say, one often works better than the other, but there are benefits to both.
The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart
Last edited by Rip Tide; 06-28-2010 at 10:32 AM.