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Old 09-14-2014, 12:10 PM
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Default Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

I'm a budding fly tyer. I've been tying woolly buggers what I call the Orvis way, tying the hackle in at the tail, wrapping (palmering?) the thread THEN the hackle forward and tying in the hackle at the head. I often use wire and wrap it over the hackle to make the fly more durable, and tie it in at the head as well.

Recently, I saw a video where they left the thread at the head and tied in the hackle beginning at the front and wrapping the hackle back. Then, only the wire was wrapped forward to hold the hackle in place. The benefits I see to doing it this way are; It is easier to control how long the fibers of the feather are at the front of the bugger and it looks like it saves some time. My concern is that using only the wire to hold the hackle in place at the tail of the fly "could" make the fly less durable.

My questions are;
1. What are your thoughts on the best way to do it? and
2. What feathers do you prefer? I've been using Whiting Bugger Packs. I'm also learning about Schlopen feathers that seem to have longer fibers than the Bugger Packs.

I should also mention that I just bought the book Woolly Wisdom, but haven't opened it yet. And, if I used any terminology incorrectly, please let me know. Trying to learn that too.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have!

Todd


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Old 09-14-2014, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

I've also seen it tied both ways. Personally I find it easier to tie the wire and hackle in at the tails and wrap them both forward. I counter wrap the wire to hold the hackle in multiple places. I'm not sure I see an advantage to tying it in a the head and wrapping the feather back, but it is a way to do it. I also like tying the feather in by the tip so the hackle length increases a bit near the head, figure it pushes a bit more water. I tend to use bugger packs though also will use the larger feathers on dry fly capes, they work fine.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

Either way works

Tyers preference
I tie the shackle tip at the bend and Palmer forward. I don't use any wire rib but like to bury the hackle stem in the valleys of the chenille

Schlappen

yes tyers use it but I think it's the wrong feather for wooly buggers. Just too soft

The fish don't care how they're tied
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

I tie them the 2nd way you described. No issues at all with durability.

I also have Woolly Wisdom. Excellent book
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

The difference is that if you wrap the hackle from head to tail, you would need to "reverse wrap" that hackle to get it lie in the valleys of the chennile.

Instead of wrapping the hackle over the top going AWAY from you, you would need to wrap it over the top TOWARDS you. And you would be front to back instead of back to front. I think you would find this method more difficult.

Of course, when you over wrap the wire, you would then wrap the wire over the top towards you in order to reinforce the hackle. However, I think it is easier to do this going forwards rather than backwards because materials are normally wrapped from back to front. Wrapping from front to back and wrapping over the top towards you means you are doing two things you are normally do not do.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

Like many others I've been tying Woolly Buggers for quite a few years now & have Tied them both ways you mentioned & have also experimented trapping The Hackle with Chenile,Wools,etc however I use the Wire Method which makes a nice Fly & is still pretty durable even after catching a few Fish... like all Flies .. none of them last forever.
I use Schlappen,Hackles from Capes I have acquired as well as Feathers from Bugger Packs when I require a certain Colour as I don't have to Dye The Feathers because they are easily obtained & The Fish don't seem to mind..
One Tip is to make sure you Tie your Wire in Firmly as I like to tie it about 3/4 along The Hook.
Brian
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

I tie mine as WilliamJ has said, and counter wrap the wire forward. IMO, it's what you're used to doing that makes them durable, and I have seen them tied with the other methods & that does seem to work for some folks. If you get sloppy when tying with any method, the fly won't be as durable.

So, the best way to tie them is to be sure your using sufficient tension on your thread, hackle or wire & don't get sloppy with it no matter which method you choose.

As far as the hackle used, that can depend on what sizes you want to tie. I have on hand & use the bugger packs, strung saddle, saddles of various grades, and have used schlappen. I've sometimes used strung neck hackle too depending on the hackle I've gotten.

Schlappen is OK, but IMO is best for larger sizes, like size 2 & larger. The fibers are quite soft as flytire said. Schlappen is no different than any other type hackle, you still have to pick & choose each feather to best fit the hook size & it ranges widely in shape & fiber length.

When I use schlappen for buggers it's usually on really big sizes tied for bass, like 1/0 or 2/0.

I like that book as well & even have a few flies listed in it!
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
The difference is that if you wrap the hackle from head to tail, you would need to "reverse wrap" that hackle to get it lie in the valleys of the chennile.

Instead of wrapping the hackle over the top going AWAY from you, you would need to wrap it over the top TOWARDS you. And you would be front to back instead of back to front. I think you would find this method more difficult.

Of course, when you over wrap the wire, you would then wrap the wire over the top towards you in order to reinforce the hackle. However, I think it is easier to do this going forwards rather than backwards because materials are normally wrapped from back to front. Wrapping from front to back and wrapping over the top towards you means you are doing two things you are normally do not do.

I don't pay any attention to wrapping the hackle into the creases of the chenille. I like my hackle to be sparse. It would be too full if the hackle followed every wrap of chenille. Its quite a non issue for me also in the fact that 90% of my bodies are dressed with dubbing. Seal or Angora goat.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

I pretty much tie all my buggers with a bead head.
I use schlappen for anything larger than a 4 and don't tie anything larger than a size 1, 4x long. I go to circus peanuts and other streamers if I want a bigger fly for the trouts.

I tie everything in at the tail and counter wrap the wire.
I use two schlappen palmered together on 2s and 1s. I also tie stinger hooks onto the size 1s that I fish more than any other size here in Montana.
The stinger hook really helps with those annoying, nippy, short striking browns.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Best way to tie a woolly bugger?

Thanks everyone for the input!

It looks pretty unanimous that tying the feather in at the back of the fly (and the front) is the preferred method, and for a variety of reasons.

The only benefit of tying in just at the front seemed to be the ability to more easily choose where in the feather you started the head. I just couldn't see how only a piece of wire would do an effective job of holding the hackle in place. I just didn't yet have enough experience to make that call on my own.

With feathers, it sometimes seems that there are a lot more smaller feathers than larger ones in the bugger packs. It almost seems that if you tied many in size 4 or 6, you'd run out of feathers pretty quick. I haven't actually run out of anything yet given that I own multiple bugger packs in different colors. This is why I was asking about Schlopen feathers. Any thoughts on this?

BigJim, which of the buggers are yours and what pages are they listed on? I've read a number of your posts and would like to see some of your work.

Todd






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