Neat trick for tying synthetic 'hair'... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Neat trick for tying synthetic 'hair'...

06-12-2001, 06:38 PM
One thing we learned in geometry was complements; when tying a 'lock' of synthetic hair into a fly there are two ways to get it to taper - buy a very expensive layering shear (~$30), or use a simple trick of complementary shapes...

Let's say you are tying a strip of chartreuse into a sand eel. If you take the strip of S/H at double the desired length, the you can tie it in folded to cover both sides. But don't fold it yet...

Pull the center fibers outward so that it forms a point, like alfalfa's hair-do. Pull some of the adjacent fibers out so that they feather to a point. The exact opposite and equal effect is occurring on the other end, except that the fibers in the middle are innies instead of the desired outies.

Now take both ends and twizzle them with your finger tips until they blend into two complementary points.

Now fold the length, tie it in at the desired length, trim from the front (toward the hook eye) and no further fenagling is needed.

I noticed that some folks tying with synthetic hair had the square cut across the back of the fly. This isn't a bad thing necessarily but I think the taper is a good thing and it makes the fly more lively and realistic. This even works for long skinny flies like the deep eel, which I tie occasionally this time of year ;-)

06-12-2001, 07:08 PM
Juro...George W is looking for a few good men to develop an ICBM shield...and I suspect that complimentary point thing might be just what they are looking for!
I'm playing around with some milar tubing attempting to visually reproduce what I rescently consumed at the Big Girl Sushi Bar...OldDoogue's idea of saving it in a biology bottle is a great idea! the meantime...My "prototypes" are a bit rigid, but do emulate the desired results...They certainly do not have the undulating action of an authentic Juro deep sand eel, but I hope to get them in front of a sample group of consumers this weekend for some initial feed back.
If you are still looking for another warm-body for the early RipRider assault on SUN AM....please advise and countmein!

06-12-2001, 07:38 PM
Live sandeels can get so dull that they look like little sand bullets wiggling out of your footstep's way. They can also get so emerald green that a peacock would be jealous. Their sides can be as silver as a dime or they can take on a milky sheen. One thing is for certain - they don't look much like they do when they are dead (except for shape).

Judging by how much stripers love dead sand eels used by the bait guys, the bait bag colors aren't a turn off to the fish by any means but I wonder how much it influences the fish' decision to strike.

You can blend in silver or gold holographic angel hair into the off-white synthetic between the ventral and dorsal colors of the fly and get way more flash in the fish's eye than is needed to get the fish to eat it IMHO. In fact later in the summer I have the best success with flies that have trace fibers only in them out on the flats.

Note on stiffness - for the panic baitfish retrieve action is most important, and flash probably helps. I wouldn't want a stiff fly when sight fishing to fish that will chase. The right degree of flash in the fly will solicit a chase too I am sure, but even a flashless high action fly would be kosher for chasing sighted fish (fisherman opinion, is probably laughing at me!).

My point is -

trying to get the broad silver effect may or may not have any profound effect on the fish's reaction... but if you figure out how all us fly-tyers would be forever grateful!

06-12-2001, 09:10 PM
Juro, I ave started to tie someof the deep sand eel with this new stuff called "florofiber". a combination of Kinky Fiber with some kind of flash. It creates a very subtle pattern. I will sow you somthis ekend.

06-12-2001, 09:16 PM
The morsel at the sushi bar had a very dark (almost black) back with a clean edge. The sides were a narrow silvery white and the belly was an almost flat white. Small tail. The eyes were very prominent and closely resembled the 1/8" 3-d
eye common to epoxy head deceivers. All told, 6" long.
Now, if I could just get this milar to flex...I'm tying a base wire wrap on the hook for weight (instead of dumb bells) and 3-d eyes under lightly glittered epoxy...R&D with a screening on Sat.
Next time, freshly dead samples go in a bottle for later analysis.

06-12-2001, 10:29 PM
Ya Sure expect me to believe that... They will never be found in any bottle of yours... atleast not for long..Mmmmm. (chip'n'dip)

John Desjardins
06-13-2001, 07:14 AM
By combining this method of tapering with where on the bundle of fibers you tie in the flies profile can be changed as well. If you want to make a plump taper tie in at the middle of the bundle, fold over the other half and tie down. For a more tapered bundle tie in the bundle with 2/3 to 3/4 of the bundle hanging off the hook then fold over and tie down.

06-13-2001, 09:25 AM
Juro's artist's eye is one to follow...

The key I've found in tying my version of the sand eel is making sure that whatever color combination I'm using - it remains transparent to a degree.

For the C&R tourney, I had success with the Deep Eel with a smoke belly, gold flash for the innards and a black ultra hair topping. THe idea was to provide contrast against the sandy bottom - it worked.

Good luck, Roop