Some well dressed tails

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by plugman, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Here are several "Fatboy" dannies I did recently for the local slatwater stripers. They're made out of spanish red cedar or cyprus (love the stuff for turning), thru wired, about 7 1/2" long, weigh about 2.75 ounces and have an NJT Lefty 2 mid slot lip. I put a touch of lead in the belly at the balance point of the plug (fully rigged).

    I developed thse guys out of frustration with the dannies I was using and could buy. They'd roll out in heavy current flow or not wiggle in subtle current flow. I think I've found a sweet spot with this body style that handles both situations.

    From what I've been able to gather reading here, there's a good striper fishery in your neck of the woods with some exciting action at dam outflows. I'd love to send a few out your way to see if they'd work. Who knows, maybe a pike or muskie would whack them, too.
     

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  2. Wow, those are nice! Those tails often really pump up the strikes on musky jerkbaits.
     

  3. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

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    ive been looking into making my own roostertails and spinners since i use them so much and its actually quite affordable to start as a hobby but have been unable to find much material on tying the actual roostertail portion, either in vids or text. can you maybe give some steps or advice on it? i have looked at a few fly tying vids to get familiar with it sorta but...

    i would love to learn how you tie them, what you've used, etc. since yours turned out so nice

    Travis
     
  4. triton175

    triton175 STX 206 Viper

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    Very nice. I'm sure the stripers will tear those up.
    I too would like to know how you made the dressed hooks. I just put some store bought dressed hooks on some lures that I made, but the colors aren't exactly right and they cost $2 a piece.
     
  5. Triton and Yanky. I do a demo each year at a local plug fest on tying tail hooks. This year's is comng up in a couple weeks. I'll see if I can do a video or get some pictures done. The key is managing and understanding your materials and not trying to do too much all at once.

    For example, on a bucktail the hair at the base of the tail is stiffer and hollow. The hair at the tip of the tail is very fine, and not hollow. The hollow hair flairs up away from the hook when you wrap tying thread around it, creating a full wider profile. I use this technique when I want the tail hook to say "tail fin". If I want to visually extend the body of the plug (like the danny plugs posted), I'll use the fine hair from the tip of the bucktail. I'll see if I have a picture of the tail fin look and post it.

    Hope that helps a bit...
     
  6. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

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    i would love to see video of your seminar, or pics, if you can make that happen. let us know how it goes and what the results are!

    Also, your tips were helpful and I will keep them in mind for future use :)
     
  7. triton175

    triton175 STX 206 Viper

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    Thanks for the tips Plugman, it would be great to see some stuff from your seminar. Where do you get the bucktail?
    Here are some that I tied today. I used some nylon cord from the craft store and unbraided it into strands. I tied them to the shaft with polyester thread and then added a drop of super glue.
    They don't look as good as Plugman's, but they'll work.

    ps. If I were still single I would be visiting the craft store a lot more often ;)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Man those look great guys!

    John
     
  9. I love the Wonderbread pattern you've got there!

    Seeing opportunity in interesting places! I would not have thought of that....
    My wife cringes every time she opens the VISA bill.:)

    The next question is do the dressed tails affect the action? I happen to like bucktail because it doesn't readily absorb or hold water, so it doesn't significantly affect the action of the plugs I tend to build, which are fairly heavy.

    To answer your question about materials. I prowl shops that sell fly tying materials particuarly for for natural materials like bucktail. If you know guys who hunt and can cure skins, they can also be a great source. Another source is ostrich.com for feathers and marabou. Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    jk
     
  10. The bucktails can usually be had for nothing if you know a deer processor. They usually just cut them off and throw them away. Its really easy to cut the bone out of the tail with a sharp knife. You just make long clean cut along the bone and pull it out. Then just salt the tail and let it dry for a week or two.

    This is from a doe I killed this past season:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've never tried it, but I've read that its easy to die the tails too. Supposedly, you just soak them in bleach for a short time and then just die them with RIT die in whatever color you want.
     
  11. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

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    wow that looks pretty sweet! ill have to start lookin for materials.

    what about the actual tying process? anything special involved for someone whos not used to tying flies? i would imagine that the tie is just to get the material onto the hook and not so much for fancy looks or shape, like on a fly.
     
