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todvan

Best floating tail material

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A good reason to consider using the natural materials mentioned above, hackle barbs and CDL, is that natural materials will spring back into shape if you steam your used flies. Tails can be bent out of shape from use, or when stored in a crowded fly box. Synthetic materials, including microfibbets, generally won't spring back into shape when steamed. Same principle applies to parachute style flies. Posts made from natural materials will respond to steaming by springing back into their upright position. Poly materials won't.

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The cosmetics department of Walmart has just what you need: A lifetime of fly tail material for $6!

 

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Without doubt CDL is the best I have found. However, I think that some of the others are just as good e.g. moose on a Royal Wulff, BUT also has a lot to do with the right tying technique for the material as well. Good luck.

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I can say without doubt you will be disappointed with elk hair on a sparse tie, it floats great but is not durable unless in numbers. All the other suggestions made are good.. I use moose on some flies, microfibbets lately and also Metz grade 2 barred ginger hackle fibers work well for me .

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I like natural so I use hackle fibers. CDL is great and has good mottling. I tie in a 4-6 tail fibers with one wrap over and then take a turn under the tail and back over. It spreads/fans the tail fibers without balling the thread. Davie McPhail uses that method on many of his dries.

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