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Thread: Stacking Deer Hair Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-26-2002 07:41 AM
doogue I was thinking about stopping by Hunter's Angling in New Boston, NH today. They have a great store and a great selection of fly tying videos. They suggested a few videos to me also. I might just buy one. I thought that I had everything that I needed by the time the smoke cleared at the Marlboro show...

If I do buy a video then I know that I will watch it a few times and then it will collect dust fora few years before I view it again. That is a shame. Perhaps the members of this Forum could set up a video library and we could trade videos at Claves and get togethers. That would be awesome.

Maybe I will try to set up an informal video swap at the casting clave.

01-25-2002 11:37 PM
fisshman26 I would also check out the videos put out by Dave Whitlock, they are excellant
01-25-2002 10:01 PM
working with deer hair

Try to get ahold of a copy of Jimmy Nix's video on tying bass bugs. It will provide with detailed instructions and how to's for working with deer hair, spinning, stacking, packing, cutting, etc..

01-05-2002 08:56 PM
doogue Mark,

Well - the "post washer" flies are coming out so well that I am going to have to tie 2 more tomorrow and keep some of the previous swap flies for myself. The "pre-washer" flies would catch fish but they are not nearly as pretty as the post washer flies.

I cannot stiff you guys with marginal flies after all of the good tips that you gave me!

01-05-2002 08:45 PM
Dble Haul Mike, I'm glad that the hair packing is going better. Now I'm really interested in seeing your swap fly!

John, Saltron beat me to the punch with the suggestion of the single edge razor. It seems that with the assortment of washers and razors in the hardware stores, they could have their own mini tying sections. :hehe: Now it seems that I should be getting my hands on a copy of Veverka's book......
01-05-2002 03:26 PM
doogue Well,

I had a washer in my basement and I tried it out as a hair packer. It worked very well. The result - the tightest deer hair fly that I have tied to date. Thanks for the tip.

John - Ted Lewis' flies look great in Veverka's book. I received the book yesterday (Dad - if you read this - realize that I will get you "your" book very soon ). Anyway, I find Lewis' choice of eyes for the deer hair flies interesting. I started putting epoxy eyes on the sculpins I am tying for the freshwater swap. The epoxy eyes look way better than the Plastic Eyes that I was using (plastic eyes with a plastic post). I see that Lewis prefers the epoxy eyes also. They look far more realistic than the Plastic Eyes. Doll eyes may be the best choice of all though. They would provide a nice rattle when stripped.

I think that I will tie Sedotti's Slammer this evening. Nice looking fly...

For now - it is time to tie fly swap fly #7.

Thanks again.

01-05-2002 02:15 PM
striblue Salt Ron.. I will check it out.. I am noticing that I can only use the razor for maybe three flys.. after that if gets too dull. Went to the hardware store today and got some wide frame washers for packers.. three of different sizes but they can fit over the hook eye.. It was great paying for them ,.06 cents for all three... great looks from those waiting in line... I said, " just like the good old days". I could actually buy something useful for under ten cents. Looking at Ted Lewis's flys in Ververkas book... my project for today.
01-05-2002 12:19 PM
Razor Blade Cutters

Hi Mr. President

Just a tip on the curved razor cut. Purchase the single edge razor blades produced for small paint scrapers as the have a steel band on the non cutting side and will hold any shape you bend into it. Even using them as they come from the box is easier with extra material to hold on to.

Just my .02 saltRon
01-04-2002 10:14 PM
striblue Mark... I just finished two flies.. and followed Morrison to a key.. I had no packing tool so I used my fingers but by keeping the shank thread bear except for my tail material I was able to pack it nice and tight. I stacked the hairs just as Morrison did by putting the ends in the stacker first ,stack it then cut the ends... but also cut the other ends as well.... Both flies came out beyond my expectation ..One had two different colors horizontal the other had white on the bottom and a different color on top with a complete red front.. top and bottom. The Key was the use of the razor blade.. Cut the blade to use only one side.. Bend it in a semi-circle shape and cut toward the hook... incredible... all nice and even and perfect.. no gouges as a scissor might do. I used the scissors for trimming the neck. NEED TO BUY MORE DEER HAIR:eyecrazy:
01-04-2002 09:54 PM
doogue Ahh...that makes sense with the packing tool. I have been using an old pair of needle nose pliers to pack the hair back towards the bend in the hook. I also used a wire stripper (basically pliers with a hole in the jaws). The wire stripper works pretty well if you hole the strippers up near the hook shank.

