Calf Body Lock-down

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by freestoneangler, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,126
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 1
    I'm finding calf body posts for parachute wraps increasingly frustrating...the damn stuff just wont stay locked down :mad::mad: . After stacking, I position over a light base of dubbing and bind a half dozen wraps as tight as I dare with 8/0 Uni (none wax). I typically position with tips laying back towards the bend and then, after locking down, make a half dozen more wraps behind the bunch to help stand it upright a bit, then secure with a few half-hitches. After clipping the butts, I cover with a light dubbing then position and wrap the para-hackle. While wrapping and securing the hackle I end up having the damn post start pulling loose...about 3 in 10 it seems.

    What the hell is the secret with this stuff? I absolutely love the way it looks...particularly on Purple Haze. Should I lock down against the thread instead of over dubbing, use zap-it... ??

    Production has ceased pending emergency response from the forum :).
  2. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
    You shouldn't be binding down on top of dubbing, I would think that this would move around quite a bit. What I do is tie it in just behind where I want the post with locking thread wraps, work back towards the bend, cut the hair at an angle so when bound down it forms the taper for the body. When you get back up to the post, wrap up the post and back down, with a couple figure eights to bring it up. After you have this base down, go back and put in your body.
  3. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,126
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 1
    That may very well be it...the particular purple dubbing I'm using is not the same brand as most of mine are, so it could be why I'm having more problems than before. Just did another tie, stopped my dubbing short of where the calf body gets tied in and locked to the thread. It seems pretty secure and this one finished up w/o pulling out (even tugged on it a whisker :eek:). We'll see if this trend holds.
    Thanks
  4. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,158
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,680 / 0
    I think Eric is correct. I don't believe there is a point in adding dubbing to the shank before tying in the wing post hair. Normally, wrapping a thread base on the shank before adding the hair works for me. Just in case, I add a drop of SA glue on the thread wraps holding down the butt ends of the post hair. Then I dub over the wraps.
  5. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,230
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,027 / 1
    I would tie the calf hair for the post in first. This lets you locate the wing precisely and sets the dimensions for the rest of the fly. I'd check out Fly Tying, The Anglers Art web site and see how parachutes are done there. Might give you a tip for tying off the hackle and also a nice looking head.;)
  6. Jim Darden Active Member

    Posts: 902
    Bellingham, Wa.
    Ratings: +222 / 0
    I've never had much of a problem with the calf tail and used it for a lot of wings but I always tied the wing in first.....maybe that is why I never had your problem.....
  7. Norm Frechette Active Member

    Posts: 604
    Norwich, CT
    Ratings: +77 / 0
  8. Mark Mercer Member

    Posts: 1,144
    port orchard, wa
    Ratings: +505 / 0
    Tie the post in first, like the the SBS posted above and use some wax, it will help. I quit using calf a long time ago, didn't see the advantage over white antron and is harder to use but it does look better.
  9. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 632
    Ratings: +879 / 0
    I make things easy on myself and tie just about all my parachutes with Congo Hair (any hydro-shedding fiber will do; this stuff is just the cheapest I've found). Calf body hair does look pretty, and I tied a bunch of 'chutes with it after reading Production Fly Tying, but I found it a pain to work with and hated the bulky tie-in point that made it difficult for me to use it on smaller flies. Just my 1/50 of a dollar.

    Regards,
    Scott
  10. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,126
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 1
    DO NOT TIE ON TOP OF DUBBING... that was the trick... rock solid tied against the thread wrap. It makes laying the dubbing down a little more challenging (trying to keep the calf body from getting pulled into wrap), but not too bad. Thanks for the tip boys!!

    Never tried Congo Hair... will give that a look.
  11. luv2fly2 Active Member

    Posts: 1,578
    .othello
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    kelly galloup does it opposite than others, hecuts the hair so the longest hair is on top, and would be tied in first. works for him. mike w