Spinning spinning.

Got my Fugly packer in the mail yesterday and messed with it tonight. Never spun hair before and I have a lot to learn. The body wasn't quite as tight as I had hoped and as I neared the eye it got really tough to tie on clumps.
I am excited but need to learn the details like keeping it tight and how to mix colors AND it took alot of clumps to build up this far, definitely a time sink at least at this point.
Do I need to treat the body to enhance the float or is deer hair naturally resistant to soaking?
Any tips from the masters would be great!

Another new aspect to learn and get psyched about :)

Pre trim

Post trim...could be tighter.

Chad Lewis

NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
Actually, doesn't look that bad. Deer hair will absorb water and start to sink, so using a floatant is a good idea. I like to put on floatant and let it dry overnight. A trick to tightening up the hair is to steam it. Literally, get a teapot going and rotate the hair in the steam and it'll fluff up. Go slow with it until you get a feel for it.

A few technique ideas... I don't know what a fugly packer is, but if it's not a hair packer I suggest getting one. Works a lot better than your fingers to pack the hair tight. Pack after every clump you spin. IMO the bigger clump you can tie in, the tighter it looks in the end. Always spin hair on a bare hook. I like to use gel spun thread for the strength and it's slick as snot so it packs well. It'll always take a lot of time to spin big bugs. The savings will come when you get good enough to be more consistent and not have to start over all the time. For the record, I'm somewhere in the middle......

Big E

Active Member
Another trick is to get some clear silicone and wipe just a little on the face of the fly. This will make the front a bit more durable.

You also have room to put another clump of hair before the eye of the hook. Trick here is to get a stiff piece of plastic with a slit in it. This will hold the hair out of the way enough for you to get a whip finish on there.

Looks good though. Keep at it!
Perfect reply Chad and Big E, thanks!
I never heard of steaming it, but that sounds curious. I noticed lots of time is involved and I was trying to be "sparse" on the clumps, but I will totally play with it and practice is key.
Thanks for the tips, just what I was hoping for!

Big E, thanks, I was thinking about something to hold it back but it seemed like I needed a 5th hand for any more fiddling, I will see what I can find!
Also the silicone bit sounds perfect.

Fugly Packer is a semi new tool for packing that has gotten alot of rave reviews. Its big and powerful, I think it will become a favorite, I have zero experience but learn pretty fast and I have learned the proper tools make life much easier.

When I spin deer hair, I use the end of a ball point pen to pack it tight. Each time I spin a bunch, I pack it tight against the last. It has worked pretty well.

Chad Lewis

NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
The fugly packer certainly looks like it'll do the job! I have a couple hair packers, including one of the "cute little ones" sitting next to the fugly. I did find packers like the fugly and the smaller one will cut the thread if you're not careful. The larger notch on the fugly should be better. I have one made by Griffin that I like a lot.

Thats pretty burly Chad, I like the idea, no clamping, just various holes for various sizes, plus it looks pretty hefty. There are lots of options, I just went with one that looked good, as I learn, I will find the personal best I am sure.
Gonna check out that griffin and see whats up!

Shawn West

Active Member
I have been using the Fugly Packer for quite some time. It is an "industrial" packer. I have not had an issue with it cutting my thread. The thread I use is GSP(Gel Spun Poly) 140. Juggler, did you also purchase Pats video? There is a ton of quality info in that video. If you are planning on getting serious about spinning/stacking deer hair, I would strongly suggest learning how to select quality hair for spinning. It, like all tying materials, can make tying easier or frustrating as hell. You will not go wrong by contacting Chris Helm. He will send you the correct hair for what you are tying. I do not have his number handy, but you can get it online. You are not too far north of where I am living right now, if you would be interested, I could come up there for an afternoon and put you on the correct path to working with deer hair. PM me if interested.