Marabou Tails


Active Member
When tying lake flies such as a wooly bugger, damsel nymph, or leach with a marabou tail, what are some tricks when tying to help keep the tail from wraping around the hook bend when fishing. When I tie saltwater flies, I often place a loop of 25 lb test horizontally under the tail and this works well. In lakes my feelin is the trout are a bit more fussy and I wonder if this technique (in a less pound line) will be seen by the trout or interfere with the motion of the marabou.

Does anyone use the above technique with success on lake flies?

What else can work?



Indi "Ira" Jones
One trick is to take a wrap of thread and run it behind the marabou after you have tied it on and then pull it over and wrap the marabout the opposite direction of your other wraps, then repeat the process again.

Another idea is to build up a little base of thread right behind where you plan to to tie in the marabou.

Lastly, try tying shorter tails.

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
For tails I use the tip of hackle (including the stem) from 'bou feathers. The stem should (in most cases) prevent the hook from fouling the tail. If I use clumps of fibers, like on small buggers, I make sure the tips of the 'bou hackles do not extend past the rear of the hook bend (or not far anyway).

I don't find fouling an issue (the ESL tied with loose fibers foul from time to time) and I fish lots of ESL, buggers and other patters with 'bou tails.

Your mileage may vary :)

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
You can also use a rubber leg as a kind of lateral line on both sides of your clouser, make a small loop, that extends a little beyond your 'bou tie in, behind the hook bend, so the 'bou can fall down on it but not get under it. Same general idea as David's, something stiffer below the 'bou tie in to prevent fouling.
Do not shorten the marabou! I firmly believe that the right fibers, the right length, and enough fibers (thickness) play a huge roll in enticing fish. Try tying a tuft of the same colored "hair" (deer, elk, etc.) before attaching the marabou.