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pmjasper 02-03-2003 03:27 PM

Bass Bugs for Smallmouth
Ok I'm starting to tie some deer hair bugs for river smallies and was wondering if anyone else here ties them. if so could you please post some pics. Thank you.

Quentin 02-03-2003 11:54 PM

Funny you should ask . . .

I'm planning to tie some white deer hair poppers for the freshwater fly swap if I can get them to come out right. (I'm new at this too!)

The recipe and photo will be posted here after the swap is done. Due date for the swap is 2/14 (I think?) so you won't have to wait long.

If someone want's to post a photo and recipe before then please do-- it will help me too!


John Desjardins 02-04-2003 08:32 AM

I'm a fan of Muddlers for my Deer hair creations. This is one I've posted in the past. Brown Maribou Muddler

FrenchCreek 02-04-2003 09:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a Bunch Of Bass Bugs - BOBB for short. Fun to play with all sorts of colors of deer hair, rubber legs and hen hackle tails.:hehe:

Quentin 02-04-2003 11:10 PM

Wow! Very Nice! I feel inadequate . . . mine were just gonna be plain white deer hair poppers :o .

I thought about adding the google eyes but wondered how well they would stick. I was recently at the craft stores looking for some kind of eyes that I could use. Did you just glue the eyes onto the hair? Or is there some sort of "stem" that's imbedded into the hair or tied to the hook shank?

I was also looking at one of those cheap electric mustache/beard trimmers ($9.99) as a way to trim the deer hair. On the few deer hair flies that I've tied I had a heck of a time trying to trim the hair with a razor blade. Anybody ever try the electric trimmers?


John Desjardins 02-05-2003 08:29 AM

Pete those are some real nice bugs.

Q, I've never tried an electric trimmer, though I have thought about it. What I've found in the trimming department is to trim the underside flat first, then work on the sides & top. A double edged razor works best, can be bent into a semicircle to trim the top, but is a scary implement to work with. Each razor is good for ~ 1 fly. Thr final thing is to do the trimming over or inside a trash can.

BigDave 02-05-2003 08:44 AM

Nice bugs!

Q - use goop to attach plain google eyes to your deer hair bugs. Easiest to work with and really holds. I have tried everything including all of the zapagap products and goop or shoe goo works best. I would try the straight razor before going to clippers. Deer hair is hollow and I think it would probably jam the clippers. The blade is amazingly efficient once you learn how to use it SAFELY.

Anyone know what the gel-coated thread for tying bass bugs is called? I tried some a couple of years ago and it made the bodies much quicker and easier to tie...

Dble Haul 02-05-2003 10:11 AM

I seem to remember some commotion a few years back about kevlar thread......not bulletproof, but extremely tough to break and holds deer hair well.

John Desjardins 02-05-2003 11:51 AM

Mark, my limited experience with kevlar threads led me to chuck them out. They were tough on tools & cut hair if you pulled too tight.

What I like for heavier tying in general has been Guidbrod 3/0 & Giorgi Bennocci which I haven't seen in a couple of years. The Bennocci stuff may be the gelspun material. For lighter stuff I've been using 6/0 Uni thread and have been surprised by its strength. It may just be me but I think that threads have become much stronger in recent years.

One cutting tip I forgot to add is that the tighter its packed the easier it is to cut. so remember that old foot ball cheer and " pushem back pushem back way back"

FrenchCreek 02-05-2003 12:19 PM

Q: Over the years that I have tied spun deer hair, I have tried just about everything, including various types mechanical and electric clippers. In the end I always come back to my straight razor and leather strap. This seems to work best for me and can be sharpened easily when it gets dull. As for thread, I have also experimented with all sorts of stuff from rod building thread, Kevlar, silk etc. I still use plain old 3/0 Uni-Thread and get excellent results. Spinning is not different from any other technique, it takes no great skill but it does take practice and theproper deer hair. In another post I talked about "not all deer hair" is the same, you may want to search for this post in the archives. Being a hunter, I have an incessant supply of White Tail and Mule deer skins, of varying ages and sex. Through a friend who is a Fish & Wildlife officer, I also have access to deer that are road kills and the skins are taken at various times of the year. I also dye my own and wind up with some really different colors, all by way of experimentation. I realize that not everyone has this type of access so my suggestion is to be very diligent in selecting hair at a store. Lastly, maybe deer skins are different if the purpose is to protect the animal through severe winter cold Vs. them spoiled Texas deer who live in desert heat?

Quentin 02-05-2003 05:09 PM

Thanks guys. Guess I'll stick with the razor blade method for trimming and I'll check that prior thread to see what I can learn about selecting proper deer hair. Of course, I'm limited to what I can find at the flyshops unless I mail order, in which case I have no control at all over what I get.

Got a question about packing the hair: I had a hard time trying to push the spun hair back along the shank. It just refused to move, and the hair started tearing off if I tried to force it. Do you wrap the hook shank prior to tying on the hair? I did wrap the shank because the recipe said to do so, but it seems like the hair would slide better on a bare shank. Then again, it would also be more likely to twist out of place after catching a few fish. Any more helpful hints before I start spinning?


FrenchCreek 02-05-2003 08:11 PM

Q: Here is how is "pack" hair.
First tie on at the bend of the hook and tie whatever tail, rubber or hackle making sure you tigthly secure this part of the bug. It will help when you "shove back" as mentioned in an earlier post. For bass bugs, try to find the longest and coarsest hair you can get.
The first two bunches you spin onto a BARE HOOK SHANK become the anchor for the subsequent spun bunches. After spinning each bunch, make 2 or 3 additional thread wraps immediatly in front of the spun bunch, then shove back with one hand while using the second hand at the rear/bend of the hook to keep the assembly from slipping below the bend. Once you have packed each one make a further 2 or 3 additional thread wraps immediatly in front of the spun bunch. The first two bunches are smaller in diameter, say 1/2 pencil size, and the middle section bunches are 1 pencil diameter and reduce this as you get to the last two bunches. It may also help if you trim off the tips of the bucnhes prior to spinning.
Hope this helps.

Quentin 02-06-2003 11:29 AM

Thanks again Pete! My problem was that I had pre-wrapped the entire shank, which prevented me from pushing the clumps back to pack them together. I have some deer hair that should be good for bugs. I'll spin some up and post the results!


pmjasper 02-07-2003 07:48 AM

Great! I can't wait to see some results. I haven't started with my bugs yet but did tie up some killer crayfish imitations. They look like they could crawl away from you. The fly I really want to tie now is Dave Whitlock's Swimming Frog. It is similar to a Larry Dahlberg Diver in olive and yellow and utilizes hackle as the tail. My only problem is I've been tying saltwater flies all winter and still have to tie more crab imitations and shrimp as well. Looks like I'll be busy during the next few weeks guys. Thanks for the info and I look forward to seeing more creations.

pmjasper 02-10-2003 07:16 AM

Well I managed to tie some bass flies this weekend and a few came out to my liking. I tied Dave Whitlock's Swimming Frog, some poppers, bunny strip worm flies and some pike flies as well. Can't wait to get out and give them a shot.

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