Help with keeping wing material on


Active Member
I am having trouble keeping the wings on some of my flies as I start to use them. For example, when I tie on the skunk fibers for the wing of a green butt skunk (fairly tightly, I think), the fibers seem to slip off easily during use (i.e. the wing ends up being very sparse).

How do I fix this problem? Tips?



AKA: Gregory Mine
Are you wrapping to the point where your almost breaking the tying thread? If your sure thats as tight as you can get with that thread. you may consider using a heavier thread if your using 6/0, try 3/0, or kevlar.

Another thing is that you may want to try is to tie the wing in facing forward out the front of the fly with a few tight wraps, then fold it over on itself to position it the right way and finish wrapping normaly. This will put a hitch in the material and it won't be able to just "pull out". Also consider putting a drop of head cement on the wing after a few wraps of tying thread to cement it into place.

It is a good question, I have just never had that problem. Good luck, let us know how it works out and what you did you fix it.



Native Trout Hunter
When you get the wing in place, don't clip the butts right away, but instead wrap the thread through the butts a few times. This should secure the wing better.


Active Member
Solid hairs, like squirrel or polar bear, are much more difficult to secure to the hook than hollow hairs like deer or elk. Sometimes a turn or two of thread under the wing (several turns over, one under, several over, one under) to help lock it into place or a drop of head cement, applied while tying, will do the job.

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
I find that the over/under technique works well and it also helps keep a neater head. After you get the wing bundle locked in place but before finishing the head, apply a drop or two of thinned head cement from the front of the wing bundle so that it soaks into the bundle lengthwise as opposed to dropping the cement on top of the wing. This works well with the more slippery hair types. After the head is finished, go ahead and coat the whole head from the top, bottom and sides. Multiple coats of thin cement work much better than one coat of thick cement. Dave's Flexament maintains a high degree of flexibility and works well on slippery hair. This stuff is so thick and goopy right out of the bottle that it makes a good wader and shoe repair adhesive. You will need to thin it with an equal amount of thinner (or more), for maximum absorption while still maintaining a good bond after it cures.

It is important to understand that when using bright colored or other high visibility hairs (polar bear), it is easy to use way too much hair. A large dense wing is only slightly more visible than a more sparse wing. A sparser wing will typically have more action in the water and sinks faster.

Less hair will also allow you to use the fold over technique (which is about as secure as it gets), while still keeping the size and shape of the head under control.
are you laying a base of thread over the hook before tying in any materials? if you are laying your materials directly against the steel of the shank, you will have pull outs and rotation issues.


Latest posts