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Animal hair that sinks?


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24 replies to this topic

#1 Saltybum

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:22 AM

I know pretty well that the deer hair (whitetail, elk, moose) floats but what animal hair is better for sinking flies?

Also aware that polar bear sinks and quite durable. But also not readily available.

What are some others?

 

Thanks

 


Life is too serious to take it too seriously!


#2 Bimini15

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:34 AM

Wascally wabbit!
:) could not help it...
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#3 mikechell

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:40 AM

In my knowledge base ... deer hair floats because it's hollow.  All other hair (even deer hair) soaks up water.  Once wet, all are neutral and will float or sink as other materials dictate.


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#4 rstaight

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:48 AM

Bucktail is commonly used on streamers.

"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary." - Patrick F. McManus


#5 ben bell

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:02 AM

wouldn,t it be great if human hair was hollow?

#6 Bimini15

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:11 AM

Other furs/hairs commonly used in streamers are fox, icelandic sheep, ....

But... What are you trying to achieve?
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#7 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:13 AM

Mike nailed it. Rabbit, squirrel, black bear, skunk, 'possum, fox; you name it--they all have neutral buoyancy once waterlogged.


"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#8 TheCream

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 01:58 PM

There's nothing wrong with deer hair on subsurface flies, I use it all the time for those applications.  Sure, pack it tight enough it will float, but use it sparingly or add weight (or use a sinking/sink tip line) and it gets down.  The Muddler Minnow is a classic streamer with a sparse deer hair head.  I use deer hair on sculpin patterns to sometimes form a head, but mostly to form pec fins.  I also use deer hair as the "mouth" area on a crayfish pattern I tie.  The deer hair both forms the mouth area and works to spread the rabbit strip pincers and maintain the visualization of two distinct claws on the pattern.  



#9 tjm

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:20 PM

Other than the hollow deer it all sinks when wet, in general water dwelling critters have more water resistance to getting wet and earth hole dwelling critters have least resistance to wetting; wood chuck or rabbit wets easier than beaver or muskrat. 

Squirrel tail is perhaps the most common commercially used wet hair on spinners and flies.

A couple I didn't see mentioned above are goat, yak, sheep, kip/calf tail, calf body hair, and by far a most over looked and easy to get hair, my long ago fishing partner tied numerous wets and streamers with dog hair. House cat has the only natural black hair that I've encountered, other than melanistic squirrel.



#10 Saltybum

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:20 PM

Excellent. Thanks


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#11 SilverCreek

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:30 PM

I know pretty well that the deer hair (whitetail, elk, moose) floats but what animal hair is better for sinking flies?

Also aware that polar bear sinks and quite durable. But also not readily available.

What are some others?

 

Thanks

 

 

 

Mike nailed it. Rabbit, squirrel, black bear, skunk, 'possum, fox; you name it--they all have neutral buoyancy once waterlogged.

 

Saltybum, Bryon is correct.

 

All hairs will "sink" if the fly is weighted and the average specific gravity of the fly is > 1.0. All hairs will "float" if the fly is tied with foam and the average specific gravity is < 1.0

 

All hair is tied on a hook that is heavier than water and other materials are also tied on the fly. Whether the hair is hollow or solid matters is not as important as much as the average density of the fly.

 

Here's another misconception. Wetting a fly has NO effect on the specific gravity of the fly. What it does is help break the meniscus and then the average fly density takes over.

 

Here's another fact. Any material ABOVE the water line CANNOT float the fly. So hollow hair on an elk hair caddis that is ABOVE the water line does NOT FLOAT the fly. It has mass and helps SINK the fly since the mass of the hair is pushing down on the fly. What hollow hair does is add the appearance of wings with less mass than using solid hair. So the fly will float higher with hollow hair since it has less mass for the same thickness.

 

As to some furs being more resistant to wetting, all tanned furs have had the natural oils stripped from water so there is no advantage to using natural grey muskrat underfur for dubbing an adams dry vs using tanned dyed gray rabbit fur.


Regards,

Silver

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#12 mikechell

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:53 PM

Silver ... doesn't the deer hair hollow cavities provide "air bubbles" beneath the surface, to support the fly and float it?


Barbed hooks rule!
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#13 Saltybum

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:49 PM

I'm looking for hair that will get down quicker with least added weight. Thinking my squirrel and other smaller animals fur will work best.


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#14 zip

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:13 PM

I've got a bag of musk ox that is phenomenal!I've brushed it out and used it on baitfish patterns and have used it as dubbing on nymphs and the like.I also really like arctic fox in place of marabou
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#15 Bimini15

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:32 PM

I'm looking for hair that will get down quicker with least added weight. Thinking my squirrel and other smaller animals fur will work best.


Some synthetics would probably do a better job at sinking.
Is a sinking line part of this conundrum?
Bimini15