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A Quick Tip When Fly Tying With Bucktail....

May 29, 2017

The order of operations. Ready for some math? Neither am I. While that phrase may conjure up images (or nightmares) of struggling through math equations (by far my worst subject), thankfully in this case I'm referring to simply doing things in the right order while fly tying. That brings us to this brief tip that has to do with tying-in bucktail (and other fibers for that matter) at the head. Whether I've chosen natural or synthetic fibers, I have a certain way that I secure them near the hook eye which achieves not just good durability, but maximum neatness as well.



The above pictures show how I don't secure a wad of hair at the head. After laying my hairs on the hook shank, I've wrapped them all the way forward to the start of the hook eye. While the fibers are now indeed very secure, it's now difficult to get in tight and give the ends of the hairs a clean snip. This is because the fiber ends are now more rigid from being tied-in, and there's also just not enough room to get at the very base of the hairs and cleanly snip them completely off—especially if the wad of fibers is thick like this one. In the example above, I trimmed as close as I could, but some fibers still overhang about half of the hook eye.


The easiest way I get around this is to first wrap the fibers a bit behind the hook eye, basically where the thread head begins. I make the wraps very close together, and only do enough to temporarily hold the hairs securely in place. 


Since the thread wraps are narrow and further back from the hook eye, I've given myself a nice bit of breathing room to manipulate and trim the fiber ends. Next, I take my scissors and clip the fiber ends short enough so that they won't overhang the hook eye or protrude from the thread head once fully tied-in. Despite the close trim, I'm still left with just-long-enough fiber ends to wrap securely.


Now, I just take my bobbin and make the rest of the wraps to fully secure the fibers, or if finishing off the fly, build a nice thread head with no crazy hairs protruding outwards or blocking the hook eye. Looking good!



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