Tying with silk

Thinking of tying some soft hackles using silk. Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on the silk vs. nylon/polyester? I understand that the silk is more color fast when wet, but I wonder how big of a ticket item that is to the fish. After all, they are the final judge.


swollen member
You can get silk to have a smoother finish. If you are going to use silk, however, and you want the brighter colors to stay bright when fished use a smooth layer of flat silver tinsel under the floss. Without doing so the dullish hook shank tends to show through the silk once the fly gets wet.
What Albula said, use silver tinsel under silk or poly floss for a true color. Silk is much more expensive and if wrapped correctly will lay perfectly flat as poly will not. For fishing flies I'd just use poly cause I don't think the fish care and it's cheap.
You have to make sure that silk is waxed well, you have to make sure that the flies tied with silk are dried well after using because they will rot and fall apart easier, silk is stronger than nylon but it doesn't stretch so you have make sure you keep lots of pressure on the thread through out the tying process. I've tied with both because someone gave me a few spools of silk. Nylon snugs the materials tighter because it stretches and doesn't rot as easy. Nylon color seems to be a tad bit nicer, but most of your color isn't in the thread. So, that's the pros and cons from someone who has used both.
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