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Archive for the ‘Selecting Natural Materials’ Category

Selecting Natural Materials

Posted by Drew Chicone On February 7th

 

 

Over the past few months, I’ve  given you snippets  from my latest eBook called Selecting Natural Materials. Simply click the icon above

for the complete Deep Dive in to What To Look For & Avoid When Selecting Hair, Fur & Feathers or click the link,  and download today for $7.99.

Otherwise, read on and I’ll recap all of the material covered.

1.  Cherry-Picking Saltwater Capes

 

For more information on how  you can improve your own saltwater fly patterns check out my website www.saltyflytying.com or;

For a deep dive into the world of saltwater pattern development, look for my new book Feather Brain – How to design better saltwater flies coming next August. You can Pre Order a copy by clicking here.

Thanks for reading!

~Drew

Zonker Strip Cutters…Try This at Home

Posted by Drew Chicone On January 31st

 

This is the fifth installment of  Selecting Natural Materials which can be downloaded from www.saltyflytying.com

 

Zonker Strip Cutters are pretty rudimentary tools, basically they are a handle embedded with razor blades spaced to the desired thickness of cut. They are difficult to find in fly tying shops, so most avid fly tyers end up fashioning their own. The process of cutting the skin is a little tricky, and should be approached with an abundance of caution. Obviously when ever you are working with a handful of razor blades it can be a little dangerous if you are not paying attentions.

 

 

 

The easiest way I have found to cut the whole pelts is to secure one end by clamping it between two boards fur side down. Stretch tight the other end with your non dominant hand and slowly drag the razorblades across the skin with your dominate hand.

 

 

 

 

For the complete Deep Dive in to What To Look For & Avoid When Selecting Hair, Fur & Feathers click the link, or icon to your right and download today for $7.99.

 

 

-35 page downloadable pdf. illustrated

with ultra-hi resolution images.


Choose Your Zonkers Wisely

Posted by Drew Chicone On January 24th

 

This is the forth installment of  Selecting Natural Materials which can be downloaded from www.saltyflytying.com

 

Zonker strips are thinly cut strips of fur with the tanned skin still attached. They are very popular for saltwater fly patterns thanks to their remarkably fishy action in the water. Soft and supple, their fur seems to comes alive when submersed, and the leather strip magically snakes along as it is drawn through the water. Unlike feathers or bucktails, there are not as many pitfalls or glaring differences between the bags of materials found on the shelfs of your local fly shop. However there are some minor differences that you need to be aware of.

 

 

Leather Thickness

As you work with more and more with Zonker style materials, you will start to notice subtle differences in the pliability of the leather. This is due to the slight difference in the leathers thickness. When given the option to compare, I try to choose the Zonker strips with the thinnest leather possible.

 

 

 

For the complete Deep Dive in to What To Look For & Avoid When Selecting Hair, Fur & Feathers click the link, or icon to your right and download today for $7.99.

 

 

-35 page downloadable pdf. illustrated

with ultra-hi resolution images.


Plucking the Perfect Bucktail

Posted by Drew Chicone On January 17th

This is the third installment of  Selecting Natural Materials which can be downloaded from www.saltyflytying.com

Bucktail, or the hair found on the tails of White Tail Deer, has a variety of different textures depending on the specific animal it is harvested from. The balance of rigidity and flexibility is what makes bucktail such an effective fly tying material. It is perfect for creating very large yet virtually weightless flies. These flies tend to push a large volume of water, and move with a lifelike undulation when stripped. When wet, the supple hairs become slightly opaque and natural take on a taper teardrop shape, a perfect emulation of a baitfish.

 

For the other 99% of saltwater patterns and all around general fly tying, I look for bucktails with particularly long, coarse and wavy hairs.

 

For the rest of this entry and the complete Deep Dive in to What To Look For & Avoid When Selecting Hair, Fur & Feathers click the link, or icon to your right and download today.

 

-35 page downloadable pdf. illustrated

with ultra-hi resolution images.

Caveat Emptor

Posted by Drew Chicone On January 10th

This is the second installment of  Selecting Natural Materials which can be downloaded from www.saltyflytying.com

 

The quality of the materials is far more important than the quantity. It’s up to you to make sure you are getting the quality of materials you are paying for.

If you have scoured the Internet in hopes of improving your knowledge and understanding of feathers with saltwater patterns in mind, you will find that the vast majority of information is focused on trout flies. There are thousands of “How To Video’s” and countless pattern instructions available, but there just isn’t much info out there about materials specifically focused toward the beginning saltwater fly tier.

 

The terms “saddle”, “cape” and “neck” all refer to the area on the body where the feathers are located.

For the rest of this entry and the complete Deep Dive in to What To Look For & Avoid When Selecting Hair, Fur & Feathers click the link, or icon to your right and download today.

 

 

-35 page downloadable pdf. illustrated

with ultra-hi resolution images

Cherry-Picking Saltwater Capes

Posted by Drew Chicone On January 3rd

This is the first installment of  Selecting Natural Materials which can be downloaded from www.saltyflytying.com

Feathers come in a lot of different shapes, sizes, variants and colors, but let’s avoid getting into the terminology of specific types of feathers and stay with the basics. Saltwater rooster/ cock capes are typically what you would find on the shelf at your local saltwater fly shop, and are what I like for the majority of patterns. The rooster cape is larger than the hen, and they are usually what’s more readily available.

 

 

Most usable size range for the vast majority of saltwater flies falls in the  3-5 inch range.

I typically tie on a range of hooks between size #4 and 1/0 so I look for a cape that is wider with the highest concentration of feathers in the 3-5 inch range.

For the rest of this entry and the complete Deep Dive in to What To Look For & Avoid When Selecting Hair, Fur & Feathers click the link, or icon to your right and download today.

 -35 page downloadable pdf. illustrated

with ultra-hi resolution images

Selecting Natural Materials

Posted by Drew Chicone On December 27th

Before the apocalyptic onslaught of synthetic materials inundated the craft of fly tying, natural supplies like Fur, Hair and Feathers comprised the bulk of    constituents used in create the vast majority of popular patterns. Three of the most fundamental fly tying components used for saltwater patterns are Feathers, Bucktail, and Rabbit Zonker Strips. Alone and in concert, these three elements are used to create countless fly patterns. They are easily accessible and can be found in an assortment of natural or dyed colors to work with. These basic materials are a must for all saltwater fly tiers. However, not all natural materials are the same, and there are a few things to look for and a several to avoid when shopping.

Over the next few weeks I will give some tips on what to look for & avoid when selecting hair, fur & feathers.  As always, you can stay tuned to this blog each week as I share pieces from my eBook, but for the complete Deep Dive in to What To Look For & Avoid When Selecting Hair, Fur & Feathers click the link, or icon to your right and download today for $7.99.

 

If you have questions or other topics in mind you would like explained, feel free to comment or send me an email.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

-35 page downloadable pdf. illustrated

with ultra-hi resolution images.