alternative matterial list

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Ben Guss, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Ben Guss

    Ben Guss Member

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    Hi all,

    If this has been covered already please just send me the link.

    I'm looking for info on material alternatives. If any one has a list/or a link to a site that provides this, i'd appreciate it.

    Example:

    If im looking to tie with artic fox but i don't have any what could i use_____.

    Thanks for the help!
    ben
     
  2. Jamie Wilson

    Jamie Wilson Active Member

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    Damned good question - I would throw out some answers if I actually had any. This comes up all of the time. Do I really need to purchase 12 bucks of X when the Y stuff I already have might work as well. Especially since I'm kind of experimenting??
    I think much of this is pattern dependent.
     
  3. Loopy

    Loopy Member

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    Could try Raccoon.............
     
  4. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Ben,

    A lot of patterns when origionally tied were done with materials on hand. Not always the case. If you look at some of the old ties there are materials that today are just flat out illegal to use, like otter fur, heron, egret and so on. So one learns to adapt with what one has on hand.

    Arcic fox is a fine, soft hair. Temple dog can be used or there are some synthetic materials that can be used like craft fur for example. Though Arctic fox is relatively common and inexpensive. The white hair on a natural bucktail could also serve as a substitute. On a smaller fly I would imagine the longer hairs from rabbit could be used as it is fine and supple.

    The main key to a good fly is proportion! A fish is far less pickey about a fly than the fisheman!

    Another option available, I assume you are tying some sort of streamer, is to substitute marabou for the hair. Tie in at least twice as much as you think you need. This will give you a fly with lots of action.

    So much of tying flies is being creative with your imagination. Take nearly any pattern and you will see so many variations tht it is really mind boggling. How many different cadis patterns are out there? Too many to count and many quite different from the others.

    Dave
     
  5. Ben Guss

    Ben Guss Member

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    Many thanks Dave!

    Anyone else???

    thanks again,
    Ben
     
  6. bobduck

    bobduck Whiskey Tastes Best from a TIN CUP

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    I think the question on Arctic Fox is interesting. I have a supply in both white and orange and have only used it for wings on standard steelhead flies, green butt skunks, macks canyons etc. I like the fact that it is a soft fur and presume it gives good action when used as a wing. But I have lots of furs that make good substitutes for this purpose including some imitation polar bear. I'm not sure what else you would use it for. Just a side note; I've noticed that different dyes make hair behave differently when presenting it to the hook. The orange hair seems to have less under fluff and clean up easier than the white. Of course that's a whole different subject. As for type of hair, I've often wondered how much the fish care.
     
  7. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Artic fox is simply one type of hair you can use for a hair wing wet fly. It is not suitable for a dry fly wing because it is too fine and soft and thus promotes sinking of the fly, not floating of it. Artic fox is used by most who use it (myself included) as a substitute for calf tail, which was historically a substitute for polar bear. So to answer your question on artic fox, any fairly straight, non-hollow hair (calf tail, bucktail, monga ring tail, coyote hair, bear hair from all types of bears, red fox hair, grey fox hair(actually the hair from any species of fox), goat hair, racoon, temple dog etc. can be used to substitute for it. You get the picture. Keep in mind that tyers use whatever they have available to them at the time they are tying, so don't get hung up on having the particular type of hair a pattern dressing calls for. Just make sure you use a hair with similar characteristics: i.e use a hollow hair from a member of the deer family to substitute for deer body hair, elk hair, moose hair, antelope hair, etc.
     
  8. Ben Guss

    Ben Guss Member

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    thanks for the input!
     

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