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Thread: Deer Hair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Deer Hair

    Is there a trick to keep the hair from flaring out when tying a Clouser? I start with a loose wrap or two then pull the thread straight up then make a few tight wraps. But it still wants to puff out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Deer Hair

    A couple things you can try-

    First just to make sure, we are talking bucktail hair here as opposed to deer hair from the body which will flare all over the place right?

    Some hair from the bucktail will flare more than others. Hair from the top 2/3 (from the tip down) is finer and more solid and will flare less than the hair at the base (where was attached to the body) of the bucktail which will be thicker and more hollow (and more similar to deer BODY hair). look carefully and you'll see that the hair at the base of the bucktail is noticeably thicker.

    When you tie in the bucktail, you'll need tight wraps to secure the material-- this will often cause it to flare a bit. But you can also bring the hair under control by taking additional wraps that are a bit looser.

    So for example if you're right handed, and have the hook in the vise with the eye facing to the right:

    Bind in the bucktail with tight wraps to secure it to the hook, then gradually add a couple of additional looser wraps of thread as you wind to the left towards the rear of the hook to pull the bucktail in and reduce the flaring...

    Although the hair from the upper 2/3 of the bucktail tends to be more manageable, using these looser wraps you can control the flaring of even the thicker more hollow hair at the base of the bucktail.

    Not a substitute for the tying steps above, but you can also shape your fly a bit after you've finished tying it by holding it under a hot water faucet. Let it air dry and it should have a pretty streamlined profile.

    It's always a good goal to try and improve tying technique, but it's also worth mentioning that I'm sure your flies will work just fine anyway-- so don't feel you have to go too crazy.

    Hope this helps a bit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    Default Re: Deer Hair

    I like watching this guy tie flies.
    [ame=""]YouTube - Tying a Clouser Minnow[/ame]
    His "Clouser" instruction shows him making soft wraps behind the eyes. That might help with the puffing-out.
    I know that the good tyers could slap me for this, but when our club tied Clousers we used.......ah....hem..........ah super glue. Sparse seems to be better for keeping them more streamlined too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border

    Default Re: Deer Hair

    I use clousers for almost everything. It is one of the best flies around. Since I use them so much, I loose and need to replace a bunch as well. First thing to avoid the flair problem you speak of is to choose bucktails that have nice straight skinny hair. Avoid the ones with fat curly bases in the hair. Even most good tails will have hair with the fat curly bases near where it used to attached to the deer. If you try to keep it from flairing by doing less tight wraps the fly won't last long. It may not last till the first fish. One thing to make it last longer is to get the first couple of wraps on the top hair and then head cement it and get the rest of the head done while it is still wet. This forces cement into the hairs in the head and will help prevent a fish from pulling any hairs out. Once it starts to loose hair the fly is essentially dead. When I do the head cement on the finished fly I also get it up past the thread well into the free hair. Before I apply the cement I take the thread and wrap a couple of cross wraps on the body of the fly so the hair comes off the head flat and then apply the head cement. Once the head cement is dry and I have a couple three good coats, I take the fly out of the vice and holding it by the hook and head up, run it in as hot water as your fingers can stand (or use a forceps) and let it stay under it for a few seconds. Take the fly with the hair straight back in the nice minnow shape and lay it flat on a doubled up paper towel. Fold it back over the fly so it is covered and then place something over it to keep it in place till it dries. This trains the hair and it will stay that way. even after you use it and let it dry out again it will keep it's nice minnow shape.

    As a side note, I fish where there are a lot of bottom obstructions and while the fly riding hook up cuts down on snags, it does not prevent them all. I started using size 2 Mustad aberdeen hooks and bending the eye down in a vice myself. Don't go past 45 degrees. The reason for this is that the down turned eye helps it ride right, and the wire in the aberdeen hook if snagged, you can straighten it out enough on a straight pull and save most of them. I can already hear the " that sounds like a good way to loose a fish". I landed a 42 1/2" Pike on one this spring and the hook never even thought about going straight on it. There is a big difference in pulling on a fish and pulling on a rock. I have never lost a fish to a bent hook, and trust me when I say, I have caught fish that if it was a danger they would have done it. I think the only clousers I loose now are ones that are to far to cast past, and are hooked by the eyes and not the hook.

    I hope this helps. Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Deer Hair

    Yes Mark this is Bucktail. I guess I am a perfectionist at times. I'll give them a hot bath when done.Thanks all for the info guys. Jimmie his videos are great. Watching others tie a clouser they all seem to tie the belly in to close to the eyes. If you watch Bob tie his he leaves a void that gives the fly a better profile.

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