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CoachBob

Foam versus Hair

What floating material do you choose?  

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I don't want to raise a hornet's nest here.

I spent years spinning hair. It is an art and produces beautiful flies. Lately, however (which in my case is the last 5 years) I have moved almost exclusively to foam. I use it for poppers, for parachute posts, for humpy backs, for anything in the gurgler family, for all terrestrials and dragonflies. Essentially, I have moved away from hair except for things that you can't really replicate in foam (elk hair caddis, muddler minnow, etc.).

I have attached a photo of a bass caught on a foam slider. There is another of a bass on a diver. If you look at the dremel popper pattern recently posted, you will see divers and poppers. Using that tying method I can create an almost unlimited number of variables in floating flies.

My feeling is that, while in the future, I might spin hair occasionally to remember how and to do art pieces, I will stick with foam for fishing flies. I like spinning hair, but, you know, there are favorite records I bought on LP, 8 track, cassette, CD and now MP3. Everything changes in time.

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The honest to goodness truth is that I am new to tying and each time I have tried to spin deer hair it has turned into such a monstrous debacle that I have give up for now. Foam is SOOO simple to use and tie with that I rarely see myself using spun deer hair.

 

C

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I use foam alot. It is durable, floats forever, easy to work with, and has endless applications. Sometimes I use foam and hair like foam for the body and hair for a wing but that's a little different than what we were thinking. Part of the reason I don't use hair much is I don't spin it very often. Someday I'll take the time to learn to do it well.

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You forgot to put "use both" in your poll. I have found both have their place and use them about equally. I do admit that I tye most of my deer hair head flys during the winter since they take a little more time.

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I think the beauty of a well tied deerhair bug will never be replaced. I also think that foam is the most durable and versitile materials that we have.But to gauge what most of us think, just look at the swaptest. Five of the six flies were deerhair. And a deerhair bug won by a landslide.

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You forgot to put "use both" in your poll. I have found both have their place and use the about equally. I do admit that I tye most of my deer hair head flys during the winter since they take a little more time.

Ditto. I use whatever material seems to work best for the results I seek at the time I'm at the vise.

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I use both, too. I was surprised that "both", in some form, was not a choice. I generally prefer the look of hair over the foam, but the foam is, generally, much easier to use. They both fish differently, too, and I have found that there are situations in which one is better than the other.

 

I also like to use them both together, but perhaps we can talk about that some other time B)

 

 

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I'm going to vote write-in. I use both depending on the pattern. Hair is a much more beautiful, classic, well crafted look, but the foam makes a more durable, easier to tie fly.

 

Deeky

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I didnt vote (nulled vote) but do like the look of hair in big bass flies. I also like foam, it holds no water so it floats for ever and is less wind resitant. To me there is no always when it comes to tying its tie what you feel like at the moment.

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both.

 

Creating top quality deer-hair bugs can be a lot of work, but the results can be a thing to take real pride in. When I just stick a piece of foam on a hook, I don't like it quite as much- BUT they catch a lot of fish, are a LITTLE more durable, and much easier and faster to create than deer hair bugs.

 

Foam flies like the Stealth (a foam version of the Dahlberg Diver) work great and I can tie 5 or 6 of them in the time it would take to finish one hair diver.

 

I prefer to spin deer hair, but will also continue to use foam!

 

 

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With respect to making floating bodies (stacking), as a tier, I prefer deer hair. As a fisherman I prefer foam. I enjoy sitting down and tying a nicely packed and spun deer hair fly when I'm in the mood to tie. However, when I'm getting ready for an outing and know I'll need a bunch of floating whatevers I go to foam.

 

For wings on dries I use hair.

 

CB

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both as a fisherman and a tier I like both as mentioned earlier they fish different I might not be as proficient in the art of spinning as others on this board but when a good deerhair bug comes from my vise it ain't going to be put up to look at

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