I also hold the hook (at the bend) when I pack the hair. Somehow I feel that I am less likely to jab my packing hand into the hook when I do this.

I tied some flies tonight and the packing went well enough. Then I put the eyes on in such a way as to make one fly look a little cross eyed. Doh!
01-04-2002 09:29 PM
John Desjardins This may be a remnant of tying a lot of flies on a poor vise, but I like to hold the hook with the free hand when packing deer hair together. It helps to prevent hooks from popping out of the vise.
01-04-2002 07:17 PM
Dble Haul Mike- The packing tool is used on the hair after it's tied onto the hook shank, not before. When using the washer, tie in your clump of hair as usual, put in a few half-hitches, and then slide the washer over the hook eye and up against the half-hitches. With the washer, cram the most recently tied in clump of hair back down the hook shank into any clumps that are already tied in. This can create a very durable, dense, and buoyant fly. Repeat as necessary after the tie in of every clump.

Regular packing tools are used for the same effect, but the packing may not be as even as what a washer can yield.

Hope this clears things up a bit.
01-04-2002 06:51 PM
Packer Tool

No expert here, but I do a lot of spinning at the bench, none of which is the result of the dram of Holy Peat Water that usually sits next to my tying table.
Here is an easy & inexpensive packer tool.
Get a "plug" from an electrical outlet box those little round circles that pop out), file the rim to a smooth finish, drill a hole about 3/16 with you hand drill, (or buy a washer with a small hole in the middle)
Get a brass case/empty shell from a hunting buddy, like a .308 or that size.
Weld the washer/plug onto the shell casing using regular welding material of household variety, something like an electric welding toll works just fine .
Voila, you can make all sizes you like, to get to pack your deer hair!

As for hair selection, a lot depends on the size of the body or head you want to make.
If you know someone who hunts deer, ask for a full skin, which is often thrown away. You will find that flank hair is different from top of the back hair as it is different from neck hair. Also, if you can get hair from young yearlings (where legal) you will find the coarseness varies. Tanning a hide would cost about $35 and you and sveral friends can have hair for years to come.

As a general rule, here is my recipe.
Back & neck hair, larger & longer & coarser hair = bass bugs & bombers, up to 3/4 inch in diameter
Flank & thigh hair, usually not as long or coarse = Spun heads (most sizes)
Upper leg hair, usually very fine = smaller spun head and ideal for "shaving" as John has described
Yearling hair (where legal) = ideal for making flared collars on small to medium sized spun head that call for a "collar"
If you don't like the razor shaving technique or clipping with scissors (they get dull real fast on dear hair), ask your friendly hairdresser for their supplier of hair clippers. I get some real neat "used" clippers for about $10 and they work just fine, some are as small as 1/2 inch wide.
Hope this helps.
01-04-2002 04:44 PM
doogue Men,

Thanks for the advice. One question though: what is the packing tool really used for and how would I use a washer. I assume that I would just use the washer to squash down a clump of hair that I am trying to attach to the hook shank before I wrap the clump?

Thanks to all for the advice!

And John, maybe I should join the UFT. For now maybe you can just show me some of your tricks at the Marlboro show.

Thanks again,

01-04-2002 12:09 PM
Originally posted by striblue
Mike, that's a timely question for me.. I attended the UFT last night and camped next to John Morrison who was tying Bass bugs ...
Awwww shoooot!!!! I missed it. God I hate getting old. Can't remember where I left my pants half the time (like when I was 22, but that's another story).
Oh well, at least I stayed in and worked on my boat trailor bearings project. So some progress was made.

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