How to work with craft fur?

wiznet

Active Member
#1
Hi all,

I recently picked up some craft fur to tie with instead of bucktail. I'm a little lost how to use it compared to bucktail? The threads seem way less uniform and much much thinner.
 
#2
I use craft fur in dubbing brushes and will sometimes just cut off a length of the "hide" and palmer it to build bulk on larger flies, but personally it will never be a bucktail substitute for me, partly for the reasons you mentioned. I just don't care for how it looks, and ultimately I just love bucktail
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#3
If you are planning on using craft fur as a wing, ie: classic steelhead hairwing style flies, I wouldn't recommend it. First because, it seems to have more underfur than actual animal furs. Secondly, after you remove most of the underfur out, you are not left with much to work with. (If you don't remove that underfur then you'll have too much bulk and the materials will have a tendency to fall out because they are not lashed down tightly enough.) Lastly, what's left is very limp and possibly compresses down to be an ineffective wing that lacks movement. I suppose you could add some support underneath with some krystal flash. In the end, what material you decide to use for a wing, is pretty much determined by how you want that material to look and act when wet (swimming along).

For classic summer steelhead hairwing flies, I like (in the order of liking most to least)...

Calf Tail
Bucktail
Squirrel Tail
Fox Tail
Coyote Tail
Finn Raccoon
.
.
.
.
Craft Fur

Hope that helps some.
 
#4
I think it makes a good tail material. It moves nicely in the water. Used a lot for saltwater flies, shrimp flies etc. like mentioned not stiff enough to be a wing material really. But still cool for other applications
 

DenWor54

Active Member
#5
Hey wiznet,
How are you using the craft fur? I have tied with craft fur for a long time and have specific uses for the material. It works great for bonefish flies, sea run cutthroat flies and for summer run steelhead flies. Are you using it on clousers? One suggestion I have is to use the extra select craft fur and reverse tie the material. The craft fur that is not extra select is to short for substitute for bucktail. Also if you tie the craft in reverse in 2-3 sections you can gain length and profile. One trick I have applied to my flies recently is to use thin uv resin to help prop the base of the craft fur. My 2 cents
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#6
One trick I have applied to my flies recently is to use thin uv resin to help prop the base of the craft fur.
Great idea.
Have you found the properties of the resin to leach into (spread) wing? Anytime I have worked with uv resins, they have made the materials to have a gooey feeling.
What have your experiences been like?
 

DenWor54

Active Member
#7
Great idea.
Have you found the properties of the resin to leach into (spread) wing? Anytime I have worked with uv resins, they have made the materials to have a gooey feeling.
What have your experiences been like?
I have used the solarflex thin uv resin and lightly brush the base of the fibers. It sounds like you need a hotter light! My experience with uv resin is to make sure that your light is fully charged. Also the uv resin is that is more like head cement and is applied with a brush. On my salt bugs I tie craft fur forward and then reverse the material back and if you pull the material tight it will lay flat, with forward push on the fur you can control the amount of flare.
 
#8
I often use Solarez Bone Dry resin to touch up bucktail and other materials to firm them up for support of other materials or to prevent fouling and I've never had any issue with it turning the materials gooey or anything. My guess would be the culprit there is perhaps the brand/type of resin used or perhaps the light that's doing the curing.

I read all the time about people buying cheap lights off Amazon and places and claiming they work just fine, however that hasn't been my experience. I broke down and bought a Loon Infiniti light. It's rechargeable and ultra powerful when fully charged and while I've used many different lights that worked ok, this beast cures resin on a whole new level and being able to recharge it quickly means I can make sure it's always at full strength.
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#9
Den and Nick...
I used Clear Cure Goo and the better of the two (they offered at the time) lights.
This was back when they were first introduced and the uv resin craze started.
 
#10
Clear Cure Goo and the better of the two (they offered at the time) lights.
This was back when they were first introduced and uv resin craze started.

Ah that explains it. CCG, while cool and novel when it first came out, is basically garbage compared to what is available now. If you haven't used any of the new resins I highly recommend giving them a shot. If CCG is your reference point you should be highly impressed with how well today's resins work.
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#11
Ah that explains it. CCG, while cool and novel when it first came out, is basically garbage compared to what is available now. If you haven't used any of the new resins I highly recommend giving them a shot. If CCG is your reference point you should be highly impressed with how well today's resins work.
Thanks Nick...will have to up my uv resin game. ;)