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Best substitute for jungle cock on fishing flies

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I am interested in a simple substitute for jungle cock on fishing flies (for a Jassid or a Hornberg). I came across a posting on another fly tying forum which showed a small bunch of golden pheasant tippet coated with a product from Cascade Crest Tools called Feather Tough (or Feather Tuff). Has anyone tried this method or Feather Tough? I assume the application of Feather Tough leaves the feather as a flexible bunch. Can the same be accomplished with thinned Flexament or, is this one of those items that is a simply "must have"?

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I can only speak for myself and to that end my substitute is to not try and duplicate Jungle Cock. Maybe use another feather of some sort but not actually try to replicate JC. Or just use nothing.

 

On another note you can obtain a fairly decent JC cape off ebay. Some of the guys here can tell you who the best sellers are but it's fairly self explanatory because the best sellers have thousands of positive feed backs counted in their favor.

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The question is why you want to substitute. I don't use JC myself because I don't tie lots of flies that would use it, and can't see buying a whole lot of something I don't plan to use that much. As a result I'd tend to want to either substitute or make my own. There have been several articles posted in the past year on substitutes. One I think used Guinea fowl feathers, I think there was one using starling, and then there were a couple in which imitation JC "feathers" were made out of I can't remember what. Suggest you use the Search box at the top of the page and see if you can track them down.

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Agree with Dave G. Nothing replicates JC which is why we use it. If you believe in fish seeing UV properties then JC shows up very black. It provides a very dark target amongst the translucent hair(salmon hair wings) which may be why fish like it. There are many places in Scotland where a ghillie (guide) will pull JC off your fly as they believe the fish wont like it.

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The hornberg doesn't rate jungle cock eyes. You have dyed or natural mallard flank feathers and dressing them up with jc is like putting diamonds on a mutt. What I have seen that works is tying in barred wood duck slips from matching flank feathers. The feather would need some fixative to stiffen it up.

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My two cents. The time and effort required to hand paint and treat feathers to look like JC it seems better to buy a small neck. As previously said, keep watching ebay, there are some great bargains on ebay.

 

I do tie many flies without JC, but some like some classic streamers, Hornbergs or Jassid usually get a real JC eye.

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I appreciate the comments on jungle cock - I have seen the suggestions for using other feathers (pheasant tippet, barred wood duck, starling, bobwhite quail, guinea fowl, etc.). Has anyone used any of these with a flexible adhesive to keep them together (like the suggested Feather Tough) or some other type of adhesive?

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I don't get too fancy about this, I just spray the back side of feathers with lacquer when I want them to not separate. Mostly it's turkey I do that with though.

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I appreciate the comments on jungle cock - I have seen the suggestions for using other feathers (pheasant tippet, barred wood duck, starling, bobwhite quail, guinea fowl, etc.). Has anyone used any of these with a flexible adhesive to keep them together (like the suggested Feather Tough) or some other type of adhesive?

years ago I bought an aerosal can of grumbacher's Tuffilm fixative from a fly shop for this very purpose. Nasty stuff and I would not recommend a healthy person use it indoors. This morning I played with a barred wood duck flank feather and wattered down fabric fision. I took about half a teaspoon of water and a dollop of fabric fusion, stirred it up with a bodkin and painted the back of the feather making sure the barbules lined up. I let it dry an hour or so. I'm pretty happy with the results. Liquid fusion has lots of uses and is fly bench friendly. Of course barred wood duck isn't cheap. These aren't for presentation flies and you would need matching pairs.

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3d eyes. If a jc feather is supposed to look like an eye, then something that actually looks like an eye should work better.

 

JC is the ultimate "catch the fisherman" gimmick. it looks really neat to the human eye. And most guys who actually fish their flies and don't put them in a frame know jc is a gimmick and waste of money

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When I first started tying I bought some fake JC. It was a picture of a JC nail on mylar. When I used it, it looked like a picture of a JC nail on mylar. At least when I lost the fly I wasn't upset.

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When I used it, it looked like a picture of a JC nail on mylar. At least when I lost the fly I wasn't upset.

And I am pretty sure the fish would attack it just the same. While mylar JC eyes might not be good enough for display flies ... if that's the look you're going for in a fishing fly, the mylar eyes work just fine.

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