Trimming Deer Hair [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Trimming Deer Hair

07-20-2004, 03:11 PM
I usually spend most of my time at the flytying bench making wetflies and streamers, although I do enjoy tying bassbugs. When I shape deerhair I use a sharp pair of scissors and I at least think they turn out looking great. Are there pther people out there who use scissors? And, whats the big advantage to using razor blades?

07-20-2004, 03:28 PM
I only use curved blade, Anvil All-purpse scissors on deer hair. The serations on the blade hold the hair, the curved blade makes it easy to shape the hair, and the Anvil brand scissors hold up very well and keep their edge for many years. In fact, I tie with a pair of Anvil All-purpose, curved blade scissors held in my hand by looping one finger loop on my ring finger so I don't have to pick up or put down the scissors as I tie.

Razor blades do a very good job cutting deer hair; however, they don't hold up nearly as long as a pair of good, quality scissors. Razor blades don't grip the hair either as it is cutt, which many times results in hairs that stick up because they are a bit longer than the others after the hair is cut.

Also, contray to popular opinion, the best razor blades to use are standard double-edge blades that are broken in half with masking tape wrapped on the broken edge. These broken-in-half double-edged blades are nice and flexible and can be bent or formed to allow nearly a single cut to from a curved shape. However, the down side is they dull quickly from deer hair, it is a pain to bread them in half and put masking tape on the broken edge, they cut fingers very quickly (even after they are not doing a good job on the deer hair), and it is more difficult to cut off a small amount of hair with the razor blade.

This said, I know that Chris Helm uses the broken and taped double-edged blades nearly exclusively for the wonderful deer hair creations of his. What it really comes down to is what you prefer to use and then practicing enough with your preferred method to get proficient with it.

Happy tying!