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How to make a Good marabou tail or wing

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8 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   45.94KB   34 downloads



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

Attached File  2.jpg   38.34KB   37 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   33.43KB   36 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   47.3KB   31 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. 

the gales of November remembered...

#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:




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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:54 PM

thanks for your hints

#6 flytire


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Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:08 AM

Understanding Fly Tying Marabou Feathers - Woolly Bugger, Blood Quill and Extra Select - YouTube

Someone stole my coffee cup. Now I have to go to the police station and look at mug shots.


I was about to tell a joke about time travelling, but you guy's didnt like it.

#7 ScottK


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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:20 AM

Well crap....

I had most of my flies done for a swap I'm in, and I used this method this morning for one. I was gonna go fishing today because I would have had my flies done but Nooooooooo, now I need to break out the razor blade and redo most of 'em. Thanks for ruining my planned fishing trip.....

Seriously, great tip! (For me anyway, my marabou tails look much better this way). :)

#8 Tsuribaka


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Posted 03 July 2014 - 09:43 PM

I actually just started tying woolly buggers and think I'll try this method out for my marabou.  Do any of you rip/tear off the tips of the marabou to get "fluffier" tails? I saw this in this video (1min 55sec) and wondered if others did this regularly. 





Due to my limited budget, I try to get the most out of my materials and use the feathers on the bottom like this guy  (1min 55sec).  Someone else linked this video in the past and I just happened to bookmark it.  



#9 flytire


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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:00 AM

i do not pinch marabou to length as i prefer to achieve the correct length at tie in



Someone stole my coffee cup. Now I have to go to the police station and look at mug shots.


I was about to tell a joke about time travelling, but you guy's didnt like it.