Marabou...PITA or godsend.

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Eyejuggler, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Eyejuggler Beech Nut

    Posts: 610
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +339 / 0
    Or both!

    I have started messing with my materials now that I am getting comfortable with tying and was curious about your thoughts on Marabou.
    I don't find the action on a bucktail clouser and unweighted streamers really impressive so I started tying more with Marabou, which seems like a trainwreck of a material, but I do love the action and virtual breathing it provides over ridgid BT.
    Been tying my tails with a little monofilament loop at the bend to keep the 'bou from wrapping around the hook and that seems to work pretty well despite being a funky extra step in the tying process.
    Does anyone have thoughts on using Marabou or a similar material that might be better.
    Mixing the two seems odd and ill fitting so I was wondering if there are any finer "hairs" out there that balance action with durability better?
    TIA!
  2. RonBraud New Member

    Posts: 15
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Marabou does tend to pollute the air, table, and floor when cutting or
    manipulating, doesn't it!

    When tying in marabou in as a tail, I usually wet it first. This makes it more
    manageable. It dries quickly.
  3. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 589
    Ratings: +803 / 0
    As far as natural fibers go, arctic fox has a lot more mobility than bucktail and you can find it in a variety of colors. There are many synthetics that fit the bill, although they can take a bit of practice to get comfortable with. When I tie marabou tails, I like to keep them a bit shorter to lessen the chance of it wrapping around the hook bend.

    Regards,
    Scott
  4. Mark Mercer Member

    Posts: 1,135
    port orchard, wa
    Ratings: +501 / 0
    Eyejuggler, I'm assuming your concern is just the tail, marabou, arctic fox, temple dog, and rabbit all have that problem. You might try Cashmere goat streamer hair, it's stiffer than the others but not as stiff as buck tail. I went through this with my cutthroat squimp and tried the mono loop and adding different materials to solve the problem, most of them helped but the fly lost, IMO two much of it's action, so I've just shortened the tail a bit and check the fly every few cast.....small price to pay for it's effectiveness.

    I've also been tying them with this really cool shrimp color of rabbit, and as long as you leave a little bit of the hide on the tail ( like a really short bunny leech) it doesn't wrap very often and has that great action of rabbit. I tend to use marabou and rabbit on small krill and squid type flies and some very small clousers and bucktail on larger streamers, If you want to get more action on larger saltwater flies I'd go with flatwings, they work great and have nice action for a larger fly.
    Steve Knapp and Eyejuggler like this.
  5. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,136
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +959 / 1
    I was tying up a Shewey's Spawning Purple two days ago. It was my first foray into steelhead flies and I had purple marabou "fronds" floating in the air, stuck on the table, stuck on my sweatshirt, on the carpet and then tracked out into the living room.

    My wife has now incorporated purple wiggly things into the front room decor. It accents the cat hair.
    Eyejuggler and Mark Mercer like this.
  6. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 682
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +258 / 3
    Marabou can be a nightmare, but there is nothing wrong with using it. It's cheap and comes in every color, including UV, out there. I like to think about how I''lll be fishing the fly. If it's a beach clouser, I'm gonna be stripping it so fast, the tail would never really have a chance to pulse and move. You want the fly to collapse and create that slim baitfish profile...making bucktail perfect.

    On the other hand if I'm gonna be swinging a fly across current seems at the same beach, I start thinking about movement. Thats when marabou and flatwings shine. I have a couple flies that must be tied with marabou to get the right action. If you're really looking for the ultimate living fly, follow Marks advice and look into flatwings. They are the best fly for realistic movement. Jack Devlin has a ton of his beautiful flatwings posted.
    Eyejuggler and Mark Mercer like this.
  7. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,978
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,556 / 0
    Considering the success I have catching fish in stillwaters with different combinations of marabou patterns, I can't recommend anything that works as well.

    I've tried tying with alternative materials for years. Nothing I've found yet works as well as marabou for most of my subsurface patterns.

    I've also never found materials that can effectively replace peacock herl or ring neck pheasant tail fibers when tying specific patterns.

    Sometimes, you simply can not build a better mouse trap.
  8. Eyejuggler Beech Nut

    Posts: 610
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +339 / 0
    Awesome info, thanks yall!