Hi - How do you properly tie bucktail flies in smaller sizes? Like #8-10?
The bucktail is pretty much already long enough for #4-6 bucktail flies just when you cut it from the bucktail itself, but how do you do the hair properly when you only need like 1/2 that length? If you tie it long and cut it, it looks too "human" for my taste -- I like the natural bucktail taper.
Cut it half the length off the tail. I know that leaves a bunch still on the tail so when needed thats what I use on deer hair bugs and heads. No waste that way. Used to clip it at the base of the tail and trim down but realized I was throwing away to much!
"I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
"There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
" It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
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To add to what John has said.............................. Hair Stacker, get yourself a hair stacker and use it to even out the tips. After doing so you can re-arrange them for a bit of a natural look (if you please) and them cut (on the butt end) to suit your needs.
---------- Post added at 01:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:53 PM ----------
If you choose to cut as John suggests, you can come back and use the butts on the tail to augument the heads on Muddlers or for the bodies of the 'Irresistible' (people still tie that, right?) in the future. Don't think of the butts as waste, more like a savings account
I'm assuming what you're looking for IS NOT having even tips like a paintbrush, but more of the natural taper as it looks "on the tail" still? Granted there is waste if you cut the hair at the base next to the tail, but if you want it to look right and you can deal with losing a "matchstick" sized bunch of hair, you'll get what you want.
The other option is consider using kip (calf) tail. Some of those have long fibers and if the problem is the hair is too 'curly/kinky' for you, consider washing them and using hair conditioner on them, then brushing/combing the hair out and rinsing it well. You'll find the hair will relax quite a bit.
Bucktail is one of my favorite materials, but frankly when getting down into those sizes, I much prefer a finer textured hair like fox. However, it you insist on using bucktail, try to find a tail that has very fine textured hair. It seems to me that when most folks purchase or obtain deer tails, they're looking for bigger tails, with longer hair. I don't mind buying small or medium tails, as many I've gotten have finer hair that's better suited for smaller size flies. Saves cutting up long hair that might be needed for bigger flies!
just tie in the buck tail wing shorter. no need to cut the tips. just grasp the buck tail closer to the tips and tie it in proportionally. if the recipe call for the wing to be as long as the hook then its still the same length regadless of hook size.
regardless if you use a hair stacker to even the tips, if you even the tips by hand or you use the buck tail as is cut off the tail, it still gets tied in proportionally to the size of the hook
bigjim says this: It seems to me that when most folks purchase or obtain deer tails, they're looking for bigger tails, with longer hair. I don't mind buying small or medium tails, as many I've gotten have finer hair that's better suited for smaller size flies. Saves cutting up long hair that might be needed for bigger flies!
this a very good idea. buy the smaller buck tails for the finer hair
just tie in the buck tail wing shorter. no need to cut the tips.
I guess I misunderstood the initial question, but very much agree with flytire! IMO, cutting the tips on any hair (or even feathers) defeats the purpose of using those materials. If you're going to tie with hair, and cut the tips, you're wasting the best action of that material! Heck, you might as well be tying with Fishair or paint brush bristles! (Both have a place in tying, but not as wings on small flies IMO!)
There's plenty of other tail material that's more suitable.
Fox, coyote, kip, dog ()
Agreed, that's my point, use materials better suited for the hook sizes, and there are many other options. I used to tie most of my Bonefish type patterns, such as Crazy Charlies with Badger hair. It's quite fine, and fairly straight. I liked it better than calftail, and with the guard hairs removed it looked almost like calftail, which is the material used most on such patterns.
Only very close inspection comparing the two side by side revealed a difference. The Badger being finer textured had better movement.
One very experienced Florida guide I used to supply flies with, told me "I know something is different about the flies, but don't know what!" "Keep doing whatever it is, because the Bonefish really like them!"