Don't tie the marabou tail too long of you'll get fouling when fishing the fly. I hate that and refuse to tolerate fouling on any of my flies. I keep the bugger tail to only 1 shank length -- no more. To get additional movement I like rubber legs on bugger patterns. and sometimes krystal chenille -- or "estaz". I never use regular chenille anymore.
Your question about whether to use the tip or sides of the marabou feather -- it depends
. IF you have "woolly bugger marabou" with really thick, webby stuff you'll just want to use the tip or "end". The quill (shaft) of the feather is too thick to use much more than the tip on these. And you cannot use them to palmer like popsicle patterns, etc.
For "blood quill marabou" (my top choice) you can use the tip/end and the sides stripped off---either works well. Some people don't like blood quill marabou ends for woolly bugger tails because the feather fibers are less webby and instead are more long and "flowing". I don't care - they work better IMO. Sometimes I'll trim off the tips to get down to the more webby stuff, but often I use the thinner ends and catch plenty of fish on them. The sides work extremely well too -- so I feel like I'm wasting a lot less feather.
To me, there's no sense in buying "woolly bugger marabou" because it isn't versatile like blood quill marabou.
Note: hackle on woolly buggers looks great, but breaks easily on 1-2 fish if you don't rib it to reinforce it better. I use one of those "woolly bugger saddle packs" that cost abotu $20, but seems to be worth the money. They palmer great and are sized very well. You need to rib them though, again. Unribbed saddle hackle is useless and you might as well throw them in the trash IMO
. That's the mark of a well-tied bugger vs. the kind they usually sell in shops to unsuspecting buyers.
Or, you could ditch the hackle altogether like this guy. I like this pattern quite a bit with the rubber legs -- No need for hackle or ribbing.
I add beads, lead eyes, and/or lead wire to MOST of my buggers. I seldom ever find myself wanting to fish an unweighted bugger, and I often add shot to the leader even with the weighted bugger. Weight = great if it puts you on more fish
. Don't fear it. Just learn to cast well with it and you're set.
Other streamers I tie without much weight (like Mickey Finns) because I use them in shallow areas and I use shot if I need to get them deep.