Dealing with "Unruly" fly-tying materials
I was tying up some blue water flies recently and looking for a cheek material to represent the exagerated pectoral fins on flying fish. Rummaging through the various boxes of accumulated stuff I come accross some packs of holographic fiber which looked great until I clipped out the requisite chunk which immediately sprung out 360 degrees and refused all efforts to make it lie flat.
Then I remembered the old trick of wetting materials between the lips - yup, good old fashioned spit! And it worked a treat. Once dampened with spit, I was able to manipulate the strands into a fin shape and tie it in with no trouble. I'm no physicist but I guess it neutralizes the affects of static electricity and would probably work with other materials like angel hair. Also it looked fine once dry.
I dont remember where I originally read about this but it used to work a treat on traditional wet fly patterns when building matched pair wings with difficult feathers like bronze mallard flank etc.