Marabou

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Ringlee, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

    I have been tying alot lately with marabou. That's what my big tube flies are made out of from the other posts. Any tricks to fixing the feathers that are stuck together on the bottom. I pull that stuff off. Some of the feathers that I have are fully stuck together. If you have worked with marabou then you have most likely seen feathers like this. Any tricks to fixing that or should I continue to hygrade my feathers and look for the best ones?
    Chris
     
  2. tightlines

    tightlines New Member

    I have the same problem and I am not sure there is a way to solve it. I have chosen just to accept it. Hopefully I will be proved wrong by an ingenious method from a tying guru. In my experience selecting the best plume is the most important step in tying a fly with marabou.
     
  3. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Check the packages to ensure that you get the plumes best suited for your application. All packages of a kind won't be the same; even though they are graded, they are also sold by weight. Over the years some of the best marabou I have found is from Fishunter Enterprises in Kent. Owner Jack Moore who has been in the business for years wholesales to a lot of western Washington shops. He offers a wide range of excellent colors as well.
    I always trim away the material at the lower end of the stem. I would rather use two plumes than to wind on the ugly stuff. Also, I tie my plumes in tip first and don't like to tie off the head utilizing the thick part of the stem. Usually , when using very small HMH tubing I find that a single plume almost always does the job.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  4. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

    I couldn't agree more about inspecting the packages before you buy - no matter who's name is on the label!

    At one time FishHunter Enterprises purveyed some of the best plumage a tyer could ever want - it was usually consistant in quality and priced very well.

    However, in the past two or three years I've noticed a marked decline in FishHunter's quality, especially in their Marabou. I bought a number of packets of their 'Spey' grade Marabou (at a Seattle area flyshop) recently and had to throw the entire lot away. I couldn't even use the stuff for Wooly Buggers.

    I've found the very best source for Marabou is Jack Cook's 'Irish Angler' in Carnation. The plumes are huge and well-dyed in vibrant colors, and the stems are thin, suptle, and strong. I swear, the last batch of Marabou I got from Irish Angler was so long and lush, the birds must have been on steriods!

    HareLine Dubbin of Monroe, OR, also distributes Marabou of exceptional quality, especially their Xtra Select and tip-dyed plumes.

    Hywel
     
  5. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

    I am buying alot of materials from Jack Cook. I have some of his marabou and it is Awesome stuff!!! I like to mix my colors of marabou and the other stuff I use looks like crap compared to Jack's. I have some Spirit river marabou, that I like. The stuff that looks like crap is from Cabela's. The only almost fly shop in North Dakota. I can't just drive to shops from here like I do back at home.
     
  6. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    I'd highly stay away from the Cabela's stuff (did I actually say that???? LOL). I am a believer in Cabela's stuff, but the flytying stuff is crap (especially the marabou). At one time, they were one of the only makers of a certain color marabou. I bought the full ounce, came out with barely a "shop pack" of usuable feathers. I mostly use Hareline marabou now, rarely have a problem with it (and I tie with a TON of marabou unfortunately, since most guys want jigs tied with marabou). You still find a problem plume, but I've personally had good luck with it. Haven't bought Fishhunter in a few years (marabou that is), hate to think they're going downhill.

    Les brought up a good point as well. Tie in by the tip. That's how I always tie my palmered marabou flies and jigs. You'll usually get the better part of the marabou plumes that way (I've found that usually the worst parts, and parts that don't take the dye, are near the bottom).
     
  7. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

    I have long heard that the highest grade marabou, as well as ostrich, feathers go to Las Vegas. I feel for guys living out in the hinterlands having to mail order feathers. Jack does have some good stuff though.
     
  8. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Hywel,
    I have to admit that I'm still using a rather significant backstock of prime marabou. I was not aware that Jack's products have been declining in quality. He did tell me some time ago that the demand for high quality materials was rapidly exceeding supply and I imagine that would include large, prime marabou plumes.
    Another supplier that used to offer very nice marabou in some unique colors is Jay Fair out of California. Is anyone up-to-date on the quality of Jay's materials?
    Good Tying,
    Les Johnson
     
  9. bulltrout19

    bulltrout19 ever see a fish fart?

    being fairly new to tying, I am quickly learning to love marabou...Hareline has some of the best I have seen, and I can get it fairly readily, in several colors. as far as the base sticking together...I cut mine back fairly severely or split the plume in half...lengthwise...sometimes less is way more.
     
  10. FT

    FT Active Member

    Les,

    The quality of marabou has gone down hill to a marked degree the last few years. I've been told it is the result of the Asian bird flu because most of the marabou we get comes from India and Asia.

    I've simply accepted that I will have to toss some of the marabou out because it is not really usable. This is why I buy in 1 oz or larger quantities. That said, Jack Cook has some nice stuff, and most of Hareline's is not bad.
     

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