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Black Ghost Marabou

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too much marabou for the wing


marabou wing too long for the hook you used


peacock herl topping not required but could be an option


head area is sloppy and also too long


jungle cock nail has a pretty big split and is optional


cant see what the body and tail are made of


check the link below



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Next one you tie be careful to pinch the marabou on top of the hook. I suspect it rolled a bit when you cinched it down. That is unless you want that look of the marabou covering the body, I know that I have patterns where I tie that way deliberately. But to keep it traditional you have a bit much marabou going on there. Guess what ? Bet it catches fish ( assuming fish take them in your area that is) !

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Good first attempt!


It'll certainly catch fish as-is, but if you're looking for some constructive criticism with suggestions to improve:


1. First and foremost, your wing is way too long. For this pattern, you're aiming for it to be roughly the same length as the hook. The easiest way to do this is to get your marabou feather ready (when it's time to tie it in), dampen it just a bit (no need to drench it, just sweep the feather fibers together with spit or water dampened fingers), and hold it up beside the hook shank with your right hand, pointed the direction it will be when tied in. Then grab the tip of the feather with your left hand, pinching it just behind the tie in point. Tie it on with the thread in your right hand, at that point, and it should be the perfect length, so you can cinch down and snip off the feather butt. If you're concerned about it, you can also tie it intentionally a bit long, and after you've made a few snug (but not cinched tight) wraps, you can gently lift the tips of the wing with your left hand while pulling the feather stem with your right, pulling the marabou through the thread wraps and shortening the wing. When you get it where you want it, cinch down with a few tight wraps.


2. As others have said, the wing is veiling the fly. While that may be a subjective personal touch, typically, the wing sits distinctly atop the shank, and comes out from under the thread of the head at one distinct point. To accomplish this, when you're tying in your wing, Make a single, soft thread wrap around the marabou only, not the hook, then make a wrap or two of thread around the hook and the marabou. Gently tighten these wraps by pulling the bobbin in an upward direction on the near side of the hook. Doing this will let that first thread wrap squeeze all of the marabou fibers together into a small, tight bundle, which will then (sometimes with a little help from you gently lifting both sides as you tighten) secure that small bundle at the top of the shank.


3. There's a big split in your JC. This isn't your fault, it's just what happens sometimes with fishing-grade JC. Luckily there's a simple fix: just take whatever gentle adhesive you have on hand...Sally Hansens, head cement, flexament, liquid fusion, UV goo...whatever (but NOT loctite, zap-a-gap-, or any other CA glue or super glue, as you will glue your fingers together). And get the smallest, tiniest quantity of the stuff that you can, and dab it on the back side of the feather, down near the base. Then pinch the feather in your fingers and gently sweep up the length (as if you were fixing a feather whose fibers had been messed up). As you sweep the glue up, it should make the fibers adhere to one another, neatly fixing your split. It may not be ideal for fancy, show-grade flies, but for a fishing pattern, if you care about splits, that's an easy way to drastically improve split JC.


4. Your hackle "beard" looks a bit long. You can bring this under control using the same suggestions I made for the wing. One additional trick that may make it easier for you to to work under the shank would be to use the rotary capabilities of your Peak and flip that thing over. While you still have to work around the hook point, it'll be very similar to tying in a small wing.


5. Your head has a few problems, but these are things that will come with time. It's a tough task for a beginner to get a tiny little thread head on their flies, but my biggest suggestion there is to strive for the smallest, neatest head you can (it will actually be stronger than a bigger, bulkier head), but not at the risk of crowding the hook eye. For this pattern, the hackle beard, marabou wing, peacock topping, and JC are *all* tied in at the head, meaning it can get a little crowded, especially for a beginner. While you're learning about just how much room all of this stuff needs, a rough guideline to shoot for is this: try to end your body about 1/8" behind the back of the eye (leave 1/8" of bare shank). So wrap your body (yarn or floss or dubbing) up that far and tie off with 2 wraps & trim. Then take your tinsel rib up (5 even wraps) to that point, tie off with 2 even wraps & trim. Then flip the hook over and tie in your hackle *just in front of the front of the body*. Trim close. Flip back over, tie in your marabou in the same way, trim close. Now the herl. Last, the eyes. If you don't have a smoothly bullet shaped head at this point, you can add a few wraps to smooth things out *a little*, but you're better off with a smaller more pointy, flat, or lumpy head, that a big giant lump of thread out there that's perfectly round. Add lacquer (or hard-as-hull, or Sally Hansens, or UV goo) in multiple smaller applications over one big thick coat.


6. On the subject of herl...if you've got nice herl (smooth, no kinks, non-broken tips, thick, etc.), a topping is the time to bust it out. If you're just starting out, you just may not have really nice herl (and that's okay! Even average, or lousy herl generally wraps up just fine for bodies), so just try to look for unbroken tips that come to a nice tapered end. Just like with that marabou wing, you need to watch the length for proper proportions, and also just like the marabou, it's very important that this herl rest *on top* of the marabou wing, not just mixed in. (Cross-sectionally, think of a snowman: you've got the big snowball on the bottom, a medium one in the middle, and the little one for the head up top. If you sliced your fly at the head, the big one on the bottom would be the hook shank, the middle would be your marabou, and the head would be the peacock herl. Of course, you'd also have another medium one *below* the hook, for your hackle beard too.)

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