  12. when viewing the pictures that Vince posted, the top wider part of the tail (base) is where you will find the hollow hairs. It's mandatory that you have a base of thread down on the shank before you tie these down, because they will spin on you. A good method is to tie loose loops over the bucktail to begin with, and cinch it down as you go. If you cinch too hard it with flair like some 80's hair metal. If you do it too light, they will pull out. There's a fine line, and work in layers. As you work your way out, the finer hair at the tip of the bucktail will add more body and motion to your tail. Add head cement to your thread as you build layers, and make sure you coat your final thread wraps at the top. Hope this helps some of you, it's the same method I use to tie my musky flies.
     
  13. Vince, That is a beautiful bucktail. Looks like the hair is long and soft. Shop owners hate me cause I open all the packages to check out the texture and feel of the hair.

    I dye most of my materials. Here's a link to where I buy my dyes, if anyone's interested. http://www.organicdye.com/fproducts.asp,

    A link to dying directions. http://www.organicdye.com/fprep.asp

    The problem I had with RIT was that it only gives you pastel colors when you dye feathers and animal skins. The Fly Dye stuff is designed for animal proteins.

    Yanks, If you're intersted, I'll get a few pics up that will get you started on tying a bucktal tail hook.
     
  14. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

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    I would love that plugman!

    im getting into making my own roostertails and would like to learn the tying process since the rest of the construction is pretty easy. then i can adapt it to various hairs, feathers, flashings or whatever.

    thanks again for all your help. i really appreciate it!
     
  15. Well here goes.... Not quite like a video, so you'll have to follow my words and fill in with a bit of visualization.... I'll describe the steps in four parts and relate them to the four pictures that I took for this part....

    Picture One: I've already tied on the thread. You attach the thread to the hook by starting the wrap just behind the eye of the hook and wrap the thread back on itself. I always start on the bottom of the hook and build the tail around to the top. For a flaired tail, I've clipped a small clump of bucktail from the butt end of teh tail, where the hair is hollow. I always strip the excess short hair from what I cut out by holding the clump of hair at it's tip between my thumb and index finger of one hand and with the other hand I grasp the butt ends and pull out all the short exteranious hairs. By doing this, I am able to build up the tail assembly and tie a neat tidy head on the tail hook, without any excess bulk. Then lay the bucktail along the shank of the hook shifting it back and forth until you have it extending past the end of the hook to your desired length. Take several loose wraps of thread and then slowly and smoothly tighten it. The hair will flair out from the shank of the hook, Then take several more tight wraps to pop the hair more.

    Picture Two:Typically, when you tighten the loosely wrapped thread, the bucktail will spin a bit around the shank of the hook. That's okay. In this case, it spun around to the other side of the hook, completely covering the "belly" of the hook.

    Picture Three: In this shot, I've tied a bit of mylar flash on to the top of the shank of the hook and then added more bucktail as described in Picture One completing the fully flared tail.

    Picture Four: Then wrap the head of the tail hook with tying thread until you've covered all the trimmed ends of the bucktail. Then using half hitches (just like you were mooring a boat), tie the thread off and trim. Then coat the head with tying cement. I use Sally Hansen Clear Hard as Nails nail polish. It's cheap and very tough. I usually apply several coats.
     

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  16. For this tail hook, you use the hairs closer to the tip of the bucktail.

    Picture One: Attach the thread to the hook as previously described. Then lay a small amount of bucktail along the shank of the hook and take several loose wraps around the shank of the hook. With the loose wraps in place, you can then if necessary, adjust the bucktail by moving it around with the tip of your thumb. Once it is adjusted, take several tight wraps infront of the loose wraps. This sets the assembly in place.

    Picture Two: Add bucktail to the other side of the belly of the hook as describerd in Picture One.

    Picture Three: Add bucktail to the top of the hook as described in Picture One. In this case, I placed the bucktail such that it is longer than the belly bucktail. this will visually extend the length and shape of the bait.

    Picture Four: Tie off the hook as previously described.

    Picture Five: The tail hooks with a Donny Musso style surface swimmer.
     

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  17. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

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    thank you plugman. those tips and visuals will be extremely useful in my rooster/bucktail tying exploits. nothing helps as much as seeing the process with some explanation!

    if you have any other tips or tricks feel free to post! i love learning this process from someone vastly more experienced than myself.
     
  18. triton175

    triton175 STX 206 Viper

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    Very nice work Plugman. Thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort to show us how it's done.