Newbie - Tying with Bucktail Tips [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Newbie - Tying with Bucktail Tips

08-04-2006, 10:58 AM
Hi, I've just begun tying some Saltwater flies (I've been tying trout flies for a number of years). I'm starting with the basics - the deceiver. I'm getting the hang of all the steps for this fly - except when I get to the Bucktail Collar and Overwing. I'm used to tying 10-18 size trout flies. My first attempts have been kinda sparse looking - which I guess is fine for sand eels spearing etc. Anyone have any tips for me for building nice full collars and overwings?

08-05-2006, 08:45 AM
Unless you plan on selling the flies you are tying then I'd stay with the sparse style. Fullness with alot of material makes the fly harder to cast, but a full sparse fly casts nicely and in my opinion gets the same or better results. To make a fuller profile with a sparse amount of material try using ersatz for the body wrap and tie the bucktail down tight to it so the bucktail flairs. I use this method for tying the menhaden pattern I use the most. Hope this helps. Ron

08-05-2006, 01:08 PM
Sparse is good...(IMHO)
Try to create the illusion of life and movement with subtle flow and incidental flash...:Eyecrazy:
While it may help keep your local fly shop afloat...throwing plump wet hampsters will take the wind out of your sails in a hurry and won't impress enough fish to make it your "A" plan anyway! :eek:
Salt vs Fresh = you'll roar through your materials at an initially alarming rate...
Think thin/sparse and use half of what you grab to tie on!
Enjoy the ride...;)

08-05-2006, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the advice. Here's my first "keeper"-2/0 Gray/White Deceiver. Hey anyone know of a good source for good saltwater saddle hackle? I've already blown through my first pack of the strung stuff- not bad for one fly!:frown: Penguin I see what you mean about roaring through materials. I'm finding it's also harder to keep a neat work area then with trout flies. Tight lines.

08-06-2006, 03:54 PM
The Bear's Den always seems to have what I'm looking for (and more) and The SaltWater Edge is a good source as well...
Tell them you heard about them here and thank them for their kind support!

Nice job on the fly...subtle flash and contrast... :)
Out you go! Jamaica Bay and Atlantic Beach are calling! :lildevl:

08-08-2006, 09:00 AM
I would also like to mention that bucktail is an especially inconsistant material to work with. There are many qaulities that identify a bucktail as 'good.' But in short, the best bucktails have hair that is easiest to control. You'll always have much better results if you can choose this hair yourself (You first flies are great!).

08-08-2006, 09:35 AM
Structure varies from stem (somewhat more hollow and more easily splayed when firmly secured with fine thread like mono) to stern (finer/thinner and not splayed when subjected to tight wraps)...and everthing in between...
Waxed flat nylon holds everything tight but because of the semi flat nature, spaying is minimized when compared to harder/rounder clear mono...
Each tail is somewhat different yet similar and predictable once you learn how to read the material.
After snipping off a small clump, I'll firmly hold the hairs about 1/3rd from the tips and, cull out the shorter hairs and fuzz with a brush or fingers...colours can be blended and the visual transition possibilities can be subtle to sensational.
Challenging and versitile, I much prefer bucktail to synthetics ANYDAY...

08-09-2006, 09:41 AM
fixed - that fly looks great. stick with the sparse bucktail. when I tie deceivers I don't look at the bucktail as a "collar". It's more like trapping a clump on top of the hook and a clump beneath the hook.

If you tie a lot of them get one of those fly binders with the heavy duty ziplock bags built in. They will keep your flies nice and flat if you're looking for that broad profile appearance.

08-09-2006, 09:45 AM
Great point Dave,

the bucktail over and under is like Page's bigeye baitfish and a great way to get the slab sider look.

Big broad blade hackles in the middle are key, I finish mine with angel hair over the top bucktail.

After photographing bunker with my underwater camera I added more prominent gill covers than page's willow leaf design and have had very good results.

Add the frightened eye and get it in the water!

08-10-2006, 01:23 PM
Penguin, Hey so the Bear's Den is a pretty good shop? I noticed they're an Echo dealer, so I may mail order an Echo2 990 from them. Hey thanks all for the good advice - I've also picked up Bob Clouser's book - his step by step for the clouser minnow is a really good resource, i've learned several helpful techniques just from tying that one pattern. He also advocates keeping the bucktail on the sparse side.