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Old 03-12-2013, 03:15 PM
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Default Calf tail fouled on hook?

Hi - I'm a relatively new tier and I had something new happen the other day. I was fishing a white "clouser" minnow on a size 10 streamer hook tied with calftail top and bottom. The "top" calf tail (the hair running more or less through the hook point) got all wonky on the hook and the sucker was almost impossible to untwist!

What causes this grasshopper mistake?
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Calf tail fouled on hook?

I don't like real limp stuff for Clousers for just that reason. I have tried other things but come back to Bucktail because you just can't beat it for Clousers.

If you are going to use whispy stuff you can't go with a traditional Clouser style fly. It needs to be tied in two sections You need to make the front hair only about as long as the hook bend. The rest need to be tied in at the bend and even then you need to either tie in a mono anti-fouling loop, aweed gaurd style anti-fouling deal or a core that will help hold it out from a fouling position.
Click the image to open in full size.

The flies on the top left and most of the ones on the right are all tied with very limp stuff like glow in the dark spider web and/or Icelandic Sheep. If you look at the Clousers on the top left you can see they are made in the two stage manner I mentioned. I did a small diameter mylar tube to cover the point I did my tie on of the tail.

There are a couple other flies that have a different anti-fouling strategy. Make the whole front of the fly solid. The slider does that, and the minnow streamer has a softex head.

Bottom line, you either need to use stiffer material or a fly pattern that resists fouling. You can't do a straight Clouser with whispier stuff and not get fouling.

One last note, jerky casting seems to foul them worse and more often. I can do a pretty whispy fly and spey casting it not get fouling where I would single hand casting it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Calf tail fouled on hook?

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Old 03-12-2013, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Calf tail fouled on hook?

Sorry - I'm kind of thick with some of this stuff --

Are you saying that the problem of hook fouling is mostly related to using material that is too "wispy" or is it a function of wing/tail length versus hook length?

Should I use wings/tails that extend quite a bit further than the hook bend? OR should I use longer 3-4x streamer hooks that are more similar in length to the wing?

Thanks -- this all helps. I've never had this happen before until I started using the calf tail
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Calf tail fouled on hook?

Dan is right , bucktail is the best for Clousers due to its stiffness. With that said I tie Clousers with a variety of materials even Antron . If you have ever used Antron you know it has a habit of catching on everything sort of like a mesh netting. The solution to this or any other material that wraps the hook is a high tie.
Basically all this involves is after securing your material to the front do several wraps of thread around the material at the base and then finish with several wraps behind the material . This will keep it up and away from the hook point and the fly still looks the same in the water.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Calf tail fouled on hook?

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post

Are you saying that the problem of hook fouling is mostly related to using material that is too "wispy" or is it a function of wing/tail length versus hook length?
It is both.

Flexible material can bend and material that bends can bend around the hook during casting. Fouling is also related to the length of the material. VEry long material has less of a tending to foul because the end of of the material is well away from the hook point and bend. Material that is very shot cannot foul. There is an "intermediate length" that can foul depending on the material stiffness.

There is a rule of thumb but I cant recall it right now. I think it is material that is 1 - 3 times the hook length can foul but I'm not sure.

As stated above, make a loop of stiff mono and tied it to the back of the hook to "hold" the material way and above the hook point. Another strategy is to tie stiffer material first and then the floppy material above it.

Fouling Streamers
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Calf tail fouled on hook?

To the original posted question. First, these guys have given great advise for tying to prevent fouling. However, since you used calftail & specifically that it had twisted, I have to ask, was it twisted when you removed it from the tail?

Reason I'm asking, I've gotten calftails with twisted hair & it's difficult to get it to straighten. The hair has a "set" or memory in it, particularly longer calftail.

Some hairs will straighten out a bit after getting wet, but not all.

One way to prevent the twisting of the hair is of course, don't use what is already twisted.

I've never had the problem you've described when using calftail, but I'm more particular about selecting what part of the tails I cut hair from & how the hair looks. Twisted & kinked hair will often cause problems.

I've tied Clouser style flies many times with much finer hairs than calftail, such as Fox, and have had very little issue with them fouling. Sure, no matter how you try to make sure fouling is not a problem, it can happen anyway. But it can also be limited.

I would be interested in seeing some pictures of the fly you're having these issues with, to further determine what might have actually caused the problem.
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