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Thread: Body or Belly?

  1. #1
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    Default Body or Belly?

    Hey guys,

    I don't tie spun hair poppers often but I when I do I normally use the very top of a full Northern Bucktail. I've now decided to order some materials specifically for spinning hair. I see both body and belly hair listed as good hair for spinning poppers. Which do you guys prefer?
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    I have limited experience in that I have and use only locally harvested white-tail hair that I've hand dyed .
    The white belly hair was easy to dye and took the color well, but very soft in texture. The hair from the rump area is much stiffer and more suitable for bugs, but without bleaching only dyeable in dark colors.
    When I tie my bugs, I use mostly the natural, undyed hair with maybe splashes of color. The fish don't seem to mind and might even prefer it that way
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    That sounds like one for body hair. Thanks Rip
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    I don't spin deer hair that much. My customers who spin deer hair a lot use both but buy more belly hair.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    lol, we're even again. 1 and 1. Someone break the tie...
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    I use both, but it will really depend on the hair. With any natural material, there will be some differences from one animal to the next. I've seen belly & body hair that was so similar in texture, it would be difficult to say for sure what part of the hide they actually came from. For bass bug purposes, where you're making the majority of the body with spun & trimmed hair, I look for hair that has a thick, course fiber. Fine hair will work too, but I don't feel it packs as well, nor floats as well.

    I've also processed & dyed a lot of my own materials, and the white portion from the belly, or the rump just below the tail, is usually best for really bright, vibrant colors. For darker colors, or where I desire a mottled affect, then the darker body hair is what I'll use. Sometimes the darker hair from the base of the tail is quite suitable for spinning, especially after it's been dyed.

    You will see hair advertised as "Northern" which generally means the hair came from a deer harvested in a northern state. But, this does not always mean the hair will be any different than that which is taken from a deer harvested in a southern location. Again, it really all depends on the animal it came from.

    Yes, generally that which comes from northern deer, may have hair that is thicker and denser due to more extreme cold temperatures in northern states.
    But, when it was harvested, as in fall versus late winter, and it's age may also make a difference. Still depends on the individual animal.

    Unfortunately, when buying packaged hair, and especially from online sources, you get what they have in stock, so it may not always be the best for this purpose regardless of what they call it, or what part of the hide it came from.

    The best source I've found for purchasing this type of hair is from Chris Helm who owns & operates Whitetail Fly Tying Supplies in Ohio. Chris processes his own materials & knows which type of hair is best for specific tying purposes. He'll even talk with you about what you need if you give him a call!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
    ...Sometimes the darker hair from the base of the tail is quite suitable for spinning, especially after it's been dyed.
    That's exactly what I've been using. I buy large bucktails to tie my saltwater flies and the course, darker hair at the base are perfect for spinning. That's basically the material I'm trying to duplicate. I'll give Whitetail Fly Tying a look, thanks for the tip!
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    +1 for Chris Helm at White Tail-- his site isn't very computer friendly since you can't order online, but you can download his catalog as a pdf file. It's got a lot of useful info and he carries a wide variety of material.

    And if you call Chris he'll be happy to suggest the right stuff for whatever you're tying. He's ties extensively with spun hair and ties a mean bass bug.

    I also use both belly hair and body hair.

    Because belly hair is white it takes to dying very well so if you want white or vibrant colors, belly hair would be a better choice. I t also seems a bit longer than body hair so if you want larger diameter bugs it might be a better choice.

    I use body hair for heads on stuff like muddler type flies and on some mullet imitations for stripers.
    Mark

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    Quote Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
    +1 for Chris Helm at White Tail-- his site isn't very computer friendly since you can't order online, but you can download his catalog as a pdf file. It's got a lot of useful info and he carries a wide variety of material.

    And if you call Chris he'll be happy to suggest the right stuff for whatever you're tying. He's ties extensively with spun hair and ties a mean bass bug.

    I also use both belly hair and body hair.

    Because belly hair is white it takes to dying very well so if you want white or vibrant colors, belly hair would be a better choice. I t also seems a bit longer than body hair so if you want larger diameter bugs it might be a better choice.

    I use body hair for heads on stuff like muddler type flies and on some mullet imitations for stripers.
    This fact finding mission has been prompted by your Popper fly swap, put me on the list Just made a dozen silicon Mullets for the fall Striper run (which is going on now as I sit at work ) Much easier to throw than the hair flies. Props to Steve Farrar for coming up with this one.
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Body or Belly?

    I tie a lot of them. It depends on what colors you want. Body hair even bleached and dyed over comes out darker. Belly hair even though it starts out pretty white is bleached and dyed over. In order to get the bright white and bright green I have in this fly, you need to have belly hair.

    I'm pretty sure the green and probably the black are body hair, but I'm sure even it is dyed over bleached. Dyed over natural is much more muted and dark colors. I make them with those but don't seem to have uploaded any photos of them to anywhere. If you would like to see some let me know and I'll upload and post them.
    Dan

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