EP Fibers

#1
A question for those who use these. I see lots of patterns that call for EP Fibers. We can't seem to find anyone here north of 49 that sells these so I wonder when I see this in a pattern, what is the EP fiber that people use? There's about a dozen different EP fibers listed on their site. What should I be using for big baitfish patterns?
 

BN2FSH

Active Member
#4
I use a lot of the brushes. I don't use many EP fibers any more since I use the congo hair. I like regular EP fibers, the 3D, and the game change blends. I think these all correspond well to the fly tyers dungeon stuff. EP does not describe their materials well but FTD has a little description of everything. I also use kanekalon wig hair for some baitfish patterns. This is much stiffer than EP or FTD. I can't remember the place I got it, but I can find out if you need the information.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#6
A question for those who use these. I see lots of patterns that call for EP Fibers. We can't seem to find anyone here north of 49 that sells these so I wonder when I see this in a pattern, what is the EP fiber that people use? There's about a dozen different EP fibers listed on their site. What should I be using for big baitfish patterns?
So far I just use the original EP fibers, but from what I've heard Congo hair is essentially the same thing and considerably cheaper.

As far as using EP for larger baitfish patterns, it has it's pluses and minuses. On the pro side, I really like the flexibility, natural/translucent look, and lack of bulk. The fine fibers cling together but not densely, creating a lot of profile with very little bulk. The two drawbacks I've found is the limpness makes it difficult to build an accurate profile in larger patterns (say > 3"), and not so great durability. At least if you are tying with the fibers running the full length of the fly which is how I prefer.

I think this is why most EP bait fish patterns are tied with the fibers flared at a high angle, then the profile is established through a lot of trimming. Nothing wrong with this approach as, obviously, EP baitfish flies are hugely effective and popular. Tying this way (short, highly flared fibers) also makes the fly much more durable.

What I like to do is blend EP with other fibers that have more structural integrity. Usually Fishair. Blending the two makes it possible to build a very accurate baitfish profile by tying the fibers aligned lengthwise on the profile shape. The advantages to this approach being a more flexible fly that moves, and looks more like the real baitfish being imitated. Additionally, since the fibers are aligned parallel to the outline of the fly, they can be blended and layered in different colors in a way that matches the natural color transitions of the real thing. Can't really do that with the fibers flared out at extreme angles without using markers. Although, I still use markers for highlights, stripes, spots, etc...


As an example, here are some color transitions I blended for tying mackerel imitations. Second from bottom is a plain white "belly" color. Bottom is a flash blend with some krystal flash and angel hair added. Then a light green with some olive angel hair to transition into the back, and finally a dark green to top the back of the fly.


20190311_092739.jpg

And a mack tied using these blends.

20190311_102121.jpg
 
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#7
So far I just use the original EP fibers, but from what I've heard Congo hair is essentially the same thing and considerably cheaper.

As far as using EP for larger baitfish patterns, it has it's pluses and minuses. On the pro side, I really like the flexibility, natural/translucent look, and lack of bulk. The fine fibers clump together creating a lot of profile with very little bulk. The two drawbacks I've found is the limpness makes it difficult to build an accurate profile in larger patterns (say > 3"), and not so great durability. At least if you are tying with the fibers running the full length of the fly which is how I prefer.

I think this is why most EP bait fish patterns are tied with the fibers flared at a high angle, then the profile is established through a lot of trimming. Nothing wrong with this approach as, obviously, EP baitfish flies are hugely effective and popular. Tying this way (short, highly flared fibers) also makes the fly much more durable.

What I like to do is blend EP with other fibers that have more structural integrity. Usually Fishair. Blending the two makes it possible to build a very accurate baitfish profile by tying the fibers aligned lengthwise on the profile shape. The advantages to this approach being a more flexible fly that moves, and looks more like the real baitfish being imitated. Additionally, since the fibers are aligned parallel to the outline of the fly, they can be blended and layered in different colors in a way that matches the natural color transitions of the real thing. Can't really do that with the fibers flared out at extreme angles without using markers. Although, I still use markers for highlights, stripes, spots, etc...


As an example, here are some color transitions I blended for tying mackerel imitations. Second from bottom is a plain white "belly" color. Bottom is a flash blend with some krystal flash and angel hair added. Then a light green with some olive angel hair to transition into the back, and finally a dark green to top the back of the fly.


View attachment 195934

And a mack tied using these blends.

View attachment 195937
Thanks SilverFly. Terrific information.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#8
I like regular EP fibers, the 3D, and the game change blends. I think these all correspond well to the fly tyers dungeon stuff. EP does not describe their materials well but FTD has a little description of everything.
Thanks for mentioning the Gamechange blends, I had to look it up. No help from EP's website though. From the description I found on another site, it sounds like EP's answer to the limpness problems with standard EP on larger flies. Might save me the hassle of blending.
 
#14
Synthetic fibers (ep fibers, kinky, slinky, farrar, congo, kanekelon et al) ..I tried them all early in my tying , was utterly and totally disapointed and made a heart felt decision to stick to naturals...better movement in water, way better taper and aesthetics

about a year ago I found a long fibred synthetic cross between bucktail and polar bear with a general structure like a patch of craft fur but 5"-10" long...I loved it so much I invested some $ in development and now Im in business selling it and getting it in tyers hands ...Ive posted some flies on this board using it ...it may be worth checking it out for your baitfish imitations
 

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