More durable hair wings!

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Golden Trout, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. Golden Trout

    Golden Trout Banned or Parked

    Apr 28, 2005
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    North Central Washington
    Tying a more durable hair wing (EHC, golden stone, etc.) pattern. After finishing body, I lay down a small bunch of stacked hair and apply cement, move a tiny bit closer to the head and repeat. Finally, one more time, closer to the head and finish with a bullet head. "Not good enough". Hair still works it's way lose and eventual loosened thread wraps!

    Your thoughts please!
  2. pittendrigh

    pittendrigh Active Member

    Apr 20, 2007
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    Use thin super glue (ZapCA) on the base thread wraps to make a foundation that won't spin on the shank. No matter how tightly you wrap on top, everything will eventually unravel if the stuff below can still twist and turn. Applying ZapCa is difficult unless you have the right tricks. The tip of the bottle constantly clogs up. So you re-open it. Eventually the opening is too large and you make a mess.

    Google PTFE (Teflon) tubing. Buy some #28 guage thin wall PTFE tubing. Cut the top off the bottle. Shove tubing all the way down to the bottom of the bottle. Caulk it in place with a hot melt glue gun. Now you have a wash bottle. A squeeze bottle. You don't tip the bottle to dispense. You squeeze it. You can watch the glue migrate up the tube to the tip, so you can release pressure just at the last moment, in order to apply pin-point tiny drops exactly where you want them. If the tube ever clogs up (which is seldom) it will clog at the tip. So razor 1/64" inch off the end of the tube and you're good to go again.

    Use #20 or #22 guage tubing for the thicker ZapAGap. Now you can make flies it takes a pair of needle nose to tear apart.
  3. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

    Jan 5, 2008
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    For flies like Elk Hair Caddis, CDC & Elk I trim the hair to the proper length after stacking, tie in with a couple wraps, then take a few turns through the butts, moving progressively forward towards the eye and finish with a double half-hitch under the butts at the eye. Gotta do it with very firm wraps (I still break the thread from time-to-time but that's better than having it too loose); seems to keep the wing from moving around.
    For bullet-head patterns, I tie the head first - spin it, let it hang forward over the front, tie in the rest of the fly, then finish the head. Some folks use straws or other tools to push the hair back; I just use my finger and eyeball it to see the hair's distributed evenly. Only "trick" I've found with bullet-heads is using the proper thread - I really like UTC 140.

  4. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

    Nov 16, 2012
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    Willamette Valley, OR
    I'm a fan of CA (aka super glue). I started using the stuff a long time ago when my older brother put me onto Zap-A-Gap and a "kicker" when I was buying bass popper paint at his hobby shop. At that time, no one was using Zap-A-Gap for fly tying. Many of the items I use for fly tying, oddly enough, come from my brother's hobby shop. He's very knowledgeable when it comes to the adhesives. His employes call him Captain Glue.

    However, pittendrigh is correct. The additional "spot tube" that comes with the product clogs up in short order. I like his idea for creating your own extended tube.

    If you've never tried using a kicker with a super glue type adhesive, the stuff works great and instantly cures the CA. All the RC guys use a kicker with the CA type of adhesive.

    I use the liquid type of CA if I want the adhesive to soak in. I use the gel type for attaching dome style eyes to bait fish patterns.

    When I want a hair wing to stay in place, I add a touch of the liquid CA to the base of the fibers and then spray on the kicker so the glue instantly dries.

    Loctite sells a product in a plastic bottle with specific areas to squeeze to apply the glue. I've found I can control the amount of adhesive I apply much better with the specific squeeze spots. I buy it in both gel and liquid styles. And of course, I also use the kicker for the liquid style so the glue instantly sets up so you don't need to wait for the glue to dry.
  5. herefishynm

    herefishynm Member

    Dec 25, 2010
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    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    And Loctite also sells their stuff in bottles, with a brush - nice to have it not clog up, and it only is a problem if you want to apply it in a tiny spot.
  6. cebe

    cebe Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    cleveland, ohio
    The way tie Elk Hair Caddis and Stimulators might work for you if you don't want to use glue.

    For EHC I circle the thread completely around only the bunch of hair and then bring down to the hook shank and tie down. That seems to keep the wing a more on top of the shank and seems to secure it pretty well.

    For stimulators I tie the wing tips sticking out over the hook eye first. Then bend them back a small bunch at a time to secure them after tying the the tail, body and body hackle. The butts of the wing end up as the under body giving a nice full but tapered body.

    On both methods pretty heavy thread pressure is important.

    I don't use head cement on my flies (just kind of lazy I guess) but they don't come apart.
  7. 1morecast

    1morecast Active Member

    Dec 11, 2004
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    Port Angeles
    I agree. A loop around the hair before mounting the wing to the hook seems to work for me as well. I have a few stimis and EHC that have caught numeorus fish and still seem to be in one piece.
  8. Jaydub

    Jaydub Active Member

    Sep 12, 2011
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    McMinnville, OR
    For the EHC I do the following and it has been pretty durable for me.

    Clean and stack the hair. Leave the butts full length.
    I use a loop around the bunch as described above.
    After cinching down the loop, add several more tight wraps.
    Pull back the top 1/3 of the butts and make a couple wraps under them.
    Tighten those wraps by pulling down and back.
    Pull back the next 1/3 and repeat.
    Pull back the final 1/3 and make 3 or 4 wraps under the butts.
    Whip finish onto the shank under the butts.
    Trim the butts.

    Try to keep everything tight throughout the process.
  9. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Sep 13, 2004
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    I don't feel like reading every ones response (I'm being lazy). But if some of it has to do with applying glue or getting glue in the proper location I sometimes apply zap a gap or shan or whatever I'm using to the thread. I run the brush against the thread and then wrap it around. Sometimes I glue the area that will get wrapped first then wrap over it and glue the thread.

    Anyway, trying to be helpful, but too lazy to read. :). If I did not hit on anything sorry for the waste of time. :D
  10. Norm Frechette

    Norm Frechette Googlemeister

    Oct 16, 2004
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    Norwich, CT
    Home Page:
  11. FT

    FT Active Member

    Mar 29, 2005
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    Burlington, WA
    Super simple and extremely easy way to tie in hair wings whether elk, deer, moose, calf tail, bucktail, fox, or any other hair is to put a drop of a flexible cement such as Flexament on the tie-in spot then simply tie in the hair while the flexible cement if wet. This technique will hold any hair in place and keep it from pulling out with only 4-7 turns of thread because the flexible cement won't fracture and holds onto the hair with tenacity. And unlike super glue, you don't have to worry about gluing your fingers to the hook, fly, or themselves.

    learned this little technique from Dave Whitlock in a class I took from him back in the very early 1980's in Great Falls, MT. It was one of the best $25.00 I ever spent.
    FinLuver likes this.