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How to make a Good marabou tail or wing

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3 replies to this topic

#1 JSzymczyk


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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:46 PM

This is the best way, in my opinion, to make a Really Good marabou bugger tail or streamer wing. 


1.  Select a marabou plume.  The one pictured is pretty good quality. 

Attached File  1.jpg   45.94K   24 downloads



2.  Break off the tip section of the stem.  On not-so-good plumes, this will be very obvious.

Attached File  2.jpg   38.34K   27 downloads


3.  Gather the remaining "tip" fibers of the plume and stroke them together into a bunch.  Separate out the fibers from further down the stem which end up being too short and just create unnecessary bulk.

Attached File  3.jpg   33.43K   28 downloads


4.  Switch hands and measure the length of the marabou fibers against your hook and adjust your grip as needed.  Keeping the bunch firmly pinched, switch back if needed and tie in. 

Attached File  4.jpg   47.3K   23 downloads


Done.   You can use the leftover marabou material for other flies if you want.   This method gives you the nicest, most consistent marabou tails compared to stripping bunches of fibers off the plume and tying in.   "Strung" marabou is pretty cheap and I've found usually over 90% or so of the plumes are useable if you break out the tip of the stem. 

I just want to fish.

#2 tidewaterfly


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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:23 PM

Joel, great SBS & information. I usually leave the tips, but am very selective about the plumes I choose, and agree that the strung "Blood Quill" marabou is one of the best ways to go for tying, particularly for buggers. I'll often use what's left over as well, but it does take more time to get the tips even & make it look good. 

#3 Mattpreat



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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:21 PM

Often times I will use the marabou as a tail, then use the remaining as a body. If done right it makes for some good and easy to tie wooly buggers or leeches which work awesome on the stocked trout lakes around here. 

#4 Kirk Dietrich

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:04 PM

Yep, that's a good way for sure, it makes the stuff much easier to control. Like Tide, I usually leave the tip but not always.

Now, on large buggars like for bass and redfish, a really good way is to select the finely stemmed plumes, tie in by the tip of the stem and palmer/wrap the plume around the shank up towards the hook eye. After tying it off, usually goes a quarter inch or a little more, stroke the fibers back to the tail and wrap back to the back with your thread. For a nice mottled effect, do two different colors at the same time so the fibers mix all together. Granted, the tail length is limited by the length of the marabou fibers, which can be pretty long but for big flies its really good and it comes out full and pulses nicely. Sorry I don't have an sbs for that.



Every now and then, I'll make a video, wish I could find time to do more; here is the link:

I've got a few folders with photos of flies, these get more updates than my videos: